The Beat Goes On

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(Pictured: Sonny and Cher, 1967.)

Since we have spent the week in 1967, here’s a look inside the issue of Cash Box dated February 25, 1967. The magazine is less elaborate than Billboard, although it covers the same general ground. Like Billboard, it publishes some charts that would have been highly useful to the jukebox and retail trades, in addition to those of interest to radio and radio listeners. And here’s some of what’s in it:

—On the Cash Box Top 100, “Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones takes over the #1 spot from the Seekers’ “Georgy Girl,” which falls to #2. “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” by the Supremes, “Kind of a Drag” by the Buckinghams, and “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees, which was #1 two weeks ago, round out the Top Five. Three songs are new in the Top 10; the hottest is “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny and Cher, up to #8 from #17 last week. The highest debut in the Top 40 is “There’s a Kind of Hush” by Herman’s Hermits at #23. “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles debuts on the Top 100 at #39.

—The Looking Ahead chart contains 50 songs this week. “Soul Time” by Shirley Ellis is at #1. Also on Looking Ahead is “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin. (Elsewhere in the magazine, Atlantic Records takes a full-page ad promoting “I Never Loved a Man” with the headline, “Atlantic Records Proudly Presents Aretha Franklin.”) “I Never Loved a Man” is the highest debut on the R&B chart, at #29. The #1 and #2 songs on that list are holding their positions from the week before: “Are You Lonely for Me” by Freddie Scott and “Hunter Gets Captured by the Game” by the Marvelettes.

—Another full-page ad features a stylized map of London Liverpool noting the locations of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, promoting the new Beatles single. Also on the map are the letters P, G, R, and J, presumably indicating the homes of Paul, George, Ringo, and John. A news story reports that Capitol pressed and shipped 1.1 million copies of the “Strawberry Fields”/”Penny Lane” single in a recent three-day period. All three of the label’s pressing plants, in Los Angeles, Jacksonville, Illinois, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, are working full-time on the new single to meet future demand. In 1964, Capitol pressed and shipped 750,000 copies of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in three days, and eventually sold more than 4.5 million.

—Both “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” are mentioned in the Sure Shots column, devoted to records that retailers report selling in quantity or that “give every indication of doing so.” Others listed include the Mamas and the Papas’ “Dedicated to the One I Love,” “Return of the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen, and “Jimmy Mack” by Martha and the Vandellas. The magazine’s Radio Active Charts listing shows that “Dedicated to the One I Love” is the most-added song of the week by radio stations.

—Because the magazine is frequently asked to provide a running list of the year’s top hits to “A&R men, producers, radio stations, etc.,” it has created a monthly one, based on an elaborate point system that gives credit to the top 50 songs in any week. The February chart is led by “I’m a Believer,” which has racked up 1054 points. In second place is “98.6” by Keith, which has 1018.

—“I’m a Believer” is the best-selling single in Britain again this week, just ahead of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” by the Rolling Stones. While on what was officially a private visit to Britain, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith made some promotional appearances on radio and TV, and held a press conference. Back home, the Monkees dominate the Top 100 album chart, with More of the Monkees and The Monkees at #1 and #2 again this week. SRO by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and the Doctor Zhivago soundtrack hold at #3 and #4. Between the Buttons by the Rolling Stones jumps from #12 to #5.

—The oldest living member of ASCAP, Lady Katherine Bainbridge, died at her home in Hollywood earlier this month at the age of 104. She is known mainly for having written more than 165 hymns. Also getting an obituary is jazz cornetist Muggsy Spanier, who played with the first generation of Chicago jazz stars of the 1920s—Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, and Sidney Bechet—as well as other jazz luminaries during the 1930s. He was either 63 or 64 years old.

—An ad in the magazine says, “If you are reading someone else’s copy of Cash Box why not mail this coupon today!” It’s $20 for a 52-week subscription, $40 to receive it by airmail.

9 thoughts on “The Beat Goes On

  1. LEO EDELSTEIN

    Jim, really enjoying this walk in 1967. A year I’m deep into rock and R&B music at the expense of my grades as a sophmore at UW-Milwaukee. Also deep into reading the AP wire, sportscasting UWM football and basketball, and lo!lygagging at campus station WUWM 89.7fm. In 1967 WUWM is still in it’s infancy in the basement room #12 of Fine Arts and run largely by student and community volunteers. Loved getting my hands on some of the promo 45s, saving a trip to Radio Doctors and 98 cents a disc. As a part-timer I earned $1.25 an hour on the work-study program. p.s. Lucky me mentored by Dr. Ruane Hill.

  2. Alvaro Leos

    How seriously were “Cash Box” and rival publication “Record World” taken back in the 60s? By the time I started following the charts in the late 80s, “Record World” was out of business and “Cash Box” was totally ignored.

    1. I think they were taken seriously, but it was clear that Billboard was the leader.

      I started reading and dealing with the trades in 1971 and the prevailing wisdom then was Cash Box was bigger for jukebox operators and Record World for retail record sellers who didn’t need most of what Billboard published.

      1. Chris Herman

        I always thought Cash Box’s relationship with Billboard was like Pepsi to Coke, Burger King to McDonald’s, and Avis to Hertz. It was good if you had a record that hit #1 on the Cash Box chart and #2 on Billboard but was better if it was the other way around.

      2. JP

        The complete run of Billboard, Cashbox and Record World are reprinted on the American Radio History website. Looking over these old issues, I’d have to say that CB and RW have a sense of “fun” (for lack of a better word) than BB. At ;east for the eras I’m into (roughly 1965-76). Also, those other two mags were more likely to review obscure, non-hit 45s than BB. As a record collector, that means a lot to me…

      3. Chris, none of those companies started out striving for number two, other than to avoid being number three or worse. Both magazines—Billboard and Cash Box—were very much industry trade papers that had no relevance for or reputation with the general public until several years after American Top 40 launched using Billboard’s chart.

        What made a number one in Billboard “better” than a number one in Cash Box was that Cash Box factored in jukebox play…counting multiple spins of one physical record that had been sold, at wholesale, to whoever stocked the local jukeboxes.

        I’ve used the analogy here before (and JB repeated it once, which honored me greatly): Including jukebox plays in a chart is like counting every time someone rents a Nissan Versa as a sale. Including airplay in a chart is like counting every time someone sees a Versa drive down the street as a sale.

        Billboard had its own chart issues, which varied over time. But they were generally agreed to be the most credible of the three “major” charts.

  3. mackdaddyg

    Unrelated to the current interesting topic, JB, but I just read your recent sidepiece “Our Heroism Is a Lie” and man, you hit so many nails on the head. If you can find any public place to share those thoughts, please do. I’d post it on my facebook page, but I only have 15 fb friends and it would pretty much be preaching to the choir there, anyway.

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