New this week in ’69: April 19

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April 19, 1969

It’s the day after we first see a controversial innovation that has pitted brother against brother and father against son. I’m talking about baseball’s designated hitter rule, which is first used in the AAA-level American Association on April 18. Technically, the hitters that day that played the role were DPHs – “designated pinch hitters.”

April 20. 1969 we get the announcement that Princeton University will do something it hasn’t done in its history: admit women as students. The first 130 women to enroll will begin classes in the fall of ’69.

On April 22, John Lennon will legally change his middle name from Winston, which he has had since birth, to Ono, after his wife Yoko.

On the charts – the number one song remains “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures” by the Fifth Dimension, in its second week at the top. It’s a relatively short list of adds this week.

The Composer” – Diana Ross & the Supremes (debut at #53). The highest debut of the week is a song you rarely if ever hear on Oldies radio. This shouldn’t be the case, since the song got up to #27. Of course, when we over-play the #1s, these are the songs that get the short shrift.

I Can’t See Myself Leaving You” – Aretha Franklin (#74). Here’s another one that you don’t hear very often, and it did just as well on the chart as the last one, landing at #28. We’ll also see the B-side of this single in a couple of weeks.

Earth Angel” –Vogues (#85). As seems to be the requirement as of late, we have a remake of a 50s standard. Surprisingly, this darned near made it into the Top 40, stopping just short at #42.

Goodbye” – Mary Hopkin (#86). She’s actually a three-hit wonder. I’m sure you know “Those Were the Days,” but this one might have slipped your memory. It was written by Apple Records labelmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who you are undoubtedly more familiar with. This goes on to hit #13 in the US. (Oh, and the third hit? Of course it’s 1970’s “Temma Harbour,” which crawled up to #39.)

(We’ve Got) Honey Love” – Martha and the Vandellas (#87). Here we finally have an “oh wow.” I used to sneak this one past the goalie on Oldies stations later in my career. It should have been a bigger hit, only making #56 – but it feels like it should have been released earlier in the decade, and that’s probably what cost it a few slots. White nostalgia sells better than retro Motown in 1969.

I’ve Been Hurt” – Bill Deal & the Rhondels (#89). Now here, we have a great record. Three months after “May I” hits the charts, these guys are back with a slightly bigger hit. This one will peak at #35.

Sorry Suzanne” – The Hollies (#96). This song also peaks at #56. and it’s also one that I’d throw in every now and again. Their next single won’t hit the charts until December, and it will be a monster.

I’m a Drifter” – Bobby Goldsboro (#99). Goldsboro continues to make solid records for your parents. This one gets airplay on MOR stations, climbing to #14 on the Adult Hits chart. Success on the pop chart wasn’t as solid, as it stalled at #46.

July You’re a Woman” – Pat Boone (100). He’s baaack. Three years after charting “Wish You Were Here, Buddy,” Pat Boone hits the Billboard chart for one week with this John Stewart composition. No, it’s not his last hit. That comes in 2002, when “Under God” goes all the way to #15.

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