Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 10/26/2016 Update

Motown wasn't just a label in 1967, it was a cultural force...its songs often the one brand of music that could consistently get individuals both white and black to drop the racial tensions of the time and for a few brief minutes let loose together in shared celebration...and 1967 was among the label's best years ever.  No surprise then that Nancy has selected several of the labels top 1967 hits for her Nancy's Favorites mix.

I Was Made To Love Her wasn't Stevie Wonder's first hit, he'd had several by the time of its 1967 release, but co-written with his mother Lula Mae Hardaway, Sylvia Moy, and producer Henry Cosby, it was always one of Stevie's personal favorites and point of pride amongst his early compositions.

As Wonder declared in a 1968 interview, he felt it was his first truly complete song he had written.  It would go on to top the R&B charts for four weeks in 1967, but was blocked from the top spot in the pop charts by The Doors' Light My Fire, and finished as the #14 most popular single for the year.

1967 was an even more productive year for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

In addition to releasing the amazing Tears Of A Clown, co-written with Stevie Wonder and Henry Cosby, Smokey stumbled upon his biggest hit of 1967 while shopping for pearls for his wife Claudette with friend and fellow songwriter Al Cleveland.

As the legend goes, after making his choice, Smokey said to the to the sales clerk "I sure hope she (Claudette) likes them." Cleveland then added, "I second that emotion."

Clevenland had meant to say "notion," but both men were so amused, they immediately got to work shaping a song around the accidental turn of phrase.

I Second That Emotion spent three weeks at #4 on the pop charts at the end of 1967, and the song has only grown in stature as the years have passed.

Moving over to our 1967's Super Soulsters' Deep Cuts Review, but sticking with The Miracles, they also released what might be their most beautiful song ever in 1967 with the less well-remembered but gorgeous The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage.

Finally, a male/female Motown pairing that also had tremendous success in 1967 was that of established superstar Marvin Gaye and young ingenue Tammi Terrell.

Their very first recording, the classic single Ain't No Mountain High Enough, appears on Nancy's Favorites and will be discussed later, as it will land deep in our 67 Best Songs Of 1967 countdown, but the duo's follow-up single, Your Precious Love, was actually an even bigger hit for the act at the time, and is also included in our 1967's Super Soulster's Deep Cuts Review.

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