It Was 50 Years Ago Today…

And so here we are. Another bloody year older. At 53, I think this is the final year that I can get away with saying I’m in my early-50s. Next year, I’ll have to confess to being in my mid-50s and then….*shudders*…well, I’d rather not think about that any further, thank ou very much.

Still, better than the alternative, I guess.

Long time readers may recall that I used to mark my birthday every year by posting the same song, the one which was #1 in the UK charts on the day I was born. That record, for those a little newer round here, is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising, which I think is a pretty cool – and possibly appropriate – record to be associated with in such a way.

Inspired by a series Martin over at the ever brilliant New Amusements did a few years ago, where he discussed each song which had been #1 on his birthday each year, I decided to do something similar. Alright, something almost identical – the difference being that I’d just post one a year, on my birthday, to see how long the run of cool records being #1 on my big day could last.

So far, so good: to go with Bad Moon Rising (1969), we’ve had Freda Payne’s Band of Gold (1970) and The Tams’ Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me (1971).

So what have we got this year, to represent 1972? Another cool one hopefully.


It was this:

David Cassidy – How Can I Be Sure

Now, I must say that when I saw who this year’s record was by, my heart sank. I’m not adverse to a bit of 70s kitsch, nor oblivious to the charms of the odd teen heart-throb, but Jesus wept…David Cassidy….!

So I gave it a listen. And what do you know, it’s nowhere near as bad as I imagined.

Which is probably because I recognised it as a cover version of this, much more Scott Walker/Jacques Brel-esque version:

The Young Rascals – How Can I Be Sure

I think perhaps I’m trying to convince myself here. Sure, The Young Rascals version would have been preferable, or even better, the (not featured here for fear of overkill) Dusty Springfield version from 1970. But in all honesty, the David Cassidy version isn’t that bad.

I tell you what is rather galling though. On 26th September 1972, the David Cassidy version had only been #1 for two days. Had I been born even more prematurely than I actually was, on 24th September instead of 26th, then this would have been the next record in this series and I’d have been a whole lot happier:

Slade – Mama Weer All Crazee Now

That’s better.

Now, who fancies giving me the bumps? Good luck, it’ll take a few of you.

More soon.


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18 thoughts on “It Was 50 Years Ago Today…”

    1. Cheers Martin. I deliberately haven’t revisited your series as I feared suffering from Cool Record Envy. Maybe I’ll take anotheer peek now you’ve said that!

  1. Happy birthday Jez, you young lad, have a good one.
    Never mind DC and No. 1, though, just checked the charts for that week in ’72 and there are some real goodies – John, I’m Only Dancing, Virginia Plain, You Wear It Well, Children Of The Revolution, Standing In The Road, Suzanne Beware Of The Devil… so not a bad week at all, generally!

  2. My birth was heralded by Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep. I’ve known this for years thanks to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (my bible, at least it was up to the end of the 90s). However, some sites online tell me my birthday number one was actually Get It On by T-Rex. Now there’s no doubt about shich one I’d prefer it to be, but the truth is these sites seem to be going by the Sunday at the beginning of the week the charts were published, not the date they were actually published. 18th July 1971 was a Sunday but the next chart was published on the 20th. Therefore officially CCCC was still #1 on my birthday, but if they had the technology available in 1971 that we have today and the charts could be compiled immediately, it would have been T-Rex. Hmmm, maybe some reinvention of history is called for.

    Also just found out how many godawful songs have been number one on my birthday over the years….

    1. I use this place as my go-to-site for confirmation of what got to #1 (or wherever) and when: although typically it doesn’t seem to be working right now or I’d assist you with confirmation as to whether you’re a Cheepster or a Jeepster (see what I did there? I’ve wasted that on a comment nobody will ever read….). Anyway, even if, for argument’s sake, it was the naffness of Chirpy Chirpy, then at least you can say it influenced one of the greatest singles of all time, Denim’s Middle of the Road

  3. First of all, Many Happy Returns. Secondly, I’m coming up for 58 and I still say early 50’s LOL
    I remember the David Cassidy version but didn’t know it was a cover – Listening to the Young Rascals version – wow!
    As for Slade, we were all crazee for it. I remember even my dad (who only watched TOTP for Pan’s People) was singing along with it.

    1. Cheers Conrad – good to know I’ve got a few more years of blagging early 50s to go yet. Glad you liked that Young Rascals verstion, it’s pretty great isn’t it?

  4. Happy Birthday.
    I started a similar quest a few years ago (many years ago, actually) to own a copy of the single that was Number 1 on my birthday.
    Things start well with Mungo Jerry and T.Rex, before descending into a world of MOR. Puppy Love, Welcome Home, and Forever And Ever (Demis Roussos, not the slighlty cooler Slik).
    What is it about birthdays and me always missing the “cool” songs by 2 or 3 weeks

    1. Cheers RD. I’m anticipating mine will also descend into records that I have to try and defend or, as I’ve just about managed to do this time…such is the problem when I insist there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. If it makes you feel any better, schmaltzy easy listening that it is, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Welcome Home….

  5. Happy birthday, Jez, I hope you had (and are continuing to have) a good one!

    I’m a little under a year behind you, so my birthday song from December 1972 is going to be My Ding-A-Ling by Chuck Berry which ironically kept another Slade song – Goodbuy T’Jane – off the top spot.

    I’ve mixed feelings about the previous two years: I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds was a promising start, followed by Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) by Benny Hill.

    1. Cheers Khayem! And that’s not just any old Chuck Berry UK #1, it’s his only UK #1 (I’m sure you knew that…). Shame it’s a song which definitely isn’t about Little Chuck, honest.

    1. Cheers buddy! Funnily enough, I was thinking about Back Home only last night, as the reboot of Fantasy Football League started, which of course had an instrumental version as the theme tune. They’ve retained that for the reboot (and quite a lot of the old formt points too, as it goes).

      Whenever I hear it, I’m always reminded how when the original series aired, as well as being the theme tune, it was played when the guest managers came in, only this time with Baddiel & Skinner singing something about the guest instead of the usual lyrics. My favourite, which sticks in my mind to this day (and shows how long ago the original was on) was the one that went: “Ray Stubbs, he does Match of the Day when Des Lynam is away…”. Still makes me smile, but then I’m easily pleased, so it seems….

  6. Belated happy birthday Jez.

    I was born as ‘From Me To You’ by The Beatles was ending its seventh week at the top of the hit parade.

    I’ve never taken to the Fab Four.

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