The top 10 songs in December 1966

The Beach Boys. Source: Getty.

The first week in December 1966 saw the charts in Australia showing that the local talent is in ascendancy, with #2 “Sorry”, The Easybeats; #4 “Let It Be Me”, an EP by Johnny Young; #6 Ooh-La-La”, Normie Rowe; #7 “Friday On My Mind”, The Easybeats; #9 ‘Spicks And Specks”, The Bee Gees and #10 “Needle In A Haystack”, The Twilights.

With progressive rock and psychedelia dominating the charts it is a sobering thought that three of the year’s biggest sellers were, Jim Reeves’ “Distant Drums”, Tom Jones’ “Green, Green Grass Of Home” and Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In The Night”

The top ten in Australia in December 1966

1. No Milk Today Herman’s Hermits
2. Ooh-La-La Normie Rowe
3. Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
4. Let It Be Me (EP) Johnny Young
5. Friday On My Mind The Easybeats
6. Sorry The Easybeats
7. Winchester Cathedral The New Vaudeville Band
8. Spicks And Specks The Bee Gees
9. Mellow Yellow Donovan
10. Lady Godiva Peter & Gordon
In the UK, “Green, Green Grass Of Home”, Tom Jones was number one for the whole month.
THE Top Ten Australian Hits for 1966
1. Step Back / Cara Lynn Johnny Young
2. Let It Be Me (EP) Johnny Young
3. Friday On My Mind The Easybeats
4. The Loved One The Loved Ones
5. Spicks And Specks The Bee Gees
6. Woman (Make Me Feel Alright) The Easybeats
7. Hitch-Hiker Bobby & Laurie
8. The Carnival Is Over The Seekers
9. Tell Him I’m Not Home Normie Rowe
10. Everlovin’ Man The Loved Ones

Although the Australian charts were dominated by The Easybeats and Johnny Young a significant new band arrived on the scene. The Loved Ones were formed in 1965 from members of two Melbourne jazz bands.

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When The Rolling Stones emerged from the London jazz scene playing their version of the blues, these musicians knew not just its excitement value but how it was done.

A Red Onions Jazz Band session turned into the first recording by The Loved Ones carrying the same name.

The Loved Ones consisted of Gerry Humphreys (vocals), Rob Lovett (guitar), Kim Lynch (bass), Gavin Anderson (drums), Ian Clyne (keyboards). Two things marked that standout recording; the unique double rhythm made accessible by clever use of handclapping, and singer Gerry Humphreys soaring bluesy vocals.

Audiences were soon attracted to the song and were excited by the enigmatic singer with the sunken cheeks and outstretched arms. The band was more than competent and attracted a huge following.

They followed up “The Loved One” with “Everlovin’ Man” which showed off Gerry’s voice more than their first hit with another interesting but less complicated arrangement.

Although they were together for about two years The Loved Ones are regarded as one of the most significant Australian bands from the sixties. In 2010 they were inducted into the ARIA, Hall of Fame.

What was your favourite song from this era?