Cherish, A Preteen’s Soundtrack

One of the soundtrack songs of my youth is Cherish, performed by the Association. It was released in 1966, and you can take a listen here: Shortly after reading that cherish was today’s daily prompt, the opening bars of this song became the lead ear worm on my internal playlist.

Somewhere between 1964 and 1966, I was given a transistor radio. This was a big deal for me, as I then had the freedom to listen to the music of my choosing in the privacy of my room. KIMN was the Denver station which played the top 40 hits of the day. I can still hear their jingle: “95 fabulous Kimn”. I didn’t listen all the time, but often would tune in at night as I was going to sleep. I listened to many of the top tunes of the day including early Beatles, Beach Boys, the Association, whatever was getting airtime.

For my 11 year old self, this was a pretty big deal. Like many kids that age, I was trying to figure out the big world, and how my pre-adolescent self might eventually fit into it. I had some exposure to news and popular culture. We got Life magazine, which I read every week. I also read some of the local newspaper, and we saw the local news on TV, followed by the national news, the Huntley-Brinkley report. We didn’t watch much other TV, so the radio was my source of info on what was up in the world of popular music.

1966 really was a time of great change in the world. The conventionality of the Eisenhower years had metamorphosed into the more politically active 1960’s, driven by opposition to the Vietnam war, feminist, black power and environmental sensibilities. A look at the Billboard top 100 for 1966 illustrates this: Number 1 is The Ballad of the Green Berets, #2 is Cherish, and #8 is the Supreme’s You Can’t Hurry Love. Continuing through the list, there are songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Dionne Warwick, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

I’m amazed at the variety on this list, and I’m also surprised at how many of these songs I know. Reading through the list, there are only 12 titles that I don’t recognize, and I imagine that if I listened to them, I might know half of those. Quite a soundtrack. Take a gander yourself–what do you recognize? Or perhaps a different year provides the soundtrack that you most cherish.

The Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1966.   Taken from Wikipedia.

Title Artist(s)
1 Ballad of the Green Berets SSgt. Barry Sadler
2 Cherish The Association
3 (You’re My) Soul and Inspiration The Righteous Brothers
4 Reach Out I’ll Be There Four Tops
5 96 Tears ? and the Mysterians
6 Last Train to Clarksville The Monkees
7 Monday, Monday The Mamas & the Papas
8 You Can’t Hurry Love The Supremes
9 Poor Side of Town Johnny Rivers
10 California Dreamin’ The Mamas & the Papas
11 Summer In The City The Lovin’ Spoonful
12 Born Free Roger Williams
13 These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ Nancy Sinatra
14 What Becomes of the Brokenhearted Jimmy Ruffin
15 Strangers in the Night Frank Sinatra
16 We Can Work It Out The Beatles
17 Good Lovin’ The Young Rascals
18 Winchester Cathedral The New Vaudeville Band
19 Hanky Panky Tommy James and the Shondells
20 When a Man Loves a Woman Percy Sledge
21 Paint It, Black The Rolling Stones
22 My Love Petula Clark
23 Lightnin’ Strikes Lou Christie
24 Wild Thing The Troggs
25 Kicks Paul Revere & the Raiders
26 Sunshine Superman Donovan
27 Sunny Bobby Hebb
28 Paperback Writer The Beatles
29 See You In September The Happenings
30 You Keep Me Hangin’ On The Supremes
31 Li’l Red Riding Hood Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
32 Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
33 Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
34 A Groovy Kind of Love The Mindbenders
35 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me Dusty Springfield
36 Cool Jerk The Capitols
37 “Born a Woman” Sandy Posey
38 Red Rubber Ball The Cyrkle
39 B-A-B-Y Carla Thomas
40 Walk Away Renée The Left Banke
41 Daydream The Lovin’ Spoonful
42 Time Won’t Let Me The Outsiders
43 Hooray for Hazel Tommy Roe
44 Sweet Pea Tommy Roe
45 Bus Stop The Hollies
46 I’m Your Puppet James & Bobby Purify
47 I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry B. J. Thomas
48 Ain’t Too Proud to Beg The Temptations
49 Dirty Water The Standells
50 Elusive Butterfly Bob Lind
51 I Am a Rock Simon & Garfunkel
52 Crying Time Ray Charles
53 Secret Agent Man Johnny Rivers
54 The Sound of Silence Simon & Garfunkel
55 Lady Godiva Peter and Gordon
56 Homeward Bound Simon & Garfunkel
57 Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? The Lovin’ Spoonful
58 Barefootin‘” Robert Parker
59 Uptight (Everything’s Alright) Stevie Wonder
60 Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) Cher
61 Sloop John B The Beach Boys
62 19th Nervous Breakdown The Rolling Stones
63 Wipe Out The Surfaris
64 Psychotic Reaction Count Five
65 Beauty Is Only Skin Deep The Temptations
66 No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In) The T-Bones
67 Just Like Me Paul Revere & the Raiders
68 Love Makes the World Go Round Deon Jackson
69 The Pied Piper Crispian St. Peters
70 Coming On Strong Brenda Lee
71 Somewhere My Love Ray Conniff Singers
72 Almost Persuaded David Houston
73 If I Were a Carpenter Bobby Darin
74 Don’t Mess with Bill The Marvelettes
75 Cherry, Cherry Neil Diamond
76 Working In The Coal Mine Lee Dorsey
77 Message to Michael Dionne Warwick
78 Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing Lou Rawls
79 Barbara Ann The Beach Boys
80 Gloria The Shadows of Knight
81 My World Is Empty Without You The Supremes
82 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Bob Dylan
83 Guantanamera The Sandpipers
84 Land of 1000 Dances Wilson Pickett
85 Oh How Happy The Shades of Blue
86 Woman Peter and Gordon
87 You Baby The Turtles
88 Five O’Clock World The Vogues
89 Black Is Black Los Bravos
90 Nowhere Man The Beatles
91 Dandy Herman’s Hermits
92 Baby Scratch My Back Slim Harpo
93 She’s Just My Style Gary Lewis & The Playboys
94 The More I See You Chris Montez
95 I Fought the Law Bobby Fuller Four
96 Yellow Submarine The Beatles
97 Hungry Paul Revere & the Raiders
98 “Zorba the Greek” Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
99 Shapes of Things The Yardbirds
100 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.) Wilson Pickett

via Daily Prompt: Cherish

<a href=””>Cherish</a>

9 thoughts on “Cherish, A Preteen’s Soundtrack

  1. Ah, “Cherish.” I was 14. I had just moved away from Nebraska where I’d lived for 6 years, back to Colorado, this time Colorado Springs. I had left my first boyfriend. I don’t have to say more. You can imagine me listening to the clock radio that sat on the bookshelf of my bookshelf bed and yearning…

    Liked by 1 person

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