Two Songs of 1969

marmalade - ob la di ob la da correctedTaking a break from photography, my thoughts turned to music and in particular the music of 1969.

Ob la di – Ob la da was No.1 in January of 1969, but I seem to remember it throughout the year and for many years after that too.  Kids at school would suddenly burst into song with the chorus and it was often played on the radio.  It was a huge hit for The Marmalade, who soon after shortened their name to just Marmalade.  It was not until a few years ago that I discovered that the song was written by Paul McCartney, as I was too young to be into The Beatles at the height of their fame.

This song was originally recorded by The Beatles on their White Album, 1968, and they went on to release it as a single and had a hit with it in many countries, but not in the UK or the USA.  This left the way open for The Marmalade to release their version.  When they topped the charts in January 1969, they became the first Scottish band to do so and celebrated by appearing on Top of the Pops that week wearing kilts – not that I personally remember it!  The video below is from another appearance on TOTP – no kilts in this version!


At the other end of the year, in November 1969, the top selling single was by The Archies, and the song was Sugar, Sugar.  Again it is a song I knew very well from the radio, and I have often heard it in the years since then too, but I knew nothing about the ‘band’ at the time.  The Archies were actually a fictional band in a cartoon series.  The song was recorded by session musicians and singers Ron Dante and Toni Wine.  The two singers were the regular male and female singing voices of the characters in The Archie Show, a Saturday morning cartoon show produced by the animation company Filmation for the CBS TV network in America.

The show, very loosely based on the 1940s Archie comic books, only lasted for one season on CBS, in 1968.  The teenage characters, along with their large white dog, formed a band, performing songs in the show each week.  The video below is the full song Sugar, Sugar, as it was featured in one of the TV shows.  If something about the video reminds you of another cartoon series, then you may be interested in my next post – The Mysteries Five?