The early 70s were prime time for what I (and perhaps many others) call “God Rock.” In 70 there’s “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum (a long-time favorite) and “Are You Ready?” by Pacific Gas & Electric. In this show, there are two tunes from Jesus Christ Superstar debuting: “Superstar” by Murray Head and the Trinidad Singers, and Helen Reddy’s version of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” (Yvonne Elliman’s take from the official soundtrack would enter the countdown two weeks after this). A year later, “Day By Day” from Godspell would be a fairly big hit. I’m pretty sure we saw live productions of both JCS and Godspell in Cincinnati around 72 or 73 (I imagine I enjoyed them both, but there are just some things you do when you’re a PK). Another big one, in spring of 74, was “The Lord’s Prayer,” by Sister Janet Mead. I was too young then to intuit what it was about that period (and pretty much only that period) that made it conducive for overtly Christian music to reach the pop charts.
Finally, there’s this week’s #3 song, down from its #2 peak. I’ve always liked it; as a 7-year old, it was certainly easy to sing along with its chorus. A couple of guys at our church have performed a nice arrangement occasionally in recent years, albeit with somewhat different lyrics in the second verse from what Ocean did.
Let’s go with a live performance, as opposed to a studio version, this time.
2 thoughts on “American Top 40 PastBlast, 5/8/71: Ocean, “Put Your Hand in the Hand””