ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Top 10 Most Popular Songs of 1970

Updated on April 10, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (Active AF Civil Air Patrol).

President Richard Nixon admires Elvis Presley's cufflinks on December 21, 1970.
President Richard Nixon admires Elvis Presley's cufflinks on December 21, 1970.

1970: The Year of the Whale

This year of the Viet Nam (or now, Vietnam) Conflict was very interesting for the music field in that all kinds of unimaginable things to Americans were used to create it, including those from the undersea world.

Whale song was first recorded in 1970, leading marine researchers in the next couple of decades to discover that Humpback Whales had learned the tune of Amazing Grace from slave ship inmates (The Discovery broadcast on the Paul Harvey Show, TVChannel 10 in Columbus, and 610 WBNS in 1970).

Source

Whale song also prompted the filming of the 1986 Star Trek movie The Voyage Home. In the film, two whales, George and Gracie, saved the world of the 23rd century with help from Scottie and the Captain. Not only environmentally relevant, Voyage Home is the funniest of the Trek Film Saga. Parts of it (Spock learning to use colorful language) are parodied in the sci-fi film comedy Paul.

Importantly, 1970 saw the first Earth Day celebrations and the whale theme of the science fiction film meshed well with the concept of saving the environment.

Songs of a Humpback Whale changed the popular mind about whales.

Underwater microphones were used by Mr. Frank Watlington in Bermuda to prove that whales communicate with their own language, but also with music. This recording was chosen by the US Library of Congress as Number 20 on the list of 25 Recordings to be Preserved in 2010.

All 25 music and spoken word recordings join the National Recording Registry as important historic recordings.

US National Recording Registry

New Entries to the National Recording Registry - The Library Today: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named 25 new additions to the 9th annual National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress, ensuring that these cultural, artistic and historical recordings always will be available.

Humpback Whale, song made famous in 1970 and added to the US National Registry.
Humpback Whale, song made famous in 1970 and added to the US National Registry. | Source

Top 10 From the Billboard Top 100

The Vietnam War began in 1940 with France, picked up the USA about 1964 and continued to 1975. That's a long time for an undeclared war. Part of it was fought with blaring Rock Music after American troops refused to listen to any more classical. The Viet Cong didn't like Rock and Americans were ready for some rockin' sounds (depicted in Good Morning Viet Nam).

Here are the top ten most heard song of 1970, according to Billboard Magazine.

  1. Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head by B. J. Thomas, from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Song by Burt Bacharach, Lyrics by Hall David. This one became #85 on the Billboard Hot 100 All Time Hits list.

2. I'll Be There by The Jackson Five. This is the lead song on the Five's Third Album. A ballad to change things up from bubblegum pop and still uplifting.
3. I Think I Love You by The Partridge Family. This TV family headed by Shirley Jones and David Cassidy recorded the song and aired it withy the TV series beginning in 1970.
4. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel

5. Close to You by The Carpenters
6. My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
7. War by Edwin Starr. Word on the Internet is that The Temptations recorded this song first, felt it would hurt their careers, and passed it on to Mr. Starr, who made it a hit, with three weeks in the Number One spot at Billboard. It has been covered many times and was featured in an episode about a copyright proceedings trial on television's Boston Legal.

8. American Woman by the Canadians and the Guess Who. The woman in the song was the Statue of Liberty and this was a protest song against the Vietnam War protest. But as Harlan Ellison has written in the 1970s, censorship was rampant. President Richard Nixon's First Lady, Pat, asked the group not to perform it at the White House. Vice President Spiro Agnew was an enforcer for TV censorship according to Mr. Ellison in his 1970s books and columns, especially against depicting the rising drug use in America that killed some of Harlan's friends.


9. Let It Be by The Beatles
10. I Want You Back by The Jackson Five, solo by Michael Jackson. My favorite cover of this song is done by Cheryl Crow, from the Winter 2011 Motown Tribute concert at the White House.

More Favorites From the Billboard Top 100

  • Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - #11.
  • Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross - #14
  • Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum - #19
  • Fire and Rain - James Taylor - #26
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours - Stevie wonder - #41
  • Ride, Captain, Ride - Blues Image #49
  • Don't Cry Daddy - Elvis Presley - #59
  • Travel 'In Band and flipside Who'll Stop the Rain - Credance Clearwater Revival - #67
  • Psychedelic Shack - The Temptations - #71
  • Evil Ways - Sanatana - #81
  • Don't Play That Song - Aretha Franklin - #93. Ms. Franklin's father was a renowned Detroit minister and his sermon on the Crucifixion is also among the 25 Recordings Preserved in 2010 at the Library of Congress.


Psychedelic Shack on the Ed Sullivan Show, 1970

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      2 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      More about whale song: The Smithsonian has a 2015 article stating that Paul Knapp Jr. recorded whale song in 1992 and found melodies very similar to Gregorian Chants. Research is ongoing.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I cannot believe sometimes that it was all so long ago. Thanks for all the comments!

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      These songs will be remembered by most. MJ and the 5 were really just making their mark in the world. Well done, v/r.

    • susanlang profile image

      susanlang 

      7 years ago

      Mercy me..oh yes, I remember them well!

      The song "Shambala" by Daniel Moore is one I used to sing in the shower back in the day. Thanks for the trip back in time. I enjoyed the ride!

    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Great music, great era. I wish we could go back.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Most of those songs are my favorite songs. Thanks for share with us. You always remind us about beautiful memories. Song like a soul for me. I also enjoy the video above. Well done, Patty. My vote always for you. Have a nice weekend.

      Love and peace,

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I was happy to have found the videos. Late-night TV infomercials only have short blurbs about them.

      1970 seems to be a landmark year in political and social issues!

    • profile image

      David99999 

      7 years ago

      Bravo, Patty! My favorites of these are, "War," "Spirit in the Sky," "I Think I Love You." The 1970's were my decade (Yes, I'm old). In a very real sense, present-day American social philosophy was born in that decade (not the '60's, as some believe). Great hub!:)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, it's funny but I can remember every one of these songs. I haven't heard them in years but I can still hear the music in my head. It's amazing how we can remember music so well and forget so many other things. Great job.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Great choices :)

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Great list here. I remember these songs well, and was singing them out loud back then. :)

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Very interesting! I had no idea American Woman was actually about the Statue of Liberty. These songs bring so much emotion...they bring back strong memories of the times, both good and oh, so sad.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Patty, WOW what a hub full of great songs, boy did that bring back some memories, we sure did have some great music back then . Thanks enjoyed the time travel !

      Awesome and vote up !!!

    • chukseasy profile image

      chukseasy 

      7 years ago

      back in the olden days. dear you are great! thanks a million

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      7 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Brings back a lot of memories. Most of these I heard for the first time when I was in the Military. I have heard them many times since, they became part of who I am. The music probably did more to increase my English vocabulary than anything else.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 

      7 years ago from san diego calif

      I love "Ride Captain Ride " by Blues Image. And the Jackson Five were part od my childhood. You really brought back some great memories. Thanks Patty.

    • rogerbeta profile image

      rogerbeta 

      7 years ago from Thrakomakedones

      Thanks for the memories, I still have all my cassettes tapes with all of these songs. We lost a lot of friends in the War, we should not forget them.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      7 years ago from Canada

      My goodness, I haven't heard some of these in years! I will have to finish the hub I'm working on about 60s protest songs :D They would be good companion pieces :D:D Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Since I was a young adult at this time I remember these songs well and it was a walk down memory lane. Thanks for bringing back these songs for the memories.

    • profile image

      angie ashbourne 

      7 years ago

      Hi! Patty Excellent ... I love the song: Spirit in the Sky Angie

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 

      7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Nice, a unique look at the music of that era.Many of these songs bring back old memories. Thanks for sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)