HITPARADE

Between 1964 and 1970, roughly corresponding to the time I spent in high school, I held a personal hit parade. That was a list of songs based on my own taste. You see, it rarely matched the Veronica top 40. My list sometimes included songs that weren't even released in the Netherlands. My chart, which appeared twice a week, was called the TS-TOP-… well, the number varied a lot.

In the beginning, a simple top 10 was sufficient. The radio supply was limited, and with it the number of songs I heard every day. But then the sea channels Veronica, Radio London and Radio Caroline appeared and my fence was completely over the dam. In 1967 I managed to squeeze a top 100 (!) Every week. It can be imagined that little homework turned up. I was too busy listening to the radio and making my chart, that was the first thing. School was only an annoying interruption.

I also managed to infect a school friend, Pieter, with this strange virus. For a while we came together on Saturday afternoon to type out our hit parades and compare them. But at some point Pieter still came to his senses and he quit. It may also be that his parents thought he could use his time better. In any case, he did finish high school.

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You are now naturally wondering: who were the most successful artists, which bands scored best? I also kept track of this extensively through a complicated point system, which brought clarity at the end of the year - after a lot of manual calculations, for which I curiously refused to exert myself at school. The best-scoring bands almost always included the Beatles (of course), the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Beach Boys. I have to admit that these bands were very much in favor because I didn't hesitate to include entire LPs in the list. That saved a lot of points at the end of the year. And not to forget the B-sides, which were sometimes played by the Beatles, also helped. 'I'm Down' from the Liverpool quartet lasted at number one for two months, but was only the b-side of 'Help'.

Other bands, sometimes less appreciated or even relatively unknown in the Netherlands, often ended high. I call the Young Rascals (later, for obvious reasons just called the Rascals), or the Turtles. The Who, The Kinks, The Byrds, Paul Revere & The Raiders- usually good for top notations. Take it from me: Few songs were released in the 1960s that did NOT end up in my chart. Do you know Oscar, 'Over the Wall We Go'? A rarity written by David Bowie. Or The Ivy League ('My World Fell Down')? For weeks, that beautiful song was my number one priority. Sharon Tandy ('Our Day Will Come')… oh well, I can go on for hours and if I'm not careful, it even makes me a bit melancholic.

But all fun things come to an end. In the early seventies my hit parade hobby gradually came to a halt. This was not only because I had left school so that I could spend my time better, but also because I started writing music myself and started working with bands. I found it, you will agree with me, going too far to put my own songs in my own hit parade. An illicit conflict of interest - although no one could have been bothered by it.

Unfortunately, almost all copies of that hit parade to which I devoted so much of my childhood have been lost over the years. It must have been hundreds. Maybe I'll come across one again in a unpacked moving box. Then I will definitely post a photo with this blog.