Few songs that start their chart life on the bottom rung of the Billboard Hot 100 go on to make it into the Top 10. The lower positions of the hallowed survey over the years have often been populated by singles that bubbled around the lower echelons before disappearing for good. But New Year’s Eve, 1966 must have been the lucky day of the Spencer Davis Group.
On the Billboard chart for December 31 that year, with the clock ticking until what would become the year of flower power, and as the Monkees climbed to No.1 with “I’m A Believer,” Spencer and his group took their bow at No.100 with “Gimme Some Lovin.’’’
The song, written by Davis with Steve Winwood and his brother Muff, and featuring Steve’s distinctive vocal and Hammond B-3 organ combination, had been a UK smash in November. “Steve had been singing, ‘Gimme some lovin’,’ just yelling anything,” said Muff, as a reminder that some of the most enduring tracks can come to life very easily. “It took about an hour to write, then down the pub for lunch.”
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After climbing throughout the month, it spent a week at No.2 as the Beach Boys went into the second half of their fortnight at the top with “Good Vibrations.” But while many entries at No.100 might expect to founder, the single (released in America not on Fontana, but on United Artists) jumped 20 places in the first chart of 1967.
It went on to spend two weeks at No.7 in late February and early March. After only one previous US singles chart entry, when “Keep On Running” reached No.76 in 1965, the Spencer Davis Group had their foot in the American door.