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Stateside lists of top ten Country Western songs for 1965-1972

Stateside lists of top ten Rock and Roll songs for 1968-1971

Stateside lists of top ten Motown songs for 1965-1971

Listen to some of the oldies!


Let's not forget "Telstar." Never a big hit as the original, in fact I can't even remember who recorded it. But it seems like every Filipino band playing at the USO shows had an electric organ, and they had to do a driving version of Telstar.
Jim Good

My two favorite songs were Galviston by Glen Campbell and Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone.  Best two songs in the Vietnam era.

Second Platoon 69-70

Hey there All,
By the time you get this mail it will be tomorrow 15Aug 02. Marks the day 33 long hot summers ago that I left home for the War.

Can never forget that day. It was a beautiful warm day, went to the airport for a 5pm flight to Ft. Lewis, remember that the last song I heard on my car radio on the way to the airport was "Kemosabey" by a group called The Electric Indian. It was my girlfriend's birthday.

Vivid in my memory is my mother crying and waving goodbye, reminding me to write to her, as if I needed reminding , also reminding me to say my prayers.

Irony of Ironies, that friday that I left was the opening day of the Biggest anti war concert in the History of Mankind, WOODSTOCK. While the last of the Flower Generation was going to the farm for that historic love in, I was going off to fight a war, not very popular at that. I thought of going AWOL in order to make the concert and chickened out at the end.

The Music from Woodstock is still popular today even 33 years later, "I wanna take you Higher" still gets to me and gets my blood pumping, Santana's "Soul Sacrifice" is still a masterpiece and of Course Cosby Still Nash and Young's "Judy blue eyes" is still an anthem around these parts. Who can forget Country Joe and the Fish singing "....Come on mothers, now's the time to send your son off to Viet Nam, be the first one on your block to bring your son home in a box..."

I did not think I would make it back home in one piece, so many of the guys in the block were messed up over there, Benjie was shot a couple of times at Khe San, Roger lost an arm to mortar round, Mike did not make it back at all.

All these years, having been 11B10, I have been very thankful of having been assigned to the 4/12 Cav. The oportunity to serve with some of the finest guys I have ever met I will always treasure.

The Day I left is a day I always remember in a special way, I came home a year later to continue with the plan..So many young guys our age did not, they also had that farewell and friends and parents waiting for them back home. We should never let the World forget that there once was a war in a little country far away that lasted longer than the Trojan War. WE should talk about it to the younger generation because they are already begining to forget.

Lets continue this wonderful friendship we have rekindled again over the net, lets all be at the Reunion and hug, and laugh, and drink, and tell lies, and war stories......"WE OWE IT TO OURSELVES"
Love you all,
See ya in a couple of months,

In the fall of 1969 we were at C2. It was raining heavily and we tried to keep dry and warm in the bunkers. At one point. we backed up a M88 and draped the exhaust to force the warm air into the bunker. We did the best that we could to dry the bunkers. Anyway, I remember listening to Dionne Warwick and thought that it was great. On another occasion at CuaViet, the mortar guys were left behind when the troop went back to Quang Tri. For us mortarmen it was hell, we had to pull fire missions every third night. On the other nights, we had to go to the Navy club. It was awful. I remember listening to Blood, Sweat and Tears. I can't remember the exact songs because I am not a music person. However, when I hear those songs today, it takes me back to those years. Maybe one of you guys can remember those same songs? Music at that time in our lives meant a lot and upon hearing those songs brings back many memories.

The Viet Nam war had the Best Darn music of any war, I know the "best generation" may disagree, but they didn't have The Beachboys, The Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Otis Redding, Johny Cash , Santana, Joan Baez, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and so many more that I even forget until I start listening to the music, see I had forgotten The Doors. If you notice all the movies about Nam have that great music, in some cases the music makes the movie. Some of the best sound tracks are "Good Morning Viet Nam", "Apocalypse Now". You are so right, all the sounds, as SS would say, bring the memories or take me back there.

Bob, a couple of those songs from Blood Sweat & Tears were "Spinning Wheel" and "You Made Me So Very Happy". Music was a very important part of the Vietnam experience. It sure beat the crap that passes for music today which is probably why there are so many "oldie" stations around on the radio. Myself, I liked the Doors.
Kim aka Turtle

From Trap:
"Joy to the World" brings back memories. There was a trooper who hated the song, but after he got drunk would break out his guitar and sing the entire song. After he finished, he remind us how much he disliked it. Does anyone remember this guy?

From Pineapple:
Scientists will tell you that not only are odors imprinted in your memory; they are there because they are meaningful. For example, if you smell, say a freshly ironed shirt, you may be transported to your mom's ironing room when you were about 3 years old. You smile, but then you remember that when you yanked the cord, the iron fell on your head, knocking you silly.

In the same way smells are imprinted in your memory, so is music. You hear a certain song and you're back at the hop, counting your steps 1-2, 1-2, during a slow dance while simultaneously trying to cop a feel. My counting so confused me that I often ended up copping a feel on myself.

Fast forward to the summer of '69 I was stretched out on the cargo hatch cover trying not to move, with my boonie hat covering my face from that unrelenting sun on the DMZ. The sun's heat and light was almost intolerable. We had a little portable radio going and James Taylor was singing that new song, "Fire and Rain." SS was standing in the cargo hatch. He said, "He's singing about 'Nam." I grunted my agreement as we listened to Taylor sing about sunny days that we thought would never end.

Armed Forces Vietnam (AFVN) radio tried to accommodate all tastes in music by scheduling rock n' roll, classical, Motown, rhythm and blues, country-western, elevator, and even Hawaiian music in their programming. Late night on AFVN was reserved for progressive Rock played by stoned-sounding DJ's, just like the FM stations back in the world. Those low-voiced disc jockeys played everything from Roger Daltry to Procol Harum. But, like someone once said, what was old to the world was new to Vietnam. So we depended on people going on R&R and bringing back the latest music. I remember when someone returned with Santana's first album, the one with the black and white optical illusion lion on the cover. I was just astonished. The music was brain-burning good. Then Led Zeppelin's first album came in-country and in that first cut, when Robert Plant sang, " with a purple operator and a fitty cent hair.." (What the hell was he saying?) It was an album that just blew us away. The music of our Vietnam tour (the 60's) was so good that for a lot of us that's all we listened to and that's all we liked. Our kids didn't like it, but they were forced to listen and soon, it became the music of their lives too. My daughters have every Beatle song ever recorded, along with most of my money.

The PX in Quang Tri was always sold out of albums. Whatever music came in was quickly snapped up, and there were only a few artists for sale: The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Creedence. Every REMF in I Corps needed a copy of whatever album was for sale, so that by the time the field troopers came in, there was nothing to buy. But sometimes lightning struck and you came in the door just as they were stocking the music section so you snapped up a copy of the Carpenter's first album, because you just needed to hear a woman's voice. Who can forget Karen Carpenters question, "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?" If you think about it, it must have been annoying to be constantly fending off all those birds if you dated that person with the birdfeed in the hair.

Everyone used to read their platoon's copy of the PACEX (Pacific Exchange) catalog from page to page dreaming about the stereo systems you could buy from the Japan PX via mail order. I bought three systems, one delivered to the empty hootch back in LZ Nancy and the other two delivered to my home. How many of us had those stereos delivered to the hootch and heard it only when we were on stand-down.  You haven't lived until you've heard at least 3 stereos going full blast at the same time, with different music, in the hootch.

But you know, Hollywood always gets it wrong. They play songs like Louie Armstrong's "Wonderful World" in the movie, Good Morning Vietnam, and people actually think that that's a song we used to love. Wrong. Never heard it until the movie, sorry. However, any top 40 hit of those years between 1965 and 1972 would qualify as a Vietnam classic, but for each of us, the songs we really associated with the war was rooted in personal choice. We listened to what we wanted and thus made our own soundtracks to the war.

The USO shows used to score with Tom Jones' version of the "Green, Green Grass of Home," and the Animal's "We gotta Get outta this Place." They also scored with Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues." I remember an East Indian group singing terrific Beatle songs to us in C2. In the fall of 1969, no USO group left without playing the long version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

And no, the "Ride of the Valkyries" was never an anthem for the troopers. Francis Ford Coppola, a non-veteran, made what was essentially an incomprehensible (was the bloated Brando on acid?) movie based on what his imagination and Joseph Conrad's book suggested to him. No one ever thought that napalm in the morning smelled like "victory," yet people persist in thinking that that was a real sentiment of the war, and not just a clever line in a movie. Ah, the power of the movies. 

When we got back to the world, we cav troopers were laughing at the announcer in the Woodstock movie congratulating the crowd for surviving 3 days in the field.

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was like a "theme song" (thanks 1st platoon,) Joe Cocker's cover of "With a Little Help From My Friends" was something I played often in base camp, and when I got back to the World, "Spirit in the Sky" was playing. Just a few of my fav old tunes.
Ltee Canda

The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Beatles White album to name some of my favorites. We don't listen to them much at all anymore though but I have VERY fond memories.
Bob Rebbec

We had a guy in my platoon who scored a copy of the latest Janis Joplin album, "Pearl." I think this girlfriend sent it to him. He played that thing non-stop. To this day, everytime I hear "Me and Bobby McGee," or "Mercedes-Benz," I just drift back away to those days thirty years ago.
J.T. Tillman

Tunes? "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", "He Ain't Heavy" (Youngbloods) and the Beatles "Hey Jude". I can hear Jimmy Mann and Don Huey tuning their guitars now...
Jim Clark

"California Dreamin'" does it for me, released right around the time that the war got going and the lyrics...."I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A." Really hits the spot.

Simon and Garfunkel's "7 O' Clock News/ Silent Night". Always got to me I don't remember the song getting much airtime. I guess because of the era its message hit home. But then you have the old stand by "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". See ya in Vegas
Jim Mills

Thank you Joe, I needed that on a day like today. Heard news this morning that Bobby Hatfield died yesterday.(Righteous Brothers). I feel as if I grew up listening to them on the radio. They were from here locally and dressed and acted just like the rest of us. Their music was the best. I was lucky enough to see them in concert at the Hilton in Vegas a couple of years ago. Bobby Hatfield did not really have that fabulous voise anymore, but Bill Medley was still perky and honory as ever.

He will surely be missed. He is not only a rock and roll legend, but a part of all those of us who grew up listening to them. Is there a hotter song than "little latin Lupe Lu"?? or "Koko Joe"??

Surely feeling melancholic tonight.

See ya


I don,t know where or when you went to r&r , but when you mentioned the rightious brothers that brought back pleasant memories. I took my r&r in Sydney, Australia and the rightious brothers where singing in a place down by King,s Crossing. I was with Joe Flynn, and we had the best time of our lives. If only we could bring back those good times. I guess only in our memories. How time flies-----Big Al

Wally: Me too, Unchained melody,White cliff's of Dover, they were cornerstones in my musical memory archives. They will be missed along with the Everly Brothers. Who could forget Wake up little Susie, Bird Dog and Problems? Johny Cash is there in the vault too. Karen said after June Carter died that it wouldnt be too long for John to hold out without her. John Lennon, Imagine. Remarkable how these songs bind people togather, even now after the artist's
are gone a generation of Americans share this sort of cosmic commonality. They will be missed! Maybe if people listened to more music and less $-BS th9is would be a better world? Wild Bill Dodds

Wally P.S. My favorites were See That Girl & The White Cliffs of Dover Joe


Good choice, Di you ever hear their version ho "He"?? Actually all their songs were great. Wally


You are so right. I remember while in Nam the music would cause a bit of a problem every afternoon because, I think at 4pm, everyday they would play
country music exclusively. Naturally all the surfers from California would hate it and all the goodoldboys loved it. Lots of arguments ensued over what was real
music. I still have a cassette tape of Eric Bourton and The Animals I would play daily while in Nam. Cream was also a popular choice in those days. I do remember Bobby Goldsboro having a catchy toone while we were over there, and ofcourse Noman Greenbaum 's "Spirit in the Sky". Take care buddy, Wally

Wally, I sure did I forgot about that one. funny I dug out my old tapes of them and have been playing them. Brings back memories. Joe

Wally ok How about Guess Who [Joe]

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