25 JUNE 1966
Folk-rock singer Barry McGuire enjoyed a massive breakthrough hit in 1965 with his 'Eve of Destruction', reaching #1 in the US and #3 in the UK with that apocalyptic song. The follow-up - 'Child of Our Times' - only made it to #72, and in the summer of '66 he released something completely different - 'Cloudy Summer Afternoon (Raindrops)'. This was an upbeat, music-hall-style tune that had been a minor hit for folk duo Bud and Travis in 1960. McGuire's version peaked at #62 on the Billboard chart on this day in 1966.
This was a tune of its time, very much in the vein of the Lovin' Spoonful and some of their similarly 'jaunty' ditties.
His album 'This Precious Time' was also released this year, featuring a version of 'California Dreamin' with The Mamas & the Papas singing backing vocals (McGuire was mentioned several times in their hit 'Creeque Alley'). Frank Zappa also mentioned McGuire's name in the sleeve of his Freak Out! album as one of his musical influences. Despite having this clout in the scene, 'Cloudy Summer Afternoon (Raindrops)' proved to be his last single to crack the top 100. McGuire's career faded away and he eventually turned to Christian rock.