At the start of the year even though the duo Simon & Garfunkel had split up, they recorded the first number one in the U.S. with the Paul Simon composition “Sound of Silence”.
The Beatles singles which reached number one in 1966 were “We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper”, “Paperback Writer” which topped both singles charts and in the U.K. “Eleanor Rigby” went to the top in August. All the songs were written by Lennon & McCartney as was Januaries number one in the U.K. “Michelle” taken from the Rubber Soul album and recorded by the Overlanders.
The Motown composers Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland were prevalent again that year with the Supremes hit records in the U.S. “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “You Keep Me Hanging On”. They also wrote the Four Tops single “Reach Out I’ll Be There” which was number one in both countries.
It was a good year for the Sinatra’s, reaching number one in both charts. Frank with the Bert Kaempfert composition “Strangers in the Night” and Nancy with “These Boots are Made for Walking” written by the producer Lee Hazlewood.
Other dual charting number ones of 1966 were the excellent Mike Love & Brian Wilson composition “Good Vibrations” which was arguably the best crafted pop record of the sixties and the Jagger & Richard’s penned hit for the Rolling Stones “Paint it Black”. They also wrote the track which featured on their Aftermath album “Out of Time” which was taken to number one in Britain in July 1966 by Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds.
In the U.S. in July “Wild Thing” written by Chip Taylor (New York born James Wesley Voight) was a number one for the Troggs.
The Lovin’ Spoonful followed in August with the Mark & John Sebastian – Steve Boone composition “Summer in the City”.
The Monkees had two number ones with the “Last Train to Clarksville” and the final number one in the U.S. of 1966 “I’m a Believer” written by Neil Diamond.
In the U.K. the Spencer Davis Group took the top spot from the Beatles with “Keep on Running” and in April they hit the top with “Somebody Help Me”. Both songs were written by Jackie Edwards.
Mark Barkan composed “Pretty Flamingo” which went to the top in May for Manfred Mann. After this record Jack Bruce left the group to help form Cream and later Paul Jones left to go solo.
The Kinks reached number one In July 1966 with the excellent song written by Ray Davies “Sunny Afternoon”.
In September the Small Faces peaked with “All or Nothing” written by group members Steve Marriott & Ronnie Lane.
The final number one of 1966 in the U.K. was the Nashville songwriter Claude Curly Putnam’s composition the “Green Green Grass of Home” taken to the top by Tom Jones.