Mary Hopkin’s performance of ‘Those Were The Days’ on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 27, 1968, was an instant classic. As someone who remembers seeing it on TV then, I can attest to its emotional impact on me and many others.
Mary’s voice was beautiful, and it’s remarkable how she and other singers of that era didn’t rely on computer-enhanced gimmicks or other technical tricks to showcase their talent. Their pure talent carried them, and it’s clear that talent was better back then.
The song was a hit when I was only four years old, yet I still remember it well. I always loved its old-world feel, and Mary’s performance was mesmerizing.
However, some YouTube commenters have noted that the song’s second verse was removed from this live arrangement. This verse mentions Mary and her friends losing their starry notions as the years went rushing by, and its emotional impact is significant. When the song first came on the radio in 1968 and 1969, I remember it had such a strong emotional impact that it could make me cry. Listening to the radio in those days, I can only say those were the days.
It’s also fascinating to note that Mary Hopkin’s debut single of “Those Were the Days,” produced by Paul McCartney of the Beatles and arranged by Richard Hewson, became a number-one hit on the UK Singles Chart and on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.