On this day in music history: December 31, 196…

On this day in music history: December 31, 1966 – “I’m A Believer” by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 weeks. Written by Neil Diamond, it is the second chart topping single for “The Pre-Fab Four”. Producer Jeff Barry finds the song while also working with Diamond. The track is recorded in New York City on October 15, 1966. The Monkees record their vocals at RCA Victor, Studio B in Hollywood, CA on October 23, 1966. Issued as the follow up to the group’s debut and first number one “Last Train To Clarksville”, it is an immediate smash. “I’m A Believer” receives an advanced orders of 1,051,280 copies, the highest amount for any RCA recording artist since Elvis Presley’s first post army single “Stuck On You” in 1960. Entering the Hot 100 at #44 on December 10, 1966, it leap frogs to the top just three weeks later. The single goes gold only two days after its release, becoming the top selling single of 1967.  "Believer" is also a huge international hit, topping the charts in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. The B-side “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” written and produced by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart also charts, peaking at #20 on the Hot 100 on January 14, 1967. “I’m A Believer” is covered a number of times over the years, with versions by Robert Wyatt, British comedians Reeves & Mortimer w/ EMF, and two different versions for the animated features “Shrek” by Smash Mouth & Eddie Murphy and by Weezer in “Shrek Forever After”. “I’m A Believer” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.