#858: One More Chance by Ocean

Peak Month: October 1972
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #7
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #76

Dave Tamblyn and Greg Brown were high school friends in London, Ontario. Dave played guitar and Greg played keyboards. They played gigs on the weekends with a variety of bands. In time they added singer Janice Morgan and became Leather and Lace. From London, they relocated to Toronto and performed in the hipster scene in trendy Yorkville. They added to their number bass player Jeff Jones and drummer Chuck Slater. In 1970 Yorkville Records was able to get Capitol Records to be the distributor for Ocean. Their debut single, “Put Your Hand In The Hand” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in Vancouver. The song had been recorded as a track by Anne Murray on one of her albums a few years prior. Ocean quickly went from playing gigs at high schools and night clubs in Toronto to doing concerts across North America and Europe, as well as starring on the A list of pop music TV shows.

Their debut album, Put Your Hand In The Hand, featured their next two singles, “Deep Enough For Me” and “We’ve Got A Dream.” Though their touring won them many rave reviews, their personal income was tarnished by discovery of missing funds and mismanagement by agents. In 1972 they released a second album, Give Tomorrow’s Children One More Chance. The title came from the second line from their debut single from the album, “One More Chance.”

One More Chance by Ocean

Don’t deny your people one more chance,
give tomorrow’s children one more chance.
All they want is freedom and just one more chance,
to show that they can make a good living with one, just a one more chance.
La-dee-dum-da-la-da-dee-dum-da-da-da-dee-da.

We are gonna give you one more chance,
show your faith and give us, baby, just one more chance.
If you’re really living in a mansion up above,
send a sign that your really needing us, send us down some love.

Don’t deny your people one more chance,
give tomorrow’s children one more chance.
All they want is freedom and just one more chance,
to show that they can make a good living with one, just a one more chance.
La-dee-dum-da-la-da-dee-dum-da-da-da-dee-da.
La-dee-dum-da-la-da-dee-dum-da-da-da-dee-da.

Now I don’t need the answer, it’s written everywhere,
seems that man upstairs, Lord, well, he don’t really care.
If you believe the stories, I tell ya friend that’s fine,
but you don’t get my hallelujah until I see the sign.
(Here me now).

Don’t deny your people one more chance,
give tomorrow’s children one more chance.
All they want is freedom and just one more chance,
to show that they can make a good living with one, just a one more chance.
La-dee-dum-da-la-da-dee-dum-da-da-da-dee-da.
La-dee-dum-da-la-da-dee-dum-da-da-da-dee-da.

Don’t deny your people one more chance,
give tomorrow’s children one more chance.
Don’t deny your people one more chance,
give tomorrow’s children one more chance.

“One More Chance” is part of a genre of socially progressive songs rooted in a gospel tradition. An appeal to God is offered to improve the wellbeing of the people God has created on earth. In this song freedom and social-economic conditions that allow individuals to “make a good living” are requested. Other songs of the era that evoked a vision of God responding to appeals from humans on earth for wellbeing include “Put Your Hands Together” by the O’Jays, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James & The Shondells and “Hey Big Brother” by Rare Earth. While the song climbed to #7 in Vancouver it stalled at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The writers of “One More Chance” are UK songwriters and singers Roger John Reginald Greenaway (born in 1938) and Roger Frederick Cook (born in 1940). Both were born in a suburb of Bristol, England. Roger Greenaway was one of the founding members of a close harmony group called The Kestrels, who formed in 1955. The group provided backing vocals for recording artists Billy Fury, Eden Kane, Lonnie Donegan and singer/comedian Benny Hill. Roger Cook joined The Kestrels in 1964. It was when Greenaway and Cook got to know each other as members of The Kestrels they glimpsed a creative fusion they wanted to pursue. In 1965 the pair co-wrote You’ve Got Your Troubles,” which became a Top Ten intentional hit for The Fortunes. Between 1965 and 1967 the pair billed themselves as David and Jonathan, after two characters in the Hebrew scriptures who had name recognition in the wider culture. As David and Jonathan they recorded a cover version of The Beatles song, “Michelle,” followed by a song they wrote titled “Lovers of the World Unite.” Sometimes in collaboration with other songwriters, Cook and Greenaway co-wrote numbers of other pop hits. These include “Green Grass” by Gary Lewis & The Playboys, “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith and “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” by The Hollies.

In 1970, the songwriting duo of Cook–Greenaway collaborated to write a song called “True Love and Apple Pie”, recorded by Susan Shirley. The song was then rewritten by Cook and Greenaway, along with Bill Backer and Billy Davis, two ad men for Coca-Cola. The result was a catchy tune revised as a Coca-Cola commercial which aired through 1970-71. The line, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company,” became an ear worm for many TV viewers and radio listeners that year. The popularity of the commercial led to it being reworked and titled “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing.” It was recorded by The New Seekers and became a #1 hit in the UK and Vancouver (and #7 in the USA) in 1972.

In 1970 Greenaway teamed up with Tony Burrows to record under the name of The Pipkins with a novelty tune that reached the Top Ten in Vancouver called Gimmie Dat Ding.” That same year, Greenaway was temporarily a member of the Brotherhood of Man. That group charted a Top 20 hit internationally titled “United We Stand.” And in 1970 Cook and Greenaway co-wrote a song that would go on to be in the Top 100 for the year in both the UK, the USA and in Canada titled “My Baby Loves Lovin’” by The White Plains. That song went to #1 in Vancouver, though it only peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Cook and Greenaway later wrote Jeans On” recorded by David Dundas. It was a #1 hit in Vancouver in February of that year. Though the song only peaked at #17 in the USA, it stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 long enough to become the #73 song of 1977.

Meanwhile, Ocean continued to tour into the mid-70s with an increasing revolving door in their lineup. Shady business practices caused disenchantment and all the original members quit the band except Greg Brown. Jeff Jones went on to play with Red Rider and Ronnie Hawkins. The other members of the band drifted into obscurity.

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