First recorded by Billy Lawrence (1971).
Hit versions by Clint Holmes (US #2/MOR #7/CAN #1/NZ #3 1972), Johnny Ashcroft (AUS #19 1973).
From the wiki: “‘Playground In My Mind’, a nursery rhyme-styled song, was written by record producer Paul Vance (‘Catch a Falling Star’, 1957; ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’, 1960) with Lee Pockriss, and was first recorded in 1971 by Billy Lawrence (in a session produced by Vance and Pockriss) and released in June 1971 by Atlantic Records with no apparent chart impact.
“When produced again by Vance in 1972, it featured a duet with Clint Holmes and Vance’s son, nine-year-old Philip, on the chorus. This arrangement of ‘Playground in My Mind’ was released in the U.S. in July 1972 but did not reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart until eight months later – March 24, 1973 – before going on to remain on the Hot 100 for a total of 23 weeks, peaking at #2 in June 1973. It ended 1973 at the 12th most popular song of the year.”
“Australian singer Johnny Ashcroft covered ‘Playground in My Mind’ in 1973 using an arrangement similar to Holmes’. Ashcroft’s recording peaked in Australian Top-20.”
Clint Holmes, “Playground in My Mind” (1972):
Johnny Ashcroft, “Playground in My Mind” (1973):