Follow by Email

What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday message- a tale of two parables.

This morning, I asked the Lord to hear from Him, and got Luke 19.  Half of that passage is dedicated to the story of the three servants who got money to do business with from their master, and one of them hid it rather than do something with it.    And believe me, I get what the Lord was saying to me there- on the surface.  "Stop being unprofitable!"  And that's what you get when you spend a whole week ignoring your Bible, "getting by" with just prayer.  But as I read I came across one of those humbling "I don't know the Bible as well as I should" moments.

Did you know that there are two basically the same but in fact completely different versions of this story?  The other is in Matthew 25.  A lot of big differences in the two.  Luke's story has 10 servants getting the same amount each- a Mina, which wasn't a whole lot.  Matthew has but three servants, and they get varying amounts according to their abilities- but the base unit is a Talent, which is (looked it up) about 60 times a mina.  (Since money went by weight back then, a talent comes out to 71 pounds- explaining why Matthew's bad boy buried it in the ground rather than wrapping it in a handkerchief like Luke's.)  Matthews bad boy got cast into the outer darkness, not Luke's.  That there is a big difference, and set me on a quest to know why.

First of all, Luke's "master" is a king, and he adds that the citizens wanted to get rid of Him. The reward for investing the minas wisely was the rule over cities in the Kingdom.  And while the bad boy lost his money, it was the rebel "citizens" that got the "outer darkness" (actually, the King ordered them "slain before Him".)  Now, I see that as symbolic of the whole earth.  I can see the rebel citizens as the unbelievers, while Christ gives a certain amount of gifts to every believer.  He expects us to grow those gifts, and if we don't we may end up one of those "saved, but as though from a fire" mentioned by Paul in I Cor. 3:15- yes we're saved, no, our reward won't be anywhere near as good.  Here is why I think I got sent here.  My salvation may be assured... but my reward could be in trouble for my sinful laziness.

But Matthew's view is different.  His servants- not a bunch of them like Luke's but a select number- were given special gifts according to their abilities- also in contrast to Luke. And the penalty for doing nothing is apparently MUCH higher.  Why is that?

So I asked, "Is it the audience that's the difference?  In Luke, Jesus is speaking BEFORE making that last trip to Jerusalem, to a general audience of the people that had been following Him.  In Matthew, Jesus is already through the Triumphal Entry, and has started teaching in Jerusalem, when during a private moment with the twelve, they had started asking Him questions about the end times.  So, they got the special "the gang with gifts" version.  They had more expected of them as teachers, as leaders, and thus their responsibility was much greater than that of the "run of the mill" follower.

The Body Of Christ has different parts.  And sometimes I fail to do my part because of my head knowledge, because I'm "special", because God gives me a voice to share here.  But guess what?  I got directed to Luke rather than Matthew (and thank God for that) because I AM just a run of the mill joe, who doesn't know as much as he thinks he does, and needs to be in the Word every day.  I may not be someone who thinks, "Gee, I can't wait to run a whole city for Jesus,", I can't be wrapping my Bible in a kleenex, either.  Stop thinking you're an Apostle and be a good follower.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Mina I need to deposit in the bank...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Time Machine week 38

We swoop low over August 28th, 1977, a world now without an Elvis for 12 days.  The $15 tickets to the show at the Mid South Coliseum in Memphis for tonight were a bone of controversy until 1989.  The state of Tennessee won a case against the Presley estate and won ticket holders the right to turn in their tickets for a 310% profit- $43.52 each.  However, if you hung on to that ticket it would net you now a 2400% profit- they're selling on e-Bay for $360.

In the mean time, Kiss is performing tonight the last of the concerts that would be recorded on Alive II.  Those tickets run you $7.50 then, and now are probably worth..uhh...

Welcome to a game changing Time Machine.  I'm going to give you one teaser and one teaser only- this week we have the BEST unknown song (my opinion) ever- and it will change the shuffle ten, possibly forever!  Get yer ticket and come along!


This week the panel consists of WYSL Buffalo, KSTT Davenport IA, KTNQ Los Angeles, WRKO Boston, KTKT Tuscon, WCVS Springfield IL, WHYN Springfield MA (just so we have the Springfield market covered...

...WDRC Hartford, WLS Chicago, KGW Portland OR, WCOL Columbus, and old fave CKLW.  They racked up 22 different songs- which ain't bad for 1977.  They also had seven different #1 votes, including RamJam's Black Betty (the non-PC hit of Detroit and Buffalo), Shaun Cassidy with That's Rock And Roll, (debatable, but held as truth in Boston), Meco's Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band (Tuscon), and ELO's Telephone Line (Columbus, famous for good taste).  The point race, however, was a two horse race at 36-35.  The panel's top four...

With 13 points, but boned on #1s, the national #5, James Taylor's Handy Man.

With 19 points and the #1s of both Springfields (thus saving me some typing time) and Hartford, Rita Coolidge's cover of the old Jackie Wilson disc, (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, which was sitting at #3 on Cashbox.

The runner up, with the #1s of Davenport and Portland, the national Top Dog,  The Emotions with Best Of My Love.

And at the top... stay tuned.


Normally I'd tell you about the unknown song here, but instead today I'm going to tell you what it did- which was to galvanize a plan forming in my head for a while.  My Spotify list is a place of constant growth.  Many times it is the unknown song itself that gets added.  Other times I just go in search of, prowling the old albums of one hit wonders for unheard-of gems.  Or a blog friend mentions a song, and that one (or one I found on the way to) gets added.  Plus, Spotify has a list of "new releases" every Friday, and "Discover" selections based on your tastes every Monday.  All in all, it adds up to a growing list of which the only fair way to judge is to put them on a separate list.  And with a growing list, I could almost simulate an old style radio station, complete with a top ten.

Which is what I'm going to try to do.  Henceforth- or at least until I decide it's not working out- I'm going to do a semi-live top ten each week, just like the ones Casey Kasem used to know.  And the unknown song for this week- which I fell in love with immediately- will be somewhere in it, so you'll see it there in just a bit.  Be sure to let me know what you all think of the plan, I'll try to get a video from the bunch in each week- might not be that easy, as 4 of them (you might want to sit down) are actually from THIS YEAR.  But in the mean time...'s Bottom's Up Time!

10- The oddity that is Brownsville Station was at 70 in its second week with Martian Boogie.

9- On his way down is Waylon Jennings with his huge hit Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love), at 72 after a whopping 19 weeks.

8- Eric Carmen, with some help from the Beach Boys, is at 74 in his debut week with She Did It.

7- The Commodores, not with a ballad this time, but the rowdy Brick House, debuts at 77.

6- More country crossover- this time Crystal Gayle with Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, in its fourth week sitting at 78.

5- The song which I threatened many times to put on Time Machine but never have- Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life, debuting at 79.

4- Firefall's melancholy Just Remember I Love You is at 82 in its third week.  A former Martin #1 song back in the day.

3- Here begins the amazing story of Paul Davis and I Go Crazy.  It debuts here at 84.  On Billboard it would begin a 40 week slow climb to #7... but on CB it would climb to #22 on week 17, drop COMPLETELY out of the top 40 for 4 weeks, re-enter and climb to a peak of #7 in week 31.

2- Marshall Tucker Band comes in here at 87 in week # 2 with Can't You See.

And the top bottom?

...Leif Garrett's cover of Surfin' USA, which was a debut at #88!

(Sorry, Leif, but YOU only get ONE exclamation point...)


We start our six degrees with something I dearly love here on Time Machine- a chance to bash the butthead known as Berry Gordy.  Motown was known for their ubiquitous back up band, the Funk Brothers.  But when several of them joined with several members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, whom they met when they played on various Motown songs, on a project, Gordy fined each "guilty" Funk Brother $1,000 for moonlighting.  The project in question became known as the San Remo Golden Strings- who combined muzak with Motown and put out an lp in 1965.  This record had a single, Hungry For Love, go to #27 pop and top five on adult contemporary.

The orchestra found itself on the pop charts in other places, too, notably the huge spoken-word hit by CKLW news director Byron MacGregor, Americans.  That stirring record was the biggest hit for Detroit label Westbound Records, who also featured the Detroit Emeralds.  They in turn, if you remember your TM history, hit the charts a couple of times, with their biggest on the pop charts being 1972's Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms).  James Mitchell, a member of the DEs, had a brother on the band which had the week's biggest national hit that got no panel love- The Floaters' Float On, the #6 on CB this week.


And now, the inaugural top ten this week:

10- This is a song I found from the new release category.  It's by a lady into "experimental rock" named Angel Deradoorian, and performs under just her last name.  Her first solo lp is called Expanding Flower Planet, and the title track gets my #10 spot.

"Hey, wow, cool!"

9- Another recent release hasn't quite cracked the national charts very well, but was the #2 in Australia last week.  Adam Lambert, late of American Idol, with the first single from The Original High, and it's called Ghost Town.

8- Dipping back into the past, I was listening to songs by The Cyrkle, who hit the charts with Turn Down Day and last week's BUpper, Red Rubber Ball.  I found a tune which was the b-side of a low charting single of theirs called The Visit (She Was There), from the lp Neon from 1967.

7- This one I have to thank Bloggie Mich who commented a week or so back about a band called 16 Horsepower, who did a great cover of CCR's Bad Moon Rising.  I began looking into this now-defunct band ( d. 2005) whose music was incompletely described as "alternative country", and on their 1996 album Sackcloth 'n' Ashes I found a haunting look at those who reject salvation.  It's called Black Soul Choir, and it ain't a hymn:

No man ever seen the face of my Lord no
Not since he left his skin
He's the one you keep cold on the outside girl, he's At your door let him in

Every man is evil yes and every man's a liar
Unashamed with the wicked tongues singin'
In the black soul choir...

6- Another brand new act I stumbled onto was the supergroup Saint Asonia, made up of members of big Alternative bands like Staind and Finger 11.  Their first lp, self titled, has debuted at #1 on the hard rock charts and #29 on the Billboard 200, and their first single is in the top ten alternative.  It was not that song that caught me, though, but the last song on the lp- it's called Leaving Minnesota.

Now I'm leaving Minnesota
But I've got nowhere to go
In the middle of self-realization you've lost me along the way
You've lost me along the way...

5- This one came in as new on Spotify (and new to me), but maybe not to a lot of you.  In 1968, Elvis was prepping for a big end of the year comeback special on NBC.  He wanted something different to close with, and spoke to a songwriter about his angst at the recent murders of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Bobby Kennedy.  The writer came up with a song which Col. Tom Parker said "Wasn't Elvis' kind of song."  Elvis wanted to have a go, and after recording it said he was never going to do a song or a movie that didn't mean something to him again.  The song that made that change in the King was called If I Can Dream, and it made it to #12 on the charts that winter.

Deep in my heart there's a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there's a beckoning candle
And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, right now
Let it come true right now...

4- This one I got clued into by KC's shuffle.  Since I got out of listening to alternative, I hadn't heard a lot of really good stuff by bands I used to listen to.  One of those hit #11 alternative back in 2001.  From the self -titled lp commonly known by fans as "The Green Album", Weezer sits at #4 with Islands In The Sun.

3- Here is our Unknown Song for the week.  It was at #16 at the time in Hartford, and would go on to hit their top five despite never being released as a single.  The band is called NRBQ ("New Rhythm and Blues Quartet") though they had been around for years even at that point.  However, they were one of those "culty" bands that never sold a lot of records.  Their only charting single only made it into the 70's and their biggest lp hit 198 in 1982, I believe.  However, this single got named to the Rolling Stone 50 best summer songs of all time.  And it gets named as the all-time best unknown song so far...

Note:  This is a very close remix of the original.

2- Here's a new song by an old friend.  Remember King Harvest, who hit with Dancing In The Moonlight?  They had got back together in 2012, just before lead singer Doc Robinson passed away.  They did a redo on Dancing which was pretty tasty, and this year it was released on a new album called Old Friends.  The best song IMHO on that record is one called Vaea, and it is my runner up this week.

And at number one?

Survey says...

...Andy Gibb (yet again) with I Just Wanna Be Your Everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the first number one of the New Martin Top Ten, we travel back to 1986.  Status Quo is a hall-of-fame British act whose only real exposure in the States was their '60s hit Pictures Of Matchstick Men.  The song in question here, which I found researching them, was #1 in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Ireland, as well as #2 in the UK and Norway, where the original by a Danish act had also hit #2 years before.  Without further ado, Status Quo with the first number one on the new Martin Ten...

Let me know what you think!  Next week- 1969!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"The Tantrum"

So thanks to (our biggest customer)'s continued "bumble through the summer", I got off at noon today, took a nap, and went to go out for late lunch/early dinner.

Laurie goes to the cupboard to get a handful of Scrappy's "mom and dad are leaving me" treats (basically doggie versions of cheese doodles).

"Are we out of his other treats?"

Words that send a chill down the spine.  Allow me to explain.

This is the "other treats".  Somehow Scrappy has come to believe that a dose of these between 7-8 PM are a right, not a privilege.  No matter if he has just gone through the process of begging Dad's dinner, eating his dinner, and begging Mom's dinner.  Once all that's done, if it's after 7 PM, I should be leaping to my feet and getting this taken care of.  When I get around to doing it, I take two of the treats, break them in thirds, and hide them around the room- sometimes shutting him in the half-bath to hide them, sometimes just pretending to throw one and hiding while he's looking in vain.  It's not a big chore, and I usually use the time to remind myself to pack my next day's lunch (a pack of blueberry Pop-Tarts).  Last night, though, I already had that covered, we had just finished eating about 7:40, and by 7:50, I was getting it.


Scrappy comes to me with that, "You know what time it is!" look and a bark.  I respond with the situationally appropriate response (either the verbal middle finger or "BS").  He gets mad, circles the room.  Looks at his Mom.  Comes back to me.  Repeat the process- over and over and over.

Finally, I tell him, "I'll decide when it's time, and I decide it's NOT NOW."
Scrappy:  "BARK!"
Me: "And that attitude won't make it come any sooner."
Scrappy: Grumbles, stalks off towards Mom.
Laurie:  "Get up here and lay down.  Don't ignore me!"
Scrappy: Grumbles, stalks to me.  "BARK!"
Scrappy:  Stalks to Mommy.  Grumbles.
Laurie:  "He sounds like a toddler talking back to you."
Me:  "He IS talking back to me!  That's why I'm not getting them!"
Scrappy:  Returns to me. "ROO- ROOF!"
Me:  It's NOT time!"
Scrappy: (moans a very human moan of disappointment.)
Laurie: (Laughs)

Finally, Laurie gets tired of it and talks him into going outside.  Then I get the treats and hide them.  Also, make sure he has water, because their smoked flavor gives him hot pipes.  No point in having to get back up after he's convinced he found them all.


So when Laurie said we were out, I said, "Oh, crap, you're right. "

Laurie says, "We can stop on the way back and get some more."

Me:  "We'd better.  Unless you want to get "the tantrum" all night tonight."

Scrappy.  With dogs like him, who needs toddlers?

Monday, August 24, 2015

And now, a little light stuff...

Here's some pics of a pleasant walk in God's beautiful world....

 I had to take the picture fast.  We saw each other at the same time, and when I reached for the camera pouch on my belt, he ducked.  To my surprise, he stuck around...

Shortly after this one, he let out a snort and ducked into the woods, which wraps around the swamp.

Ducks on the south canal...

I saw him, Scrappy didn't...

Admiral on the stone...

Wind blowing one way, current flowing the other... leaf, going exactly nowhere.

Somebody lovin' those milkweeds...

"...Looks like dragonfly lo-oo-oove..."

California Road all blocked off so the people pouring into the Shindigz soccer fest this past weekend didn't get lost... or park in the swamp...

And yes, that is one seriously huge thistle...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Message- The Duggar dilemma

I was there back in 1991 when Jimmy Swaggart fell.For those of you that never followed him, he was a fiery preacher, not one of the beggars like the Bakkers.  He knew his stuff, and I believe he was preaching for the right reason.  But when he was arrested for solicitation and confessed crying to his congregation, he became "just one of those guys."  One of those thinking with his p_  guys, nothing but a fraud.  Because, as EVERYONE knows, if you are "one of those guys", your entire life is a fraud.

Ask Gary Hart.  Or Herman Cain.  Or Clarence Thomas.  Or Bill Cosby.

Or Martin Luther King, Jr.

Except it's not true.  Sexual addiction is the most powerful tool Satan has in the defeat of Christian men, and it's such a cliche because he uses it over and over.  And in the eyes of the public, being weak here is enough to cast every good thing you ever did into ashes.

Unless you're Bill Clinton, apparently.

 But that's not my point.  Josh Duggar made lot of big mistakes, and I believe the biggest one was not coming clean about the Ashley Madison deal when the molestation charges came to the surface.  But that's not how an addict works.  How many times did Mark McGwire lie about his steroid use, even before Congress, until years later when the damn things were out of his system and he admitted to it?  Or more recently, you saw the same thing rip Ryan Braun apart in the space of a single season. He lied, then came clean.  "After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth," he said. "I was never presented with baseball's evidence against me, but I didn't need to be, because I knew what I had done."

But you can put a steroid aside.  How do you set aside the sight of a beautiful woman when they are everywhere?

I am FAR from excusing Josh, and how he told the story was his biggest mistake, but small potatoes compared to the biggest sin of infidelity.  But here's the thing, everyone is making the big deal of how he was supposed to be "penitent".  Even he called himself "the biggest hypocrite ever".  He can do that- can we?

Can you?  What is your secret addiction?  Is it something trivial or horrible?  How do you deal with it?  Can you pick up that first stone?


I find it funny that the biggest detractors of the Duggars, of Cosby, of Cain, are those who " also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error." (Rom. 1:27) or those who support them.  It's not about what he did, but who he is.

And who is he?  Another fallen human being, who has a weakness that Satan was able to exploit a little better in him than in some others.  Just like me.  Maybe just like you.

And guess what?  When He came before Jesus long ago and asked Him into his heart, he had these sins forgiven, even then.  Jesus knew he would fall like this, that Swaggart would fall like this, that I would fall like this.  And came in anyway, because He had already paid for it.

Weaknesses like these are easy to slip into, to be blinded into, to fall before you know it.  For me, at one point magic was like that.  A little harmless study of runes.  A little magical bestiary.  A little incantations and amulets.  But I could tear the rune-circle down from the walls, throw out the books, return the carefully-painted stones to the creek bed they were first taken from.  And it was gone and done.  Sex, alcohol, drugs, they don't let go so easy.

But that doesn't matter to the haters and the media.  Josh is now the "example of what Christians are all about," according to real hypocrites who'd gleefully rip into the Duggars while committing the same things themselves, because, "after all, JOSH was supposed to be the Christian, not me."

Laurie can tell you, I'm not giving anybody in the Duggars a free pass.  Honestly, I think it's highly irresponsible to a) raise a family with so many children that there is no way to give each one fair individual attention, and b) raise a family under conditions that have been called "a real-life Truman Show", let alone doing BOTH of these.  And I have called more than one person involved here a "douchebag", like many of you have.

Chris Martin, douchebag.  I'm not picking up a stone to throw at Josh.

How about you?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Time Machine week 37

Today is August 21, 1966.  The Beatles, who were wishing they'd just said Never On Sunday, played a midday set at Crosley Field in Cincinnati (because the rains came between them and the opening acts Saturday),flew 341 miles, and then played in Busch Stadium in St Louis that night, in another rainstorm that left them scrambling to keep their equipment dry.  It was the final straw for Paul McCartney, who joined John and George in saying no more to touring.

"It rained quite heavily, and they put bits of corrugated iron over the stage, so it felt like the worst little gig we'd ever played at even before we'd started as a band. We were having to worry about the rain getting in the amps and this took us right back to the Cavern days - it was worse than those early days. And I don't even think the house was full.
After the gig I remember us getting in a big, empty steel-lined wagon, like a removal van. There was no furniture in there - nothing. We were sliding around trying to old on to something, and at that moment everyone said, 'Oh, this bloody touring lark - I've had it up to here, man.'
I finally agreed. I'd been trying to say, 'Ah, touring's good and it keeps us sharp. We need touring, and musicians need to play. Keep music live.' I had held on that attitude when there were doubts, but finally I agreed with them."

They only managed 23,000 in attendance that night, and when they ended the tour in San Francisco 8 days later, they played before a less than 60% full house at Candlestick.  Perhaps it was the anti-Beatles mood;  just days before the St Louis show, protesters from evangelical Christians to the KKK in full regalia protested their two shows in Memphis because of the Lennon "more popular than Jesus" interview earlier in the year.  In the early show, someone tossed a cherry bomb at the stage, and all four looked around to see which one of them got shot.  Or it might have been the set list- after wading through sets by the Remains, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle, and the Ronettes, you got the Beatles for eleven songs- and neither their latest single release (Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby) nor anything from the just released lp Revolver were played.  Out of their 12 number ones to date, they played three (I Feel Fine, Yesterday, and Paperback Writer), along with one b-side and three never released tunes (two of which they didn't like and farmed out to the Hollies and the Stones).  Or maybe it was the same reason the Boys often gave for not wanting to tour- their equipment was three guitars, three amps, and a drum kit.  Not exactly something that will sound good in an arena half-full of screaming fans.

At San Fran a few days later

Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where we have lined up for your reading pleasure:  Possibly the most time displaced panel chart we'll ever see; the unknown song, and the places you know the lead singer from; Dantalion's Chariot gives us a ride to the six degrees song; only one song debuts outside the Bottom's Up this week (and it's already been mentioned); and a shuffle ten in which eight acts get their first song on the list (not a record, but certainly a bunch)!  So grab a seat, pull up a piece of corrugated, and let's go!


The panel this week consists of: WPTR Albany ("the Big Peter"?  Maybe not), WAKR Akron, KRUX Phoenix, KYA San Fran, WPOP Hartford, WSAI Cincinnati, KDWB Minneapolis, WRIT Milwaukee, WLS Chicago, WLOF Orlando, KMEN San Bernardino, and KHB Kansas City.  They combined for a whopping 29 different songs- and a lot of the work came from one station that obviously had a Tardis as well, WLOF.  The Orlando station had at #5 a song that just joined the charts a week ago and was at #70 (the Sidekicks with Suspicions); their #4 was another newbie and sat at #86 (the Standells with Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White); their number three would finally chart at 112 next week (Left Banke's Walk Away Renee); their number two was the "other" side of a two sided hit, and WLOF was the only one of the five stations charting it that week that considered it the a-side (the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby, coming in at #58); and their number one would not chart on the Cashbox national chart for another FOUR WEEKS- Count Five's Psychotic Reaction. Only three of the other 24 songs the panel named were not yet in the top forty.

Outside of the Count Five, the other songs that got #1 votes without making the panel four were:  Sandy Posey's Born A Woman (Cincinnati), Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs' Lil' Red Riding Hood, which just missed (Minneapolis), and the song we will see in just a bit as the unknown song.  And now, the panel four:

(Actually it is close to a five- the other half of that Beatles' disc, Yellow Submarine (which debuted at #24 and thus is the debut that missed the Bottom's Up) had fourteen points and the number one from Phoenix- missing out by one #1 vote.)

With 14 points and two #1s (San Francisco and San Bernie), the nation's #6 this week, Donovan's Sunshine Superman.

With 20 points and the #1 from Kansas City, the Happenings with the nation's #8, See You In September.

With 21 points and the #1 from Akron, the aforementioned Bobby Hebb with Sunny, the nation's number 3 song.

And with 23 points and the rest of the #1s, the nation's number one as well... stay tuned!


Now, let's get back to that remaining number one, the unknown song coming to us from the Big Peter in Albany.  It was by a band called Myddle Class, and it was called Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long.  It only charted here on WPTR, and was an a-la-Count Five loud garage rock sound.  The flip side was a Carole King/Gerry Goffin comp called I Happen To Love You, which we'll hear more about in a minute.

The band had started out as the King Bees, but somebody who actually made a dent in the charts took that name, so they changed to the Myddle Class.  Playing gigs around Greenwich Village, they were heard by NY Post Columnist Al Aronowitz, who introed them to King and Goffin, who signed a write/produce deal with them.  The single was actually (the writer of one fan site believes) one of the G/K comps the Monkees were to get, but they turned it down.  Anyway, about this time G/K changed labels, then divorced, then Myddle Class ended up with a label just before the powers in charge were purged, and so no promo, no management, no deal, and no luck.  Have a listen to I Happen To Love You - far superior to the a-side IMHO- and see if you think it was a shame:

Anyway, the band soon broke up, but the leader, one David Palmer, was still tied to ABC Records, who needed a vocalist for a hot new band who's leader was unsure of his own vocal abilities- Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.  Palmer sang lead on their first (and my favorite) single, Dirty Work, and also sang high harmony on the chorus of Reeling In The Years.  After touring for the lp (Can't Buy A Thrill), Fagen finally decided a) that he could sing, and b) they don't need no steenkeeng touring, so David was out in the cold again.  But he still was friends with Carole King, and in 1974, Palmer wrote the lyrics to Carole's hit Jazzman.  He now works as a digital photographer.


Let's go Bottom's Up!

10- The Temptations are on the way down with Ain't Too Proud To Beg, at 53 after 14 weeks.

9- The previously cited Eleanor Rigby , at 58 in its debut week.

8- Just two weeks into its run, the Kinks with Sunny Afternoon are at 59.

7- The also-mentioned-previously Cyrkle are at 60 on the way down after 14 weeks with Red Rubber Ball.  This is one of my son's favorites, and you should have seen him light up the night we did karaoke when he thought someone was singing it- but it turned out to be Bobby Vee's much older Rubber Ball.

6- You cultists out there remember the band Love- and their song 7 And 7 Is, is at 61 after 2 weeks.

5- David Ruffin's classic What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted debuts at 73 this week.

4- The Critters come in at 74 in their third week with Mr Dieingly Sad.

3- The Surfari's Wipeout had returned to the charts after a previous 17 weeks, and were at 80 after three weeks of return.  It had hit #2 in '63; it would make #16 in '66.

2- Neil Diamond debuts this week with Cherry Cherry at #88.

And the top bottom?

...Los Bravos with Black Is Black, at 89 after two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So once upon a time there was a Brit psychedelic band called Dantalion's Chariot.  They didn't last long, but two of their members would land with the last iteration of Eric Burdon and the Animals, and their best songs were combined into a medley on the group's last album, Love Is.  One of those members was Andy Summers, whom you would know better later as a member of The Police.  He was at the time (or thereabouts) married to a singer named Robin Lane.  One of Robin's accomplishments was singing harmony for the song Round And Round on the Neil Young and Crazy Horse lp Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere.  Crazy Horse was the band that made the lps big songs Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Down By The River so cool.  At one point on tour, Crazy Horse was accompanied by arranger/performer Jack Nitzsche on electric piano.  He never made it to the studio, as Neil considered his live performance "in the way, tonally".  Nitzsche had more success with the first part of his formula, arranging strings and choirs for several acts including the Stones, and notably the strings for Bob Lind's beautiful Elusive Butterfly.  That tune was covered on Petula Clark's lp I Couldn't Live Without Your Love, whose title track sat at #9 on Cashbox this week but got bupkis from the panel.

Well, maybe I could live without the panel's love... what do they know, anyway?

And that brings us to the Shuffle Ten and the all-rookie first six!

Moon Martin scores the ten spot with his 1979 #30, Rolene.

Speaking of 1979, Bob Welch's hit from that year Precious Love, a #19 hit then, grabs number nine here.

The Temps get a second mention this week, with a song in the BU and their #1 from '71, Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) grabs the eight slot in the S10.

The second hit for A Flock Of Seagulls- the #30 from 1982 Space Age Love Song- is at #7.

Speaking of 1982, Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf is at our #6.  It hit #3 back then.

Helen Reddy topped the charts in 1974 with Angie Baby; she grabs #5 on the S10 with it.

Our first multiple of the week belongs to another cut from Odessey And Oracle from the Zombies.  This time it is the tune This Will Be Our Year, which was actually the b-side to the lp's first single, A Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)- a song about WWI that record execs figured was "close enough to being a Vietnam song" that it might cash in on the ongoing wave of such tunes.  It was not a single-type song, though, and bombed.  The b-side is pretty good, though:

Air Supply, which Maxim magazine doesn't approve of, comes in at #3 with their #2 from 1983, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.  Can't listen to nothing but AC/DC and George Thorogood, guys!

Number two is the only other act that has multiple S10 scores this week- the Supremes vol. II with their #37 (deserved better) from 1972, Automatically Sunshine., giving them two S10s.

And at number one?  Survey says...

...the Lovin' Spoonful with Summer In The City!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, Shuffle says...

...another mention for the Left Banke with She May Call You Up Tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This cut was a release, but sadly barely scraped 120 in 1967.  Deserved MUCH better.

And that be the wrap!  Tune in next week when we toddle off to... uhm... 1977!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Forgive me Lord, for I must rant

Today is one of those days I'd love to rant about my job.  I mean, in a "Gilligan's Island meets employment" sort of rant.  I honestly believe, and have expressed, that if we followed a certain pattern (not MY pattern, I just think they should have a "things to do it right" checklist), we could get through all of our recent product launches with our sanity intact.  I wouldn't want to bash our company because this place is really a ton better than 95% of jobs out there- not to mention the fact that I HAVE a job!

HOWever, some things you have to shake your head at.  For example, one lady is really close (as in take a walk across the shop floor and lean on a table to catch your breath) to maternity leave, and she's the one who runs the multi-ply (AKA the machine that cuts all the stuff that mine won't or I don't have time to cut), as well as various other duties.  So naturally, a guy from another department (which is slow to the point of standing around) is training to do her job training to do MY job.  He says he was told I would have to work preggo-lady's side and he'd be on my machine (which he doesn't really like because there's a lot of standing around watching the machine cut).  Another person told me that it was the other way around, so there ya go.

Another incident today involves cutting something I call a whale.  Basically, instead of five or six reasonably sized panels of fabric for a boat cover, a whale is two huge vertical panels with lots of bands to hold everything together.  These are (generally, but not always as we shall see) old-style covers that we do very rarely.  But there is one particular style that always causes catastrophe, and today's example is much they way it always goes:

- halfway through the second huge (around 7 1/2 yd) panel, the cutter gets to a certain point and jams the machine, necessitating a reset.  Now, there USED to be a setting that would allow me to reset and then go back to where it left off (in case the machine jams or the blade breaks).  That setting has turned itself off, and none of those at higher pay scales know/care to learn how to fix it.  Thus after jamming, I have to start the half-cut panel over from scratch.

- Reset the marker, try again.  Repeat first entry.

- Reset the marker.  This time, it hits the same spot and breaks my blade.  Then the fabric roll has a split so another four yards of fabric goes down the drain.

- As the blade is being changed by me, here comes another cover order, which was needed HOT!

BTW, that hot cover had to have two panels recut because they weren't right.  And one of those "mysteriously" never changed when the engineer changed it, so I had to recut it again.  It was one of the lucky ones.  If you go here and scroll down, you'll be reminded of my story about the Wujiang the Dragon fabric company.  Well, yesterday, our black fabric changed over to WTD, and the next one that needed modified had to be completely recut because, of course, the fabrics don't match.

Then, appearing over the bow was ANOTHER whale- this one supposedly a prototype (something being cut the first time).  When I asked the production Mgr about it, he chuckled and told me that we show we already made it, but have no record of shipping it, so we have to re-make it.  When I commented that in two weeks they'll send the original back and it will sit forever waiting for someone to order one, he implied that it was not the only such item over at (our biggest customers)'s plant.

Next up, Our engineers on site are good but are really getting hammered with these new covers, especially considering one guy is brand new and still learning the ins and outs.  And he sent me out a prototype that, when I tried to cut it, the cutter said the marker was out of bounds (AKA something wasn't going to cut where it thought the fabric was).  So I have this handy-dandy little check box that sets everything back where it is supposed to go- usually.

Still out of bounds.

So I moved the laser pointer that guides the cutter up into the fabric ( a no-no usually) until it LOOKED like it should work.  And away it went.

And when it got to my side of the fabric, cut four inches off the edge.

So I got the rookie out there and showed him what was happening.  He went up and "re-processed" the marker.  This time, it worked, and started cutting fine- until it got to the OTHER side of the fabric, at which point it cut five inches off THAT side.  After fiddling around and wasting another ten yards of fabric, while the rookie pled that he was stumped and would try to solve it permanently when his mentors got done with another of the endless company conference calls, I started the cut 3 inches and a scosh off the fabric on my side, and eventually got the damnable thing done.  When you add in another one yesterday, this one dealing with an engineer from another plant that shrugged and said, "It must be an old pattern (a surprisingly commonly used excuse)" and me having to turn my fabric rack around and cut a panel on the (usually) wrong side, I think I may ask about getting engineer's pay for the week.

Then again, since I was out sick Monday, I might not.