This week, we had nine top 100 debuts, 5 top 40 newbies, 2 in the top ten, a brand new numbe one, and 2 new features on an experimental basis. So let's get started. Coming in to the charts this week amongst the 9 rookies are Feelings by Morris Albert at 97, Fight the Power pt. 1 by the Isley Brothers at 93 ( a song handicapped on the chart by using the term "bulls**t" in the chorus), and Freddy Fender's follow up to his just fallen #1, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights at 88. The big dropper this week belongs to the former number one Jackie Blue, who spends what is most likely its last week on the charts dropping 41 notches to 60. The week's high climber has something to do with that number 41 as well; that is where Olivia Newton-John landed with Please Mister Please after a 20 spot leap. And we close out the look at the lower end of things with a note that Sail on Sailor moves up 4 to 66 this week.
Coming into the airplay section of town are 5 tunes: Smokey Robinson sneaks in with another song I just don't recognize, Baby That's Backatcha at 40; Steely Dan edges in at 39 with Black Friday; Melissa Manchester appears at 37 with Midnight Blue; War roars in at 36 with a song I spent a lot of that summer singing on the back of my nephew's mini-bike, Why Can't We Be Friends; and 10cc's attempt to finally take themselves serious (listen to some of their older stuff once), I'm Not In Love, shoots 10 to number 31.
At this point, I interject one of the new features. A lot of good songs get lost on the road between top 40 debut and top 10, and I thought I'd give a shout out to one each week. This week, I salute the late, great Teddy Pendergrass and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, who appear to have peaked at 13 with Bad Luck, a song I'd forgotten about for years until I saw the title a while back looking for songs to burn to CD and said, hey, I remember that! Unfortunately, the song appears well-named as far as top 10 success goes.
Our 2 top ten dropouts are Ace's How Long at 21, falling 17 (which seems funny, because I always associated it with I'm Not In Love popularity-wise, but it seems they were 2 ships that pass in the night), and EW&F's former top dog Shining Star- a falling star that dropped from 9 to 25.
Leading off the top 10, up two spots is Mrs. Waylon Jennings (or if you prefer, Jessie Colter) with her #1 country hit I'm Not Lisa. Up two to 9 is a song by veteran r&b man Joe Simon, his biggest crossover in his career, Get Down, Get Down (and no, after playing this, I still don't remember it. Sorry, Joe!). Freddy's got his new one coming, so he grabs a parachute and drops from 1 to 8 with Before the Next Teardrop Falls. In the cleanup spot, as is so often the case, is last week's # 10, Michael Murphy's Wildfire. Chicago edges up one with Old Days; Grand Funk Railroad does the same with Bad Time. Love won't let Major Harris wait; the hit by the former Delfonic jumps "4 big notches" as Casey used to say, to number 4. Linda Ronstadt gets a fair idea of when she'll be loved, as her latest moved up 2 to 3. Sister Golden Hair by America moved up one into the runner-up spot; and our brand new #1 is John Denver's live version of Thank God I'm a Country Boy.
The other new feature I'm modelling this week is "all those years ago"; a look at what was Number one 20, 30, years ago. On this week in 1990, the legacy band Wilson Phillips was tops with Hold On; 30 years ago this week, one of my least favorite offscourings of the disco era, Funky Town by Lipps, Inc., was number one; 40 years ago, the Beatles had come to the end of their Long and Winding Road (40 years? is that right?); 50 years ago, the Everly Brothers were Cathy's Clowns; and 60 years ago, the number one song had a neat little story to it. Movie director Carol Reed was putting the finishing touches on a movie called The Third Man which featured Orson Welles, among others. In a Vienna cafe, he heard a cafe musician of no fame named Anton Karas playing the zither. Inspired, Reed had this unknown musician do the entire score for the movie- with the result that no less an expert than Roger Ebert said, "Has there ever been a film where the music more perfectly suited the action than in Carol Reed's 'The Third Man'?" His version of the theme, just him and his zither, and a orchestral version by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, combined to sell an estimated 40 million records. Again I listened to both, and it's a catchy, wistful number, but alas once again one I didn't remember. Of course, being 12 years from conception at that point, I guess I do have an excuse.