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


Friday, July 23, 2010

Step into my time machine, week thirteen

Okay, this is the week that, among other things, I'll tell the dreaded Swearin' To God story. Also, ten debuts, two new top tens, a new top dog, and lotsa lotsa Elvis. Let's go!

Debuting in the hot 100 amongst those ten are five that made an impression. Leon Russell's gorgeous Lady Blue came in at 93 this week in 1975; Tavares reached at 88 with It Only Takes A Minute; The Osmonds hit with their cover of the Four Seasons' The Proud One at 86; and way up at 73 comes America with their follow up to Sister Golden Hair, the soft and lovely Daisy Jane. Our big dropper this week was former top dog When Will I Be Loved, falling 48 places to 70; while the big jumper was ZZ Top' Tush, backing up the chart to 64, a 19-spot climb. This week we also lose Mac Davis' Burning thing, which peaked at 52 last time.

Coming into the top 40 this week are 5 tunes: Earth Wind And Fire switching to mellow with That's The Way Of The World at 40; KC and the Sunshine Band with Get Down Tonight at 38; Helen Reddy with Bluebird (a song which, surprisingly for someone who loves Helen Reddy, I did not recognize) at 36; The Isley Brothers' rowdy Fight The Power a 34; and Ambrosia's Holding On To Yesterday at 33. I could not find a good candidate for the almost but not quite salute this week. I suppose at this point I could delve into my younger mind and say that probably my favorite this week would have been a battle between Could It Be Magic at 26, Fallin' In Love at 22, and the upcoming number 8 song.

Speaking of my mind, this would be a good segue to the next five of my personal top 100 of the 70's. 90 is the Four Seasons (boy, they're getting the airplay today!) and Who Loves You; 89 is Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street, featuring that awesome sax lick by Raphael Ravenscroft. Allegedly Ravenscroft was paid £27 for the session (which today comes out to $42) with a check that bounced. I've a feeling he got more after the song hit #1. 88 is Wings with Band On The Run; 87 is Dr. Hook and Sylvia's Mother, a true story that happened to songwriter (and cartoonist, poet, children's book writer, and a few other things) Shel Silverstein. Finally this week, 86 is Sugarloaf with Green Eyed Lady.

Two songs into the top ten, 2 drop out. Losing their spots were Love Will Keep Us Together at 12 and Magic at 15. Those two songs seemed to play forever that summer. was time really so much slower then? Now its only that slow at work.

Onto the top ten. Holding at 10 this week is Gwen McRae's Rocking Chair. Coming in at 9, up 2, is Melissa Manchester and Midnight Blue; the debut at number eight, up 4 is the autobiographical account of Elton John's suicide attempt, Someone Saved My Life Tonight. At 7, up one, is Swearin' to God, and my embarrassing story. Back then there was a Bert Convy-hosted game show called Tattletales, which involved sets of married celebrities. One pair that was on the show a lot were Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce. For whatever reason, I always imagined that they were the singers on this song (presumably because a) we watched the show all the time and b) I knew of no other reason why they were celebrities). Not sure how many months later I finally glommed onto Frankie Valli's name being attached to the song and said oh, duh. I still see her doing the background line whenever I hear the song.

Listen To What The Man Says tumbles from three to six this week; up 2 to 5 is 10cc's I'm Not In Love, who's background choral line is the four members of the group singing the same note overdubbed on itself 256 times. Also, the whispered "big boys don't cry" was courtesy of the receptionist at the recording studio. Weird wild stuff, as Johnny Carson used to say.

Time now to look in on the other top dogs of yesteryear, this week we're doing the sixes. 1996 was the last year for the Cashbox charts, and this week back then Toni Braxton was on top with You're Making Me High/Let It Flow, yet another tune I don't know from Adam. On the Alternative charts that week was Pepper, a not-too-bad song by a band with the idiotic name of the Butthole Surfers. 1986 saw a curious happenstance. Our date is about midway between the two publishing dates that year. On the Early side of the date, we have Genesis with Invisible Touch; on the later side is Genesis alumnus Peter Gabriel with Sledgehammer. One year frrom where our time machine lands, the Manhattans will be on top with Kiss And Say Goodbye. In 1966 this week, the top dog was the Trogg's Wild Thing (but not for long; They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha by Napoleon XIV will leap to the top from #20 the next week). And in 1956, Gogi Grant's The Wayward Wind is on top in a battle with Pat Boone's I Almost Lost My Mind, a battle that has seen them switch places every week for the past month. One month later it will all seem academic; Elvis Presley will start a 15 week run at the top with Hound Dog (4 weeks), Don't Be Cruel ( 6 weeks), and Love Me Tender (5 weeks).

On with the top 4. The Bee Gees leap 5 to 4 with Jive Talkin'. Van McCoy hustles back down from top dog to number 3 with The Hustle (probably the last time I'll make that joke). Olivia Newton-John climbs two hard notches with Please Mister Please; and the new top dog is... the Eagles, with One Of These Nights, their second #1.

Thanks for riding along. See you next week!

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