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

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Step into my time machine, week twelve

All kind of stuff to look at this week in 1975: a new top dog, 2 top 40 and 10 top 100 debuts, and this week in 1955, the rock'n'roll era begins. Let's go!


First, a little housekeeping, as it were. In the 12 weeks of time machine, I've mentioned 45 songs that I remember debuting on the hot hundred. Out of these, the vast majority are still climbing. 5 songs that missed the top ten have peaked and are on the way out. In fairness to them, here they are, with their peak positions on the Cashbox charts. Hey You, who got BTO the almost but not quite spotlight last week, at 16; Steely Dan's Black Friday, at 31; Charlie Daniels' Long Haired Country Boy, at 50; Kiss' Rock and Roll All Night, at 57 (they never did do well on singles);and Donnie and Marie's Make The World Go Away (which I had thought got much higher), just this week at 54.


Coming into the Hot 100 this week included 4 that made some noise: Austin Roberts at 96 with Rocky, the song about his girlfriend who died (and hit #1 country by Dickie Lee in November this same year); Orleans' first top 40 hit, Dance With Me, a song that made my "mythical top 10" (a concept I'll go into another time... or maybe later on today), at 91; ZZ Top's Tush at 83; and Paul Anka and Odia Coates way up at 69 with (I Believe There's) Nothing Stronger Than Our Love, as he continues his amazing comeback. Anka went from not having hit the top 15 since 1962 to hitting it 5 times in 1974-5. We have a big dropper tie at 52 notches down: AWB's Cut The Cake at 84 this week, and one last mention for the leader in mentions so far, the Doobie Brothers' (Take Me In Your Arms) Rock Me, pausing at 81 on the way out. Our big jumper this week is Johnny Rivers, doing the comeback thing himself with Help Me Rhonda, which would become only his second peek into the top 40 since 1967's Summer Rain.


Let's throw in the latest installment of the top 100 of my favorite 70's songs here, shall we? 95 is Just Remember I Love You by Firefall. So many of my favorites were born nights listening to Ron Gregory on WOWO, and a lot of songs I have a strong connection between them and that venue. One of those is the 94 song, Breakaway by Art Garfunkel (I watch the distant lights out on the runway/ disappear into the evening sky/ Oh you know I'm with you on your journey/ never can say goodbye...). 93 is another appearance for Anne Murray, this time with her version of Danny's Song (even though we ain't got money...) ; 92 is Carly Simon sounding hopelessly cynical on That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be; and 91 is the gorgeous voice of Marilyn McCoo and the 5th Dimension with One Less Bell To Answer.


6 songs crack the top 40 this week: the Moments with a richly orchestrated ballad I didn't remember, Look At Me, I'm In Love; at the other end of the spectrum, Bad Company at 39 with the raucous Feel Like Makin' Love; Barry Manilow at 35 with Could It Be Magic; Janis Ian's heartrending At 17; Hamilton, Joe Frank, and the artist known as Reynolds way up at 26 with Fallin' In Love; and James Taylor finally makes all those weeks of being the big jumper pay off, landing at 25 with How Sweet It Is. Now it's time for this week's almost but not quite salute, this time to another member of the "mythical top ten"- those songs that, though back then I hadn't ever ranked them on paper, aligned themselves as my unofficial top ten all time favorites. This was a nebulous group that probably varied between 7 and 12 actual songs at any one time, and one of them was Ray Stevens' country take on an old Jazz standard, Misty. Originally written as an instrumental in 1954 and gaining lyrics 5 years later, it was a much covered song, notably by Johnny Mathis, but never like Ray did it, and his efforts earned him a grammy for best arrangement. Noted mainly for his novelty insanity, this would be his last top 40 hit, though he'd still have some country success.


Two come into the top ten, two go out. The two droppers are Wildfire, sliding to 14, and Try to Remember/The Way We Were slipping to 15.


The top ten this week stars out with 2 debuts. At 10, up 2, is Gwen McCrae with Rocking Chair, her answer to then-hubby George McCrae's #1 from last year, Rock Your Baby. Debuting at 9, also up 2, are the Bee Gees with Jive Talkin'. Frankie Valli moves up a notch to 8with Swearin' to God, which if it stays on long enough I'll have to tell you an embarrassing story about. The cleanup spot goes to 10cc with I'm Not In Love, up 1. Love Will Keep Us Together gives ground slowly, slipping 3 to #6; Magic holds onto the 5 slot for a second week. Olivia Newton-John leapfrogs it to 4 with Please Mister Please; McCartney and Wings drop out of the top dog spot with yet another member of the "MT10", Listen To What The Man Says; and now...


...now we break for the tour of other decade's #1s, this week the 5's. 1995 on the pop charts was headed by TLC with Waterfalls (at last one I recognize in the 90's!), and on the Alternative chart by U2 with Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me. 1985 was Prince's Raspberry Beret; 1975 was ************ (hah! wait till the end, like you're supposed to!) ; 1965 saw the first of 8 number ones for the Rolling Stones, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction; and 1955 this week was the second official week of the rock'n'roll era- the second week at the top for Bill Haley and His Comets and Rock Around The Clock.


2 choices left. #2 is the Eagles' One Of These Nights; that means our new top dog this week is the late Van McCoy with The Hustle.
Lookin' fly, dude! That's it for this week, gang. Thanks for coming along and see ya next trip!

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