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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, August 20, 2010

Step into my time machine week seventeen

So, will Elton John hold on for a second week? The Bee Gees only fell one last week... 10cc held at three... the Rhinestone Cowboy had galloped up to four... and Hamilton, Joe Frank and the artist formerly known as Reynolds had just come flying into the top ten. Will it be one of these... or will a yet unknown player leap into the top spot? (Yeah, right.) Let's find out!


As always, we start out with this week's hot 100 debuts. 8 of 'em this week, with four notables: Willie Nelson, from his breakthrough lp Red Headed Stranger, comes in a 100 with Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain; the comedic montaging of Dickie Goodman comes in at 91 with Mr. Jaws; Art Garfunkel hits from his album Breakaway with his version of the 1934 classic I Only Have Eyes For You at 87; and Jefferson Starship enters the club at 86 with Miracles from the lp Red Octopus. Our big movers are, on the downside, Morning Beautiful dropping 26 to 54; and on the upside, Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady jumping 22 spots to 48.


Feature # 1 is our trip through the #1s of other years. We are back into the zeroes this week. Mariah Carey topped the pops in 1990 with Vision Of Love; 1980 saw Olivia Newton-John at the top for the third week with Magic from the movie Xanadu; in 1970, Stevie Wonder was on top of the Cashbox charts with Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours ( which got it's name from his mom's reaction to the melody line); this week in 1960, the King was on top with his 12th number one song, It's Now Or Never; and in 1950, the top dog was Nat King Cole with Mona Lisa. From the soundtrack of the movie Captain Carey USA, a spy flick starring Alan Ladd, it not only took an academy Award for best original song, but was inducted into the Grammy Award Hall-of-Fame (shows ya how I pay attention, I never knew there was a grammy h-o-f) in 1992.


Before we proceed to the top 40 debuts, a note about a song that will join the club next week. It was way back it Time Machine week six that I announced the arrival in the hot 100 of Feelings by Morris Albert. For the next five weeks it climbed as most songs do. Then it "lost the bullet"; it was no longer getting the notation that stands for "significant gains this week", though it was still slowly climbing. For 5 weeks it toiled along in this limbo. But this week, Morris got the bullet back, climbing 5 spots to sit just outside the forty. Three songs do crack airplay alley this week: John Denver moves up 9 to 39 with I'm Sorry; Orleans climbs 6 to 38 with Dance With Me; and the Pointer Sisters climb in at 37 with How Long (Betcha Got A Chick On The Side), a song I didn't recognize and frankly barely understood. But what does that matter with rock'n'roll?


Special #2 is our almost but not quite salute, and it goes this week to Hall of Famer Johnny Rivers and his cover of Help Me Rhonda. With Brian Wilson lending a hand on the chorus, Johnny peaks this week at #30. I'll also note that this week marks the beginning of the end for the first run of Judy Collins' Send In The Clowns. Although it made top 30 on Billboard, it peaked at 53 on Cashbox this time around. Interestingly, writer and broadway bigwig Steven Sondheim said that this, his only tune to hit the charts, was not intended to be the slow, soaring ballad that it became in Collins' hands:

''Send in the Clowns' was never meant to be a soaring ballad; it's a song of regret. And it's a song of a lady who is too upset and too angry to speak-meaning to sing for a very long time. She is furious, but she doesn't want to make a scene in front of Fredrik because she recognizes that his obsession with his 18-year-old wife is unbreakable. So she gives up; so it's a song of regret and anger, and therefore fits in with short-breathed phrases."


Hmm, kinda takes a little of the charm out of it, doesn't it? Oh well, better luck coming in 1977.


And an addendum to stubbornness: Love Will Keep Us Together reverses direction and goes UP one notch to 26 this week, while the Spanish version, Por Amor Viveremos, climbs 9 to land at 70.


Two enter the top 10 this week, two fall out. (Remember this; there'll be a quiz later.) Dropping this week are the Rockford Files Theme which files down 7 to 17; and Please Mister Please, which slips from 8 to 14.


Final Feature of this trip is the next 5 of my favorites of the 70s countdown. The most snakebit band in history, Badfinger, comes in at 70 with Come And Get It, which I remember first hearing as an Army recruitment commercial theme. I think it was Army, I don't know; I was 8, after all. Two members of this week's top 40, John Denver and Olivia Newton-John, combine their talents in Fly Away at 69. Another song in this week's forty, the Spinners' Games People Play, is the #68 song; Prelude's a Capella version of Neil Young's After The Gold Rush is at 67. Finally this week, I have Arlo Guthrie's City Of New Orleans at 66.


The top 10 leads off this week with former top dog, the Eagles' One Of These Nights, spending its 4th post-number one week in the top 10, falling 4 to 10. Oh, here's one of the contenders I mentioned at the beginning: 10cc drops 6 to 9 with I'm Not In Love. James Taylor slips one to 8 with How Sweet It Is. Our first debut comes in at Cleanup- Janis Ian jumps 4 to #7 with At Seventeen. Here's another contender: Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds climb 3 to #6 with Fallin' In Love. War Holds at 5 with Why Can't We Be Friends. Here's another contender: Rhinestone Cowboy stays at 4 for Glen Campbell.


Curious, isn't it?


Elton John will NOT be the top duck, er, dog for a second week; he falls to three with Someone Saved My Life Tonight. And the Bee Gees hold at 2 with former top dog Jive Talkin'.


So let's see. Elton's gone, the Bee Gees, 10cc, Campbell... even Hamilton, etc. That's all our contenders, isn't it? Time for your quiz. Two songs debut in the top ten this week. We've named off one. How many does that leave? Answer: one, and that's the song that leaps from all the way down at NUMBER 12. That song, by the same outfit that wrote Rock Your Baby for George McRae......... Get Down Tonight, by KC and the Sunshine Band! Yowsa Yowsa Yowsa!
Okay, with that shocker, we leave the time machine for another trip. See you next week!

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