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


Friday, April 22, 2011

Step into my time machine week fifty-two: One Year Done

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Hello and welcome to what is not only the one year anniversary episode of time machine, but a Good Friday edition.  This is quite possibly the second or third Good Friday I've had off work in 20 years so I wanted to do something special.  I thought about a GF top ten, but could only find three hymns that say Good Friday to me- and I'll be sharing the other two with you as we go on.
Good Friday was always a church day when I was young- mass at noon, somber music like Were You There, incense, the Stations Of the Cross, the rosary.There was one celebration called Veneration of the Host, which I don't know if some of my catholic fellows out there remember, that was mystical and, to the emerging Christian that I was at the time, a tad on the idolatrous side.  My extremes have modified with age, though; and while I'm dubious of the ceremony myself, like much else of the "tradition" side of the Catholic Church I feel whatever grows your faith is okay.
Anyhow, I've got a BIIIG show lined up here, not only including the Martin Hall Of  Fame, but a Heavenly top ten to go with today's theme. Plus all the usual antics, the invention of the Musitron, the metamorphosis of Brother Love, and a HUGE pot of debuts.  Oh, and if I'd had the fortitude, it could've been much bigger.  I was going to find out just how many songs had been mentioned in 51 weeks and two specials of TM, along with the top ten most mentioned song.  After a 3 1/2 hour attempt that had only gotten me to week twenty-eight and listed 1,453 songs (with Love Will Keep Us Together leading the pack with 15 mentions)- and facing a 52 song per week average, figuring a MINIMUM of 33 songs each following week, and trying to sort through going into a sixth page of three column, 32-per-columns of chicken scratch- I gave up.  So I came up with all this other delightful stuff instead.  So let's get on with it! SHEESH!!
We kick off with the first three of our heavenly top ten.
10. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For- U2.  From The Joshua Tree, a semi-gospel album for the band that many Christians into pop music have appropriated for one of their own, this song basically puts into words Bono's search for a spiritual fulfillment.
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Oh my shame
You know I believe it
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

9. Do Right- Paul Davis.  A nice linking of love with faith.

8. Superstar-Murray Head and the Trinidad Singers. This is High concept from Andrew Lloyd Webber, why DIDN'T Christ come in our day? No phones, no radio or tv, having to get the message out on foot.  Of course, that's the earthly perspective.

We had 12 debuts this week on the hot 100, and here are 8 of 'em! At 99, the Manhattans with Kiss And Say Goodbye; at 93, BTO with Looking Out For #1; at 92, the Michael McDonald era on the Doobie Brothers begins with Takin' It To The Streets; at 91, Heart breaks into the national scene with a song that's still my fave of theirs, Crazy On You; at 84 yet another tv theme, this one from Laverne and Shirley- Making Our Dreams Come True by Cyndi Grecco; at 72, the follow up to Money Honey by the Bay City Rollers, called Rock'N'Roll Love Letter; at 71, the follow up to top dog Lonely Night/Angel Face, the Captain And Tennille's cover of Shop Around; and finally, at 69, the Stones with Fool To Cry.  Our big dropper this week is Carole King's Only Love Is Real, falling 17 notches to 59 this week.  The big jumper, another of our tv themes this week, is in the top 40.

Now onto our look at the top lps of the 70's, where we find ourselves in May of 1975.  And the three weeks starting on the 17th were topped by Earth Wind And Fire's That's The Way Of  The World.  The soundtrack to a movie starring Harvey Keitel caught between the band he's trying to promote (EWF, playing as "The Group") and the one the company's trying to push (and he thinks is just another cookie cutter act), "The Pages", this was considered EWF's finest effort.  Besides the #1 Shining Star and the #12 title track, it had 2 #1 disco hits- Africano and Happy Feeling.
They were blasted out of the way by Elton John with the autobiographical Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (which were him and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin).  On July 7th, this became the first album to DEBUT at #1 on the Billboard top 200, and it stayed until the week of July 12th- a six week run.  The only single actually from the album was the top dog (#4 on BB) Someone Saved My Life Tonight; however, the non-album singles Philadelphia Freedom and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Pinball Wizard from Tommy were added as bonus tracks on subsequent CD issues.
After this came Wings with Venus And Mars.  This was their first effort as a 5-piece outfit, and contained top dog Listen To What The Man Says, the #12 Venus And Mars/ Rock Show, and Letting go, which peaked at 39 on BB and 41 on Cashbox.  The b-side of Venus And Mars was, for you comic groupies like me out there, the song Magneto And The Titanium Man, which I'm going to have to give a listen to someday.  They hold the top spot the week of July 19th.

Keep in mind

that Jesus Christ has died for us
and is risen from the dead.
He is our saving Lord,
He is joy for all ages.

Our look at the top dogs of other years is in the ones this week.  1991 this week, #1 was Amy Grant ( semi-appropriate for an faith-based week) with Baby Baby.  1981's top this week was Sheena Easton's debut Morning Train, which was called Nine To Five in the UK but changed here to avoid confusion with the Dolly Parton movie theme of the same name and ultimate chart position. In 1971 Three Dog Night was enjoying a six-week run with Joy To The World.  In 1961, Charles Westover and his drummer/co-writer Max Crook (better known as Del Shannon and Maximillian) were at #1 with Runaway, an all time classic featuring the Musitron, which was a heavily adapted clavoline (one of the first keyboard synthesizers, invented in 1947) on the instrumental break.  Max designed and played (and, I guess, named) the musitron. And in 1951, we have a song by Patti Page called Mockin Bird Hill.  This was another one of those combined dealies, with the ever-present-in-the-fifties Les Paul and Mary Ford doing a version as well, putting them over the top though Billboard had Page's version peaking at 2 and the duo's also making top ten.  Billboard had Perry Como's If and How High The Moon (which you long timers know was also Les and Mary) at the top during this time period.

Given the nature of today's remembrance, we have an ironically appropriate (at least in name) list of top 40 debuts this week.  Moving up five is the King's 99th top 40 hit, Hurt.  At 32, up 9, is Billy Ocean's Love Really Hurts Without You, his first of 12 top 40 hits (and his last for 8 years).  And finally, at 30 we have our big jumper- 18 notches from 48- for the Happy Days theme from Pratt and McClain.  This duo was put together by Christian star and then-producer Michael Omartian, who seems to know everybody.  Calling themselves Brother Love, they did commercial jingles until the producers of Happy Days pegged them (thanks Michael) to do their new theme.  Their only other top 100 hit was a cover of Devil With A Blue Dress that went nowhere, and they went on to other things.

7. The Lord's Prayer by Sister Janet Mead. This one I did a feature on when it hit the top 40 a while back.

6. Carry On Wayward Son- Kansas. Penned by the ever-searching Kerry Livgren, encouraging himself in the path that would on day see him become a Christian.

5. Hold On -Kansas. This song was the fruit of his labors; a plea to his wife to share his faith.
Outside the door He is waiting
waiting for you
sooner or later you know,
He's got to come through...

4. Spirit In The Sky- Norman Greenbaum. Suspect theology, great tune.

Two come into our countdown this week, two fall out.  Our droppers are the aforementioned Lonely Night/ Angel Face, from 4 to 11, and dream Weaver, from 8 to 12.  Also want to give a shout out (that I was going to do last week and forgot whilst typing madly away) to two of my all timers climbing up the chart.  Shannon has moved up 7 to land at 14 this week; Strange Magic does likewise to 18.

O Sacred Head, surrounded

by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of Thy most Holy Face,
yet angel hosts adore Thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see Thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving Thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy face on me.

3.Property Of Jesus-Bob Dylan.  From the Album Shot Of Love, which was full of cool Christian based tunes (especially Heart Of Mine and Every Grain Of Sand), this was the most appropriate to the list.

I'm the property of Jesus,
I'm in Him to the bone;
You've got something better-
 You've got a heart of stone.

2. My Sweet Lord-George Harrison.  I know, I know, what about all the hare Krishna stuff?  I just "alleluia" over it.

1. Jesus Is Just All Right- the Doobie BrothersJesus, He's my friend/ Jesus, He's my friend/ He took me by the hand/ led me far from this land/ Jesus, He's my friend..

Our top ten (finally!) leads off with the Elvin Bishop Band moving up 4 to 10 with Fooled Around And Fell In Love.  At #9, up one, are the Commodores with Sweet Love.  John Sebastian makes the top ten, up 3 to #8, with Welcome Back.  Peter Frampton and a crowd of thousands moves up two to 7 with Show Me The Way.  And Queen edges up one to 6 with Bohemian Rhapsody.

And now, the third and final- for now- class of the Martin Hall of Fame!
From cat one:with 14 top 40s and a #1, Eric Burdon and the Animals.  With 18 top 40s and a #1, Fleetwood Mac.  With 58 top 40s and4 #1s, everyone's favorite duck, Elton John.

And with 10 top 40s and 3 #1s, an act actually nominated by Laurie that I decided to change one of my own picks to- the Monkees.  (See, I do listen to your requests.  You shoulda tried me!)

From cat 2: with 14 top 40s and 4 #1s, John Denver.  And with 14 top 40s and 2 top dogs, BJ Thomas.

From cat 3: with 13 top 40s and 1 #1, Carole King. And with 20 top 40s and 3 #1s, the Carpenters.

From cats 3, 4, and 5:  With 18 top 40s and 3 #1s, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. With 10 top 40s and a lot of Dr. Pepper ads, Kiss. And with 27 top 40s and 3 top dogs, the Everly Brothers.

And now, your nominations.  Lorraine suggests a song wing in the Hall , and wants to open it with Amazing grace.  Given the nature of today's post, my agreement with the basic idea, and the fact that Judy Collins did have a hit with an a capella version, I see no problem here.  It might be a while, though, before I add to this particular subject.  KC strained his brain, God bless him, but could only come up with the Rolling Stones as an appropriate act meeting his standards and mine, and they were already in.  Laurie brought up the ever -present Captain and Tennile and Bread, both of which I will defer to a later time; and Jimmy Dean, whom I think is a great nominee for the Not necessarily R'n'R room. So with 7 top 40's (17 country) and 1 #1 (2 country), I give you the 34th member of the Martin Hall Of Fame, the late Jimmy Dean.  Congrats to everyone! And now, as they say, on with the countdown.

Dr. Hook moves up one, but loses the bullet, with Only Sixteen at #5.  Last week's top dog, Johnny Taylor's Disco Lady, slips three to #4.  At 3, up 2, are the Sylvers with B-b-b-boogie Fever.  The Bellamy Brothers settle for the runner up spot, up one, with Let Your Love Flow.  All of which means that our new number one is...

Maxine Nightingale with Right Back To Where We Started From!!!

All righty then kids, we have one year of time machine in the books.  It's a melancholy triumph for me; it almost seems the songs are slipping away faster this time than they did back them.  The difference being, that in an odd way, I realize the "loss" now. The lost time- not wasted per se, just gone beyond retrieval.  The innocent days, the long warm summers.  Billy Joel says, "the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow's not as bad as it seems", and in my head I know he's right.  But Time Machine began because there is a part of me that will never accept that, will never accept growing up- or growing old. (God, don't I wish that part was my back, feet, or knees, or eyes!)  A part of me will always be in the lawn chair after cutting the grass, waiting for the storm to roll in.  Part of me will always be in my room next to my first clock-radio.  And that part will always have the radio on.  Have a blessed Good Friday, my friends.

1 comment:

  1. CWM:
    THAT was a fantastic finish to your FIRST year...and I SO agree with you when it comes to the music...!

    I spoke in church once to some married couples about the lyrics in that U2 song...ANd it applies to me still.
    (be nice if I had a "hint")

    And Kansas...LOVE that song (wayward son)...reminds me of a better time, that's for sure.

    Monkees - agreed.
    Jimmy Dean - agreed.
    Herb Alpert (my dad got me hooked on him) - agreed.
    bread - agreed.

    Gee, we like so MUCH of the same music...that's scary...LOL.

    I remember falling asleep on a summer night as that old AM band radio was playing SKY PILOT (a long song in it's day).
    I do miss things like that.

    I still retain much of my childhood (memories)...and I think we need to revisit them from time to time.

    And, as Doctor Who would say (Tom Baker, the 4th doctor to be exact):
    "It's no fun growing up if you can't be "childlike" once in a while."

    It seems he was right.

    Congrats on your 1st year...many more.

    And may the love of Christ fill your hearts AND your home this weekend and forever.
    (yeah, that includes Scrappy, too)