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


Friday, June 3, 2011

Step into my time machine week fifty-eight

This week on Time Machine- quite possibly the stupidest story I've ever told here, a story of extreme over reaction and the problems inherent in giving decision-making power to the uninformed.  And no, it has nothing to do with the election of Barack Obama.

Even as I continue to shake my head (literally), I begin this week's show with the mention that we had 18 songs debut in the hot 100, many of which I could mention and we'd all stare blankly. There are seven of these which deserve notation.  George Benson comes in at 91 with the song that did more than anything to open me up to soft jazz, the Grammy-winning This Masquerade.  At 82 is a cover you might not remember, but I do- Todd Rundgren doing his take on the Beach Boys' top dog Good Vibrations.  Next at 81 comes Tavares with the perky Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel.  At 71 Aerosmith hits with Last Child.  The Carpenters have one of their last really pretty hits with I Need To Be In Love coming in at 67.  And irony at 61 and 60- two classic bands, rivals throughout the sixties, beginning their journey together.  At 61 was the Beach Boys with their cover of Chuck Berry's Rock And Roll Music; at 60, the Beatles with Got To Get You Into My Life.

The big mover was Queen's You're My Best Friend, climbing 22 from 77 to 55 (and in more Irony, Dream On by Aerosmith drops out this week, and the new occupant of the grandpa chair is Bohemian Rhapsody); the big dropper is Only Sixteen, which actually drops only thirteen, from 33 to 46.

We are now in the land of being up to date on the #1 albums of the seventies- and it will be 8 weeks before we hit one I haven't featured yet.  This week's album top dog is the second coming of the Rolling Stones' Black And Blue, which took a week off last week in favor of Wings At The Speed Of Sound.  This makes B&B's third non-continuous week on top.

Two almost but not quite mentions this week.  Paul Simon peaked at 45 on our chart (and 40 on Billboard) with the title track to Still Crazy After All These Years- a song that certainly did better here in the Summit City than nationally. At 17 is where Neil Sedaka peaked last week with Love In The Shadows, a song whose UK b-side was Love Will Keep Us Together (which I mention again for irony's sake; his previous hit, the slow version of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, was backed by Lonely Nights/Angel Face.  Still wonder why Toni Tennille slipped "Sedaka's back" in at the end of Love Will Keep Us Together?)

We have 5 count em five top 40 debuts this week. Coming in at 40, up 7, is the 9th of 11 top 40s for America, Today Is The Day.  Making a 16-notch leap to #39 is Irish band Thin Lizzy with The Boys Are Back In Town, their one and only top forty (which surprised me, because Jailbreak gets a lot of AOR play).  At 37, up 20, is John Travolta with Let Her In, the first of 4 trips to the top 40 for him.  Coming in at #35, up 8, are the Brothers Johnson with I'll Be Good To You, the first of 4 top 40s and first of three R&B chart #1s. And jumping 17 notches to #24, the Starland Vocal Band with their one and only trip to the top 40, Afternoon Delight.

Our look at the number ones of other years rolls into the 7s this week.  1997 was after Cashbox shut down; the #1 this week on Billboard that year was the Hanson brothers with MMMBop.  This was a song that I had to admit I never heard, so I gave it a listen.  Though far from #1 material IMHO, it was catchy.  1987 had at the top Atlantic Starr with Always (which I didn't think I knew till I listened, and then said, "Oh, that's Atlantic Starr!? I knew Secret Lovers, but...).  Next year at this time (i.e. 1977) KC And The Sunshine Band are on top with I'm Your Boogie Man.  Skipping ahead (or behind, if you prefer) to 1957, Elvis was just wrapping up an 8-week stay with All Shook Up.  And that brings us to 1967- or 2001- and the stupid story. 

The #1 song on Cashbox this week in 1967 was I Got Rhythm by the Happenings.  And in looking at the story, I saw that one of their other big hits- See You In September- was part of a very dubious list.  Right after the September 11th attack, Clear Channel Communications released a list of 165 songs that they felt might be inappropriate to play because of the disaster.  Though they later denied the existence of such a list, they were outed by a newsletter Hits Daily Double, and the list's existence was later confirmed on  What kind of songs made this blacklist? Well there seemed to be 10 main categories.  And allow me to highlight the real stretches.

First, songs that obviously had something to do with destruction.  Examples: AC/'DC -Dirty Deeds, Shot Down In Flames; Gap Band- You Dropped A Bomb On Me; John Mellencamp- Crumblin' Down; Edwin Starr (and Bruce Springsteen's cover)- War.

Second, apocalyptic references:  REM- It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine); Zager and Evans- In The Year 2525; Nena- 99 Balloons; Barry McGwire- Eve Of Destruction; Everclear- Santa Monica (Watch the World Die); Skeeter Davis- The End Of The World.

Third, anything to do with fire: Blue Oyster Cult-Burning For You; Boston- Smokin';   Jerry Lee Lewis- Great Balls Of Fire; John Mellancamp- Paper In Fire; James Taylor- Fire And Rain; Trammps- Disco Inferno; Talking Heads-Burning Down The House.

Fourth, anything to do with death: J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers- Last Kiss; Queen- Another One Bites The Dust and Killer Queen; Paper Lace- The Night Chicago Died; Don McLean- American Pie; Wings- Live And Let Die; Billy Joel- Only The Good Die Young; Bobby Darin- Mack The Knife; Bob Dylan (or Guns and Roses) - Knocking On Heaven's Door; Beatles - A Day In The Life; Alice In Chains- Rooster; Blood Sweat and Tears- And When I Die; Norman Greenbaum- Spirit In The Sky; John Lennon- Imagine.

Fifth, anything to do with airplanes: Beatles- Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds; Phil Collins- In The Air Tonight; CCR- Travellin' Band;  Neil Diamond- America; Elton John- Bennie And The Jets, Daniel, and Rocket Man;Steve Miller- Jet Airliner; John Parr- Man In Motion;  Peter Paul And Mary- Leaving On A Jet Plane; Red Hot Chili Peppers- Aeroplane.

Sixth, missing persons: Three Degrees- When Will I See You Again; Zombies- She's Not There; Lynyrd Skynyrd- Tuesday's Gone; Los Bravos- Black Is Black; Chi-Lites- Have You Seen Her.

Seventh, anything to do with New York City: Ad Libs- Boy From NYC; the Drifters- On Broadway; Martha and the Vandellas- Dancing In The Street; Frank Sinatra- New York, New York.

Eighth-Any title that could possibly be misconstrued: U2-Sunday Bloody Sunday; Van Halen- Jump (but not the Pointer Sisters?) ; Steam- Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye; Pretenders- My City Was Gone; Brooklyn Bridge- Worst That Could Happen; Carole King- I Feel The Earth Move; Dio- Holy Diver; the Clash- Rock the Casbah; Petula Clark- A Sign Of The Times; Black Sabbath- War Pigs; Pat Benatar- Love Is A Battlefield and Hit Me With Your Best Shot; Fontella Bass -Rescue Me; Bangles- Walk Like An Egyptian; Animals- We've Got To Get Out Of This Place; DC5- Bits And Pieces(someone had a sick sense of humor on this one); Surfaris- Wipeout. 

Ninth, demonic mentions- AC/DC - Hell's Bells and Highway To Hell; Elvis, Devil In Disguise; Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels- Devil With The Blue Dress On; Santana- Evil Ways.

And finally, ones I just have to scratch my head over ( as if that isn't the whole list): Cat Stevens- Morning Has Broken and Peace Train; Simon And Garfunkel- Bridge Over Troubled Water; Rolling Stones- Ruby Tuesday; Youngbloods- Get Together; Red Hot Chili Peppers- Under The Bridge; Peter Paul And Mary- Blowing In The Wind; Peter and Gordon- A World Without Love; Ricky Nelson- Travellin' Man; Led Zeppelin- Stairway To Heaven; Kansas -Dust In The Wind; Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother; Shelley Fabres- Johnny Angel; Jackson Browne-Doctor My Eyes; Beatles- Obla-Di-Obla -Da and Ticket To Ride; and the topper of all- both Satchmo's and Sam Cooke's versions of What A Wonderful World.
(Note: consider the entirety of cats 9 and 10 highlighted.)

Shaking your head yet?  Fine. Time to get on with the countdown.

Two songs come into the top ten, two fall out. Dropping are Rhiannon, from 9 to 11, and Fooled Around And Fell In Love, from 8 to 13.

Entering the top ten at 10, up one, are the Stones from the #1 album with Fool To Cry.  Up 4 to #9 are the captain and the ever-lovely Tennille with Shop Around.  Sara Smile moves two to #8 for Hall And Oates.  Henry Gross slips two to 7 with Shannon.  Holding at #6 are Pratt and McLain with Happy days.  Dorothy Moore rises a pair to 5 with Misty Blue.  John Sebastian, leader of the TV theme invasion, slips to #4 with former top dog Welcome Back.  Silver Convention edges up a notch to #3 with Get Up And Boogie.  At #2, up one for Diana Ross and Love Hangover.  And hanging on to the top spot for a second week-

...Wings and Silly Love Songs!!

Okay, that's another week in the can, folks.  Until next time, beware airplanes, fires, and signs of the times, okay?


  1. That does take me back:) I was 4 in 1976, and my mom LOVED Paul McCartney.

    As per the 9/11 songs, check out "When the Walls came Tumbling Down" by Def Leppard...I heard it a few years ago..that would have probably made the list if it were more well known...

  2. What a walk down memory lane! I was born in '83, so I grew up on this stuff. My favorite song of all time: GNR - Sweet Child Of Mine.

  3. CWM:
    I LOVED that Tavares song...used to always dance with this ONE girl whenever THAT song came on, because that's the way I felt about that got away...(sighs)

    Still have my THIN LIZZY LPs...Phil Linnott was great!

    I was attending a Philly police function, and it was right after the MOVE event (incendiary device dropped on a roof at the mayor's orders...burned the whole block) and they played YOU DROPPED A BOMB ON ME...we all started laughing at that one.
    (not the reason you think)

    Boston - SMOKIN...EXCELLENT!
    Ditto for BOC!

    Only the good die young...was the "theme song" for our four musketeers back

    America...STILL a fantastic song.

    S&G's "Bridge" was the #1 song the year we, it's got some meaning for me.

    And I really loved Misty Blue.

    Alrighty now...I'm off to hummin' and whistlin' for the weekend!

    Thanks for the trip...enjoyed every minute!

    Stay safe up there.

  4. I would like to invite you to read a special gift from the wilderness Rev 12:6...Not one child of God will be put in a hell fire no matter what their sins. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing and I prove it by the word of God at The true Gospel (Gospel means Good Tale) now delivered Rev 12:5, 13 sets all free as a witness.