Let me open (after a swig of blueberry juice) with a snippet of the MHOF. If you were here before, you know I divided the first three classes into categories, and the first is "Big Names". Those honored in those first three classes were: The Beatles, the Stones, the Who, the Eagles, Chicago, the Moody Blues, the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons, the Animals, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, and the Monkeys. I add two to that list this time around.
With 37 top 40 singles and 3 #1s- Neil Diamond!
And, with 17 top 40s and one top dog, along with a lot of great stuff before they became "top 40 material", Genesis!
We have 8 debuts on the hot hundred this week, two worth noting- at #92, Arnold G. Dorsey- AKA Englebert Humperdink- with After The Loving. And at 80, the man who brought us Long Tall Glasses, Leo Sayer with You Make Me Feel Like Dancing ( which I'd have to say for me, this song never did). Happy 35th birthday, you two! The rest of the birthday crew this week:
Turning 40, John Lennon's Imagine; Isaac Hayes' Theme From Shaft; and Bread's Baby I'm-A Want You.
Turning 45, the Loving Spoonful's Rain On The Roof.
Turning 50, the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, with I'll Be Seeing You.
And turning 55 this week, Elvis with Love Me Tender. Isn't it amazing that we seem to have a King reference every week? Blow out the candles...
The big dropper this week was John Handy's Hard Work, a former WATN featuree, dropping 14 spots to 76. Rod Stewart claims the big mover this week, climbing 25 to #45 with Tonight's The Night.
And speaking of the Where Are They Now feature, once again we have a slight problem. Newbies, I always TRY to do this to the #49 song, but I've found that picking one number (at least this one) can cause some problems, i.e. repetition. This week we have a song that hit 49 both on the way up and on the way down- Wings with the former top dog Let 'Em In. So for a second straight week we move down a notch to 50, and there we find the Ohio Players with Who'd She Coo? on the way down. The Ohio Players, who eventually became a vast ensemble, were based on 4 core members. Sax player Clarence Satchell died in 1995; Trumpet/trombone man Ralph Middlebrooks passed in 1997; vocalist Robert Ward died Christmas Day, 2008; and Marshall Jones is surviving, living in Jamestown OH.
The next MHOF category is male soloist; the first waves inducted Elvis, Barry Manilow, Roy Orbison, Paul McCartney, John Denver, and BJ Thomas. Joining them, with 35 top 40s and 2 #1s, Rick Nelson!
We dip into our #1s of other years feature now, and we are in the sixes this week. In 1996, Cashbox was now doing a bi-weekly chart, and was about a month away from folding. The #1 song was Donna Lewis' I Love You Always Forever. In 1986, the top dog this week was Janet Jackson's When I Think Of You. 1976? Wait'll the end! 1966 this week the top dog was the Four Tops' Reach Out I'll Be There; and the top dog this week in 1956 was, from the middle of Elvis' tremendous run that year, Don't Be Cruel.
Next on the MHOF is female soloists (or acts). Last time we inducted the Supremes, Dionne Warwick, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, Carole King, and the Carpenters (sorry Richard, but Karen was the voice). This time, we add two. With 18 top 40s and a #1, Linda Ronstadt; and with 9 top 40s (is that all? It sure seemed a lot more) and 2 #1s, the Captain and Tenille!
Three songs enter the top 40 this week. At 37, up 13, is Ringo Starr's A Dose Of Rock And Roll (which we featured on WATN last time); at 34, up 8, the Spinners with Rubberband Man; and at 32, up 14, another recent featuree, Barry DeVorzon and Perry Botkin Jr with Nadia's Theme, AKA the Young And The Restless Theme.
Next up on the MHOF is the Not-So-R&R category. Past inductees under this banner included crooners Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams, as well as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. This time, we veer off into the Christian realm to pick an amazing singer and amazing human being, taken far too soon from us in a 1982 plane crash. He posted four great Christian lps- For Him Who Has Ears To Hear (voted 5th on the all time Christian album list); No Compromise; So Ya Wanna Go Back To Egypt (which he mortgaged his house to release on his own so that he could "sell" it for free, and it sold 200,000 copies and was ranked 49th on the top 100 Christian lps list); and Songs For The Shepard, as well as a Collection lp. With NO top 40 hits and NO #1s, Keith Green!
And now, as we finally watch Frampton Comes Alive! begin to sink into the sunset, we have a new #1 album- Stevie Wonder's Songs In The Key Of Life. His greatest masterpiece almost did not happen. He was so disgusted with the government in the USA, he was planning on forsaking music to go work with physically challenged kids in Ghana, a noble pursuit. But Motown backed up an armored car to his door, along with a seven-year, full creative license deal. And like I suspect most of these "occupy" protesters would, he decided on the greater good and went to work. Nine months, two unforeseen delays, and free t-shirts from Motown reading "It's Almost Finished!" later, Songs debuted at #1- something only Elton John had done before, with Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy and Rock Of The Westies. And it held that spot for 13 weeks (so, we won't be seeing another new lp profile until January!), spawning singles Another Star (with George Benson on guitar, reaching #32), As (which featured Herbie Hancock and hit #36), and the 2 #1s, I Wish and Sir Duke. Michael Sembelo (who did the song Maniac from Flashdance) played on a few cuts, and Minnie Ripperton and Denice Williams did some background work.
Next category in the MHOF is Personal favorites. Past inductees here are ELO, the Guess Who, and Kiss. This time, with 8 top 40s, Boz Scaggs, and with 13 top 40s and a #1, Bread!
Two songs enter the top ten this week, two fall out. Dropping are Shake Your Booty (7 to 17) and Getaway (10 to 18).
Rather than break up the top ten twice, here is our last MHOF category- oldies but goodies. Last time we inducted the Coasters, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, and the fan-nominated Jimmy Dean. This time, with 20 top 40s and 3 #1s to his credit, Neil Sedaka! And there you have the new class of the MHOF!
Coming into the top ten in the leadoff spot, up 2, is Steve Miller and Rock'n Me. Also up two to enter the ten at #9, Heart with Magic Man. At #8, edging up a spot, are the Bay City Rollers with I Only Wanna Be With You. This brings back memories of listening to WMEE's nightly top ten, because this song, along with Kiss' Beth and Detroit Rock City, were constantly battling for the top spot. At 7, moving up one, is Hall and Oates with She's Gone, in it's 24th week on the chart. Which reminds me that the new resident of the grandpa chair ( in a week where 8 songs have 20+ weeks on the chart, including two in the top ten) is Kiss And Say Goodbye, back at #57, with 26 weeks. (So much for not interrupting the top ten, eh?) The next two songs hold their spots from last week- Still The One at 6 for Orleans and Devil Woman at #5 for Cliff Richard. Newly minted MHOFer Boz Scaggs slips to 4 this week with Lowdown.
And at #3, we have our six degrees contestant, Walter Murphy and the non-existent Big Apple Band (which was just to give the song the "vibe" of a group, until the record company found out there really was a Big Apple Band and dropped the name) and A Fifth Of Beethoven. Murphy's first job out of high school was as an arranger for Doc Severenson and the Tonight Show Band (AKA the NBC Orchestra). Among the many credits for Severenson (which amazingly included no involvement on anything that ever hit the top 40), was scoring the movie with what has to be the dumbest premise of all time:
That leaves us with the top 2 this week in 1976. At #2 is Chicago with If You Leave Me Now, up from 4. and the new #1 song:
Rick Dees and his cast of Idiots with Disco Duck! Rick claims it "took an hour to write and three months to find anyone willing to perform it". So with the announcement of our new top
dog duck, we conclude this week's slog through the magical year 1976. Tune in tomorrow for the great Sixties Countdown, and be back here next week. Maybe we'll find an even dumber movie to talk about (though somehow, I'm skeptical...).