I remember a few weeks ago talking about a part of my life coming full circle with my watching of Valley Of The Dolls. This week, I hit another such event. As a child I sat with mom and watched the Andy Williams show- part for the music and comedy, but mostly to see "the bear" try to scam Andy out of a cookie and Andy always replying "Not now, not ever, NEVER!" As a teenager just a couple years this side of our target date, I made what I always called my greatest deal of all time- my sister got two Nat King Cole lps and an Andy Williams that my mom had bought on some K-Tel deal for my sister's Steppenwolf- the eponymous first album with Born To Be Wild.
Today, I played my new The Very Best of Andy Williams. As the last strains of Happy Heart faded away, I knew I had come to another full circle- and wondered how many are left to me. You see, it occurs to me that some people's lives are so short that their "full circle " might seem one of those strings we tie to a finger to remember something. Other's lives might be like a full size Christmas wreath. And some might be like the woven crown of thorns pressed down upon the One who came to save them. For me, it's a constant fear that instead of finishing a legacy, my last full-circle will be the end of fate, dying like my mom did at the age of 54. (or sooner, if the Death Clock is right!) And again I echo the thought- how many more full-circles have I left?
Out of the morbid musings of Martin and onto Time Machine, where each week we go back 35 years to scan the charts of the music where I lived- or, more precisely, when I lived. (Kinda paraphrasing Elvis Costello from Veronica- It was all of 35 years ago, when the world was the street where I lived...) This week we look at the many Harbor lights, the "new" single by Sam and Dave's backup band, the connection between Steve Miller and the Crystals, and a new top dog.
Also, don't forget that Saturday brings us the end of the Great Sixties Countdown!!!!
13 songs join the hot 100 this week. They include: Mary MacGregor's Torn Between Two Lovers at 98; The Jacksons' comeback Enjoy Yourself at 91; and Kenny Nolan's I Like Dreamin' at 87. Country fans will remember the song that comes in at 84- 9,999,999 Tears by Dickie Lee, a country legend by virtue of writing the #1 She Thinks I Still Care by George Jones in 1962, and a pop star by virtue of a song which at least one person in this room will remember- his 1965 hit Laurie (Strange Things Happen). Finally, the high debut belongs to a song recorded in 1968- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (which hit #1 in Australia, Austria, Switzerland, and Japan in 1969) by the Beatles, which comes in at 82.
Other birthday songs include Jonathon Edwards' Sunshine turning 40, Donovan's Mellow Yellow and Sinatra's That's Life turning 45, and Nat King Cole's Unforgettable (part of that Steppenwolf deal) turning 60 this week. Blow out the candles...
The big Dropper this week is one we mentioned when it hit the top 40 about a month ago- Diana Ross' One Love In My Lifetime, falling 20 to #89. The big mover just misses its top 40 debut- Brick's Dazz, up 19 to #41.
This week, we're back in the 0's on the look at #1s of other years, and my love streak with the 1990's entrant ends at one week. This time it's (gag) Vanilla Ice with (choke) Ice Ice Baby. In 1980 this week it was Barbra Streisand (with a healthy dose of Barry Gibb) and Woman In Love. The 1970 top dog was The Carpenters (with a song we just heard tonight on my Andy Williams CD) and We've Only Just Begun. The Drifters ruled 1960 this week with Save The Last Dance For Me. And Cashbox has the #1 song this week in 1950 as Harbor Lights. So does Billboard for that matter, but it's a little more complicated. You see, as I've said before, Cashbox used to just lump every version of the song currently out into one entry. On Billboard, however, there were six competing versions out from August of '50 till November, and five of them were on the charts at this point. The Sammy Kaye Orchestra had the biggest hit, reaching #1; Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians hit #2; Bing Crosby made it to #10; Ray Anthony's Orchestra reached #15; and Ralph Flanagan's group made it to #27.
Our Where Are They Now victim at #49 is ZZ Top's It's Only Love. ZZ Top for 99% of their career have been three men: Billy Gibbons; Dusty Hill; and Frank Beard ( the one who doesn't wear a beard, natch). They recently set a new record with their, er, new record this summer. Thanks to Michael Fossum, commander of expedition 29 on the International Space Station, Flyin' High became the first song first heard in space. They are also working on a new album, unnamed at this point and looking at a release date of February or March of next year. Billy, in addition to a recurring role on CBS TV's Bones, lends his name to the BFG line of -wait for it- BBQ sauces. Dusty had an extra 15 minutes of fame when it was revealed in 2007 that he in fact is the cousin of Hank Hill from King Of The Hill. Frank is based out of his Top 40 Ranch in Richmond, TX, where he has local fame as a scratch golfer.
WATN feature, the Little River Band moves three to #38 with It's A Long Way There. ELO jumps 17 to #37 with Livin' Thing. And last week's high debut/WATN feature, Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, soars 16 spots to 33.
Two songs blast into the top ten this week; two drop out. One is our defending Grandpa's chair winner, She's Gone, falling from 6 to 16 after 28 non-contiguous weeks. The other is Don't Fear The Reaper, down from 7 to 17.
The top 10 leads off with ABBA's Fernando holding at 10; former top dog If You Leave Me Now by Chicago drops 5 to #9. The Bee Gees come in at #8, up 3, with Love So Right. Kiss moves up 2 to #7 with Beth. Boston climbs 2 to #6 with More Than A Feeling; and Rod Stewart shoots up 9 from #14 to #5 with Tonight's The Night. Disco Duck squawks down 2 to #4; and that brings us to our six degrees victim.
Last week's #1, Rock'n Me, is the second of 3 big hit singles from the lp Fly Like An Eagle by the Steve Miller Band. Not one of those hits was the cover of Sam Cooke's You Send Me- which obviously leads us to Cheech and Chong (???). A section of the track Championship Wrestling from Cheech and Chong's Wedding Album found its way into the break in Miller's You Send Me. But in looking over America's favorite dopers, I found something more interesting on the lp Los Cochinos. That being the song Basketball Jones Featuring Tyrone Shoelaces. Among the musicians and singers who lent their talents to this classic in the rough were George Harrison, Carole King, Billy Preston, and the Blossoms, a vocal group fronted by Darlene Love whose greatest claim to fame was being "the Crystals" when the real Crystals were feuding with producer Phil Spector ( and we ALL know what happens when you feud with Phil Spector...). Whilst the real group sat in a snit at Mr. Spector, the Blossoms became the Crystals on the #1 hit He's A Rebel. So, I guess in addition to being a Joker, a Smoker, a Midnight Toker, Steve Miller's also a Rebel. So to speak.
Our #2 song, moving up a strong 3 notches, is the Captain and Toenail with Muskrat Love; and that means that, crashing into the #1 slot, is...
Gordon Lightfoot, with The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald!
That's it for another trip, guys. Hope you enjoyed, and see ya next time!