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


Friday, December 9, 2011

Better late than never... Step into my time machine week 85

Before we kick this thing off, a blog pimping for According To Jewels, whose lovely proprietor has gifted me with a very nice HAND CRAFTED post card as part of the oft-mentioned Great Postcard Campaign.  And I DON'T CARE that it wasn't a "manly card"- it was festive and nice, and Scrappy liked it since he was called cute!

Also, we are late because a chronal stabilizing bascillicus went bad on me last night (or because 50% I've been under the weather and 50% I had to work today, whichever you prefer).

Anyway, let us proceed to 1976, where we will be landing just ahead of two notable music events.  6 days before target date, in a concert attempt to unite warring factions in Jamaica called Smiling Jamaica, Bob Marley found himself at the wrong end of some guns.  His wife and manager survived serious injuries, but he was okay and 2 days later went ahead with the concert, though the Wailers had ran to cover and he was backed up by Zap Pow.  "The people who are trying to make the world worse aren't taking a day off, "  he said. "How can I?"  And the day before we land, the music world was shook as it had rarely been before- that was the day the Eagles released Hotel California.  (And that should be a big, glaring clue to what this week's high debut will be!)

(Special shoehorned-in note:  The teaser for six degrees is: watch as I connect the Bee Gees to... the Bee Gees!)

Speaking of those debuts on the hot 100, there were eleven, and we will note six of them.  Kansas enters the public consciousness at #91 with Carry On Wayward Son.  One of my personal favorites, Al Stewart comes in at #85 with Year Of The Cat.  (Al is at his best with historical songs;  you really should youtube The Palace Of Versailles.) ABBA breaks here with Dancing Queen at 79; just one spot above is Barbara Streisand with the theme to the movie A Star Is Born, henceforth to be referred to by it's actual name, Evergreen.  At long last, my favorite song by Heart comes into the countdown- the title track to the lp Dreamboat Annie, at # 74.  And have you figured out who debuted way up at 57 this week?  Sure you did.  The Eagles' lead single off Hotel, New Kid In Town.

With these six having 35th birthdays, let,s look at the other birthdays this week.  Turning 40, Harry Nilsson's oft-covered Without You.  A trio turning 45- The Monkees' (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone; the Royal Guardsmen's Snoopy And The Red Baron; and the lovely Judith Durham and the Seekers with Georgie Girl.  A classic turns fifty- the King's Can't Help Falling In Love With You.  And turning 60, "Poor ol'" Johnnie Ray and Cry.  Blow out the candles...

The Big dropper this week is former top dog If You Leave Me Now, falling 28 spots to 58.  And, sigh, the big mover is once again in the top 40.

Which means we stop off at #49 and the Where Are They Now segment.  And at 49 is a band which, as they say, needs no introduction- the Beatles with Ob La Di, Ob La Da.  Now most people who might have any interest in our program know well and good where the Fab Four are now (All John Lennon Imagine jokes aside), so I thought, what about the two lads who were original, if short-lived Beatles?  The first, Stuart Sutcliffe, who left the band to pursue his art career, died just months later.  The other was drummer Pete Best.  Pete got the golden toe from the Beatles for a variety of reasons (kept out of group activities, Paul was jealous, drumming was subpar, and a list of allied excuses), and it put him into a depression that made him a virtual hermit for two weeks, and led to him having to be talked out of suicide.  But getting off the roller coaster led to a big blessing in his life- 2 years later he married his wife of over 45 years, Kathy.  They have 2 daughters and 4 grandkids.  In the mean time, he retired from performing in 1968- until persuaded to return in the late eighties.  He still tours with the latest incarnation of the Pete Best Band, which includes vocalist Tony Flynn, who was vocalist for unofficial (and litigation destroyed) versions of both Steppenwolf and Deep Purple.  They released the Beatles-esque lp Haymans Green in 2007 to good reviews.

Five new top 40 hits, leading off with reunited Bread climbing 9 to #40 with Lost Without Your Love.  Up 16 to #39 is Mary MacGregor with a song that proves the proverb about a bird in the hand, Torn Between Two Lovers.  At 31, up ten, is Aerosmith's Walk This Way.  Racing up the chart 14 spots (not surprisingly, since it is from the lp A Day At The Races) is Queen with Somebody To Love.  And our big mover of the week, up 18 spots from where it debuted in the hot 100 last week, is Stevie Wonder's I Wish at #28.

 Now it's our new segment when I pull a song from this week in history.  Actually, I pull 4 songs up with one tug, and they all have one man in common.  Canadian tenor Henry Burr, born Harry Haley McCaskey, and recording under more pseudonyms than I care to recount, was one of the more popular, and most prolific, artists of the early twentieth century.  He estimated that he recorded some 12,000 songs, and was one of the top recording acts prior to the rock'n'roll era. We feature him this week, because according to Josh Hostler's site, he was #1 this week in 1906 with Love Me And The World Is Mine.  And in 1910 with Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland.  And in 1919 with Oh What A Pal Was Mary.  And if that's not enough, he was the leader of the Columbia Male Quartet, who were at #1 this week in 1907 with Let Me Call You Sweetheart.  I sampled Oh What A Pal Was Mary- this guy could flat sing.

Two songs enter the top ten, two fall out.  The droppers are More Than A Feeling (4 to 16) and You Are The Woman (8 to 18).

Speaking of falling out, when will it happen to She's Gone?  After 32 weeks, it hangs onto a top forty spot this week still at 37, a drop of just 4.

Two of those "faves of mine" make the top ten this week.  The first, and likely my #1 for the week (had I been doing my top ten yet), is England Dan and John Ford Coley with Nights Are Forever Without You, moving 2 spots to #10.  Holding at 9 is Alice Cooper's I Never Cry.  The other debut comes in at 8, a three-notch climb for Burton Cummings with Stand Tall.  Nadia's Theme begins its trek to where the Young and Restless lay, dropping 2 to #7.  Jumping 4 big notches to #6 are the Two Dimensions, er, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, with You Don't Have To Be A Star.  Going from #7 to # 5 is Leo Sayer's You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.  The Spinners are the last climbers, going north 2 spots to #4 with The Rubberband Man.  And that brings us to our six degrees victim.

Love So Right, holding this week at #3, was off the Bee Gees album Children Of The World.  As usual on Bee Gees albums of the era, the keyboardist was one Blue Weaver.  Among his many accomplishments was the scoring of the new-wave film Times Square.  This movie spawned a two disc soundtrack featuring such new wave acts as Suzy Quatro, the Pretenders, Roxy Music, Gary Numan, the Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, and the Patty Smith Group.  Also on this soundtrack was a Robin Gibb/Blue Weaver song called Help Me! which was sung by Robin and a lady named (at the time) Marcy Levy.  Levy(who would ironically change her name years later to Marcella Detroit) had started her musical career with Bob Seger, and moved on to Eric Clapton's entourage.  (Not surprisingly; it seems like 90% of the six degrees spots go through either Slowhand or the Beach Boys.)  She co wrote Lay Down Sally, and was one of the two female vocals therein; the other being the great love I never had, Yvonne Elliman.  Yvonne, of course, got her greatest props for If I Can't Have You off of Saturday Night Fever; but if the writers had had it their way instead of producer Robert Stigwood, she would have had an even bigger one- she was supposed to have been the one to sing How Deep Is Your Love, instead of...  the Bee Gees.

So if you've been paying attention to any top ten the past three weeks, you know what comes next- Captain and Tenille with Muskrat Love at #2 (again) and at #1 (again)... Rod Stewart with Tonight's The Night.

Wow, done, in the can!  Be back sometime tomorrow (since Saturday OT got axed) for the Great Seventies Countdown.  And in the mean time could someone, for pity's sake tell me why that EACH AND EVERY TIME I use spellcheck on Blogger, no matter if I comb the post with a fine tooth comb afterwards and find all in order, HALF A PARAGRAPH DISSAPPEARS!!!  I may kill someone if I don't find out.  I definately will if I do.


  1. 1976 was probably one of my best years. I came into my own, started working, discovered what I liked (lots of boys) and the music was so outstanding! There's no favorite from your list. They are all #1 hits to me. Great post (as usual).

  2. CWM:
    Always LOVED Nilsson's WITHOUT YOU...I can realte to that one.
    Also loved STAND TALL.

    Believe it or not, I did like the Spinners RUBBERBAND MAN...catchy tune.)And those commercials they had one a few years back got it goin' again...for a time.

    Bread's LOST WITHOUT YOUR of MY favorites (have the original vinyl on that LP)

    And if anyone could sell a tearjerker, it WAS...Johnny Ray (who I recall had a hearing deficit)...who knew?
    (unless I'm thinkin' of ANOTHER Johnny Ray)

    Excellent ride this week!

    Stay safe up thre.