No, no, an "Ed Sullivan" kind of Shooooe! The sh!t ( actually a bunch of songs) hits the fan (actually the top 40); The look back segment proves you'll never know just who you'll find; what do the movies Raging Bull and Coal Miner's Daughter have to do with our Where Are They Now song (clue; nothing to do with Loretta Lynn); and I got a really cool surprise in the birthday segment. Are you excited? No? Well grab an expresso, chug it down, and let's go!!!!!!!
In case you've been absent or snoozing the last few weeks, the ballgame has changed. We now are doing this week in 1970. And in this week in 1970, 12 songs spent their first week in the hot 100 (thus this is their 42nd birthday). I see four of them of note. Coming in at #96 is the soulful Mr. Tyrone Davis with (If I Could) Turn Back The Hands Of Time. At 86 for you Nashvillians, we have the classic Marty Robbins hit My Woman, My Woman, My Wife. For the Beach Boys junkies like myself, Add Some Music To Your Day comes in at #71. And rounding out the field at #66, the Friends Of Distinction (Now, were they distinctive friends, or did they know some guy named distinction?) with Love Or Let Me Be Lonely, a highly underrated song which was also good when the late Paul Davis re-did it in 1982.
Which means it's time for this week's birthdays. Turning 30 this week are a couple of #1s- Rick Springfield's Don't Talk To Strangers (side note: when this came out, my nephew and niece that I hung out with had an adorable little cousin who always changed the title line to Don't Talk To Poopies. Hard to believe he's got adorable little poopies of his own now), along with the Human League's Don't You Want Me. Turning 35 are the Eagles Hotel California, KC and the Sunshine Band's I'm Your Boogie Man, and Rose Royce's I Wanna Get Next To You (which I always loved much more than Car Wash). Turning 40 this week are Michael Jackson's cover of Rockin' Robin, Elton John's beautiful Tiny Dancer, Gallery's Nice To Be With You, Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, and one more which I'm holding out for a few moments. Western Union by the 5 Americans turns 45 this week, and Fats Domino's I'm Walkin' turns the big double-nickel. Before you "blow out the candles", here's a special treat- a recent live version of the OTHER song that turned 40...
The Guess Who and Heartbroken Bopper. I sure wish Burton would have a little more fun at his job!
The big dropper this week is former top ten I'll Never Fall In Love Again, plummeting 27 spots down to #52. The big gainer is a top 40 debut, so keep yer shirt on.
Our WATN winner at #50 this week is a tune called Rag Mama Rag by the Band. The collection of former back-ups to Ronny Hawkins and Bob Dylan hit the big time with songs like The Weight and Up On Cripple Creek. They broke up in 1976 after the celebrated concert film The Last Waltz, but some incarnation resumed the road from 1983 until 1999. That was when Bassist Rick Danko died in his sleep from drug-induced heart failure. Nor is he the only original to have passed this veil- Richard Manuel, who had fought his way back from addiction for a brief moment only to falter after former manager and mentor Albert Grossman died suddenly, hung himself in his hotel room whilst the band was on tour in Orlando in 1986. The remaining members- Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, and Robbie Robertson, are still active (albeit seperately) in the biz. Levon has had a bit of an acting career as well, notably playing Loretta Lynn's papa in Coal Miner's Daughter; while Robbie has kept the close ties with The Last Waltz director Martin Scorsese, writing scores for movies such as Raging Bull.
Ye Gods! No fewer than eight songs debut in the top forty this week, not counting one (Street Peoples' Jennifer Tompkins) that fell out and came back in. At #39 are Glenn Campbell and Bobbi Gentry with All I Have To Do Is Dream, climbing 9 spots. At 38, up 8, are the Grass Roots with Walking Through The Country. The Polish Prince, Bobby Vinton, comes in after a 5 notch climb to #37 with My Elusive Dreams. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition come in at 36, up 7, with Something's Burning. Up 9 to #35 is a beautiful song by the Originals called The Bells, written and produced by Marvin Gaye. The group had earlier fame singing backup on such classics as What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted, For Once In My Life, and War. Gayle McCormick and her group Smith enter the 40 at 34, up 11 spots, with Take A Look Around. Smith is best known for their previous year's cover of Baby It's You, which hit #5.
Sucker for a pretty face that I am... AHEM. I still have two more top 40 debuts. John Lennon and whatever incarnation of his "Plastic Ono Nuclear Band" he was going by at the time is our big mover, up 27 spots to #32 with Instant Karma (We All Shine On). And at 31, up 21 of their own, is Three Dog Night with Celebrate.
When I looked into this date's #1s in history ( that would sound neat with the echo effect I was just imagining), I noticed that Glenn Miller's Orchestra had three straight number ones on this date- 1940's In The Mood, 1941's Song Of The Volga Boatmen, and 1942's Moonlight Cocktail. So I did a little digging, and found that Mr. Miller hit #1 22 times- but then another little entry caught my eye. He played on a song recorded by Clark Randall's Orchestra called When Icky Morgan Plays The Organ. It was a cute little tune, and had a funny name, but the spot that made me look twice was that Clark Randall was the pseudonym for one Frank Tennille- you guessed it, proud papa of Toni Tennille. Amazing the stuff that tumbles your way when you just open your eyes.
Two notes before we hit the top ten. An almost but not quite shoutout to BB King, who drops from a peak of #15 to 19 this week with The Thrill Is Gone. (Not for us it isn't, BB!) The other, is our man in the grandpa chair, BJ Thomas and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, drops out of the top ten in its 20th week on the hot 100; falling not on my head, but from #9 to #27.
Shocking Blue takes a shocking blow (well, not really, but it sounded good), falling from #8 to 10 with Venus. The previously featured Guess Who slip from 4 to 9 with No Time. Up 2 to that #8 spot are Tee Set with Ma Belle Ami. Zooming into the top ten after a six-notch climb to #7 are Donnie Iris and the Jaggerz with The Rapper. CCR moves up a notch to #6 with Travellin' Band. Former top dog Sly Stone slips a pair to #5 with Thank You etc., etc. The Temptations move up one to number four with Psychedelic Shack. Brook Benton's Rainy Night In Georgia shoots up 3 to #3. And that brings us to our six degrees victim.
Eddie Holman's Hey There Lonely Girl (which holds at #2) was originally Hey There Lonely Boy by Ruby and the Romantics. Famous for Our Day Will Come, they hit #27 in 1963 with their version. Another of their songs made famous by someone else was Hurting Each Other, which the Carpenters took to #2 in the early 70's (yes, I forgot to write the year down!). Another band that covered Hurting Each Other was Chad Allen and the Expressions, who were a Burton Cummings away from being the Guess Who. They took the song to #19 in Canada in 1966. Soon Chad went off to be a solo act; but when Randy Bachman emerged from his Mormon-conversion-caused retirement from music, Chad joined him in a band called Brave Belt. BB had a smattering of minor hits up north, including the #35 Crazy Arms, Crazy Eyes. Again, Chad found a reason to leave; and with a few new members and a new record label, Brave Belt III, which was to be their last album, became the first lp for Bachman-Turner Overdrive. BTO included a couple of songs familiar to those of us who played the tape outta Greatest Hits; Gimme My Money Please (which hit #70 when re-issued in 1976) and Blue Collar (#68).
Finally, we have a returning champ at #1- that's right, a second straight week at #1 for Simon and Garfunkel and Bridge Over Troubled Water!!
Das is all!! see you tomorrow for the seventies countdown!