Friday, March 16, 2012
Time Machine Week 7
March 16th, 1970: After being in a coma since the eighth surgery on a brain tumor failed in January, Tammi Terrell died. Though her shortened life cost her a chance at solo success, she partnered with Marvin Gaye on 7 top 40 hits, and four top tens.
On the sad subject of death, Doobie Brother Michael Hossack died Monday from cancer. Hossack was one of the two drummers (John Hartman was the other) who played on the Doobers’ first 3 lps: Toulouse Street (Listen To The Music, Jesus Is Just Alright, Rocking Down The Highway), The Captain And Me (Long Train Running, China Grove, South City Midnight Lady), and What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (Black Water, Another Park Another Sunday, Eyes Of Silver). He rejoined the reformed band in 1987 and, except for his recovery time from a serious motorcycle accident, was with them until his final illness took him off the road in 2010.
And now, on to the happier aspects of TM, including 4 new top ten songs, a hot 100 debut inside the top 40 (and one that just missed), doing the funky chicken with Guy Lombardo (well, not really, but they are both here), and we take a bridge over troubled waters to Duran Duran’s last song. Hop in, I’ve had the asbestos and mold remediated!
A whopping eighteen songs make their top 100 debut this week, including four of note: Rare Earth comes in at 99 with Get Ready; The Poppy Family, with Terry Jack's’ soon to be ex Susan, with Which Way You Goin’, Billy?; WAAAAAY up at 43, the Jackson Five with ABC; and, as I said, one more awaits INSIDE the top 40 (as if I don’t have enough problems with our “big movers” up there). Happy 42nd birthday, guys!
Joining them on our birthday list this week: turning 30, Willie Nelson’s Always On My Mind; turning 35, Boz Skaggs’ Lido Shuffle, Marshall Tucker’s Heard It In A Love Song, and Kiss’ Calling Doctor Love. At 40 years old, Jackson Browne’s Doctor My Eyes and Led Zep’s Rock And Roll; at 45, the Four Tops’ Bernadette, Simon and Garfunkel’s At The Zoo; and the Hollies’ On A Carousel. Which brings up a curiosity- also turning 30 this week is a cover of this same song by a band called Glass Moon. They were at first a Genesis-styled progressive rock band, breaking up in 1977, only to reform the next year. If you have the chance, youtube this song; I listened to it twice, and immediately fell in love. Anyhow, turning the big 5-0 this week are Elvis’ Good Luck Charm, the Shirelles’ Soldier Boy, Mr. Acker Bilk’s Stranger On The Shore, Jay and the F’ing Americans’ She Cried, and Ernie Maresca’s Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out); and turning 55, The Diamonds’ Little Darlin’, and Little Richard with Lucille. Blow out the candles…
Since we have those two extremely high debuts, I feel I should mention that our “big movers” section is limited to movement WITHIN the countdown. That said, we had two songs tying with a drop of 38 notches this week; last week’s WATN featuree, Rag Mama Rag by the Band falling to 88, and Joe South’s Walk A Mile In My Shoes dropping to 58. I thought we were going to have a top 40 big mover, but that candidate got overtook by Neil Diamond’s Shiloh, which shoots up 31 notches to #49.
We take a look back in time on this date and find that Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians were at #1 three times- in 1931 with By The River Ste. Marie; in 1932 with Too Many Tears; and in 1939 with Penny Serenade. As amazing on the charts as Guy was (119 top tens, 24 #1s, between 1 and 3 HUNDRED MILLION records sold), I found the leader of the “Sweetest music this side of heaven” more amazing that he was a champion Hydroplane speedboat racer. He won the Gold Cup in 1946, and was national champion from 1946-9. In 1959, he crashed the Tempo Alcoa at 250+ MPH, after which he wisely retired.
Our Where Are They Now feature at #50 this week is one Rufus Thomas with his Do The Funky Chicken. Rufus was involved in music early, and recorded his first song on 78 in 1943. He was a long time on-air personality on WDIA in Memphis, a black themed station (maybe the first). He had 4 top 40 hits, including 1963’s Walking The Dog, which hit #10. Ironically, his daughter Carla had hit #10 2 years before with Gee Whiz (Look At HIs Eyes). He also nearly singlehandedly bankrupted Sun Records when his single Bear Cat- an answer to the original recording of Hound Dog, 3 years before Elvis did it, by Big Mama Thornton- got sued for copyright infringement. An artist who “only recorded when he had something to record”, he was often backed up by Booker T. and the MGs and the Bar-Kays. Rufus died of heart failure in 2001 at the age of 84.
Six songs make their top 40 debuts this week. At 38, up 9, is Tommy Roe with Stir It Up And Serve It (obviously not a Bond fan, here). At 37, up 5, is Tommy James and the Shondells with Gotta Get Back To You. Climbing ten to #35 is Badfinger with their debut single Come And Get It. Our high debut on the hot 100 comes in at #32- the Beatles and Let It Be. Junior Walker and the All-Stars, WATN Featuree from two weeks ago, makes it into the top 40 at 30, up 11, with Gotta Hold On To This Feeling. And making a 26-notch jump to #27 is Norman Greenbaum and Spirit In The Sky. While we’re in the neighborhood of #40, I’ll mention that grandpa chair holder Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head spends its 21st week on the hot 100 there.
Four, count ‘em four, debuts in the top ten, which mean four have to exit. Psychedelic Shack goes from 4 to 16; Thank You Fallettenme etc. drops from 5 to 17; No Time falls from 9 to 21; and Venus drops from 10 to 23. All ashore that’s going ashore…
Elvis blasts into the ten, jumping 7 spots to #10 with Kentucky Rain. The Chairmen Of The Board move into the #9 spot, up 5, with Give Me Just A Little More Time. The Hollies shoot up 10 big notches to #8 with He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Moving up 4 to #7 is Santana with Evil Ways. Tee Set moves up 2 to #6 with Ma Belle Ami. CCR edges up one to #5 with Travelling Band. Eddie Holman slips a pair to #4 with Hey There Lonely Girl. The Jaggerz climb 4 big spots to #3 with The Rapper. Brook Benton assumes the runner-up slot, climbing one with Rainy Night In Georgia. And that brings us to our #1 song in its third week- and our six degrees victim.
Paul Simon wrote Bridge Over Troubled Waters while partner Art Garfunkel was filming Catch-22.The movie featuring the irascible Yossarian was Art’s first film, as it was for Bob Balaban, who also starred in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, as well as Midnight Cowboy. That movie, known for the theme by Harry Nilsson Everybody’s Talking, was scored by John Barry, who was known for his scores of the James Bond movies. He joined with Duran Duran to write the theme to A View To A Kill, the only Bond theme to hit #1. Simon Le Bon says of the collaboration:
"He didn't really come up with any of the basic musical ideas. He heard what we came up with and he put them into an order. And that's why it happened so quickly because he was able to separate the good ideas from the bad ones, and he arranged them. He has a great way of working brilliant chord arrangements. He was working with us as virtually a sixth member of the group, but not really getting on our backs at all."
This was the last track recorded by Duran Duran until they got back together in 2001 after a 16-year separation.
Okay, that’s it for this trip! See you tomorrow on the seventies countdown!