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

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Time machine week 28

Before we get started- I got a response from Elkhart County Parks about the snafus at Bonneyville dam.  As it was e-mailed to me, I have posted it in the comments.  That's just one post ago, folks, so go check out her response, and my reply.  Like I told her, in a world where most entities just shrug off such comments, it showed class for her to e-mail back, and I appreciate it.

That done, let us arrive in August 1970, specifically the 10th.  Today, jury selection begins on the trial of the Doors frontman Jim Morrison.  It seems that being a bit too fubared to be performing in Florida netted him charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent exposure, profanity, public intox, and simulation of oral sex on his guitarist, all occuring back on March 5th.  He would be convicted; but, as Rush Limbaugh says, he assumed room temperature before he began serving his sentence.

Also today, Representative Martha Griffiths of Michigan released the Equal Rights Amendment from the Judiciary Commitee to the full House.  It would be 14 months before it left the House, and another five before the Senate approved it.  From that point it would spend the next 10 years dying a slow death.

In a related note, McSorley's Irish Pub in NYC ended its status as the last "men's only" bar, thanks to a court victory by the NOW.  Sixteen years later, they'd actually put a ladies room in.

And that brings us to the point of Time Machine, the music.  This week, the Where Are They Now feature gets downgraded to biggest mover, a handful of anomolies in the birthdays list (and elsewhere), the nation's first variety show, Neil Young takes a beating in the almost but not quite category, and a six degrees that connects one song in the top ten to- another song in the top ten!  Let's go, already.

Out of ten hot 100 debuts, I'll mention four of 'em. The Grand Funk Railroad classic I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home comes in at 98.  Sugarloaf slides in at 96 with Green Eyed Lady.  Diana Ross' Ain't No Mountain High Enough comes in at 55, and WAAAY up at #42 is CCR with one of my faves- Lookin' Out My Backdoor.  These songs turn 42 years old this week.  And just to make you feel older, here's the rest of the birthday list.

Turning 30 this week is Michael McDonald's I Keep Forgettin' (anomaly #1- turning 50 this week is I Keep Forgettin', a totally different song- a Lieber/Stoller composition- by Chuck Jackson, which hit 55 on the charts).  Turning 35 are Paul Nicholas' Heaven On The Seventh Floor (anomaly #2- it also debuted this same week by a Jamaican singer billed as the Mighty Pope.  "Mighty" was for his booming voice, "Pope" was apparently because his Dad owned a parcel of land "shaped like the Vatican".), Firefall's Just Remember I Love You, and because I'm an Alan Parsons Project fan, APPs' I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You.  Oh, and anomaly #3- the Whispers hit that week with a cover of Bread's Make It With You- a song we'll be seeing in the upper reaches of this week's countdown.  Turning 40 are Elton John's Honkey Cat and Rick Nelson's Garden Party- which will become part of anomaly #4.  Turning 45 are Donovan's There Is A Mountain and the Box Tops' original (and far superior) version of The Letter.  And turning fifty we have Booker T and the MGs' Green Onions, Peter, Paul, and Mary's If I Had A Hammer (which was always a lot neater by Trini Lopez if you played the 45 at 78!), along with the last anomaly- Rick Nelson again with his OTHER autobiographical song- Teenage Idol.  Blow out the candles...

I better throw in another odd story here.  Christie's Yellow River slips from 73 last week, its high water mark thus far, to 96.  Now, you know it will climb higher, but I thought I'd dig a little more into why it dropped.  I really didn't find out much- whether it was because kids began to think it was about Vietnam, or because programmers found out that it was supposed to be about the Civil War, I don't know.  But what I did learn was that it was caught up in what became known as the great 1970 radio ban in Australia.  Long story somewhat shortened, a 1968 copyright law modification gave record labels in Australia the notion that they could be collecting money off all those "free promotional singles" they passed out to stations and DJs.  The Federation of Radio Broadcasters (FARB), protested, claiming that the free promotion the labels got was pay enough.  It got ugly enough that for much of 1970, Australian stations refused to play records from Australia or the UK- though American releases got through just fine.  Somehow, Yellow River got caught in the ban, and a version by local band Jigsaw (not the later Brit band of the same name) hit #1, replacing a version of Mungo Jerry's In The Summertime (which in yet another anomaly is in this week's top ten) recorded by local band Mixture that had been #1 for 9 weeks.

The big dropper this week is another anomaly- Charles Wright etc., etc., and their hit Love Land are the big dropper for the second striaght week, falling 41 spots to #87.  Unless they only fall thirteen next week, and we have a bad week for droppers, I think we're done with them.  And yet another anomaly (#7 if you're keeping track), the big jumper lands square on our Where Are They Now magic number of fifty.  And I think you'll be able to tell the WATN story yourself-  It's Elvis Presley at #50, up 24 spots, with The Next Step Is Love.

I have 5 top 40 debuts this week.  Bobby Sherman leaps like a Renaissance Faire actor in leotards 13 notches to #40 with Julie Do Ya Love Me?  Bob Dylan goes from 51 to 38 with Wigwam, which is basically an instrumental with some la-la-las thrown in.  Blood Sweat and Tears move from 49 to 37 with Hi-De-Ho.  The Guess Who move from 43 to 35 with Hand Me Down World.  And a recent star of our show, Neighborhood's take on Big Yellow Taxi, moves up nine spots to 32.

Bobby Sherman, Rennaisance man.
Our look back in time takes us to another 1920's star, Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra.  Nat, born in 1889, was a musical prodigy, serving as clarinet soloist in the New York Boys Orchestra from the ages 7-13.  He was a multi-tasker, and as well as learning the art of leading an orchestra, he became part of the developing management at RCA Victor.  He hit his high as the conductor and host for a radio program called The Everready Hour, which is believed to be the first commercially sponsored program as well as the first variety show.  Between records and the show, the Victor Orchestra he conducted was an ever-changing group who had under its aegis at one time or another both Dorsey brothers, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, George Gershwin, and Andres Segovia.   He racked up 32 top tens between 1925-32, but just one #1- 1930's Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.  The lead singer on that one was Frank Munn, the "golden voice of the radio," who was the main vocalist from 1931-45 on another radio show, The American Album Of Familiar Music.

He went on to move to LA, scoring for movies and musicals and the Walter Lantz studios.  And you know who the star at Walter Lantz was:

Nat lived with his son from the mid-50's until his death in 1982.

Three songs enter the top 10, three fall out.  Mama Told Me (Not To Come) falls from 7 to 11, Ball Of Confusion from 6 to 12, and Ride, Captain, Ride from 10 to 18.

Also dropping are four songs rating Almost But Not Quite credits- and three of them involve Neil Young!  His song with Crazy Horse, Cinnamon Girl, holds at a peak of 55.  In the meantime, he falls twice as a member of Crosby Stills Nash and Young- with Teach Your Children slipping from 16 to 17 and Ohio falling from 14 to 15. If you want to call that anomaly #8, so be it.  Our non-Neil entry is Pacific Gas & Electric's Are You Ready?, falling from 12 to 39.

Mungo Jerry, not banned in the US of A, move three to #10 with In The Summertime.

Edwin Starr blasts his way up 9 spots to #9 with War.

Bubble gummer Robin McNamara leaps (insert leotard joke here) 7 spots to #8 with Lay A Little Lovin' On Me.

The Five Stairsteps step down 3 to #7 with O-oh Child.

Up 2 spots to #6 are Alive And Kicking with Tighter, Tighter.

And that brings us to our six degrees- and our #5 and #3 songs.

Freda Payne moves down 3 spots to #5 with Band Of Gold.  Freda was the sister of Scherrie Payne, the lead singer of the Supremes (yep, those Supremes) from 1973-77 after Jean Terrell left.  They hit the pop charts just once, with a song called I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking, which made #25.  Nine years later, she, Jean, and Cindy Birdsong got together as "The Former Ladies Of The Supremes".  Cindy soon left, replaced by one Lynda Laurence.  Lynda, along with her sister Sundray Tucker (performing with the last name "Scott", and actually replacing Lynda in the Supremes when Lynda left- anomaly #9) and another girl, were once a group called the third generation.  They sang some back up for Stevie Wonder, including on our #3 song this week- Signed Sealed Delivered, I'm Yours.  Anomaly #10, anyone?

Jumping from #9 to #4 is that "long haired, leaping gnome" (insert leotard joke at your own risk) Eric Burden, with War on Spill The Wine.

As I said, Signed Sealed Delivered is at #3, up two spots.

Bread rises (this joke is going to get old) one notch to #2 with the previously mentioned anomaly (#3, way back at the beginning) Make It With You.

And the Carpenters continue to hold the top spot with (They Long To Be) Close To You!!!!

Tune in next week for more hijinks and anomalies.  Hey, don't forget, the final 20 on the eighties countdown this Saturday!

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