On a happier note, hippies in Atlanta got together to raise bail for wino Wayne Wilson, who was to lead a protest march of hippies and winos to protest the way the groups were treated in jail. Wilson claimed he was arrested stone sober and that he was told, "You won't be at that march Monday." Whether the march actually got off I was unable to find out, though a local paper speculated that the march's 9 AM start time might keep the hippie turn-out low.
This, if you didn't read the title, is Time Machine. This week, part three of the Bing Crosby salute- featuring the movie he never made; A six degrees that takes us from the mountain to the orchard; a where are they now featuring a group case of split personality; and for some reason or another, we all do the Popeye! Tune in, turn up, read on!
|Yeah, well those hippies won't be marchin' in Sparta...|
Celebrating birthdays this week: turning 30, Donald Fagan of Steely Dan with his solo single I.G.Y. (which I mention since Fagan has a new solo lp coming out), the late Dan Fogelberg's Missing You, Ms. Warwick's collaberation with Barry Gibb, Heartbreaker, and the Clash's always-appropriate Rock The Casbah. Turning thirty-five are Linda Ronstadt's cover of It's So Easy, Dolly Parton's Here You Come Again, and the late Bob Welch with Sentimental Lady. Turning 45 (Rex) is The Who with I Can See For Miles.
Turning 50 is Neil Sedaka's Right Next Door To An Angel- along with, on Sherry's second to last week at #1, a song by a group called The Sherrys. I had to look into this; but even though the group's name and the 1962 Four Seasons' hit had nothing to do with each other, it was a fascinating story. The song was called The Pop Pop Pop-Pie, and was capitalizing on the latest dance craze, the Popeye. The Sherrys were a Philly (Bob) group formed by a man named Little Joe Cook and featuring his two daughters and a cousin. The song became a minor hit here (#25), but much bigger in Europe, where they did two tours. On one of them, they met Benny Andersson, who would one day be one of the "Bs" in ABBA. They also met his band mate in his group the Hep Stars, one Sven "Svenne" Hedlund. Sven and Sherrys' Charlotte Butler hit it off and were soon married, forming a duo called Sven and Lotta. They had a following in Sweden, which expanded in 1975 when a potential ABBA song by Benny, Bjorn, and manager Stig Anderson, preliminarily called Stop And Listen To Your Heart, was reworked for the duo into a song called Bang En Boomerang, which became a major hit in Sweden and Denmark.
Finally, turning 55 this week, Rick Nelson's Be Bop Baby, and Elvis with Jailhouse Rock! Blow out the candles...
After a week's interruption, we return to the look back feature on Bing Crosby. In addition to being a wildly successful singer, he also was a highly successful actor. A 2010 industry report stated that Bing trailed only Clark Gable and John Wayne in tickets sold. Not surprising, with movies like Going My Way, White Christmas, and The Bells Of St. Mary's. But my favorites, not surprisingly again, were the "Road" movies with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. They began with The Road To Singapore(1940), which had been originally offered to Fred MacMurray and Jack Oakie, and then to George Burns and Gracie Allen (with an unnamed second male lead), but both sets turned it down. It was so successful, that when a serious script called Find Colonel Fawcett was deemed too similar to the recent hit Stanley And Livingstone, it was given to the writers of Singapore, and was converted into The Road To Zanibar (1941). Next came The Road To Morrocco (1942), which was nominated for best writing, and was preserved by the Library Of Congress. The next film, The Road To Utopia (1946), was delayed in release so not to have an adverse effect on Bing's shot at a best actor Oscar for Going My Way. Then came The Road To Rio (1947), which co- featured the Andrews Sisters; The Road To Bali (1952), in which Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin cameoed in return for Crosby and Hope guesting in Scared Stiff, and Jane Russell reprised her character from Hope's movie Son Of Paleface; and finally, The Road To Hong Kong, a Bond knock-off in which Lamour was reduced in role to bring in the younger Joan Collins, and Peter Sellers stole the show.
In 1977, a reunion of Crosby, Hope, and Lamour was in the works, called The Road To The Fountain Of Youth. Bing passed away, though, before anything came of it. Bing had wanted it to be an updated, Monty Python-type affair, but we'll never know how good it would have been.
The big mover this week just squeezes into the top 40. The big dropper HAD just sqeezed in, but falls from 37 to 86- the Moments with If I Didn't Care.
The Where Are They Now contestant at #50 are the Delfonics with When You Get Right Down To It. The original group was a high-school group led by brothers William and Wilbur Hart. They started out with six of them, but one got drafted and two others left, making it a trio with Randy Cain. After having hits with La-La Means I Love You and Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time, Cain left, and was instrumental in the formation of Blue Magic, which hit with the Delfonic-esque tune Sideshow. He was replaced in the group by Major Harris, who would soon have a solo hit with Love Won't Let Me Wait. His time with the Ds was not so blessed, and after a string of minor hits, the group split in two. Wilbur took Harris and formed one "Delfonics", while William formed another "Delfonics" with all new members. The two groups were about as cross pollinated as could be, with members shifting back and forth between the two bands. Cain also was a part of this ever-shifting scenario, returning with one or the other set until his death in 2009. The situation continues, with Wilbur's group sometimes going by "the Delphonics" or simply by Wilbur's name, while Major Harris, still perfoms for William's group.
We start out this week's top 40 debuts with our big mover for today, Blood Sweat And Tears' Lucretia McEvil, moving from 68 to 40. Tommy Roe comes in at 39, up 10, with We Can Make Music. Teegarden and Van Winkle climb 14 to #37 with God, Love, And Rock'N'Roll. Freda Payne follows up her big hit Band Of Gold with a tune called Deeper And Deeper, which enters the 40 at #36, up ten spots. And finally, climbing from 45 to 34 is Sweet Baby James (Taylor) with Fire And Rain.
An almost but not quite shoutout to Tom Jones, whose I (Who Have Nothing) peaked at 11 and drops to 15; and to Grand Funk Railroad, with Closer To Home peaking at 30 and sliding a notch this week. And with 2 new top ten songs, two drop out. The droppers are 25 Or 6 To 4, falling from 8 all the way to 30, and Patches, falling from 4 to 12.
Free comes in at #10, up 6 with All Right Now.
Edwin Starr's War slips another 3 to #9.
The Jackson Five blasts up from 15 to #8 with I'll Be There.
Rare Earth moves from 9 to #7 with (I Know I'm) Losing You.
Anne Murray sails up 6 notches to #6 with Snowbird.
Bobby Sherman drops a pair to #5 with Julie Do Ya Love Me.
Neil Diamond crackles his way up 3 to #4 with Cracklin' Rosie.
Dawn rises 2 to # 3 with Candida.
And that brings us to our six degrees this week.
Neither Diana Ross nor Berry Gordy were exactly happy with her rendition of Ain't No Mountain High Enough. Diana wasn't convinced of releasing it because the Supremes and Temptaions had already done a cover of the Gaye/Terrell classic; Gordy was against the spoken-word lead-in. Amateur editing by radio stations convinced them both, though, and the song became a hit. Backing vocals on the single were provided by a group known as the Andantes. These girls had backed up some of the great Motown hits, including most of the Four Tops' hits, the Marvellettes' Don't Mess With Bill, and Mary Wells' My Guy. They were "the Supremes" on the hits Love Child and I'm Living In Shame (which, as we learned a few weeks back, were both wrote by R. Dean Taylor); and backed up most of Marvin Gaye's early hits, including I Heard It Through The Grapevine. This tune was redone years later in an advertising blitz which introduced us to the animated group the California Raisins. The voice behind the singing fruits was Buddy Miles- the ex-Jimi Hendrix drummer we recently had in the hot 100 with his cover of Neil Young's Down By The River.
Another week in the books! See ya next time!