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


Friday, November 30, 2012

Time Machine week 44

Today is November 30, 1970, and like many a November 30th, nothing really noteworthy happened.  In my search for nuggets of amusement about the day, though, I found a site where they listed the UK top five on this date, and I thought it might be fun to share.

At #5 was Dave Edmunds' I Hear You Knocking- which will enter our chart later on and peak in February.

At #4 was a guy by the name of Don Farden with his version of a song that will hit #1 next year- Indian Reservation.  Don's version hit #20 here over two years ago, in October of 1968.

At #3 is a song that hit #1 here about 3 months ago- Clarence Carter's Patches.

At #2 is the Jimi Hendrix Experience with the final cut of the lp Electric Ladyland- Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), a slightly altered 5+ minute version of the 12-minute long classic at track #3.  It was released soon after Hendrix's death.  Never hit here.

And the #1 song in the UK this week was Mathews' Southern Comfort with their version of Woodstock- a version that we'll be seeing, oh, around May of next year.

Oh, y'know, there was one slightly important thing that happened- that will have a bearing on something a little later in the countdown.

George Harrison released his masterpiece solo debut, All Things Must Pass, on this date.  An apropriately named album that signalled a new era in popular music on many levels.

Welcome to Time Machine!  We have a good crop of debuts this week, a good crop of birthdays,  yet another constituency alienated by Berry Gordy, and a good reason why the saying, "you can never go back"  should be "you SHOULD never go back"!  And a six degrees that basically connects James Taylor with himself, but draws two of the bigger acts of the sixties along with him.  Bust out your sitar and let's go!

This week I'm going to mention 6 of our 11 hot 100 debuts... just not all at the same time.  Coming in at 100 is Jerry Reed's crossover hit Amos Moses.  At 95 is a song I mention more because I know it than because you might know it.  It is the Byrds sounding countryfied with a tune called Chestnut Mare, and it comes in at 95.  I burned it a long time back basically sound unheard... it's no Eight Miles High, but it's kinda cool.  Lynn Anderson comes in at 85 with her country crossover, Rose Garden.  The Bee Gees debut at 78 with Lonely days.  And the last two... I don't want to give anything away, but one is in the top 40, and one is the b-side of said tune, so we'll save them just a bit.

In our birthday tune section, turning 30 this week are Kenny Loggins' Heart To Heart, Billy Joel's Allentown, and the vastly underrated Golden Earring with Twilight Zone.  Turning 35 are Neil Diamond's Desiree, Dan Hill's Sometimes When We Touch (which is so much better with the verse from the lp version that they cut on the single), Steely Dan's Peg, and a basically true story- Lynyrd Skynyrd's What's Your Name.  The only part that really wasn't true was kinda true- They were in Miami, not Boise, at 8 o'clock.  HOWever, Ronnie Van Zant's little brother Donnie WAS opening at the aproximate same time with his new band .38 Special in Boise, and "8 o'clock in Boise, Idaho" is a lot easier to rhyme than "8 o'clock in Miami, Florida..."

Well, hell, Donnie, it's eight o'clock SOMEWHERE...
Turning 40 this week are John Denver's signature Rocky Mountain High and Carly Simon's signature You're So Vain.  Turning 45 are The Beatles' two sided Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus, a special favorite for me- Donovan's Wear Your Love Like Heaven, and a special non-favorite of mine, the Doors' Love Me Two Times.  Turning fifty is recent MHOF member Bobby Vee (not Bobby G.) with The Night Has A Thousand Eyes, as well as Flatt and Scruggs' The Ballad Of Jed Clampett.  Finally, turning 55 are Danny and the Seniors Juniors and At The Hop.

Well, blow out them there candles an' shoot yerself a coon, Granny's in the kitchen, we'll be eatin' possum soon...

That brings us to the big movers within the countdown this week.  Our fast climber is Led Zep's Immigrant Song, up 22 to #66; while Free free-falls 40 spots from 9 to 49 with All Right Now.  That's right, they are one of four songs that will fall from the top ten this week.

And that brings us right up to #50 and our Where Are They Now victims.  This week, it's the Chairmen Of The Board, who gave us Give Me Just A Little More Time not long ago, landing on the hot spot with Pay To The Piper.  The Chairmen were the brainchildren of the famous Motown songwriting team of Holland/Dozier/Holland.  They had gotten fed up with Berry Gordy's cheapskate ways and founded their own label, Hot Wax.  We just talked about this last week with their other big act, 100 Proof Aged In Soul, and our six degrees victim, R Dean Taylor.  The trio put singer General Norman Johnson together with new bandmates Eddie Custis, Danny Woods, and Harrison Kennedy.  After Give Me hit, it was slower going. Custis left after the second lp; Kennedy departed right before a tour of the UK, after which they split up.  But not for long, as Johnson and Woods picked up new third member Ken Knox in 1978 and went back to work.

They were still together when Johnson died of cancer in 2010; Woods left, but Knox still tours with his Chairmen.  Woods tours with his own band, the cleverly-named Board Of Directors.  Custis and Kennedy are still performing as solo acts, although Kennedy restircts himself to the near environs of his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.

Now we're up to the top 40 debuts.  New Orleans soul man King Floyd climbs 9 spot to 38 with his song Groove Me, a song recorded in the same session as Jean McKnight's Mr. Big Stuff. That hot 100 debut?  George Harrison- from All Things Must Pass- with My Sweet Lord, coming in at 37 (and its b-side, Isn't It A Pity, comes in at 62).  Aretha Franklin's version of Border Song moves 13 to #35.  Neil Diamond's version of the Hollies' hit He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother climbs 7 to #34, and Santana takes a 20-spot leap from 43 to 23 with Black Magic Woman.

A couple of Almost But Not Quite shoutouts.  Joe Cocker peaked at 16 last week and falls to 19 this week with a song whose title perfectly captures my feelings on his disappointment- Cry Me A River.  On a more positive note, Mashmakhan's As The Years Go By peaked at 30 last week, and drops to 40 this time.

Our lookback this week brings us to the Ray Noble Orchestra.  An Englishman, he and his band hit the top four times in the US of A before he packed up vocalist Al Bowlly and drummer Bill Harty and moved stateside.  One of those #1s was the seven-week chart topper Isle Of Capri.    He racked up three more top dogs after he had Glenn Miller put him together a band, including 1935's Paris In The Spring.  Noble's group had 25 top tens in the US of A to go with the seven #1s.

A composer and bandleader, he didn't sing, and though he played piano, never did it with the band.  His performances as a "proper English gentleman" on some of their records ended up landing him some acting jobs, including a co-starring role with Burns and Allen in the 1937 flick A Damsel In Distress.  About this time, Bowlly faced some health issues and went back home to England in 1938.  Three years later he was killed when his home was flattened in an air raid during the Blitz.

Noble went on to other roles, starring on the Charlie McCarthy Show with Edgar Bergen and his two dummies, McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, for 15 years.  He also did the orchestration for the Lou Gehrig film, Pride Of The Yankees, with Gary Cooper.

I'll bet you're wondering who besides Free fell out of the top ten this week.  Well, it was We've Only Just Begun (8 to 13), Indiana Wants Me (5 to 22), and Green Eyed Lady (10 to 24).  And our weekly Yellow River report finds that it has meandered it's way up another 7 spots to 17 in its 22 week in the hot 100.

First of our 4 straight debuts is the King, Elvis Presley, up 2 to #10 with his fabulous job on You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.

Bobby Bloom shoots up 8 to #9 with the Jamaican-flavored Montego Bay.

The Who come in at #8, up 5, with See Me, Feel Me.

The Guess Who roar in at #7, up 12 big notches, with Share The Land.  (Who? Guess Who.  Pretty amusing there.  Or not.)

For a third week, 100 Proof Aged In Soul hold at 6 with Somebody's Been Sleeping.

And that brings us to the six degrees victim.

James Taylor slips a notch to 5 with Fire And Rain  This song had bits and pieces pulled from throughout his life in it, and we'll hit them along the way.  His musical career really got started when he made friends with guitarist Danny Kortchner.  With Danny, a vet who'd been in a band called the King Bees, he formed a new band, the Flying Machine ("Sweet dreams and Flying Machines..").  Drugs, a too-rough style of singing, and other difficulties led Taylor to abandon the Machine, and Kortchner and he went to England to try and get him back on track.  Now the King Bees had once upon a time opened for Peter and Gordon, so Danny knew Peter Asher.  Asher got to hear James' demos, and took them to Paul McCartney to see if the Beatles' Apple Records had any interest.  They did, and George and Paul had uncredited background parts on what would be his first single, Carolina In My Mind ("Been walking my mind through an easy time, my back turned towards the sun...")  Durning this time childhood friend Suzanne Schnerr committed suicide- a fact that was withheld from James until the lp was finished so it would not distract him ("Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you...").  But the drugs became a problem again, and his lack of touring left the single to falter at #118.  Along about that time, the Beatles (over the strenuous objections of McCartney) hired Allan Klein to run Apple, and one of the first things he did was run Asher off- and he took Taylor with him.  Klein tried to sue for breach, but McCartney put his foot down on the matter and Klein dropped it.  Asher and Taylor went to California, where they recorded Sweet Baby James- and re-released Carolina, which is on our chart right now, at 84 in its third week.

Bryan Hyland makes an impressive dance up 3 to #4 with Gypsy Woman.

The Jackson Five once again give ground stubbornly, slipping one to #3 with I'll Be There.

Smokey and the Miracles edge up a spot to #2 with Tears Of A Clown.

Which means the Partirdge Family are still at the top with I Think I Love You!!!

Hey, man, you know you don't get the picture two weeks in a row.  Besides, the people'd rather see me... I look more like Chris Martin!

And that wraps 'er up for another week.  See you next time!


  1. CWM:
    I just love your off the cuff humor...wonderfully low-key.
    Too many songs mentioned this week...when DO you sleep?
    --Always did like the early James Taylor.
    --Golden Earring was underrated...still have their first TWO albums.
    --Can't go wrong with DAVE EDMUNDS!
    --Good to see ZEP in there, too
    Is it just ME, or do songs tend to drop FARTHER as we progress through the 70s and 80s?
    If you track back into the 50s and part of the 60s, songs used to drop several spots (at most) on any given week, and sometimes would remain in the TOP TEN for WEEKS!

    Guess that's when we started becoming BIZARRO WORLD and everyone got ADHD?

    Didn't know that about Ray Noble - good find.
    Gonna have to watch Pride of the Yankees all over again...for the MUSIC!
    Bobby Vee...LOL.
    (nice one)

    Share the of the TGW's best (imho).

    Another fantastic ride.

    Keep on rockin' up there.

    1. "...when DO you sleep?" It was around three this morning...

      Golden Earring: I take it you are referring to the first USA releases and not the bubblegum stuff they did in Holland the ten years before...

      You are right about today's charts- a song debuts at #3 and falls from there anymore... worse on the lp charts.

      Listened again to Carolina this AM... almost cried.

      If you don't remember Mathews' Woodstock (which I didn't), listen to it... I fell in love!

      And yeah, the Bobby Vee joke is the kinda thing that hits me at 2:30 AM.

  2. 11/30/1954- The Hodges Meteorite crashes through a roof in Sylacauga,AL hitting a woman taking her afternoon nap. The only reported case of someone being hit by space rocks.