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


Friday, December 7, 2012

Time Machine week 45

It is December 7th, 1970.  In Warsaw, Poland, West German chancellor Willi Brandt is brought before the Warsaw Ghetto Monument, which commemorated the heroic but futile uprising of the Jewish Ghetto against the Gestapo in 1943, in which 13,000 were killed in the battle and the remaining estimated 50,000 residents were sent either to Treblinka or to the concentration camp Gesiowka built on the razed ruins of the ghetto.  Overcome by emotion, Brandt simply knelt at the monument.

The site Facing History and Ourselves ( added this:

Filled with emotion on the day of the ceremony, and taken by the enormity of the moment, Brandt spontaneously dropped to his knees before the commemoration monument, a profound act of apology and repentance. Although he spoke no words, the image of this silent apology, seen in the news by so many Poles and Germans, had a powerful effect on both nations. Later, when Brandt described the moment, he wrote that he felt as though he "had to do something to express the particularity of the commemoration at the ghetto monument. On the abyss of German history and carrying the burden of the millions who were murdered, I did what people do when words fail them."2
Welcome to a Time Machine that was a bit of a struggle.  I had two new top tens that I really didn't know, as well as four top 40 debuts, and a deceased Where Are They Now contestant.  Not to mention when I looked at the potential six degrees victim, I saw that only one song fell within the top ten- and I did them earlier!  Be that all as it may, I still got you the musical career of Barney Miller, two sightings each of Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, Tina Turner, and Paul Nicholas, a six degrees that links the Who to Carol Channing, and the hot new old game show, So You Wanna Lead A Band?  Well, let's get on with it!

We have 12 hot hundred debuts this week, and I'll mention 5 of 'em.  The one-hit wonders from Providence, RI, Wadsworth Mansion, come in at #99 with that one hit- Sweet Mary.  Black Sabbath nudges in at 97 with Paranoid.  At 82 is a song I had to play when I saw it, to see how it sounded.  Frijid Pink, who made top ten with their House Of The Rising Sun a few weeks ago, come in at 82 with a pretty good version of Heartbreak Hotel.  Stephen Stills' anthem for cheaters everywhere, Love The One You're With, comes in at #78.  And the high debuter for the week was another one I just had to check out- Melanie doing her take on the Stones' Ruby Tuesday.  If you are a big Melanie fan, it's pretty good... otherwise, ummm....

That brings us to a decent crop of songs celebrating birthdays this week.  Turning thirty, we have Sammy Hagar's Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy and Culture Club's Do You Really Want To Hurt Me. Hitting 35 are the Bee Gees and Staying Alive, Foreigner's Long Long Way From Home, and my favorite Meat Loaf tune- You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth.  Turning 40, we have everyone's favorite reptile, Elton John's Crocodile Rock (oops, I guess that makes three EJ sightings!), along with David Bowie's Jean Genie. Hitting 45 are Aretha Franklin's Chain Of Fools ( I think that was her backup singers before the Heavyweights), The Royal Guardsmen with Snoopy's Christmas, The Lemon Pipers with Green Tambourine, the Classics IV with Spooky, and a song I burned a while back and you might like if you're a Jefferson Airplane fan, Watch Her Ride.  Blow Out The Candles....

Top climber this week is in the top forty... the big droppers are twain:  Indiana Wants Me at 55 and Cry Me A River at 51, both dropping 33 spots.

Which of course brings us to WATN, and the late George Harrison, who moves into the #50 spot with Isn't It A Pity.  Since we know where he's at (non-spiritually speaking), I thought I'd actually look at the song itself.  Written by George in 1966 or so, it is claimed that Lennon vetoed its inclusion on three Beatles lps- Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and Get Back.  Thus it was that George gave it the full treatment on All Things Must Pass.  Two versions were recorded- the seven minute long single on side one, and the 5 minute alternate on side six.  The first one- which by the way, was the side that hit #1 on the Canadian charts, where My Sweet Lord was the a-side here- was produced by Phil (Wall Of Sound) Spector and orchestrated with an orchestra and men's choir by John Barham.  And performed by one of several "casts of thousands" we'll be hitting up today.  It is generally recognized, but not confirmed, that Eric Clapton played electric guitar on both versions.  There were at least two piano players- Tony Ashton and the Dream Weaver, Gary Wright, as well as "fifth Beatle" Billy Preston on the organ.  At least three accoustic guitarists supported George's lead accoustic line- Pete Ham, Tom Evans, and Joey Molland, all of Badfinger.  BF drummer Mike Gibbins added tambourine, while another "fifth Beatle" claimant, Klaus Voorman, played bass.  Ringo Starr handled drumming chores, and two unconfirmed stories add Peter Frampton to the accoustic backup and Maurice Gibb to the piano players.

There are six top forty debuts this week- three of them I'll have to listen to later to see if I know, and one I listened to last week, as it was the Where Are They Now song.  And of course, one is this week's big mover.  The first of the "have to listen to" set is a band called Crow with a tune they pulled from the BJ Thomas School of Long Titles- Don't Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The "King Of Rock'N'Roll"- and it moves up a pair to #40.  The next is yet another of the 50% of Neil Diamond tunes that hit the top 40 and I never heard of them- it's called Do It, and debuts at 39, up 8 spots.  The one from last weeks' WATN, the Chairmen Of The Board's Pay To The Piper, moves up a dozen to land at #38.  The final "do I know this?" song is Tom Jones' Can't Stop Loving You, and it moves from 48 to 37.  Three Dog Night comes up 6 to #35 with One Man Band, and the week's big mover- a 27-notch jump from 56 to 29- is Dawn and Knock 3 Times.

You don't know MY song?  Some expert...
Our lookback feature begins its romp through the 40's this week, and we start off with Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye.  Sammy was born Samuel Zarnocay, Jr, in a suburb of Cleveland, OH.  He was a clarinetist and played alto sax (but never soloed) as well as leading his band, which at first was known as the Ohioans.  They came into demand, doing what was called "sweet music" to differentiate from the more jazz style of others, in the mid thirties.  The Manager of the Statler Hotel in NYC paid for elocution lessons to moderate Sammy's heavy Czech accent.  It was around this time the band got the name they are known by- Sammy explained that he would used various lines for the annoucer to bring them on stage with, such as "Music in a romantic (or sentimental) way, played for you by Sammy Kaye", or "And now, we swing and sway with Sammy Kaye."  Fans started calling him "swing and sway", so they decided to stay with that.

One of his popular gimmicks started when a girl in the audience one night persuaded her beau to challenge Sammy to let him lead the band in a song.  He decided to do that at many shows afterwards, calling it So You Want To Lead A Band, and offering batons as prizes to the winner.  It even became a short lived TV show for the band.  They racked up 37 top tens and 5 top dogs, including The Old Lamplighter from 1946 and Harbor Lights in 1950.  Tony Alamo was the vocalist onthe latter, and no that's not the nutbag cult leader.  Actually, Tony's real name was Bernie Hoffman, but he changed it to cash in on the popularity of Italian crooners at the time.  Another former band member- albeit briefly- was Hal (Barney Miller) Linden in the 50's.

Kaye's band played at the inaugurations of both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.  Kaye died in 1987, but not before passing the baton to one Roger Thorpe, who continues to lead the group today.

Two songs I didn't know join the top ten, two I did know drop out.   Falling are Fire And Rain (5 to 19) and Somebody's Been Sleeping (6 to 23).  Also, our Yellow River gague is at 16 this week, up one spot on week #23.

Elvis holds onto the #10 slot with You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.

Stevie Wonder lands at #9, up 3, with Heaven Help Us All.

And at eight, our six degrees.

The Who hold at 8 with See Me, Feel Me.  This was from the first "rock opera," Tommy.  Tommy was made into a musical, and then into a movie by Bee Gees producer Robert Stigwood.  The Movie starred Roger Daltry in the lead as "that deaf, dumb, and blind kid", with the rest of the group playing themselves.  It also starred our second "cast of thousands", including Elton John, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, and one Paul Nicholas, a British performer best known here as the man who gave us Heaven On The 7th Floor.  Nicholas was mainly an actor, though, and starred in stage productions in the UK of Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

He also landed a part in the Bee Gees/Peter Frampton flick Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (because no one gets mentioned just once today!).  This film, which swiftly went from "this generation's Gone With The Wind" to "thank God we broke even", had a closing scene reminiscent of the Sgt. Pepper lp cover, with everyone singing the theme.  And I do mean everyone- a PARTIAL list of those involved include:

Curtis Mayfield
George Benson
Peter (Herman's Hermits) Noone
Elvin Bishop
Alan (Undercover Angel) O'Day
Stephen (On And On) Bishop
Keith Carradine
Robert Palmer
Wilson Pickett
Bonnie Raitt
Helen Reddy
Rick Derringer
Minnie Ripperton
Johnny Rivers
Seals and Crofts
Al Stewart
John Stewart
Tina Turner
Frankie Valli
Dr. John
Bruce (Beach Boys) Johnston
Yvonne Elliman
Sha Na Na
Del Shannon
Grover Washington, Jr.
Hank Williams, Jr.
Wolfman Jack
Mark (Paul Revere and the Raiders) Lindsay
Gary Wright

oh, and- Carol Channing.

Up 4 spots to #7, The Presidents with 5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love).

Bobby Bloom climbs 3 to #6 with Montego Bay.

The Guess Who move 2 spots to #5 with Share The Land.

Again the Jacksons give little ground, slipping another notch to 4 with I'll Be There.

Brian Hyland, who was first discovered by none other than Sammy Kaye, climbs a notch to 3 with Gypsy Woman.

Smokey and the Miracles hold at 2 with Tears Of A Clown.

And for the third straight week, the number one song is...

...(AHEM) The Partridge Family with I Think I Love You!

Tune in next week for more fun!


  1. I know you've explained how you do this each week, but it still blows my mind ;) So not only is it Pearl Harbor day but I also found out that today in 1869 Jesse James committed his first bank robbery. You wanted to know that didn't you! Have a fabulous Friday CW!

  2. CWM:
    AH parents used to talk about Sammy Kaye often.
    And your Warsaw Ghetto story mention is something I think anyone interested in history should raead about.
    Sadly, no REAL movie was ever done about this critical event in Poland's history (and how Stalin STALLED while the Nazis killed thousands).
    It was a incredible 66-day holdout for the Poles.
    And it paved the way to a SOVIET takeover.

    The how they DO drop from the charts (can hear the thuds down

    Sgt. Pepper was a decent flick for it's time.
    (Stigwood was on a MAJOR roll then - had the MIDAS TOUCH)

    Another great ride in Tunetown.

    Keep on rockin' up there!