I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz...
And we open the new year losing yet another star. Patti Page was one of the great ones. She brought us the Tennessee Waltz and Allegheny Moon, I Went To Your Wedding and How Much Is That Doggie In the Window. From 1948 to 1970 she charted 53 top 40 hits and 4 top doggies, er, dogs. And she leads off the subject at hand. Today's special TM will feature the music people we lost over the year 2012, in five categories- those you know, those you should know, those you might know, those I doubt you know, and those you didn't know you knew.
We're gonna start right off with the "I doubt you know" category. These will be in no order, no dates, and the qualification is, could I stretch far enough to get them a TM story. Here we go:
MacHouston "Mickey" Baker- He was the Mickey of Mickey and Sylvia, who hit #11 in 1957 with Love Is Strange. He's also known as one of the great guitarists of all time.
Jimmy McCracklin- R&B pianist known for his 1957 top ten The Walk.
Maria Cole- singer and widow of Nat King Cole.
Ed Cassidy- drummer for Spirit (I Got A Line On You, #22 in 1968).
Lee Dorman- Iron Butterfly bassist.
Larry "Rhino" Rhinehardt- Guitarist for Iron Butterfly on their lp Metamorphosis.
Bob Weston- Briefly in Fleetwood Mac for the Penguin lp, fired for having a fling with Mick Fleetwood's wife on tour.
Al DeLory- took a jazz instrumental of the M*A*S*H theme onto the charts in 1971.
Michael Davis- bassist for Detroit garage rockers MC5.
Mark Abrahamian- guitarist for Mickey Thomas' reborn Starship- died offstage after a show.
So this week in 1971 we had a measly 5 debuts, NONE worth reporting on! And if that wasn't enough, I went to look up this weeks birthday songs and... thirty years ago this week (and next week), Cashbox didn't put out a new chart... and 35 years ago this week there were ZERO debuts! Thank God I was running a special this week, huh? 40 years ago this week, Dueling Banjos debuted. Turning 45 this week were the Temps' I Wish It Would Rain and Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love. This week, Hey Paula by Paul and Paula turns 50, along with a song you don't know, and I don't know, but I just HAD to mention- coming in at 93, Mike Clifford with What To Do With Laurie. Blow out the candles... and Laurie, put down that stick!
Next up is the "You Might Know" list:
Adam Yauch- Leader of the Beastie Boys.
Don Cornelius- He got a mention when it happened, the founder of the show Soul Train.
Ray Collins- Lead singer for Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention.
Kitty Wells- Pioneering Country music singer, hit #1 C&W with It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels (1952) and Heartbreak USA (1961).
Donald "Duck" Dunn- veteran session man, played with Booker T and the MGs and the Blues Brothers.
Chuck Brown- Led the Soul Searchers, who hit in 1978 with Bustin' Loose.
Herb Reed- The last original member of the Platters; he also got a mention when it happened.
Dorothy McGuire- One of the McGuire Sisters, who had the big hits Sincerely (1955) and Sugartime (1957).
Our big climber is in the top forty, so hang on just a sec or two. The big dropper was Neil Young's Only Love Can Break Your Heart, tumbling 28 spots to 58. And James Brown would have been our Where Are They Now this week, and we have a good idea where HE is now, so fortunately, we have specials! Next up, the "You SHOULD know" category:
Jimmy Castor- Leader of the Jimmy Castor Bunch, who hit #6 in '72 with Troglodyte (Cave Man), and was the replacement for Frankie Lymon in the Teenagers.
Johnny Otis- He took Willie And The Hand Jive to #9 in 1958. Also had a lp of sexual-innuendo tunes under the name Snatch and the Poon-Tangs. Classy, eh?
Etta James- World-famous blues singer, hit #1 R&B in '55 with The Wallflower (Dance With Me, Henry).
Ronnie Montrose- Legendary rock guitarist, best known for being with the Edgar Winter Group on their big hits Frankenstein and Free Ride, as well as several of his own bands.
Joe South- One of the late 60s and early 70s great songwriters, penned hits like Down In The Boondocks, I Knew You When (both for Billy Joe Royal), Rose Garden (Lynn Anderson), Hush (Deep Purple), and Yo-Yo (Osmonds), as well as his own Games People Play, which hit #12 in 1969.
Scott McKenzie- If You're Going To San Francisco, Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair....
Levon Helms- the voice of The Band, especially on their classic The Weight.
RB Greaves- Hit #2 with Take A Letter Maria in 1969.
Major Harris- member of the Delfonics and had the big hit Love Won't Let Me Wait.
Ravi Shankar- Sitar player and mentor for a while of George Harrison.
Earl Scruggs- Partner of Lester Flatt, bluegrass stars and singers of The Beverly Hillbillies theme.
Bob Welch- Another former Fleetwood Mac' er who hit big solo with Sentimental Lady and Ebony Eyes.
Our big climber heads a whopping list of three debuts in the top 40 this week (Was this ever a good week for specials!) Elvis goes up 18 from 57 to 39 with I Really Don't Want To Know. Jackie Moore's Precious, Precious moves from 43 to 37, and Diana Ross comes in at 36 (up 17) with Remember Me. And a shout out to a couple of almost but not quites- Andy Kim's Be My Baby topped out at 12 last week and falls to 25, and Neil Diamond's version of He Ain't Heavy (etc.) stalled at 17 last time and slips back to 18 this week.
Next up, the "You didn't know you knew me" group:
Mike "In The Night" Triay- producer of the Bayside Boys' version of The Macarena.
Doug Dillard- a member of the Dillard family, best known as the Darlings from the Andy Griffith Show.
Bob Babbitt- one of the legendary Funk Brothers of Motown fame. If Motown issued it, he was likely on it.
Charles Pitts- the guitarist on Isaac Hayes' Shaft, among many other things.
Fred Milano- he was first tenor on Dion and the Belmonts; the group was named for the street he lived on.
Carl Davis- Producer on the hits Duke Of Earl and (Your Love Lifted Me) Higher And Higher.
Jimmy Jones- hit #2 in 1960 with Handy Man.
Larry Hoppen- lead singer for Orleans.
Greg Ham- from Aussie band Men At Work- I mentioned him at the time.
Frank Wilson- producer and co-writer on a slew of Motown hits, such as Love Child, Living In Shame, and You Made Me So Very Happy.
Michael Hossack- one of the two drum-tandem on the early Doobie Brothers.
Big Jim Sullivan- session guy who was on, among others, Alone Again Naturally, Itchycoo Park, and Ferry Cross The Mersey.
Bill Dees- Collaberator with Roy Orbison on dozens of songs, including the big hits Oh Pretty Woman and It's Over.
Jon Lord- keyboardist for Deep Purple and Whitesnake.
Billy Strange- Guitarist on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds lp, especially on Sloop John B; veteran session man who wrote Limbo Rock.
And just to top off my list of excuses for why it was a good week for a special, only one new song joins the top ten, so only one falls out- Gypsy Woman, from 10 to 21.
Finally, the ones you knew and loved....
Gone but not forgotten...
And now, this week's top ten...
Led Zeppelin sneaks up one to join the party at # 10 with Immigrant Song.
Badfinger holds at 9 with No Matter What.
The Partridge Family, fighting for every spot, slips a notch to 8 with I Think I Love You.
The Miracles fall to #7, down 4, with Tears Of A Clown.
The Supremes show some initiative, climbing two to #6 with Stoned Love.
Chicago moves one to five with their BJ Thomas school graduate, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Likewise, Santana moves to #4 with Black Magic Woman.
The Fifth Dimension falls from 2 to 3 with One Less Bell To Answer.
The Runner-up is Dawn with Knock Three Times, up a pair.
Which means our number one song, again for the third week, is...
.... George Harrison with My Sweet Lord!!!
And now, in the sincere hopes that we lose no one else for a while, see you next week!