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


Friday, February 1, 2013

Time Machine week 53

It is the first of February, 1971.  We are stuck between the fading glow of Apollo 14's launch ( and the subsequent round of lunar golf played by Allan Sheppard) and Canada's announcement that they were going to officially recognize Red China.  (You'd have thought that after 22 years, they might have at least seen a picture!)  AAAnyway, Here it is Thursday night( for me), and while I haven't had the energy to bloviate much around here as I get used to the new job, I'll doggedly trudge on through this weekly bout of musical longing.  This week, a big birthday week, with no less than a baker's dozen of HUUUUGE hits celebrating birthdays.  Also, a song debuts twice, neither one by the act you know it by; Bridget the Midget; the only time a father hit the top forty AFTER his daughter had already done so; a look back that includes the last name nobody wants; and we connect the Fifth Dimension on six degrees to the Four Seasons, and we do it through Louis Prima!  All Aboard!!!

Commander, look out!  Your drive is heading for that Time Machine!
We open probably the biggest birthday week in Time Machine history with the hot 100 debuts for this week.  Among the 16 debuts are 5 of the best known hits of the era- Tom Jones' She's A Lady (56), CCR's Have You Ever Seen The Rain (63), The Temptations' Just My Imagination (66), Ike and Tina's cover of Proud Mary (86), and Janis Joplin's Me And My Bobby McGee (88).  In addition to these monsters of the midway, the Guess Who hit with Hang On To Your Life at #79.  And in an oddity, the same song debuts by two different acts- and I'd bet you've never heard either one, even though you know the song.

The first act, debuting at 82, is the Collective Consciousness Society, or CCS, a studio instrumental group whose closest brush with TM-style fame was bass player Herbie Flowers, who played the recognizable bass line on Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side.  The other was "King" Curtis and the Kingpins.  The "King" was best known as a side man, notably as the sax player on the Coasters' Yakety Yak, and with the Kingpins were Aretha Franklin's back up band on her Live At Fillmore East lp.  What is the song, you ask?  Believe it or not, it was Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love.

Baby, I'm not foooooolin'....

Now let's see the other classics that celebrate birthdays this week.  Turning 30, three more huge hits- Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton popping up We've Got Tonight, Hall and Oates with One On One, and Greg Kihn's Jeopardy (even though it hit #1 still probably better known by Weird Al's parody I Lost On Jeopardy)- along with Jefferson Starship's Winds Of Change and Stephen Bishop's It Might Be You (from the movie Tootsie).  Turning 35, we have Barry Manilow's Can't Smile Without You, and three hits off of Saturday Night Fever- If I Can't Have You by Yvonne Eliman, Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band, and the Bee Gees' Night Fever.

Turning 40, another huge hit, Dawn with Tie A Yellow Ribbon, along with Bread and their most beautiful ballad Aubrey, Johnny Nash's Stir It Up, Jim Croce's One Less Set Of Footsteps, and Deodato's 2001 theme, Also Sprach Zarathustra.  Turning 45, The Four Tops with their excellent cover of Walk Away Renee and Kenny Rogers (again!) and the First Addition with the hippie ballad Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).  Yeah, Yeah, ohhhh yeah.....Turning 50, one of the biggest hits for the Kingston Trio, Greenback Dollar, along with Ruby And The Romantics' Our Day Will Come.

Turning 55 was another big hit- the biggest hit Johnny Cash ever had on the pop charts- Ballad Of A Teenage Queen.  And rounding it all up, 60 years ago Patti Page first brought us The Doggie In The Window.  Take a DEEP breath, and blow out the candles....

The high and low climber feature is a real mess this week, and we're going to sweep it into the top forty.

The Where Are They Now feature is Bridget The Midget- actually, that is the song at #50 courtesy of Ray Stevens.  Ray has such a long and varied career, from the ridiculous (see above) to the sublime (Everything Is Beautiful, Misty), that I am going to go straight to the "now".  Ray in recent years has become the balladeer of the Tea Party, ripping into the left (and some of the center) with YouTube hits such as Throw The Bums Out (on healthcare), Come To The USA, God Save Arizona (illegal immigration), The Nightmare Before Christmas (non-PC Santa gets thrown in jail), Grandpa Voted Democrat (voter fraud, natch), and The Global Warming Song.  In addition, he spent the last two years compiling the greatest comedy records of all time into The Encyclopaedia Of Recorded Comdey Music, a massive 96-song, 8 CD labour of love.  And who would know better?

With trepidition we venture into the top forty, where we find first the week's biggest dropper, the Chairmen Of The Board's Pay To The Piper, which is also one of of our two that drop out of the top ten, falling 30 spots from last in the top ten to last in the top forty.  I finally whittled the highest climbers down to a pair of 12-spot risers ( after wading through a half-dozen that climbed ten).  Wadsworth Mansion takes one of those spots climbing into the forty from 43 to 31 with Sweet Mary, while the Jackson Five move to 26 with Mama's Pearl.

The other entrants into Airplay Alley are: The Grass Roots with Temptation Eyes, going from 42 to 38; Liz Damon's Orient Express (so named because the Hawaiian's original backup singers were all Asian) and their one hit wonder, 1900 Yesterday; and (Do The) Push And Pull by a gentleman named Rufus Thomas, climbing nine to #32.  Rufus, who hit the top ten in 1963 with Walk The Dog, became the first man to chart for the first time AFTER his daughter had- his offspring Carla Thomas hit the top ten two years earlier with Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes).

Our lookback brings us to a crooner by the name of Dick Haymes.  Dick (whose brother Bob also had some songwriting and acting credits) hit the charts from 1943-1956, scoring 35 top 40s, including 19 top tens.  He was at his best right at the beginning of his career; his debut was the #2 hit It Can't Be Wrong, his second was his lone #1, You'll Never Know; and his third was the #7 In My Arms.

He was also successful in duets, his main partner was a lady named Helen Forrest.  Their act hit the top ten seven out of eight releases (the eighth made #12), the biggest of which was Long Ago (And Far Away).  Having been born in Argentina, he at first got out of service in WWII because of his Argentine citizenship.  But Hollywood gossip queens Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper began to question his patriotism, so he went to a recruitment office an was promptly 4F'd for hypertension.

Like many of his contemporaries, he also got in front of the camera, though not very often.  He was the lead in the 1945 musical State Fair, and much later did a guest shot on ADAM-12.  In later years he filed for bankruptcy, and it was no surprise as the man was married SIX times.  The first was to a "dame" who lied about being pregnant and he had it annulled after learning the lie 3 months later.  Among the others were Rita Hayworth and an actress by the name of Joanne Dru (she was the female lead opposite the Duke in 1949's She Wore A Yellow Ribbon).  Her real last name was LaCock, and if you know your TV trivia, yes, that would make her the sister of one Peter Marshall.

Do you SERIOUSLY think I would work around the likes of Rose Marie and Paul Lynde as "Peter LaCock"?
The other of our dropping pair is Immigrant Song, falling 5 to #14.

Perry Como croons into the top ten, climbing 6 notches to #10? It's Impossible.

Elton John slips a notch to 9 with Your Song.

The Fifth Dimension slides 5 to #8 with One Less Bell To Answer, our six degrees victim.

The song was written by the late great Hal David and Burt Bacharach, actually intended for a young lady named Keely Smith.  She was a half-Irish-half-Amerindian jazz singer who had her best success singing with Louis Prima.  Among the many songs they hit with was a Cole Porter tune called I've Got You Under My Skin, which among it's many incarnations was the 1966 version by the Four Seasons that hit #9.

Annnd our first contestant for the third annual TM Beauty Contest...

I didn't say Barbra Streisand had a butt of rock.  I said she had Stoney End, climbing 7 to #7.

George Harrison slides from 2 to #6 with My Sweet Lord.

Climbing a pair to #5 Gladys Knight and the Pips with If I Were Your Woman.

King Floyd holds at 4 with Groove Me.

Lynn Anderson rises 3 to #3 with Rose Garden.

Dawn joins the list of acts mentioned twice this week. with Knock Three Times slipping out of the top dog position down to #2.

ANNND our new #1, up 4 (count 'em, 4) spots to take the top spot...

The Brothers Gibb, who make five acts mentioned twice, with Lonely Days!

Glad you made the trip, hope the golf ball did you no permanent damage, and see you next week!


  1. CWM:
    Good find with Keely Smith...I remember seeing her on TV when I was VERY young.

    Great #1 song this it!

    When you start with the "birthday" REALLY makes me feel my age...but I love ALL of those tunes, nonetheless.
    They are timeless.

    Good ride this week.

    Stay safe (and song-filled) up there.

  2. Usually I try to listen to those I have'nt heard, and thus listened to Keely doing (since I couldn't find One Less Bell) Misty. I'd say somebody in promotions did her a disservice. The lady really has some pipes!