Welcome once again to Time Machine, where we delve into questions such as: What band counted as members a famous actor's dad and a stock broker? What singer who was saved, and then died, here in Fort Wayne gave us the big hit The Cincinatti Dancing Pig? And what lp containing a top ten song this week had among the artists on it people responsible for a soap opera theme, a movie theme, and a TV show theme? Paddle faster, friends, I hear banjos!
We have 11 debuts this week on the hot 100, of which three merit our attention. The Carpenters come in all the way up at #48 with For All We Know; Andy Williams comes in at 94 with the theme to Love Story (Where Do I Begin); and Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley with One Toke Over The Line at #99. Our birthday songlist wouldn't be so exceptional if it weren't for one year claiming half of the tunes! Turning 30 this week are Journey's Separate Ways and Dan Fogelburg's Make Love Stay; turning 40 are the Stylistics with Break Up To Make Up, Vickie Lawrence's The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, and the Guess Who with one you make have to Youtube (but you won't regret it), Follow Your Daughter Home. Turning 45 are Gladys Knight and the Pips' The End Of The Road, the Delfonics' La La Means I Love You, and Blue Cheer's Summertime Blues. Turning 55 is Connie Francis' Who's Sorry Now. But wait, you say, what about the songs that turned 35 this week? Why, there are NINE of them:
Rod Stewart's Hot Legs;
Andrew Gold's Thank You For Being A Friend;
Gordon Lightfoot's The Circle Is Small (not a happy song, but the music cheers me)
Jackson Browne's Running On Empty;
Styx's Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man);
The Trammp's Disco Inferno;
Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway with The Closer I Get To You;
and Waylon 'n' Willie with Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.
You're going to need a lot of breath to blow out all those candles...
There was a savage battle for the biggest dropper this week; Ray Price dropped 44 notches to 74 with For The Good Times- and finished second. The big dropper was Stoned Love, falling half the countdown from 21 to 71. Big mover? Come back during the top 40 debuts.
The Where Are They Now contestant this week is a song called I'm So Proud by the boys that brought you Everybody Plays The Fool, the Main Ingredient. The band that took their name from a coke bottle began with three men who called themselves the Poets, then the Insiders, before that pause that refreshes led them to their permanent moniker. Just before they hit big, lead singer Donald McPherson contracted a fast-striking leukemia and died in 1971. The survivors soldiered on by hiring a new singer- Cuba Gooding, Sr. He was the voice on the hits you knew and loved. Still, success wasn't for long, and they broke up for the first time in 1977, with Luther Simmons becoming a stockbroker and abandoning the biz altogether- except during some of the reunions of the group. They were reborn in 1979, 1986, and 1999. Original Tony Sylvester passed in 2006; Simmons retired once and for all, and Gooding, Sr. still leads the band today.
Before I go on, a sad note. Reg Presley, lead singer of the Troggs on the party classic Wild Thing and the beautiful Love Is All Around, has passed at the age of 71. Born Reggie Ball, he had his name changed by his agent- and had to find out about it in a magazine.
It's time for the top forty debuts, and Jerry Reed kicks it off with Amos Moses, climbing 11 to #40. Next is a band called McGuinness Flint, an English supergroup fronted by Manfred Mann bassist Tom McGuinness and John Mayall drummer Hughie Flint, with a song that would go top ten in the UK, When I'm Dead And Gone. It edges up 2 notches to 39. The Four Tops climb ten with Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life) at #38. Up eleven spots to 34 is Wilson Pickett with Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You. and the high debut/biggest mover is CCR with Have You Ever Seen The Rain, up a big 30 spots to #33.
I'm going to do my lookback a little different now that I'm moving into the 50's. Each week I'll find the biggest mover in the countdown and salute the main artist. There was a tie this week in 1950, and I'll take the higher charting, leaping from 37 to 9. Red Foley, who was in that spot with Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy. Red had a chart career from 1944-69, mainly on the country chart where he hit the top ten times. He hit the top ten on the pop charts 4 times, including the curiously named Cincinatti Dancing Pig, which made it to #7.
The story of Red's death was fascinating, and I'm lifting it from wikipedia for your benefit.
On September 19, 1968, Foley appeared in two Opry performances in Fort Wayne, Indiana sponsored by the local Sheriff's Posse that included Billy Walker and 20-year-old Hank Williams, Jr., son of his long-time friend Hank Williams. Before the second show, according to Walker, Foley came to his dressing room and Walker shared his faith in Christ: "[Foley] said, 'Do you think God could ever forgive a sinner like me?' He began to tell me all the rotten things he had done in his life and I looked him in the face and said, 'Red, if God can forgive me, He can forgive you.' I prayed with Red, he went out and the last song he sang was "Peace In The Valley". He came over to side of the stage and said, 'Billy, I've never sung that song and feel the way I do tonight.'" Foley suffered respiratory failure that night and died in his sleep, prompting Hank Williams, Jr. to write and record (as Luke the Drifter, Jr.) "I Was With Red Foley (The Night He Passed Away)". According to the song, which charted that November, his last words were, "I’m awful tired now, Hank, I’ve got to go to bed." The moon that night was blood red, in remembrance to the great singer. Foley had sung "Peace In The Valley" at Hank Sr.'s funeral. Red Foley was interred in Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Nashville.
Three songs climb into the top ten, three drop out. Perry Como slides a pair to 12 with It's Impossible; My Sweet Lord drops from 6 to 15. And One Less Bell To Answer falls from 8 all the way to 25.
Elton John falls a notch to 10 with Your Song.
Diana Ross moves to #9, up a pair, with Remember Me.
And sliding a notch to #8, our six degrees victim.
Barbra Streisand's Stoney End lp included a lot of name- and rep- players. Among them: Randy (Short People) Newman; Eric Weissberg, who wielded one of the Dueling Banjos; Perry Botkin, Jr., one of the duo who gave us Nadia's Theme (The Young And The Restless); Hal Blaine, from Elvis' Wrecking Crew; Larry Knechtel who would soon join Bread; and Larry Carlton, who played lead guitar on Mike Post's Hill Street Blues theme. The title song was a composition by the late great Laura Nyro, who probably holds a record for most songs written to hit the charts when she herself never topped #92. That was with, ironically enough, a cover of the Drifters' Up On The Roof. That #1 was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and Carole played piano on the Drifters' single.
The Osmond Bros leap from 16 to 7 with One Bad Apple.
That handsome sod Dave Edmunds hits #6, up 6, with I Hear You Knocking.
Holding at 5, Gladys Knight and the Pips with If I Were Your Woman.
Also stuck at 4, King Floyd's Groove Me.
The Bee Gees drop 2 from the top dog spot to #3 with Lonely Days.
Holding in the runner up slot, Dawn with Knock Three Times.
And the new #1, climbing from #3....
Okay gang, shake'r easy, and I'll see you here next week!