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


Friday, February 15, 2013

Time Machine week 55

It's February 15th, 1971.  And the biggest news your internet searching will find you about today is that the British went to a decimal monetary system today.  You see, they had been on a 1 pound = 20 shillings = 240 pence system for centuries, and would now need hand-calculators to figure out if the Good Humour man was ripping them off or not.

I was going to pitch a bitch about, "How long have you been on the metric system and you're just now coming to decimal currency?"  But after turning up a 2004 article on the BBC titled, "Will we ever go completely metric?" I decided, okay, I guess I'm no expert on THAT subject.  The biggest laugh of the whole story was when I read that it wasn't even the biggest story on the British front pages that day, but I defy you to find out what WAS.

Welcome to a Valentine's episode of Time Machine, in which I will be sending out Valentines to all my blog ladies, so if you are A) female, and B) comment semi-regularly on this blog, pay attention this week!  A Valentine is coming your way!  Also, a top 40 debut that wanders into our six degrees, a hot hundred debut that blunders into the birthday song category, and from our lookback special, the song that could not be found!  Step lively, correct change, please!

But first, a sad note.  Rick Huxley, bassist for the legendary Dave Clark Five, passed on Monday, according to Dave.  The 72-year old Huxley is the third of the quintet to pass on, after Dennis Payton in 2006 and lead singer Mike Smith in 2008.  I guess that Catch Us If You Can might not be exactly an apropriate eulogy.

Lenny Davidson on the left and Dave Clark in the middle are the DC2 now.

So out of 7 debuts to the hot 100 this week, we have two to feature this week.  The first, at 82, is Cat Stevens' Wild World; and at 96, Derek and the Dominoes (Eric Clapton and buddies) with Bell Bottom Blues.  This song has a long and struggling history on the charts.  This original version climbed to #91; and two years later- this week, in fact, making it a 40 year birthday song- it was re-released under Clapton's name, climbing to a lofty 78.  Too bad, because as Clapton fans know, it's one of his best.

Speaking of birthdays, here's the rest of this week's bunch!  Turning 30 are Styx's Mr. Roboto, After The Fire's Der Kommisar, and Phil Collins' drum-heavy I Don't Care Anymore.  Turning 35 we have ELO with Sweet Talkin' Woman and Tavares' version of More Than A Woman off Saturday Night Fever.  Joining one incarnation of Bell Bottom Blues at the age of 40 this week are: the Carpenters with Sing, Dobie Gray's classic Drift Away (Remember the Oldies 101.7 ad?  " 'Beat, Boys' ?  I thought he said, 'Give me the BEACH Boys!' "), Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side, and Deep Purple with Woman From Tokyo.  Turning 45 we have Sly Stone and the Family with Dance To The Music, and the recently mentioned Troggs with Love Is All Around.  Turning 50 is Johnny Cymbal's Mr. Bass Man; and turning 55 are a pair of the all-timers: Little Richard's Good Golly Miss Molly and Chuck Berry's Sweet Little 16.  Blow out the candles...

Let's start with the Valentine songs!  Now some of these songs might have a meaning for the recipient beyond the title, and some might not (hence we would send my ex-wife along the lines of "What Kind Of Fool Am I" or "Something Stupid").  I hope everyone will enjoy them in the spirit of the holiday.  Here's one for the little sweetheart at what's on your mind, Monkey Butt - for you I send out  a song that will fit your theme- Smokey and the Miracles with Mickey's Monkey.  For my dear friend from up north, Average Girl,  who occasionally still posts at it's an average life, how about a song that reflects in title what your stories often leave me doing- the Guess Who and Laughing.  For my dear friend Skippy at I make soap , in light of her recent side effects, I send you the Troggs' Wild Thing!  My friend Holly over at Holly's hoots and Hollers , I think it pretty apropos to dedicate Sailcat's Motorcycle Mama.  And winding up round one, I can't think of anything that would remind me of Jo-Anne at Jo-Anne's Ramblings any better than Bobby Russell's Saturday Morning Confusion.  Chocolates to all!

Our big movers are: going down, the former top ten from Led Zep, Immigrant Song, falling 56 spots to 77.  Going up, Janis Joplin's Me And Bobby McGee, climbing 21 spots to #49.

The song at #50 this week was a Bobby Sherman tune- and since we've Where-Are-They-Now'd him previously, it's a good thing we have no room for him this week.

Another five Valentines!  From my fine blogging and artist friend over at Lizard Happy , I thought it meet to send an Aussie song to an Aussie babe, so how about Little River Band and Help Is On Its Way.  For Elsie at Mock Turtle's Musings , I think I would play her Spandau Ballet's True.  For Nain from View From Down Here , I have to imagine her husband sing to her Elton John's Your Song.  For Ms NK Rey at Waiting for God , in her manse on the banks of the Wabash, I send you the great Andy Williams' Moon River.  And for Juli at Surviving Boys , what else could I dedicate but Connie Francis' Where The Boys Are?

7 songs debut into the top 40 as well.  Up 3 spots to 40 is someone Laurie and I just listened to not long ago- and who will re-appear in today's six degrees- Emitt Rhodes with Fresh As A Daisy.  (No, it was not later used as the Massengil theme!*)  Another three-notch climber at 39 are the Kinks with Apeman.  An 8-slot climb to 36 belongs to Joe Tex with Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone.  The Carpenters leap 13 spots with For All We Know, landing at 35.  The Partridge Family shoot up 11 spots to 34 with Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted.  There are currently three versions of the Love Story Theme on the charts, but the one in the top 40 right now is Henry Mancini's, climbing 19 spots to 28.  And the high debut, up at 27, is Tom Jones, climbing 14 with She's A Lady (Whoa wo wo!!!)  * If you don't get the joke, don't worry.  I'm just being a douche.

Well, attempt #2 at the new way of doing the lookback ran into a bit of a snag- or two.  First, the biggest mover this week in 1951 was someone we've looked at a couple of times already- Guy Lombardo and his merry men with Use Your Imagination.  So I went with the second biggest mover, and hit snag #2.  When a song hit the charts back then, usually more than one version hit at the same time.  So Cashbox would just roll all the versions into one big chart hit.  And the song that moved the second most was a tune called May The Good Lord Bless You And Keep You, moving from 33 to 17.  Three artists shared this particular charting- opera star Jan Peerce (I think that's "Yan", as it is a guy); Bing Crosby; and the first name on the list, Frankie Laine.

Despite not being a big star on the charts, Laine (originally LoVecchio) had an influence on music far beyond his numbers.  A master of many musical styles, he hit the top 3 times- all in a six month span.  August of '49 saw him at the top with That Lucky Old Sun; February of 1950 saw him at the top with The Cry Of The Wild Goose; in between was the western classic Mule Train.  His signature song was the #3 That's My Desire- the last song he publicly sang, two years before his death in 2007.

At the other end of his 70+ years as a performer, he got a start in his youth in dance marathons.  He and partner Ruthie Smith set a world record at 3,501 hours- and he entertained the other contestants with his singing during their 15-minute breaks!

 Oh, and the song that brought us here?  I found no evidence on Billboard that it charted by any of the three- and in fact, that #17 spot was its peak!

And I have a couple of shoutouts for the almost but not quite list this week!  Todd Rundgren peaks this week at 21 with We Gotta Get You A Woman; and Bread at 20 with Let Your Love Go.

One last look in the Valentine mailbag!  For Ms CB at the ramblings of Charlie Brown , I thought about the easy joke with the Coasters, but decided instead on something more closer to her lifestyle- Andy Williams again, with Born Free.  For the former Chocolate Angel over at three cats and my coffee cup , I thought something from Hot Chocolate- how about You Sexy Thing?  For Kelli over at the House of Hale , again I went with something I can see her hubby dedicating to her- the Jackson Five with I'll Be There. And for Holly at the Morrow , and in that same vein, the Association and Cherish.

Two songs join the top ten, two drop out.  The droppers are Your Song (10 to 17) and Stoney End (8 to 11).

King Floyd drops from 4 to 10 with Groove Me.

Bobby Goldsboro comes in at 9, up 2 with Watching Scotty Grow.

Diana Ross moves up one spot to 8 with Remember Me.

The Jackson Five rocket from 17 to 7 with Mama's Pearl.

Gladys Knight and company slip a notch to 6 with If I Were Your Woman.

The Bee Gees drop a pair to 5 with Lonely Days.

Dave Edmunds pushes up 2 to #4 with I Hear You Knocking.

Dawn slips another notch to 3 with Knock Three Times.

Which brings us to the six degrees song- Rose Garden, falling from the top to #2.

Rose Garden was written by Joe South, who never charted it.  In fact several acts tried and failed to chart before Lynn Anderson, including the 3 Degrees and one Freddy Weller, who spent 6 years as a member of Paul Revere and the Raiders.  He was the replacement for original member Drake Levin, who Revere fired right before an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.  Levin wenton to join the previously mentioned Emitt Rhodes (who ever thought he'd get two mentions in one episode?) in a west-coast band called the Merry-Go-Round.  Later on, a gent by the name of Rick Dey (No relation to Susan Dey- her birth name was Smith) joined the Merry-Go-Round, after a stint with an outfit called the Wilde Knights.  And the Wilde Knights did the original recording of the song Just Like Me- which Paul Revere and the Raiders, pre- Weller, took to #11 in 1965.

And that means we have a new nuber one, but first, I have one more Valentine, for Laurie:

Andrew Gold, and Thank You For Being A Friend....

ANNNNNND now, the new top dog...

The Osmonds, and One Bad Apple!!!!

Hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day!!!! See you next time!


  1. Thanks CW. I'm sorry I've been so MIA. Life is weird right now. I miss you and your blog though. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things :) Keep Hanging in there my friend and I hope you and your Valentine had a wonderful day yesterday!

  2. Why the US will never go completely metric? Football. Can you imagine...
    "It's 3rd and 3 meters to go."
    Just won't work.
    Plus, what would Subway do with their $5 Foot-long promotions?

  3. Thank you for my LRB Valentine. Happy Valentines day to you too my friend.
    And a little trivia for you
    Australia went to decimal currency on the 14th Feb 1966 and we started to change to a metric system from 1970.

    1. On Valentines day? Really? That is just plain ironic AKA messed up.

  4. CWM:
    That was a nice turn you did for the Valentines in your sphere of influence...very wekll done.

    Did not hear about Huxley, how it's onlt rhe Dave Clark TWO?
    (say it ain't so)

    I really LIKED the DC5..more than the Beatles...damn shme they never got the press the Fab 4 did.

    Excellent call w/ Frankie Laine...he was one of Mom's FAVORITE singers.
    I'm sure if she were here, she'd thank you.

    Edmunds song is a classic.

    You done good this week with the "HEART" of the done REAL good.

    Stay safe up there.