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


Friday, February 22, 2013

Time Machine week 56

Today is February 22nd, 1971- and not a good time to live in the south.  Yesterday the great Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak began, and would continue today.  16 twisters struck on the 21st, with one F5 tearing through Louisiana and Misissippi killing 47, and an F4 claiming 58 lives in a swath fom Mississippi to Tennessee.  Only two of the 123 deaths occurred today, both from an F3 in Fayetteville, NC.  In all, 21 twisters struck in 9 states in the south and midwest. 

Welcome to another episode of Time Machine, and believe me, the features look like one of those tornadoes hit them!  If it wasn't for my natural charm and grace, this could get a little boring... except for the music.  Bear with me as I ad-lib us through another trip!

Before we start, I stupidly credited top 40 debut Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone to Joe Tex last week.  It was the late great Johnny Taylor, actually.  So sorry.

Out of 15 debuts on the hot 100, four of them rate a mention- but they are whoppers!  George Harrison's second solo single from All Things Must Pass, What Is Life, comes in all the way up at 46.  Santana comes in at 49 with Oye Como Va; Marvin Gaye's What's Going On enters at 66, and at 95, Alice Cooper with Eighteen.

The birthday list starts out with a pair of tunes that turn 30 this week- Thomas Dolby's She Blinded Me With Science, and The Clash's Should I Stay Or Should I Go.  Turning 35 this week, a long title from a long-named act, England Dan and John Ford Coley (26 letters) with We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again (32 letters); along with Sweet's Love Is Like Oxygen (bringing back fond memories of tuning into WLAP out of Nashville at night), and Earth Wind and Fire with Fantasy.  Newly 40 years old, we have Skylark- a Canadian outfit who were one of Ronnie Hawkins' backup bands, with a song discovered on their demo and promoted by Barry DeVorzon (of Nadia's Theme fame), Wildflower.  Also hitting the big 4-0 is a song I'd forgot about till Laurie and I found it a few days back- New York City with I'm Doing Fine Now.

Turning 50 are the Chiffons' He's So Fine and Andy Williams' Can't Get Used To Losing You; and hitting 55 this week are Buddy Holly's Crickets with Maybe Baby, Don Gibson's Oh Lonesome Me, and the Champs immortal party song Tequila.  Blow out the candles...

Doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang....

Our big dropper is Rare Earth's Born To Wander falling half the countdown- and a notch- to #69.  The big climber is on up at the top forty- where we'll be shortly.

And I have to have a talk with Ray Stevens about being greedy on the Where Are They Now feature.  Not only does he hit #50 with his single Bridget The Midget on the way up- but four weeks later, he hits it again on the way down!  That a week after Bobby Sherman tried to get another WATN shot himself.  Guys, you know you don't get PAID for this, right?

So I thought, why not fill it the space with a nice big lookback feature?  Tune in right after the top 40 debuts for why THAT didn't work out.

Four songs make it into the top 40 this week.  First up is our big mover of the week, Ike and Tina Turner's cover of CCRs' Proud Mary, leaping 23 spots to land at the #39 spot.  Janis Joplin's Me And Bobby McGee jumps 13 to #36; a 19-slot climb for that aforementioned Bobby Sherman song, Cried Like A Baby, landing at 31; and taking advantage of landing just OUTSIDE the countdown last week, The Temptations shoot from 41 to 19 with Just My Imagination. 

And that brings us to the lookback- and I am REALLLLY getting annoyed with what the "new plan" for this feature is bringing us.  To recap, the NP is go to this week in each proceeding year in the fifties (1950 in week one, 1951 in week two, yadda yadda) and pick the artist that had the biggest mover within the countdown.  This week in 1952, we hit a song called I Wanna Say Hello! credited to one Ellen Sutton.  I had to do a lot of digging for scant reward on this one, folks.  It seems she was actually the lead vocalist for the orchestra led by one Sir Hubert Pimm.  Here it becomes even dicier.  As late as June of 2010, BBC radio host Russell Davies, in trying to find out just who Sir Hubert was, thought he might have been the song's writer, one James McDonald.  "However, information on McDonald is scant", the BBC article stated. No fooling.   However, most sources agree that Sir Hubert was the serious non-de-guerre of one Bill Snyder, who like Sir Hubert and Ellen, had just one charting hit.  Apparently, "Sir Hubert" was for his more dignified recordings, while his more "relaxed" stuff he did under (what I assume to be) his own name.  Despite the 21 notch leap to #21, that's all the farther the song went on Billboard- and Cashbox.  It had peaked first at 29, fell to 42, returned to 21 this week in 1952, and then fell to 37 on its way off the chart.  Apparently Ellen was serious about saying hello being all she wanted to do.

We have three songs leaping a combined 40 spots into the top ten; and in karmic return we have three songs dropping a total of 53 spots out of the ten.  The droppers are Lonely Days (5 to 21), Remember Me (8 to 23), and Groove Me (10 to 32).

Gladys Knight and her merry men drop from 6 to 10 with If I Were Your Woman.

And at #9, our six degrees.

Dawn's Knock Three Times slips 6 to that #9 spot.  Now, this wasn't the "Dawn" we came to know and love, but Tony Orlando with a pair of hastily-assembled backup singers.  One of them was one Linda November, a future voice-over artist who would go on to fame with the Wing And A Prayer Fife And Drum Corps, singing Baby Face- and we've talked about her before.  The other singer was Toni Wine, who had a pretty good rep as a songwriter, her teaming with Carol Bayer-Sager creating among others, the Mindbenders' hit Groovy Kind Of Love.  This was after the eccentric Wayne Fontana quit the 'benders in mid-show, and the vocals were by Eric Stewart.  Stewart would join with a group of like-minded gentlemen afterwards to form both Hotlegs (Neanderthal Man) and 10cc.  In between they were the backing band for the first stage of Neil Sedaka's comback, the 1972 lp Solitaire.  The album was known for the #27 hit That's When The Music Takes Me, as well as the title tune, which the Carpenters took to #17 in 1975.

Record mogul Don Kirshner over Ron Dante and Toni Wine- the "voices" of the Archies.

Watching Scotty Grow is a slow proposition, and Bobby Goldsboro only goes from 9 to 8 this week.

Gordon has a light foot, leaping from 19 to 7 with If You Could Read My Mind.

CCR blasts its way up fro 24 to 6 with Have You Ever Seen The Rain.

And Wadsworth Mansion jumps those other ten notches, landing at 5 with Sweet Mary.

Dave Edmunds, who looks like me, holds at 4 with I Hear You Knockin'.

The J5 leap another 4 from 7 to 3 with Mama's Pearl.

Holding at #2, Lynn Anderson's Rose Garden.

And in a second week at #1.....

.....The Osmonds with One Bad Apple- a song which I recently saw on a FoxNews entertainment slide show credited to the Jackson Five.  The muck doing the show was trying to do a deal on "singers who were bigger solo than in a group".  Apparently he/she should stick to stuff they know, like rap groups and TMZ reports.  On the bright side, at least they weren't required to sign their work.

See, that wasn't so bad!  Tune in next week, when we'll see Bridget the Midget hold at #50, as I send off a rude e-mail to Ray Stevens.


  1. I LOVE Janis Joplin! very interesting post

  2. Bad enough people have to live in Mississippi, they have to put up with twisters, too.
    But, at least they don't live next door to New Jersey.

    1. Thankfully that's your cross to bear.

  3. CWM:
    Blinded me with sceince is THIRTY...already????
    (geez, I'm

    That tornado was something else, too.
    The "lookback" was really obscure, too...nevr heard of her...them.

    Always liked that song SOLITAIRE...
    (wonder why?)

    Lots of great climbers and droppers this week.
    (makes me wonder how the new social media SKEWS the charts THESE days?)

    Another fine ride, Dave...
    (geez, they DO look alike)

    Rock safe up there.

    1. Just look at the album chart. You peak where you debut and drop thereafter. And yeah, thirty. That's why I do the birthdays, so everyone can feel as old as me- even when they're older...
      I have a vague memory of Sedaka singing Solitaire on TV, but might be creeping demntia.