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


Friday, March 1, 2013

Time Machine week 57

It's March first, 1971.  Today the Senate lunchroom was empty.  Not because of another recess, or trying to avoid sequestration.  The Weather Underground, not the website, but the terroist wannabes, set off a bomb- after politely calling in a warning a half-hour earlier- in the Capitol Building, equivalent to twenty pounds of dynamite.  The Big Bang Theory was that it was a protest of the invasion of Laos.  Sure, don't do anything to end the Vietnam War with a victory.  Nothing was hurt but some glass panels and artwork.  I don't know which amazes me more- that these losers could get a bomb in the building, or that security couldn't find it in a half hour.

Before I start musing about what good might be accomplished these days in such a situation, let me say, welcome to Time Machine.  This week, one song takes a slow boat to the top ten;  Gary Puckett keeps the customer satisfied; the guy that beats out Perry Como and Eddie Fisher; the long and short of debuts; and Jimmy Seville, we hear you knocking, but you CAN'T come in!  Come on, let's have a blast!

This week we had 10 hot 100 debuts, of which I drew a complete goose egg!  I'm sure we'll catch up to some of them in the top forty- someday- but for now, we must skitter helplessly on into the birthday songs for this week.

Turning thirty is that guy who won't let you watch his songs on Youtube, Prince with Little Red Corvette, along with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Change Of Heart.  Thirty-five years old this week, Atlanta Rhythm Section's Imaginary Lover; turning 40, the FIRST run of the Beach Boys' Sail On Sailor, along with Billy Preston's Will It Go 'Round In Circles.  Four songs turn 45, and one of them is one you might not know, and if you don't, go get a listen- Orpheus with Can't Find The Time.  The others, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (who will be coming up again shortly) with Young Girl; the Box Tops with Cry Like A Baby; and The Mighty Quinn (The Eskimo) from Manfred Mann.  And finally on this week's short list, Hank Williams, Sr.'s version of Kaw-Liga turns 60.  (it hit #1 on the country charts for 14 weeks; Hank Jr made it to #12 in 1980.

Poor old Kaw-Liga, he ain't never been kissed...

The big mover is a tune by Chicago called Free; it moves up 24 to #47.  Bread gets the big dropper, down 39 to #73 with Let Your Love Go.

And that brings us to the Time Machine retail department, where we find Gary Puckett keeping the customer satisfied, which is the name of his second solo effort at #50 this week.  Of course that's Cashbox numbers; Billboard peaked it at 71, ten shy of his other solo charter, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself.   Where did it all go wrong for Puckett and the Gap?  They had a short but great string in the late sixties with songs like the aforementioned Young Girl, Lady Willpower, and Over You- all of which were co-written by producer Jerry Fuller from CBS.  But the band wanted to do it's own stuff, and Puckett "resented having to sing Fuller's power ballads."  So abandoning the man that helped them hit #2, #2, and #7, they then hit 9, 41, and missed the chart altogether with their last three singles.  By 1971 the band was broken up, though they played sometimes as Puckett's backup band in his solo career.  That too was a dissappointment, and by 1973, he was studying acting and dance to build a stage career.  But in 1981, he was talked into making a comeback tour, and has been on the oldies circuit ever since, including a 2010 tour with the Association and the Lettermen.  He, his wife Lorrie, and his 2 stepdaughters live in Clearwater, Florida.  And on June 20th, 2010, the man who named his band after a town just a few miles from his hometown of Yakima, Washington, finally played for the first time in Union Gap, Washington.

...and I guess there's just no getting over Jerry...
The top forty gains a whopping eight new songs this week.  Moving up two is the morbid classic DOA by Bloodrock, an eerie look at a fatal car accident told by one of the unsuspecting victims.  A seventeen notch jump for the Fifth Dimension lands them at 38 with Love's Lines, Angles, And Rhymes.  The Guess Who climb 8 to 37 with Hang On To Your Life.  James Taylor's Country Road also moves eight to #36.  Another eight notch climber is the Mike Curb Congregation, led by a man who is going to make a great six degrees with all his connections, with a song from Kelley's Heroes called Burning Bridges; it lands at #34.  Aretha Franklin jumps 15 to #32 with You're All I Need To Get By; up a big 21 are Santana with Oye Como Va coming in at 28.  And finally, George Harrison's second solo single, What Is Life, shoots from 46 to 24.

This week in our lookback segment, we had to throw out the #1 mover this week in 1953, the already featured Perry Como, and the #2, Eddie Fisher, and go to #3- a man who moves up from 32 to 21 with a song called Rachel.  That man is Artie Wayne.  And he was much bigger after the modest success of his song.

As a songwriter, he was first noticed by Bobby Darin, who brought him to the attention of Don Kirshner.  His songs have been covered over 250 times, but that wasn't the end of things, as he became involved in the publishing end of music.  As well as a producer who worked with acts from the Shirelles to the Guess Who.  As a manager, he discovered young singer Sissy Spacek.  His company broke the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack in the US of A, and was responsible for signing Rick James to A&M.  He taught songwriting to a couple of generations; his early pupils included Partridge Family writer Tony Romeo, and Gypsies Tramps and Thieves co-writer Bob Stone.  In 1983, he opened the Songwriter Motivational Course, among whose graduates is John Barnes, who was Michael Jackson's co-writer on most of the Bad lp.  Wow, speaking of good six degrees candidates!

Two songs join the top ten, two drop out.  The droppers (and boy, do they drop) are:  Knock Three Times, from 9 to 22; and If I Were Your Woman, from 10 to 29.

Jerry Reed moves up from 16 to 10 with Amos Moses.

Next up is a song that took its good sweet time moving up into the ten.  On the one hand, it moved 14 spots once; and 11, and ten.  In between, it had a 7, 4 sixes, a 5, two 4's, a 3, 2 twice, one 1, and two weeks that it didn't move at all.  Despite it all, it makes it into the top 10 with one of those 4-notch moves:  the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Mr. Bojangles, in its eightteenth week.

Bobby Goldsboro didn't watch Scotty grow this week; he held at #8.

And that brings us to that long-threatened six degrees.

Dropping 3 to #7 is Dave Edmunds with I Hear You Knocking.    This was a remake of a blues song written by Dave Bartholomew, who also wrote My Ding-a-Ling which Chuck Berry took to #1.  That lovely song with the scarcely hidden meeting was roundly attacked by British morality crusader Mary Whitehouse, who tried to have it banned but failed.  She was much more successful in keeping Alice Cooper's School's Out of the music show Tops Of The Pops.  Ironically, Mary, who died in 2001, never learned that her crusade should have been turned upon the shows host- one Jimmy Seville, who has become famous post mortem as one of the most prolific sexual predators in UK history.  And that is a six degrees NOBODY wants to be linked to.

Gordon Lightfoot moves a notch to 6 with If You Could Read My Mind.

Wadsworth Mansion holds at 5 with Sweet Mary.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?  CCR sees it at #4, up a pair.

Lynn Anderson slips a spot to 3 with Rose Garden.

The Jacksons move up to runner up with Mama's Pearl.

And for a third straight week.... the tops of the pops is...

... One Bad Apple by the Osmonds!!!!

That's it for another trip!  Watch you step exiting, and pick up that candy wrapper!


  1. Sometimes it is scary just how many of these I remember considering that in 1971 I was only 6.

  2. I remember being equally appalled at Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson. BOTH made the junior high school girls swoon. They were so alike, with the obvious exception: Donny is still alive.
    And here you thought I was going to say Donny was white.
    Well, so was Michael.
    Thank you, thank you very much.
    Oh, incidentally, Donny is STILL white.

    1. Time will remove the jealousy young boys feel about teeny bop heartthrobs.

  3. Oh yeah, CW and Mynx? In 1971, I was 13.
    Punk kids.

  4. Cw,:
    Always did wonder whatver happened to gary Puckett...
    (I wonder no longer)

    This week's 6-degress had my going "huh???" Pretty involved.

    And the Osmonds are STILL at #1?
    (who's been stuffing the ballot box?)

    BTW...Never heard of Artie Wayne before today...great find.
    Good ride.
    Rock on safely up there.