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


Friday, May 10, 2013

Time Machine week 67

It's May 10th, 1971.  And you know you are going to have a bad day researching when it starts off here on the date teaser.  On the first page of Google results, we find that the USPS is raising special delivery rates by 15 cents.  Slow forward to page 7, where we find Officer Frank Serpico of the NYPD (if you don't remember the name, go Google Al Pacino) testifying at a superior officer's corruption trial.  And top it off on page 11 where we find one Kiyoshi Okubo, a Japanese serial killer who managed to kill and rape 8 women in just 41 days before the prospective ninth victim's brother tracked him down and apprehended them.  Kinda puts you in mind of the Cleveland PD about now, don't it?  Perhaps officer Serpico should have been in Japan instead of court.  Or at least in the Postmaster General's office.

Damnit, man, I should be out there busting Winton Blount!
Too bad it wasn't tomorrow, when Laurie turned nine!

Welcome to Time Machine, which has helped me with a momentous decision.  I have been contemplating cutting off anonymous comments from my blog for all the spam I get.  But today I got one on Time Machine week 27- wherein we did the story on the alternate lyrics of Mr. Lee, and the Carpenters were on top with Close To You.  This spam commenter added one of the most ill-placed comments of all time:

Yes! Finally someone writes about norton internet 2007.

Here is my weblog

BTW, I did peruse the post, and I confirmed that it never mentioned Norton Internet 2007.  However, not only did it make me decide to leave up anon comments- at least for a while longer- but it filled in the tease, which, had I done my regular stuff, would have ate up 90% of my features this week.  Between very little info on all the features I researched and the fact that the top 3 stay the same, ahem, other concerns, about all I can tease you is there is a whopping 16 birthday songs!  Hey, whaddaya whaddaya?  (Bonfire Of The Vanities, anyone?)  Also, a surprise (to me) announcement at the end!!! Let's rock and roll!

Okay, so we start off with this week in 1971's hot hundred debuts.  15 of them this week, and we'll chat about five.  At #97 we have our first sighting of one John Denver with Take Me Home Country Roads.  Chicago will get mentioned twice this week with a pair of lesser hits- this one Lowdown, which comes in at 68.  The aforementioned Carpenters enter at #62 with the melancholy Rainy Days And Mondays.  Just one notch above, the late Janis Joplin with Cry Baby; and at #54, the Partridge Family, just four notches away from being prophets, with I'll Meet You Halfway.

At this point I'll mention a song that escaped my notice the last four weeks, sitting at #88.  Anyone who's read my music posts for any length of time knows about the song Can't Find The Time, which I just love.  The original was by Boston cult band Orpheus, and thanks to horrible mismanagement of their record company, three releases only managed a high peak of #80.  I've also mentioned the unreleased cover by Hootie and the Blowfish from the Me, Myself, And Irene soundtrack.  In between them is apparently the highest charting version of all, by a band called Rose Colored Glass.  The song is on YouTube, and is just as good as the other two; the band?  All I could find out for sure is they were from Texas, they did 2 45s and no albums, and peaked at #54.  All I can say is, ONE of these versions SHOULD have been a #1 song.

Birthday time!  Let's start out with our new 30-year-olds:  Elton John's I'm Still Standing; Little River Band's We Two; Alabama's crossover classic, The Closer You Get; and the Kinks with a song that mirrors how I've felt about music for years, Come Dancing.  Turning 35 this week, Bob Seger and the boys with Still The Same; Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight; REO Speedwagon's Roll With The Changes; the late Donna Summer and Last Dance; and that other hit by Chicago, namely Take Me Back To Chicago.  Turning 40, we have a song that has a lot of girls I knew sweating, the Stylistics' You'll Never Get To Heaven If You Break My Heart; along with yet two more crossover classics- Jeanne Pruitt's Satin Sheets,  and Charlie Rich's Behind Closed Doors- along with George Harrison's Give Me Love.  Hitting 45 on 45 this week (hmm, that'd make a nice feature title...) we have Herb Alpert's This Guy's In Love With You and a pyschedelic classic, Status Quo's Pictures Of Matchstick Men. And turning 50, Nat King Cole's Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer, and a song that I liked because it was the theme of a one-season sitcom I liked, Tony Bennett's The Good Life.  Blow Out The Candles...

Yep, that's Larry Hagman and Donna Mills, who gave up the business world to become servants, on The Good Life.

Guess what?  For the second straight week, both the big dropper and big climber are in the top forty!  Mark it down, a TM first!

Next week, when I turn 51, the Where Are They Now feature moves to #51!  So in our last week at #50, we have the Supremes with Nathan Jones climbing 19 spots to be the victim.  Now this is the 70's Supremes- original Mary Wilson, along with Cindy Birdsong and new lead singer Jean Terrell.  The group didn't have long to live at this point, at least from a chart standpoint.  And when a 1983 reunion of the originals almost ended with an onstage fight between Wilson and Diana Ross, the rest of the collective story was few and far between.

  Mary Wilson, the only member of the 70s group to get HOF staus, still sings and is a tireless charity worker involved in the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, the American Cancer Society, St. Jude's, Easter Seals, UNICEF, and Cystic Fibrosis, among others.  Cindy left the 70s group due to pregnancy in 1972, replaced by Lynda Laurence; she returned the favor a couple years later when Lynda got pregnant, and stayed until retiring in 1976.  From there she was involved in many things- a Motown executive secretary, a nurse, and in the late 80s and early 90s became a minister.  I never found out what kind of minister, other than in 1992 she was enrolled in Albuquerque's Glorybound Evangelistic School, and was trying with a friend to set up a ministry through contemporary music organization tentatively called WordPsalms.  Jean was the hardest to find recent info about; other than sporadic appearances, she's very private.  In 1986-92 she joined Lynda Laurence and the final Supremes lead singer Scherrie Payne (yep, Freda's little sister) in a group called FLOS (former ladies of the Supremes).  A bit of deja vu there; Laurence joined up when Cindy decided against the project and backed out, thus replacing her for a second time.

Okay, I'm back- I just realized I hadn't got six degrees done yet!  Anyway, I think that brings us to this week's EIGHT (count 'em) top 40 debuts.  From the bottom, then:  At 39, Wilson Pickett climbs 13 with Don't Knock My Love; at 38, another song I've pimped many times, Nilsson's Me And My Arrow, up 3.  A nine notch climb to 37 for Helen Reddy's version of I Don't Know How To Love Him- but look out, because Yvonne Elliman's version is up 17 spots and sits at #52.  At 33, a 16-notch rise for Bobby Sherman with The Drum; also up 16, to #31, the Honey Cone with Want Ads.  Now, let me just say there was a fierce competition within the top 40 debuts for the biggest mover this week.  The show horse was Ringo Starr's It Don't Come Easy, making an 18-spot leap (just beating Yvonne Elliman) to 25. The place horse (this bit would have been better last week before the Kentucky Derby) was also the high debut- a 20-notch jump to 22 for Donny Osmond and Sweet And Innocent.  And the winner, climbing 23 to land AT 23, Murray Head and crew with Superstar.

The big dropper category was much the same.  The show horse was Elton John's Friends (down 18 to #35); the place horse was One Toke Over The Line (down 19 to #32); and the winner- Just My Imagination, down 21 spots to land at #36.

Which brings us to another big load of frustration the lookback segment.  Since we've been slightly off-schedule the last couple of weeks, I just went with 1953 (which I was already there for to look for any 60th birthdays).  There I found a song whose combined efforts (remember, back then Cashbox combined any versions of the same song into one entry) had resulted in a jump from 36 to 22 for Big Mamou.  Mamou, so I learned, is a small town in Cajun Country, and the "capital" of Cajun Music.  The song itself detailed a girl who left her guy (or vice versa depending on the singer) and returned home to Mamou.  Two singers had this song out.  The eventual higher-placer was the version (and a neat song it was) by Pete Henley.  After a solid half-hour of research, all I really learned about Pete was he was on TV, might have been a regular comedian on the Ernie Kovacs show, and had two singles in 1953, with this one hitting #19 on Billboard.  The other singer was a somewhat more famous lady by the name of Delores Gray.

Hot... and this ain't even the "skimpy outfit" picture!

Delores was more of a stage actress, but she did have four charting singles (this one hit #28 on BB), and had some pretty plum  film roles too.  She was the Wazir's (Sebastian Cabot's) wife in 1955's Kismet, and Gregory Peck's ex-girlfriend in 1957's Designing Women.  She was also the "singing voice" of Marilyn Monroe in There's No Business Like Show Business.

Two songs into the top 10, two out.  One of which is What's Going On (9 to 15).  The other- since the only dropper in the top ten I did six degrees on LAST week- is the six degrees victim.

Paul McCartney's Another Day (dropping from 6 to 11) proved yet another research challenge- Paul wrote it, so no connecting author; the only players were Paul, Linda, and a session drummer who didn't really connect anywhere else; and the single was independent of the debut lp Ram.  But, thankfully, it was recorded in the same sessions, and thus I found out that it was backed by the New York Symphony Orchestra.  So I wikied to see who else the orchestra played for, and the article didn't say.  So I searched elsewhere and it all came down to one name-

Meat Loaf.

The NYSO played on the Bat Out Of Hell lp, so now we can move on to a much more connectable subject.  For example, at least the one I went with, is the Ted Nugent connection.


Well, back when Ted did the lp Free-For-All, he got into it with lead vocal Derek St. Holmes, who left in the middle of the lp.  Up steps the then unknown Meat Loaf who sang lead on about half the lp ( the one well known song, the title cut, Ted sang himself.)  What, you want more?  Okay, Ted was lead guitar on the Amboy Dukes, who had the classic psychedelic hit Journey To The Center Of Your Mind.  BTW, as I type, I'm checking out Loaf's vocals on Nugent's Writing On The Wall.  Man, the dude can flat sing!

Ted lovin' him some Meat Loaf...

And thus, the top ten.

John Lennon and his ever-shifting "we try to drown Yoko out" players move up 2 to #10 with Power To The People.

Stevie Wonder edges up one to #9 with We Can Work It Out.

Daddy Dewdrop dew drop in on the top ten, moving from 18 to 8 with Chick-A-Boom (Don' Yew Jes' Luv It).

Neil Diamond has said all he has to say; I Am... I Said drops from 4 to 7.

Bread rises (you knew I'd use that one at least once) with the beautiful ballad If, from 8 to 6.

The fans are still confused; Aretha Franklin moves up from 7 to 5 with Bridge Over Troubled Water (see last week's top ten if you missed that gag.)

The Bells move gently up one notch to #4 with Stay Awhile.

And the top three will seem familiar:

The Jackson Five at 3 with Never Can Say Goodbye;

Ocean at 2 with Put Your Hand In The Hand;

And again, the number one song....

...Three Dog Night (or, in Romanian, Trei câine noapte), with Joy To The World!!!!
(Why Romanian?  Because Google translate won't translate Hebrew into English letters!)
Hey, I just got thinking that I'm overdue for a Martin Hall Of Fame selection!  So when you get done here, click on the MHOF link at the top of the blog, see what categories and who's in there, and send in some nominations!  I promise I will not ignore any nomination.  I may make fun of it, verbally abuse it, or satirize it, but I will not ignore it!  Results maybe this week or next week as I am so inclined.


  1. CWM:, and wow some more.
    It's amazing all the good stuff you find!
    Frank Serpico...the book was great and the movie outstanding (saw it over 14 times IN THE THEATER...finally got me a DVD a few years back.
    I even have the story by the (Greenwich() Village Voice on him someplace in my vaults.

    Fantastic tie in between Nugent and Meatloaf...did not know that (but checking the old LPs anyway).
    I've been a fan of Ted since the Amboy Dukes days (still have the vinyl), and of Meatloaf since Rocky Horror.

    Keep those hits coming, Buddy!
    Great ride this week.

    Stay safe up there.

    1. It was just on Free-For-All, and just five of the tunes. He did a great job on Writing On The Wall.