...When he finally got around to building his first computer, with the aid of Bill Fernandez, it was news, literally. Sure, every gamer around builds their own rigs today, but in Woz's youth it was something special. So special a reporter was on hand to see the computer perform.
What the reporter saw was a box called the cream soda computer for the beverage Woz and Bill drank while building it, with lights that would turn on and off. Not very exciting. Things picked up when the computer caught fire. From inauspicious beginnings come great things and the inauspicious beginning of Woz's computer design occurred this month, on the news, in 1971.
|Great Scott!! Fried Apple!|
And with that warm thought, we begin this week's Time Machine! This week, The Coasters... and The Coasters... and The Coasters...; What do velvet gloves have to do with spit (Bob, do you catch THAT one?) ; an Andrew Lloyd Weber six degrees; and a top ten with only one song going down. Go ahead, flip the switch- I don't even LIKE cream soda!
As packed-full of music as we were last week, we are light this week. Out of ten hot 100 debuts (in itself a low number), I knew just one- Olivia Newton-John's debut, If Not For You, which if you recall was a Bob Dylan comp that was first recorded on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. And after having almost fifty birthday songs the last two weeks, we have only 10 this time. Turning thirty, Loverboy's Hot Girls In Love (another fine example of their intellectual lyrics), Def Leppard's Rock Of Ages, and Bryan Adams' Cuts Like A Knife (which I always thought was perfect karma for what he "did'" on Run To You). Turning 35 we have Wings' I've Had Enough, the Cars debut single Just What I Needed, and Nick Gilder's Hot Child In The City. Maureen McGovern's Poseidon Adventure theme The Morning After turns 40 this week; Donovan hits forty-five with Hurdy Gurdy Man. Finally a pair that turn 50- Doris Troy's Just One Look and Randy and the Rainbows with Denise. Blow out the candles...
That brings us to our 45 at 45, or the #45 45 of 45 years ago. This week we find Joe Tex with a tune called I'll Never Do You Wrong. Joe, who had had his biggest hit thus far a few months before with Skinny Legs And All, was most famous for his longstanding rivalry with James Brown, a rivalry that stretched from Tex wearing a cape a la Brown and screaming, "Someone get this cape offa me!" (as an opening act FOR Brown in his home town), to Brown hiring Tex's ex as a singer, then sending her back to him, saying, "I'm done with her". This particular song only hit in the high 50's on BB, so once again it's already higher than that on Cashbox.
Problem is, like an idiot, I first looked up the #68 song of the week- which is where the Velvet Gloves and Spit come from. That was the title, for reasons I couldn't determine, of the Neil Diamond lp which contained the song at 68, the autobiographical Brooklyn Roads. The lp released three hard luck singles, of which BR was the highest charting (#58). But wait, the story's not over! Because after he had Cracklin' Rosie and a couple other hits under his belt, the record company re-released the lp, this time adding the song Shilo (which had been released and failed to chart for him on his former label). Shilo, with a new life, charted at #24, giving the album at least one good hit- sort of.
The biggest climber this week is Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff at 55, a 27 notch move... and going down, Me And You And your mangy dog Boo, dropping 32 to land at 43.
Our where are they now at #51 this week was a bit of a challenge. The act was called Chee Chee and Peppy, named after the two singers' pet Chihuahuas. The singers were one 14 year old Keith "Chee Chee" Boiling and 12 year old Dottie "Peppy" Moore (later Moore-Thomas). Dottie was discovered by manager/producer Jessie James, who ran the board for Cliff Nobles and Co.'s The Horse. She was teamed up with young Boiling, who the internet describes as (erroneously) Dottie's brother and (unconfirmed) Sam Cooke's son. After the bubble-gummy hit, Boiling disappears; 10 years later Dottie and a new Chee Chee ( a dude named Charles Campbell) had a second lp. Nowadays, Dottie is a member of Bishop Bobby Hilton's Word Of Deliverance Church in Forest Park, Ohio, whose choir has had some recordings.
5 new songs enter the top 40. Elvis moves up one to 40 with the song Life. Up 4 to #39 are Ike and Tina fighting their way through Oh Poo Pah Doo (and without having listened to this yet, I wonder if it's the song on Gilligan's Island that Ginger sings when the feather goes up her nose and cures her amnesia? Nah, I can't see THEM singing THAT). James Taylor jumps from 55 to 38 with You've Got A Friend; Carly Simon moves 8 to 36 with That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be; and Isaac Hayes takes his shot at recent top dog Never Can Say Goodbye, climbing 7 to #35.
|"...I wanna be loved by you... alo-o-one, oh poo-poo-pah-doo!"|
If I learned anything in doing our lookback this week, it's that EVERY member of the Coasters had their own Coasters after the group split up. Yes, this week in 1958, the Coasters shot up a quick 15 with Yakety Yak. The original band was formed when a group called the Robins had a regional hit with a song called Smokey Joe's Café. This was enough to get the group and the song's writers, the famous Lieber-Stoller team, a deal with Atlantic. But some of the group didn't want to make the move, so members Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn, became the nucleus of the Coasters. They added Billy Guy, Leon Hughes, and Adolf Jacobs. With the success of Yakety Yak, the band moved to New York and replaced Nunn and Hughes with "Dub" Jones and Cornell Gunter. After Jacobs left, the Coasters' string of 6 top tens between May of '57 and August of '59 dribbled out, with Little Egypt (Ying-Yang) being their last top 40 in April of '61.
At this point, it was almost as if someone fired a shot and yelled, "Disperse," and several members founded their own Coasters group. That included Hughes and Nunn, who originally formed The Dukes after being canned. But the strangest thing about the group is how many of them came to horrible ends later on. Gunter was shot to death in his car in Las Vegas in 1990. Nate Wilson, a member of Gunter's Coasters, was killed and dismembered in 1980- by former band manager Patrick Cavanaugh, because Wilson was going to turn him in over some stolen furniture. And King Curtis, the sax player on their big hits (but was never an official member), was stabbed to death by a pair of junkies who were shooting up on his front porch in 1971.
Guy left to do solo work (and of course, form his own Coasters), died in 2002. Nunn , who called his band the Coasters Mark II, passed in 1986. Jones, the bass voice in hits like Charlie Brown, died in 2000. Gardner, who actually owned the name and ran the "real" Coasters, retired in 2005 and was replaced by son Carl, Jr., who then himself left that group to form yet another Coasters iteration in 2012. Carl, Sr., died in 2011. Hughes, who was a member of several of the splinter groups (including Guy's) and joined Jones in "the World Famous Coasters", and Jacobs are the only remaining living members.
|The one and many...|
Two songs enter the top ten, two fall out. Dropping are the Jacksons' Never Can Say Goodbye (5 to 15), and Bridge Over Troubled Arethas (3 to 11).
The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose climb 4 to #10 with Treat Her Like A Lady.
Joy To The World makes one last stop in the top ten, dropping 3 to #9.
And here, at #8 and holding, our six degrees victim.
Murray Head holds a second week with Superstar, Judas Iscariot's solo from Jesus Christ Superstar. Murray's other hit, of course, was One Night In Bangkok. Besides the singer, these two share a common lyricist, Tim Rice. Rice was the words behind Andrew Lloyd-Weber's music, and he and ALW combined on Superstar. However, Chess, from which Bangkok came, was Rice's baby, and when he began the writing, ALW was busy putting together Cats. So Rice was led to Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA. Their band was in process of breaking up, and they were looking for new projects. So it was Benny and Bjorn that wrote the music to Bangkok, while Cats spawned the hit Memory, which both Barbara Streisand and Barry Manilow hit the charts with- but was ACTUALLY supposed to be a solo for the star in Evita, but didn't make the cut.
|Don't cry for me, litter box...|
Donny Osmond holds at 7 with Sweet And Innocent.
Carole King jogs up 10 spots to #6 with It's Too Late.
The Partridges flutter up 5 to #5 with I'll
The Carpenters also make a 5-spot ascension with Rainy Days And Mondays at #4.
Ringo Starr moves up a notch to 3 with It Don't Come Easy.
Holding at 2, the Stones and Brown Sugar.
And in a second week at the top...
Alright, that's a wrap for another week! Don't take any cream soda computers!!!!