Our next contestant is Dick Cavett, who was forced to disturb the peace of the dead at the taping of his show. He had just finished interviewing author J. I. Rodale, who'd wrote a book on organic gardening. Let Wikipedia set the stage:
Rodale had bragged during his just-completed interview on the show that "I'm in such good health that I fell down a long flight of stairs yesterday and I laughed all the way", "I've decided to live to be a hundred", and "I never felt better in my life!" He had also previously bragged, "I'm going to live to be 100, unless I'm run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver."
But as Cavett went on to interview journalist Pete Hamill, Rodale emitted "a snoring sound". According to some, Cavett asked "Are we boring you"; but he and Hamill both say they knew something bad was going on- a feeling shared by the audience when Cavett announced, "Is there a doctor in the audience?" Rodale, the healthiest man in the world, had just died of a heart attack. Needless to say, the show was replaced with a rerun and was never shown.
And finally, a case of disturbing the peace was settled in the Supreme Court. Paul Robert Cohen was arrested in the LA courthouse on this charge for wearing a jacket that said "F___ the Draft". The definition of DTP involves "conduct" which the lower court deemed the jacket-wearing; however, the majority of opinion said that the jacket was "speech" and thus protected by the First Amendment. Reminds me of a quote from a comic book (can you guess which, Bob?)- "All lawyers ever do is split hairs; they wouldn't know a real barber if they saw one."
With that stirring slogan of liberal intelligence ringing in our ears, welcome to Time Machine. This week: we may have topped last week's birthday record; six degrees gets caught in the wake of the Love Boat; who are Johnnie and Joe, which one is a girl, and what connection do they have to one of our recent one-hit-wonder songs? Also, a new top dog and a 40% top-ten turnover, and the man who took over for a radio legend- Bob Eubanks! Climb aboard- as Booker T. and the MGs would say, Time Is Tight!
|Replace me? Are you INSANE?|
Thirteen debuts hit the hot 100 this week, but only three of them need concern us right now. At 99 is the group Cymarron with their hit Rings; Tommy James comes in at 78 with Dragging The Line; and for a laugh, here's Hudson and Landry at 72:
Hudson and Landry were an LA radio duo. Bob Hudson came to the nation's attention when he took over the morning spot on KRLA from Bob Eubanks, who was busy promoting his string of Cimmaron Cinder night clubs. After their partnership ended, Ron Landry became a screenwriter for TV shows such as Benson and Gimme A Break.
Birthday songs, have we got birthday songs! Last week, if we count Here Come The Judge as one song, we had 22; this time, we have 24! Turning 30, we have the Police with Every Breath You Take; That guy that won't let you put his videos on Youtube with 1999; one of my old #1 songs, Duran Duran with Is There Something I Should Know; Stevie Nicks with Stand Back; David Bowie with China Girl; David Sembello's Maniac; and Martin Briley's The Salt In My Tears ( which has one of the best lines in rock history: I saw you laugh when the knife was twisted/ It still hurts, but the pain has shifted...).
Four more turn 35- Barry Manilow's Copacabana; Atlanta Rhythm Section's I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight; Jackson Browne's live Load Up/Stay; and Bony M's Rivers Of Babylon. Three more hit 40 this week: Led Zep's Over The Hills And Far Away; the Stories' Brother Louie; and the Eagles with Tequila Sunrise. And five more turn 45: The Stones' Jumping Jack Flash, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap with Lady Willpower; Hugh Makesala's Grazing In The Grass; Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues; and BJ Thomas with Eyes Of A New York Woman.
And one more rung- five more turn 50: Jan and Dean's Surf City; Johnny Cash, again, with Ring Of Fire; Rolf Harris with the immortal Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport; the Surfaris with Wipeout; and Bobby Bare's Detroit City. Blow Out The Candles...
And that brings us to the 45 on 45 this week. The song at 45 in 1968 this week belongs to one Jerry Butler. He started his career as the lead singer of the Impressions; but after their first two hits, he left for a solo career. For a short time, he took guitarist Curtis Mayfield with him, but Curtis soon went back to headline the Impressions. Despite performing before and after a stretch where there was no R&B chart, he still scored 3 #1 R&B hits, and hit the top ten on the pop chart 3 times, the biggest of which was 1969's #4 smash Only The Strong Survive. This time, though, he only got to #20 with the tune Never Give You Up.
The big mover this week are the Grass Roots with Sooner Or Later climbing 23 to #52. The big dropper was a #1 country song that peaked at #58 here a couple of weeks back, and now falls 34 spots to #97- Lynn Anderson's You're My Man.
Every once in a while we get a song to hit in the Where Are They Now Slot that I don't do the feature on because A) they are dead; B) they are so famous that everyone knows what they've done/are doing; or C) we've done 'em before. This week we have a singer that qualifies under all three- James Brown with I Cried. Cry all you want, you don't get the feature.
|HEEYYY!! Let me in that Feature! YEAH!|
Which moves us up to the top 40 debuts, of which there are four. Moving up 10 notches to 40 is the smooth vocals of Joe Cocker with High Time we Went. Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds climb 17 to #36 with Don't Pull Your Love- a song first offered to the Grass Roots! The Beginning Of The End, a Bahamas band led by brothers Frank, Ray, and Roy Munnings, get their first taste of the 40 with Funky Nassau, also moving 17 to #35. And moving from 41 to 33, The Raiders with Indian Reservation.
Our lookback this week takes us to 1957, where a song called Over The Mountain; Across The Sea leaps from 52 to 35 on its way into the upper reaches of the chart. The singers were a thrown together couple called Johnnie and Joe. Johnnie was Johnnie Louise Richardson, daughter of promoter Zelma "Zell" Sanders. Sanders and neighbor Rex Garvin had been involved in girl groups the Hearts and the Jaynetts (who did one of our one-hit-wonder songs from last week's special, Sally Go 'Round The Roses; in fact, Johnnie sang on the song, but was not an official "member" of the group). Garvin was also working with a young man named Joe Rivers; a good singer whose songs were "missing something"; the missing link was Johnnie, and they were teamed up four three decent R&B hits, as well as Over The Mountain which was a top 20 hit. Johnnie died in 1988; Joe still performs, often with either Barbara Parritt Toomer or Barbara Harris, who were two-thirds of the Toys. Heck, this was a better six degrees than the one waiting for you!
|If nothing else, Joe can pick his Toys...|
The I Don't Know How To Love Him update: Helen Reddy moves up 2 to 21; Yvonne Elliman climbs 2 to 31.
Four new songs move into the top ten, so four drop out. Me And You And A Dog Named Boo (8 to 11), Chick-A-Boom (5 to 12), Love Her Madly (7 to 15) and Put Your Hand In The Hand (10 to 20).
The Partridge Family climb three to #10 with I'll Meet You Halfway.
Jumping ten spots to #9, the Carpenters with Rainy Days And Mondays.
Superstar moves up 4 to #8. That's not the Carpenters again (yet), but Murray Head and the Trinidad Singers.
Also up 4, Donnie Osmond and Sweet and Innocent slide into #7.
Joy To The World slows its descent, falling two spots to #6.
And, the six degrees...
Dropping from #1 to #5, the Jacksons' Never Can Say Goodbye was written by one Clifton Davis, the son of a Baptist minister who became a Seventh-Day Adventist minister. In addition to a songwriter and a man of God, he was also an actor, having parts in the Sherman Hensley vehicle Amen, and before that a starring role on That's My Mama. One of his co-stars on the latter was Ted Lange, better known as Isaac on The Love Boat. He also dated disco singer Melba Moore, whose mother Bonnie Davis hit the top in 1943 with Don't Stop Now. Melba was in the original cast of Hair (this again?) along with Ronnie Dyson (If You Let Me Make Love To You, Why Can't I Touch You?), and a lot of people who had bit parts as the show went on- Keith Carradine, Barry McGuire, Meat Loaf, and (wait for it).... Ted Lange.
|...as your Time Machine's bartender...|
Ringo rockets up 5 to #4 with It Don't Come Easy.
Aretha begins her descent, falling a notch to #3 with Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
The Rolling Stones move into the runner-up spot with Brown Sugar.
And the new top dog- shooting up all the way from #6....
|Yeah, they had a picture last week- but they weren't at #1 then, and they still look better than Three Dog Night...|
And so ends another lovely tour of 1971 in music. Tune in next week!