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


Friday, July 5, 2013

Time Machine week 75

...and what better way to celebrate the 5th of July than with the 75th anniversary of Time Machine, Volume 2?  This week, a lead in gets bumped down the line;  a plane crash wipes out a group from our top 40 debuts; 20 birthday songs (including two videos!); and a slightly six degrees story for our feature, as the Great Fifties Countdown rolls on!  So clean up those spent mortars, wash your hands, and let's go!

Out of 13 debuts, only two get mentions.  The one is my favorite song sung in a men's room- and favorite song by Three Dog Night- Liar, at #76.  At the one at #74 brings us to our delayed lead-in.  You see, the actual chart came out on July 3rd- the same day that Jim Morrison died.  Far from a tragic end, from what I can determine- he apparently snorted heroin, thinking it was coke, and bled to death while his partner in debauchery passed out rather than call for help.  On this same day, the last song he recorded with the Doors- Riders On The Storm- enters the chart at 74.

But life goes on, and we have birthday songs as well as death-day ones.  Turning 30 this week, we have:  Men At Work's It's A Mistake; Culture Club's I'll Tumble 4 Ya; Shalamar with Dead Giveaway; Laura Branigan with a song that Michael Bolton (the AntiChrist) would later butcher cover, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You; and Paul Anka with his last top 40 hit, a duet with Peter Cetera called Hold Me Till The Morning Comes.  Turning 35 are a pair of songs that always take me back to the hottest days of summer- Olivia Newton-John with Hopelessly Devoted To You, and Exile's Kiss You All Over.  Along with those two are country crossovers Anne Murray with You Needed Me and Crystal Gayle with Talking In Your Sleep.  And if you aren't Canadian, you might not know this one more from Burton Cummings:

Turning 40, we have Marvin Gaye with Let's Get It On and Coven's One Tin Soldier from Billy Jack.  Turning 45, the Mamas and the Papas with Dream A Little Dream Of Me and (at the opposite pole) Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love. Hitting the big 5-0, the King's You're The Devil In Disguise; Peter Paul and Mary covering Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind; the Four Seasons with the double sided hit Candy Girl/Marlena; and another one you might not know by name, from Kai Winding's Orchestra:

Finally to round this out, 55 years ago this week, Ricky Nelson's single of Poor Little Fool hits the charts; as you might remember, two weeks ago the EP featuring it hit- but upon news of the forthcoming single, it died last week at #64.  Blow Out The Candles...

And now, more of the Great Fifties Countdown!

85- Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), Doris Day, #2, 1956.  Introduced in the Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, it was also the theme to Doris' TV show from 1968-73.

84- Good Golly Miss Molly, Little Richard, #10, 1958.  It also hit #4 on the R&B charts- same spot a cover by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels  (with Devil With A Blue Dress) would hit on the pop charts in 1966.

83- I'm Walkin', Fats Domino, #4, 1957.  Co -written by Dave Bartholomew, whose other comps include Ain't That A Shame, I Hear You Knocking- and My Ding-A-Ling.

82- Cry, Johnnie Ray and the Four Lads, #1, 1951.  Poor old Johnnie Ray's biggest hit was written by Churchill Kohlman- who was a night watchman at a dry cleaning plant when he wrote it.

81- Only Sixteen, Sam Cooke, #28, 1959.  How this only hit 28 I don't understand; it hit #6 for Dr. Hook 17 years later.

Why?  Don't ask me, I was too young to know.

Our big movers this week are:  going up, Chicago's Beginnings, blasting up 32 spots to #42.  Going down, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who peaked at 38 last week, fall 19 to #57 with House At Pooh Corner.

That will bring us to what will pretend to be a six degrees this week.  You See, I've been listening to an online station called Rewound Radio lately, and yesterday they played a song that caught my ears called Tommy.  Not the rock opera Tommy, this was done by a girl outfit called Reparata and the Delrons.  Somehow it only hit #92, and that was pretty descriptive of their career, with hits Whenever A Teenager Cries (1964, #60) and Captain Of Your Ship (#127, 1968), which hit #13 in the UK.  But they did have two other claims to fame.  They were background vocals for the Stones on Honkey Tonk Women being one of them.  The other is a bit more difficult.

You see, R& the Ds were put together at St. Bernards Catholic School in Brooklyn by a girl named Mary Aiese, who took the name Reparata at confirmation from a favorite teacher.  As time wound on, she also became a teacher, and when she married in 1969, her husband wanted her in the classroom and not on the road.  So she gave permission for the girls to continue on the road without her, with Louise Mazzola taking over the lead slot.  Unfortunately, Louise decided to take over the name Reparata as well.  Eventually she left the group when they ran into, of all people, Barry Manilow, who was looking for a backup group.  The other girls declined, but Louise helped found Barry's famous Lady Flash as "Reparata Mazzola".

Which was just fine, until Mary released a single called Shoes as Reparata.  Several lawsuits later, Mary won the Reparata name, and the single charted (at #92 here, but 43 in the UK and top ten in South Africa).  She went on to reform the band sans Mazzola, who eventually became a screenwriter.  Mary retired from teaching in 2000, and retired the band at the same time.

Reparata #2 on the left, Reparata #1 on the right.

More countdown...

80- Diana, Paul Anka, #1, 1957.  Written for a girl 2 years older named Diana Ayoub, who just didn't feel the same.  "He was a bit of a monster back then," was her take..

79- Lollipop, The Chordettes, #2, 1958.  The co-writer, Julius Dixson, inspired it when his excuse for being late to a writing session with partner Beverly Ross was that his daughter got a lollipop stuck in her hair.

78- Young Blood, The Coasters, #8, 1957.  Original writer Jerome "Doc Pomus" Felder also had credits one two of our other countdown songs- A Teenager In Love and There Goes My Baby.

77- Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, Jerry Lee Lewis, #3, 1957.  He got this one from an R&B lady named Big Maybelline, a recording she had produced by Qunicy Jones.  Lewis almost didn't get it released; Sun Records boss Sam Phillips thought it was "too risqué"...

76- Till I Kissed You, Everly Brothers, #4, 1959.  Chet Atkins played guitar on this one.

Gotta get some pretty faces in here somewhere...

Time for the top 40 debuts.  A fifteen notch climb to #40 for an act we mentioned a week or so ago- Dave and Ansill Collins with Double Barrell.  Up ten to 38 is a song that sounds like a cross between Sam and Dave and Blood Sweat And Tears called Get It On by a band called Chase.  Led by trumpeter Bill Chase, who'd worked with Woody Herman for over ten years, the band lost 3 members and Chase, along with a pilot and a female friend, when their plane crashed 300 yards short of the airstrip near where they were to play on August 9th, 1974.

Graham Nash's Chicago climbs 8 to land at #37; the James Gang move 8 to #34 with Walk Away; a song that was a contender for biggest mover, The Stones' Wild Horses, climbs 21 spots to 31.  The Five Man Electrical Band moves up 11 to #30 with Signs; John Denver climbs 16 with Take Me Home, Country Roads.  And the last of the 8 debuts, Dawn jumps 19 to #27 with Summer Sand.

Almost but not quite nods to the Guess Who; Albert Flasher drops from 35 to 39.

75- Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, Four Aces, #1, 1955.  The originals left one by one, until Lou Silvestri formed a new band.  Then the original members asked him to join them, and for years you had the "un-original" Four Aces and the "Original Aces"  who couldn't use the name anymore.  The Original Aces retired in 1987; the last of them, Silvestri and Rosario "Sod" Vaccaro, died earlier this year.

74- The Tennessee Waltz, Patti Page, #1, 1950.  Originally the b-side to Christmas tune Boogie-Woogie Santa Claus, it spent 30 weeks on the chart, 9 at #1.  Boogie Santa never charted.

73- Unforgettable, Nat King Cole, #1, 1951.  Originally titled Uncomparable by writer Irving Gordon, who once said rock'n'roll has "not melodies, but maladies".

72- That's Amore, Dean Martin, #2, 1953.  Kept out of #1 when Les Paul and Mary Ford's Via Con Dios, which had already spent 9 weeks on top, replaced Stan Freidman's St. George And The Dragonet, which had knocked it out 4 weeks before.

71- What'd I Say, Ray Charles, #6, 1959.  Ad-libbed into existence on stage one night when the band had run through the entire set list and had time left.  Everyone liked it so much, Ray recorded it.

What'd I say... No, really, I can't remember!

Three songs enter the top ten, three drop out.  Falling are It Don't Come Easy ( 3 to 11), I'll Meet You Halfway (6 to 18), and Nathan Jones (10 to 24).

Where Are They Now contestant 8th Day move up a pair to 10 with She's Not Just Another Woman.

Jerry Reed moves 2 to #9 with When You're Hot, You're Hot.

Jean Knight blasts up from 19 to #8 with Mr. Big Stuff.

Wilson Pickett sneaks up another spot to #7 with Don't Knock My Love.

Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds climb 3 to #6 with Don't Pull Your Love.

Down to five, up to four, back to five for the Honey Cone with Want Ads.

The Carpenters slip from runner-up to 4 with Rainy Days And Mondays.

The Raiders raid their way up 4 to #3 with Indian Reservation.

Pulling up three spots are the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (along with sister Billie Joe) with Treat Her Like A Lady.

And holding down the fort for a second week at #1....

Yeah, I know this is breaking the rules.  But it's Carole King!

...Carole King with It's Too Late!!!!

Alright, now, you'd better get out there and pick up the empty beer cans before the neighbors wake up.  See ya next week!


  1. Heard a block of the Doors on the radio today. What a tragic story. We've lost a lot of talent because of stupid, stupid reasons....

    1. Enter a big enough cross section of Americana, you'll get stories like this.

  2. CW<:
    You've REALLY been doin' yer homework w/ the 50s!
    I'm really "groovin" on it.
    ('cause I remember most ALL of them...LOL)

    Back in Philly, we had the Al Alberts Show and if memory serves he was one of the original FOUR ACES.
    Had a great pompadour well into his later years.

    And you can't go wrong with SAM COOKE or Jonny Ray, however abbreivated their careers were.

    Best ride in town for the price!

    Keep those hits coming & stay safe up there.

    1. I read about Al Albert's show in trying to find stuff on the Aces...kind of a Bob Sievers or Ann Cologne for you guys. A fine tribute to a celebrity.