|The briefly happy couple.|
Welcome to another week's romp through the wilds of early seventies music in my Time Machine, where- in addition to the latest installment of the Great Fifties countdown, we'll be featuring:
And, here's a fun little contest for you! I'm going to give you ten (count 'em) lyricists, and you tell me who wrote the number one song this week! Your choices:
"C. Wilson" (Short for the Holland-Dozier-Holland team); Carole King; Brian Potter; John Loudermilk; Paul Williams; Eddie Cornelius; Jerry Reed; Toni Stern; Joseph Broussard; and Jacob Brackman. Who wrote the words to #1 this week? Find out at the end... now, onto the beginning.
But first, let's kick things off with this week's hot 100 debuts- 14 of them, including: at 99, Vicki Lawrence's husband, Bobby Russell, with Saturday Morning Confusion; At 86, a medley that, if you've never heard it, go look it up, and I'll wait for you- Tom Clay with What The World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin, And John. At number 80, the b-side of a song that debuts in the top 40 this week- Chicago with the prom favorite, Color My World. At 78, the Dramatics with Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get; just above at 77, Bread with Mother Freedom; at 69, the Who with Won't Get Fooled Again. And all the way up at 47- which is why I included it, because I played it a bit ago and did not remember- the Jackson Five with Maybe Tomorrow.
And now, our birthday songs for the week. Turning 30, Jackson Browne's Lawyers In Love; Rick Springfield's Human Touch; and a song that was a good size hit, just not with me- Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack's duet Tonight I Celebrate My Love (please don't stone me if this was YOUR prom song.) Turning 35, the late Andy Gibb with An Everlasting Love; John Paul Young's Love Is In The Air; and two that were among my favorites, City Boys' 5-7-0-5 and the Kinks' A Rock And Roll Fantasy.
Turning 40, we have Dawn with their vaudeville hit Say Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose, along with a couple you might not know, but could try if you like my recommendations: Looking Glass, who hit with Brandy (You're A Fine Girl), and their OTHER hit, Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne; and the Guess Who (surprised?) with a tune called Glamour Boy;
Get your costume on, you got 'em lined up, waitin' for you
You got 'em standin' in the aisles so don't hang 'em up
For twenty-five thousand dollars you can look like a woman tonight
For twenty-five thousand dollars, I think it'll work out right
I think it'll work out
I think it'll work out
Oh, you never know how to write it
Think it'll work out
You been tops for a while with a million dollar smile
You got rave reviews and you're front page news
For thirty-seven thousand dollars you can look like your sister tonight
For thirty-seven thousand dollars, I think it'll work out right...
You get the idea. Word is, they tried to appropriate the picture of David Bowie on his album cover to Alladin Sane, with the logo, "Not just another pretty boy..." for the single jacket. Needless to say, this didn't get approved.
Turning 45, 1910 Fruitgum Company with 1-2-3 Red Light, along with one song we all want to celebrate ...
Born To Be Wild turns 45 years old this week!
Don't tell her I said it, but Leslie Gore turns 50 with Judy's Turn To Cry; turning 55, one of the songs you'll hear on the second-to-last week of the Great Fifties Countdown, the Elegants with Little Star, along with one of the stupidest songs ever put to vinyl ( perhaps I should put "song" in quotation marks)- Jim Backus and "Friend" with Delicious- basically two minutes and change of Mr. Magoo and lady giggling over a bottle of champagne. And finally, one I had to mention because it speaks to the change in society between now and then- Perry Como with Keep It Gay. This song, who'd have to be re-titled these days, peaked as well as debuts at 26- and goes down for the next four weeks, except for the last in which it makes one last mighty push from 42 to 41. Blow Out The Candles...
And now- the Great Fifties Countdown, episode three!
70- Dream Lover, Bobby Darin, #2, 1959. Written by Darin, piano played by Neil Sedaka.
69- Splish Splash, Bobby Darin (again!), #3, 1958. Composed when Darin's co-writer, legendary DJ Murray the K, bet him he couldn't write a song with his mother's suggested opener- "Splish, splash, I was taking a bath..."
68- Rock'N'Roll Music, Chuck Berry, #8, 1957. The Beach Boys would later hit #5 in the seventies; the Beatles hit #1 in the sixties- in Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia...
67- See You Later Alligator, Bill Haley and his Comets, #6, 1956. Written by Cajun singer Bobby Charles.
66- (Who Wrote) The Book Of Love, The Monotones, #5, 1958. Group leader Charles Patrick got the idea for this from a Pepsodent toothpaste commercial. Remember Pepsodent? Hell, I still use it!
|"where did the yellow go..."|
Our big dropper belongs to the Rolling Stones, whose Brown Sugar fell 36 notches to 54. The big climber... well, it's in the top forty...
This week, the feature will be the six degrees... so, how about some more GFC?
65- Silhouettes, The Rays, #3, 1957. Co-written by Bob Crewe- who in five years would become the genius behind the Four Seasons.
64- Chances Are, Johnny Mathis, #1, 1957. Al Stillman, who co-wrote this one with Robert Allen, will be back... in the top ten...
63- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, The Platters, #1, 1958. The first time this song charted was when Paul Whiteman's orchestra took it to #1 in 1933. The last time, by hard to learn about British band Blue Haze, who hit #27 in 1972. The best time? Right here.
62- Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino, #2, 1956. Fats was far from the first to do this song... in 1940 alone, nine acts released their versions, topped by Glenn Miller at #1. They found their thrill...
61- Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry, #8, 1957. Chuck wrote a grand total of thirty other songs featuring good ol' Johnny, including an instrumental title track to the lp Concerto In B. Goode that took up a whole side of the album.
|No girls YET? Maybe if I float Johnny out there...|
And now, this week's top 40 debuts, including two from James Brown! The first of those is called Escape-ism, and it moves from 43 to 40. Stephen Stills moves from 54 to 39 with Love The One You're With. The Stylistics climb from 45 to 38 with Stop Look Listen (To Your Heart). The other JB hit, Hot Pants, is the big mover, going from 69 to 36. An 8-spot climber to 33 are Delaney And Bonnie And Friends with Never Ending Song Of Love. Up 15 big ones to 31, the Bee Gees with How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. Up a dozen to 30 is the a-side of that Chicago single, Beginnings. And the high debut is at 26, up 21 spots- Marvin Gaye with Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).
There is but one entrant into the top ten this week, so there is but one dropper- Want Ads (5 to 13).
And one more time, the Great Fifties Countdown:
60- Maybellene, Chuck Berry (again!), #5, 1955. I found it amusing that Berry pissed on the Beach Boys over Surfin' USA. He basically re-wrote a song called Ida Red to get this one (coming up with the name from a discarded box of mascara), and the famous lead in to Johnny B. Goode was note for note almost from Louis Jordan's Ain't That Just Like A Woman. What was sauce for the goose sure wasn't for the gander.
59- Poison Ivy, Coasters, #7, 1959. Story goes that Lieber and Stoller admitted that "poison ivy" was supposed to mean the girl had an STD. ICCCCCKKK!
58- Tears On My Pillow, Little Anthony and the Imperials, #4, 1958. A co-writer on this one was Al Lewis, who also had a hand (or a pen) in Blueberry Hill.
57- Never Be Anyone Else But You, Ricky Nelson, #6, 1959. This was actually the b-side; the a-side, It's Late, only got to #9.
56- Mr. Lee, The Bobbettes, #6, 1957. You might remember the story of how this song was "I Shot Mr. Lee" in a Time Machine from last summer. Bloodthirsty, yes, but it gets some girls in the countdown.
|Go on, Bobby, frisk 'em for weapons...|
Carly Simon makes the top ten this week, climbing 5 to #10 with That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be. (Writer: Jacob Brackman)
Jerry Reed holds at 9 with When You're Hot You're Hot. (Jerry Reed)
Up a pair to 8, 8th Day with She's Not Just Another Woman ("C. Wilson")
And now, the six degrees.
Rainy Days And Mondays (Paul Williams) drops 3 to #7 this week. Among the many people who soon covered this song was Andy Williams, on his lp A Song For You. Another Carpenters hit he covered on this record was the recent top ten For All We Know. Three composers get credit for this one, two of them from the band Bread- Robb Royer and Jimmy Griffin. The third credit, in fact the man who scored the show Lovers And Other Strangers from which it was taken, was Fred Karlin. Another big pop hit for Karlin was the Sandpipers' Come Saturday Morning (#17 in 1970). And among those who covered THAT song was Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers. See the irony here? We start with Rainy Days and Mondays getting us down; and we end with the guys who sang The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More....strange coincidence, eh?
By damn, I can't count! Because there were TWO drop outs (Don't Knock My Love, 7 to 18), which means there were two new top tens this week! The other is James Taylor at 6, up 6, with You've Got A Friend (and all of you betting on Carole King, pay up! She only gets music credits on the #1 song!).
Jean Knight moves from 8 to 5 with Mr. Big Stuff (Joseph Broussard, et. al.)
Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds slip up a pair to #4 with Don't Pull Your Love. (Brian Potter)
The runners up switch spots: The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose with Treat Her Like A Lady down one to 3 (Eddie Cornelius, natch); The Raiders with Indian Reservation up one to number two (John Loudermilk).
And that means our new #1 song is....
|I know, I know, no picture. Here's a nice drawing I made of Skippy Mom's car. It'a Badazz...|
... It's Too Late by Carole King- words by Toni Stern!
Okay, that's it for this week. Comeback next week, or Ozcarz will be over for you...