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


Friday, July 19, 2013

Time Machine week 77

It's July 19, 1971.  And unlike the day I type this (Thursday afternoon), when temp readings range from 92.1 at the airport to 97.7 on our back porch, it is a balmy 71 for a high with morning fog and thundershowers.    And other than a communist coup in Sudan (and why communists wanted real estate that is 30% desert and 95% unfarmable* is beyond me) and the topping off of the second tower of the World Trade Center at a second-in-the-world one-quarter-mile and 42 feet high, nothing is going on then, either.  So why go back to July 19th, 1971?  For the music, of course!

*My spell check tells me "unfarmable" isn't a word.  Or is that "ain't a word?"

Welcome to Time Machine for this week!  This time, more of the Great Fifties countdown, the return of the 45 at 45, a new feature debuts,  a popular song debuts (at least according to # of artists doing it), and Wayne Newton, too!  Where else to you get all this (and get out of the heat) for free?

All right!!! I made it on Time Machine!!  Er... what'd I do?

We are going to lead off with a new semi-permanent feature- the tops of the charts elsewhere this week!.According to WCFL, Chicago's #1 is Don't Pull Your Love; on KHJ, L.A., the top song is How Do You Mend A Broken Heart.  In Pittsburgh, KQV says the number one is Tom Clay's What The World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin, and John medley (and I told you you need to check that out!).  On the Big 8 in Detroit, CKLW, Mr. Big Stuff holds the top spot, while Minneapolis, just to be odd, has Never Ending Song Of Love at the top.

Internationally, the UK (and Ireland and Switzerland) are topped by Scottish band Middle Of The Road with the poppy Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep (which is actually better than it sounds); The Aussie band Daddy Cool topped the charts Down Under with Eagle Rock, while the Kiwis next door preferred Put Your Hand In The Hand; Canada (as well as for the first week on Billboard) was It's Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move; Germany was in the midst of an 18 week run by Frenchman Danyel Gerard with Butterfly (which peaked at 78 over here); and the US Country chart was topped by When You're Hot, You're Hot.  (well-timed, eh?)

Back in Cashbox-land (where you can look at the charts for free), we had 10 debuts in the hot 100 this week... the one with a potential was the high debut at #57- CCR with Sweet Hitchhiker.  And since we've come this far already- the GFC rolls on!

55- Oh, Lonesome Me, Don Gibson, #7, 1958.  An oft-covered song, it hit #13 country  in 1961 for Johnny Cash, #11 on the UK charts for Craig Douglas in 1962, #63 country for Stonewall Jackson in 1973, #92 country for (of all people) Loggins and Messina in 1975, and #8 country in 1990 for the Kentucky Headhunters (a great tune!).

54- The Great Pretender, The Platters, #1, 1955.  There are 29 songs in this countdown on the Rolling Stone 500 greatest songs of all time.  There were 3 the first week (Sweet Little 16, Peggy Sue, Heartbreak Hotel) in week one, 4 of 'em (Good Golly Miss Molly, Young Blood, Whole Lotta Shakin', What'd I Say) in week 2, 4 more ( Rock 'N' Roll Music, Blueberry Hill, Maybellene, and Johnny B. Goode) last week and SEVEN of 'em this week- this is the first of those.

53- Along Came Jones, The Coasters, #9, 1959.  One of the 45s I played over and over as a kid, it was inspired by Gary Cooper's lampoon of himself in the 1945 movie of the same name.

52- At The Hop, Danny and the Juniors, #1, 1958. Sha Na Na did this song at Woodstock- lead guitar, 18-year-old Henry Gross (who topped the charts with Shannon much later) was the youngest performer to take the stage there.

51- Earth Angel, The Penguins, #3, 1954.  As so often happens, their first and only big hit was actually the b-side of the non-charting Hey Senorita.  #2 of the 7 RS top 500s.

Our birthday songs this week kick off with one of the biggest hits ever on the Martin chart- Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse Of The Heart turns 30.  Remember the first time you heard THAT piano lead-in?  Also turning 30 is Naked Eyes' Promises Promises.  Turning 35 are Earth Wind and Fire with Got To Get You Into My Life; REO Speedwagon's Time For Me To Fly; Little River Band's Reminiscing; and the theme song for our senior class (unofficially, mind you) Cheap Trick with Surrender.  Turning 40, Grand Funk Railroad's We're An American Band and Cher's Half-Breed.

Hitting 45, we have The Rascals' People Gotta Be Free; the Beach Boys with Do It Again; Clarence Carter's Slip Away; and a couple of music's more famous covers:  Vanilla Fudge's You Keep Me Hanging On, and Jose Feliciano's Light My Fire.  And turning fifty, Wayne Newton's Danke Schoen.  Blow out the candles...

Oh, that's all?  I thought it was something bad...

The big mover is Three Dog Night's Liar, up 21 notches to 43, while Tom Jones' Puppet Man drops a whopping 40 spots to #59.

Yeah, well you ain't heard the last of me...
And that brings us to the 45 at 45, where we feature the song at the #45 slot 45 years ago (AKA 1968). And this week continues the parade of bubblegum through this spot, with the Peppermint Trolley Company holding forth with their song Baby You Come Rollin' Through My Mind.  The PTC started out musical life as the Mark V, but name and style was changed as producers scrambled to take advantage of the bubblegum wave.  This was their biggest hit- and this was all the farther it got, peaking well down at #59 on Billboard.  Formed around the brothers Danny and Jimmy Faragher, the other big thing they accomplished was doing the theme to the Brady Bunch pilot (and sans the vocals, their music track became the first theme).  The group would walk out on their bubblegum contract in 1969, re-forming as power-pop act Bone, who managed-barely- to hit the charts with Roberta (#94).  By 1973, Bone had run its course, and the brothers began the Faragher Brothers Band, which managed to take a tune called Stay The Night up to #50 in 1979.

How about some more GFC?

50- Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, #6, 1957.  Another top 500 song, it came about when bass vocal Sherman Garnes was given a set of old love letters by a tenant in his building to come up with songs from, and the opening line was found among them by tenor/songwriter Jim Merchant.

49- I Walk The Line, Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, #17 (#1 country), 1956. Written backstage for new wife Vivian.  (T500)

48- All Shook Up, Elvis Presley, #1, 1957.  Written at the suggestion of Shalimar Music owner Al Stanton after watching writer Otis Blackwell with a Pepsi bottle. (T500)

47- Yakety Yak, The Coasters, #1, 1957.  Writer Mike Stoller called his and co-writer Jerry Lieber's compositions "playlets"- little looks into the teenage life.

46- That'll Be The Day, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, #1, 1957.  The band came up with this song after going to the theater to watch John Wayne's The Searchers, in which the Duke says it several times. (T500)

The top 40 this week saw 7 debuts.  The first of these was an apparently popular song, because versions of it sat this week at #s 40 and 42!  That song was called The Resurrection Shuffle, and it was in the top 40 by the English trio Ashton, Gardner, and Dyke at #40, up 8 spots;  Its doppleganger by Tom Jones (remember him?) shot up 18 spots to #42.  Neither one, as it turns out, will go a lot farther.  Stephen Stills becomes the second ex-CSN&Y er to be in this week's 40 (Graham Nash is at 32 with Chicago), climbing 4 notches to #39 with Change Partners.  Another 4-spot climber is Cat Stevens at 38 with Moonshadow; entering with an 8-notch leap at #37 is Bob Dylan with Watching The River Flow.  Davy Jones makes it into the 40 by himself with Rainy Jane climbing 9 to #35.  Cymarron goes from 41 to 33 with Rings; and the Jackson Five are up 16 to #31 with Maybe Tomorrow.

One song enters the top ten, one falls out; and that be Rainy Days And Mondays (7 to 17).

One more time:  The Great Fifties Countdown!

45- Oh Boy!, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, #10, 1957.  The flip side was Not Fade Away, which was covered by the Rolling Stones in 1964 and became their first American chart hit (#48).

44- Shake Rattle And Roll, Bill Haley and his Comets, #7, 1954.  Lead guitarist Danny Cedrone died ten days after recording this song from a fall that broke his neck, down a flight of stairs- speculatively caused by a heart attack.

43- Chantilly Lace, The Big Bopper, #6, 1958.  Amazingly to me, Jerry Lee Lewis took this to #1- on the country charts- in 1972.

42- Hound Dog, Elvis Presley, #2, 1956.  Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller (the Coasters' writers) wrote this for blues act Big Mama Thornton.  They were shooting for something that come out saying, "hey, f*** off" (as BMT was a scarfaced, 350 lbs bear of a woman), and came up with Hound Dog, which at the time was the black slang equivalent of "m*f*er".  Nice, huh? (last of this week's RS T500)

41- Charlie Brown, The Coasters, #2, 1959.  The term "daddy-o" apparently came from the movie Blackboard Jungle in which Glen Ford's character, Richard Dadier, was nicknamed that by his mutinous students.

Big Mama Thornton... umm, probably won't be in next year's Beauty Contest... unless she finds out where I live...

Next week, we enter the top forty in the GFC!  This week, we move into the top ten in 1971 this week.

Jerry Reed cools off, dropping one spot back to 10 with When You're Hot, You're Hot.

Flipping him for the spot is Carly Simon with That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be.

Holding, ironically, at # 8 is 8th Day with She's Not Just Another Woman.

Leaping from 11 to #7 is Tommy James- and he's not Dragging The Line!

The Cornelius Brothers and sisters drop 3 to #6 with Treat Her Like A Lady.

James Taylor starts a run of songs moving up one, reaching #5 with You've Got A Friend.

The second of the one spot movers is Jean Knight at #4 with Mr. Big Stuff.

The final one is Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds at #3 with Don't Pull Your Love.

Holding in the runner up slot, The Raiders and Indian Reservation.

And #1 for a fourth consecutive week....

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

And that wraps another hot day's cool trip down Memory Lane.  See ya next time!


  1. Its hard to believe Total Eclipse to the Heart was 30 years ago. Oh my! Wayne Newton will not have any more room for his eyes if he keeps up with the face surgeries.

    1. I agree with both those points. I gave up trying to find a picture where Wayne wasn't either a) a teenager, or b) squinting.

      Total Eclipse spent 8 weeks at #1 in my countdown way back then, with Air Supply Making Love Out Of Nothing At All #2 for seven of them, Spandau Ballet's True at #3 for four of them, and the Fixx's One Thing Leads To Another at #4 for three of them. The only difference between me and Billboard those last three weeks was they had the Fixx at #5. Never before or again did I and they match up like that.

  2. And now I feel old. My birthday is this weekend. I'm not saying how old I'll be but I will say I was getting out of diapers for this time machine....

  3. CWM:
    Man, I am SO groovin' on the GFC...I cant believe I remember ALL these songs (got me lots of hummin' to do this

    Also, Total Eclipse is THRITY?

    Funny, I selectd that song a couple weeks ago when I get into my "Bob's Favorite Song Corner" here at the "Fortress".
    Plus, I MEVER pass up a chance to play something written by JIM STEINMAN!

    OMG...Big Momma Thornton and the OBAMAPHONE lady....look at the resemblence!

    Mother and daugther perhaps?
    Or switched at birth?
    Either way...Weirdsville, man!

    Thanks for another great ride this week.
    Keep those hits comin' up there.

    Keep cool and stay safe.

    1. OMG... that's just weird...

      I get the feeling that Total Eclipse held a lot of emotion for all of us.

      Keep in mind, too, that Making Love Out Of Nothing At All was also a Steinman song... and Barry Manilow and Steinman himself would also post chart hits with Steinman songs before the autumn was out.