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


Friday, August 2, 2013

Time Machine week 79.

It is August 2nd, 1971.  Not a real rip-snorter in historic terms, but here goes.

-Richard Nixon signed the proclamation making it National Clown Week.  I guess that explains the whole Rand Paul/Chris Christie thing, don't it?

-In space, astronaut David Scot re-enacted the famous Galileo experiment about the cannonball and the feather in a vacuum- dropping a falcon feather and a hammer onto the lunar surface.  To the relief of physicists everywhere, they both hit at the same time.

-Out of space, a meteorite crashed into a two-story farm building in Havero, Finland, through the roof, a rafter, a ceiling, and the lid of a box containing a fishing net.  It left a 11" X 15" hole in the roof.

-And it is a surprise that it didn't come through the roof of the newly christened Mall of Columbia in Maryland.  Within a half-hour of it opening (I forgot which side, so sue me), someone put a bunch of soap in the fountain and overflowed it; and during the ribbon cutting, anchor store owner Louis Kohn of Hochschild Kohn (then Hecht's, then Macy's) got smacked in the head by a blown-over flag stand.

But things are much safer here inside the Time Machine.  This week, the return of both the 45 at 45 AND the six degrees; the Resurrection Shuffle un-shuffled, the gayest sounding name for a boy-band EVER, the doorstep of the top ten in the Great Fifties Countdown, and a new number one!  Buckle up, settle in, and let's go.......

Screw you, Paul!  If you'd have...munch, munch... made it a DONUT summit...
A light week in the ol' tops of the other charts- the only national charts that change are Ireland (where Red Hurley and the Nevada Showband top things with Sometimes) and Canada (where Don't Pull Your Love pulls into the top spot).  How Can You Mend A Broken Heart tops the city of Detroit as well as Chicago's WLS, while WCFL moves on to Indian Reservation.  One Minneapolis station puts Tom Clay's medley on top... the other they don't have a chart for this week.  Smiling Faces Sometimes moves into the top spot in Pittsburgh, while Mr. Big Stuff claims L.A., as well as the R&B chart.  The top Country song this week is Charlie Pride's I'm Just Me; and You've Got A Friend pulls into the AC hot seat.

In the meantime, I found six new hot 100 debuts that merit some attention.  While Middle Of The Road's version of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep dominates the European charts, the sibling act from Trinidad known as Mac and Katie Kissoon put theirs on the chart at 96 this week.  Though their cut stalled in the UK at #41, it will be the bigger hit here; and Katie Kissoon will go on to have a good career as a backup singer for a lot of famous acts, including a critically-acclaimed role on Van Morrison's Into The Music lp in 1979.  At 89, a favorite of mine that a friend introduced me to, that hit much higher in Canada (#5 on CKLW this week) than here- the Poppy Family's Where Evil Grows.  One notch above is Peter Stookey (sans Paul and Mary) with The Wedding Song (There Is Love).  Another Canadian act, the Stampeders, move into the hot 100 at 83 with Sweet City Woman;  up farther at 67, Blood Sweat and Tears with Go Down Gamblin'; and the high debut this week, Aretha Franklin's screechy rendition of Spanish Harlem.  (not a big AF fan, are ya, Chris?)

Hey, how about some GFC??!!

25- Put Your Head On My Shoulders, Paul Anka, #2, 1959.  Did you know Spellcheck will take Weiner and not Anka?  His second in a streak of 4 top tens, and him not even 18 yet!

24-Wake Up Little Susie, Everly Brothers, #1, 1957.  Appropriately enough, George W. Bush's favorite song.  Banned in Boston for suggesting what they DIDN'T do. One of those Rolling Stone 500 best of all time.

23- Venus, Frankie Avalon, #1, 1959.  Barry Manilow covered this on his Greatest Hits Of The Fifties, along with Love Is A Many Splendored Thing (#75), and three more songs to come- one of them this week!

22- Tom Dooley, Kingston Trio, #1, 1958.  The true story- Tom Dula (pronounced DOO-Lay) was accused of killing Laura Foster in 1866.  She was the girlfriend of the drifting Confederate vet then... and cousin of Anne Melton, who was to have been his wife BEFORE he went to the war.  He was hanged the first of May, 1868- but his last words, saying he never harmed her, but deserved his punishment, made some speculate that Melton had killed her cousin and he covered for her.  Melton had a meltdown herself a couple years later, and soon died in an insane asylum.

21- Don't Be Cruel, Elvis Presley, #1, 1955.  Keep the title in mind as I tell you that this is the highest charter for the King on my countdown.  He was the uncredited producer on this track, re-doing it 28 times until he was satisfied.  He did the same on Hound Dog, racking up 31 takes. (T500)

Birthday song time!  Before I hit the songs turning thirty, I'll mention (as I did on a comment a week or so ago) that 30 years ago, I came the closest to matching the Billboard chart on my own chart, with my top four making 1,2,3,and 5!  Two weeks ago the "1" in that equation- Total Eclipse Of The Heart- entered the countdown.  This week, two of the others come in:  Air Supply's Making Love Out Of Nothing At All at 71, and Spandau Ballet's True at 90.  Total Eclipse sits at 67 this week, and the other member of the four musketeers is five weeks out.  In the spirit of this convergence's 30th anniversary, I'll be keeping an eye out on their progress and we'll see how close Cashbox comes to matching us.

In the meantime, others turning 30 this week include:  Billy Joel's Tell Her About It; Asia's Don't Cry; Frank Stallone, Sly's bro, with Far From Over; and for those who like such stuff, Weird Al Yankovic with I Love Rocky Road.  Turning 35, we have Olivia and Travolta from Grease with Summer Nights, and Billy Joel- again- with She's Always A Woman, which always makes me think of a Geritol ad.

Turning 40- Edgar Winters' Free Ride, and Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way.  Turning 45, Canned Heat's On The Road Again, and Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E.  Finally turning the big 5-0 this week, a classic two-sider by the Beach Boys- Surfer Girl and Little Deuce Coupe.  Blow out the candles...

(Note:  Spell Check doesn't like Wynette or Manilow, either.)

Our big mover this week is Rare Earth's I Just Want To Celebrate at 47, up 19.  Big dropper, That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be, falling 26 notches to 39.  (Yeah, I know, that's in the top 40.  But it's leaving, okay?)

I haven't got time for the jokes... my friends from college are all married now, and I'm still living at home, damnit!

And now the 45 at 45, AKA the 45 sitting at 45 45 years ago this week.  And that would be some smooth Philly soul from the Intruders, a song called (Love Is Like A) Baseball Game.  A member of the Gamble-Huff stable of Motown breakaways, the Intruders had had their big hit a year before with Cow boys To Girls, which hit #6.  In fact, their sound- less pop than Motown, less blues than other black oriented labels like Stax- was considered to be the start of the "Philly sound".  Another song they were known for was their last top 40- I'll Always Love My Mama in '73.  Kenny Gamble wrote it for his mother Ruby, who passed just last year in her nineties.

And on that note, back to the countdown...

20- Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu), Dominigo Medugno, #1, 1958.  Or as we say in English, "To Fly (In The Blue, The Painted Blue)".  This was the second Billboard #1 after Poor Little Fool (anyone mention upcoming songs?), and was the #1 song of the year- the only act not from the US of A, Canada, or the UK to do that until Sweden's Ace Of Base did it with The Sign in 1994.

19- You Send Me, Sam Cooke, #1, 1957.  Started out as the b-side to his version of George Gershwin's Summertime (and the livin' is easy...).

18- It's All In The Game, Tommy Edwards, #1, 1958.  Actually, a more rock'n'roll redo of a song he hit #18 with in 1951.  He did that two more times: with Please Mr. Sun (improving from 22 to 11) and Morning Side Of The Mountain (slipping from 24 to 27; it took Donnie and Marie to get it into the top ten).  Melody originally written by future vice president under Coolidge, Charles Dawes.

17- A Teenager In Love, Dion, #5, 1959.  Written by Doc Pomus, who also gave us Save The Last Dance, This Magic Moment, Hushabye, Little Sister, and (Marie's The Name Of) His Latest Flame.

16- Come Go With Me, the Del-Vikings, #4, 1957.  When Paul McCartney first met John Lennon, John and the Quarrymen were playing this song... though John was changing the words.

Just outside the top 40, we find the Resurrection re-shuffle-  Tom Jones's version drops from 40 to 45; Ashton, Gardiner, and Dyke fall from 37 to 42.

And into this week's top 40 we go, with 5 new members of the club.  At forty, up 4 spots, is a song called Love Means (You Never Have To Say You're Sorry) by the boy band with the gayest name in history- the Sounds Of Sunshine.  The SOS, in fact, were three brothers- Walt, Warner, and George Wilder.  Why they didn't name George William or Wilford or something, I don't understand.  But that's okay, because this was their 15 minutes of fame.  Olivia Newton-John gets her first top 40 this week, moving 6 to #37 with If Not For You.  The Who move up 10 spots to 36 with Won't Get Fooled Again; the Doors climb 6 to 35 with Riders On The Storm.  And up a quick 15 to #33 this week, the #1 song in the Steel City, Smiling Faces Sometimes by the Undisputed Truth.

This week, three songs will enter the top ten, three will fall out.  The droppers:  It's Too Late (5 to 12), Funky Nassau (10 to 16), and Treat Her Like A Lady (8 to 25).

And we wrap up this week's round of the GFC:

15- To Know Him Is To Love Him, The Teddy Bears, #1, 1958.  Phil Spector wrote this after the epitaph on his Dad's tombstone.  Lead singer Annette Kleinbard, later known as Carol Connors, would go on to co-pen such tunes as Hey Little Cobra, With You I'm Born Again, and Gonna Fly Now (yes, the Rocky theme).

14- Little Star, The Elegants, #1, 1958.  This one knocked Volare out of the top spot- but gave it right back to Mr. Modugno the next week.

13- Quiet Village, Martin Denny, #4, 1959.  This jungle sounding instrumental was inspired when the band was playing at a place called the Shell Bar in Hawaii.  They noticed that every time they played the tune, frogs chimed in.  So they added frog sounds- along with screeching birds- when it was recorded.  My Mom played this many Sunday mornings after Church.

12- Devoted To You, Everly Brothers, #7, 1958.  This was the b-side on the two sided hit with Bird Dog, which hit #3.

11- The Ballad Of Davy Crockett, Bill Hayes, #1, 1955.  Capitalizing on the Crockett craze caused by the Disney TV series, Hayes took it to #1 on the weekly chart and #7 for the year.  At the same time, Fess Parker (the star of the show) took it to #6/#31, and Tennessee Ernie Ford took it to #4/#37.

When next we meet- the top ten...

Speaking of top tens, it's time for this week's version!

John Denver cracks the top ten for the first time, moving up 5 with Take Me Home, Country Roads.

Gladys Knight Doesn't Want To Do Wrong, so she and the Pips hold at #9 this time.

A song that continues to grow on me after all these years- Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again by the Fortunes- moves up 3 to #8.

Freda Payne's Bring The Boys Home comes in at #7, up 5 spots.

The Bee Gees edge up one to #6 with How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.

Also up one, Tommy James and Draggin' The Line at # 5.

Oh, hey, did I say a six degrees?  How about it?

Indian Reservation tumbles from the top to #4 for the Raiders.  It was written by John D. Loudermilk, who among many other songs, also wrote the catchy Norman for Sue Thompson, who took it to #3 in 1961.  As her career waned in the early seventies, she sang a series of country duets with Don Gibson of Oh Lonesome Me fame.  That tune, #55 on our GFC, was one of a bunch of big hits for Mr. Gibson on the country charts, including one us old folks all know called I'm Movin' On (#14 country, 1959, a cover of Hank Snow's #1 original from 1950).  And that song was parodied by a duo calling themselves Lonzo and Oscar soon after.  Part of that parody was a verse that I always thought had been made up by my brothers (until today) and sang often by my Mom:

The old tom cat was feelin' mean
when he caught his tail in the sewin' machine
and he's movin' on
he'll soon be gone
He ripped a stitch when he hit the ditch and he's movin' on...

Good times, good times.

We finish out the top ten with everybody taking one small step forward...

... to number three for James Taylor with You've Got A Friend.

...wanna guess what I'VE got? #2 for Jean Knight and Mr. Big Stuff...

And the new #1 song this week....

Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds, with Don't Pull Your Love!

Next week, the Great Fifties Countdown is OVER!!!

As they say in the comic books, YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS THIS ONE!

(Okay, it wasn't what I was looking for, but still...)


  1. CWM:
    Man, you musta been busier than a juggler in a flea circus this week with all the posts.
    The GFC is winding down...damn it!

    It's weird to recall EVERY one of those songs (so far), and I'll be the last in the bunch will NOT disappoint.
    The Ballad od Davy THAT is a song I remember as a "yout" (My Cousin Vinnie reference)...LOL.

    OMG...It's not Cathy's's CHRISTIE'S clown...ROFL!

    Excellent ride this week.
    Keep on rockin 'cause you ONLY rock once & stay safe up there (in music memory lane)

    1. Christie's clown... wish I'd have thought of that! Thank God you catch the ones I miss.