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


Friday, August 16, 2013

Time Machine week 81

It's August 16th, 1971.  Having to dig ever deeper (both to find something interesting and hopefully something Bobby G. won't have on his new "This Day in History" segment) than just Hurricane Beth trashing Nova Scotia this morning (albeit $10.7 million in damage and one death is a helluva just), I give you a clip from a memo that Watergate scumbag John Dean sent to one Lawrence Higby:

This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration, Stated a bit more bluntly–how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.

Well, you could, um, gee, I don't know... sic the IRS on them?

Welcome to Time Machine, and since I assume none of you tune in exclusively to Time Machine, you know that this is week one of Autumn Madness!  If you do, then kindly slip back to Monday's post to see what you are in for.  And guess what?  Two of you stalwarts actually voted, along with (twist twist of arm) Laurie, and I'll be mentioning that- in passing- as I deal with the gut wrenching decisions to be made (that's right, I'm gonna pick 'em as I go along!).  Plus, a new top dog, a smattering of birthday songs including three from the Great Fifties Countdown, a rather sparse 45 at 45, and a six degrees that takes us from a breakout singer/songwriter of the 1970's to a... um.. a breakout singer/songwriter of the 1980s.  All that and FREE BEER! (I don't know why I say that, it never works!)  Pop one open and let's go!

We kick things off with the tops of the charts this week.  The only change overseas is in the UK, where I'm Still Waiting- which peaks at #63 over here- becomes Diana Ross' first and only solo #1, matching the amount she had there with the Supremes (Baby Love was the only one there).  Detroit has united behind Spanish Harlem; Chicago is divided between Riders On The Storm (WLS) and Smiling Faces Sometimes (WCFL).  Pittsburgh also has the Undisputed Truth at the top, while Minneapolis is split between How Can You Mend A Broken Heart and Chicago's Beginnings.  Out in L.A., they're grooving to Mercy Mercy Me;  Charlie Pride still holds down country with I'm Just Me; Olivia Newton-John continues her AC lead with If Not For You; and Marvin Gaye's hit tops the R&B chart.

On the Cashbox charts, we had 11 songs debut in the hot 100.  Worth mentioning are:  Sonny James' Bright Lights, Big City- a recent country #1- at 97; Rod Stewart's classic Maggie May at 91; a not so well-known but great song (which I learned from hearing the Pretenders' cover), Thin Line Between Love And Hate by the Persuaders, at 87; the Guess Who with Rain Dance at 68; and the week's high debut, Paul McCartney's classic Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey at 63.

At one point in researching the big movers, I thought we were going to have a real mess, as I found four songs that dropped 18 spots- and three of them peaked at 63, 68, and 72!  But fortunately (for me, anyway), one song dropped nineteen- and if the title isn't familiar, the artist will be.  Falling from 61 to 80, Chuck Mangione with Hill Where The Lord Hides- which, of course, peaked at 61.  The big mover was Joan Baez's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, leaping 26 spots to #70.

Uh, Chris, didn't you jump a couple of things getting here?  Yes, I did, because I'm so darn excited to get to the Autumn Madness!  But first, since you insist, let's go back and get the other birthday songs for the week!

I, uh, didn't find any of note at the 30 and 45-year points...  I told you, "a smattering of birthday songs", right?  So, turning 35 we have Boston's Don't Look Back (a song still ahead of the times), Carly Simon and James Taylor's top 40 cover of GFC star Devoted To You; and one of 18 country #1s, and 2nd of 5 top 40's, for Dolly Parton- and one of my favorites- Heartbreaker.  Turning 40, we have the Doobies with China Grove and Stevie Wonder with Higher Ground.  Turning 50, we find one of tonight's contestants, Bobby Vinton's Blue Velvet, along with the Crystals Then He Kissed Me and the Miracles with Mickey's Monkey.  And turning 55, three from the GFC-#58 Tears On My Pillow from Little Anthony and the Imperials; #43 Chantilly Lace from the Big Bopper; and #18 It's All In The Game from Tommy Edwards.  Blow Out The Candles...

Last week's 45 at 45 was the same as the week before; but this week, The Who land there in their second week with Magic Bus.  Unfortunately, as good of a song as that is, the best nuggets I could come across on it were that, as good of a song as it is, it peaked at 26 in the UK and 25 here.  Oh, and because they did not immediately record it after Pete Townshend wrote it, it was first recorded by that history making band... The Pudding.  Needless to say, they did not chart.

Okay, here's where I pick this week's winners!  We start off with the East Region matchups in Atlantic city.

The Battle Of New Orleans vs Blue Velvet:  This was a clean sweep by the voting public for Johnny Horton.  Me?  Go against the Polish Prince, on the song's 50th birthday?  Not. Gonna. Happen.  Blue Velvet.

Come Go With Me vs Strange Magic:  Boy the Del-Vikings sure got a bad pairing.  ELO, no brainer, a vote the assembled voters agreed with.

In the Midwest Region in Chicago-

Devoted To You vs 867-5309/Jenny:  Gotta hope I have a phone booth on the island.  Tommy Tutone here- with one dissenting vote.

Poor Little Fool vs My Little Town:  Boy, I sure this matchup would have come later... never trust a random number generator.  When I close my eyes and clear my mind, it's a piano I hear.  Simon and Garfunkel move on- the voters agree with one dissention.

On to the West Region, in Las Vegas-

Little Star vs The Three Bells:  More fun to sing the doo-wop parts than "bom-bom-bom-bom..."  The Elegants move on.  The vote here was split with an abstention.

Sherry vs Love Is Blue:  This is MY song, Sherry.  It was woven into every fiber of my being from birth.  So I can sing it to myself with perfect recall.  And soaring strings just go better with the view from my desert island.  In a HUGE upset, Paul Mauriat moves on- and the voters agree, again with an abstention.

And finally, the Southeast Region, from Memphis-

Time Of The Season vs Tammy:  When I first saw this matchup, I thought, well, here's an easy one.  But now it's time to vote and I'm not so sure...  Songs that make me cry score BIG points...  In another HUGE upset, I'm going with Tammy.  Debbie Reynolds on a moonlit beach vs Rod Argent? The voters, though, are once again united against me. 

Making Love Out Of Nothing At All vs. My Special Angel:  Again the voters split, with an abstention.  This is another one that once it comes down to voting, I'm tempted to give myself a mulligan.  Bobby Helms by an eyelash.

Stay tuned for the contestants for next week.  But now, it's back to the countdown, and the top 40 debuts.  A mere four of them this week.  BJ Thomas sneaks in from 41 to 40 with Mighty Clouds Of Joy.  Blood Sweat and Tears climb a dozen to land at 39 with Go Down Gamblin'.  Donny Osmond just misses big mover status, shooting up 23 to #36 with Go Away Little Girl.  And the mighty Bill Withers leaps 15 spots to come in at 27 with Ain't No Sunshine.  And I know I know I know  ... (AHEM!) Oops, sorry about that.

Three songs enter the top ten, three fall out.  the droppers are:  Don't Pull Your Love (5 to 11), Hot Pants (10 to 17), and Bring The Boys Home (8 to 24).

All right, are you ready for next week's contestants?  Too bad, here they are!

In the East Region, from the wonderful streets of Greenwich Village:

Quiet Village vs Summer Breeze
Sister Golden Hair vs Abraham Martin and John

In the Midwest, from St. Louis-

For You (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) vs Mr. Blue
That Girl Could Sing vs Love Child

Out west, in sunny Honolulu-
Moments To Remember vs No Time
The Voice vs The Ballad Of Davy Crockett

And finally in the Southeast, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama-

Angel Of The Morning (Juice Newton) vs Wichita Lineman
Caroline No vs Superstar

Vote early, vote often!  (Well, not really).  And now, the top ten...

Stephen Stills' ode to cheating, Love The One You're With, moves up 4 to #10. I tried using that line once, but it didn't work.

Tom Clay's Medley reaches the top ten, climbing 4 as well, to #9.

Up three to #8, a song with lyrics as hard to understand written out as sung, CCR's Sweet Hitchhiker.

At # 7, up a pair, Marvin Gaye with Mercy Mercy Me.

John Denver is one road closer- Take Me Home Country Roads moves up a notch to #6.

The Raiders fight the fall and go back up a notch to 5 with Indian Reservation.

Holding at four (and also fighting the fall), Jean Knight and her Mr. Big Stuff.

And at #3, our six degrees victim.

James Taylor's take on You've Got A Friend (dropping from 1 to 3) was not only recorded virtually same time, same place as Carole King's version, but Carole, Joni Mitchell and Danny Kortchner actually performed on both.  Kortchner's been around, to say the least, and one of those places he landed was on Jackson Browne's live lp Running On Empty.  Perusing the list of performers on that record, we find that realllly high voice on Stay belonged to the multi-talented Rosemary Butler.  Starting her career as an opener for the Stones, Butler soon became a oft-requested backup singer.  One of her prominent roles in that regard was on Roseanne Cash's Seven Year Ache, where Rosemary sang on several songs.  Those included the country #1s Seven Year Ache, Blue Moon With Heartache, and My Baby Thinks He's A Train.  One that she didn't sing on on that lp was a cut called What Kind Of Girl, which was penned by another AC songster- Steve Forbert, who gave us the suitably sappy Romeo's Tune in 1980.

Which leaves us with the two contenders for the top spot.  At #2, climbing one spot- Tommy James, and Draggin' The Line. 

And that means our new top dog is...

The Bee Gees, with How Can You Mend A Broken Heart!!!

And that's it for this week!  Hope you all left some beer for me....


  1. Chris:
    It's only "This Day in AUGUST History"...after the 31st, it's gone I promise...LOL.
    (just trying to show that THIS month has lots of events)

    --HA...sic the IRS on them...BRILIANT!

    --Beginnings - great song!!!
    --Hey, Detroit WISHES it were "Spanich a lot BETTER OFF!
    --Blue Velvet - agreed (and I have that Johnny Horton LP of greatest hits)
    --ELO - agreed.
    --I liked Devoted to You...sorry
    --I liked S&G.
    --Love is Blue --Gotta go w/ Tammy, too, althougn I REALLY like TOTS.
    --Gotta run w/ Steinman here...every single time (sorry).

    Okay, I'll cast this week's ballot:

    E - Summer Breeze/AM&J

    M - Mr Blue/That girl Could SIng

    W - Moments to Remember/The Voice
    (and I do like the ones I DIDN"T PICK!...that was hard)
    SE - (Another hard one)
    Angel of the Morning/Caroline No
    Bee Gees hit the top...LOVE that song.
    (almost as much as "As You Walk Away"...admn you rarely hear THAT ditty)

    Excellent ride, brother.
    Keep the hit comin' up there.

    Stay safe.

    1. Thank you for the votes! I had huge problems on almost all of them... and this week looks no different. If I had picked the matchups, at leats three of the first bunch would have been later on up the line. And don't be sorry- they are all winners!

    2. Hey, Bob, the song you mentioned... did you mean "Baby as you turn away"? Because that's what I got when I googled it.

    3. CWM:
      Yeah, that's the one...sorry about that - been that long since last I dug out the cassette and played the dang ditty.

      Thanks for helping the old memory.


    4. Chris:
      Yeah, THAT'S the one...sorry about that. Been THAT long since last I dug out the CASSETTE and played that dang ditty.

      Thanks for helping this old memory.


  2. Summer Breeze (Great song!)

    Sister Golden Hair vs Abraham Martin and John
    Oh, damn! I really dig both of these songs! I hate seeing these two go up against each other but, in the end, 'SISTER GOLDEN HAIR' is the song that most makes me think of an old flame. So, for Inga, I vote 'SGH'.

    For You (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) vs Mr. Blue
    Not a big fan of either song, but I'll go with The Earth Band.

    OK, this is getting a bit weird. 'That Girl Could Sing' is also an Inga song (and there's only 4 total, one which I don't even like!) I vote Jackson Browne for Inga.

    Moments To Remember vs No Time
    I guess 'No Time', since I'm not sure if I know 'Moments To Remember'. (How about some artist associations to help us out, Lazy Blogger?)

    The Voice vs The Ballad Of Davy Crockett
    GO 'DAVY'! (Who stole my coonskin cap?!)

    Wichita Lineman (no-brainer!)

    Caroline No vs Superstar
    Oh, hell, damn, and fu-uuuuu-dge!
    Two A+ songs. "It ain't right, Howard! It ain't right!"
    I LOVE 'Superstar', but when I was a teenager, 'Caroline No' used to make me cry. Gotta vote 'The Tears', man.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. 1. SGH also makes me think of a girl... course, that was in grade school...

      2. Now that the cat's half out of the bag anyway, you'll have to let me know what the other Inga songs are.

      3. I shall no longer let you down as I did with the Four Lads, sir!

      4. "going with the tears" is what got My Special Angel and Tammy through their first round games; definitely one of my criteria!

  3. >>... Now that the cat's half out of the bag anyway, you'll have to let me know what the other Inga songs are.

    Fair enough.

    'SISTER GOLDEN HAIR' is #1 mostly because that's the one I hear most on the radio, and I happen to own it on America's 'Greatest Hits' CD.

    'THAT GIRL COULD SING' would probably be an Inga song to the same degree as SGH if I heard it once in awhile. But it never seems to get played on Classic Rock radio nowadays, and I don't actually own the recording. So it's been a long time since I've heard it.

    The other two...

    'FUN, FUN, FUN' by The Beach Boys. Funny how this one became associated with Inga: We were walking along Sunset Blvd. one day and had just been speculating on which songs might make us think of each other sometime in the future. Within minutes I heard FFF emanating from a shop's outdoor speaker system.

    I told Inga that FFF was the song that would make me think of her. She said, "No, you can't MAKE it happen like that. It can't be premeditated; it just has to happen naturally."

    Well, guess what. Because that moment is still etched in my mind, FFF is a song that always makes me think of Inga. (So, I guess you CAN make it happen like that!)

    The last one is 'TOM SAWYER' by Rush. I hate Rush and I don't like ANY of their songs. TS might be their least offensive song to my ears (but it's still offensive). One time, Inga and I were in my car and that song played over the radio.

    Plenty of songs played on my car radio while Inga was next to me, so WHY 'Tom Sawyer' somehow got associated with Inga in my mind, I can't explain. But every time that song starts to play, I always think of Inga in that few seconds span of time it takes me to change the radio station. Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I'd say you CAN make it happen, but it often doesn't work out in the end if you do.

      I can't imagine Rush making anyone think of that special person, though I don't share your loathing. I liked Limelight, and Tom Sawyer some, but generally Geddy Lee gets on my nerves before the end of the song.

      I was noting your comment to SB6 on your blog about "songs to be retired. I have some too, though they don't match up to yours. During a long past time of having to go to work early, the station we listened to made sure we ALWAYS heard Brown Eyed Girl, and I am only just getting over that. I'm almost to the point where I can stand Hey Jude, if they'd cut about a minute and a half off the end. And I doubt I'll ever not be sick of Old Time Rock'N'Roll, but stranger things have happened.

  4. >>... generally Geddy Lee gets on my nerves before the end of the song.

    The best description of Geddy Lee's voice that I ever came across was in a music magazine circa 1978. The writer said he sounded "like Donald Duck on helium". That so nailed it for me that here I am decades later still quoting the line from the forgotten writer from the forgotten magazine.

    >>... "songs to be retired. I have some too ...Brown Eyed Girl

    100% agree with you on that one. It's the same out here... we have 2 "Classic Rock" stations, KOOL and KLSX, and every single day one of those two stations (more often than not, the first one) will play 'Brown-Eyed Girl'.

    Van Morrison has been making good music for parts of 6 decades, but apparently these radio programmer clowns think he's only recorded 4 or 5 songs worth playing: 'Brown-Eyed Girl', 'Moondance', 'Wild Night', and occasionally 'Blue Money' or 'Domino'. It pisses me off.

    I understand it a bit more on KOOL, because they don't play anything but old Top 40 hits. But on KLSX, where they dip into more obscure, non-hits from time to time, there is absolutely no excuse for playing 'Brown-Eyed Girl'. I'll turn to a different station in a New York heartbeat when 'Brown-Eyed Girl' starts up.

    And the sad thing is that I used to love that song, but they have utterly ruined it for me, like they've done to 'Black Water' and 'Hotel California'. Here's a prayer that some radio programming clown somewhere, someday, discovers Van's songs 'Cleaning Windows' and 'All Saints Day'.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'