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