Today is September 13, 1971. State police and National Guard units struck at 9:46 AM with tear gas and shotguns to end the stand-off at Attica State Prison, which was under the control of inmates for 4 days. Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller steadfastly refused to negotiate- but the report he commissioned showed that the inmates had several legitimate beefs, both before and after the incident. Despite the headline numbers, it ended with 10 hostage and 29 inmate deaths- and did little to change the way the inmates, particularly the black ones, were treated by some racist guards. Nor did it help that invented stories about hostages' throats being slit were spread by the media. In an interesting turn for these times, it was a band of Muslim prisoners that became heroes, preventing the hostages from coming to harm during the siege- in fact, a leader of the Muslim prisoners told the other inmates that they "would kill (inmates) or die protecting hostages."
Welcome to Time Machine for this week. This week, the second round of Autumn madness begins; the story (in part) of John Henry Blair and who he actually was; a big bunch of birthday songs; a 45 at 45 with the Stones; And the second part of "the best selling act from..." Oh, come on, It'll be fun!
Let's start off with number ones around the country. We're starting to get a consensus nationwide; CKLW in Detroit, KDWB in Minneapolis, WCFL in Chicago, and KDV in Pittsburgh, along with Canada, all agree on Uncle Albert at the top. Detroit's other half took Maggie May, the other stations in Chicago and Minneapolis both took Go Away Little Girl; and LA still has Smiling Faces Sometimes at the top. Only two changes internationally; Ireland finally takes England's lead with Diana Ross' I'm Still Waiting taking the top slot- but she got tired of waiting in the UK, and now the top dog there is by a band called the Tams. They had had a #9 hit here in 1964 called What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am), but not much after that except a single called Hey Girl, Don't Bother Me which made #10 R&B in 1964 as well. It was this song, re-released in 1971, that took the Atlanta Georgia, band to the top of the UK charts this week.
On the other American Charts, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is tops on AC, Stick Up by the Honey Cone is tops on R&B, and the new country song at #1 debuts on the top 100 this week as well- Tom T. Hall with The Year Clayton Delaney Died, based on an old neighbor.
Speaking of debuts, the hot 100 had ten of 'em, and I'm featuring three. Coming in at 88 is the Billy Jack theme, Coven's One Tin Soldier. At 82 is an overlooked gem from Canada. See if you remember this:
The highest debut was at 57- the Osmonds with their Joe South cover, Yo-Yo.
And so onto the birthday songs. Turning 30 this week, one of my favorites from Stevie Nicks, If Anyone Falls, along with Huey Lewis' Heart And Soul and Def Lepperd's Foolin'. Turning 35, we have the Stones with Beast Of Burden, Gino Vanelli's I Just Wanna Stop, Barry Manilow with Ready To Take A Chance Again from the Goldie Hawn/Chevy Chase movie Foul Play, Styx's Blue Collar Man, Wings' London Town (which I was all prepared to say was a much bigger hit in the UK, but it hit 39 here and 60 there- go figure). Oh, and one more. Most people hearing Player think Baby Come Back, and some remember This Time I'm In It For Love. Few probably remember this 35-year old hit they had:
Turning 40 is Billy Preston's top 5 hit instrumental Space Race, which if you don't remember by name, think of the music played as American Bandstand went to its halfway commercial break.
We have three classics turning 45: the Beatles double/sided Hey Jude/Revolution, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's Over You, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience with All Along The Watchtower. Also, a not-so-classic song you might remember- Cinnamon, by a dude simply called Derek. Actually, it wasn't so simple- Derek was actually his brother's name. It was one of many pseudonyms (and charting at #11, his biggest hit) for one John Henry Blair. Don't know that name? well, he has about a half-dozen others he recorded under, including Johnny Cymbal, with which he hit #16 in 1963 with Mr. Bass Man.
Not done with birthdays yet! Turning 50, we have Dion with Donna The Prima Donna; and hitting 55 is Conway Twitty's It's Only Make Believe. Okay, NOW you can blow out the candles!
And now, the start of round two of Autumn Madness! One of our vacationing voters returned to the fold this week, but SOMEBODY who was busy dealing with a bad roof and other problems forgot to vote, so once again I am ably assisted by my other two experts. This week, the four matchups that funnel into the East Region championships in Philly!
Blue Velvet vs Strange Magic (voters go 2-0 for ELO). I love Blue Velvet, but Strange Magic is on my short list of all time favorites. If I get a set of headphones to pick up all the different layers at the end, ELO moves on.
Rag Doll vs Georgie Girl (here, the voters are split). You'd think I'd take the Seekers in honor of Judith Durham's recovery. Not so fast, my friend! Four Seasons here.
Summer Breeze vs Abraham, Martin, And John (2-0 for S&C). Summer Breeze always reminded me of being at the lake, coming home to a cottage... since the idea is the "deserted island" theme, Seals and Crofts win this one. Which it probably would not have otherwise.
Telephone Line vs Nights Are Forever Without You (again, the voters split). Soft and low, the music moans... Nights Are Forever.
Back with the matches for next week in a bit. We've still got a lotta ground to cover here!
The big movers this week are: going up, I Found Someone Of My Own, up 25 places to land at #69. Going down, Never Ending Song Of Love, plummeting 41 spots to #71.
Our 45 at 45 segment finds the 45 at #45 45 years ago was the Stones' Street Fighting Man. Already higher than it's Billboard peak of 48, this song charted low because everyone in radio was afraid to play it. Written after the March antiwar demonstration at the London US embassy, it was released right around the infamous 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, and more cities than just Chicago were afraid to fan the fire. It began musical life as an unfinished tune called Did Everybody Pay Their Dues, with much different lyrics. The unusual recording sans a mixing board featured Brian Jones on sitar and Charlie Watts using a 1930's antique mini-drum kit, along with Dave Mason playing an Indian oboe-type instrument called a shehnai, and veteran session man Nicky Hopkins on piano.
And now- the State game!
If you don't know what's going on here, bop back to last week for a full explanation, or just suffice with "the most charted act in each state". This week, the second five states:
Colorado- Firefall gets the nod here with 11 hot 100's and 3 in the top 20.
Connecticut- The Carpenters, with 28 hot 100's and ten in the top 10.
Delaware- Well, here we had to bend the rules just slightly to get an entrant. Though they didn't really release singles, the act to headline Delaware has to be George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers.
Florida- "Don't bore us, get to the chorus!" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with 26 hot 100s (though only twice- TWICE??- in the top ten).
Georgia- With an amazing 74 hot hundreds on the pop chart and six top 10's, Ray Charles.
|Yessir! I'm on Time Machine at last!|
All righty, then, let's hit the top 40 debuts this week, and we start at #40 with Bobby Russell's Saturday Morning Confusion, moving up 4. Then comes a tune called K-Jee by an instrumental act called the Nite-Liters. The wiki article on them is named for when they combined with a male vocal group called the Now Sound, a girl act called Mint Julep, and another vocalist named Alan Frye to become New Birth. With all that vocal backing, it's surely no surprise that this combined band... er, remained obscure. James Brown's entry from our first "guess where the song finished" feature a few weeks back, Make It Funky, comes in at 37, an 11-spot gain. War moves up 7 to 36 with All Day Music. Lee Michaels hits the 40 with Do You Know What I Mean, up 9 spots to #33. And finally, Stevie Wonder moves ten to #31 with If You Really Love Me.
And now, next week's Autumn Madness matchups, to see who goes to the Southeast Regional in Nashville!
Doris Day's Tammy vs Bobby Helms' My Special Angel
James Taylor and JD Souther's Her Town Too vs Chicago's Wishing You Were Here
Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman vs the Carpenters' Superstar
J Frank Wilson's Last Kiss vs Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense And Peppermints
|Snow Lake... the 8-track... Wishing You Were Here...|
Three songs found their way into the countdown, three fell out. Dropping are Signs ( 7 to 11), Liar (8 to 12), and Mercy Mercy Me (5 to 15).
The Who enter the ten, rising three to the leadoff spot, with Won't Get Fooled Again.
Crashing up 6 to #9, Rare Earth with I Just Want To Celebrate.
Dropping 4 to #8, the Bee Gees' former top dog How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.
Up three to #7, Bill Withers with Ain't No Sunshine.
Marching from 14 to #6, Joan Baez and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
Last week's #1, John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads, falls this week to #5.
Go Away Little Girl carries 14-year-old Donnie Osmond from 6 to #4.
Paul and Linda McCartney charge from 9 all the way to 3 with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.
Into the runner up spot, the toast of LA- the Undisputed Truth with Smiling Faces Sometimes.
And our new #1 song....
Aretha Franklin and Spanish Harlem!
I think I may finally have Laurie brainwashed. She said, " I wouldn't have put the number one song above some of the others. Probably wouldn't have put it above ANY of the others." She has learned my lack of appetite for the Queen of Soul, albeit this is one of her more palatable efforts IMHO. Okay, Aretha lovers, get yer poison pens ready, I can take it! See you next week!