As Stephen T. McCarthy might say, look no further for the NWO than... BF Skinner, "the other guy" (hands up if you get THAT joke), who'd just published a tome called Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Best known for training dogs to respond to bells, which of course opened all of human psychology to him, here's what the cover of the Sept. 20, 1971, Time Magazine was all about...
Skinner’s greatest recognition arrived with the publication of Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), an argument that the ideas of free will and the autonomous individual impede the potential progress of culture. Instead, the text suggests that behavior modification through cultural engineering will lead to a happier and more humane society...
With the publicity from Beyond Freedom and Dignity, B.F. Skinner became a prominent figure of public interest. Skinner’s portrait was featured on the September 20, 1971, issue of Time magazine, along with the caption, “B.F. Skinner says: We Can’t Afford Freedom.” The feature article, “Skinner’s Utopia: Panacea, or Path to Hell?” presented a brief biography highlighted by the cultural controversy of his latest book... Certain intellectual critics, like Noam Chomsky, a linguist and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, attacked Beyond Freedom and Dignity for its unsupported scientific assumptions about behavior modification. With his review in The New York Review of Books, Chomsky disapproves of both Skinner’s vocabulary and pseudoscience: “Skinner is saying nothing about freedom and dignity, though he uses the words “freedom” and “dignity” in several odd and idiosyncratic senses. His speculations are devoid of scientific content and do not even hint at general outlines of a possible science of human behavior.” Even with such a harsh critique, Beyond Freedom and Dignity became one of Skinner’s bestselling works.
Because humanists, like all the other good little atheists, don't need facts, just insults and sound bites.
Oh, and the Washington Senators 2.0 were approved to move to Arlington, Texas in 1972, and become the Rangers. Kinda funny that the first Senators went to Minneapolis and the second to Dallas, while the hockey team in Minneapolis would eventually go to Dallas.
Annnnnd now... it's time for Time Machine! This week, in addition to the next chapters of Autumn Madness and stars of the states, we also go into the long story of a new top 40 debut; a 45 at 45 officially dis-approved by Richard Nixon; and a set of Almost But Not Quite-ers! When you hear the bell- hop in!
Let's start out with what's on top around the country and the world. The only changes on the international front were in Canada (where Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey took up the #1 slot), and Ireland (where Tony Orlando and Dawn top things with a song that we'll see in a bit and the UK peaked at #3, called What Are You Doing Sunday?)
Domestically, we have a rare consensus in Detroit for Maggie May. KDWB in the Twin cities has Uncle Albert, as does Pittsburgh. LA refuses to move from Smiling Faces Sometimes; Chicago has united behind Go Away Little Girl, and WDGY in Minneapolis agrees. No change on the AC (The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down), Country (The Year Clayton Delaney Died) or R&B charts (Stick Up).
And here on the Cashbox hot 100, we have 15 debuts, of which I'll point out 2- Ten Years After with I'd Love To Change The World at 76, and Cher's Gypsies Tramps And Thieves at 81. And that moves us along to this week's birthday tunes, that wonderful section where I make the entire audience feel as old as I do.
Turning 30 this week, we have Lionel Ritchie's All Night Long (and ironically he has just started his "All the Hits, All Night Long" tour), David Bowie's Modern Love, Matthew Wilder's Break My Stride (wow, is that really that old?), and two of the most overplayed songs in history- Quiet Riot's Cum On Feel The Noize and Bob Seger's Old Time Rock And Roll. Turning 35, Heart's Straight On, Dr. Hook's Sharing The Night Together, Eric Carmen's Change Of Heart, and one of my funk favorites, Funkadelic's One Nation Under a Groove. Turning 40, the classic graduation song, We May Never Pass This Way Again by Seals and Crofts, along with Chicago's Just You And Me and The Love I Lost by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes.
45 years ago this week, Hey Jude went from #38 to #1 in it's second week! And birthday songs that year included the Turtles with Elenore, CCR with their first hit, Susie Q, and Mary Hopkins with Those Were The Days. Finally a couple tunes turn fifty- Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs with Sugar Shack ( a song I never got into) and Nino Tempo and April Stevens with Deep Purple. Blow out the candles...
Let's take a look at the biggest acts of the fifty states!
Each week I'm featuring five states as we learn the act based in the sixties and seventies that did the best on the charts. This week's five states are...
HAWAII- I was surprised to learn that the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, was a Honolulu baby! She charted 17 hot 100s and 4 top 10s.
IDAHO- Paul Revere and the Raiders were originally based in Boise, and racked up 24 hot 100s and 5 top tens.
ILLINOIS- like you couldn't guess this one! Chicago had 49 hot 100s and 20 top tens!
INDIANA- by now I'm sure everyone knows Michael Jackson was Hoosier born, and had 43 hot 100 solos and 27 top tens.
IOWA- the cornfield king is Andy Williams, with 44 hot 100s and 7 top tens.
Before moving on to bigger and better things, the big dropper this week was last week's top 40 debut instrumental by the Night Liters, K-Jee, falling 15 to #54. The big climber awaits in the top 40...
And now time for the 45 at 45! This week, the tune at #45 45 years ago was Spanky and Our Gang with Give A Damn. As you might expect, this was a hard sell on mainstream radio due not only to the title. It was a "comment on racial equality" that not only became the theme song for the New York Urban Coalition, but for John Lindsay's successful mayoral re-election campaign. Despite the title with the D word in it, the Gang performed it live on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour- which led to a slew of complain calls to the CBS Standards and Practices department, including allegedly one from President Nixon himself, as Tommy Smothers told Geraldo in an interview. In a sad twist, it was barely a month later that Malcolm Hale, guitarist and the glue that held the band together, died on Halloween night, apparently of carbon monoxide poisoning from a malfunctioning heater.
Alright, it's time for the next round of Autumn Madness, this time, I select the four songs that will go to the next round of the Southeast Regional at Nashville. Bobby G., where were you last week? You let me down again, but Al Penwasser stepped up and joined the voting, so here we go:
Debbie Reynolds' Tammy vs My Special Angel by Bobby Helms (voters are split with one "present"):I guess it boils down to would I rather sing to her, or her sing to me? Tammy... but not by much.
Taylor/Souther, Her Town Too vs Wishing You Were Here, Chicago (unanimous behind the boys from Illinois): Wishing You Were Here was virtually made for a "desert island" contest. Chicago moves on.
Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman vs Carpenters, Superstar (2-1 for Karen and Richard): I know I need a small vacation... but it don't look like rain.. Glen goes on.
J Frank Wilson, Last Kiss, vs Strawberry Alarm Clock, Incense and Peppermints (3-0 for SAC): Make it 4-0.
Stay tuned for next week's competitors...
The top 40 debuts this week kick off with a new rendition of a very old song. It seems that way back in 1895, a pimp in St. Louis named "Stag" Lee Shelton was having a little Christmas night cheer with another disreputable character named Billy Lyons. A disagreement led to harsh words, and Billy grabbed Lee's Stetson hat. You don't mess with a man's hat, especially when it was a symbol of that man's social standing as it was in this case. Lee shot Billy and walked out. 2 years later, he was imprisoned for murder. He served till 1909 (though he shortly went back in and died there in 1912), but before the cell door clanked shut, his story became a folk song, and was first recorded by "Professor Charlie Lee, the Piano Thumper". The song went through a lot of versions and a lot of names; the first to chart was one called Stack'O'Lee's Blues, by Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians, which hit #14 way back in 1923. Others recorded it under names like that one and Skeeg-O-Lee's Blues. In 1950 a guy who went by the recording name of Archibald (real name Leon T. Gross) took a version he called Stack-O-Lee to #10 R&B. The biggest hit, under the most familiar name, came in 1958 when Lloyd Price hit #1 on the pop and R&B charts with Stagger Lee. Wilson Pickett would chart at #22 pop with his version of Stag-O-Lee, and with the familiar Stagger Lee title Tommy Roe comes into the chart this week at 40, up 3 spots.
Also debuting this week, Helen Reddy also climbs 3 to #39 with a cover of Van Morrison's Crazy Love; Stephen Stills climbs another three to 38 with Marianne; and the week's high debut and biggest mover, up 28 spot to #29, the Osmonds with Yo-Yo.
This would be a good time to catch up some Almost But Not Quite shoutouts. Two weeks ago, while I was sleeping, Olivia Newton-John peaked at 23 with If Not For You, while the Doors stopped at 12 with Riders On The Storm. Last week, Blood Sweat and Tears capped things off at 21 with Go Down Gambling- and it goes down to 32 this week. Also, the Dramatics spend a second and final week at #14 with Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get.
Only one song cracks the top ten this week, so only one gives way- How Do You Mend A Broken Heart (8 to 16).
Okay, time for next week's AM contestants, the prize being a trip to the regional finals in Detroit for the Midwest Regionals!
The Elegants' Little Star vs Paul Muriat's Love Is Blue;
Barry Manilow's Mandy vs the Carpenters' We've Only Just Begun;
The Guess Who's No Time vs Moody Blues' The Voice;
and Wings' Listen To What The Man Says vs Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse Of The Heart!
Which reminds me it's been a bit since I updated the "big four" To refresh: the closest my own top ten ever came to matching Billboards top ten was when I had Total Eclipse, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, True, and One Thing Leads To Another at 1-2-3-4 and BB had them at 1-2-3-5. That was thirty years ago, and this week on Cashbox they sat thusly:
Total Eclipse Of The Heart at #7;
Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, #15;
and One Thing Leads To Another, #35.
How will they end up on CB? Tune in next time...
|I was #1 for 8 weeks on Chris' chart BTW...|
The lone newbie in the top ten climbs a quick 8 from 18 to 10- the toast of Detroit, Rod Stewart's Maggie May.
The Who go up one spot to #9 with Won't Get Fooled Again.
Take Me Home, Country Roads drops from 5 to 8 for John Denver.
Rare Earth climb a pair to 7 with I Just Want To celebrate.
Bill Withers climbs one to #6 with Ain't No Sunshine.
Aretha Franklin drops 4 to #5 with Spanish Harlem.
Joan Baez inches up a pair to 4 with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
Donnie Osmond, the kingpin of Chicago, slips up a spot to 3 with Go Away Little Girl.
Paul and Linda McCartney are up into the runner up spot with Uncle Albert.
And the new #1 from the rulers of LA...
...the Undisputed Truth with Smiling Faces Sometimes!
Sometime next month I'm scheduled to come up with the next class of the Martin Hall Of Fame, but I'll probably wait until after Autumn Madness. In the meantime, click the page at the top, peruse the current tenants, and feel free to point out someone I might have missed. See you next time.