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


Friday, November 8, 2013

Time Machine week 93

It's November 8, 1971.  And guess what just came out today?

Did you get it?  These are the symbols contained in what is commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV, the band's true masterwork.  The track list read like a greatest hits lp- in addition to Stairway To Heaven, the most played song never released as a 45 (although it did get sent around to radio stations as an ep)-  it contained the hit singles Rock N Roll, Misty Mountain Hop, and the airplay hits Black Dog and Going To California.  The symbols were designed by each band member because they had decided to give the record no title.  In the upper left is Jimmy Page's; though they were not meant to be letters, the lp's occasional nickname Zoso comes from it.

Welcome to yet another adventure in the Time Machine as I do some Beatles fun in honor of this being the week, back in 1968, that Hey Jude was knocked out of the top spot after an 8-week run.  So to start this off, and in lieu of the usual teaser, I am going to give you a list.  Each of these songs was parked at either #2 or #3 during Hey Jude's reign.  The game?  You tell me- which one knocked the Beatles off?  Here are the choices:

The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown's Fire
1910 Fruitgum Company's 1-2-3 Red Light
The Bee Gee's I've Got To Get A Message To You
Jeannie C. Riley's Harper Valley PTA
The Rascals' People Got To Be Free
O.C. Smith's Little Green Apples
Mary Hopkins' Those Were The Days

As a bonus, one of these was #1 before Hey Jude, and thus the only other one to hit the top on the Cashbox charts.  Get that one for bonus points!  Answers at the end of the show.  Be honest- let me know how you did!

As usual we start with what was number one around the world- and the only real change here was Canada giving the nod this week to Gypsies Tramps And Thieves.  Detroit continues to be topped by Have You Seen Her; LA, One Chicago station (WLS) and one Minneapolis station (WDGY) rate the Theme From Shaft first; the other Windy City station (WCFL) is still stuck on Yo-Yo; while Pittsburgh agrees with Canada on Cher's hit (which was our #1 last week), while the other Minneapolis station, (KDWB) has Coven's One Tin Soldier at the top.  Three cheers for Jinx Dawson!

This is kinda getting a Halloween-y feel to it, yes?

Finishing here, the AC chart is still topped by Peace Train, the R&B by Inner City Blues, and the new Country #1 is the third this year by Sonny James, this one called Here Comes Honey Again.  Bet you thought I was gonna say "Boo-Boo", dint ya?

The hot 100 had 13 debuts this week, but only two caught my mentioning fancy.  At #75, newly minted MHOFers Three Dog Night with An Old Fashioned Love Song; and in a nod to good buddy Stephen T., the Beach Boys crack the 100 at 90 with Long Promised Road.

What we lack in debuts we make up in songs celebrating a birthday- 22 of 'em, if I counted right!  Turning 30, we have Olivia Newton-John's Twist Of Fate, The Police with my fave of theirs, Synchronicity II, Duran Duran  with Union Of The Snake, and Yes with their blast from 90215, Owner Of A Lonely Heart.

Turning 35, we have Billy Joel's My Life, Elton John's Part-Time Love, Leif Garrett (yes, Leif Garrett) with I was Made For Dancing, The Jackson's Blame It On The Boogie, the Talking Heads with Take Me To The River, a studio band called Chanson with a disco tune called Don't Hold Back.  Chanson had among its two leaders one James Jameson, Jr., whose dad was one of the legendary Funk Brothers and played guitar on songs from Jr. Walker's Shotgun to the Sylvers' Boogie Fever.
Oh, and one more turning 35- one of the most beautiful songs ever, IMHO- from the Kiss- Paul Stanley lp.

Turning 40, we have John Lennon's Mind Games (sounds like a set up to a punch line), and Stevie Wonder's Living For The City.  At 45, we have the Lettermen with Put Your Head On My Shoulder, and certainly the opposite end of the vocal spectrum, Joe Cocker's version of With A Little Help From My Friends.  Hitting the big 5-0, The Beach Boys again with the teenage prayer In My Room, The Kingsmen with the drunken anthem Louie Louie, and Joey Powers' one-hit wonder Midnight Mary.  Turning 55,  we have Elvis' two sided hit One Night/I Got Stung, along with Billy Grammer's hit from the Great Fifties Countdown, Gotta Travel On. And turning 60 (can you even fathom that?) Dean Martin with That's Amore.  Blow Out The Candles...

The big dropper this week was Kris Kristofferson's Loving Her Was Easier (etc., etc.), falling 32 spots to land at 65.  The big climber?  Well, I thought it was going to be a tie between Sly Stone's Family Affair (at 56) and Dennis Coffey's Scorpio (at 67), both moving 25 spots... but somebody in the top 40 beat that by two spots.  Stay tuned for details!

Our 45 at 45 this week is a song called From The Teacher To The Preacher.  If you don't recall it, well, it peaked at 40 on CB the next week, and stalled at 57 on Billboard.  But the names you might know, for it was a duet.  The male lead was Gene (Duke Of Earl ) Chandler.  And his partner was one Barbara Acklin, perhaps less known for her biggest hit (Love Makes A Woman, 45 pop/3 R&B) than for her biggest writing credit- the top song in Motown this week, the Chi-Lites' Have You Seen Her!

Another addition to the Beauty Contest roster...
And now, Professor Martin's Beatles statistics.  I was actually digging for something else when I had to stop and marvel at the incredible dominance of the Beatles during their run on the charts, from when I Want To Hold Your Hand debuted on January 11th, 1964 till The Long And Winding Road dropped off 348 weeks later.  During that time frame, the Beatles were at #1 19.2% of those weeks.  But more than that- they were on the top forty 68.4% of those weeks, and in the hot 100 71.5% of them!  But the first 145 weeks were even more incredible.  On October 29th, 1966, they had they're first long (their longest actually) absence from the 100- seventeen weeks, until the end of February 1967.  Prior to that, they had three absences of a combined 13 weeks.  In that 145 week period, they were #1 28% of the time, in the forty 90% of the time, and in the hot 100 91.7 % of the time!

So I wondered where they averaged when they weren't #1.  Of course, to get a fair reading of this, I had to decide how to score the weeks they were out of the 100, because to not count those weeks would only make them sound MORE incredible.  So what I did was an imperfect solution:  any week they were off the 100, they got a "101".  I then took the highest chart position of the other weeks.  Going by this admittedly flawed but entertaining design, I found that, for their career, when the Beatles weren't at #1, they averaged being at #44.4.  But if you isolate that first 145 weeks, that average position becomes...

12.  Now THAT is chart success!

Just think how good we could have been had we took it serious, mates!

The top 40 beckons, and four tunes answer the call.  Paul Anka comes in with only his second top 40 since 1963, Do I Love You, up ten to land at 40.  Next comes the week's big mover- and it's a poem reading.  Radio and TV personality Les Crane, perhaps the Father of radio talk shows, reading Max Ehrmann's 1927 poem Desiderata.  (Les' other noteworthy accomplishment- he was Ginger's hubby!  He was married to Tina Louise 1966-74.)

But you still gotta wonder if Bob Denver was getting any...
Oh, um, Les' prize-winning jump this week took him from 62 to 35.  Also entering the top 40 this week, Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady went from 42 to 28, and the many-times-mentioned Have You Seen Her gets national love, climbing from 41 to 21.

One, and ONLY one, song moves into the top 40, and one falls out:  Do You Know What I Mean, from 10 to 11.

Marvin Gaye is that entry, moving up a pair to #10 with Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).

Al Green slips a pair to #9 with Tired Of Being Alone.

Cat Stevens chugs up a notch to #8 with Peace Train.

The Carpenters drop 3 to #7 with Superstar.

The Free Movement becomes constipated, holding at #6 with I Found Someone Of My Own.

And at 5- the six degrees victim!

The Osmonds' Yo-Yo (dropping from #3), written by Joe South, was first recorded by Billy Joe Royal, bubbling under at #117 in 1966.  It wasn't one of his three big hits; one that was, though, was Cherry Hill Park and that nasty Mary Hill.  That song was arranged and produced by Buddie Buie, who was the guitarist and main writer for the Classics IV.  He would go on to found and manage the Atlanta Rhythm Section.  His drummer there was Robert Nix, who had done the in-studio drumming on some of the Classics IV's songs; and in addition, was co-writer of... Cherry Hill Park!  That six degrees was more of a roundabout than a boulevard, eh?

John Lennon moves up 4 notches to #4 this week.  Imagine that!

Isaac Hayes' Theme From Shaft moves up 2 to #3.

Rod Stewart holds in the runner up spot with Maggie May.

Which means our #1 song is...

HOLD IT!!!!!  Aren't you forgetting the answers to the Beatles trivia question way back up there?

No, but if you're going to be impatient...

If you chose Fire, Red Light, Got To Get a Message, Little Green Apples, or the Rascals... go sit down.

If you took Harper Valley PTA... take the bonus points.  Hey Jude knocked Riley out of the top spot.

Which Means the winner is...

HOLD IT!!!!  If you just mention the #1 song now, and the winner of the trivia next, you can put up a picture without having to put up that stupid warning sign like you always do for repeat #1s!

Good idea!  #1 this week, Cher with Gypsies Tramps And Thieves!

And the song that knocked Hey Jude from #1...

... Mary Hopkins with Those Were The Days!

And that's a wrap!  See you next week!


  1. I did have a feeling it was Mary Hopkins although Hey Jude will always be #1 over her anyday! Some great songs on here. It's pretty clear what Jimmy Paige was drawing to me!

    1. Makes one of us... wiki claims it's some sort of symbol for Saturn..

  2. My dad had a Led Zeplin album and a Zeplin tribute album that we would listen to when we visited him. Oh the memories of bouncing around town in that hideous Datsun that barely ran.

    1. Memories are what we're all about here! And I barely remember Datsuns- what I do recall seemed to always be heavily rusted.

  3. Wow, that's so much information I'm dizzy, well more dizzy than normal. Those Beatles stats had this dumb blonde totally confused.

  4. While I am not normally up on what did what to which band on the charts, I knew "Those Were The Days" knocked out "Hey Jude"....I think it was in the liner notes on the CD reissue a year or so ago.

    Otherwise, I'd call it a lucky guess.....but I'm pretty sure I remember reading it.

    Was that really the Coven artwork? The only song I ever knew of theirs was "One Tin Soldier."

    I still have a soft sport for Billy Jack-it's preachy, it's dated, but has some great karate scenes.

    I'm gonna take my left foot and whup you on that side of you face....and there's not a damn thing you can do about it

    Great line.....filmed in Prescott, AZ....the first time I visited there, I had this odd sense of Deja Vu, and then when the movie was released on DVD, that was in the liner notes.

    I once wrote a college term paper based on the liner notes to Al Stewart's Past Present & Future album.

    Hmm...what does it say that all of my knowledge seems to come from liner notes?


    1. If they're Al Stewart's notes, it probably makes you a history major...

  5. I was all prepared to say 'WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD' by Louis Armstrong is what knocked the Beatles off The Top. When it wasn't on your list of possibilities, I was temporarily confused. Then I remembered...

    Oh, that's right. Satchmo dethroned The Beatles the year before - in 1967.

    I took a guess ('People Got To Be Free') but got it wrong,

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Yep, Satchmo derailed their long opening streak at #1 back in 1964. Laurie called the song that they knocked off, but the one that got them has been the stumper.

  6. Chris: it RIGHT away (being the Zep fan that I am)
    I did BAD on the trivia, too, but I figured ut had to be a woman...(close by NO cigar).
    I don't know what's getting older FASTER...ME or all these great SONGS!
    And Tina Louise...(yowzah!)...hear she still looks good for her age.

    Wasn't THOSE WERE THE DAYS a takeoff on an old Yiddish song?
    (sure sounds like it)
    And you would be VERY hard-pressed to find ANY group in ANY music genre that has the stats you provided for the FAB FOUR...amazing!

    Excellent ride.'

    Keep those hits comin' up there