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


Friday, November 22, 2013

Time Machine week 95

It's November, 22, 1971.  Yesterday, the Indian Air Force inflicted a defeat on their Pakistani counterparts as the two nations edged closer towards confrontation in Pakistan's civil war, in the tiny river neck of Boyra.  One of the Pakistani pilots shot down and captured would eventually (in 1996) become Pakistan's Chief of Air Staff; the pilot who shot him down sent him a nice congratulatory letter, thinking that he'd never hear back- but the CoAS sent back a letter, thanking him for the wishes and commending him on his skill in the air.

Today, Idaho's Supreme Court threw out an old law that said that in the presence of multiple applicants to the estate of a dead child, the male applicants take precedence.  In the case at hand, the father was a little more than indirectly involved in the death, and the lower judge was trying to award power over the estate to him.

In two days, a man known to legend as DB Cooper would leap from a plane into mystery as the first man to hijack a plane.  Who he was, whether he survived, and where all the money went is still a matter for conjecture.

artists depiction of "Cooper"- who may have gotten his name from a Dutch comic book...

And now, you're reading Time Machine for this week, where we'll look at the many faces of Will You Love Me Tomorrow; the band that ALMOST had Janis Joplin for a singer, and why; and four new members of the top ten, including two that make leaps of at least 12 notches!  Ready, aim, fire!

So let's open the fun as always  with the #1s around the world.  Three changes this week internationally:  France  has at the top of its chart one Michel Sardou with his tune La Rire du Sergent
(The Laughing Sergeant).  Sardou is another artist to owed his fame initially to being banned; his first hit was Les Ricains (The Yankees) in which he, in light of anti-American sentiment over Vietnam and France's pull out from NATO, reminded Frenchmen of the debt owed to America.  The subject did not find favour with DeGaulle, and he "suggested" that the song not be played.  Sardot, the scion of theater star parents, has gone on to make a career of edgy political views.

Also new at the tops Over There, Ireland has adopted the UK #1 Cuz I Love You by Slade (a very good song, a la Come On Eileen);  and New Zealand will spend the rest of the year with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey on top.

In the US of A, a consensus has formed behind the Shaft theme; LA, both Chicagos, and one Minneapolis station has Isaac Hayes at the top.  Detroit is united behind Family Affair; the other Minneapolis station has Baby I'm-A Want You, and Pittsburgh favours Have You Seen Her.  (Why am I using the English spelling of favour today?  Because it pisses my spell-check off.

"I say, Mr. Davis, I had no idea we were so popular in the Motor City..."

This week, we had 12 hot 100 debuts, of which I'll mention three.  At #61, Rod Stewart and the Faces hit with their version of (I Know I'm) Losing You;  at 86, it's rare Earth with one of their best, Hey Big Brother; and Betty Wright at 89 with her big hit Clean Up Woman.  Here's a didja know-  Wright was a member of a family gospel outfit called the Echoes Of Joy; as such, she was singing professionally at the age of 2, and discovered George and Gwen McRae when she was 14!

Oh, and something else I should mention at this point, kind of an Almost But Not Quite- Mamy Blue, the Pop Tops version, has peaked at #68 on the Cashbox countdown.  But is still on top in at least 8 other countries...

This week's birthday song list is going to have a story attached at the end.  Turning thirty this week:  Barry Manilow's Read Em And Weep ( which I mention not because it was a big hit or because I'm a Manilow fan- the first is false, the other true- but because it was the fourth top forty hit in a matter of months written and produced by Jim Steinman.  The others?  Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, and his own soon to debut Rock And Roll Dreams Come True.), Rainbow's Street Of Dreams, and the Moody Blues with Blue World.  Turning 35, we have Olivia Newton-John's A Little More Love, Nicolette Larson's hit of Neil Young's Lotta Love, Gerry Rafferty's Home And Dry, Don Williams' country crossover ( later covered by Eric Clapton) Tulsa Time, Gong Show contestant Cheryl Lynn's Got To Be Real, and Ian Matthews (without the Southern Comfort) and Shake It.  That song attached itself for me to a girl in high school on the flimsiest of reasonings- she and some other friends of the female persuasion were students in advanced Spanish, and somehow the line "she has a purse that was made in Mexico" stuck to her picture in my brain.

Turning 40, we have David Essex's Rock On... and the star of our coming story.  At 45 years old this week, Dusty Springfield's Son Of A Preacher Man and CCR's I Put A Spell On You.  Turning 50, Martha and the Vandellas Quicksand and the Murmaids with Popsicles, Icicles.  Hitting 55 this week we have the classic Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by the Platters, and Jackie Wilson's Lonely Teardrops.  And finally, turning 60, Eartha Kitt's take on Santa Baby.

And now, the story.  One of the songs turning 40 this week was a cover by Melanie (Brand New Key) of the Carole King comp Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow.  First thought was-  I don't know if this is going to be real good, with Melanie's somewhat screechy pipes; second thought was, gee, a LOT of people have recorded this song.  Let's look and see how many we find.

The Shirelles, of course, had the biggest with the first, hitting #1 in 1960.  But a wide cross-section of people have also recorded it, from Mike Berry...

You know me, mate!  I was Spooner on the UK comedy Are You Being Served!
... to Ronnie James Dio with his band the Prophets...

His version was "then"... in 1962.
Now as far as those what actually hit the charts, we have the Four Seasons making it to #24 in 1968; Roberta Flack got to #76 in 1972; Jody Miller, a country star who had made a living doing covers of 60's hits in country style (top 40 country with songs like He's So Fine, Baby I'm Yours, Be My Baby, To Know Him Is To Love Him, and... House Of The Rising Sun?) made it to #69 on the country charts in 1975...

Whatever it is, I'm there...

...a band called Morningside Drive had a disco version that hit #33 in 1975 as well; Dana Valery, a singer of all trades who is now a hypnotherapist, hit #95 with another dance version in 1976; and Dave Mason made it to #39 with his last top 40 hit in 1978.  Carole, of course did an excellent job on her massive hit lp Tapestry in 1971; but she says (allegedly) that "the definitive version" was done by the Bee Gees on the tribute album Tapestry Revisited in 1995- it was pretty darn good.  That lp also contained Rod Stewart on So Far Away, Amy Grant on It's Too Late, Faith Hill doing Where You Lead,  the Manhattan Transfer on Smackwater Jack (I'll have to check at least THAT one out!), and Celine Dion on You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.

Oh, and Melanie's version which started this all?  It was DAMN GOOD.

The biggest mover in the countdown is up in the top 40... the big dropper, Al Green and Tired Of Being Alone, falling from 18 to 51.

Our 45 at 45- one more time for newbies; the 45 at #45 45 years ago this week- is on its way down.  It's Piece Of My Heart by Big Brother And The Holding Company, who had been an unconventional instrumental band until they auditioned Janis Joplin to be their first lead singer.  Now she was also being courted by another band from down home in Texas- the 13th Floor Elevators, reputed to be the first truly psychedelic band.  They had had a national hit in 1967 with You're Gonna Miss Me (#55), and had a big rep in their home state.  Janis' connection to them was through her friend  Clementine Hall, wife of 13FE electric jug player Tommy Hall.  Clementine was like a den mother to the band, especially to the increasingly-disturbed leader Roky Erickson.  She chose the Holding Co., though; and when she went solo, much of the band joined Country Joe and the Fish for a time, before briefly reforming with new female singer Kathy McDonald, who may (if you read her wiki story) or may not have been one of the female vocalists on the Stones' Tumbling Dice (credits list two other ladies "and friend").

Eight songs hit the top 40 this week.  Tom Jones' Till, which we mentioned a couple weeks ago and is an AWESOME vocal performance, moves up 3 to #40;  Yes moves up nine to #37 with Your Move (better known, perhaps, as Seen All Good People); Van Morrison's Wild Night moves up 7 to #35; Neil Diamond comes in with a song called Stones at 34, up ten; Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band climb a quick 18 to #33 with the instrumental Scorpio; Melanie (ain't it funny how THIS works out?) climbs nine to #32 with the aforementioned Brand New Key; the big mover, up 28 to 31, Three Dog Night with An Old Fashioned Love Song; and the highest spot in the top 40 goes to the Staple Singers with Respect Yourself, moving up 18 spots to #29.

Yeah, if I get two mentions, I oughta get a picture...

With four new songs coming in, four old ones drop out.  The four droppers were Superstar (10 to 24), I Found Someone Of My Own (8 to 17), Maggie May (4 to 16), and Yo-Yo (5-15).

Marvin Gaye slips from 6 to 10 with Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).

The Jackson Five jump from 21 to 9 with Got To Be There.

A more modest move of four notches take the Grass Roots to #8 with Two Divided By Love.

Bread rises (you knew that was coming again, didn't you?) two spots to #7 with Baby I'm-A Want You.

The big move- 17 spots from 23 to 6- belongs to Sly and the Family Stone with Family Affair.

Another more modest jump of 6 puts the Chi-lites and Have You Seen Her at #5.

The former Cat Stevens (well, he wasn't former then but.. oh, you know) goes from 7 to 4 with Peace Train.

Cher drops a notch to #3 with the former top dog Gypsies Tramps And Thieves.

John Lennon moves into the runner up spot with Imagine.

And that means the winnah and still champeen for this week is...

...Isaac Hayes and Theme From Shaft!!!

Next week, more music and pictures of pretty girls!


  1. You have just brought me back to my old neighborhood, walking down the street with my girlfriend singing Brand New Key! Where did that come from? Wow. DB Cooper. The one that got away! Great songs, great history! Thanks.

    1. I was just listening to Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) in the car today...

  2. Chris:
    If you do some homework on that India/Paki war, the aircraft both sides had will surprise you...seriously.
    And that was 1971!
    (we had the Blackbird SR-71)

    Heh...Wifey and I were just talking about D.B.Cooper the other day...ironic.
    (and still unsolved)

    And you just CANNOT go WRONG with a song by Jim matter WHO sings it (A Manilow fan here too).

    Son of a Preacher Man is FORTY FIVE????
    Where does all the TIME go?

    And...WTG, Ike...Shaft is #1 AGAIN!
    (we can STILL dig

    Another great ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' up there and stay safe doing it!