And just like them, Time Machine is going to occupy for a few days- two to be precise- because there is SO MUCH to cover this week, including: Comedy, times two; the top ten charting Christmas songs; and 50 to 21 of the top hits of 1971! Let's have at it, shall we?
First today, let's peruse the tops of the charts- where we don't find a lot of change. Only one international chart changes- France's top list moves the song Pop Concerto by, not surprisingly, the Pop Concerto Orchestra, into the top spot. This was a studio band put together by songwriters Paul de Senneville (who became one of France's greatest pop songwriters) and Olivier Toussaint (who was the singer). Around our nation, Let's Stay Together tops things in Detroit; American Pie holds forth still in LA and Minneapolis; Chicago is split between Brand New Key (WLS) and Sunshine (Go Away) (WCFL); and Pittsburgh has at the top a song we'll talk about more on tomorrow's show- a song called Once You Understand by an act called Think.
And now, how about we crack open that top fifty? These are the top 50 by my unique point system, with ONLY points earned within the year 1971. And we start with 50-41:
50- Dave Edmunds, I Hear You Knocking. That handsome guy from England leads things off, at 88 points. Since I break all ties, Dave gets the spot ahead of fellow 88-pointers Peace Train and Tired Of Being Alone.
|Tough break, mates!|
49- Another Day, Paul McCartney. 91 points.
48- Spanish Harlem, Aretha Franklin. One of the few Aretha tunes I can stand. 92.
47- Do You Know What I Mean, Lee Michaels. 94.
46- If I Were Your Woman, Gladys Knight and the Pips. 96.
45- Me And Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin. Her posthumous hit garners 98 points. But so do three others:
44- Got To Be There, Michael Jackson. Also high in our top ten this week. And;
43- Have You Seen Her, Chi-Lites. And;
42- Lonely Days, Bee Gees. And rounding out the first ten-
41- Baby I'm-A Want You, Bread, which gathered 99 points.
The last week of 1971 gives us 15 debuts in the hot 100, including six that I will mention. Leading off in that 100th spot, one-hit-wonder Climaxx with Precious And Few. Robert John makes his first big mark with a redo of the Tokens' The Lion Sleeps Tonight at 93. Next, for a little fun, we have a comedy classic that comes in at 90. Here, with a little help from the Justice League:
Just above it at 89, Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton come in with the familiar theme to All In The Family, Those Were The Days. If you've never listened to the 45 RPM version, look it up, it's hilarious. But it is NOT today's second comedy video- you'll have to wait just a bit for that. Coming in at 83 is War with Slippin' Into Darkness; and at 60, Three Dog Night comes in with Never Been To Spain.
Which brings us to this year's last birthday songs. Once again, I found nothing of note at the 30-year-old mark; turning 35, we have the Babys with Everytime I Think Of You; Styx with Sing For The Day; disco star Sylvester with his big crossover hit You Make Me Feel Mighty Real; and Evelyn Champagne King with I Don't Know If It's Right. Turning 40, the Allman Brothers' instrumental Jessica and the spoken word gift from Canada, Byron MacGregor's Americans.
DINNNG!! That bell tells us we're about to hit the next ten on the year's top 50:
40- Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), Marvin Gaye. The first tune over the century mark, at 100.
39- My Sweet Lord, George Harrison. 102 inside 1971.
38- Groove Me, King Floyd. 103 points.
37- Rainy Days And Mondays, The Carpenters. 105.
36- Imagine, John Lennon. Sorry leftists, 109 is all he got.
35- Mama's Pearl, Jackson Five. 110. Also getting 110:
34- Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Paul and Linda McCartney. Still #1 in New Zealand, BTW.
33- Smiling Faces Sometimes, Undisputed Truth. 113.
32- Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Aretha Franklin. Just didn't care for her gospelized version. 114, just like:
31- What's Going On, Marvin Gaye. There's more to come, but before we escalate, back to the birthday songs.
Turning 45, we have the late Joe South with Games People Play; the Foundations with Build Me Up Buttercup; and the Doors with Touch Me. (They should get together with the Divinyls and touch each other, eh?) Leslie Gore hits the big 5-0 with You Don't Own Me (this weeks' shake-my-head-it's-that-old song); and turning 55, The Harry Simeone Chorale with The Little Drummer Boy, as well as this one I never heard of before...
Now, the other day Bobby G. mentioned something about doing a best-charting Christmas song list. I looked on wiki, and this is a really complicated ordeal. For one, many of the Christmas songs we know and love, like Elton John's Get Into Christmas, Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime, and Elvis' Blue Christmas- mainly because they never pressed a single until years after its release on his Christmas lp- never charted. Also, Christmas songs charted on so many different charts. The R&B and Country Charts, Billboard's specialized Christmas and Children's Music charts-neither of which I had any access to- it looked near impossible. But someone who did have access- a blog site called Zoomerradio- reviewed BB charts going back to the mess of early charts they had back to the 1930's. Combining all of them, they came up with this list:
10. Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley.
9. The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole.
8. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Gene Autry.
7. Jingle Bell Rock, Bobby Helms.
6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Jimmy Boyd.
5. Merry Christmas Darling, The Carpenters.
4. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, Spike Jones.
3. The Little Drummer Boy, The Harry Simeone Chorale.
2. The Chipmunk Song, David Seville and the Chipmunks (always my favorite).
And at #1... as if you couldn't guess...
1. White Christmas, Bing Crosby, probably the biggest selling single ever.
Y'know what? While we're on the subject, another favorite of mine is one you probably never hear. Try this on for size...
And we'll wrap up today's half of the festivities with the next set of the top 50 of 1971:
30- Family Affair, Sly and the Family Stone. They'll be getting a six degrees tomorrow (which means we'll be seeing a brand new #1 (not-so-subtle clue there) ). 116 points.
29- Brown Sugar, Rolling Stones. 117, even without a week at #1.
28- It Don't Come Easy, Ringo Starr. The final Beatle to get into the action, with 118 points.
27- Yo-Yo, The Osmonds. 122 points, same as:
26- The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Joan Baez.
25- Put Your Hand In The Hand, Ocean. A real golden age for songs of faith on the top 40. 127 points, same as:
24- Ain't No Sunshine, Bill Withers, and:
23- Treat Her Like A Lady, Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose. The name of that group kinda confused me, being a 2nd grader in a Catholic School at the time. Why did they have a nun?
22- You've Got A Friend, James Taylor. 137 points.
And wrapping up today's list:
21- Don't Pull Your Love, Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds.
Tomorrow- well, if I tell you tomorrow's show, I won't have a teaser! So just come on back!