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


Friday, December 6, 2013

Time Machine week 96 (but actually 96 and 97)

It's December 6th, 1971.  Today and tomorrow, roughly 120 soldiers of India's 23rd Battalion A company held off an invading Pakistani force of two to three thousand of the 51st Infantry Brigade PLUS the tanks of the 22nd Armored Regiment at a place called Longewalla, through a full-moon night until the day broke and the Indian Air force came in and chewed them to bits, killing 200 Pakistanis to 2 Indians, and destroying 34 tanks.  On the other side of the subcontinent, Bangladesh was officially recognized as a nation by both India and Bhutan... but not here.

You see, in the US of A, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger were playing a deeper game against the USSR and Red China, playing their "new buddies" who supported Pakistan against the nasty Russians who supported India.  Unfortunately, that involved the government being on the side of Pakistani genocide.  Now, we were nine going on ten then, and we kept up with such things.  Oblivious to Nixon trying to bait China into getting involved, we knew a lousy situation when we saw it and we all supported India and Bangladesh- just as we would two years later when we supported and loudly cheered Israel's war despite Nixon all but threatening to cut off aid if they didn't knock it off.  I know he had realpolitik reasons for his choices, but we only saw the truth of the thing.

Welcome back, believe it or not, to Time Machine as we rumble towards our upcoming one hundredth episode of volume II!  Now, for you newbies, that doesn't make for 100 Time Machine posts- there was a volume one that ran 89 posts;  specials on the first Thanksgiving and Christmas (2010) and the second Memorial Day (2011); The Hal David Memorial (my #2 all-time most viewed post); the inaugural Beauty Contest episode; and the One-Hit Wonder special, for a total of 191- plus the related Great Sixties/Seventies/Eighties Countdowns, which we could stretch a point and add, which would put us at 240 posts this week!  But this week is something we've never done before- combine two weeks into one to make up for this year's Thanksgiving No-Show!  That's right, we'll have TWO top tens, two sets of debuts, a big pile of belated and un-belated birthdays- and one, count 'em ONE six degrees that will take us from the second drummer for Yes to... the FIRST drummer for Yes!  Hang on with both hands!

To shorten things up a bit, we will eschew the international #1s (they all are still listening to Mamy Blue anyway) and just look at the local areas.  In Detroit, WKNR and CLKW both had Family Affair at the top last week, and replaced it this week with Brand New Key.  Minneapolis' 2 stations had a thing for Bread;  KDWB had Baby I'm-A Want You at the top this week, but Sunshine (Go Away Today) last week, while WDGY had them last week, with Family Affair this week.  Family Affair captured both weeks in LA, Pittsburgh, and this week at Chicago's WLS; and Shaft took the other week at WLS and both weeks at WCFL.  See, that wasn't too confusing!

Say, wasn't this just a political post?

Debuts on the hot 100 this week include:  Out of 16 last week, some that you'll recognize from the list on the Scrappy World News post- at 94, Charlie Pride's Kiss An Angel Good Morning; two versions of I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing- And stop me if you've heard this one (just kidding there).  The song was created as a Coke jingle, and the New Seekers were asked to record it, but they were too busy at the time.  So producer Al Ham threw together a group of singers (dubbed the Hillside Singers for the group of kids on a hillside that lip-synched the commercial) that included his wife and daughter, two guys named Shaw, and two couples named Marino, and they recorded it.  But it became so popular, people wanted to buy it as a record- which is where the New Seekers became "un-busy", and this week the Hillside Singers come in at #95 and the New Seekers at #82 with it.

Also in week one, Al Green comes in at 77 with Let's Stay Together;  The Guess Who at #73 with Sour Suite; and Don McLean at #70 with American Pie.

This week, there were 10 debuts, including the Grateful Dead with Truckin' at 93, Carly Simon with Anticipation (also a classic TV ad) at 81, and Badfinger's Day After Day at #78.  Our birthday tunes I threw into one big bunch, so they can all celebrate together.  Turning thirty, we have:  Genesis'  That's All, Culture Club's Karma Chameleon, Eddie Money's The Big Crash, Nightranger's Rock In America... and Jump In The Saddle with The Curly Shuffle...

Oh, wise guy!!!
Turning 35, we have:  the Eagles' Please Come Home For Christmas, The Blues Brothers with their cover of Sam and Dave's Soul Man, and yet another "Chris has to stop and tell a story."  Nigel Olsen, a member of Elton John's band, hit with a song called Dancin' Shoes.  This song was written by Carl Storie of the Indianapolis-based Faith Band, who would chart with their own version the next week.  The Faith Band, who actually did have achievements beside coming up with the best lp title of all time (1977's Excuse Me, I Just Cut An Album), fought their way in 8 weeks up to #63, while Olsen would peak at 17 some time later.

Turning 40 this week, BTO's Blue Collar, Barbra Streisand's The Way We Were, Love Unlimited Orchestra's Love's Theme, Ringo Starr's You're 16, and ELO's Showdown.  Turning 45, Canned Heat's Going Up The Country, Jimi Hendrix's Crosstown Traffic, The Supremes and the Temptations with I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, Brooklyn Bridge's The Worst That Could Happen, and Sly and the Family with Everyday People.  Turning 50 are Bobby Vinton's There I've Said It Again and the Trashmen with Surfin' Bird.  Turning 55, Ritchie Valens with Donna, and the Chipmunk Song; and finally turning 60, Patti Page's Secret Love.  Take a deep breath, and Blow Out The Candles...

That brings us to our 45 at 45, and this week we have a song called Shake by Shadows Of Knight, famous for the garage hit Gloria.  Gloria was originally done by Van Morrison's group Them, whose version was banned on many stations for a line "she comes to my room, then she made me feel alright" , which SOK changed to  "she called out my name, that made me feel alright" .  The change was good enough to net them a top ten hit, but later singles didn't pan out.  Lead guitar Jerry McGeorge left to join psychedelic rockers HP Lovecraft;  Bassist Joe Kelley formed his own blues group; Hawk Wolinski, who took over on bass when Kelley switched to lead, and drummer Tom Schiffour formed Bangor Flying Circus, and Schiffour was at first replaced by a fan.  (Schiffour was replaced later in BFC by one Michael Tegza, who had been in the now-failed HP Lovecraft.)  By 1968, the only remaining member from Gloria was singer Jim Sohns, who kept the all new band together- but their new contract was with Buddha records, which means they got forced into bubblegum by the time they recorded Shake.  I just listened to Shake;  if you are an aficionado of bubblegum, it's okay- if you are a fan of Gloria, you'll cringe.

Big movers for the two weeks:
Last week's big mover is in their top 40, the big dropper was the Bee Gees' Don't Want To Live Inside Myself, falling 15 to #54.  This week's big mover was American Pie, climbing 19 to #51, while the dropper was Superstar, falling 14 to #50.

Did I say top 40?  Last week, 3 songs debut-  that big mover was Donny Osmond's Hey Girl, jumping from 72 to 39; moving up 7 to #37, The Who's Behind Blue Eyes; and from 41 to 34, Bill Withers with Grandma's Hands. Seven songs debut this week:  up 10 to 40, the Honey Cone with One Monkey Don't Stop No Show; up 4 to 39, John Denver with Friends With You;  Rod Stewart and the Faces version of (I Know) I'm Losing You is up ten to #38; Jonathon Edwards' Sunshine, the toast of Minneapolis, climbs ten to #37; the Stylistics are up 8 to 36 with You Are Everything; Donnie Elbert comes in at 34, up 8, with a cover of Where Did Our Love Go; and James Brown tops the pack, climbing 8 to 33 with I'm A Greedy Man.

Last week had one entry into the top ten, with one falling out-  and the one falling out this week was the one that came in last week!  The one dropping last week was Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues, falling from 10 to 17. This week's other dropper was Peace Train, falling from #9.

And at this point, I'm going to try to eliminate some confusion by going ahead with the six degrees; and it starts out with the ONE song that dropped both weeks- the one I falsely claimed (actually , wrongly guessed) was at #1 the skipped week:  John Lennon's Imagine.  Needless to say, I have little good to say about this song, so rather than drag it through the mud, (and because virtually every trail I went down dead ended, with one exception- the one where the drummer was Alan White, who would soon replace departing Bill Bruford as Yes's drummer), I flipped the record to the b-side.  This was a song called It's So Hard.  This song included one of the last appearances by sax legend King Curtis, who was murdered 40 days after the session.  King Curtis, you might recall from a past six degrees, was the sax on the great Coasters hits like Yakety Yak.  One of the later Coasters was Ronnie Bright, most famous as the bass man in Johnny Cymbal's Mr. Bass Man  One of Bright's later performances was on Peter Gabriel's 1986 hit In Your Eyes.  Gabriel was, of course, the original front man for Genesis.  When he left after the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway tour, Genesis had to find a new lead singer- and soon found that Phil Collins was the man for the job.  But he was also the drummer, and would need to step out from behind the kit to be the new singer.  In the studio it wasn't a problem, but on stage, they needed a drummer.  And they found a winning volunteer- founding Yes drummer Bill Bruford!

Okay, let's stick together and get through the weirdest way to do a top ten you'll ever see!

Santana came in last week at #10, up one, with Everybody's Everything- and promptly fell to 18 this week.

As I said, Peace Train had dropped from 4 to 9 last week, and thence off the chart.

Replacing it at #9, up three spots, was David Cassidy and Cherish.

The Grass Roots held at 8 last week with Two Divided By Love, and drop to 10 this week.

The other newbie this week was Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady, climbing to that 8 spot.

Got To Be There makes a pair of 2-notch jumps for Michael Jackson- to #7 last week, and to #5 this week.

The Chi-Lites slip a notch to #6 last week, and stay there this week, with Have You Seen Her.

Bread climbs from 7 to 5 last week, and thence to 3 this week, with Baby I'm-A Want You.

Gypsies, Tramps, And Thieves slid a notch to 4 last week, and stayed put this week, for Cher.

The aforementioned Mr. Lennon and Imagine dropped from 2 to 3 last week, and to 7 this week. 

The Theme From Shaft slipped out of the top spot last week, and holds at #2 this week.

And at #1 both weeks, after a 5 spot jump:

Sly and the Family Stone and Family Affair!!!!

If you have any good suggestions for that upcoming week 100, be sure to let me know.  God knows, it can't be any worse than this was!


  1. I barely remember some of these songs. Some I haven't heard of before today. Not sure if that makes me young at heart or ignorant of music.

    1. Part of the fun of TM is we go back and play the ones we don't know- many are ones we forgot, others we really like... and some are real stinkers.

  2. I think...for the very first time....I have heard of all of these songs. That's a first. That also means I'm getting

    1. I gotta do a post on some of the screwy songs I've found in doing TM one day.

  3. Chris:
    I just realized I read this on Saturday but neglected to COMMENT (must be that age thing).
    My idea for the 10th week - The top 100 songs that managed to remain on the top 100 list the longest.
    (I think I got that right)
    Or was it the top 100 songs that moved 100 spots while on the top 100 chart?
    Either one...take yer pick...LOL.

    The Curly Shuffle...LOL.
    Who'da thunk that would be a regualr on the airwaves?

    Always did like GEnesis - no matter who was at the vocal helm.
    And both Collins and Gabriel had very good SOLO careers to boot.
    Those 40 yr old songs sure don't seem THAT old.
    Then again, neither do I, unless it's a cold damp morning (ouch).
    And, it would probably surprise you to see what the Indian Air force was flying back in '71.
    (The Russkies were supplying them)

    Very good post.
    Keep on rockin' up there, Boss!

    1. Geez, that's a challenge.... stay tuned...

  4. Yes, I meant the ONE-HUNDREDTH week...
    I've got a wonky keyboard, it seems.
    (add-on for Santa)