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


Friday, January 24, 2014

Time Machine week 104

Today is January 24, 1972.  And today, one of the last Japanese holdouts from WWII- the third to last, actually- is captured by a couple of fishermen on Guam.  Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi was brought back to civilization after 28 years.  The longest holdout, ironically, died on January 16th, 2014.

Had I known how long this hitch was gonna be....

Also dying that same date, as you know, was Dave Madden, Reuben Kincaid on the Partridge Family.  I spent a little time reading an interview on the CmonGetHappy website, and two things struck me as I read.  Both were part of the transition between the first and second seasons, and came after the realization by ABC that they had a hit on their hands.  First, the shift from all the travelling to being a stay at home show, which Dave said was because, now that it was a hit, ABC was afraid that people would complain about "those poor children spending all that time in a bus."  Thus, the Family subtly "abandoned the road"- which Dave didn't mind since the damn bus didn't have power steering!  The second was, in a cursory check of everyone's contracts, they found that David Cassidy's was not legally signed- which meant they would have to get a new one signed- which meant they'd have to renegotiate.  David's salary went from $600 a week to $3,000 a week- and ABC was going to get the most out of their money.  So if you noticed Reuben's parts getting sparser as time went on- well, that was because his best bits suddenly went to David.  Not David's best bits, mind you, but if you wonder why David argued more with Danny after the first season... now you know.

Just how it goes, I guess...
Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where this week you get your money's worth of birthday songs, and a 45 at 45 that plays like a six degrees.  Meanwhile, at the top...well, let's just keep that quiet for now.  Hop in and let's toodle down the road!

This week as we travel the world we find a few changes.  In Germany, a lady by the name of Daisy Door (and wait'll you hear how she picked that one) ascends to the top with a song called Du Lebst In Deiner Welt (You Live In Your World), subtitled Highlights Of My Dream.  This was the one big hit for Ms. Door, who took the moniker as a backwards tribute to a favorite singer- Doris Day.

In the Netherlands, Sally Carr and Middle Of The Road take over the top spot again, this time with a tune called Sacramento.  Ireland chooses a new #1 that I guarantee you won't hear in the UK- The Barleycorn, a "Rebel Music" band, hit the top with The Man Behind The Wire, a tribute to IRA members held in the several British prison camps in Ireland.   And Canada gets on board with American Pie.

Don McLean also holds forth in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh, while LA clings stubbornly to Brand New Key, San Diego chooses Nilsson's Without You, and Detroit unites behind Joe Tex and I Gotcha.  At #3 on the two Motor city charts is something I just had to check out- a band called Lunar Funk with a song called Mr. Penguin.  Apparently failing to chart nationally, LF was a local "supergroup" featuring Mose Davis, keyboardist of another popular Detroit band called the Fabulous Counts (who did have one minor BB hit.)

Okay, so let's see if such weirdness debuted this week on the Cashbox hot 100.  There's a good chance- 18 songs debuted this week, not counting Tony Scotti's Heaven Bound returning to the charts for a sixth week after dropping off last time around with 500 Miles.  Of those, a cluster of five songs debuted within 7 spots of each other:  Melanie's Ring The Living Bell came in at 55; Bread at 54 with Everything I Own; Carole King at 52 with Sweet Seasons; the Bee Gees at 50 with My World; and the high debut at #48, the Osmonds with Down By The Lazy River.

20 (or twenty-one, depending) birthday songs this week.  Turning 30, Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac makes her solo debut with Got A Hold On Me; Kenny Loggins' Footloose theme; the Eurythmics with Here Comes The Rain Again; Billy Idol's Rebel Yell; and Rockwell (AKA Berry Gordy's kid with a ton of help from Michael Jackson) and Somebody's Watching Me. 

Turning thirty-five, we have the Doobie Brothers featuring Michael McDonald with What A Fool Believes; Al Stewart's Song On The Radio; Neil Diamond with Forever In Blue Jeans; Eddie Money's Maybe I'm A Fool; Aimee Stewart's disco version of Knock On Wood; Frank Mills, late of the Bells (Stay Awhile), with Music Box Dancer; the recently mentioned Bell and James with Livin' It Up (Friday Nights); and Suzi Quatro, with some help from Chris Norman, and Stumblin' In.

The flow slows down somewhat now.  Turning 40, The Who with The Real Me.  Turning 45, The Supremes with Living In Shame, 1910 Fruitgum Co.'s Indian Giver; Cream with Crossroads; and CCR with Proud Mary, a song that I spent 12 years hearing at every wedding reception I went to, played by bands like Justus V.  Turning 50- the Beatles with She Loves You (this is the week 50 years ago that I Want To Hold Your Hand went from #43 to #1), and Dianne Renay's Navy Blue.  Finally, I saw one of those curious titles I had to check out- late 40s- early 50s crooner Eddie Howard hit 60 years ago this week with a song called ... Bimbo.  (believe it or not, he was singing about his son!)  Blow Out The Candles...

Our 45 at 45 kinda led me on a merry chase- not because I didn't know it, or the singer.  We've featured Andy Kim not so long ago, and even though it only hit #49 on BB (and was finished on Cashbox after this week) I know his song Rainbow Ride.  What threw me off was that for some reason, Allmusic had under composers (though he wasn't a songwriter on this one) one Charles Aznavour.  Aznvaour, the son of a French father and an Armenian mother who through grace of God escaped Turkish butchers in the Armenian genocide of the post WWI years, was considered the "French Sinatra".  In fact, he was the only European singer Ol' Blue Eyes ever did a duet with.  In fact (what, that again?), in a CNN international poll of 1998, he was named-ahead of Elvis and Bob Dylan- the Entertainer of the Century.  But, as I found out, he had nothing to really do with the story.  And since this is such a six degrees kind of thing, I'm gonna sit on the rest of the tale until then.

Big mover this week was Grand Funk Railroad's Footstompin' Music, up a quick 26 to # 74.  The big dropper goes to Jerry Lee Lewis, whose cover of Me And Bobby McGee drops from 63 to #84, a fall of 21 spots.

Oh, and before I get out of the lower reaches, I wanted to mention a song that fell this week after peaking at #79.  If you've never hear ALL the lyrics to the All In The Family theme, just give a listen.  (the ending is the closing theme, the opener lasts about a buck-ten...)

The top forty has 4 new members.  In her second, and more successful, shot at the top, Beverly Bremers leaps from 51 to 40 with Don't Say You Don't Remember;  The Fifth Dimension sneak in, up 3 to #38, with Together Let's Find Love; Wicked Wilson Pickett moves 9 with Fire And Water at #36; and up ten to 33, it's Rod Stewart and the Faces with Stay With Me.

The Almost but not quite has just one tune this week (unless you want to count Those Were The Days):  Sweathog's Hallelujah falls after topping out at 28.

Oh, jeez, I forgot another little oddity I was going to mention way back in the hot 100 debuts!  I saw a song by a band called Detroit come in at 97.  It was a cover of a Velvet Underground song written by Lou Reed called Rock And Roll.  Looking a bit deeper, I found that Detroit was basically Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, volume two;  he kept only the drummer from the old band, John Badanjek.  A pretty good song, a bit different that the old wheels but definitely a rocker.

Since it isn't really a six degrees, I'll go ahead and finish the Rainbow Ride story now.  It was co-written with Andy by Jeff Berry, a big name in the history of rock'n'roll.  With his one-time wife Ellie Greenwich, we was one of the main composers of the Phil Spector stable, helping pen such hits as Da Doo Ron Ron, Be My Baby, Then He Kissed Me, Chapel Of Love, Leader Of The Pack, and many others.  The husband and wife duo also discovered Neil Diamond, and produced many of his early hits.  They then were asked to produce a new made-for-TV project called the Monkees, and in addition to producing, brought some Diamond penned works such as I'm A Believer and A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You with him.  About that time, he started Steed Records, and signed Andy Kim to the label.  This collaboration didn't stop with Rainbow Ride, or even the hits like Be My Baby and Baby I Love You he had Andy score with.  The ultimate moment came when they became the main writers for yet another made-for-TV act- a cartoon group called the Archies.  There, the duo composed the #1 hit Sugar Sugar.  And that's a Rainbow Ride!

Two songs enter the top ten, two fall out.  Falling are Family Affair (7 to 17) and Cherish (3 to 12).

The Stylistics slip into the top ten, up one notch to the leadoff spot with You Are Everything.

Joe Simon treads water at #9 with Drowning In A Sea Of Love.

The Jackson Five spend another week at #8 with Sugar Daddy.

Betty Wright cleans up, with Clean Up Woman moving from 10 to 7.

The hot song this week is Badfinger's power ballad Day After Day, leaping half the distance, from 12 to 6.

Jonathon Edwards' Sunshine won't go away, it moves up a notch to #5.

Dennis Coffey, showing some stubborn staying power, moves up a notch to #4 with Scorpio.

Al Green edges up a spot to #3 with Let's Stay Together.

And now, for our weekly game of musical chairs.  Three weeks ago, Melanie was at the top with Brand New Key.

Two weeks ago, Don McLean took the top away with American Pie.

Melanie retook the top spot last week, bumping Don to #2.

(Or at least another helping of...)
And this week, another spin around the wheel we go, putting Brand New Key at #2...

Hey, cool, I must be #1 again!
...and American Pie at #1!!!!!

That's it this week!  Try to stay warm out there, folks.  Except you Aussies. You need to cool off!


  1. eurythmics and billy idol! love them but then again i'm an 80's girl! american pie is a classic too i enjoy.
    have a great weekend.

  2. Interesting about The Partridge Family. Now I know The Rest Of The Story!!!

  3. Chris:
    --American Pie STILL at #1...WTG!!!
    --Didn't know that Bread's EVERYTHING I OWN debuted at 54!
    I dang near played the GROOVES off of that vinyl, too.
    (Still have th LP with it on it.)
    Favorite Bread song - Lost Wthout Your Love

    If you EVER want to get somber to no end, play Nilsson's WITHOUT YOU, then those TWO aforementioned BREAD songs...
    (been there, done that in another lifetime)

    Also love Diamond's FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS...good fun song.

    Just to tease you...I DO have that DETROIT album...on VINYL!
    Mitch Ryder knew his craft and HIS version of ROCK AND ROLL is better than Reed's (imho).
    You should have asked me when you were here...I'd let you listen to it.
    Got a long lost friend from Philly to thank for me getting that LP too.

    Excellent ride this week.

    Keep those hits coming from the Klondike up there.

    And stay safe AND warm!

    1. Everything I Own is Laurie's favorite... and Lost W/O Your Love was a great one, despite the acrimony in the band at the time. And you had the Detroit lp? How small world is that?