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


Friday, January 31, 2014

Time Machine Week 105

(Exhales, calms down from last post.  Fits on plastic smiley face.)

Today is January 31, 1972.  Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is cleaning up from yesterday's "Bloody Sunday".  This story was mentioned once before on Time Machine... I just find it interesting that the song The Men Behind The Wire was #1 in Ireland at the time, seeing as both the song's subject and the reason for the march were the same- the treatment of men in the British Prison camps in Ireland.

This is Time Machine for the week that was, and it is the week Pete Seeger died.

Pete is the man that brought us Where Has All The Flowers Gone,  If I Had A Hammer, and Turn Turn Turn.  He was a man that sought a utopian dream for the world... and was labeled a communist for it.  But a moment to hear his side...

 "I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it."

Seeger died Monday, aged 94.

Elsewhere on the show:  A top ten with no new members; a six degrees that kind of leads to the Harlem Globetrotters; the seemingly ubiquitous Jeff Barry;  a 45 at 45 with the Goodees- or is it the Goodies?;  and #3 of the "Beatles songs turning 50 this year" club.  Shall we?

Not those goodies- do I look like Marshawn Lynch?

Starting off as usual with the tops of other charts, we have another new #1 in France.  Called Elle, Je Ne Veux Qu'elle (approximately "It, I Do Not Want It"), it is sung by a chap named -at birth- Guy Bayle, though at this point he is going by Ringo... or, sometimes, Ringo Willy Cat. 

  I'm listening right now... I'll let you know.

(UPDATE:  Not bad, in a Bobby Sherman sort of way.)

Also changing toppers this week is Switzerland, who'll be squeezing in for a week between Middle Of The Road hits, a band called Springwater, led by an Englishman named Phil Cordell, who will later hit with a banjo instrumental as "Dan the Banjo Man".  This time, the song by Springwater is called I Will Return.  Again, I'll let you know.

(UPDATE:  I really like this, a spacey instrumental much like those ELO does- think Fire On High without the fast parts.)

Also, South Africa joins Australia and New Zealand with having discovered John Lennon's Imagine.  Meanwhile, in America, American Pie reigns in Pittsburgh, Chicago (on WLS) and Minneapolis (on KDWB);  Let's Stay Together is at the top in LA; The other half of Chicago has Stay With Me; the other half of Minneapolis has Without You;  San Diego has Day After Day, and Detroit remains united behind I Gotcha.

And that brings us to the hot 100 debuts this week.  Out of 9, we'll look at 3:  Remember Mr. Penguin by Lunar Funk from last time?  It comes in at 97;  Joe Tex's I Gotcha, the toast of Detroit, comes in at 84; and at #77, Neil Young and Heart of Gold.

Before we grow old, we move on to the birthday songs for this week.  (Can one age in a time machine?  Food for thought, existentialists!)  Turning 30, we have the first chart run of UB40's Red Red Wine (in which it peaked at 34; it would return in 2 years to hit #1), John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band's Tender Years, Paul Young's Come Back And Stay...

... oh, yeah, and Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Turning 35, Dire Straits' Sultans Of Swing; Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers with Bustin' Loose; and Sister Sledge with He's The Greatest Dancer.  Turning 40, we have Wings with Jet; Carly Simon and James Taylor's duet on Mockingbird; and the first chart run for Hall and Oates' She's Gone- the one that will end at #60, unlike the one that will see them in the top ten 2 years later.  The Classics IV turn 45 with Traces; and turning fifty are the third Beatles' hit in a matter of three weeks, Please Please Me.  Oh, and the Four Seasons with Dawn (Go Away). Blow out the candles...

I'm going to hold onto the big mover and dropper, as they both have parts to play upcoming.  So I guess it's off to the 45 at 45, which I shall listen to as we go.  (One more time for any newbies:  this is the 45 that was at 45, 45 years ago.)

(UPDATE:  If you don't like Leader Of The Pack, you won't like this;  if you do like it, why bother?)

The song is called Condition Red, by a group called the Goodees.  They were three girls- Kay Evans, Sandra Jackson, and Judy Williams, from a Memphis high school.  The song is lyrically similar (and somewhat music and FX wise) to Leader Of The Pack by the Shangri-Las.  Which is no surprise, as both were written by one George "Shadow" Morton.  Now George got his start with the same outfit as last week's 45/six degrees hero Jeff Barry and his wife Ellie Goldwich.  In fact, Jeff thought George was hitting on her and demanded that he prove he was really a songwriter, by writing a song.  So he went out to his car and put together a song you'll remember... then took an unknown group called the Shangri-Las to do a demo (a demo that included another unknown named Billy Joel on the piano).  That song was Remember (Walking In The Sand).  Morton went on to compose other hits for the Shangri-Las and another unknown band called- believe this or not- the Goodies!  In fact, Leader was supposed to go to them, but the bosses didn't want to waste a potential hit on unknowns (see the theme here?) and made him give it to the Shangri-Las.  And yes, there's more to the story- but that would turn it into a six degrees, and we did that LAST week.

So before we get off to the top forty, let's due the almost-but-not-quite for the week.  One of them is actually the big dropper- falling 53 notches to #78 (from its peak of 25); and that is White Lies, Blue Eyes by Bullet.  Think falls out of the top 40 as well, plunging 38 spots from peaking at 29 to #67 with the controversial hit Once You Understand.  Not quite so drastic are Rare Earth's Hey Big Brother, which slips but a single notch from 24 to 25; and the Honey Cone with One Monkey Don't Spoil No Show, which slips from 14 to 21.

While we have nobody entering the top ten, we have a whopping 8 making it into the top 40.  At 40, up 13, are The Raiders with about their last gasp (in fact, BB peaked it at #51), a tune called Country Wine.  Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds edge in at 39, up 4 spots with Daisy May;  The Emotions, who finally got noticed in the late seventies with big hits Best Of My Love and Boogie Wonderland, move up 9 to #38 with Show Me How ( a song that BB peaked at #52.)  Carole King moves up 16 to #36 with Sweet Seasons;  Robert John, the man who would bring us Sad Eyes later on, climbs ten to #35 with his remake of The Lion Sleeps Tonight; and the big mover comes in at 32, up 22 notches- Bread with Everything I Own.  The Osmonds come in at 30, up 18 with Down By The Lazy River; and the Carpenters take high debut with Hurting Each Other, going from 42 to 28.

You think I'm gonna tell you who dropped out of the top ten now.  How many times must I tell you, nobody dropped out!  Just run the top ten, please!

Melanie almost dropped out, but she put the breaks on at #10, down from 2, with Brand New Key.

The Stylistics edge up a spot to #9 with You Are Everything.

Also up a spot, Joe Simon's Drowning In A Sea Of Love climbs to #8.

And at seven, our six degrees.

Scorpio falls from 4 to 7 for Dennis Coffey and his Detroit Guitar Band.  Dennis was part of Motown's Funk Brothers, and among the literally dozens of hits he was on, he scored a "Blacksploitation flick" called Black Belt Jones.  One of the actors on said movie should be familiar to you- Scatman Crothers, most famous for being Louie the garbage man on Chico And The Man, as well as the voice of Hong Kong Phooey, among others.

Hong Kong Phooey, number one super-guy...

As it turns out, he was also the voice of Meadowlark Lemon on the old Harlem Globetrotters cartoon show.  Like most cartoons of the era, the Globetrotters always had a music interlude at the climax, and they actually did an entire soundtrack record for this one(to which only Meadowlark added some backup vocals).  It was produced by- can you guess- Jeff Barry, and included 5 songs written or co-written by the resurgent Neil Sedaka, including a pair of released singles like Rainy Day Bells, and this one, which was my favorite:

Believe it or not, the soundtrack  also contained a song co-written  by Barry and Ron Dante- you know, the voice of the Archies...and the Cuff Links... and apparently, while we're on cartoons, The Amazing Chan And The Chan Clan.

And if you want REALLY messed up, how about this:  Keye Luke, who played "Number One Son" in the Charlie Chan films of the 40's and 50's was the voice of Charlie Chan in the cartoon- and was the ONLY Chinese blood  that EVER played Chan in ANY screen adaptation!  Or how about this one- Ed Begley, Sr., played Chan on the radio.  In addition to his many film roles, and fathering St. Elsewhere's Ed Begley, Jr., he was Senator Allbright in the cult classic Wild In The Streets- the movie that brought us Max Frost and the Troopers, and their hit Shape Of Things To Come!

The Jackson Five manage to start climbing again, moving 2 to #6 with Sugar Daddy.

Jonathon Edwards holds at 5 with Sunshine.

Betty Wright cleans up 3 to #4 with Clean Up Woman. 

Hmm... you know, my room IS kinda messy...
Badfinger likewise climbs three to #3 with Day After Day.

Al Green moves into the runner-up slot with Let's Stay Together.

And number one for the third week in the last four...

(pretend you see a picture here...I've already broke the rule once for him, and I'm too lazy to find and change the sign...)

...Don McLean with American Pie!!!!!!!

And there you have it for yet another week.


  1. I know that some folks really appreciate the music of 1972, but I've never heard of most of it. If this was 1982 I would probably recognize all of it. That just goes to show that we are never more attuned to what is happening on the Charts than when we are in junior high and high school!

    BTW. this is NOT me saying that you should change these posts, just that I don't have a great comment for you because I was just a toddler at the time!

    1. S'okay, Robin, half the comments I get on time machine are from people saying, "I was only (fill in the blank) at the time." And yes, for me that time period was 6th-7th-8th grade. After that, I was too angst-ridden.

  2. 1972 was like a milestone year for me. Not totally sure why. Maybe it was mostly a stone year.

    This post was all over the map with things I've heard of and some that I don't remember or just happened to miss.

    One thing though, I was never very keen on Pete Seeger. I know he's like a folk icon, but I just a lot of his stuff was kind of trite and boring. Never paid too much attention to him.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. I know what you mean, Lee. You don't have to like the songs that much, but you have to admire the body of work.

  3. Ah, yes, Thriller. Now that was a big deal in my house. A music video that lasted almost as long as a television show! Okay, not quite, but it felt like it back then.

    1. I was more than done with MJ by the time the Thriller single came out. Billie Jean and Beat It had spent 14 of 15 weeks at #1.

  4. Chris:
    --Pete Seeger - liked his music...hated his politics (commie)
    --You KNOW you're getting up there when DIRE STRAITS songs are 35 years "old"
    --Scatman Crothers was also the voice for the Autobot "Jazz" in the original Transformers series.
    --Intersting you have a nod to WILD IN THE STREETS - grab a copy of the flick and WATCH'll see a LOT of parallels with this current administration in it.
    And to think the movie was originally labelled as a "parody"...
    (yeah right - more prophetic now).
    --Thriller...loved it. Moonwalker isn't that bad either,.
    --YES...AMERICAN PIS hangs in there AGAIN!

    Another great ride.

    Keep on rockin' up there, 'cause you only rock...ONCE!

    1. Yeah, I'd seen the rest of Scat's credits, but when you combine the Globetrotter cartoon with that song that I love with Sedaka writing it, good enough for me to stop and take notice.