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


Friday, February 7, 2014

Time Machine week 106

It is February 7th, 1972.  And it is snowing in Iran.  And has been for 5 days.  A blizzard the likes of which we've never seen hammered the nation from the 3rd all the way to the 8th- and then, after a 24-hour break, started in again.  Two hundred villages were entirely wiped out; 4,000 were estimated dead after a week of -13 F temperatures and 26 FEET of snow.  Villages were no more than high spots in the drifts, and in one place, rescuers flown in by helicopters dug down for two days to find only 18 frozen bodies out of a town of over 100.  Kind of makes you feel silly complaining about our nine inches this week, doesn't it?

(After an appropriate moment of silence...)

Welcome to Time Machine for this week in 1972.  Here's a lottery game right off the bat.  A certain number of songs at the top stayed in their last week spots.  Guess the winner and receive.... NOTHING!  Also this week, Batman's Dad (kinda); connecting the Stylistics to Melanie...and Melanie... and Melanie...; Billy Idol in the 45 at 45 (?); and a special report based on the latest "Beatles song to turn 50 years old"!  Snowshoes on- forward, HO!!!!

You'd better not be a Joker about my father...
So we start off with the report on the tops of the charts around the world.  Internationally, we see that Norway and Switzerland have joined the Netherlands in putting Middle Of The Road's Sacramento on top.  In the meantime, Ireland (for a one-week break in the midst of The Men Behind The Wire's run) and the UK now have at the pinnacle T-Rex with a tune called Telegram Sam (which I'm trying out right now).

UPDATE:  It's all right, but no Bang A Gong.  Peaked at 67 in the US.

In the US of A, American Pie remains on top on Chicago's WLS and in Pittsburgh; Detroit is still stuck on I Gotcha; The Faces' Stay With Me rules on Chicago's WCFL; Minneapolis has Never Been To Spain; while San Diego stays with Without You.  Hurting Each Other assumes the AC throne; Loretta Lynn claims the 5th of her 11 country #1s with One's On The Way, a fun song I remember from Hee Haw (I think); and Let's Stay Together is still in the midst of its monster run on R&B.

OOPS, I had to return from the future to put in this week's hot 100 debuts!  Out of 15 this week, Black Sabbath's Iron Man becomes part of this week's special report (see below) at 100; Yes enters at 81 with their classic, Roundabout; at 75, BJ Thomas with Rock And Roll Lullabye;  Santana at 73 with No One I Can Depend On; and Paul Simon's Mother And Child Reunion ( a touching song about a chicken-and-egg breakfast) debuts at 70.

That takes us to this week's birthday songs, and a fine set we have.  Turning 30 this week is the Thompson Twins' Hold Me Now;  turning 35, a much bigger list:  The Bee Gees' Tragedy; Billy Joel's Big Shot;

(CENSORSHIP RANT:  the local "oldies" station pisses me off with this song;  in the attempt to be "office friendly", they cut out the first verse's last two lines -"when you wake up in the morning with your head on fire and your eyes too bloody to see/ go on and cry in your coffee but don't come bitchin' to me"- but leave IN the part about "you had the Dom Peringnon in your hand and a spoon up your nose". So we're too sensitive to hear the word bitchin' AND too stupid to know what the "spoon up your nose" means?  Why even play the damn thing?  Okay, rant over.)

...Bob Welch's Precious Love; Chic's I Want Your Love; Blondie's Heart Of Glass; Cher's Take Me Home; the Police with Roxanne; and this low charting gem:

Turning 40, we have Blue Suede's unique take on Hooked On A Feeling; the Main Ingredient's Just Don't Want To Be Lonely; and that double-dipping Billy Joel again, with Piano Man.

Turning 45 is the classic Zombies tune Time Of The Season;  turning 50 are the latest two contestants in the "Beatles' songs turning fifty" game- From Me To You and... well, hang on just a bit for the other.

Turning 55, along with the Coasters' Charlie Brown and Frankie Ford's Sea Cruise (oowee, baby!) is a song that struck my eye for two reasons.  First, It had the same title as our first birthday song- Tragedy.  Second, it was done by Thomas Wayne and the DeLons.  Now, Thomas Wayne is the father of Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman.  But this Thomas Wayne was born Thomas Wayne Perkins and was the brother of Johnny Cash's guitarist Luther Perkins.  His song tragedy was a one hit wonder in 1955, hitting #5.  The Fleetwoods would have a #10 cover in '61, and Paul McCartney and Wings would cover it with the intent of putting it on the double album Red Rose Speedway.  Well, RRS was cut to a single lp, and Tragedy was one of the songs that didn't make the cut.  In fact, you cannot find the Wings' version on ANY official release.  Another song that got boffed off RRS- and on to a soundtrack- was the #1 Live And Let Die.

 Finally, turning 60 is Frank Sinatra with Young At Heart.  Blow Out The Candles...

Our big dropper is Cherish, falling 30 spots to #59; the big climber is within the top 40.

Okay, on with the story- the other 50 year old this week is I Saw Her Standing There.  This was the ONLY Beatles song to debut at #100 on Cashbox- so I decided to do a little digging, thinking maybe a "greatest hits to debut at #100" might be appropriate.

I didn't know what I was getting into.

A total of 59 top tens from my birthday (May 16, 1962) to the end of 1979- the fabled Martin Era- started from 100, including no less than 17 #1s- 28% of all the top tens!  So I decided that I might be better off working the trivia end of the story- and it was rich.

-While the Martin Era starts out with a debut at #100 more often than not- and this was including the fact that for most of the sixties, Cashbox was ranking two, three, even four songs  at #100 every week- but the end of the ME came with a streak of 74 weeks in which only SEVEN of the #100s were debuts!

-By my count- and don't swear by my bleary eyes- at least 64 acts came in at 100 multiple times.  Andy Williams led all acts with 5 debuts at 100; a three way tie at 4 entries for BJ Thomas, Jackie Wilson, and- ready for this?- Dino, Desi, and Billy, a trio consisting of Dean Martin, Jr., Desi Arnaz, Jr., and Billy Hinsche.  8 acts managed three trips starting from the bottom:  Bob Seger, Leslie Gore, The Supremes; Ramsey Lewis, Solomon Burke, Nancy Wilson, the Uniques ( the group led by '70s country star Joe Stampley), the Ventures (which included a song called The 2,000 Pound Bee), and a gentleman by the name of Steve Alaimo- who also hold a dubious record of charting 9 times without ever cracking the top 40.

-One time, the same artist cracked in at 100 twice in a two-week span... and those two songs were done by an act that you'll remember if you've been following TM since last year- Mrs. Miller.

- Another song, Sharing The Night Together, hit at 100 two consecutive weeks by different artists- neither the hit version by Dr. Hook.

-That's one of about a half-dozen songs that hit at 100 for different artists, including Rock and Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life), (To The Other Woman) I'm The Other Woman, If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Wanna Be Right), Summertime, and By The Time I Get To Phoenix.

-I saw over a dozen songs both enter at 100 and leave after returning to 100.  Most of those were two or three weeks and out songs.  However, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, and Steve Alaimo ALL had songs spend three weeks out of 4 or 5 at 100.  And there were some songs that took a lot longer getting back to the bottom:

Happy Anniversary, Little River Band, 17 weeks between stops at 100;
Al Di La  by Emilio Pericoli, 15 weeks;
It's A Crazy World, Mac McAnally, 12 weeks;
The Swiss Maid, Del Shannon, 8 weeks.

-At the end of 1962, both The Chipmunk Song and Rocking Around The Christmas Tree came in at 100 the same week- but, of course, they'd charted before.

-At least a couple songs that I caught came in at 100, dropped out for a week or two, and came back in at 100.

- And finally, here are the 17 #1 songs that started from the bottom of the CB charts.

Sherry- Four Seasons (A week with FOUR songs at 100, including Dickie Lee's Patches)
Dominique- Singing Nun
1-2-3- Len Barry ( a song which also started at the bottom for Ramsey Lewis)
I Think I Love You- Partridge Family
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face- Roberta Flack
The Way We Were- Barbara Streisand
I Will Follow Him- Little Peggy March
Seasons In The Sun- Terry Jacks (who also hit with Rock and Roll, I Gave You etc, etc)
Fire- Ohio Players
If You Wanna Be Happy- Jimmy Soul
Shining Star- Earth, Wind, and Fire
Precious And Few- Climaxx
Blinded By The Light- Manfred Mann's Earth Band (who did it twice under "Manfred Mann's Earth Band" and once just as Manfred Mann)
Dueling Banjos- Deliverance
In The Year 2525- Zager and Evans ( who repeated that with their only other, largely unsuccessful, chart hit)
Hot Child In The City- Nick Gilder
...and The Most Beautiful Girl- Charlie Rich.

-I started the whole thing just writing down songs I knew... I did a "show" playing them on Youtube for Laurie that lasted 3 hours with plenty of stuff left!

And now, we move on to the 45 at 45.  Here we find one William Bell- best known for the hit Trying To Love Two in 1976, which cracked the top ten- with a song called I Forgot To Be Your Lover.  Peaking right there at 45, it was redone in 1986 by Billy Idol (didn't he have a cameo last week, too?) as To Be A Lover, which hit #6.  Bell didn't have a whole lot of success on the pop charts- of the three other songs besides Trying to crack the hot 100, all were more famous as covers for someone else.  The Byrds covered his first hit, You Don't Miss Your Water, on their Sweetheart Of The Rodeo lp; and Cream later did Born Under A Bad Sign (co-written by Bell and Booker T. of the MGs) on their disc Wheels Of Fire.

That brings us to our top 40 debuts!  Bear with me, I got my notes a little messed up on this section.  The Supremes vol. 2 enter at 40, up 9, with Floy Joy. T-Rex's Bang A Gong comes in at 39, up 3. 

(NOTICE:  At this point I have to go back in the past and add the hot 100 debuts I forgot to put in.  See, I told you my notes were a bit untidy!  Back in a spiff.  Okay, I'm back.)

Coming in at 38... well, I'm going to keep that my secret until the six degrees.  Cher enters the 40 at 37, up 9, with The Way Of Love.  The Bee Gees climb 7 to #34 with My World; and our big mover, up 34 spots to #20, is Apollo 100 with Joy.

And now, the almost but not quites.  The twin versions of I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing begin their descent;  The New Seekers tumble from 11 to 27, and the Hillside Singers from 16 to 45.  The Partirdges flutter down from 13 to 32 with It's One Of Those Nights; and Daisy Mae, having gotten her cup of coffee last week, slips from 39 to 55.

Three songs fight their way into the top ten, three fall out.  Dropping are Brand New Key (10 to 12),  Drowning In A Sea Of Love (8 to 15), and Scorpio (7 to 26).

And we kick off the top ten with the six degrees victim.

You Are Everything by the Stylistics drops a notch to #10.  This song was covered by the ill-starred duo of Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross on the lp Diana and Marvin.  Ill-starred, you ask?  Well, the project had been on Motown's back burner for a long time, at first slowed by the individual careers of the two stars, and then by Tami Terrell's too-soon passing; combined with the fading of the careers of Kim Weston and Mary Wells after dueting with them, Marvin though himself a curse to female partners for a time.  Once they had talked him into it, though, then Diana was busy with her solo career and Marvin had just released the What's Going On lp.  When they finally did get them together, Diana, pregnant with her first at the time, walked in to the studio  to find Marvin smoking a joint- and promptly walked back out.  After convincing him to put it out (he said he needed it to make music), she came back and did a song she hated (Wilson Pickett's Don't Knock My Love), and asked Marvin why they were even doing it.  Once somebody got the bright idea of having them record separately, things moved along- but then the release date had to be pushed back for her new movie soundtrack, and yadda yadda yadda.

At the count of three, you will walk 5 paces...

Another song on the Titanic of lps was Pledging My Love, a cover of Johnny Ace's #17 hit of 1955 (released just after he accidently shot and killed himself- man, a lot of curses in this story!).  Teresa Brewer also released it at near the same time, and also hit #17.  She was best known for her two #1s, the first of which was Music! Music! Music! back in 1950.  Now here's the part where I tie all the threads together.  Melanie- who you will recall has Brand New Key at #12 this week- sampled MMM on her song The Nickel Song, recorded earlier on another label.  But now that she's on her second hit, they decide to re-release it- and this week it's at #41.  In the meantime, her current label has already released her follow up to BNK- Ring The Living Bell, which is our remaining top 40 debut- climbing seven spots to #38- making Melanie the first female act to have three hot 100 hits at the same time!

The Carpenters leap from 28 to #9 with Hurting Each Other. (Hey, you think Diana and Marvin could have... uh, maybe not.)

Three Dog Night has Never Been To Spain, but they have been to #8, up four spots.

Climaxx (who presumably threw in the extra x at the last minute to avoid being banned) jumps 7 to #7 with Precious And Few.

Okay, did you make your lottery pick- the magic number of songs at the top that don't move is... SIX! 

Which means you have:

Sugar Daddy at 6;

Sunshine at 5;

Clean Up Woman at 4;

Day After Day at 3;

Let's Stay Together at 2;

And, at #1......

...Don McLean with American Pie!

Next time, we'll look at all the songs that debuted at #99!  (The hell we will!)


  1. Wow. Iran really got it with that snow. At least our winter states are prepared for bad weather and can handle it (mostly).

    You were right about that Titanic video. Sorry about that. My mind is going. I made the change!

    1. Don't worry it. It wasn't a Titanic mistake, lol!

  2. Chris:
    And Don McLean keeps on going...and going...(lol)
    Nice one.

    That six degrees was something I had NEVER known about. Good find!
    Those #1 songs that began in the chart "cellar" are surprising to ehar about...woulda thought MOST of then charted farther UP..."very interesting" (in my best Artie Johnson).

    The Zombies TOTS is 45???
    (cripes....doesn;t seem THAT long ago).
    You sure been doing the future/past/present "hustle" this week, too.
    Can't wait to see what you have planned for the Beatles "big 5-0"
    Another great ride as usual...better than E-tickets at DisneyWorld!
    (and WAY cheaper)


    Stay safe and warm up there.