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


Friday, February 21, 2014

Time Machine week 108

Today is February 21, 1972.  Today is the famous meeting between Richard Nixon and the Chinese leadership.  In honor of the occasion (and because I'm scuffling a bit on specials), here are some clips from that first meeting:

Chairman Mao: Yesterday in the airplane you put forward a very difficult problem for us. You said that what it is required to talk about are philosophic problems.

President Nixon: I said that because I have read the Chairman’s poems and speeches, and I know he was a professional philosopher. (Chinese laugh.)

Chairman Mao: (looking at Dr. Kissinger) He is a doctor of philosophy?

President Nixon: He is a doctor of brains.


 Dr. Kissinger: I used to assign the Chairman’s collective writings to my classes at Harvard.

Chairman Mao: Those writings of mine aren’t anything. There is nothing instructive in what I wrote.


President Nixon: The Chairman’s writings moved a nation and have changed the world.

Chairman Mao: I haven’t been able to change it. I’ve only been able to change a few places in the vicinity of Peking.


President Nixon: (Kissinger) doesn’t look like a secret agent. He is the only man in captivity who could go to Paris 12 times and Peking once and no one knew it, except possibly a couple of pretty girls. (Chou laughs.)

Dr. Kissinger: They didn’t know it; I used it as a cover.

Chairman Mao: In Paris?

President Nixon: Anyone who uses pretty girls as a cover must be the greatest diplomat of all time.

Chairman Mao: So your girls are very often made use of?

President Nixon: His girls, not mine. It would get me into great trouble if I used girls as a cover.

Prime Minister Chou: (laughs) Especially during elections. (Kissinger laughs.)

Welcome to Time Machine, where we tackle the tough stuff!  This week, a six degrees that takes us from Don McLean to Bing Crosby (or is it Percy Faith?); Tammi Terrell- is she live, or is she... Valerie Simpson? And what does the new UK #1 have to do with Donna Summer?  All that and Ozzie Osbourne too- sorta..

Shhh... don't tell Sharon I was on TM without her...

So, as usual, we start this week's show by reviewing the tops of other peoples' charts.  Internationally, Australia has moved on to Brand New Key; Canada has favorite son Frank Mills (yes, Music Box Dancer Frank Mills) on top with Love Me Love Me Love.  Now the UK, thanks to me not paying attention, had one last week and one this week to tell you about.  The one last week was a band called Chicory Tip ( also just known by the name Chicory in the US of A by the few that knew them) with a song called Son Of My Father.  This was a tune written by Giorgio Moroder and Peter Bellotte, the team that wrote Donna Summer's biggest hits like Hot Stuff.  The next week, Les Crane's recital of Desiderata moved into the top spot.  And New Zealand had English singer Daniel Boone ( who hit here with Beautiful Sunday) and their version of Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast.

Hey, coonskin cap!  That's MY song!

Around the US of A, Precious And Few is on top in LA, WLS in Chicago has Hurting Each Other, while the rest of Chicago, along with both Detroit stations and Pittsburgh have Without You, Minneapolis is split between Joy and Robert John's cover of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, while San Diego... well, their short list of #1s I had access to has run out.

So we move on to the debuts this week, and we'll feature three of the 15 newbies of the week.  At 78, the Stylistics and Betcha By Golly Wow; at 73, America with A Horse With No Name; and at 63, Donny Osmond with Puppy Love.  Here's a bonus question- who was older when they hit the charts with Puppy Love?  Paul Anka or Donny?  Bonus if you can guess who Paul wrote it for! Answer in a couple paragraphs.

Our birthday songs for the week start with the new 30-year olds.  Phil Collins is 30 with the soundtrack hit Against All Odds, and Bonnie Tyler with Holding Out For A Hero.  (I wonder how that worked out for her?)  Turning 35 is one of my favorite old-school jams, Instant Funk's I Got My Mind Made Up, as well as George Harrison and Blow Away.

Turning 40 are Pink Floyd's Us And Them, and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells; turning 45, we have Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show by Neil Diamond, Crazy Elephant's Gimme Gimme Good Lovin', Edwin Starr's Twenty-Five Miles, and a bit of a cult hit, MC5's Kick Out The Jams.  Turning 50 is Satchmo and Hello Dolly!  And turning 55, Tommy Edwards with his take on Please Mr. Sun, as well as Buddy Holly with a song later redone by Linda Ronstadt- It Doesn't Matter Any More.  Blow Out The Candles...

Big mover this week- why, that's our Ozzy cameo, as Black Sabbath's Iron Man leaps 22 spots to #75.  Big dropper is Betty Wright's Clean Up Woman, falling 34 to #46.

Which brings us right up against our 45 at 45, but first- the answer to the pop quiz is- Paul was 25, Donny was 19.  Stay tuned for the bonus answer after this!

At 45 this week 45 years ago was the team of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell- or was it?- with Good Lovin' Ain't Easy To Come By.  Tammi was well into her last stages by the time their third lp, Easy, was released.  Marvin, incensed by what he called "another money-making scheme by BG" (Berry Gordy), refused to do it until Motown promised they would sub for Tammi and the proceeds would go to Tammi's medical bills.  Valerie Simpson was tapped to do the recording... at least that's Marvin's side.  Tammi's sister Ludie Montgomery, in her book on Tammi, claims a Simpson quote that Valerie merely recorded "guide vocals", which the studio then had Tammi overdub.  Whichever it was, the song was at 45 just 3 weeks before (and the lp released six months to the day before) Tammi's death at 25.

Bonus answer- Annette Funicello!

We had seven (count 'em) new songs jump into the top 40 this week! Up 13 notches to 40 is Santana with No One To Depend On;  Donnie Elbert, who we met in one of the first "guess where the debut finishes" contests last year with his song Where Did Our Love Go, makes it again this week, climbing 10 to 39 with another cover, this one I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). The Addrisi Brothers come in at 38, up 9, with We've Got To Get It On Again; The Chackachas make it at 34, also up 7, with Jungle Fever.   Paul Simon's Mother And Child Reunion climbs 15 to land at 33; Sly and the Family Stone move 13 to 32 with Running Away.  And the high debut, moving 13 to #30, is a song by James Brown whose title pretty much covers how I feel about many of his songs- Talking Loud And Saying Nothing.

That one's gonna cost you, honkey!

Our only contestant in the weekly Almost But Not Quite belongs to Bobby Womack, whose That's The Way I Feel About Cha sinks from its peak of 22 to #25.

3 songs enter the top ten this week- three fall out.  Dropping are Day After Day (3 to 14), Sugar Daddy (8 to 16), and Anticipation (10 to 11).

The Faces featuring good ol' Rod Stewart Swap places with Carly Simon, moving one up to 10 with Stay With Me.

Led Zep moves into the #9 slot, up 4 with Black Dog.

Apollo 100's instrumental Joy rockets up 6 spots to #8.

The Osmonds move up a pair to 7 with Down By The Lazy River.

And at six, the six degrees victim.

One of the lines in American Pie (which falls from #2) that needs little translation is the chorus phrase "This'll be the day that I die, " cribbed from Buddy Holly's hit That'll Be The Day.  Buddy, himself cribbed the phrase from John Wayne, who used it often in the movie The Searchers.

The Searchers was scored by Max Steiner, who was also known for scoring Gone With The Wind.  This was against the directions of producer David Selznick, who wanted Steiner just to put together a score of pre-existing music rather than an all-original score.  Steiner's score was just beat out for 1939's Academy Award by The Wizard Of Oz, put together by Harold Arlen and "Yip" Harburg.  "Yip" also had a hand in the famous Great Depression song Brother Can You Spare A Dime, which both Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby took to #1.

And if that's a bit of a stretch for you, Steiner also, at age 71, scored the movie A Summer Place, including the theme that was a monster #1 for Percy Faith.

Three Dog Night, stuck at #5 again this week with Never Been To Spain.

The Carpenters are Hurting Each Other, and it's driven them up 3 to #4.

Also up 3, this time into the #3 slot, Nilsson with Without You.

Climaxx moves into the second spot, up a pair with Precious And Few.

And that means that #1 for a second week is...

No, No!!!  NOT "Green Al",  but...

Al Green with Let's Stay Together!!!!!!!!!

Tune in next week to see if I have to find another creative way to avoid changing the "one picture per" sign.

1 comment:

  1. Chris:
    What was that old VULCAN proverb?
    "Only Nixon can go to China"

    Anotrher money making scheme by BG (knew it wasn't
    James Brown - dubbed the hardest working man in show business.
    And Max Steiner ALSO wrote the score for the academy award winnder CASABLANCA (it's on TCM this week, too - Friday 8PM).
    Steiner as one of the first TRUE film score composers, and he wrote some great soundtrack music.

    SO many songs to hum (or youtube) this little time.
    Nilsson keeps rising and I always did like Precious and Few...very timely song.
    "Green Al"...LOL.
    Nice one.

    Great ride this week.

    Keep those hits coming up there & I'll catch you on them flip-side