Follow by Email

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


Friday, March 7, 2014

Time Machine week 110

It is March 7, 1972.  News broke in the UK today of 5 deaths traced to the use of non-sterile dextrose infusion bottles.  This occurred at the Devenport section of the Plymouth General Hospital, and thus is known as the Devenport Incident.  A lot of 660 bottles had been shipped out- possibly by the mistake of a warehouse worker- and as the news broke, 2 other people were ill, one seriously, and the hunt was on for the remainder of the bottles after only 153 were accounted for.  The final report read that procedures with the final autoclave at Evans Medical, a subsidiary of Glaxo, were to blame, and summed things up with this:

“The committee considers that too many people believe that sterilisation of fluids is easily achieved with simple plant operated by men of little skill under minimum supervision, a view of the task which is wrong in every respect.”

Men of little skill?  Minimum supervision?  Can't blame this on Obamacare, he was only 11 at the time.  Or was he...?

A stinker even then?
Welcome to Time Machine , where  we will turn from the pre-pubescent Barack Obama and his hand in the autoclave, and move on to the best little music show in Allen County, Indiana.  Today, a bit of detective work; a six degrees loops in the Outsiders, Joe Walsh, and even DeGarmo and Key; a 45 at 45 that won't go away; and a new #1 song.  Wash your hands, slip on some latex gloves, and let's be off!

One of my all time favorite straight lines...

Starting out in our whirlwind tour of the world's radio dials this week,  we find that Germany has now succumbed to Middle Of The Road's Sacramento, while the Netherlands has moved on to Poppa Joe by Sweet. another of their "you can play what you want in concert, but you better do bubblegum for release" singles- though thankfully (as I am listening as I type) not near as annoying as the last one, Co Co.  New Zealand has tumbled onto the New Seekers' version of I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, while Australia has discovered American Pie.

Ireland and the UK have now put Nilsson's Without You at the top- and there is a strong consensus building.  Canada joins them, as does Detroit, WLS in Chicago, LA, and Pittsburgh;  and the AC chart has it on the 4th of 5 weeks at the top.  The other half of Chicago has Down By The Lazy River (they had Without You on top 2 weeks ago); and Minneapolis is split between Heart Of Gold and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. 

And speaking of AC, I've been neglecting the #1s on our other national charts.  James Brown finally dethrones Al Green this week with Talking Loud And Saying Nothing (NOTE:  this is one of our almost but not quites for this week.  True to it's title it talked loud, leaping into the countdown from 43 to 30, then paused at 30, and now tumbles to 39.).  I have to catch us up a bit on the country chart.  Since we last looked, Faron Young spent 2 weeks on top with It's Four In The Morning, Tammy Wynette took the next week with Bedtime Story, and this week Freddie Hart returns to the top with My Hang Up Is You- and it will stay hung up at the top for the next six weeks.

That brings us to our chart and the hot 100 debuts this week.  There were 14, of which I'll mention 6.  At 100, Roberta Flack with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face; at 97, Harry Chapin's Taxi; at 86 is Gallery, produced by Dennis Coffey, and Nice To Be With You. At 74, since I am a big Guess Who fan, their single Heartbroken Bopper, whose opening riff was borrowed by Aerosmith on their tune Last Child.  Elton John enters at 68 with Tiny Dancer; and Michael Jackson's cover of Rockin' Robin is at 63.

Our birthday songs this week start out with spankin' new 30-year olds Love Somebody by Rick Springfield, Weird Al's Eat It, the Cars with You Might Think, and Madonna with Borderline (from back when I could occasionally stand her).  Turning 35 is England Dan and JF Coley's cover of Love Is The Answer (which always gets the lump in the throat started for me), and this unappreciated gem by an outfit called Tycoon:

Yep, owned the single.  Hit the top of the Martin chart.  #26 on Billboard.

Turning 40, the American band, Grand Funk Railroad, with The Loco-Motion; along with the Jacksons with Dancing Machine, and Maria Muldaur with Midnight At The Oasis.

Turning 45, we have the Beach Boys' I Can Hear Music and the Fifth Dimension with Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In.  Turning 50, on a week when the Beatles already had I Want To Hold Your Hand at #1, She Loves You at #2, Please Please Me at #4, My Bonnie at #32, and From Me To You at #89, Twist And Shout debuts.  So does Jan and Dean with Dead Man's Curve (tell me THAT doesn't make you feel old!).  And turning 55, Rick Nelson with It's Late and the Fleetwoods with Come Softly To Me.  Blow out the candles...

Now, our 45 at 45 is gonna be a little chincy because William Bell, who hit it on the way up with I Forgot To Be Your Lover (remember the whole Billy Idol thing?) hits it on the way back down.  But fear not, I have a replacement feature this week for just such a calamity.  While researching the whole English Congregation/Mike Curb Congregation thing, I discovered a little anecdote about Mr. Curb.  Seems he was a high muck-a-muck at MGM records, and in 1970, he told Billboard that he fired 18 acts for being involved one way or another in the drug culture.  Within a few weeks he recanted a little bit (gotta watch those nasty defamation lawsuits), but he did fire the acts.  However, he never told anyone who they were.  Some of them were reportedly general knowledge ( The Mothers Of Invention, Orpheus, and the Velvet Underground were mentioned).  But who were the others?  I did a little cross matching of a list of MGM acts against their last MGM release, and found a few possibilities.  Not saying they were, but the numbers DO jive...

Eric Burden and War ( which might have just been because Burden left the group after the first lp... but that was the record that gave us Spill The Wine...)
Coven (I'd have been a little more worried about Jinx Dawson's connections to the supernatural, if I were him...)
The Cowsills (Explains a lot)
Bobby Bloom (Montego Bay)
Ian and Sylvia, a Canadian folk act
Sopwith Camel (From the San Fran scene- guilt by association, maybe?)
Marvin Rainwater ( the man who originally wrote Indian Reservation)
Five Man Electrical Band (Curb was allegedly not happy that their lp Goodbyes and Butterflies had a marijuana leaf on it's cover)
Bob Lind (Elusive Butterfly, and I'm beginning to think Curb didn't like butterflies, either)

But what did surprise me was two acts that I can confirm were NOT on the s#!t list- Jim Stafford (Wildwood Weed), and Hank Williams, Jr!  Go figure.

Our big mover this week is the Dramatics with In The Rain, moving up 23 spots to #51; the big dropper, the 5Ds with Together We'll Find Love, slipping 39 to #64.  Which, while that's reminding me, our other almost but not quite is the Raiders' Country Wine, slipping from 28 to 34.

And that means it's time for our 4 top 40 debuts!  Coming in at 40, up two, a cameo by GFR with Footstompin' Music; The Grass Roots' Glory Bound, from our last "Which debut peaked highest" contest, is up 7 to #38; Joe Tex, who dominated Detroit like a month ago, finally gets on the national big board with I Gotcha moving 8 to #35; and cute little Donny Osmond (who is still younger than Paul Anka) moves up 8 to 33 with Puppy Love.

Hadda bring up the age thing, didn't you?

One song joins the top ten; one falls out.  That would be Stay With Me, who didn't, tumbling from 10 to 14.

Al Green slides from 4 to 10 with Let's Stay Together.

Neil Young climbs a pair to hit #9 with Heart Of Gold.

Carole King moves up one to 8  with Sweet Seasons.

Also up one, Bread with Everything I Own at #7.

Apollo 100 climbs a notch to #6 with Joy.

And now, the six degrees.

Climax (I swear, I always thought they used 2 x's) slides out of #1 to #5 with Precious And Few.  They were led by Sonny Geraci, who has been the subject of a lot of fund raisers of late after suffering a brain aneurysm in April of 2012.  What I didn't realize was that, in addition to being the lead singer on this song, he was also lead singer for the Outsiders who took Time Won't Let Me into the top ten in 1968.  Now, the drummer on that song was Ronnie Hakai, who had been the replacement when original drummer Jim Fox went back to school.  When Jim saw what he missed out on, he went on to found a band of his own- the James Gang.  He hired a guitarist who blew his socks off by the name of Glenn Schwartz.  But Glenn had a couple of problems- his marriage breaking up, and the Army looking for their AWOL soldier- so Schwartz had to flee to California.  But, before he left he suggested a buddy of his for a replacement-  one Joe Walsh.  The rest of that bunny trail is history.

But Glenn's had just begun. He helped put together a band called Pacific Gas And Electric (Soon known as PG & E for much the same reason that Chicago is not the Chicago Transit Authority anymore.)  They are best known for their top 20 hit Are You Ready- which, believe it or not, was covered by Christian act DeGarmo and Key in 1984.

Robert John roars up two spots to #4 with The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

Also up a pair to #3, The Osmonds with Down By The Lazy River.

The Carpenters move into the runner up spot with Hurting Each Other.

And that means- and by that earlier consensus, it's no surprise- that our new #1 belongs to...

....Nilsson with Without You!!!!!

Okay, that's another one in the can!  See you next week.


  1. I have quite a bit of nostalgic fondness for 1972. While it wasn't the year I hit puberty (that was a couple years prior), it WAS the first year that I had my first girlfriend (no, not "had" in that sense). Ahhh....she's a grandmother now and lives far away (actually, I'M the one who lives far away!), but it was a very good year.
    And no Obama.

    1. Grandmothers are nice. Especially at our age.

  2. I still LOVE 'Midnight At The Oasis'!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. You know, that one took years to grow on me. Love it now. Then.... eh.

  3. I was just listening to the Fleetwoods' "Come Softly" this morning and realizing what a great song that is.

    Badfinger did the best version of "Without You". I never was a Nilsson fan.

    Strange to see DeGarmo and Key listed here. I used to listen to their music a lot. Haven't thought of them in ages.

    "Taxi"-- one of the best songs ever!

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. I'll have to check out the BF version.

      I first "met" the Fleetwoods when I found Come Softly in mom's 45s and thought maybe they had something to do with Fleetwood Mac. Hey, I was a kid!

      Being conversant with late 70s early 80s CCM is another of my talents. Laurie has a handful of D&K and other CCM tapes.

  4. Chris:
    Those davemport bottles must have been REALLY dirty to kill people.
    LOL - always loved the Wizardf of Id...
    My fave line was on the parapet of the castle, a guard says to the King: "The peasants are revolting!"
    The king answers with a rolled eye look "You're telling me."

    God, has it been THIRTY years already for those songs???
    (geez, where did all the time go?)

    Heh - the cat might "be in the cradle",. but it looks like that SINK is pretty darn full, too!
    (Cute pic)

    BREAD moveupone...YES!
    I also thought the group CLIMAXX had 2 xs too.

    NIlsson - Without You - Numero Uno!!!
    (wtg, Harry)

    Excellent ride this week...(still have troublw with the thirty year thingy...double wow!!)

    Keep those hits coming' from up there!

    1. I didn't realize how much I missed Wiz of Id until I got hunting for that cover...