It's March 14, 1972. The fourth of the Democrat primaries was held today in Florida, and Edmund Muskie's roll was decidedly crushed. Alabama's former Governor George Wallace, who now "doesn't believe in segregation", just is against busing, cruises to a win in Florida, winning every county to post a 41+ % against a big field of candidates, outpolling the next three (Humphrey, Muskie, and Scoop Jackson) combined. He would go on to win 6 primaries (including Michigan) and runner up in 4 others (including Indiana), and finish third in total popular votes behind Humphrey and nominee George McGovern. And in two months and one day, he would be shot because he was easier to get at than President Nixon.
|Get people to ignore past bigotry by being a president! It worked for LBJ...|
Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where we finally get to "that Eurovision bit" I've been promising; a big birthday group; the collapse of that consensus on Nilsson's Without You; but does that consensus collapse at the top, where it counts? Stay tuned...
Okay, let's start with the weekly tour of the tops around the globe. Germany has returned to Tony Marshall's polka version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", which bore little resemblance to the version we know and love (or to anything I would have purchased in the day), and Canada has moved on to Down By The Lazy River. There is one more international change over... but I'm going to save that for just a bit. On the domestic side, Pittsburgh is the only city to still have Without You at the top. LA and half of Chicago now has Heart Of Gold at the top; the other side of the Windy City also supports the Osmonds; Minneapolis has split between The Lion Sleeps Tonight and A Horse With No Name; and Detroit- with WKNR on it's second to last week with a chart- agrees on the Stylistics' Betcha By Golly Wow.
Next up, we have TWENTY-FOUR songs celebrating a birthday today- and I thought I'd handle the group a bit different in recognition. Now, I tend to put a couple of the more obscure ones up as YouTube videos... but here's the thing. Number one, the people I follow blogs of have already posted about six million videos that I mean to go back and watch today... and number two, I'd likely be adding three or four if I did that this week! So if you are disappointed in my decision, just let me know and I can intersperse a few of them as the weeks roll on. But today, I'm going to list them AS THEY CHARTED on Billboard, from the bottom up. So without further ado...
Turning 40, a song that never hit the hot 100 here- but hit #1 in the UK in 1969, and #2 in 1973- Fleetwood Mac's lovely instrumental Albatross.
Turning 30, Genesis's #44 hit- bigger on video- Illegal Alien.
Turning 35, Randy Bachman and his post BTO band Ironhorse, with an underrated #36 hit, Sweet Lui-Louise.
Turning 35, three former Byrds- McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman- with a #33 Don't You Write Her Off Like That.
Turning 35, Barbara Mandrell's crossover hit at #31, (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right.
Turning 30, one of my favorite 45s I ever bought- the Pretenders #28 Show Me.
Turning 30, a slightly overplayed hit at the time, Berlin's #23 No More Words.
Turning 35, the vastly overplayed in Ft Wayne Roger Voudouris at 21 with Get Used To It.
Turning 35, the #16 hit for Styx, Renegade.
Turning 30, John Cougar Mellencamp's #15 The Authority Song.
Turning 35 (you get the feeling most of these are either turning 30 or 35?) Bad Company's #13 Rock And Roll Fantasy.
Turning 30, the GoGos with their #11 Head Over Heels.
Turning 30, Night Ranger's #5 Sister Christian- a song that still gets to me for unknown reasons.
Turning 35, another #5 hit, David Naughton's Makin' It.
Three #4's in a row: Turning 35, Randy VanWarmer's Just When I Needed You Most.
Turning 40 (yes, 40)- Three Dog Night with The Show Must Go On.
And turning 45, The Ventures with Hawaii Five-O.
A pair of #3s: Marvin Hamlisch's The Entertainer turns 40, and The Village People turn 35 with In The Navy.
|They... want... you....|
A pair of deuces: turning 40, the Stylistics with You Make Me Feel Brand New; and turning 45, the Isley Bros with It's Your Thing.
And one that hit the top: and written by the writer of Makin' It- Peaches and Herb and Reunited turns 35. Blow out all those candles...
Our big movers both move 38 spots in opposite directions- going up, Roberta Flack and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face to #62; going down, the Faces' Stay With Me, to #52.
Our 45 at 45 was a turning point in the career of Brenda Lee- a song called Johnny One Time. On Cashbox, it would peak in five weeks at 34; but BB stopped it at 44. Now, that would be her last time in the top fifty of the pop charts... but within four years, she'd start a whole new career on the country chart. JOT hit 50 on the C&W chart- just her second country hit-, but in 1974 she'd start a streak that would net her 9 country top tens between then and 1980.
Johnny One Time was also her last of 14 top tens on the AC chart, peaking at #3.
|I'm sorry... so sorry....|
This week, the Almost But Not Quite list numbers three. The Nickel Song by Melanie begins its descent, from a peak of 25. Grand Funk's Footstompin' Music, having had it's cup of Joe at #40, starts its way down. And Elvis plummets out of the top 40 after peaking at 31 with Until It's Time For You To Go.
Now last week I mentioned about doing a Eurovision bit, and probably some of you scratched your heads and said, "Is that a French TV network or something?" No, my uncultured friend, Eurovision is an annual song contest in which several European nations elect a representative from their native sons and daughters to compete for song of the year. It's kind of a European musical Super Bowl. And while these songs have found no small success in Europe itself- in the Martin Era, Eurovision winners have hit #1 in Norway 7 times, Ireland six, Belgium 5, the Netherlands and France 4, the UK and Switzerland 3 times, Germany twice, and Sweden once- the luck hasn't been so good in the US of A. Mainly because most of them are, not surprisingly, foreign language songs, such as this week's new #1 on the Irish chart (thought I'd forgot about that, eh?), a song called Ceol An Ghra (The Music Of Love) by Sandy Jones- the first time Ireland submitted a song in Irish, and placing 15th of 18. But the question was brought up- how do they do in the US of A? Well, I'll tell ya.
|Sandy Jones at EV '72.|
Twice there has been a EV connection at the very top of our charts- Dominigo Mednugno's Volare, the #3 contestant in 1958, hit the top here. The other was when Paul Muriat covered the song Vicki Leandros of Luxembourg took to 4th place in 1967- the song we know as Love Is Blue. However, these are not the only entries of EV songs onto the American charts. Other examples (though possibly not all) include:
Congratulations, Cliff Richard- the runner up in '68 hit at #99.
Piove, Dominigo Modnugno- his 6th place finisher in '59 peaked here at #97, making him the only one to hit here twice before the end of the Martin Era.
Say Wonderful Things, Ronnie Carroll- he hit 4th in '63, and the song peaked here at #91.
Beg Borrow Or Steal, the New Seekers- their 1972 runner up peaked at #81 in the US.
Save Your Kisses For Me, Brotherhood Of Man- They won the 1976 contest, and shortly after peaked here at #27.
Eres Tu (Touch The Sky), Mocedades- this was a #9 hit in '74, after being 1973's runner up.
And finally, the song most Americans who know of EV associate with it, ABBA's Waterloo, which hit #6 here in '74 after winning the EV title that same year.
|ABBA winning the prize in 1974.|
Six songs make the top 40 this week. War comes in, up 3 to #40 with Slippin' Into Darkness; Sonny and Cher continue to ride the success of their variety show with the tune A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done, up 7 spots to #39; Rod Stewart climbs three to #38 with Handbags And Gladrags; also up seven is the follow up to Dennis Coffey's top ten instrumental Scorpio- this one's called Taurus, and it moves into the #37 slot. Up 27 big places to #36, Michael Jackson with Rockin' Robin; and the Dramatics' haunting In The Rain leaps from 51 to #30.
Three enter the top ten, three fall out. Stumbling down are Sweet Seasons (8 to 12), Joy (6 to 24), and Let's Stay Together (10 to 31).
|No, not Mike Joy. This is a chart, not a race!|
Leaping from 33 to 10, Donnie Osmond and Puppy Love.
America rides A Horse With No Name from 20 to #9 this week.
Paul Simon climbs a more modest 3 to enter the top ten at #8 with Mother And Child Reunion.
Bread sneaks up a slice to #6 with Everything I Own.
Neil Young moves a strong 4 to #5 with Heart Of Gold.
And from here on in, we hold our place from last week:
Robert John at 4 with The Lion Sleeps Tonight;
The Osmonds at 3 with Down By The Lazy River;
The Carpenters at 2 with Hurting Each Other;
And the winnah and still champeen...
.....Nilsson with Without You!!!!
Another one is in the can! See you next time!