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


Friday, March 28, 2014

Time Machine week 113

It is March 28th, 1972.  This week is a mixed bag for the women's movement.  Today, Barbara Jordan became the first black woman to preside over a legislative body, when she was named President Pro Tempore of the Texas state Senate.  Tomorrow, Oklahoma would become the eighth state to vote on the Equal Rights Amendment- and the first to vote it down.

Short and sweet.  Welcome to Time Machine, and on this week's docket, we have:

-Thirteen birthday songs, four of them by ONE band- in ONE year (care to guess who and when?)
-BJ Thomas makes the 45 at 45...  with a little help.
-What is the link between Bobby Pedrick (who?) and Barry Manilow?
-and a new #1 song!

Don't get "bugged" (not so subtle hint for the birthday song thing), hop in and let's go!

We open as usual with our look around the world of music.  South Africa gave up on that horrible Streisand song and put the Congregation and Softly Whispering I Love You at the top- and so did New Zealand.  Those were the only international changes; meanwhile, here at home, LA, WLS Chicago, and KDWB Minneapolis all have A Horse With No Name at #1; WCFL entertains the other half of Chi-Town with Puppy Love;  WDGY Minneapolis has The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face; and CKLW  Detroit holds with Betcha By Golly Wow.... and WKNR is probably playing something by Mantovanni now.  While the Country chart remains unchanged, BJ Thomas rises to the top of the AC chart with Rock And Roll Lullaby, and the Dramatics take over on the R&B chart with In The Rain.

Damn, is this show going to liven up soon?  Sure, just be patient.  Because now it's time for this week's Hot 100 debuts, and out of a whopping 17 newbies, I'm gonna spotlight... er, five.  Coming in at 98 is one of your favorites and mine, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen with  Hot Rod Lincoln.  At 86, Cat Stevens with a song that no kidding was in my old Church's hymnal- Morning Has Broken.  At 77, the 5th Dimension with Last Night (I Didn't Get To Sleep At All).  Ringo Starr comes in at 65 with Back Off Boogaloo, and entering at 54, Three Dog Night with The Family Of Man.

Just wait, there's more of me...
That brings us to a rather unusual birthday song list.  Turning 30 is the Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane; turning 35, The Wings' Goodnight Tonight and George Thorogood and the Destroyers with Who Do You Love; turning 40 is Mac Davis' One Hell Of A Woman; at 45, The Spiral Staircase with More Today Than Yesterday; turning fifty five, Elvis with (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I; and sliding back to 50, we have Leslie Gore with That's The Way Boys Are,  The Reflections with Just Like Romeo And Juliet.   Annnnnnd...

Now, not THOSE beetles... the Beatles!  In a week when they already have She Loves You at #1, I Want To Hold Your Hand at #2, Twist And Shout at #3, Please Please Me at #4, Roll Over Beethoven at #40, From Me To You at #43, AND My Bonnie at #54, they debut FOUR more songs!

Can't Buy Me Love at #21;  Do You Want To Know A Secret at #75; All My Loving at #80; and Thank You Girl at #91 make four songs of theirs turning 50 this week!  If that wasn't enough, the Carefrees, three girls from the UK, were on the charts at 45 with their only hit, We Love You Beatles; and the Four Preps were at #92 with A Letter To The Beatles.  According to Wiki:

The song is about a boy whose girlfriend declares her undying love for the Beatles in a series of letters -- however, the Beatles reply that her undying love is not enough, and that they require "25 cents for an autographed picture" and "one dollar bill for a fan club card".

Not really surprisingly, it was pulled from the market after just three weeks- partly because it pissed off the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, and partly to avoid the lawsuit the "borrowing" of chords from Can't Buy Me Love would have brought.  It would be the Preps last hit, too.  But before I leave the Preps, here's another little bit of musical character assassination they did in 1960, called More Money For You And Me:

First we have the Fleetwoods, a very successful group
Let's send them to Alaska to entertain our troops
When they start in a-singin' and puttin' on their show
The temperature around them will be forty-five below

Wo-wo-wo, I'm Mister Blue, when I say I'm freezin'
Just turn around, head for the warmth of town
I'm freezin' through and through
Call me Mister Blue

Next the Hollywood Argyles, a mighty nice group of kids
We'd like to send them roving on a downhill pair of skids

There's a group that we heard of that's-a awful hip
Alley Oop-oop, oop, oop-oop
We'd kinda like to send them on a little trip
Alley Oop-oop, oop, oop-oop
Where they oughta go we cannot tell
Alley Oop-oop, oop, oop-oop
But it's awful hot, and it rhymes with swell

And while they're down there working, they won't be all alone
They'll run into another group that's even hot back home

They asked me how I knew
Our career was through
Oh, woah, I of course reply
Something here inside
Cannot be denied
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-wah
Smoke gets in your... eyes...

Next we have the Freshmen
A group that rates a cheer
Of course, they've been Four Freshmen
For almost twenty years
It isn't that they're stupid
Well, a little may be so
They can't afford to graduate
They're making too much dough

In this whole wide world
Is there nowhere to send them?
Is there no one place
We can tell them to go?

Sailing, sailing, over the water blue
Hail to the Kingston Trio, Cuba's calling you-ou-ou-ou...

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
I'm-a worried now, but I won't be worried long

We got the Kingston Trio some work on Cuba's shores
They hung around Havana to do a few encores
Castro said 'I like 'em. Let's hang 'em up some more.'
Now he has all three hangin' permanently

Hang down the Kingston Trio
Hang 'em from a tall oak tree
Eliminate the Kingston Trio
More money for you and me

Dion and the Belmonts are driving us to tears
Let's send them up the river for about a thousand years
While the kids are watching Dion singing about the stars
The Belmonts are out in the parking lot stealing hubcaps off of cars

Each time I steal a hubcap it almost breaks my heart
Why do I steal hubcaps, why did I have to start?
Each night I ask the stars without fail
Why must I be a teenager in jail?

Where these groups all come from, we really do not know
But if they ever ask us we will tell them where to go.

And still, I have one more for the turning 50 birthday list... a cover of Stand By Me spent a single week at 100... recorded by Cassius Clay.  Yes, that Cassius Clay.

Despite the ribbing on the reviews, I thought it was a very nice, karaoke like version.  Now, don't hit me!

Oh, and Blow Out The Candles...

As for the big movers this week, we'll hit one in the top 40, and one in the Almost But Not Quite. 

Our 45 at 45 was BJ Thomas (who's sure getting around this week) with a tune called It's Only Love.  On Cashbox it would make it to #28 in about a month, but on BB it crapped out at, oddly enough, 45.  It was on an lp called Young And In Love, which was really an album of covers.  Among the hits- and future hits- it contained were The Worst That Could Happen, which Johnny Maestro and Brooklyn Bridge had just taken to #3; Neil Diamond's Solitary Man, in between it's first release flop and it's eventual peak at #21; I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, which the Supremes and the Temps had just teamed to take to #2; Henson Cargill's massive country #1 Skip A Rope; and Hurting Each Other, which the Carpenters are just sliding down our main countdown with and both Jimmy Clinton and Ruby and the Romantics had failed to hit the hot 100 with.

Not exactly going where no man has gone before, are we?

The top 40 this week welcomes 7 new members.  Remember a few weeks ago, when we mentioned the band Chicory Tip (or just Chicory here) hitting #1 in the UK with Son Of My Father?  Well, this week the song's writer, Giorgio Moroder ( going by first name only) brings it in at #40, up 10 spots (whilst Chicory crapped out last week at #82.)  JJ Cale comes in at 39, up 4 with Crazy Mama; Elton John enters at 38, up ten with Tiny Dancer.  James Brown, who probably leads the league in singles debuted that died on base, comes in at 37, up five with King Heroin.  Up 16 to #33, Roberta Flack and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face; the big mover, up 20 to #32, Aretha Franklin with Daydreaming; and finally at #30, up eleven, the Honey Cone with The Day I Found Myself.

Did I mention we have a pretty substantial Almost But Not Quite list?  In order of the peak that they have begun to fall from, we have:  from #11, Sly Stone with Running Away;  from #12, T-Rex's Bang A Gong; from 19, Donnie Elbert's cover of I Can't Help Myself (which is the big dropper, all the way to 47); from #24, Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager's Ain't Understanding Mellow; from 35, the Detroit Emeralds' You Want It, You Got It; and from 38 (two weeks ago when I was snoozing), Rod Stewart's Handbags And Gladrags.

Two songs into the top ten, two songs out.  The droppers are Hurting Each Other (the Carpenters' version this time, from 8 to 18) and Everything I Own (9 to 12).

The Dramatics blast their way from 23 to 10 with In The Rain.

Cher's The Way Of Love squeaks up a notch to #9.

The Osmonds tumble 5 spots to #8 as the Lazy River begins to go downstream.

The Chakachas bounce into the ten at #7, up 7, with Jungle Fever.

Nilsson's Without You slips another notch from 5 to #6.

Which brings us to the six degrees.

Robert John (whose The Lion Sleeps Tonight drops from 2 to 5) was born Robert (Bobby) John Pedrick.  And as Bobby Pedrick, the then-twelve year old had his first hit in 1958 with a song called White Bucks And Saddle Shoes, peaking at #74.  This was written by Doc Pomus, who we've featured before as the writer of so many great early sixties tunes, starting with (the heavily re-scripted by Lieber and Stoller) Young Blood.  Another of his classics is the lyrics for Can't get Used To Losing You, a #2 BB, #1 CB hit for Andy Williams in 1963.  The single was taken from the lp Days Of Wine And Roses And Other TV Requests.  The famous title cut was written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.  Mercer was another great lyricist from a slightly earlier era than Pomus.  But near the end of his life, he became a big Barry Manilow fan.  When he died in 1984, his wife gave Barry some of the unfinished lyrics Johnny had been working on- and from one of them Barry did this:

Paul Simon moves up a pair to #4 with Mother And Child Reunion.

Donny Osmond moves a quick 4 to #3 with Puppy Love.

Neil Young slips a spot to #2 with Heart Of Gold.

And the new #1 this week...

America with A Horse With No Name!!!!!!!

Did you know that when this came out, I was a ten-year-old idiot who saw the title in the back of a comic book and thought somebody was trying to say America (the nation) WAS a horse with no name?  I thought, "What kind of a fruitcake says that?  What does it even mean?"  Forty two years later... it makes just a little more sense.  See you next time!


  1. I really like the walks back to 1972. That's the year I started to mature. And, by "mature," I mean "discovered girls." TMI Department: The "equipment" came on line in 1971, but I really didn't know what it was all for.

    1. That's why you check under your dad's front seat for the dirty book he borrowed from your uncle...

  2. "America with a Horse With No Name" still doesn't make sense to me. This was a very fun time machine post, CW. I'm impressed by all the gems of info. I was never a huge Beatles fan, but I've always loved Cat Stevens.

    You remind me of Casey Casum with this post. "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."


    1. Wait till you see the Beatles feature a research project for the next Time Machine turned into!

  3. These posts are always a reminder of how old I am. Thanks I needed that--not!

    Never realized that a group called "The Four Preps" could be so subversive.

    I was always a fan of the Beatles, but never cared for Cat Stevens. And now that he changed his name I dislike him even more. Same with Cassius Clay. What's with these guys with these kind of cool names changing them to weird names that make them sound like they came from some weirdo place.

    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. All I can tell you, my friend, is I come at it from the angle of briefly being that young again... and trying not to look up to see how far down I have to go to get there?

      As for the name changes, I guess some people have to use a name change to show the world that they've "become a new person". I prefer to do it by walking my faith.

    2. I see those name changes as more of a slap in the face to certain people. Muhammed Ali said as much.

      A Few Words
      An A to Z Co-host blog

    3. They may well see it that way... but they don't see it the way the rest of the world does.

  4. Chris:
    Have to say to tosed a bunch of songs (at me) this week I never heard of...or can't recall.
    Likde ALL those great Beatle songs...they had a HUGE run with all those hits at once.
    Good story about Manilow and Pedrick...never knew that at all.
    Still trying to figure out a horse with no name...(how you gonna call it home?)
    And why bother to NOT name it...can't go around yelling "hey YOU, get your hooves over here", can you?

    Very good ride this week,.

    Keep on rockin' up there.

    1. Wait'll you see what I got planned for THIS week...