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


Friday, April 18, 2014

Time Machine week 116.

Today is April 18, 1972.  An East African Airways jet out of Nairobi was getting ready to take off from Addis Ababa after a fuel and passenger stop.  Two things, though, had occurred to prevent this from happening.  First, mechanics in Nairobi had worked on the front brakes and not re-assembled them properly.  Second, a Cessna had left a jacking pad in the runway, and it had become imbedded in the tarmac.  The plane hit the pad and blew a tire in the nose gear.  With the plane's nose rocking up and down, the pilots decided to abort.  But the brakes wouldn't slow her; she careened down the runway, briefly lifted off, hit the lip of the ditch at the end of the runway, clipped a light tower with a wing, and broke apart.  As stunned passengers tried to escape, the plane burst into flame.  The Captain, three more crew and 34 of almost one hundred passengers died.  Many of them were students returning to Rome and London from adventurous spring breaks in Kenya.

You won't have to worry about that riding on Time Machine... no incompetent mechanics, no runways, and no wings- ever!   This week: a feature found en route to looking up another feature; a six degrees with Bob Dylan on both ends- but not in the story!  Plus, another Eurovision story, and a new #1 song! 

We start you off with the tops of the international charts this week, and here's a twist.  Beg Steal Or Borrow by the New Seekers, which we featured a while back on our story about Eurovision contest songs hitting the US charts, takes over the #1 spot in Norway.  Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Vicki Leandros of Luxembourg hits #1 with Apres Toi  (After You), a song with which she won the 1972 Eurovision contest, beating out runner-up... Beg Steal Or Borrow by the New Seekers!  Vicki also sang an English version of the song, re-named Come What May, which would go on to hit #2 in both the UK and Ireland (and is quite good, I just tried it out.).  Vicki will ascend to the top in Switzerland next week.

In the meantime, Amazing Grace is now also #1 in Ireland, and Nilsson's Without You is now tops in Australia.  In the US of A, we have another one of them there consensuses (consensi?), with all but two of the stations we're watching going with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.  The holdouts are the two Minneapolis stations, and they can't even agree with each other!  WDGY has I Gotcha (remember, the song that was #1 in Detroit a month and a half ago?) at the top (with Face in the wings at #3), while KDWB has Puppy Love (with Face already having been at #1 and this week dropping to 14).  And looking at out oft-ignored specialty charts, Aretha Franklin's Day Dreaming is now the #1 in R&B; Face is also on top in the AC chart; and Jerry Lee Lewis' Chantilly Lace is on top in the Country charts.

So let's amble on over to the hot 100 debuts this week. A short list of nine songs, with a shorter list of two I will note.  T-Rex's Telegram Sam, which we met when it hit #1 across the pond a few weeks back, comes onto the Cashbox charts at #87; and a little more well-known, Wayne Newton's Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast comes in at 93. 

And that brings us to one of my favorite parts of the show, this week's birthday songs.  Turning 30 is Duran Duran's The Reflex; a long list turns 35:  The Bee Gees' Love You Inside-Out, Donna Summer's Hot Stuff, Billy Joel's Honesty, Kenny Rogers' She Believes In Me, Rex Smith's You Take My Breath Away (gag), Ray Parker, Jr, and Raydio with You Can't Change That, and Cheap Trick live from Budokan with I Want You To Want Me.  Turning 40 this week, Anne Murray's You Won't See Me, the O'Jays' For The Love Of Money, the Hollies' The Air That I Breathe (should lend some to poor Rex Smith), and this hidden gem from ELO:

Marvin Gaye claims the only song turning 45 with Too Busy Thinkin' 'Bout My Baby; and a pair turn 50- Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas with Little Children, and one of those songs that stops my breath whenever it comes on- Dionne Warwick and Walk On By.

Finally, we have a trio turning 55-  Wilbert Harrison and Kansas City;  Bobby Darin and Dream Lover, and Dion and the Belmonts with A Teenager In Love.  Blow Out The Candles...

Well, I'd like to tell you I have a great 45 at 45 story, but this week that spot is held for another time by the 1910 Fruitgum Company, this time with Indian Giver on the way down.  But what I do have for you is something I found in trying to find six degrees material.

CBC radio in Canada had done a show called 50 Tracks, where a panel with fans' help voted for the most influential songs in history, done right around the turn of the century.  (Ooh, don't it make you feel old to say that?)  Anyway, it went so well they did a second show in 2005 called 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version, in which they limited the list to Canadian acts.  The panel was made up of TV personalities, music critics, current pop stars, and Jay Ferguson, who contributed the timeless classics Thunder Island and Shakedown Cruise to the musical lexicon.  So I looked through the list, took out the songs that didn't hit the American hot 100 and those outside the Martin Era.  This took out a lot of songs I didn't know, a few that were listed under the original but made famous by others (like Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now), old time songs (like Hank Snow's Movin' On and Paul Anka's Diana), and a gaggle of later hits (Like Life Is A Highway, The Safety Dance, Rockin' In The Free World) and Rush's Fly By Night, which never charted in the US.  It left me with 10 songs, the crème de la crème of Canada in the Martin Era.  In the contest's order, with their rank in the 50 Tracks list:

3.  Neil Young, Heart Of Gold
5. The Guess Who, American Woman
9.  Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi
15.  The Band, The Weight
18.  BTO, Takin' Care Of Business
19. Anne Murray, Snowbird
23.  The Guess Who, These Eyes
25.  Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown
29. Bruce Cockburn, Wondering Where The Lions Are (#21 in 1979)
31. Trooper, Raise A Little Hell (#59 in 1978)

Some notes:  Chris smiles at the Guess Who and BTO taking three of the spots... Gordon Lightfoot had a couple other album tracks on the list... a couple more songs on the list you oughta know are Rush's Tom Sawyer, Bryan Adams' Summer Of '69, and, well, Alanis Morrisette's You Oughta Know.

Next week, I'll take on some of the worldwide list.  In the meantime:

The big mover this week is the Staple Singers' I'll Take You There, moving up 23 spots to #44.  The big dropper is Bread's Everything I Own, falling 31 places to land at #73 on its way out.

I also had a buncha Almost But Not Quiters this week starting their weary way back down the charts.  The Nite-Liters' Afro Strut had its peek-in at #39 last week; JJ Cale's Crazy Mama stopped at 35; James Brown parked at 32 with King Heroin; Elton John got short-changed with Tiny Dancer sitting it out at 29; The Grass Roots weren't as Glory Bound as they thought, peaking at 22; The Temptations stopped at 28 with Take A Look Around; and the real shame of the list-  BJ Thomas' Rock 'N' Roll Lullaby peaked at #12.

"...and she sang, sha la la la, la la la la la, it'll be all right..."

Taking their place are a grand total of three new top 40s this week.  Paul Simon finally hits #40, up 12, with Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard.  Harry Chapin's Taxi is at 37, up nine; and the Partridge Family come in at 35, also up 9 with Am I Losing You.

We also have three new top tens, so three drop out.  The droppers are Mother And Child Reunion (8 to 11), Jungle Fever (9 to 15) and The Lion Sleeps Tonight (10 to 17).

The first new top ten is Aretha Franklin and Day Dreaming, up but a notch to #10.

The second is Sonny and Cher with A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done, up 5 spots to #9.

And the final newbie at #8 belongs to the Stylistics with Betcha By Golly Wow.

Donny Osmond tumbles from 3 to #7 with Puppy Love.

Annnnnd... at #6, down 4, is our six degrees victim.

Heart Of Gold, a song that Bob Dylan was miffed at because it sounded like something he should have done, had some interesting happenstances in its pedigree.  For example, Neil was in Nashville when he recorded it, for an appearance on the Johnny Cash Show.  Also appearing were James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, and they came over at Neil's request to do background vocals for Heart Of Gold and the follow up, Old Man. In fact, it was Sweet Baby James, who picked up Neil's six-string banjo and played it on Old Man.  Taylor was in process of recording his lp One Man Dog, while Linda had just released her self-titled third album.  This record drew on a variety of songwriters including both Cash and Young, along with Jackson Browne, a Lead Belly/Woody Guthrie composition, and one tune- In My Reply- written by James' brother Livingston.  Livingston Taylor would make his biggest mark in the late 70s with the single I'll Be In Love With You, which hit #30.  Taylor was produced on this record by Jon Landau, the famous associate of Bruce Springsteen who was quoted, "I have seen the future of music, and it is Bruce Springsteen."  Landau became a co-producer on Born To Run and also on later lps by the boss; a singer once compared to... Bob Dylan.

I Gotcha climbs a pair to #5 this week for Joe Tex

The Dramatics climb 2 to #4 with In The Rain.

America tumbles a two-spot to #3 with A Horse With No Name.

Does the consensus win out?  NO!  Roberta Flack climbs from 5 to #2 with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

And the new #1, up from that magic four spot...

Hah!  Thought you were going to sneak in another picture after getting your picture last week at #4?  I don't think so!  Here's the Dramatics instead!

.... Michael Jackson and Rockin' Robin!!!!!!!!!

Tune in next week for the most influential songs in history according to Canada! Next time!!


  1. Chris:
    Those birthday songs are making me wish I had some of those years back...again!
    SO much time has passed and I remember them as if it were just a couple years ago. Amazing how the staying power of THOSE songs lasts.
    I really enjoyed the Canada songs list...because I used to be a big fan of TROOPER (with a co-worker named Walt back in the lat 70s).I used to have their 2nd album TWO FOR THE SHOW (didn't make the cut from Philly to Indiana...unfortunately)
    They had some really good songs in the day
    Trooper was a good BASIC band...sounding (vocally) a bit like STYX, and musically, like the Brit band STATUS QUO.
    And they did have the BTO "influence" to boot.

    Speaking of which, nice to see we heartily agree with BTO, The Guess Who and Gordo in that list, too.

    Can't wait for the next part of the Great White North songs.

    Keep on rockin' up there 'cause you only rock once, brother!

    Stay safe

    1. You constantly amaze me with your ability to have known someone like Trooper that totally passed our provincial charts. Like KC says, Canadian music always was the best!

  2. Chris...
    When it came to "under the radar" bands from those days, my buddy Walt and myself had that marker nailed DOWN (thanks to a little store in Philly that was called Third St Jazz - they had the rock albums the OTHER stores didn't carry.)

    Then, there's the "connection" between the The Scorpions (everyone knows) and another band called U.F.O..(who?)

    Rock on, CW!

    1. I had to look it up. The Michael Schenker Group rang a bell (though I'm not sure what I've heard) and UFO I'd heard of and heard a song or to on the local public radio Burnt Toast show, but didn't know the beginning was with the Scorps.

      Did you know that the Hannover Scorpions DEL hockey team in Germany (who got booted from the league last off-season in a bit of politics I still don't understand) were named for their hometown band?