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


Friday, May 30, 2014

Time Machine week 6

It's May 30th, 1968.  1968???  Yes, 1968, because today I put Tommy James and the Shondells in the cd player and it made me feel good.  And I thought, "Why not do a TJ&S Time Machine? "  So here we are, in the year that the Shondells had their highest charting hit on this week.  Which one?  Well, you'll have to wait for this week's top ten.  ANYway...

It's May 30th, 1968.  Charles DeGaulle heads off revolution by dissolving Parliament and calling new elections, and The Beatles begin work on what the world will call, "The White Album".  And we are taking a time machine trip to this week in '68, the week that the 5th Dimension first hit the charts with Stoned Soul Picnic, and Cliff Nobles and Co. first rode into the charts with The Horse.  Oh, and this was the week that three different versions of Here Come Da Judge hit the charts simultaneously, as featured on Time Machine vol. II week 70.

Wow!  Our own gig on Time Machine!  Say... what's Time Machine?

Now, on this week in history, the Shondells had three songs on the chart in three different years.  All of these were among their top eight charting hits, which I will reveal in mere moments.  Your task should you choose to accept it, is guess which one is going to be in our top ten this week- and thus, the highest that they ever charted on this week.  Bonus points if you get all three of the ones that were on the chart this week, somewhere in between 1966-1970.  And your only clue- here are the top 7 highest charting hits of Tommy James and the Shondells, with their final Billboard peaks:

#7- Mirage- one of my three favorites, it stopped at #10.

#6- Sweet Cherry Wine- a song I wish our gang infected youth would learn- "Only God has the right, to decide who's to live and die..."  It peaked at #7.

#5- I Think We're Alone Now- the song Tiffany would later slaughter stopped at #4.

Gosh... was it really that bad?

#4- Mony Mony- The favorite "change the words" anthem of teenage drunks everywhere.  At least it was when I was a teenage drunk.  It hit #3.

#3- Crystal Blue Persuasion.  Another of my three favorites, it peaked at #2.

Tie for first at #1-

- Hanky Panky.  The one that started not only their career but the idea for this post.

- Crimson And Clover.  They did it psychedelic, Joan Jett did it slutty.

So, three of those 7 were on the chart this week- and one of them was in the top ten this week.  Place yer bets, answer coming at the end- or at least near it.

Also, you'll note that the third of my favorites hasn't been mentioned yet.  That one WILL be revealed at the very end.


This week we have a single You Peaked song-  The Four Tops' #20 remake of Tim Hardin's If I Were A Carpenter, slipping to 22.  Now this is a song recorded a billion times.  In addition to Bobby Darrin's top ten version, and Johnny and June Carter Cash's country chart hit, here are some of the others that have recorded it and when.

The Small Faces, 1968; Flatt and Scruggs, 1970; Bob Seger, 1972; Robert Plant, 1993; The Highwaymen (Cash, Nelson, Jennings, and Kristoferson), 2004; Dolly Parton, 2005; The Everly Brothers in 2006, if you can believe that; and, ummmm... Leif Garrett in 1979.

Not bad enough you bashed on Tiff... now you're coming after me again, too?

This week's top 40 has 4 new additions.  At 39, climbing 13, are duo Jim and Cathy Post, recording as Friend and Lover, with Reach Out Of The Darkness.  Better known, perhaps, as "I think it's so groovy now, that people are finally getting together".  Here's a didja know- Ray Stevens played the keyboard and arranged the strings on that one!  Moving up ten to #36 is Andy Kim with How'd We Ever Get This Way, the future bubblegum star's first US hit.

 The Association move from 51 to 34 with Time For Livin'; and the high debut this week was the lovely Merilee Rush with Angel Of The Morning, an eleven-notch rise to #32.

Anyone who thinks I'll miss a chance to put her picture up doesn't know me at all...

Have you made your guesses?  Well, if you picked Crimson and Clover, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Sweet Cherry Wine, or Mirage- YEROUDDATHERE!  But you still gotta tell me which of the remaining three are the highest on our chart this week!

Well, you don't have to tell me... you could always... no, that's not right... maybe you should... no, you can't do that, either...

Three new songs entered the top ten this date in '68, so three drop out.  The three drop outs (sixties lingo, there) are Bobby Goldsboro's Honey (8 to 13), The Irish Rovers' The Unicorn (9 to 18), and Dionne Warwicke's Do You Know The Way To San Jose (10 to 19).

Annnnnnnnnd... the top ten!

Four Jacks and a Jill with one of my all time childhood favorites, Master Jack, climbs a notch to #10.

One I'll have to admit I don't know- Stevie Wonder's Shoo-Be Doo Be Doo Da Day, slips from 7 to 9. (Note: after a quick listen, I have a vague recollection, but that's it.)

Roaring into the countdown with a 21-notch jump to #8, Richard Harris and MacArthur Park.

Slipping from 5 to 7 is a song by a group we featured when another of their tunes (Love Is Like A Baseball Game) was the 45 @ 45 a while back, the Intruders with Cowboys To Girls.

The final newbie, leaping 7 spots to #6, the Ohio Express with Yummy Yummy Yummy.

And your winnah... it wasn't Hanky Panky ( it was at #91, debuting this week in 1966); it wasn't I Think We're Alone Now (29 and falling in '67); it was...

Mony Mony, up a notch to #5 in '68!

But wait, there's more!

Holding at 4 for a third week, Hugo Montenegro with the Theme To The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. 

Holding at 3 for a third week (haven't I heard that somewhere before?), The Rascals with A Beautiful Morning.

At #2 where it was kicked to last week, the former top dog for Archie Bell and the Drells, Tighten Up!

And the second week at number one for....

Simon and Garfunkel with Mrs. Robinson!!!!!!

And now as we close, a couple things.  One, did you like the year hopping thing?  Would you like it to be a recurring event?  Are you already too young for the seventies' songs I usually do and this REALLY baffles you?  Let me know!  In the meantime, here's that favorite that didn't make their top seven, topping out at #18.  But it made me feel good today, here's hoping it will do the same for you all.  Next week, kids!


  1. I didn't mind the jump to 1968. I don't know most of the 70s song you list. And I don't know most of the 60s songs either. But... even though the 60s are further back I knew more this week. Maybe it is because my parents liked 60s music better than 70s...????

    1. This turned out to be a very, very good week for quality songs... where I'm at in the regular series is kind of a dead spot, so I'll bet that had something to do with it. Me? My sister was a teenager when I was a toddler so my era for music runs approximately 1956-1976.

  2. Chris:
    Nice job w/ TJ&tS...used to listen to them during our lunch period in the "community room"...!
    Somehow, they never seem to get "old" (unlike the rest of us...HA!)
    Nailed two of those 3 hits of theirs...yeah, I:m outta there.
    I did like the Billy Idol version of MONY MONY, but still not as good as TJ.
    Personally, I like the 70s songs gig.
    --Odd how this week was the winding down of the school year (for us), and there ALWAYS seemed to be a plethora of GOOD songs out there...wonder why that was?
    (a conspiracy perhaps? LOL)
    Maybe it's was the advent of SCHOOL'S OUT FOR THE SUMMER-itis?

    And my era for music was from the mid-50s (when I stopped crying long enough to listen to what was being played on the radio between through the late 80s.
    The ONLY music I find good these days belongs to motion picture soundtracks.
    --As for today's pop music?
    Well, if you can't say something GOOD about it, then say nothing (which I shall)

    Excellent ride, Brother.

    Keep on rockin' up there.

    1. I like the 70's gig too. But man, when you walk into a week like that when even the songs falling out of the top ten are classics...