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


Friday, June 27, 2014

Time Machine week 10

It's June 27th, 1972.  (No, really!)  Today two pioneer video gamers incorporated Atari, launching a whole new era in couch potatoeing.  They were going to call it "Syzygy", but luckily, that name was taken by a Mexican candlemaker.  And more importantly, in a shot heard 'round the sports world, Bobby Hull signed a contract with the WHA's Winnipeg Jets.

Bobby was coming off his 4th 50-goal season with the Chicago Black Hawks; he would add 4 more with the Jets, including a 77-goal campaign three seasons later.

Welcome to Time Machine, and we have a lot going on today- unfortunately including yet another fallen music hero's tribute.  Also, a mixed together top ten in which YOU guess the number one; the story of an undercover PI who had a top 40 hit; a quick stop in on Here's Lucy; and more of the usual madness.  Welcome to the two weeks that saw Alone Again Naturally, You Don't Mess Around With Jim, and Motorcycle Mama enter the charts.

Of course, it was just after the Casey Kasem tribute was put to bed last week that we (read: I) learned of the passing of songwriter extraordinaire Gerry Goffin.

Mainly with then-wife Carole King but with notable others as well, Gerry's songs carved a path across the borders of the Martin Era.  Indeed, I compiled his top 30 charting songs and two of them charted by three different artists and two by a pair of acts.  So as we go along, I'm going to parcel out the top 30 songs co-written by Gerry- and here are the first ten:

30- Hi De Ho, Blood Sweat And Tears, #14 in 1970.  Written as "That Ol' Sweet Roll".
29- Smackwater Jack, Carole King, #14/70.  You can't talk to a man/with a shotgun in his hand...
28- I'm Into Something Good, Herman's Hermits, #13/64.  I was amazed by the variety of acts that recorded his tunes.
27- Keep Your Hands Off My Baby, Little Eva, #12/62. The second of his songs recorded by his babysitter.
26- Go Away Little Girl, The Happenings, #12/66.  Yes, we'll be seeing THIS one again.
25- Don't Bring Me Down, The Animals, #12/66.  The only thing that surprised me more than this song being on the list is that it charted that low.
24- One Fine Day, Carole King, #12/80.  A great song whoever does it.
23- Hey Girl, Freddie Scott, #10/63.  This one will be back, too.
22- Just Once In My Life, The Righteous Brothers, #9/65.  Can't beat the Bros.
21- I'll Meet You Halfway, The Partridge Family, #9/71.  See what I mean about the variety of artists?

This week, since I was going to run long trying to do two top tens (like I did last time we went off-course), here's what I'm going to do in just a bit.  I'm going to combine the top tens of this week and last (which we missed toasting Casey), add 'em up on a 10-9-8 etc scale, and give you the combined top 12 for the week.  THEN, you are going to pick which two were the number ones last week and this.    Coming up in just a bit.  But first...

The top forty debuts for these dos semanas have some interesting stories involved.  Let's go to last week first, where we kick off the list with Joe Tex coming in at 40 with You Said A Bad Word, up 7.  You may have said it, he SCREAMED it.  At 39 is the prayer song Day By Day by the Godspell cast, led in this song by one Robin Lamont.  Robin was mainly a stage actress, but she dabbled in quite a few things.

After Godspell, she worked as an undercover P.I. for an outfit involved in anti-counterfeiting, and went on to be the ADA in Westchester, NY!  She also did a little on-film work, playing a waitress on three episodes of Ryan's Hope, and even was in a horror flick with none other than Tom Hanks- 1980's He Knows You're Alone.

Mouth and McNeil come in with How Do You Do at 38, up six; and the high debut was Donny Osmond with a song called Too Young, originally a #1 for Nat King Cole in 1951.  This song got a boost when Donny sang it for Lucy's niece (played by the Brady Bunch's Eve Plumb) on an episode of Here's Lucy.

That brings us to this week's debuts and it's a BIG list.  Looking Glass leaps from 65 to 40 with Brandy (You're A Fine Girl). At 39 we have a one-and-done artist, an Englishman named Chris Hodge.  He was signed to Apple by Ringo, of all people, and he climbs 7 to 39 with this one:

Donnie Hathaway and Roberta Flack jump 17 spots to 38 with Where Is The Love; Procol Harum enter the top 40 at 36, up 11, with Conquistador;  Alice Cooper hits the big time at 34, up a hefty 18, with School's Out; The Stylistics take People Make The World Go Round up 12 to #31; and Aretha Franklin moves from 42 to 29 (13 for the counting challenged) with All The King's Horses.

The next ten for the Gerry Goffin tribute countdown:

20- Hey Girl, Donny Osmond, #9/71.  Boy, that little punk's getting around!
19- You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, Aretha Franklin, #8/67.  I saw in researching that Rod Stewart covered this too.  I wonder how he did that?  Did he feel like a natural man or make her feel like a ... aw, who cares?
18- I Can't Stay Mad At You, Skeeter Davis, #7/63.  One of two on this list I didn't know off the top of my head.  Little Eva at #27 was the other.
17- Miss You Like Crazy, Natalie Cole, #7/89.  The latest on the list.
16- Don't Say Nothin' Bad About My Baby, the Cookies, #7/63.  Knew the song, but can't say I knew who did it...
15- Who Put The Bomp In The Bomp-She-Bomp, Barry Mann, #7/61.  Rivals in the writing business, Gerry and Barry teamed up for this one.
14- Up On The Roof, The Drifters, #5/63.  I liked James Taylor's cover, too.
13- One Fine Day, The Chiffons, #5/63.  The original on this one, separated from the other chart version by 17 years.
12- I've Got To Use My Imagination, Gladys Knight und der Pipsters, #4/73. Coming soon to a Time Machine near you!
11- The Loco Motion, Kylie Minogue, #3/88.  Perhaps the most surprising act on the countdown.

But was it talent... or...
All righty, then, it's time to give you the mixed up top tens of last week and this in one pot.  Ties broken by later week.  Looking at the scores, you might not find it terribly hard to get the 2 #1s right- but after last week, I guess I owe you a softball.  Here goes!

12- I'll Take You There, Staple Singers. 1 point.
11-Too Late To Turn Back Now, Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose. 1.
10- Lean On Me, Bill Withers. 3.
9- Walking In The Rain With The One I Love, Love Unlimited. 4.
8- Troglodyte (Cave Man), Jimmy Castor Bunch. 6.
7- Oh, Girl, Chi-Lites. 8.
6- Outta Space, Billy Preston. 9.
5- Last Night (I Didn't Get To Sleep At All), Fifth Dimension. 10.
4- The Candy Man, Sammy Davis, Jr.  16.
3- Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond. 16.
2- Nice To Be With You, Gallery. 17.
1. Sylvia's Mother, Dr Hook. 19.

If you don't feel challenged enough, try guessing which one hit the top which week.

Time for- You Peaked!

Last week, our peakers were Neil Young's Old Man (dropping from 26), CCR's Someday Never Comes (25), and Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken (11).  This week, sorry LC, Todd Rundgren's I Saw The Light (11).

And wrapping up the Gerry Goffin top 30:

10- Pleasant Valley Sunday, the Monkees, #3/67.  He wrote a few songs the Monkees recorded, such as I Wanna Be Free.
9- Run To Him, Bobby Vee, #2/61.  One of a pair of hits for the Rubber Ball guy in the top ten.
8- Go Away Little Girl, Donnie Osmond, #1 for one week, 1971.  And still not the highest charting version.
7- Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To), Diana Ross, #1 one week, 1975.  One of the prettiest of the list.
6- Saving All My Love For You, Whitney Houston, #1 one week, 1985.  Ready for me to commit sacrilege?  My least favorite on the list.
5- The Loco-Motion, Grand Funk Railroad, #1 one week, 1974.  And still not the highest charting version.
4- Go Away Little Girl, Steve Lawrence, #1 for two weeks, 1963.  That's the highest of the three versions!
3- Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Shirelles, #1 two weeks, 1961.  I'll bet a lot of you had this one at #1.
2- Take Good Care Of My Baby, Bobby Vee, #1 for three weeks, 1961.  I'd have never guessed this song was that old.
ANNNNNNNND at #1, a spot it held for three weeks in 1962....

1- The Loco Motion, Little Eva!

Golly, I won?

And that leaves us with one more thing to decide.  Got your picks in?  Here we go...

Dr Hook was on top last week with Sylvia's Mother...

...and Gallery this week with Nice To Be With You!!!!

Hopefully we won't lose anybody else important this week and we'll have a nice, NORMAL Time Machine next time!


  1. Chris:
    I had a feeling you'd do a great Goffin tribute...well done.

    I didn't know THE LOCO-MOTION was done by SO many.
    ( I did like Kylie Minogue's take - nice updated version - as well as Little Eva - can't mess w/ the original)

    Goffin wrote (with and w/i Carole) a LOT of differing styles of songs, too.
    (probably did some commercial

    As to "the picks"?
    Didn't even come close...(oh, well)
    I wasn't one for chart-runners...just liked what sounded good..heh.
    MY favorite Goffin song - "PVS" (Monkees). Just has a lot going for it.

    Very good ride this week
    (no Dramamine needed here...EVER)

    Have a good weekend.
    Keep on rockin' up there.

    1. I just listened to the Kylie M. version... about halfway through I shouted I can't TAKE any more and put on Grand Funk, the AMERICAN band. Bad music out, good music in.

  2. I didn't realize how many songs and artists that Gerry Goffin had ties to until reading this post. Great tribute to his work!

    1. Amazing isn't it? I was even more astounded when I did the tribute to the late Hal David a year or so ago.