WAITAMINUTE! SEPTEMBER 1978????
Just play along, there is a reason to the madness...
...today, George Harrison married Olivia Trinidad Arias, his second and final wife, in a civil ceremony in South Oxfordshire, UK. Their marriage would last 23 years until his death.
So why are we in September of '78 rather than June of 1972, like we're supposed to be? Because Casey Kasem died on June 15th. A friendly voice, a voice for fair treatment of his people, a voice for integrity in music.
So again you ask, why September 1978? Because, while it wasn't MY first American Top 40, it was the one I remember the earliest. The week Casey mentioned the debut of "Two English supergroups who haven't been on the charts for at least five years." And for whatever reason, that stuck with me (not completely, because I would have swore there were THREE English supergroups debuting- but the third was at #6), so to honor Casey, we're going to be doing a bit of hopping around, with a few quizzes, no less that THREE top tens, and answer the question- what is the arcane connection between Casey Kasem and the Moody Blues? Hang with me here, because this is gonna be different.
Bobby G. had suggested doing something with Casey's first and last AT 40 countdowns. The first was in July of 1970; the last (until he came back years later, but the last Billboard AT40) in 1988. Let's take a look at that last one first. Some of the acts were Martin Era acts, some not. So let me do some mini-six degrees to connect the "outsiders" to the ME. The number ten song on Casey's last top 40:
George Michael, Monkey. And the best connection I found was that Wham!'s first lp had a cover of the Miracles' #1 Love Machine.
Number nine? Def Lepperd, Pour Some Sugar On Me. DL's first single release was a song called Wasted, late in 1979.
Number eight? Chicago's I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love. No need to dig here...
Number seven? Elton John's I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That. Again, the connects are obvious.
Number six? Gloria Estefan's 1-2-3. The Miami Sound Machine's first lp was an all Espanol record in 1977.
Number five? Terrance Trent D'Arby's Sign Your Name. On his first lp, he released the single Who's Lovin' You, whose b-side was a cover of (ironically) the Miracles' Shop Around.
Number four? Eric Carmen, Make Me Lose Control. Another ME holdover.
Number three? Richard Marx, Hold On To The Nights. I had to resort to a two-step connection here. He sang background in his first record appearance, on Lionel Richie's You Are. And Richie led the Commodores from 1974.
Number Two? Breathe's Hands To Heaven. A three stepper here- their producer Bob Sargeant once played in Mark Abraham's Band, and Mark Abraham was an original member of Jethro Tull.
And the last number one for Casey? Stevie Winwood- with previous top forty hits as a member of the Spencer Davis Group- and Roll With It.
Ready for the first guessing game? Here you go. If you compared this week's Cashbox Chart with AT40, you'd hear 3 songs on AT40 which you wouldn't see on the Cashbox chart. And if there was a "Cashbox top 40" show, you'd hear three songs there that you wouldn't on AT 40. So here's the test: I'm gonna give you the six artists of these three songs- you tell me, who was on Billboard and not CB, and who was on CB but not BB. Simple, huh? C'mon, it's a party game! Here are your choices:
Annnnnd... Crystal Gayle.
(Note: actually, there is one MORE that was on BB but not CB- it peaked at 46 on CB, and its story is next.)
There was just one act that was on the charts for both Casey's first and last Billboard shows- and it is one of those two UK supergroups that debut this week. And that is the Moody Blues. Question was on his first show; I Know You're Out There Somewhere was on the last. And on the week I'm looking at, it was this one. In lieu of a "first heard it because of Time Machine" video, here's a "heard it first on AT40 " video:
Other songs debuting this week include (on Cashbox) Foxy's Get Off at 38, a seven notch move; two songs from the Sgt Pepper movie soundtrack back-to-back- Aerosmith doing Come Together, rising 10 spots to 36, and Robin Gibb's Oh Darling, up 14 to #35. There are two more- but one gives away a contest answer... and the other I'm saving for later.
Now, here was Casey's very first AT40 top ten:
10- Vanity Fare, Hitchin' A Ride. They are still together, though none of the members were there when they had their hits.
9- Elvis Presley, The Wonder Of You. Performing nightly at 7-11s across the country.
8- Beatles, The Long And Winding Road. Sir Paul is still out there making music, and Ringo still tours with his All-Star band.
7- The Carpenters, (They Long To Be) Close To You. Among other things, Richard hosts a scholarship-talent show every year in Thousand Oaks, CA.
6- Melanie, Lay Down (Candles In The Rain). Still recording and living in Nashville.
5- Freda Payne, Band Of Gold. She recorded a duet with Cliff Richard in 2011, called Saving A Life.
4- Blues Image, Ride Captain Ride. Broke up before the song became a hit.
3- Temptations, Ball Of Confusion. Were allegedly recording a new album last year, with the only remaining original being Otis Williams.
2- The Jackson Five, The Love You Save. I'm sure TMZ can tell you what they're up to better than I can.
1- Three Dog Night, Mama Told Me (Not To Come). More of a Two Dog Night, with Chuck Negron touring with one band, and the others still touring as TDN.
Did you know Casey hit the charts himself? Grazing the charts was this touching letter put to music:
Quiz #2- When we get to the top ten for "my week" there is one song difference between Billboard and Cashbox- a song coming into the ten on one, a song dropping out on the other. Your question is: What is the first name of the vocalist on the song that dropped out? Your choices:
Good luck with that!
Okay, ready for the answers to quiz #1? The trio that Casey played but not Cashbox were:
|Crystal Gayle (Talking In Your Sleep)|
|Cheryl Ladd (Think It Over)|
|and Barbra Streisand (Prisoner- from Eyes Of Laura Mars)|
|Linda Ronstadt (Back In The USA)|
|Andy Gibb (Shadow Dancing)|
|And Steve Martin as King Tut.|
And now, the combined Cashbox-Billboard top ten for the week that was, September, 2nd...
At ten, Billboard had Evelyn "Champagne" King with Shame, a song that was #8 on Cashbox.
At #9 on BB, at 10 on CB, Walter Egan's Magnet And Steel.
At #8 on BB, #6 on Cashbox, Andy Gibb's An Everlasting Love.
At #7 on BB, the song that was going up, but hadn't made it on CB, was Exile's Kiss You All Over, with lead singer James "JP" Pennington. The song that fell out on BB but was still hanging on on CB was Pablo Cruise, with lead singer David Jenkins, with Love Will Find A Way. If you said David, you LOSE! The correct answer was, "That's the most ridiculous thing I evah hoid!"
|"...next to putting my ugly mug on a music blog..."|
At # 5 on BB and also on CB, Olivia Newton-John and Hopelessly Devoted To You.
At #4 on BB and also on CB, Foreigner and Hot Blooded.
At#3 on BB and CB, A Taste Of Honey and Boogie Oogie Oogie.
Which leaves us with one song that is #1 on each, and the other #2. The number one on Cashbox this week is...
And the song that Casey counted last that week:
Frankie Valli and Grease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And that leaves us with one more bit of business- who is the other English supergroup to debut this week? Well, I saved it for last not only because it is one of my favorites, not only because it's haunting melody is a good fit, but because it's message is a lot of the reason that I do this blog, and a lot of the reason we're here celebrating the life of a fallen legend. Enjoy it, and, as Casey would say, "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars." Goodnight, everybody!