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


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Time Machine week 11

It's July 4th, 1972.  And while you were all out grilling, two things happened.  And at completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

Thing one, A press conference in South Korea announced, to the world's shock, a meeting of the minds between North and South over reunification, based on the three principles of "independence, peace, and grand unification".  You probably know how that worked out.

The second, the horse named Secretariat ran his first race as a 2-year-old.  He was boxed in and finished fourth.  The only other time he'd lose the whole season was a race he "bumped" another horse and was dropped from first to second (AKA disqualified).  And you know where HE went from there.

I tried to find a snap of him with another horse or two, but, well....

Welcome to Time Machine for a holiday weekend, and I've got a surprise for you!  A new, long-running feature, in addition to the typical fun and games around here.  I'll explain in a moment, but let's get down to business on the week that saw the first chart appearance for Mac Davis' Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me, as well as a tune that you may recall from the closing days of TM Volume II- the French hit Butterfly by Danyel Gerard.

Which brings me to an update on the international scene.  When I looked at France, I saw we were one week away from a 7 week run of the instrumental Popcorn by Hot Butter ( which my faulty memory thought was farther back than '72); Germany had just finished a 5-of-6 run for Daniel Boone's Beautiful Sunday;  Switzerland was 2 weeks out from a month of Song Sung Blue; and Canada had last week's top dog, Gallery's Nice To Be With You, on top.

Then I saw the Netherlands had Mouth and MacNeal's follow up to How Do You Do, a native language tune called Hello-A.  Dark, somewhat broody, and not at all what you'd expect after the first single.  Ireland settled on a Gilbert O'Sullivan tune that didn't chart here, called Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day...

It was the first of three straight #1s in the Emerald Isle for Gilbert, the others being Clair (#2 here) and Get Down (#7).  In England (Where Wakka peaked at #8), we were in between two weeks of Don McLean's Vincent and 5 weeks of Donny Osmond's Puppy Love, with a hit by Slade...

It was Slade's first chart hit here (albeit at #97), but was the second of 6 UK #1s and 3rd of 14 consecutive top 4 hits.

Now, the exciting news about the new feature!  I was debating the other day about "the greatest top ten".  Not a top ten of favorite songs but a favorite top ten as a group.  So four days of research later, I assessed every top ten of the Martin Era, rated songs from 0 (I'd turn the station if it came on, or I just didn't know it) to 5 (probably in the year's top 15 or so), kept a running average (right around 27 points, give or take), and tried to keep a list that would hold at least one top ten from each of the ME years (1962-79) as well as an overall top ten.  Well, I'd have had well over 150 "tens" to get one from every year, and the top ten list would have seven "best of the years" and three repeats.  So I tried to work a "points above the year's average", but that would have screwed some years (for instance, 1974 had a strong winner but a VERY high average) and glorified others (1979 was putrid on average but had a middle-of-the-road best that would have shot it into the top three).

So in the end, what I am doing is this:  Every week for the next while, I will feature the best top ten of the year, starting with 1962, and skipping any year in the top ten.  Then the last ten weeks will feature the actual top ten weeks- noting here that if a week is in a run of high scores, I will just take the highest score of the string, so as not to do a lot of near-repeats.  Thus, with three non-year's-best weeks involved, this will go on for the next 21 weeks.   Since we are just now over the halfway mark of the year, the TOP top ten of the Martin Era will be "played" the week before Thanksgiving- so you'll either have to patiently wait till then, or you'll have a little something extra to be thankful for, depending on if you like the idea or not.  All that at last said, here is our first top top ten- from the third week of November 1962:

10- Next Door To An Angel, Neil Sedaka.  The song that made him for me.
9- Bobby's Girl, Marcie Blaine- this is a song I am alleged to have run around the house singing as a toddler.  I do NOT remember doing so, but it wouldn't surprise me.
8- Don't Hang Up, the Orlons.  A band I hooked my son on.
7- The Monster Mash, Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kicker Five.  Wouldn't you just know.
6- Limbo Rock, Chubby Checker.  Jack be nimble, Jack be quick...
5- Only Love Can Break A Heart, Gene Pitney.  Love Gene Pitney!
4- He's A Rebel, the Crystals.  Written by Gene Pitney, produced "wall of sound" by Phil Spector, and sung not by the Crystals but by Darlene Love and the Blossoms.
3- All Alone Am I, Brenda Lee.  What can I say, I didn't remember it.
2- Return To Sender, Elvis Presley.  The King strikes!
Annnd #1-

Big Girls Don't Cry, The Four Seasons!!!!!  Does it get better than that?  Wait and see!


You Peaked this week has just a couple of entries.  One of them belongs to a man we recently lost- Bobby Womack, as his Woman's Gotta Have It drops from a high of #32.  Also this week, Bread begins to fall after their hit Diary stopped at # 15 last week.


This week's top forty adds four new songs.  Donna Fargo crosses over from the country chart, where she just ended a three-week run at the top, with The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA.  It goes from 48 to 40 this week.   At 39, up 2, is Stevie Wonder with another one I don't know- Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You).  Up 8 places to #38 is the great Bobby Vinton with his take on Sealed With A Kiss.  And, in it's second attempt to climb the charts, moving 13 spots to land at #34, Derek and the Dominoes with Layla.  The Dominoes, the remnants of Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, included on this song Duane Allman, providing the "dueling guitars" with Clapton, and drummer Jim Gordon, who also did the beautiful piano solo at the end.  He got credit for writing it, but as with all things surrounding Delany and Bonnie et al, this is in dispute.  Band member Bobby Whitlock claims that Gordon "stole" it from a song he was working on with then-girlfriend Rita Coolidge (who was also at the heart of the big "Superstar" controversy from way back in TM vol. I).  Last time I posted about the situation, a supposed agent "for the late Delany Bramlett" assured me his guy was the real writer;  I wonder if Gordon's agent will contact me.  Or perhaps his PO, as he is at last word still serving 16-to-life for listening to the voices in his head and killing his mom.

No, not me... you want the one in Arkham...

Two new songs enter this week's top ten, two fall out.  The droppers are Sylvia's Mother (4 to 12) and Oh, Girl (9 to 18).

The Royal Scots Dragoons climb (or march) up a pair to #10 with Amazing Grace.

America is also up a notch with the gentle heartbreaker I Need You, to #9.

And in keeping with the fad, the Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose are up a pair to # 8 with Too Late To Turn Back Now.

Sammy Davis, however, is a trend setter- and moves down 4 to # 7 with The Candy Man.

The 5th Dimension holds at 6 with Last Night (I Didn't Get To Sleep At All).

Jimmy Castor and his bunch climb the evolutionary ladder from 7 to 5 with Troglodyte (Cave Man).

Bill Withers  blasts his way from 8 to #4 with Lean On Me.

Last week's #1 (Oh, did I forget to mention we have a new #1?  Hey, we'll have a new #1!), Gallery's Nice To Be With You, slips this time to #3.

Billy Preston's instrumental Outa-Space moves from 5 to #2, aiming to go into orbit!

And the NEW top dog this week...

...Neil Diamond's Song Sung Blue!!!!!!!

Let me know what you thought of Top top tens, and see you next week!


  1. That 'Monster Mash' was such a graveyard smash.
    Surprisingly (to me), my mother had the LP with 'Monster Mash' on it. All the songs sounded the same. THAT isn't surprising, though.

  2. Chris:
    Okay, so what was it about THIS week (and Time Machine) that found us up to our eyebrows in BOBBYS, anyway...:LMAO!

    Seemed like every sentence had ANOTHER one in the mix...not that I'm griping, mind you.
    Thank God Neil Diamond rescued us with HIS #1 song (sung blue)...WTG!

    (("Bobby's Girl"...why didn't MORE women pay attention to THAT song when I was in high school???))

    And, yes...I was out grilling. (but I WAS humming "America the Beautiful" all the while...see?)

    An excellent and very cool ride this week.

    "Keep on rockin' (up there), 'cause you only rock once."
    ((Gerry Blavat - The Geator w/ the Heater))

    It's a PHILLY thing.