Follow by Email

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


Friday, August 22, 2014

Time Machine week 18

This is August 22, 1972- the original Dog Day Afternoon.  A trio made up of John Wojtowicz, Salvatore Naturale, and Robert Westenburg (who bailed when he saw police cars in the area) tried to rob the Chase Bank- but turned into a 14-hour hostage situation.  The robbery was sparked (allegedly) by Wojo's desire to pay for the operation for his "wife" Ernest Aron (who wanted to become Elizabeth Eden) to become an actual woman, and Naturale's wanting to get his two sisters out of foster home.  The whole thing fell apart at JFK airport in the limo they were given to escape, Naturale was killed.   The story became first a book, and then a movie with Al Pacino.  Wojo got $7500 + 1% of profits from the movie, Ernest/Elizabeth got his/her surgery, and everyone (except Sal) learned it would have been easier to just write a screenplay.

Welcome to this week's Time Machine, the week that featured the first chart appearances of Elvis' Burning Love, Rod Stewart's You Wear It Well, Curtis Mayfield's Freddie's Dead, Bill Withers' Use Me, AND Leon Russell's Tightrope.  And this week I have to start out with a MAJOR bleary eyed mea culpa.  Last week on the Top Top Ten, I named the Righteous Bros' Just Once In My Life as the #7 song that week- but it was actually Stevie Wonder's FOR Once In My Life.  If he bumps into you, please send my sincere apologies, as Blogger hasn't come out with a braille app yet.

And you think I'M blind...

Okay, now that the self-depreciation's done, let's get going!  I think this week I'll lead off with my latest feature- the "One Hit Wonder's Next Song."  (basically because I lost the list in plain sight once and figured I'd better get at it before I do it again!)  David Soul was a star on the police drama Starsky And Hutch, and in early 1977 hit the tops on the national chart (and on my own top ten) with Don't Give Up On Us.  When I recently heard the follow up, which peaked at #52 later in the year, I thought it might even be better.

I love the part about "the Indiana wind..."  But I must admit to a certain error here as well.  This was a song that came onto my list late, and ACTUALLY this is my #6 favorite on the list.  But this is kind of an informal thing, so here it stays.  Maybe next week I'll actually play you #14... if I don't screw something else up.

This week's top 40 debuts start off with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, featuring the late and more-than-great Teddy Pendergrass with I Miss You, moving up one to sneak into the top 40 (BB peaked it at 58, which was far too low).  Eric Carmen and the Raspberries were next with their classic Go All The Way, moving up 5 to #38.  At #37, up 8, is Chicago- and the Bronze Man who still can tell stories his own way- with Saturday In The Park.  The Bee Gees leap ten to #32 with one of my top five tunes of theirs, Run To Me.  At the highest debut- along with the fastest climber within the countdown for a second straight week, up 23 spots- is Three Dog Night at 25 with Black And White.

In the other direction, our You Peaked featurees this week are Joey Heatherton's Gone, which stopped at 26, and Candi Staton's In The Ghetto, which made it to 36 before it was also "gone".

I still maintain if they had given her more good ORIGINAL songs (like Young Hearts Run Free), she'd still be talked about.
That brings us to this week's Top Top Ten, and it is actually from THIS VERY WEEK in 1969- and has a top four that is absolutely iconic!  Here we go with the best top ten of 1969:

10- Get Together, The Youngbloods.  This song had an interesting evolution.  First recorded by the Kingston Trio in '84 (but not released) it next became the follow up for the We Five for You Were On My Mind in '65, topping out on BB at 31.  Both Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell included it in their live sets in the timeframe, and the Youngbloods initially released it in '67 where it peaked in the 60's.  But it became the music to an ad for a call for brotherhood by the National Conference of Christians and Jews.  That got it re-released and into the top ten.

9- Polk Salad Annie , Tony Joe White.  Thought a failure by the record company, it was out for nine months before "some guy in LA picked it up" and it finally charted.

8- Laughing, The Guess Who.  THE GUESS-FREAKING-WHO, boys and girls!!!!

7- Ruby (Don't Take Your Love To Town), Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.  If you can find more melodic guitar, let me know.  One of the last songs to enter my Mom's repertoire of "songs to sing while doing housework", so careful how you answer that.

6- Sugar Sugar, The Archies.  The hot song this week, making a 20-notch jump to get here.  Tangentally mentioned in the classic work by Kenneth Lynch, Shag Carpet Toilet,  which I am about 2/3 of the way through and enjoying every line.  Don't just stand there, ORDER IT!

5- Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Jackie DeShannon.  This was one of the handful of singles I bought when the Zulu grocery store was selling a boxful of old jukebox records.  Ah, childhood memories...

And now, the iconic four...

4- Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond.  Tell me that's not iconic the next time we're in Yankee Stadium, okay?

3- A Boy Named Sue, Johnny Cash.  Maybe the first time I heard a record with a "bleep" in it.  Remember bleeps?  That's what they used to cover cuss words with.  Rap songs would likely sound like a test of the Emergency Broadcast System back then.

2- In The Year 2525, Zager and Evans.  "God's gonna shake His mighty head and say, "Guess it's time for the Judgment Day..."

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd at #1 this week in 1969...

 1- Honky Tonk Women, Rolling Stones.  In his book Up And Down With the Rolling Stones, "Spanish" Tony Sanchez claimed that the night the Stones had a party to celebrate it's release, John Lennon came and played "an acetate of our new single"- and blew the room away with Hey Jude.  Since Hey Jude came out in '68, one of two things happened here.  Either Spanish Tony was full of it (Keith Richards said he wasn't smart enough to "write his name, let alone a book"), or I got my songs mixed up and it was one of their other songs they were celebrating.  Given my track record this week and last, and the fact I lost the book 25 years ago, I'd say the latter.  Maybe Jumping Jack Flash.

Before we get to the "greatest sellers of all time" for this week, here are the two songs that drop out of this week's top ten:  Where Is The Love falls from 7 to 13, and Day By Day falls from 10 to 22.

And now, onto the just mentioned feature where we highlight the next five of the songs that sold the most physical records in history.  The first three are on the 11 million plateau.

George McRae, Rock Your Baby, 1974.  Written by Harry Casey and Robert Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, it was an instrumental track being laid down by a guitarist for the Sunshine Band when George wandered in and asked to try the vocals. The result hit #1 in 13 nations.

Cher, Believe, 1998.  Her vocal was run by producer Mark Taylor through an Antares Auto-tune at "play correction speed too high for audio track being processed" as an experiment.  Cher loved the results, and when the record company wanted to remove the effect, she told them, "Over my dead body."  I also learned that the beginning was a "sampling"  (We used to call it stealing) of tracks off ELO's Time lp.

Carl Douglas, Kung Fu Fighting, 1974.  This was the hastily thrown together, almost jokingly, B-side to a song called I Want To Give You My Everything, which Carl had just spent two hours working the vocals on.  The song is mentioned as "popularizing disco", but only hit #3 on the 2-month-old BB dance chart.  BTW, I recently listened to part of the follow up Do The Kung Fu as part of my research on the "one-hit-wonder's next hit" segment.  The relevant phrase here is "part of..."

Band Aid, Do They Know It's Christmas, 1984.  Rather than go through the litany of the big British acts that performed on this charity gig, let me just point out that in the UK, this was the biggest selling song ever for 13 years, until Elton John's Lady Di Candle In The Wind broke its record.  The funny story was a) Culture Club showed up minus the invited Boy George, prompting organizer Bob Geldof to call him in New York and tell him to get his pansy ass out of bed and hop a Concorde to London.  He arrived that evening, just in time to be the last man (?) to record vocals- and began bitching about Wham's George Michael, whom he didn't like.  He claimed he thought Michael's vocal was actually Allison Moyet, and when corrected, said, "God, he sounded camp. But then he is."  The story on wiki claims 11.89 million for the song by 1987... but the chart (also from wiki) puts it at 11.7.  Either way, a bunch.

YMCA, The Village People.  Yes, seriously.  And at 12 million!  Ironically, in the US of A it was kept out of #1 on both the hot 100 and the dance charts by- Do Ya Think I'm Sexy by Rod Stewart.

And the real YMCA threatened to sue... until they saw their memberships going up...


And now, this week's top ten.

Argent climbs to 10, up 4 with Hold Your Head Up.

Donna Fargo is probably The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA since her song moves up 2 to #9.

Mouth and MacNeil begin their down slide, falling from 5 to 8 with How Do You Do.

Former top dog Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast continues to walk the other direction, dropping from 4 to 7.

Alice Cooper holds at 6 with School's Out.

Long Cool Woman moves 8 to 5 for the Hollies.

A five-notch jump for Al Green with I'm Still In Love With You, from 9 to 4.

And holding at:

Number three- Luther Ingram's If loving you Is Wrong...

Number two- Looking Glass' Brandy...

And at #1.......

(He's already had his picture, so here, visit a nearby tower...)
Gilbert O'Sullivan and Alone Again Naturally!!!!!!

That is a wrap!  See you next week!


  1. Is it wrong to like Neil Diamond? I always liked Sweet Caroline.

    1. As long as you ignore You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Neil is fine.

  2. Yes you will see me again next week, because I that is who I am

    1. Glad to hear it! I take it the e-mail thingy works?

  3. Chris:
    Sorry to be some of it and forgot to come back and finish it.
    Good lead-in w/ DDA...never knew what hap[\pened to the perps.

    Always DID like that Youngbloods song..reminds me of high school.
    --An overall GREAT top, TOP ten...
    --TWELVE mil for YMCA? Amazing!
    --(love the guitar in Long Cool Woman, too)

    GO'S hangs
    Got me some "youtubin" to do

    Great ride this week.
    Keep those hits coming up there, brother.

    1. I will tell you this- the other versions of Get Together weren't that good, and the We Five version was in our opinion here downright unlistenable!

  4. I actually saw the cheesy movie that the Village People made at the theater. I loved that song and in junior high had no idea how silly they were.

    1. They made a movie of those idiots? Wow...