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


Friday, September 12, 2014

Time Machine week 21

Today is September 12, 1972- and Treasury Secretary George Schultz has just told IRS chair Johnnie M. Walters to "do nothing".  About what, you say?  Well, the day before, John Dean had come to Walters with a list of (depending on the source) between 490 to 575 people to "check up on"- the famous "enemies list."  This list included some big names- Burt Lancaster, Shirley MacLaine (I'll bet she saw that coming in the stars!) Paul Newman, Herb Alpert, Georgia O'Keefe, Hugh Hefner, makeup king Max Factor, future scandal boy Gary Hart, Pierre Salinger, and Gene Hackman.  It was later found that there was a much smaller friends list- seven names, that included John Wayne and (just to be on the safe side) Billy Graham.

"...and if you wanna get to heaven..."

Welcome to Time Machine for this week- a week in which we first heard one song you can't forget- Helen Reddy's I Am Woman- and one you may not remember- Austin Roberts' Something's Wrong With Me.  On today's show, the Top Top Ten of 1979; a look at the difference between #1s; numbers 4-7 of the best selling singles of all time- and one BIG announcement!  Don't just stand there, hop in!

Why don't we lead off this week with the latest of the "one-hit-wonders' next hits"!  We have staggered up to #12 on my list to a band called the Hondells.  You know them from Little Honda, a song penned by Brian Wilson and Mike Love.  They were a "fake band" at first- studio musicians thrown together with vocalist Chuck Giraud- whom Contemporary Christian fans know from his pioneering CC band Love Song and as the father of one of the members of ZoeGirl.  Glen Campbell was among the musicians in this pseudo-band, but as Little Honda climbed, a real band had to be assembled.  This band would go on (after Little Honda hit #9 in 1964) to have a second hit with a Loving Spoonful tune.  The success wasn't so great- #52 two years later- but once again I think it by far the better song:

How 'bout you?

The top 40 had 7 new members this week!  Arlo Guthrie chugges The City Of New Orleans up 10 spots to #40; Gallery followed up their big hit Nice To Be With You with the song at #39- I Believe In Music, up 6.  Rod Stewart moves ahead 14 spots to #37 with You Wear It Well.  He narrowly missed making a 4-way tie for the chart's biggest mover- a title eventually won this week by the latest by the Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose, Don't Ever Be Lonely (A Poor Little Fool Like Me), which went up 16 spots to #59.

Millie Jackson is next with her single My Man, A Sweet Man rising 5 to #36; then it's Uriah Heap with one of my favorite "classic rock" tunes, Easy Livin', up 9 to #34.  Donny Osmond was another one of those 14-notch climbers, landing at #33 with Why, a former #1 for Frankie Avalon.  But the high debut, up 13, belongs to the King- Elvis at #31 with Burning Love.

Thank you... thank you very much...

One of the things I noticed this week about our #1 coming up, is this is one of several songs that Cashbox put on top but not Billboard.  From the beginning of 1972 to this week, the two charts matched 22 times, while mis-matching 15 including this week.  So it made me curious about what the charts in cities around the country were saying- and five charts had 5 different #1s this week, none of them a match to CB or BB!  In LA, the top song was Three Dog Night's Black And White, with CB's numero uno nowhere in sight.  On WLS in Chicago, Brandy was on top (with the CB #1 at #2), while Windy City competitor WCFL had You Don't Mess Around With Jim (with the CB #1 at #9).  Detroit's CKLW had had the CB #1 peak at #8- a month and a half ago- and My Ding-A-Ling was at the top this week.  Finally in Pittsburgh, Argent's Hold Your Head Up was on top, and the CB #1 was at 17 and dropping.  Billboard had still another song at #1- the former CB top dog, Alone Again Naturally- and CB?  Stay tuned.  (Or, if you have a good memory, take a guess! After all, we have just eliminated half of this week's top ten!)


And now, the last Top Top Ten before we start the Top Ten Top Top Tens (Which will be henceforth referred to as the "5T top ten"- from the week of ... well, by golly, THIS WEEK in 1979:

10- Sail On, The Commodores.  When this was out, I liked the follow up, Still, better, but this one has more staying power.

9- Lonesome Loser, Little River Band.  I love LRB, but this song always makes me think of a diet commercial.

8- I'll Never Love This Way Again, Dionne Warwicke.  Good tune, not one of her best to me.

7- The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band.  Fire on the mountain, run boys run!

6- Don't Bring Me Down, ELO.  Of all the great songs of theirs that I truly love THIS ONE was their biggest hit??  WTH is "Grooos"?

5- Lead Me On, Maxine Nightingale.  A pretty song.

4- Sad Eyes, Robert John.  This song has faded a bit for me over the years.  But you knew it was going to hit the top from first listen.  At least we did.

3- After The Love Is Gone, Earth Wind And Fire.  They were as good at ballads as they were at funk.

2- Good Times, Chic.  Never much cared for the disco kings back then, but at least I could listen to this one (unlike Le Freak).

Annnnd the top song that week....

1- My Sharona, The Knack.  After disco at the top 26 weeks out of the 32 that year so far, it was TIME for some rock and roll!

Next week, we begin the 5T top ten with the top top ten from 1971!


Our You Peaked list is four members long this week.  Nilsson's Coconut stopped at 12 last week; Sailcat's Motorcycle Mama parked at 19.  The Jacksons stopped at 15 with Looking Through The Windows; and The Staple Singers' This World topped out at #36.


Time now for the penultimate chapter of the biggest selling singles of all time!  Next week you'll get to see the top three- and two of them belong to one act!  But this week, we still have seven through four:

Baccara- Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie, 1977, 16 million.  To American ears, this may sound like the lamest disco song in history (at least that wasn't INTENDED to sound lame, like Dancin' Johnson).  And in Italy and New Zealand too, where it charted at #30 and #33, respectively (and didn't chart here.)  But eleven other nations put these two Spanish ladies at #1.

The Ink Spots, If I Didn't Care, 1939, 19 million.  Written by an up-and-coming songwriter named Jack Lawrence, he sent it in to a music publisher even though his friends all thought it stunk.  In another seven years, he'd write a song for the five year old daughter of his attorney, Linda- who would one day become Mrs. Paul McCartney.  This song, amazingly enough, was not among the Spots' 6 chart toppers, peaking at #2.

We Are The World, USA For Africa, 1985, 20 million.  Organized by Harry Belafonte, written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson (mostly Michael, says LaToya) seven weeks after the release of Band-Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas.  Many are the stories about the recording, for example:  Stevie Wonder greeting everyone at the studio door, threatening that non-singers would be driven home by himself and Ray Charles ("We just bumped into each other");  Prince getting on a high horse and not showing up (he was supposed to do a mini duet with Michael) and his spot being taken by- and thank God for it- Huey Lewis ("I was just a lucky sonofabitch"); but the best part is a video you can google if you so desire, where at Bob Dylan's request, Stevie helps him learn his part, as LaToya, Richie, Quincy Jones, and Bruce Springsteen lend him moral support.

Rock Around The Clock, Bill Haley and his Comets, 1954, 25 million.  I have told many stories about this song in the past, so let me just give you the new one on me.  This song charted five separate times in the UK- January 1955 (#17); November 1955 (#1); September 1956 (#5); 1968 (#20); and 1974 (#12)- the only non-Christmas song to pull that one off.


You ready for the big announcement?  Here goes:


January 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Well, if nothing else, you have to admit that was big!)


Two new songs in the top ten, two fall out.  The droppers:  Goodbye To Love (7 to 13) and Happiest Girl In The Whole USA (8 to 16).

The toast of LA, Three Dog Night is up 3, notches... to #10 with Black And White.

Mac Davis ambles on into #9, up a pair with Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me.

Also up 2 to #8, Gary Glitter and Rock And Roll Pt 2.

The toast of half of Chicago, Jim Croce's You Don't Mess Around With Jim moves up (you guessed it) 2 spots to #7.

Slipping a spot to #6 is Pittsburgh's finest, Argent's Hold Your Head Up.

The tops of Chi-Town's other half (probably the north siders), Looking Glass falls from the top to #5 with Brandy.

Up 2 (...) to #4, the O'Jays with Back Stabbers.

Gilbert O'Sullivan slips a notch to #3 with Alone Again Naturally.  Don't cry, you still have Billboard.

The Hollies have the highest song without a #1 ranking- Long Cool Woman moves up (yes...) two to #2.

And that long awaited number one song on Cashbox....

Yep, same picture I used last time...
...Al Green with I'm Still In Love With You!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for tuning in, drop back next week, same time!


  1. MY SHARONA!!!! I had the 45 and played the heck out of it. LOL, i'm with you on the gross line in ELO's song. I loved that one too.

    1. My neighbor had Get The Knack. He had to be right there in case it became the fashion.