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


Friday, September 19, 2014

Time Machine week 22

It's September 19th, 1972.  Tomorrow night, a blast from the past will make one more grab at glory.  37-year old Floyd Patterson, who had lost the heavyweight boxing title after two first round knockouts by Sonny Liston in the mid sixties had worked his way back up to top contender, got beat in 12 rounds by an angry Muhammed Ali who was trying to draw out the suffering, competed in the tournament to replace Ali after his titles were stripped and ended up with a draw and a loss to Jerry Quarry, now was facing Ali one last time.  He would lose that match in seven rounds, writing the final chapter to his career.

Don't worry, m'man... someday it'll be me that don't know when to quit.

And with that, we kick off another trip on Time Machine!  This week, the week in which we hear Lobo's I'd Love You To Want Me and Eric Clapton's Let It Rain for the first time, we will see:  the end of the best selling singles of all time;  the beginning of the top ten of the Top Top Tens; Rick Nelson goes to a Garden Party; and #11 on the "one hit wonder's next hit" list!  Sounds like it could pack a punch!

First off, I noticed a statistical anomaly;  Last week, I mentioned that the two songs first hitting the chart that week were I Am Woman and Something's Wrong With Me.  I happened to notice that each of those songs moved up exactly 2 (two) notches this week- the former to #92, the latter to #98.  Some songs just climb slower than others...

ANNNNNYway, Let's start out by clearing the deck on the biggest selling singles of all time- and we are down to the top three.   At #3...

Bing Crosby, Silent Night, 1935, 30 million.  His first classic Christmas song only went to #7 on first release... but hit #10 in '38, #11 in '41, #22 in '47, first made the UK chart at #8 in '52, and also made the hot 100 in 1957 and 1960.

Candle In The Wind '97, Elton John, 33 million, 1997 (duh!).  The list of sales records on the Diana tribute rewrite are astounding.  The best selling song ever in the USA, UK, Australia, and (get this) Finland.  It spent three YEARS in the Canadian top 20.  It is the only song in the US of A to ever earn a diamond record.  It sold 658,000 in it's first day of release in the UK, and over 8 million in its first year in the US.    At its peak, it was selling at a rate of six records PER SECOND.  But just because you need to have some humility, it was knocked out of the #1 slot in Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Australia by... Aqua's Barbie Girl.

C'mon Barbie, let's go party...

And the biggest selling single of all time (and if this surprises you, go to the back of the class)...

Bing Crosby, White Christmas, 50 million, 1942.  If you thought that Silent Night's returnability was ridiculous, get a load of this: It hit the hot 100 every year from 1942-1962, including 3 trips to #1 ('42, '45, '46), six other trips to the top ten (#3 in '47, #5 in '44, '49,  #6 in '43, '48, and #7 in '55), 8 other trips to the top 40... but didn't chart in the UK until 1977 (#5).


Our latest top 40 has but three new arrivals- but what a set they are!  At #40, up 14 spots, is Rick Nelson and his Stone Canyon Band with Garden Party.  For those who wondered what he was talking about in this song, Rick and the band were playing a '60s revival concert in Madison Square Garden, and the fans didn't like that he was mixing in some of his new, more country-style tunes.  When he began to play Country Honk, a countryfied version of the Stones' Honkey Tonk Women, he was literally booed off the stage ( though some claimed the fans were booing police activity in the back of the Garden).    The one thing I didn't realize prior to today is that the "Mr. Hughes" who "hid in Dylan's shoes, wearing his disguise" was an incognito George Harrison and not the infamous Howard Hughes.  "Hughes" was an alias that Harrison used, and the Dylan's shoes part referred to Harrison's plans- never brought to fruition- at the time to do an album of Dylan covers.

What I don't get, love, is why am I your "walrus?"

Also wanted to mention that the original Stone Canyon Band included Randy Meisner, who would go on to co-found the Eagles (and sing lead on Take It To The Limit) and Tim Brumley, an award winning steel guitarist who started with Buck Owens' Buckaroos and played with the Desert Rose Band in the '90s.

Also coming in this week- at long last- are the Moody Blues with Nights In White Satin, just shy of five years after it was recorded and first released, up 9 spots to #37; and Bill Withers with Use Me, coming in at #36, up 13.

 The big mover within the countdown this week goes up 25 spots to #71- and it belongs to a name you know, Billy Preston.  The song you may not- it is called Slaughter, and was the theme to a blacksploitation film of the same name featuring former NFLer Jim Brown.

The tune is kinda of like a bad remake of Isaac Hayes' Shaft.  I'm not sure if Brown or Preston really wanted this on their resume.

Next up is You Peaked, and we have but two entrants here.  One is the Who with Join Together, which stopped at #28 last week; and Jackson Browne's Rock Me On The Water, which missed the top 40, stopping at #45.


Our next contestant in the "one hit wonder's next hit feature" belongs to a chick I know of better than her big hit.  Sylvia Robinson was the Sylvia in Mickey and Sylvia, who hit with Love Is Strange (#11) in 1956.  She went solo and scored a big hit in 1973 when her song Pillow Talk hit #3.  Virtually the only thing I remember about this song  is that Casey Kasem at first said on his AT 40 show that this Sylvia was the same one who hit with the country crossover Nobody (#15 in '82).

Yeah... not quite the same...
Anyway, her next highest hit came out that same year and peaked at #70.  Now this one, had I heard it, I WOULD have remembered...


And now, we delve into the ten best top tens on my personal list, and the #10 top ten of the Martin Era comes to us from September 4th, 1971.

10- Ain't No Sunshine, Bill Withers.  One of the underrated voices of all time.  Just try to smile during this one.

9- Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Paul McCartney.  I think you all know how I feel about THIS one.

8- Liar, Three Dog Night.  How can you not love a song recorded in a restroom?

7- Signs, Five Man Electrical Band.  Canada strikes again!

6- Go Away Little Girl, Donnie Osmond.  The sappiest song you'll ever love.

5- Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), Marvin Gaye.  Things ain't what they used to be...

4- How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, the Bee Gees.  Their first #1 here.

3- Smiling Faces Sometimes, Undisputed Truth.  In my top ten best names for a group.

2- Spanish Harlem, Aretha Franklin.  It is a tribute to how strong this group is over all that it gets this high with an Aretha song at #2.  (Yep, not a fan.)

And at #1...

John Denver and Take Me Home Country Roads.  My only concern with this song is how he got moonshine tasting "misty".


We are almost to the end of this trip, as you can tell when I say, "Two songs come into the top ten, two go out.  the two droppers are Brandy- 5 to 11- and Hold Your Head Up, 6 to 15".

Bread joins the top ten once again, with Guitar Man climbing a single spot into the leadoff position.

A three notch climb for our other top ten newbie- Chicago's Saturday In The Park at #9.

Somebody didn't take that advice about Messing Around with Jim, because Mr. Croce's song drops a notch to #8.

Three Dog Night bark up three places to #7 with Black And White.

Mac Davis climbs 3 to #6 with Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me.

But Al Green?  He drops from 1 to 5 with I'm Still In Love With You.  Apparently the feeling is growing less mutual.

Gary Glitter continues to worm his way upward, moving from 8 to 4 with Rock And Roll Pt. 2.

Gilbert O'Sullivan is not going quietly into that good night; Alone Again Naturally holds at #3.

The O'Jays climb a pair to runner-up with Back Stabbers.

Which means our new #1... the Hollies with Long Cool Woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is a wrap!  See you at Johnny Appleseed!


  1. I bought 'Days of Future Passed.' I played it and played it and played it.....
    Interesting (yet dull) factoid: That was the only album I owned in: vinyl, cassette, 8-track, and on CD (not at the same time-I'm not THAT nuts). Interestingly (probably not really), 'Nights in White Satin' and 'Tuesday Afternoon' are on my iPod shuffle.

    1. I have Days on CD in the car, along with To Our Children's Children's Children.

  2. Country Roads is the only song I can sing Karaoke.

    1. I used to do karaoke now and again. I found it best to do songs by singers with no real singing talent, like the Stones and Pearl Jam.

  3. Bing Crosby's Christmas album can be heard in my house pretty much 24/7 from the day after Thanksgiving all the way through St. Stephen's Day.

    1. I am embarrassed to say I have been out of the Catholic Church long enough I had to look up when St Stephen's Day was. Even worse, Stephen was my Confirmation name.

  4. Chris:I remember seeing Patterson box on TV...Dad and I always thought he was a GOOD boxer. Ali, though he was one of the WINNINGEST, didn't sit well with us his attitude).

    I figured WHITE CHRISTMAS was a top seller...think I saw the answer on Jeopardy one

    (think it's the first time you mentioned this in charting?) the song (have the LP)

    Jim, Brown in Slaughter...don't make flicks like THAT any more (they do it on our streets for REAL these days...)

    "Misty" Moonshine...perhaps a Canadian "blend?

    Love that Hollies song...WTG, guys!

    Excellent ride this week.

    Keep on rockin' up there, brother!

    1. A few weeks back, I pointed out that Nights' re-entry into the hot hundred was the third try at the top 40... and the one that would succeed.

      Floyd was before my time... though Ali's bum of the month club is well remembered. Wepner, Bugner, Spinks...