|Not my first choice of meme... but this IS a family show...|
Welcome to Time Machine for a very busy week. A week that first heard the strains of the Temps' Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Jim Croce's Operator, the Stylistics' I'm Stone In Love With You, Albert Hammonds' It Never Rains In Southern California, America's Ventura Highway, and The Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie-Woogie Flu by Johnny Rivers. This week a special treat- a look back on the songs of Summer '72; the #6 Top Top Ten; the #7 One-Hit-Wonder's next hit; and WTH the Chris Stainton Band is! On yer mark; gisset; GO!
I was thinking at work the other day- not about work, natch, but about the top songs from the Summer we just drifted through. But I didn't want to just do it any old way, so I consulted the charts of the various cities I have access to. I decided to look at the top fives every week of June-July-August- and found that the charts of KHJ Los Angeles, KQV Pittsburgh, WCFL and WLS, Chicago, and CKLW Detroit combined to put a whopping 45 songs in the top five in that time period! By contrast, Cashbox itself posted a mere 18! So let's take a stroll down through the songs that were unique to one chart before we do the rest.
KHJ had uniques in War's Slipping Into Darkness, Derek and the Dominoes' Layla, Chicago's Saturday In The Park, and surprisingly, Tower Of Power's You're Still A Young Man. Their chart seemed to drag behind the others, except in the case of Chicago.
KQV had a couple week run at the top for Love Unlimited's Walking In The Rain With The One I Love, and also was the only one to give Elton John's Rocket Man a top five berth in the time frame. This station seems to always be the most eclectic.
Unlike WLS, who had no uniques, WCFL had a ton- mainly because they were the most volitile of the charts. They had 28 top fives in the frame, with Pittsburgh next at 22. Among their uniques were Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken, Ringo Starr's Back Off Boogaloo, Bread's Diary, Cher's Living In A House Divided, Donny Osmond's Too Young, The Eagles' Take It Easy, America's I Need You, and Procul Harem's Conquistador.
CKLW was always a mishmash of Canadian must-plays and Motown, and they generated quite a few uniques as well. They include The Royal Scots Dragoons' Amazing Grace, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes' I Miss You, this week's Cashbox new #1 (not telling yet!), Joe Simon's Power Of Love, the Four Tops' Nature Planned It, and this week's Cashbox #2 (again, not telling yet!)
Let's pick up on our two other ongoing features- first, the One Hit Wonder's next hit. The Cascades (and yes, they got the name from "a nearby box of dishwashing detergent") had their big hit in 1963 when Rhythm Of The Rain made it to #3. Glen Campbell was among the "Wrecking Crew" band that backed them up on the record, and it was arranged by Perry Botkin of Nadia's Theme fame. Their next single crapped out, though, at #60. And deserved far better.
(Psst- don't the dudes 1st and 3rd from l-r look like young versions of Bart Starr and Roger Staubach? Okay, maybe not...)
And on the Top Top Tens, we are up to 1973, the second week of August in particular, for the sixth best top ten of the Martin Era.
10- Feeling Stronger Every Day, Chicago. Back when the horns were the thing, man!
9- I Believe In You, Johnnie Taylor. I believe I did not remember this one- which means the rest of the group really picks up the slack!
8- Smoke On The Water, Deep Purple. Who doesn't go "Da Da Da, Da DAH-DAH-Da!" with the riff on this one?
7- Yesterday Once More, The Carpenters. One of their many songs that make me cry.
6- Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye. Is this not a better bedroom song than any of the Barry White stuff?
5- Brother Louie, The Stories. Another of those handful of songs I like more with every hearing.
4- Get Down, Gilbert O'Sullivan. This was a song, back in the day, I had a hard time deciding whether I liked it or hated it. Guess which one won?
3- The Morning After, Maureen McGovern. I'd still put the original The Poseidon Adventure in my top 15 movies, I think.
2- Live And Let Die, Wings. Still the BEST Bond theme.
ANNNNNND at #1 that week-
1- Touch Me In The Morning, Diana Ross. Once again, the top dog was a weak link for me.
So if you take the top fives and score them 5-4-3-2-1, three of the cities agreed with what was the song of the summer. And the two that didn't had it at#2 or tied for #2. There were only four songs that were in everybody's top ten- the top three of the summer overall plus Billy Preston's Outa-Space, which was #10 in LA, WCFL, CLKW, and KQV, and #8 on WLS. But before we give you the tops of the tops, let me tease you a little longer by stopping with this factoid. On CLKW, Bill Withers' Lean On Me, came out on top. And in the truly odd WCFL chart, a #1 that had me saying "Seriously?" A song that spent one week each on just two other charts- The Stones' Tumbling Dice.
This week on You Peaked, we have a list of three. Rick Springfield peaked last week at 15 with Speak To The Sky; Neil Diamond's Play Me stopped at 16; and a video we had 2 weeks ago, Gladstone's A Piece Of Paper, topped out at 38.
Now I have an odd story about our biggest mover within the countdown- odd in how slowly it caught fire. The song is Austin Roberts' Something's Wrong With Me, a song I loved back on those bus rides 1/4 mile down the road to St Louis Besancon school (no lie!). A few weeks back, it was bobbing along on what Billboard calls the "bubbling under" charts, at 111, then 108, then another week at 108, then 101, finally cracking the hot 100 the next week at 100. Then it was at 98, then 93- and then it fell backwards all the way to 104. Last week it woke back up and returned to 93, and this week it takes a 16 notch leap- after only covering 18 in the previous 9 weeks- to land at 77 this week.
All right, done messing around. When you combine the points of all five charts, we come up with what I declare the winners in the Song of Summer '72 contest. I'll give you the top ten, but keep in mind, the top three were head and shoulders above the rest- and the top one was in a league of it's own.
10- If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right, Luther Ingram. This was in 3 of the top tens, highest a 6th place tie in Detroit.
9-Where Is The Love, Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway. It was on the top tens in Pittsburgh and Detroit, again highest in Motown at 5th.
8- Outa-Space, Billy Preston. But you probably knew that was coming.
6 tie- Nice To Be With You, Gallery. The first one to also make the CB top ten (which wasn't figured in) at a sixth place tie as well.
6 tie- Too Late To Turn Back Now, Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose. It was as high as the #4 spot on KHJ, and was- surprise surprise- tied for 6 on CB also.
5- School's Out, Alice Cooper. At #3 in both Detroit and Pittsburgh.
4- Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond.7 in LA, 2 on WLS, and #8 for Cashbox.
3- Brandy, Looking Glass. It posted #s 5, 3, 4, 9 (on CKLW and Pittsburgh), and shared 2nd on Cashbox.
2- Lean On Me, Bill Withers. Detroit's top song, it was 2,,3 2, and 2 on the other stations, and tied with Brandy on CB.
And at #1 for LA, WLS, Pittsburgh, and CB, the top song of Summer '72...
Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again Naturally!
Okay, on to the top 40. I Am Woman moves 14 to come in at the #40 slot. Then comes Nilsson with the song Spaceman at 37, up 7. Lobo comes in at 34, also up 7, with I'd Love You To Want Me. And at 33, up 9, is Joe Cocker's version of the Allman Bros hit Midnight Rider. Now, Joe is credited with the Chris Stainton Band, so I had to look into this. Chris was a session keyboardist who basically was the leader of Joe's ever shifting band of musicians back in the day, and afterwards spent a long time with Clapton, and also played the keys on the Who's Quadrophenia lp. In January of '72 Chris put together a band of his own (the CSB), and they also played on Joe's self-named 1972 album. While a website I saw also mentioned the ubiquitous Glen Campbell in this group, he was not on the lp in question. But among those that were, were;
Alan Spenner, who played with Joe at Woodstock, and was also on the original Jesus Christ Superstar disc;
Neil Hubbard, another JCS alumnus who also played with Roxy Music;
Alan White, a drummer who was in the Plastic Ono Band for a time at John Lennon's request, as well as the drummer for Yes for several years;
Jim Keltner, who it seems has been on about 75% of recorded music;
Jim Horn, who has played on songs as varied as Good Vibrations and Frank Sinatra's Strangers In The Night, with the Travelling Wilburys and Jose Feliciano, and spent years with George Harrison;
and back up singer Gloria Jones, whose resume included being the girl pal of T-Rex's Marc Bolan (and driver of the car in which he was killed), singing with Clapton and Leon Russell, and writing the disco hit Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet for the band Gonzales (#26, 1977).
Only one dropper from the top ten this week. That would be Saturday In The Park, which slips fro 6 all the way to #32.
James Brown can Get On The Good Foot, but can't get off that #10 spot.
Former top dog Black And White by Three Dog Night tumbles from 2 all the way to #9. Must have gotten caught in Chicago's backdraft.
The one new entry into the top ten, and it's a biggie- The Moody Blues' Nights In White Satin, up 3 to #8.
Bill Withers climbs a pair here to #7 with Use Me.
Elvis burns up a pair to #6 with Burning Love.
Last week's top dog, this week's #5- Mac Davis, and I guess she didn't get Hooked On him.
The Raspberries continue to try to take their own advice, up a pair to #4 with Go All The way.
Michael Jackson makes a big move from 7 to 3 with Ben.
Chuck Berry plays his way to #2, up a pair, with My Ding-A-Ling.
And the new #1? Why, it's...
...the Main Ingredient with Everybody Plays The Fool!!!!!!
Well, dig this: That's a wrap!