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


Friday, November 7, 2014

Time Machine week 29

It's November 4th, 1972, and it's election day.  Even with the Watergate mess looming over his head, Richard Nixon whallops George McGovern, with 60+ % of the vote and 520 electoral votes to McGovern's not-quite 38% and 17 electoral votes.  There WAS one more electoral vote... it belonged to Nixon, but the elector decided to cast it for the first presidential candidate of the spanking new Libertarian Party.  The candidate's name was John Hospers, and despite being "3rd in the electoral race", not only did he lose to Nixon and McGovern, but to all of the 7 other candidates running as well, logging a mere 3,674 votes- some 42 million behind the leader.  Among those who beat out Hospers were Gus Hall, the Communist making the first of his 4 presidential runs; Dr. Benjamin Spock; and both ladies running for the Socialist Workers' Party- Linda Jennings, who was only on the ballot in Arizona, and Evelyn Reed, who made the ballot in Wisconsin (big surprise), New York, and that hotbed of semi-communist activity- INDIANA.

The lovely Evelyn Reed- who beat the Libertarian by a factor of roughly 4 times.

Welcome to this week's trip on the Time Machine- the week that gave us our first tastes of Bread's Sweet Surrender, Loggins and Messina's Your Mama Don't Dance, and the remake of the classic Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Brit band Blue Haze.  We are one week from being the #5 Top Top Ten- so this week, you'll be getting the #2 list on the countdown!  Also, we are at #3 on the One Hit Wonder's next hit, and I'll have a couple of surprising stories to throw in as well- including the youngest singers to hit #1 and Ringo's first Beatles' vocal!  So step into the voting boo... er. the Time Machine, and away we go!

Oh, almost forgot a note for you ELO fans like me- this is the week the Move- the band that evolved into ELO- had their only hit on the American chart, as their original of Do Ya (which ELO would have a much bigger hit with later) spends its one week at #97.

So, this is a week with but one member of the You Peaked club- that, thankfully, being the Joe Cocker cover of Midnight Rider, which stopped at 31 last week and falls from the top 50.  The top forty, however, had 5 new members this week.  At #40, Donna Fargo comes in with Funny Face.  The country crossover moves up 9 to lead off the 40.  Moving up 19 (tied for the second biggest move within the countdown) to #37 is America's Ventura Highway. Grand Funk Railroad moves 7 spots to #34 with Rock'N'Roll Soul.  Jim Croce's Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) zooms up 12 to #33.  And the high debut is last week's biggest mover- Al Green's You Ought To Be With Me, up 14 to #28.

That biggest mover this week, with a 21-spot climb?  Johnny Rivers' Rockin' Pneumonia (And The Boogie-Woogie Flu), from 77 to #56.

The One Hit Wonder's Next Hit this week is my #3 on the list.  Buffalo Springfield was an amazing supergroup, and if you remember this old TM post, you know it had ties reaching nearly the length and breadth of 70s rock and roll and funk.  Their big hit was, of course, For What It's Worth, which hit #7 in 1967 (whilst I was in kiddiegarden).  Later that year, they released another single off the Buffalo Springfield Again lp.  This one was co-written by Stephen Stills and sung by him;  the co writer was non-BS er David Crosby, and his (possible) background vocals would mark the (possible) first collaberation between the two on vinyl.  This tune hit #44 and deserved better.

So I got thinking of how the Beatles' fiftieth anniversary was such a big deal earlier in the year, and decided to revisit the topic.  This week 50 years ago, they had ZERO songs on the hot 100.  However, they did have songs this week in 1965, '68, and '69.  Most of them you know well-  Yesterday was a week from #1 in '65, falling to #3;  In '68, Hey Jude had just slipped to #2, while Revolution had dropped to #28; and in 1969, Something was stuck at #2 and Come Together was #8 and climbing.  But in 1965, there was one song you might never have heard- and it had an interesting back story.

A few years before, the Shirelles had backed their #1 Will You Love Me Tomorrow with a b-side called Boys.  And in their "Cavern" days- when they were learning their chops in Germany- the Beatles used this as the "drummer's vocal" song for then-drummer Pete Best.   Down the street, another band- Rory Storm and the Hurricanes- were also learning their craft, and a young drummer going by the handle of Ritchey Starkey had this as his "drummer's vocal" as well.  Soon Rory decided that a great gimmick would be to slightly modify Ritchey's nom de guerre to Ringo Starr- and call his vocal "Starr time".  Soon, however, Starr would be replacing Best in the Beatles, and made the easy transition to using this same tune as his drummer's vocal there.

The Fab Four decided to record the song- with surprisingly few gender changes to make it seem "not gay"- on their Please Please Me lp.  It only got to #102 on Billboard, but Cashbox had it at #77, down from a peak of #73, this week in 1965.  It would be Ringo's first Beatles' vocal:

And now, the penultimate top top ten!  It comes to us, as last week's #3 did, from the magic (to me) year 1975- specifically the first week of November.

10- It Only Takes A Minute, Tavares.  The only top ten for the brothers from Cape Verde.

9- Heat Wave, Linda Ronstadt.  My favorite of Linda's covers... oh, except for Tracks Of My Tears.

8- Lady Blue, Leon Russell.  Hmm, and he's in this week's top ten!  Or, at least he was last week...

7- Who Loves You, the Four Seasons.  I can't understand how they didn't have more gems like this in the seventies.

6- Low Rider, War.  Brought to a whole new generation by George Lopez.

5- Miracles, Jefferson Starship.  No matter how you feel about this not having the rock edge of most Starship tunes, this IS their classic.

4- Lyin' Eyes, The Eagles.  My favorite part of this song is the three different ways they sing, "...and your smile..." in the chorus.

3- Games People Play (They Just Can't Stop It), The Spinners.  Can't get no rest... don't know how I work all day...

2- Island Girl, Elton John.  If you had to understand what he was singing the first time, no one would ever like an EJ song.  Here's proof that's not a rule.

Annnnnnnd the #1 on the second best top top ten?

1- Bad Blood, Neil Sedaka.  With Elton John double-dipping on the chorus.  Used to be my most hated song- but that changed over the years.


We have two first timers in this week's top ten, so two fall out.  The droppers are Everybody Plays The Fool (9 to 12) and (sorry, Leon Russell) Tightrope (10 to 20).

Danny O'Keefe squeezes a week into the top ten out of Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues, up a notch to 10.

The Doobies ride up 3 to #9 with Listen To The Music.

And falling 4 spots to #8 is Michael Jackson's Ben.  Now, you remember from last week (you DID ride along last week, right?  RIGHT???) that this song missed #1 here on Cashbox but did make the top on Billboard.  That made Michael Jackson the 3rd youngest- at 14- act with a #1 song.  Ahead of him?  Donny Osmond (for whom Ben was originally intended, but he was on tour), who was not quite 14 when Go Away Little Girl hit the top; and ahead of them, Little Stevie Wonder, who was 13 when Fingertips Pt. 1 hit the top.  Little Eva was the youngest girl at 15 when The Loco-Motion hit the top.

Curtis Mayfield edges up a spot to #7 with Freddie's dead.

Also up one spot is Johnny Nash's I Can See Clearly Now at #6.

The Spinners get another mention at #5, up one with I'll Be Around.

As is Rick Nelson and his band with Garden Party at #4.

Chuck Berry finally slips from the summit to #3 with his Ding-A-Ling.

Elvis burns his way to #2 with Burning Love.

And the new #1 song this week goes to...

... the Moody Blues and Nights In White Satin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's it, polls are now closed!  See you next time!


  1. Buffalo Springfield was really a true supergroup--the members went on to put out so much great material.

    Evelyn Reed? I don't remember her at all. Didn't the Allman Brothers do a song in memory of her? Oh wait, close but no cigar-sized joint.

    Battle of the Bands results post!
    Tossing It Out

    1. And the connections they had to so many others- Loggins and Messina, the Eagles, even Rick James.

    2. I'm thinking technically they could not be labeled a supergroup since the members had their success after the Springfield split....oddly, the band was not a major commercial success, with only the one hit.

      But certainly the bands subsequent "family tree" is pretty darn impressive.

      A lot of people forget J.D. Souther (Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, his solo hit and a string of hits written for others) and Richie Furay (Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, Poco).

  2. Some music I have not heard before so thanks for that

  3. Holy carp! You have do much information Her, I'm slmost dizzy.

    1. I told you to strap in when the Machine starts moving!

  4. Chris:
    That some good diggin' you did on the Beatles' back-story...nicely done.
    Never knew any of that (except that Best was the original drummer for the Beatles)

    GOOD top (top) ten too. Always liked Desperado by Ronstadt (and tracks of my tears)...such the

    AhAAaaaa...the Moody Blues made it with Nights in White Satin (said they would last week...yeah!)
    And with Elvis nipping at their heels, gonna be interesting to see how long they can stay at #1

    Another great ride and another batch of songs to hum along with.

    Keep on Rockin' UP there, brother.

    1. And remember, that next one will be the #5 Top Top Ten!