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


Friday, November 14, 2014

Time Machine week 30

It is November 14th, 1972, and the world is gaga over the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 1,000 for the first time.  It would shortly thereafter go in the tank, not reaching that point again till 1983.  Today it's somewhere between 16 and 17,000, and hasn't been below 2,000 in about a quarter-century.  Is there really that much more value in the US economy now than there was then?

Don't ask me, this is a music post, and I think I'd rather hear Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again than the opening bell.

Get it?  Wrap up a financial commentary with The Fortunes?  Ah, well...
Welcome to the week you've been waiting for the week I've been bugging you about, the week we do the number one Top Top Ten  the #5 Top Top Ten as it IS our week's chart!  Also this week, we are at #2 on the One Hit Wonder's Next Hit (and for the second time I cheat a little);  a six degrees that starts off with a busy signal and ropes in the Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, Three Dog Night, and- Les Jelly Rolls???  Welcome to the week in which we first heard this parade of hits:

Jethro Tull's Living In The Past (our unofficial theme song, eh?)
The Raspberries' I Wanna Be With You
Three Dog Night's Pieces Of April
Curtis Mayfield's Superfly Theme
and Stevie Wonder's Superstition!

Music is on the up-tick this week!  Let's buy!


Let me kick things off with the one hit wonder's next hit, and like I said, I cheated a bit here.  The singer: Suzi Quatro, who had a pretty good career in the UK but was virtually unnoticed here until she landed the gig as Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days:

Yep, that got our attention!
She soon had an American hit with Stumblin' In (featuring Chris Norman), which hit #4 in 1978.  That song (which crapped out in the UK at #41) was followed the next year by her next biggest hit here, She's In Love With You, which peaked at #41.  And in fact, the next year she had one sneak up to #44!  But my favorite actually came before the big hit and peaked at #45- thus her fourth biggest hit here. (However it was a far bigger hit in the UK than the other three, with good reason.)  Without further ado, Miss Suzi Quatro:


We had a whopping 8 songs join the top 40 this week.  The first is an instrumental theme by Isaac Hayes for a film called The Man.  The Man starred James Earl Jones who, through a series of events, goes from President Pro Tempore of the US Senate to the Presidency- the first black president, and the first one not elected to the Presidency or Vice Presidency (which eventually happened to Gerald Ford under much different circumstances).

Thank you, Wiki!

The Theme From The Man moves up 5 to #40.  At 38, up 16 spots, the Jackson Five with a song called Corner Of The Sky.  After having to listen to each of these two, which I didn't know, I say, Right On! to Isaac, and WTH happened to youse guys? to the J5.  Climbing 19 to #37 is Johnny Rivers with The Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu (which you can bet I will be using an acronym for in future posts!).  At #36, up a more modest 7, the Stylistics with I'm Stone In Love With You.  At #35, the Osmonds, with Crazy Horses up 11 places.  Up nine to #32, Albert Hammond with one of the all time classics- It Never Rains In Southern California.  Shooting up eighteen spots to #30 is Gilbert O'Sullivan's ballad to his niece, Clair.  And at #21, UP 21, is a "tune" I showed you about three weeks ago- the Delegates with Convention '72.


One of the oddities I noticed as I perused this week's chart was the debut on the hot 100 of the same tune by two different acts.  The song is called You're A Lady, and it came in first by writer/pianist Peter Skellern at 97, and just above him at 96 by Tony Orlando and Dawn.  They then began a siamese-twin climb up the charts:  the next week, it was Skellern at 90 and Dawn at 91; then 85 and 84; then Dawn went back in front 78-79; then 75-76; then Skellern took back the lead at 71-72; then he finally put a little distance on Tony and crew, 67-71, 63-70, and 59-68, before both fell off the charts simultaneously.  Skellern, whose version was backed by The Congregation (who hit the top 30 with Softly Whispering I Love You a few weeks back), was mainly known for writing British TV themes.  Dawn had released this as the lead single from an lp then called Tuneweaving;  in one of two great examples of "A&R men are idiots" on this week's post, the second single was eventually released much later- a song that became such a big hit that they changed the name of the album to promote it:

'Nuff said.


With that many songs going up, we had to have some downward action, and the You Peaked file has 4 songs in it this week.  Arlo Guthrie's City Of New Orleans stopped at a SHAMEFUL 21 (should have been top ten easy);  The Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose stop at 23 with Don't Ever Be Lonely (A Poor Little Fool Like Me); King Floyd's Woman Don't Go Astray peaked at 35, and Wayne Newton... poor, picked on Wayne Newton... stopped at 38 last week with Can't You Hear The Song.

You... you mean that's it?  I'm done?
On the other side of the coin, the biggest mover in the countdown belongs to the Four Tops' Keeper Of The Castle- a song that should be played THROUGHOUT southeast Ft Wayne (hold your ears, Bobby G.)- moving 26 spots up to #68:

 Live it down, there's a lot of us been pushed around
Red, yellow, black, white and brown with a tear of their own
Oh, can't you see while you're pickin' on society
That the leaves on your family tree are callin' you to come home

You're the keeper of the castle, so be a father to your children
The provider of all their daily needs
Like a sovereign Lord protector be their destiny's director
And they'll do well to follow where you lead

Oh, in your head, you don't believe what the good book said
You're gonna strike out now instead, 'cause the world's been unkind
Put through thick and thin whatever shape your heart is in
You only have one next of kin better keep 'em in mind

You're the keeper of the castle, so be a good man to your lady
The creator of the sunshine in her day
Tend the garden that you seeded be a friend when a friend is needed
An' you won't have to look the other way

Live it down, there's a lot of us been pushed around
Red, yellow, black, white and brown with a tear of their own
Oh, can't you see, while you're pickin' on society
That the leaves on your family tree are beggin' you to come on home


Three songs into the top ten (and you'll see why it waited until THEY came in to make it a Top Top Ten), so three fall out.  The droppers are My Ding-A-Ling (dropping fast, as all novelties do, from 3 to 20), Ben (8 to 22), and Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues (sneaking out as it snuck in, from 10 to 11).

And now, the #5 Top Top Ten....

Helen Reddy roars from 13 to 10 with I Am Woman.

The Doobies hold at 9 with Listen To The Music.

Zooming up 8 to the #8 spot, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes with If You Don't Know Me By Now.

Entering the top ten at #7, up four, Lobo and I'd Love You To Want Me.

Moving up one spot to #6, Curtis Mayfield with Freddie's Dead.

And now at #5... a busy signal.  

It beeped over and over in the ear of one Harry Nilsson, and listening to it he put together the song One.  Three Dog Night put that haunting repeated chord on their debut lp (which also ended up having its name changed to the hit single after the fact.  How far after?  Well, the A&R men had released two other songs to little effect- first Nobody, which peaked at 116, then Try A Little Tenderness, which peaked at 29, before Chuck Negron begged them to release One- and it hit #4.)

Try A Little Tenderness, you say?  That song had been written in 1932, and was most recently a hit for Otis Redding in 1968.  And that version became the inspiration for a cover by the French band, Les Jelly Rolls.  This was an odd- and I mean ODD- group.  Their cover of this one -with re-written comedy lyrics- was released as Je Travaille a la Caisse (I Work At The Cash Register).  Their other known singles included a tune called Ces Maudits Personnages (Those Damn Characters), which had a cover of a Beach Boys tune- Without Me (their version, corrupted from the Boys' You're With Me Tonight from the Smile sessions)- as the b-side.  Their other single was a cover of yet another tune, and this time, the single's label jokingly claimed, "This is the original version..."  That label was discovered by some not-too-bright at UK's Record World Magazine in the 1990's who wrote a story that claimed the band that made it a hit had not wrote it at all-  but bought the rights "from an Italian band called the Jelly Roll" (because the record had been issued in Italy prior to the REAL hit's release).

Now, if you've followed me thus far (as I painfully try to hide the identity of the hit in question), let me just add this is a song that took 3 tries on the US chart before making it big... it also was released three times in the UK, hitting #19 in '67, #9 in '72, and #14 in 1979!  That song, our #5 song- and last week's #1- Nights In White Satin by the Moody Blues!

Just to prove I didn't make it all up (like the guy at Record World), here's the cover of the, er.. Les Jelly Rolls' cover.

The Spinners move up a notch to #4 with I'll Be Around.

Climbing one to #3, Rick Nelson and Garden Party.

Johnny Nash (whom I just about left out) jumps 4 spots to #2 with I Can See Clearly Now.

And the new #1 song?

...Elvis and Burning Love!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, the TOP top top ten, and the TOP One Hit Wonder's Next Hit!  See you then!


  1. "Living in the Past" is your theme song? Great choice. In the past, I had brown hair and could drink beer well past midnight.
    Good times, good times.

    1. Me, too. Now I have off-brown/gray hair and couldn't drink more than two beers if I started at midnight. And you'd have to wake me from a 3 hour nap to do that.

  2. Oh what a lovely trip down memory lane

  3. That Wayne Newton photo is downright freaky. Rather than a real person it looks more like a wax figure or a halloween mask. Plastic surgery or a lot of male make-up perhaps?

    My favorite version of "Try a Little Tenderness" was from Sinatra. Redding was good but maybe a little too much shout and soul and not enough tender.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Man, Wayne is gonna hate this blog before I'm done...

      I haven't heard blue eyes do it, but the LJR version sounded a lot like Otis'.

  4. When I first saw that picture of Wayne Newton, the first thing I thought was...Gay Samurai.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that (samurais or otherwise).
    But, I think a psychologist would have a field day with the fact that the first thing I thought was "Gay Samurai."

    1. The views expressed in the comments section do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or it's author. Some settling of contents with handling may occur.

  5. Chris:
    Bights in White Satin ONLY held #1 for ONE week???
    (hard to believe)
    Still, having ELVIS at the top is almost as good.

    Living In the to be MY new theme song, too.
    Hold on, I DID really like Keeper of the Castle...(excellent song of life in many ways) And by the four tops to boot!
    Yeah, they SHOULD broadcast ti down here...along with GET A JOB by the Silhouettes...
    (the locals would never stand for it...too heavy on the VOCALS and not heavy enough on the BASS...!

    Hard to believe City of New Orleans only peaked at 21, too.
    Very catchy song (to me, anyway)

    ANd I should really see THE James Earl Jones and if Mayfield did the title track, it might we worth a watch.

    That Harold Melvin & the that takes me back to some times from another one of those lives.
    Like the LOBO song, as well.

    Another great ride this week.

    Keep on rockin' up there, brother
    (be careful of that snow, too)

    1. 1- Yeah, but it is hard to hold off a hunka hunka Elvis.
      2- HAH! Except the guy in that song was actually looking for a job...
      3-Did sound pretty good to me, as well.
      4- HMATB- me, too.