|Brand new logo by the incredible Bobby G.!|
It's December 5th, 1972 (what? 1972 AGAIN? Yes, but just this week!). In balmy San Diego, with a clear sky and a high of 57F, the campus of San Diego State University had a snowball fight.
|Courtesy SDSU library|
Welcome to week two of the newly nomadic Time Machine- which by the laws of probability has dumped us right back where we were a few weeks back, in 1972. This week, we finally feature the #1 Top Top Ten, and the #1 One-Hit-Wonder's next hit. Also a six degrees that takes us from my favorite all time song to this week's Cashbox #1- which does NOT make our panel's top four this week. All that and a surprising place to find a Contemporary Christian song, coming up.... NOW!
So our random year generator dumped us right back in 1972- in a week where the national charts saw the first appearances of Carly Simon's You're So Vain and John Denver's Rocky Mountain High. I found me the mother of all old chart sites, and so let me introduce this week's panel of music charts:
WAKY, Louisville; KFXD, Boise; KFRC, San Fran; CKLW, Detroit; KHJ, Los Angeles; WRKO, Boston; KROY, Sacramento; WCFL, Chicago; WEED (not Denver but) Rocky Mount, NC; WHB, Kansas City; KSLQ, St. Louis; WWDJ, Hackensack; WIXY, Cleveland; WDGY, Minneapolis; and WDRC, Hartford. This crew of 15 managed to post no fewer than 9 different #1s, including one we mentioned in the last episode of Volume 3- Terry Cashman's American City Suite (Boise). Others who had just one #1 were Chicago's Dialogue (Louisville), It Never Rains In Southern California by Albert Hammond (Minneapolis), and I'm Stone In Love With You by the Stylistics (Cleveland).There were three songs with more than one- and one of them had five! But before we get to that...
I was a bit surprised in researching my "unknown song" this week to find a song from what would one day be called the Contemporary Christian genre- though back then it was known as Jesus Movement. The band in question was called the Second Chapter Of Acts. They were a family group- sisters Annie Herring and Nelly Greissen, and brother Matthew Ward. Produced by Annie's husband Buck, they first got a notice when Pat Boone heard them and arranged for them to record for MGM. There they also became involved with the fledgling Christian career of Eve Of Destruction's Barry McGuire, singing background on his first two Christian lps. Annie would go on to have a successful CCM career after they shut down the trio in 1988.
But in 1972, on the KROY charts, nestled in between It Never Rains In Southern California and The City Of New Orleans at #16, was one of their bigger hits- and if this works the way I think it will, I have a link that will allow you to hear it if you so choose...
Now it's time for the one hit wonder's next hit - the one I chose as the best of the ones I tried. Chicago had a lot of bands that almost but didn't quite make it as big nationally, and one of the biggest of those were the Ides Of March. You remember them from the brass-driven hit Vehicle (you know, "I'm the friendly stranger in the black sedan..."), which made #2 in 1970. But their next biggest hit came before, in 1966. It is quite a different song, and deserved far better than the #42 peak it got.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
So what did our panel like? Well, the current Cashbox #1 was way on down the list- in fact, the biggest hit by our panel was on it's second week of dropping from CB's top spot! The runners-up:
Me And Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul, tied for third. #1 on CLKW, it was at 10 and climbing on CB.
Papa Was A Rolling Stone, the Temptations, was the other one in the tie. The #1 in San Francisco, it was the #3 on CB.
I Am Woman by Helen Reddy was second, and had 2 #1s. She was at #4 on the national chart.
And the panel's #1, with FIVE #1s? Stay tuned...
But one that ISN'T in that spot was the #1 song on CB that week. And what was that? Well, it all starts with ELO.
Strange Magic from the lp Face The Music remains my favorite song of all time. One of the uncredited vocals that made that song so magical for me was a lady by the name of Ellie Greenwich.
And now it is time for the #1 Top Top Ten- my favorite top ten of all the Martin Era! It comes from the first week of March 1976.
10- Love Hurts, Nazareth. Always better with the solo on the album cut. An old Roy Orbison song.
9- Fanny (Be Tender With My Love), the Bee Gees. Just about their last hit before Barry went "all falsetto, all the time".
8- December 1963 (Oh What A Night), the Four Seasons. Amazing that the writer started this out as a song about the days of Prohibition.
7- Dream Weaver, Gary Wright. Some people thought this song corny (including the singer). I still love it.
6- Lonely Nights (Angel Face), the Captain and Tennille. Has me hooked from the bird effects at the beginning.
5- Take It To The Limits, The Eagles. The song that made Eagles Greatest Hits the first vinyl album I ever bought.
4- Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon. The first local chart I ever saw (from Kings Department Store in New Haven) had this one just having passed I Write The Songs for the top rung. That woulda been about the start of February according to CB, though they never had Manilow at the top.
3- Theme From SWAT, Rhythm Heritage. Liked the song, never watched the show.
2- All By Myself, Eric Carmen. I think if he'd been a little more cheerful on that lp, he wouldn't have been so all alone. So mopey.
And the #1 for the Top Top Ten of the Martin Era?
...the Smokey-less Miracles with Love Machine!!!!!!
And that brings us to the nomadic top ten for this week. I have learned that I am going to put a five-week-between rule on the ol' shuffle list, lest we see a different REM (or Middle Of The Road) song each week! But with that said, here's what my list (titled "Scrappy", of course) pulled out for this week's top ten:
At the #10 spot, Sir Tom Jones with a Bacharach/David classic from 1965, What's New Pussycat? Tom had hid #3 on Billboard with that one.
At #9, another #3 from another knighted singer- Olivia Newton-John (O.B.E.) and A Little More Love. From 1978, this was perhaps the last of her songs I could stand (she started doing that Physical garbage soon after).
The Buckinghams, another of those Chicago bands I mentioned before, come in at #8 with Susan, which just missed the national top ten in '68.
Hey, Larry! Todd Rundgren's at #7 with I Saw The Light. It was a #16 earlier in 1972.
Most Genesis fans know them first from Misunderstanding from the lp Duke. But their first top 40 hit is at #6 on our countdown. That one is Follow You, Follow Me, from the 1978 album And Then There Were Three. It peaked at #23; now me, my first exposure was watching them do Robbery Assault And Battery (from 1976's A Trick Of The Tail) on the Midnight Special.
Bread rises (I'll bet you thought I forgot that line, eh?) to the #5 slot this week with Baby I'm-A Want You from 1971. Another song BB peaked at 3 (this week's magic number, apparently).
At #4, a song which has gotten a couple of mentions today- Albert Hammond's It Never Rains In Southern California. It peaked at #5 on BB.
And the First Edition, featuring Kenny Rogers, takes the #3 position with their 1970 hit Something's Burning. Another one that just missed the BB top ten.
At #2, the Rolling Stones, who believe it or not, I had neglected to put on my spotify until Tuesday, with just their second American top 40 hit- 1964's #26 It's All Over Now.
And the number ones this week- Shuffle says:
Jimmy Dean's 1961 #1, Big Bad John! This is one of the 45s us kids got to play all the time- and we did!
And, the panel says:
Johnny Nash with I Can See Clearly Now!!!!!!
Even though it had fallen from 1 to 3 to 8 on Cashbox by this time, and from 1 to 3 on Billboard, it was still #1 in Sacramento, Hartford, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Los Angeles!
Okay, that's a wrap this week!