Well, my blurry eyes punched in the wrong co-ordinates, and instead of landing in 1974 (like my randomly generated list told me), I ended up here in December 19, 1971. As I come in for a landing we see that today is the first time that we get to watch two very different shows. One of those was Stanley Kubrick's x-rated version of the novel A Clockwork Orange, coming to a theater near you... and if over the top violence and social collapse isn't your thing, then tune in CBS tonight for the first showing of The Waltons in The Homecoming: A Christmas Story. After having read the wiki on the movie, I know which one I'd watch...
|Good night, Chris-Boy...|
And with that we launch this week's TM foray into 1971, a week that brought us our first listen-to's of John Lennon's Happy Xmas, Elton John's Levon, Led Zep's Black Dog, and T-Rex's Bang A Gong. And on this occasion, we will have for your perusal the Wages Of Sin... well, actually, a band that once was called that; a surprise in the top ten by the last person you would think of covering a Beach Boys song; the 1st- and the one millionth- video played on MTV; and a special guest appearance by- Vivian Vance??? Strap in and let's head down to the club!
|Ethel gets on Time Machine... and doesn't bring me? Uuuuuuugh....|
So before we kick things off, let me introduce you to this week's panel. KCPX in Salt Lake City, leads us off, followed by repeat panelists CKLW Detroit and WLS Chicago; KGGF out of Coffeyville, KS; repeater KHJ from big LA; WAKY Louisville; WSER from Elkton, MD; Toronto's CHUM; WPGC from the nation's capitol; KIMN Denver; KXOX St. Louis; and WAVZ out of New Haven CT. They combined to give us 5 different #1s, including CKLW's Let's Stay Together by Al Green, which just leapt into the national top 40 this very week. However, the results from our panelists weren't nearly as spread out as last weeks'. In fact, the same two songs turned up as 1 or 2 on all but three of the panel's charts. So let's take a look at who the panel liked...
The #4 song from the panel, with the top spot in Elkton and St. Louis, is Three Dog Night and An Old Fashioned Love Song- which was 4 and climbing on the Cashbox national chart.
The #3 song was The Chi-Lites and Have You Seen Her- number one on CHUM- which was charting at #9 nationally.
The #2 song- losing to #1 28-25, with both collecting 4 #1 votes- is Don McLean's American Pie, which jumped from 23 to 11 this week.
And at #1.... stay tuned!
One of the things before we get there is the unknown song for the week, and I had what I thought was a good bunch of candidates- until I realized that at least two of them I had featured on TM before! I still had a handful of good candidates, but I settled on the song that was climbing the Toronto chart and a "pick hit" on New Haven. It was, not surprisingly, by a Canadian band (and we all know about those Canadian bands), and this band had been known briefly as The Wages Of Sin, and at one point was Cat Stevens' band on his 1970 tour. They were called Fludd, and the song that charts this week was their second-biggest (or biggest, depending) hit, called Turned 21. Now when I tried to search Fludd on Billboard, it sent me to a band called Saga, who had a big hit in 1981 with On The Loose (26 on BB, 3 on Mainstream Rock). But, as I dug, none of the band members who formed Saga were with them when Turned 21 hit the charts- and not many of them were there for the band's biggest hit, Cousin Mary:
So which one did you like better? Cousin Mary topped out in Canada at 17, while Turned 21 hit 16 (but all the articles I found described the band as "known for the hit, Cousin Mary"). They became a bit controversial when their plan for the 2nd lp- the Cousin Mary lp- had a picture of the band as flashers, with the wonderful title Cock On. Not surprisingly, the record company frowned on that title (though it would be released WITH that title in the more "permissive" society of 2001), and it was released back then as ...On! Luckily, their songs were better than their sensahuma.
And now we look over at the Cashbox chart, and see that while the panel gave our #2 25 points (based on 5-#1, 4-#2, etc., in the top five), the remaining top ten CBers that didn't make our top 4 gathered only 21 points between the six of them, with three (#5 Theme From Shaft, #7 All I Want Is You, and #10 Scorpio) getting shut out altogether! One of the songs in that group was CB's #1 for the week, and the road to that one starts with Vivian Vance.
You see, Vivian was part of a musical family, and musical neighborhood, and thus it was she stood as godmother back in 1944 for a wee lad newly named John Benson Sebastian. John would grow up to be the leader of the Loving Spoonful, as well as a solo act of his own. One of the records he was on was Stephen Stills' ode to slut-hood, Love The One You're With. He sang back up along with Rita Coolidge and the remainder of Crosby Stills and Nash. Funny that you bring that song up, because Stills came up with the idea for it hanging out with Billy Preston. See, this was one of the keyboard virtuoso's catch phrases, and Stephen had asked him if he could use it in a song, which Billy obviously agreed to. And among the many things that Billy is known for was playing keyboards on the very first song that used a drum machine for a rhythm track and hit #1- the #1 song on CB this week, Sly Stone's Family Affair.
And that brings us to this week's shuffle top ten!
The Fortunes come in at ten with one of my all timers, Here Comes That Rainy-Day Feeling Again, which made #15 earlier in '71.
The Righteous Brothers hit #3 in 1974 (where we were SUPPOSED to land) with our #9 song- Rock And Roll Heaven (a song I just discovered that Climax did first.)
At number eight, from Grease, Olivia Newton-John and Hopelessly Devoted To You, held at #3 back in '78.
At #7 we have a song that I cheated into the One Hit Wonder's next hit a while back- the much better flip side to the actual song I was gonna feature- Shocking Blue and Wild Wind.
Peter and Gordon (not pronounced Gor-dOn) come in at #6 with their chart topper from 1964, A World Without Love.
At #5, one of 2 songs on my shuffle with the title Creep- this one, the one by Stone Temple Pilots, a #53/#12 Alternative hit from 1993.
Think I'll start a fire
Bobby's got a gun
Think you're kinda neat
Then she tells me I'm a creep
Friends don't mean a thing
Guess I'll leave it up to me....
Number four, from the greatest album of all time, Pet Sounds- The Beach Boys with Sloop John B, a #3 hit in 1966.
And I believe I mentioned something about a Beach Boys cover in the top ten- but that's not QUITE the story. Back when I was a baby Christian, a friend was trying to come up with a Christmas present for me, and decided to get music. But what? The lady at the bookstore asked what kind of music I liked. It was the era of Caddyshack, and I'm All Right was all the rage. So my friend said, Kenny Loggins, and the clerk suggested Keith Green's For Those Who Have Ears to Hear. It was a GREAT suggestion- I loved the lp, and was one of many saddened that the Lord took him home so suddenly. From that album, one of its most covered tunes- The Easter Song- comes in at #3.
But, there's more to the story. Because, in my research, I found out that Keith had been performing since he was 8, and when he was 12, Decca was setting him up to be what Donny Osmond would become. The media train never really caught fire, and Keith went into secular obscurity. However, we do have some of the fruits of those labors- a song written by Brian Wilson, with the lead singer of the Hondells on background vocals- one Chuck Girard, later of the Christian band Love Song- and 13 year old Keith Green at the mike:
Anyway, wrapping this up, The Easter Song and the lp came out 1977. And to tie up continuity issues, the lp was given me in Christmas 1981 I believe (so don't be giving me any "but Caddyshack didn't come out till..." grief).
At #2, a song from the Boston lp Walk On... in fact, the title cut, an unreleased gem from 1994.
And at our twin tops of the charts:
... the beautiful Melanie Safka with Brand New Key!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, shuffle says........................
...the Buggles and Video Killed The Radio Star!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This was not only the very first video played on MTV, but also the one millionth! Number one in the UK, Australia, Italy (in fact, their top song of 1980), Austria, France, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ireland- of course in mainstream-saturated America, it only made #40. Deserved FAR better. How ironic that they could now be singing MP3 Killed The Video Star.... Lord, how I miss the old days.
That, Children, is a wrap. Be here one day after Christmas for more fun!