Time Lord Chris and companion Scrappy, fresh from acquiring his sonic screwdriver, set down the musical Tardis in December, 26, 1979- just in time to catch the opening of the Concerts For Kampuchea. This was a series of concerts held at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, organized by Paul McCartney and UN SecGen Kurt Waldheim, and intended to raise money for the people of the once and future Cambodia. The nation had nearly been exterminated in 4 years of Khmer Rouge rule, followed by an invasion by Vietnam (that started a year and a day before) which eliminated Pol Pot and his fellow butchers. The first night of concerts featured Queen in a 27-song performance that started with Jailhouse Rock and concluded with a taped version of God Save The Queen. In the following days, acts such as the Clash, the Pretenders, the Who, Elvis Costello, and of course Wings, took the stage. And at the end was a supergroup they called Rockestra- consisting of members of Wings, the Who, Led Zep, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, and the Pretenders.
Welcome to a day-after-Christmas Time Machine- and for a special, we're going to play a little naughty and nice, we connect Wayne Newton (!) with Jefferson Starship, and a top ten that kicks off in 1939! Happy Boxing Day! Welcome to Christmas 1979- a week that saw the debuts of Molly Hatchet's Flirtin' With Disaster, Billy Preston and Syreeta teaming for With You I'm Born Again, and- not surprisingly- Wings with Wonderful Christmastime.
Before we get going, most of you that care have likely heard that we lost another early '70s superstar this week. Joe Cocker, as you might have guessed from last week's post, is not especially a favorite of mine, but he is for some of you. My friend at DiscConnected is one of those, so I asked and he allowed me to link to his blog for a better eulogy than I could have offered.
Our panel, since we are in the dwindling era of 1979, numbers only 8. They would be WFBR Baltimore, KFXM San Bernadino, KYNO Fresno, WHYN Springfield MA, KRLA Los Angeles, WKCI New Haven, Chicago's mighty WLS, and WABC, New York. These eight were, for a change, fairly consistant- with the national chart of the week BEFORE. They managed 5 number ones between them, including Kool and the Gang's Ladies' Night in Baltimore. When it came to the totals, though, Kool kinda slipped; the panel's top 4 include:
At #4, the #1 in Fresno- Barbara Streisand and Donna Summer's power duet No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).
At #3, the top song in New Haven, Michael Jackson's Rock With You.
At #2, the top song in Chicago and New York, Styx with (cringe...) Babe.
And the #1? You know how this works by now.
Now, as I said earlier, the panel was a better match with last week's chart; Babe had fallen out of the top ten to #12 by now on Cashbox, and No More Tears had dropped to 11. So when you look at what's left of the top ten nationally, a lot of them got very little mention by the panel. I can tell you, though, that the CB #1 and the panel's #1 match for a change ( as well as matching in the charts of 4 of our panelists). So I ended up dipping to the CB #6 for our six degrees this week. And that means we start with- Wayne Newton!
|Just because everyone LOVES this picture...|
Wayne's most known hit, though, is probably Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast- but it took a pissed-off woman to get it out there. Rosalie Trombley was the programming director at Detroit's CKLW, when it came to her station- and she was looking for a way to shame her ex-husband into using his visitation rights with their children. She gave it heavy airplay, and it took off from there. Whether deadbeat dad did the same I don't know.
Rosalie also played a hand in the making of Wildflower, the top ten for one hit wonders Skylark. They were a Canadian act, and this was the era of Canadian stations (like CKLW, which was Detroit/Windsor) having to play 40% Canadian content. Wildflower was an lp track at the time, but Rosalie, in trying to hit the quota, played it enough that the record company decided to release it in the Motor City, and it took off from there. One of the members of Skylark was one of those "boy, he shows up everywhere" types, keyboardist, writer, and later producer David Foster. Foster was a co-writer with Toto's Steve Lukather on the Tubes hit Talk To Ya Later. And the Tubes' drummer was a gentleman that went by the name Prairie Prince. Another one of those everywhere types, Prince was also one of the founders of Journey. Shortly thereafter, though, he went (or went back, I forget) to the Tubes, and another well travelled drummer named Ansley Dunbar came in. After leaving Journey, Dunbar hooked up with Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship for the lp Freedom At Point Zero, whose hit single Jane is at #6 on this week's CB chart- but missed out on any panel votes.
Our little known song this week comes to us from our panelists in San Bernadino, who gave us at their #20 a song by one Moon Martin. Moon (real name John, no relation), who got his nom de guerre for the amount of times he worked the moon into his lyrics, is probably best known for penning Robert Palmer's Bad Case Of Loving You. However, I remember he made a couple "also starring" trips to the Memorial Coliseum and had a #30 hit with the rocker Rolene.
He had started, though, with a band he called Southwind, which actually had a couple lps. One of which sounded a lot like Kingston Trio type folk music, the second an interesting (but not much variation) merging of straight country with Stevie Ray Vaughn-ish blues. It was as a solo act we find him today, with a song called No Chance.
For Christmas, I chose the concept of seeing what some of our musical friends said about Christmas- and whether they get something good in their stocking, or coal. Let's see what I gathered:
Alice Cooper- "The two most joyous times of year are Christmas morning and the end of school."
He gets candy. A big fat Milky Way Bar!
Bing Crosby- "Unless we make Christmas a time to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it white." Two candy canes!
Toby Mac- "I think Christmas is about celebration, and come on, on the inside everybody wants to dance." Uhmmm... stick of Juicy Fruit.
Ice Cube- "There's never really been a hood Christmas movie." Nor need there be. One lump.
Kelly Clarkson- "The thing about Christmas is that it almost doesn't matter what mood you're in or what kind of year you've had- it's a fresh start." One York Peppermint patty.
Barry Manilow- "For a Jewish guy, I've recorded a lot of Christmas albums." Way to sound sincere. One lump.
Faith Hill- "We're raising our girls to understand the real meaning of Christmas, and to know it's most important to have Christmas in your heart." She gets a tangerine!
Steven Tyler- "Why not share with the world the way it is and tell them my feelings for my cat, and how I played with the kids and how addicted to Christmastime I am, and the smell of pine needles and hearing my kids laugh." Well, okay, a snifter of Crown Royal for you.
David Hasselhoff- "I don't care why they love me, as long as they love me. I think people respect me because they feel like- I'm kind of like Christmas. I come back every year. You can't get rid of me- I keep coming back." Yeah. Two lumps. Maybe some doggie poop thrown in too.
Clint Black- "I intend to keep writing Christmas songs. There's still a lot more about Christmas that can be captured and feel like old time Christmas." He gets some Christmas nuts and peanut brittle.
John Oates- "The Christmas Genre is a field that is well-plowed." One lump. And a ticket to a Clint Black Christmas show.
And, my favorite, winner of this year's Big Black Lump:
Victor Borge- "Santa has the right idea. Visit people only once a year."
And here comes this week's shuffle top ten!
At #10 is a song that never charted by this particular gentleman- though it hit the top 20 12 times between 1916 and 1939- Benny Goodman's Orchestra with The St. Louis Blues.
At the ninth spot is another band that hit Ft Wayne before they hit the charts, and we heard the song they debuted with on ads for a concert before the djs played it- Foreigner and their 1977 #4, Feels Like The First Time.
While recording Band On The Run, Paul McCartney had a dinner with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman at which Dustin challenged him that he couldn't write a song about "just anything that comes to mind. " Paul picked up a magazine, found an article about the death of painter Pablo Picasso, and wrote and performed a demo for the song at #8- Picasso's Last Words (Drink To My Health) before the night was over. It became a track on that lp.
At #7 is one of my very favorite Genesis songs- Behind The Lines, from the lp Duke. It was the flip side to the single Turn It On Again, which hit #58 in 1980.
One of the favorite lps I've owned on vinyl was Gerry Rafferty's City To City. A slow, sweet ballad on the backside of that lp makes our chart at #6- Whatever's Written In Your Heart. It was released as a limited promo single in the UK in '78.
Johnny Cash's last #1, a notion I refuted until faced with the truth of my failing memory, comes in at #5- 1976's country #1/pop #29 One Piece At A Time.
I once had a dream (I was 21 and lonely) about a girl I never met and the song at #4 on this week's chart- Saved By Zero, a #20 (#9 MSR) hit for the Fixx. Well, I guess I HAD met her, but might as well not have...
At #3 is one of three songs that Neil Young wrote while suffering a 103 degree fever- the other two were the AOR hits Cinnamon Girl and Cowgirl In The Sand. This one, a long jam from the NY and Crazy Horse record Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere, Down By The River.
Another of those Canadian bands I have "back issued" myself into being a fan of, Lighthouse is at #2 from their lp One Fine Morning with Show Me The Way.
And our number ones this week:
...Rupert Holmes and Escape (The Pina Colatta Song)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and, Shuffle says....
... lump of coal recipient Barry Manilow with Even Now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My memory of this song is a bit frustrating. You see, Even Now had just debuted in the top 40 at #28 when my Dad decided we needed to spend a month in Kissimmee, FL with my sister Pete. In that month ( during which I had two radio choices- a "gold records only" station, and an "all Elvis, all the time" station), it went to 22, then 19, then another week at 19, and by the time we got home, it dropped off the charts and Copacabana was on the way up. And I spent my first week back listening to Casey Kasem on Sunday night, going, "But it just debuted at 28...."
That's a wrap! Hope you had a great Christmas!