This week we land on Tuesday, January 30th, 1973. And tonight, the band Kiss has its first live performance! It was attended by roughly 10 people at the Popcorn Club in Queens, and they grossed $50 for two sets. Ten years later, they'd almost fill the Nashville arena (9000+) on a tour that was considered a failure and cancelled partway through.
Welcome to Time Machine for the week that saw a TON of debuts- including our first listens to Bread's Aubrey, Four Tops' Ain't No Woman Like The One I Got, Johnny Nash's Stir It Up, Jim Croce's One Less Set Of Footsteps, Dawn's Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree, and Deodato's 2001 (Also Sprach Zarathustra). In 2 months time, five of the six were in the top 16, and in the following month, two of them would top the charts. And that is a story for another time, but this week, we have: a six degrees that kicks off with the unlikely combo of John Cleese and Kermit the Frog; an "unknown song" that I actually knew; and the next episode of the Great Nineties Countdown! So don't call Doctor Love... read on!
Our panel of stations this week include semi-regulars WLS Chicago, WFIL Philadelphia, WAKY Louisville, WDGY Minneapolis, and CLKW Detroit, along with WFRS Big Rapids, MI; WMYQ Miami; KYNO Fresno; WOLF Syracuse; WKWK Wheeling; WHB, Kansas City; and WNCT Greenville, NC. They racked up a fascinating 24 separate tunes amongst the 12 top fives, six of them getting number one votes. Those included Wings and Hi Hi Hi (Big Rapids, who were a bit different...) and the O'Jays' Love Train (Louisville). When I say a bit different, Hi Hi Hi, while ranked #6 on Cashbox, had it's only vote here; #2 Could It Be I'm Falling In Love by the Spinners, while coming in at 13 on CB, had only two other votes; #3 was Dreidel by Don McLean, which sat at #23 on CB and had one other vote; #4 was Valerie Simpson's Silly Wasn't I, which sat at #58 on CB and had just this one vote; and #5 was Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man, which was at #8 on CB, and had but the single vote.
It was a tighter than usual race this week, with just 8 points between #s 1 and 2. This top 4 comes in as:
Lobo with Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend, with one #1 and 11 points, #12 on CB.
Carly Simon's You're So Vain, with 2 #1s and 25 points, sitting at #4 on the national chart.
Stevie Wonder's Superstition at the runner up spot, with 27 points and 2 #1s, and also #2 on Cashbox.
And the number one... coming up.
At this point, let's dive into the Great 90s Countdown for this week! We have up numbers 40-36 this time around, and in those slots:
40- Tom Petty, Into The Great Wide Open, 1991. My son's theme song pretty much, it hit #2 on the MSR chart, though only 92 pop (WTH?)
39- Radiohead, Creep, 1992. This song literally changed the course of my life... maybe I'll tell the story someday, but not here. #34 pop, #2 alternative.
38- Verve Pipe, The Freshmen, 1996. A real heartbreaker about an abortion...
I can't be held responsible
she was touching her face
And I won't be held responsible
she fell in love in the first place
For the life of me
I cannot remember
what made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
for the life of me
I cannot believe we'd ever die for these sins
we were merely freshmen...
It made it to #5 pop and topped the alternative charts.
37- The Lemonheads, Mrs. Robinson, 1992. A great remake that they got TOTALLY sick of playing. #8 Alt, but only 118 on the pop charts.
And at #36...
36- Sheryl Crow, Leaving Las Vegas, 1994. This is one of those songs that has a strange hold on something in me I can't quite name. The video's a hoot, too. #60 pop, but #8 Alt.
My unknown for the week belonged to a song I didn't remember by name. It was at #2 in Miami this week, 5 on WLS, 4 in Philly, and I was shocked to see it at the #3 slot on Cashbox. It was by a fellow Hoosier, a one-hit wonder on the pop chart, though he would hit the R&B top 40 5 times. His name is Timmy Thomas, and while I didn't remember his hit by name, I remembered once I played a bit of it. It's called Why Can't We Live Together. Maestro?
I had to dig clear down to #17 to get to our six degrees victim (that was the highest song the panel hadn't voted on), and for you to get to him, you have to start with John Cleese on the Muppet Show.
Cleese was informed by Kermit that, much against his will, he was going to sing The Impossible Dream- which lead eventually into him singing with a muppet mariachi band. This song also was recorded, not on the Muppet Show, but by Jack Jones, and it was one of his three #1s on the AC chart back in 1965. Another of those #1s, I was surprised to hear, was a pop version of The Race Is On, which George Jones had taken to #3 on the country charts a month or two before. Even more surprising, Alvin and the Chipmunks covered it on their 1965 lp Chipmunks A Go-Go. This lp also had a cover of a tune called I'm A Fool, which Dino, Desi, and Billy (14-y-o Dino Martin, 12-y-o Desi Arnaz, Jr., and 14-y-o Billy Hinsche) took to #17 that year. It was written by Red West, a high school friend of our six degrees victim. Red also co-wrote the song at #17 this week with one Richard Maingera ("22 years old and right out of Slidell)- and that song was Elvis Presley's Separate Ways. Oddly enough, I have the flip side of this single on my spotify- the #16 hit in the UK, Always On My Mind.
And now, the shuffle top ten!
At number ten, you could say it's Jefferson Starship- the lp calls it Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and Jefferson Starship- but it wasn't really officially JS yet. Whatever it was, it was called Ride The Tiger, and it peaked at #84 back in 1974 (which is going to be a theme here...).
The song that refuses to go away, The Loco-Motion, in its Grand Funk Railroad incarnation, comes in at #9 this week. It was a #1 back in- wait for it- 1974.
The second biggest hit off the Cars' 1979 Candy-O album never got released, but got a lot of airplay nonetheless. The last track on the LP, Dangerous Type, sits at #8 this week.
The Moody Blues make their second appearance in the shuffle ten, with The Other Side Of Life. It went #58 pop, 18 on MSR, in 1985.
One more time from 1974, and it's another chart topper- Average White Band's Pick Up The Pieces, at #6 this week.
The Four Tops gets some more love, reaching #5 on the shuffle ten with Baby I Need Your Loving, their debut single from 1964, when it hit #11.
I had to do some soul searching about this one before deciding to allow it the #4 spot this week. You see, I made the rule that an act can only be in the shuffle ten once every five weeks- but I never said anything about the same song by different artists. And after some debate, I decided remakes are cool, and the Captain and Tennille claim the spot with their #1 from 1975, Love Will Keep Us Together- just two weeks after Neil Sedaka hit the same spot with the same song!
The Guess Who make their second trip into the shuffle ten with one I grew up listening to on Best of the Guess Who Volume 2 on 8-track. It's a live recording of Running Back To Saskatoon, and it was top ten in Canada (but #92 here).
Our runner up this week comes to us from the spring of 1976, when Starbuck taught us that Moonlight Feels Right. It peaked back then at #3, but comes in at #2 here.
And the number ones this week? Survey says....
Elton John and Crocodile Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Are you shocked I didn't use the duck picture?) It was the #1 in Philly, Fresno, Wheeling, Syracuse, and Greenville, as well as this week's CB #1.
And, shuffle says...........
....Gerry Rafferty, in his second trip to the shuffle ten from his lp City To City, and Mattie's Rag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A "daddy's home" type song for his daughter, it was released as the flip side of the single Home And Dry, which hit #28 back in '78. If you liked Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clair, this is right up your alley!
Well, that's it for another week! Hope you enjoyed, see you next spin!