This week, we open up the door and it's January 16th, 1976- a day which was apparently only notable for two things- the premiere of the Donny and Marie show, and the release of Frampton Comes Alive. That is, if you believe History Orb and Dates In History... but when you check the details, IMDB and Wikipedia tells us that Donnie And Marie premiered one week later, on the 23rd, and Wiki also tells us the Frampton lp was released on the 6th, not the 16th. So what's going on today? Your guess is as good as mine.
|And if you Google images "Donnie and Marie Peter Frampton" you get Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren. Neat, huh?|
Anyway, welcome to this week's Time Machine, a week in which Cashbox had no real notable debuts (other than Rod Stewart's first attempt at This Old Heart Of Mine). This week, we kick off the fifty song extravaganza that is the long-threatened Great Nineties Countdown; a group first mentioned on Time Machine a few years back with a rather unpleasant name; a six degrees that starts with Norro Wilson (?) and ends right where it did last week- with Neil Sedaka! How's he manage that again?
|Let's see that bozo Wayne Newton do THAT!|
So let's kick the party off with our panel for this week! KBEQ, Kansas City; WRKO, Boston- a repeat panelist; KKLS, Rapid City; WIXY, Cleveland; Charleston, SC's WTMA; WGNG Pawtucket; KROY Sacramento (a city I am getting seriously tired of getting busted by spellcheck on); WRAW, Reading PA; WAVZ, our friends in New Haven CT; Sounding like a drug store station, WCVS, Springfield, IL; semi-regulars KIKX, Tuscon; and finally, another semi-regular, CHUM, Toronto. This was a real consensus week, as seven stations had the same #1 (as did Cashbox), and only 5 tunes were #1s out of the 12, including Charleston's pick, Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing. And with 7 #1s, our winner this week was the biggest runaway we've had yet- claiming a 48-26 win over #2! So let's look at the
Fourth, with the #1 vote from Tuscon, The Ohio Payers with Love Rollercoaster...
Third, with the top dog from Pawtucket, Diana Ross with the Theme From Mahogany...
Second, with the #1s from Cleveland and Springfield, Barry Manilow and I Write The Songs...
And the numbero uno... well you know how this works by now.
No, the above picture isn't an editorial comment. It is road apples, which was the name a Cambridge MA band took for itself, the Road Apples. Back on week 23 of the original Time Machine (AKA October 1, 2010), I mentioned this group in passing as they made their debut on the Cashbox Charts that week in 1975. This week in '76, they held the #3 spot in Boston, the #6 slot in Pawtucket, and the #27 position in Reading with this song:
For whatever reason, their career on Cashbox was substantially less than that on Billboard; they would peak this week at 48, while over on BB they were spending a second and last week at #35. Led by a gentleman named Flip Morse (who was still recording as late as 2011), they would make a Partners For The Americas trip to Latin America... but just never catch on from there. If you like old Dr Hook, you'll like this... I hope.
Due to my extreme (re-) tardiness, I am getting the shuffle top ten as I type this... and I'll be darned if Neil Sedaka doesn't show up there, too!
AHEM: As you know, I try to fit the six degrees to the highest charting song on Cashbox for the week that NONE of the panelists had in the top 5. And this week's journey starts with country songwriter Norro Wilson. Norro didn't have scads of luck doing his own tunes - in 1970 he hit his peak on the C&W charts with Do It To Someone You Love at #20, one of only three trips to the Country top 40 in ten charting attempts. But one of his co-writes was Charlie Rich's crossover hit The Most Beautiful Girl In The World. The co-writer with him on that effort was a name we hit on just recently- Billy Sherrill. He had a long partnership with Rich (as well as his more famous partnership with George Jones), and was a producer as well, producing among others (and including the two gentlemen mentioned before) Andy Williams, on an lp titled You Lay So Easy On My Mind. Andy's only hit off that lp was a song called Another Lonely Song, which hit the easy listening charts (and went to #1 country for Tammy Wynette).
Just so you don't think bringing up Mr. Williams is such a stretch, I bring up another song covered by both Charlie Rich and Andy- Since I Fell For You, which Rich took to #10 country in 1975-6. The original hit recording of this song was by a gentleman named Lenny Welch, who took it to #4 in 1963. And Lenny, in 1970, took a number one from the sixties, turning it's fast bubbly pace into a slow ballad, and hit #35 with it. And five years later, the man who originally did that bubbly number one did it the Lenny Welch way... and was at #12 this week in 1976 with it. And that would be... Neil Sedaka... and the song: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. And that's how Neil gets the six degrees two weeks in a row.
And now... THE GREAT 90S COUNTDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I picked out my top 50 songs from the nineties, and I'm gonna share them with you five at a time until we hit
49- Fastball, The Way. One of our favorite sing-along songs of all time. #4 on the pop charts in 98.
48- Blues Traveller, The Run-Around. Our local paper was using this as an example of Alt-rock before it even started playing on the radio. #8 in 1995.
47- Pearl Jam, Last Kiss. I will have to tell you one day about the first time I heard this song. It will likely be on a "reasons not to drink and drive" post. #2 in 1999.
And closing out this week's five...
46- Better Than Ezra, In The Blood. There is no doubt who my favorite 90's act was. These guys come in a very close second.
And that brings us to our finally finished shuffle top ten!
Coming in at #10, one of the many songs inspired by the movie Breakfast At Tiffany's- Bread with Aubrey. It hit 15 in 1973, and is one of my big tear-jerkers, ever since it got woven into a plotline on Guiding Light back in the day.
At number 9, a tune from The Supremes, vol. 2- which I liked so much better than the Diana Ross Supremes- Nathan Jones. It was a #16 peaker in 1971.
Cowboy up at #8- Waylon and Willie with their 1978 crossover (#1 C&W, #42 pop), Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.
At #7, a tune that just missed the top ten on BB, but made it on CB and in Canada- again from 1978, Steely Dan with Peg.
Next, a song from the 90's a song I used to do at karaoke all the time- but just couldn't quite squeeze into the Great 90's Countdown top 50- Bush with a #30 pop/#1 Alt hit from 1995, Comedown. Number #6 on the shuffle this week.
I fell in love with Roseanne Cash when her lp Rhythm And Romance hit the air waves. Her first two hits therefrom, I knew, somehow, were her after but three notes. The first of that pair, her country #1 from 1985, is I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me, and it sits at #5 on the shuffle countdown.
And at #4 is where Mr. Sedaka comes in. His original of the tune popularized by the Captain and Tennille, Love Will Keep Us Together, came up here. It first was released stateside on the 1974 lp Sedaka's Back.
At #3 was the number one song about a month before my birth in 1962 (and the start of the Martin Era), Shelley Fabres and Johnny Angel.
In the runner up song, what would have been my favorite by Tommy James and the Shondells, had I not heard the live version of Getting Together, and that would be Sweet Cherry Wine. It peaked at #7 in 1969.
And that brings us to our #1s! Survey says...
CW McCall and Convoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, shuffle says...
Well shuffle says a song that I first heard very recently on Robin's Battle Of The Bands post from a few weeks back. I fell in love with this song right off the bat, and it takes the top spot as this week's shuffle #1. Ladies and gentlemen...
...Tim McGraw with When The Stars Go Blue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tim hit #4 with this tune in 2006 on the country charts, which not only puts us at 3 country tunes in the shuffle top ten, but also makes it one of the most recent songs on my shuffle, lol! Tune in again next week, kids, as this is a wrap...