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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Time Machine week 12

Today, we land on February 13th, 1978... and a big mess in Sydney, Australia.  It seems that a big Commonwealth meeting at the Hilton was interrupted when a bomb planted in (of all places) a garbage dumpster exploded.  It went off when the dumpster was picked up, killing two garbage collectors and a cop.  Accusations ranged from the Australian security forces to the Hare Krishnas;  a guy aligned with a similar group later claimed responsibility, saying that he had been ordered by a fellow Ananda Marga member told him to.  The other member was convicted, then acquitted, and the battle over whether the confessor actually did it or not led him to say, 20 years after the fact, "I guess I was quite unique in the prison system in that I had to keep proving my guilt, whereas everyone else said they were innocent."

Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where I have got one really long story for you, that starts with the unknown song and travels through Star Trek, the Original Series, and ends with who dated who.  In addition, more of the usual stuff, including the Great 90s Countdown, a six degrees starting with Janis Joplin, and the FIRST shuffle top ten since the first one that I didn't bounce anyone for the five week rule!  We'll have a blast!

Since I almost forgot, this was the week that saw the first chart appearances of a plethora of songs, including:  Rod Stewart's Hot Legs; Andrew Gold's Thank You For Being A Friend; Gordon Lightfoot's The Circle Is Small;  Parliament's Flashlight; Jackson Browne's Running On Empty; Styx's Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man); The Trammps' Disco Inferno; Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway's The Closer I Get To You; and Willie and Waylon with a former shuffle top ten, Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.  Whew!

Our panel this week includes KBEQ  Kansas City; WLS Chicago; KTKT Tuscon; WCVS Springfield, IL; WDRC Hartford; CHUM, Toronto; KCPX Salt Lake City;  WABC New York; WYSL Buffalo; CKLW Detroit; WHYN Springfield MA; and KYNO Fresno.  They came up with 15 top five hits, and the biggest rout in Time Machine history thus far!  The winner racked up a 55-25 win and sucked up 10 of the 12 #1s.  The one song that got a #1 but didn't make the final four was Samantha Sang's Emotion, which topped the Tuscon charts.

The other song with a #1 came in fourth- Randy Newman's Short People, which topped the Hartford chart.

Billy Joel claimed #3 with Just The Way You Are.

Andy Gibb grabbed #2 with Love Is Thicker Than Water.

And at #1... stay tuned.


And to start the long story that I have to tell, we go to the unknown song for the week.  Falling from a peak of #16 this week on the CHUM charts is a gentleman named Peter Pringle.  Pringle was an early talent, being a member of the Canadian Opera's children's choir from age 6.  After a few lps, one of which contained the song I'm getting to, he dropped out of music for a time, and wrote a one man play on Noel Coward.  Later, he returned to music as a devotee of an instrument called the theramin... and that's where the long story will branch from... but in the meantime, back to the song.  His tune was called You Really Got Me Needing You Now... which wasn't too bad.  However, it was another, unreleased tune that I sampled that caught my ears... and I'm going to share it with you instead.


Now, back to the story.  I got looking into this theramin, and I clip I listened to sounded a LOT like an electronic version of playing a handsaw.  It was invented by a Russian named Theramin who was researching proximity alarms back in the 30s.  Somehow, Pringle fell in love with it, and his site is littered with clips of different variations.

So anyway, as I read on, I saw a comparison of the instrument to several soprano colatura singers, including one Laulie Jean Norman, best known for singing the wordless vocal on the original Star Trek series theme.

And as I read on, the wiki article said that she had also been the high note on the Tokens' The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  And I said, "Gee, I just did a deal on that, and I don't remember her name..."  So I went back to the earlier post, and found another wiki article claimed the honor for Beauty Contestant Anita Darien..

So what was up?  As I dug, I found the preponderance of evidence was leaning towards Anita... the wiki story, though, seemed to stem from a memorial site to the late Ms. Norman (now Price), and was about the only other site that gave her any claim.  Finally, though I did find a couple more sites that claimed for Laulie- but none of them gave the info, such as the names of the two producers that picked her, that Anita's side had.  I kept up digging, and found a couple of comments on a message board.  First, for Ms. Norman...

On the original Tokens record in 1961, the female soprano part was sung by one of LA's very best session singers, Loulie Jean Norman. I know because I dated two of her three daughters.  So says Bill from Los Angeles.  Then, enter Lisa from Port Jefferson Station, NY...

I know Anita Darian and she definitely sang the soprano. She is a wonderful singer and a great person. She was called in last minute, late at night to do it, and did the part 1,2,3...

So somebody finally got fed up and went to the source... that would be Jim from Rocky River, OH:

I just received an email from Jay Siegel-The Tokens
I asked him who sang the female high part in "Lion"
The original recording in N.Y. 1961. His reply---
Quote: "Anita Darian was the one & ONLY"
The mystery is where does Loulie Jean Norman fit in?

And to that, I'm wondering if Grandma Laulie "gilded the lily" over the years- a little bit of musical Brian Williamsism?  But, we will never know... unless maybe I start dating one of Anita Darien's granddaughters...


And now, onto the G90sC!  This week, we have #s 30 to 26:

30- Vertical Horizon, Everything You Want, 1999.  "I say all the right things at exactly the right times, but I mean nothing to you and I don't know.... why..."  Story of my life.  Hit #1 on the hot 100.

29- Radiohead, Karma Police, 1997.  "This is what you get, when you mess with us..."  #69 pop, 14 on the Alternative charts.

28- Toad The Wet Sprocket, Good Intentions, 1995.

But life gives little relief
Give us reprieve, ohhh
And when everyone is cold as ice
I clinch my fists and close my eyes
Imagining the world outside
But I can see that I'm not blind...

Didn't chart pop, #20 Alt. Deserved a LOT better.

27- Stone Temple Pilots, Tripping On A Hole In A Paper Heart, 1996.  "I am I am, I said I'm not myself, I'm not dead and I'm not for sale..."  #36 on the hot 100, 3, Alt, and a #1 on Mainstream Rock.


26- Gin Blossoms, Allison Road, 1994.  " she filled up her sails... with my wasted breath... each one more wasted than the others, you can bet..."  These guys will be back.  This one hit #11 on the Alt charts.  (Bobby, I think you'd love the GBs!)


Our six degrees, as promised, starts with ol' Pearl... Janis Joplin.

Two of her most recognizable hits, 1971's solo Cry Baby, and 1968's Piece Of My Heart with Big Brother and the Holding company, were penned by one Bert Berns (who had a few other aliases as well).  Bert and Phil Medley (apparently no relation to the Righteous Bro) were also the writers on Twist And Shout, first done by the Isleys, and then by the Beatles.  Twist And Shout was also covered on the lp Green Onions by the legendary Booker T. and the MGs.  A founding member of that group, and an accomplished session man, was guitarist Steve Cropper.  Among his many guitar credits was on a cover of (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Wanna Be Right that you can find on the lp Footloose And Fancy Free, from which came this week's highest song on Cashbox that didn't get a top five vote from the panel... Rod Stewart's You're In My Heart, which sits at #10.


One of those things I've been meaning to do here and keep forgetting is bringing back one of my favorite features- You Peaked!  And with Cashbox actually functional again, I can get away with that.  So, without further doo-doo, here are the songs that hit their peak this week:

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, the disco version by Santa Esmerelda, at #14;

Serpentine Fire by Earth Wind And Fire, which was high on my charts (no thanks to Ft Wayne radio which never played it), at #15:

Lovely Day by Bill Withers (ditto the last comment- I listened to CKLW a lot back then), #23;

Long Way From Home, Foreigner, at #27;

Believe this one or not- Breakdown by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- stuck at #33 for three weeks;

And one that got a lot of AOR play (and a spot on a previous Time Machine, back in volume I), Stillwater's Mindbender at #43.

Mindbender... that's my name....

For the first time since the first week, the shuffle ten didn't bounce anybody for having appeared in the last five weeks... and I have to say this is possibly my favorite list so far!

Blondie's 1979 American chart breakthrough #1, Heart Of Glass, takes the #10 spot this week.

At # 9 is a song you know I really love, if you have followed the last two versions of Time Machine- the 1972 #18 for the Latino band Malo, Suavecito.

At number 8 for their second trip into the shuffle ten, Crosby, Stills and Nash from 1989 with the #9 hit Wasted On The Way.

One of our two unreleased tracks in the shuffle ten comes in at #7.  It is Genesis' second time in the ten, and it is from the lp And Then There Were Three- right after Steve Hackett left.  A Tony Banks comp called Undertow, from 1978.

Amazingly enough, it has taken until now for the Rolling Stones to make the shuffle ten.  They come in at #6 this week with a tune that got banned by many radio stations and only made it to #48 here- 1968's Street Fighting Man.

The song at #5 is probably older than you realize.  Those that know it at all probably remember Donnie and Marie's cover (which I also have around here somewhere), but the song was written as a piano tune in 1933, and was one of Babe Ruth's favorites!  It acquired lyrics in '38, and it was in 1963 that Nino Tempo and April Stevens took it to the top- Deep Purple.

Also returning to the shuffle ten this week is Dionne Warwick- and she brings a Message To Michael with her to #4.  This was a top ten in 1965.

The other unreleased tune comes in at #3- and it is maybe my second favorite song by Todd Rundgren's Utopia.  It was from the lp Adventures In Utopia, and it was the leadoff track- The Road To Utopia.

When day is over and I'm trying to sleep
It comes so easy 'cause I'm not counting sheep
I am counting the smiles on the road to utopia

And I may lose my way again and again
But I'll cross that borderline in the end...

Runner up this week is a #3 hit from 1966, from the Whiskey A Go-Go, and from Johnny Rivers- Secret Agent Man.

And Numero Uno esta semana?

Survey says....

C'mon, dudes, you can't be surprised... The Bee Gees with Staying Alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, shuffle says...

...10cc with I'm Not In Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wiki was kinda all over the board on this one- in various spots claiming it hit 1, 2, and 7!  Long story short, Billboard says, #2 in 1975.

Wow, that was a full post!  Tune in next week for more fun!


  1. Thank you for the memories this post brought to mind

    1. Next week, 1968- and another screwy story!

  2. I know about the potato chips that Peter Pringle invented but I never heard of him otherwise. Quite the renaissance man it appears. The song in the clip is kind of nice but kind of schlocky, but maybe not as much as Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" which probably competes with "Feelings" as the most overdone and over-karaoke'd song ever that was kind of nice at first but then later nauseatingly over heard through tortuous repetition.

    Thumbs up from me for Vertical Horizon. Love that song "Everything You Want" as well as everything else I've heard by them.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Funny that in the research for 10cc, I found that a similar process of voice overdubbing used to create the "ambience" of I'm Not In Love was used on Just The Way You Are... And was it the overplaying that did Feelings in (not for me), or the damnable Gong Show episode?

  3. It was 1978, a time of polyester clothes and terrorist Hare Krishnas.
    It was a simpler, more innocent time.
    I miss it so.
    Well, except for those polyester things.

    1. Oh, come on! Polyester pants held odd smells so well...

  4. Chris:
    A full post indeed...more like a musical 7-course dinner.

    Well done. the Spock meme...!!!

    Gonna checkout that Gin Blossoms song...
    Green Onions is one of those songs that's SO basic, it's timelessly cool.
    That was a really wild 6 degrees, too. I was thinking it would head in another direction.
    Excellent shuffle too...I remember those...all of 'em!

    Johnny Rivers' Secret Agent Man...used to watch the show "Secret Agent" with the late Pat McGoohan, who played a similar (same?) role in the UK version : "Dangerman".

    Another great ride as usual.

    Keep on rockin';up there, brother.

    1. Secret Agent is one of those many shows tucked into childhood Saturday afternoon syndication, with 77 Sunset Strip...