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


Friday, March 6, 2015

Time Machine week 15

Today, we land at March 8th, 1964.  A day made a bit amusing because of Cassius Clay's decision to join the Nation of Islam and get his name changed to Muhammad Ali.  Now, I'm not chuckling at his choice of religion... just that all the stories about his conversion site Malcolm X as his inspiration to join the group, as he did thousands of others.

What's funny about that?  Malcolm X announced his split form the Nation 2 days later.

No! Wait!  I just GOT here!
Welcome to this week's Time Machine, the week that the Beatles came onto the chart with Twist And Shout, and so did Jan and Dean with Dead Man's Curve.  Obviously, any week in early '64 is going to be a bit Beatle-centric.  Thus not only will the 6 degrees have a lot of Beatles' stuff, but I will also give you the Beatles-free version of this week's chart!  Plus, we have our second three-time shuffle ten member- and it sits at number one!  So, hop in and come out swingin'!

Our groovy bunch of panelists this week are:  WCOL Columbus OH; WIBG Philly;  CFAC from the Great White North (specifically Calgary); WIRL Peoria; WJET Erie PA; KOPR Butte MT; old friends WKNR Detroit, WDRC Hartford, KQV Pittsburgh, KTKT Tuscon, and WLS Chicago; and KMEN San Bernardino.  They collected 21 different songs this week in their top 5s, and had SCREEEEEECH only 3 number ones amongst 12 stations- including Terry Stafford's Suspicion (Detroit- the honor of being the only station that week to have a non-Beatle #1.)  In fact, the number one song this week on the survey came in second in survey history with 7 #1s and 53 points- just missing Staying Alive's 55 point record!  Since there was such a Beatle dominance, I thought I'd also give you the top four if you took all the Beatles' songs OFF the charts- a daunting task as 5 of the 21 tunes belonged to the Fab Four.  Without the Liverpudlians, the chart WOULD have looked like this:

At #4-the Beach Boys with Fun Fun Fun;
At #3- Al Hirt's instrumental Java;
At #2- a special favorite of mine, Diane Renay's Navy Blue;
And at #1, the Four Seasons with Dawn (Go Away), which would have racked up 4 top votes.

But, since the Beatles DO exist, the chart actually looks like this:

At #4, the week's Cashbox #3- Dawn (Go Away);

At #3, the week's CB number four- The Beatles with Please Please Me.

At number 2. the week's CB #1- you-know-who with I Want To Hold Your Hand.

And at number one, the Beatles with... well, I'll tell you later.


The unknown song was a real adventure, both because I really didn't care much for any of the candidates, and because if you were hoping for a crazy story on the order of the last two weeks, we'll all be disappointed.  My first thought was the #3 song in Detroit- a band called the Wailers (or the Fabulous Wailers) with a Duane Eddy-ish instrumental called Tall Cool One- which I found out had previously been released in 1959, peaking at #36, and had been re-released, and would peak in '64 at #38.

My next attempt was the #3 song in Tuscon, a surf-instrumental by a band called the Pyramids, with the double-entendre title of Penetration.  It's claim to fame was being the last charting surfer instrumental.  Their claim to fame was their appearance in a movie called Bikini Beach, where they were the back up band for Little Stevie Wonder, as well as a performance on their own in which they started with Beatle-style wigs on, and ended up taking them off to reveal shaved heads.

Attempt number three was from a name from last week's 6 degrees, Jody Miller.  She was at #4 in Tuscon (troublemakers!) with her first charting hit, He Walks Like A Man, which peaked at #66.  All of which left me with the nephew of Bing Crosby, Chris Crosby.  (one site that even had an interview with him said he was the "nephew and grandson" of Bing, which would be a pretty neat trick).  He stopped at #55 with this one, which was the #4 (on the Beatle-less chart) in Calgary.

Apparently his career stalled when his concept of his career (folk singer) didn't mesh with the record company's (the next Bing).


And now, the Great Nineties Countdown!  This week, we are up to songs 15-11!

15- Lisa Loeb, Stay (I Missed You).  Another of those songs that brings tears at the mere mention.  A #1 hit in 1994. said, "You caught me 'cause you want me and one day you'll let me go."
"you try to give away a keeper, or keep me 'cause you know you're just so scared to lose...

and you say, "stay...."

14- Counting Crows, Anna Begins.  An unreleased track from August and Everything After (1993), and the first of FOUR hits by these guys the rest of the way.

It seems like I should say "as long as this is love..."
But it's not all that easy so maybe I should just
snap her up in a butterfly net-
Pin her down on a photograph album
I am not worried
I've done this sort of thing before

But then I start to think about the consequences
Because I don't get no sleep in a quiet room and...
The time when kindness falls like rain
It washes me away and Anna begins change my mind

13- Hole, Doll Parts.  Courtney Love's band comes in with this #4 alternative (#58 pop) hit from 1994.

I want to be the girl with the most cake
He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
I fake it so real I am beyond fake
And someday you will ache like I ache
And someday you will ache like I ache
Someday you will ache like I ache...

12- REM, The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight.   It peaked at #24 alternative in 1993, an forever holds a place in my heart from the days that that bar across from Harvester Park was still The Coach Room...

The cat in the hat came back, wrecked a lot of havoc on the way
Always had a smile and a reason to pretend
But their world has flat backgrounds and little need to sleep but to dream
The sidewinder sleeps on his back...

11- Counting Crows, Einstein On The Beach.  A demo never intended for release, it hit #1 alternative in 1994.

Einstein's down on the beach staring into the sand
Cause everything he believes in is shattered
What you fear in the night in the day comes to call anyway-ay
We all get burned as:
One more sun comes sliding down the sky
One more shadow leans against the wall
The world begins to disappear
The worst things come from inside here
And all the king's men reappear
For an eggman, on and off the wall
Who'll never be together again....


Which brings us to a Beatle-esque 6 degrees that starts with... who else.

Two weeks from now, Can't Buy Me Love will debut on the hot 100 at #21.  The b-side of this tune was called You Can't Do That.  This song was covered by Harry Nilsson on his second lp, Pandemonium Side Show.  He also covered another Beatles tune, She's Leaving Home, on it.  The Beatles' original, from Sgt. Pepper, is the only Beatles' tune arranged by somebody OTHER than George Martin WITH their permission.  George was out for the day, and Paul asked Mike Leander to do it.  Leander made a bigger name for himself as the right hand man of former glam star and convicted pedophile Gary Glitter.  One song that the pair created was the ironically titled Do You Want To Touch Me, a song which Joan Jett took to #20 in 1982.  It was on her Blackhearts lp Bad Reputation, along with a cover of our victim of the week- a song which the artist recorded in German as (believe it or not) "Goodbye Tony" (which I thought would be a more appropriate Italian version, but...).  That song was Lesley Gore's You Don't Own Me, which sat at #8 but got no panel votes...not even on the Beatle-less chart.


And that brings us to the shuffle ten.

At #10, the lovely Natalie Merchant, with her #10 hit from 1995, Carnival.

Eddie Money gets his second trip into the shuffle ten with his one single from the flop album Where's The Party- which made it to 53 pop and 19 MSR- The Big Crash.

Kenny Rogers pushes into the ten solo for the first time (he was in once before with the First Edition) with a #1 country and #3 pop from 1981- I Don't Need You.

At number 7 is the best B-side (that didn't become an a-side) in history (for me)- Boz Scaggs with the original version of We're All Alone.  From Silk Degrees, it was the b-side of the #11 Lido Shuffle in 1977.

Bill Haley and His Comets make it for the first time with their #7, Shake Rattle And Roll from 1954, coming in at #6.

The Fixx come in for the second time with the first song of theirs I knew- the chilling Stand Or Fall.  In 1982 this song made 76 pop and 7 MSR, and #5 here.

Our #4 arrives from 1968, and it comes from the premier vocal group of the era- The Vogues.  Turn Around, Look At Me peaked at #7.

REM, a fixture on this show lately with the Great 90s Countdown, nails their second trip into the shuffle ten with a song that I sing a lot at break time- the 1985 #22 MSR hit, Driver 8.  "And the train conductor says, take a break, driver 8... driver 8, take a break, we've been on this trip too long...".  They are the #3 this week.

At #2 is a tune I JUST put in the shuffle last week... despite it being 48 years old.  The group, Syndicate Of Sound; the tune, Little Girl; the peak, #8 in 1966.

And, at #1......

Survey says...

... the Beatles and She Loves You (which was #2 nationally)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, shuffle says...

The Guess Who with Bus Rider!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Guess Who were at #9 in week one with Do You Miss Me Darling, and again at #3 five weeks ago with Running Back To Saskatoon.  This week, they become the second three time shuffle ten act with their 1970 b-side of the song that will play at my wake, Share The Land.

And that, gentle friends, is a wrap!


  1. FANTASTIC! I love a musical post, but I'm not clear on the progression. I need more coffee...

    Loved this, Mike. But, then again, I am a huge fan of the Beatles...Harry Nilsson, Counting Crows, things that make Cassius Clay look foolish...

    1. Explain to me your progression question and I'll give you a wonderful, glowing answer. With so many things progressing their way through a typical TM, I'm not sure where I lost you.

      "Things that make Cassius Clay look foolish..." LOL! Actually, It's not the first time that happened to him on Time Machine...

  2. I really liked Diane Renay's "Blue Navy". My sister had her first album and I enjoyed it. Too bad she could never really click with much after that.

    Cassius Clay came across as arrogant, but he was funny which kind of endeared him to me in his early days. However, I lost respect for him when he switched name and affiliation and never have liked him since. Odds are I wouldn't have liked him even if he'd kept his name but now I associate him with un-Americanism.

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

    1. Like many others, Ali was best when jousting with Howard Cosell. I had a Time Machine post a ways back where I featured the single from his lp I Am The Greatest. Not bad, in a karaoke sort of way.

  3. Back in early 90's, my neighbor dragged me and my son along with her and her sons to go to watch the fireworks for the 4th of July in downtown Hartford, CT. I hate big crowds but I went anyway and there on the platform of Constitution Plaza was this tiny little thing with a big guitar and funky glasses....Lisa Loeb! She was cheap back then!

  4. Chris: WIBG on there again.
    That's some IRONY going on w/ Cassius Clay and Malcolm X

    Bikini Beach - OMG, I think I actually SAW hat movie!
    The 90s countdown - sorry, never heard any of those.

    Interesting stuff about The Beatles, too.

    That's a GREAT Boz Scaggs song!
    Very good to see The Guess WHO nail that #1 shuffle spot, too.
    ("Get up in the morning, get on the buss..." - did THAT enough times)

    Sweet ride this week, brother.

    Keep on rockin'; up there.

    1. You'd enjoy August and Everything After. Kinda surprised you don't know Lisa Loeb, though.

    2. Let's just say I know OF her...heh.