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


Friday, May 29, 2015

Time Machine week 26

Today, we fly to May 29th, 1976- a nice sunny Saturday for a 1st place showdown between the Cincinnati Reds and LA Dodgers.  The Dodgers had a 2-game lead coming into the series, but the Reds pounded them 9-0 the night before, with George Foster blasting a 3-run homer off reliever Mike Marshall, who gave up 4 runs in 2 innings.  Today, the Reds trailed the visitors 5-3 in the 9th.  Dave Concepcion singled, and the Dodgers took out starter Rick Rhoden and brought in- Mike Marshall.  Mike proceeded to give up a single to Cesar Geronimo, a pinch hit sacrifice bunt to Ed Armbrister, a run-scoring groundout to Pete Rose, a game tying triple to Ken Griffey Sr., and a game winning single to Joe Morgan.  The next day Marshall was nowhere to be seen as the teams split a doubleheader which left the Reds in first by .005, and within a month he would be packing his bags for Atlanta.  The Reds would go on to outpace the Dodgers by 10 games and sweep the Yankees in the World Series.

Yep, another no hard-news day at the Hard News Cafe...

"I'm Ted Koppel, and This... is my lunch..."
Welcome to this week's Time Machine!  This week, we begin doling out the Cashbox 100 biggest hits of summer- but not as a countdown, but scattered throughout the story!  Included in those places are the panel's #1 song, and the shuffle's #9... and they are two different songs by the same act!  I'll be winging the six degrees as I have apparently lost my notes,  (but bookmarked crucial pages!)  Also this week, our first five-timer on the shuffle ten; Bigfoot makes an appearance on (where else?) the unknown song; and another panel runaway!  Climb aboard, and batter  up!


Our panel this week includes WFIL Philly, WABC New York, KERN Bakersfield, KTKT Tuscon, WLS Chicago, CHUM Toronto, WCOL Columbus OH, KKUA, a newbie from Honolulu, CKLW Detroit, WDRC Hartford, WRKO Boston, and WDOV Dover DE.  They only racked up a measley 20 songs, and the winner was by a 43-24 margin!  There were six songs making number one- the top song had six, and the others got spread out, including Shannon, which was top dog (get it, a song about a missing dog, the top dog?) in Toronto, and Gary Wright's Love Is Alive, which was #1 in Columbus.  The top four...

With 18 points and the #1s from New York and Hartford, John Sebastian and Welcome Back.  It was #2 on the national chart.

With 20 points and the #1 from Honolulu, the Sylvers with Boogie Fever, the #12 national hit.

At the runner up spot, with 24 points and the #1 from Bakersfield, the week's #3 nationally, Diana Ross and Love Hangover.

And at the top... I cannot tell you now, but I will tell you it is the #40 song on the top 100 of summer!


Before it ceases to be fresh in my mind, let us do the six degrees, and it starts with Crosby Stills and Nash .

The trio hit #18 in 1982 with Southern Cross, a song that started life in a very different- and for me, local- manner.  Stephen Stills was listening to a tape that contained a song at the time called Seven League Boots.  It was written and recorded by a brother pair from Goshen IN- just under 60 miles from this Tardis' home base, and Stills reworked it with their permission and 50% royalties into Southern Cross.  They were Richard and Mike Curtis, and their claim to fame came when they ran into a pair of young semi-folk singers who'd just left a band called Fritz.  The brothers worked with this couple on their debut lp, and wrote together a song called Blue Letter.  While that song didn't do much on the duo's lp- nor did the young lady of the duo singing backup on Seven League Boots do much for it- but Blue Letter would soon be placed upon a 5X-platinum album, and a song that the duo played live but never recorded would go on to become our six degrees victim.  If you have followed this enough to ask the proper "who"s, here are your answers.  The Duo was Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the lp was the self titled lp from 1975 by Fleetwood Mac, and the song that they didn't record until they joined Fleetwood Mac was Rhiannon, which was # 9 nationally but got no love from the panel.  Not bad for no notes, eh?


How about some Bottom's Up?

And here are the most notable from the bottom of the national chart:

10 is a song that like many, would have rated high on MY summer list, but on the countdown not so much.  charting at 67 in it's third week, Parliament with Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (We Want The Funk).

9- is on its way down after a 23-week run, stopping at 68- Rufus featuring the lovely Chaka Khan with Sweet Thing.

8- Here's another of those songs that should have charted much higher IMHO, but we didn't know that at this point.  Candi Staton's Young Hearts, Run Free was at 72 in week #2.

7- The Carpenters were at 74, on the way down after 14 weeks, with There's A Kind Of Hush.  While this tune didn't make the countdown, Karen and Richard did land exactly one in the hundred- Close To You, which made the list at 70.

6- ABBA is not a band I usually associate with summertime;  however, they debut this week at 76 with Mama Mia.

5- Our next of 3 debuts sits at 77 this week- Queen with You're My Best Friend.

4- One of my all timers was taking its slow time climbing, falling this week at 79 after 4 weeks- Keith Carradine with I'm Easy.

A song I more generally associate with Autumn- though why I don't know- is at number three on the bottoms Up, spending its second week in the charts at #83- Walter Murphy's A Fifth Of Beethoven.

Our lowest debut this week comes from Lou Rawls, with the classic You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, coming in at 86.  This was not a big song for me at the time... but it grew as the years went by.

And the top bottom this week?

Foghat with Fool For The City, at 95 in its second week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our unknown song comes to us, with a little digging, from WFIL, where a former dj there- who had moved on to DC- put some fun on the chart.  His name was Alan "Brother Love" Smith, who was with WFIL from '71-'73.  He and a partner, Jonas "Joe" Cash, started a trade mag for radio stations that was eventually absorbed into the Billboard Empire.  But they also partnered in something not so serious- a song that Cash wrote, and Smith sang as "Bro Love:"

Bigfoot peaked nationally at #57.


While they didn't make this week's chart, 1976 did have 3 songs in the hundred:  The Manhattans' Kiss And Say Goodbye was at #30, and Elton John and Kiki Dee hit #91 with the (vastly overplayed in Fort Wayne) Don't Go Breakin My Heart.

But the idea of Sebastian's Welcome Back (of course, the theme to the TV show Welcome Back Kotter) got me to thinking- are their any other TV songs on the list.  Now, I would have had the Happy Days theme by Pratt and McLain, but CB says, NO.  (Even though it gathered three votes for 5 points this week.)  I do have a tenuous TV connection to one song in the 100, though.  In 1975, a summer replacement game show came on, and I had to look it up to remember the name was Musical Chairs.  Contestants had to guess songs based on live snippets sung by the house band- three young ladies who called themselves Sister Sledge.  I fell in love with their work there, but I must confess I was never as impressed with their less-sweet-and-innocent breakthrough in 1979, which included We Are Family, which made the one hundred at # 23.

Now, movie songs were another story.  Here are the movie songs that made the summer's 100 biggest:

At 61, Frankie Valli and the title tune from Grease.

At 47 Henry Mancini with the runaway instrumental from 1969, the Love Theme From Romeo And Juliet.

At 28, The Beatles with their title cut from A Hard Day's Night.

And at 25 Simon and Garfunkel with Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate.

"Time Machine, you're trying to seduce me!"


And now, the shuffle ten.

At #10 is a Hoagy Carmichael composition- a song that never actually charted for the four famous acts that recorded it in 1942- Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra- and Glenn Miller, whose version makes the ten. The song, The Lamplighter's Serenade.

At #9, here is your big clue to the #1 on the panel list.  Remember: " Included in those places are the panel's #1 song, and the shuffle's #9... and they are two different songs by the same act!"  Well, at #9 we have the number 77 song on the summer 100- McCartney and Wings with Band On The Run.

Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle wrote and first recorded a song that by Art Garfunkel is one of my favorites- Breakaway.  Before that, though, they were members of the band McGuinness Flint, which hit #2 in the UK, #5 in Ireland, #35 on CB, #47 on Billboard, and #8 on the shuffle ten- with When I'm Dead And Gone.

As if in honor of John Sebastian making the Panel Four, the Lovin' Spoonful make #7 on the shuffle ten with their #2 hit from 1966, Daydream.

Number six is from our first five timer on the shuffle ten.  That band is Genesis, and this song, from Nursery Cryme, is Phil Collins' first lead vocal with the group.

The song at #5 was a funny story, part of which was told on a previous Time Machine.  The act known as Tin Tin had only written the verses, no chorus, when they were called to the studio to record- Maurice Gibb was there and ready to produce them!  So they did the song with no chorus and only two verses:

Toast and marmalade for tea
Sailing ships upon the sea
Aren't lovlier than you
Or the games I see you play

You more lovely than the day
When the sun is in your eyes
I see through your disguise
Or the games I see you play

The band's drum kit had a broken foot pedal, so Steve Kipner had to push it by hand, Maurice played bass with a broken arm, and the wavering, "wobbly" piano sound came as an accident when an engineer (go figure) leaned the wrong way on a tape machine!  And still it is one of my favorites from 1970, when it hit #20 here and was top ten in Australia.

Cyndi Lauper's first #1- not Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, but Time After Time- from 1984 is at #4 this week.

A b-side that made good, John Denver's Calypso hit #2 in 1975- and #3 on the shuffle.

John  Conlee, the man with the Rose Colored Glasses, comes in at #2 with his chart topping country hit from 1983, Common Man:

I'm just a common man, drive a common van
My dog ain't got a pedigree
If I have my say, it gonna stay that way
'Cause high-browed people lose their sanity
And a common man is what I'll be.

And at #1?

Shuffle says....

....that's right, Wings with Silly Love Songs- the #40 on the summer 100!!!!!!!!!

Wings also made it twice more, with My Love hitting our #18, and my favorite (easily top five on my summer chart, should it ever exist), Listen To What The Man Says at #75.  Their four times will be matched by another act- with two of those in the top 12!  Stay tuned to learn the identity of that act- and if you guess in the comments, I may tell you next week!

And Shuffle says....

Climax Blues Band with Couldn't Get It Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another song that would surely be in my summer 100, as it never stopped playing!  But CB says, sorry, your points were too early and too low ( they peaked at #7 on CB, #3 on BB).

And that's a wrap!  Same time next week, I hope!


  1. Hi, Chris! Thanks for flashing us back to 1976. It was a big year for Disco and many classic rock fans hated on it. I liked "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross, especially her seemingly spontaneous giggle in the middle of it. Remember? Candi Staton's "Young Hearts Run Free" is a great example of "Disco that doesn't suck" and will be included in my blog series of the same name. The perfect antidote to that mind numbing Disco rhythm was George Clinton's outrageous songs and stage spectacle with Parliament and "Tear The Roof Off The Sucker" did just that. I never heard that "Bigfoot" record but remember the many sightings of the elusive creature reported in the news around that time. Thanks for the Six Degrees story surrounding "Rhiannon."

    Have a great weekend, Chris!

    1. This might be the time to mention- next stop, 1972!

      I'm thinking I'm going to get a mixed bag of opinions on Bigfoot. I don't think it's too bad... but thats after listening twice. Start multiplying that number and I might be more like Mr. Bird below...

  2. Never heard that "Bigfoot" song before and that's probably a good thing as I'd be happy to never hear it again. But I guess it's a cute novelty number.

    Actually I had a difficult time focusing on this post once you mentioned "A Fifth of Beethoven" as my mind started going back to the summer of 1976 when I worked a short stint on a carnival girlie show. One of the strippers--one of the finest looking women I ever laid eyes on--used that song for her dance. She was so hot, but had no interest in any kind of relationships as she said she had a boyfriend back home. Stripping on the carnival show was her summer job to put her through college where she majored in math. When she wasn't stripping in front of a bunch of drooling goons she was studying math.

    My favorite math problem that she did was a matter of subtraction. When she took away everything, nothing was left other than sheer beauty.

    Now I'm really distracted. I think I need to go do some grocery shopping.

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

    1. Jeez, how come I never saw THAT carnival? The Shriners sure don't do that!

    2. Gosh, the only strippers I ever saw in my neck of the woods looked like Granny Clampett!

    3. You and your Granny! I want a stripper with SOME meat on her bones.... preferably not withered, either!

    4. Actually I guess these gals were not so much strippers in the tradition of burlesque, but sexy dancers who took off their clothes while dancing around on stage.

      One was a young black lady who called herself "Sunshine". Her routine consisted of her dancing with a chair and a hand puppet named "Hungry". When the emcee introduced her act he told the audience that they were going to see how "hungry" that puppet was. Yeah, that puppet seemed pretty hungry most of the time.

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

  3. A man who like Wings can't be all bad (at least not without a lot of work).

    "Couldn't Get It Right" had such a great beat and guitar riff. Classic and ageless...let's request more current air time! Come on, if we all do it, it just might work!!

    Great post, by the way.

    1. I agree, Cherdo! I remember my Bro-in-law asking me more than once, what's the name of their album? (Answer- Gold Plated.) I am a big Paul fan, a bigger Linda fan.

  4. Chris:
    You had me at WFIL (560 AM on the dial).
    That brings back memories all by itself.

    That was a great tie-in w/ CSN and Lindsay and Stevie

    A fifth of Beethoven - always associated that with going clubbing after a long work

    FOGHAT - Fool For the City - still have the vinyl AND cassette
    (actually have a good collection of their music...was a helluva band to see live...TWICE!)

    Mrs. Robinson...we always hear the LP version, but the cut from the SOUNDTRACK is actually a slightly better version (imho).
    Saw the movie several times in a real THEATER, too.
    (I'm a sap for happy endings)

    Lauper's Time After Time was my favorite song of hers as well.

    Although I never bought a CCB album, I did like their tunes...kinda like Molly Hatchet (only have ONE of their LPs)

    Ditto with Foreigner.

    Another very good ride (and it seemed to FLY by too quickly))

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. Knew I could count on you with Foghat!