Well, it's June 12th, 1970, and we aren't alone way up this high...
...yes, today is the day that Dock Ellis of the Pirates no hit the San Diego Padres while doing acid, or LSD if you prefer.
As Ellis recounted it:
I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the [catcher's] glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters, (One, actually) and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes, I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn't hit hard and never reached me.
Far from a perfect game, Ellis walked 8 Padres, including .151 career hitter Steve Huntz 3 times. But, then again, it was the Padres: in this, their second year, they finished 63-99, and earlier in the year Tom Seaver had a 2-hitter against them, struck out 19, including a record- the last ten in a row.
Landing on the musical surface, welcome to this week's Time Machine, where among other tidbits: Our unknown song this week is named after the one food I have consumed the most of in my life; another week of four panel #1s without making the panel four (including our unknown song); 4 debuts in the Bottom's Up, which includes (though not debuting) our unknown song; we pull from the summer 100 songs that don't have the title in the lyrics, and (because that hadn't got me up to 12 songs from the list) the songs on the summer 100 I don't like, plus (because that STILL didn't do it) Laurie's pick from the list- and the mysterious connection between her and the tune she picked; and a little stat fun about the shuffle ten- including the record-setter at #1! As Leary said, Tune in, turn on, drop out... well, maybe just tune in- see if anything in the music turns you on- and stay away from the door or you might drop out... or is it...
The panel this week consists of WABC New York, WCFL Chicago, WKNR Detroit, WSGN Birmingham, KHJ Los Angeles, KQV Pittsburgh, WAKY Louisville, WRKO Boston, WIXY Cleveland, KYA San Fran, and newbies WNAP Indianapolis and WUDO Lewisburg, PA. They collected 26 different songs, including, as I mentioned, four number ones that didn't make the panel four: White Plains' My Baby Loves Love in Chicago; Ooh, Child by the Five Stairsteps in Detroit; Freda Payne's Band Of Gold in Lewisburg and Cleveland... oh, and that unknown song, which was #1 in Louisville. The panel four, please, Scrappy?
Geez, Dad, you coulda gave me a little warning... Anyway, the envelope, please...
The number four song by the panel is by that pretty lady Susan Jacks and her Pop's famil.. huh? Oh, I mean the Poppy Family, and Which Way You Going, Billy? Dad says it was at #2 nationally, and got panel #1s from New York and Indianapolis. What I want to know is, why didn't Billy just use his nose?
The number three song is one of my favorites! Well, I don't know about that, but the singers are Three Dog Night, so that's a pretty cool name. The song is Mama Told Me Not To Come (gee, my Mama is always telling me not to GO). Dad says this is #92 on the summer 100, and it was "26 with a bullet", whatever that means, on Cashbox (whatever that is), and got #1 votes from Birmingham and Pittsburgh. Such nice people.
The number two song, which lost 22-21, is called Love On A 2-Way Street by the Moments. It was #8 on the national chart, and had the number one votes of Los Angeles and Boston. Dad thinks that's a funny name for a song that was number one on both ends of the country. But I don't get it.
And the number one song, with... huh? I'm DONE? But I wanna know what hit number one!
AHEM. Moving on, How about we get the painful "songs I didn't like on the summer 100" done first? Now, not all of these are "rip the radio out and flush my ears" bad to me, most are just, "I know there's something better playing on the next station" bad. Anyway, in order of appearance:
The Doors, which I really can't stand, come into this twice- with Hello I Love You at #57 from 1968, and Light My Fire, at #34 from 1967.
Aretha Franklin, and you know my feelings about HER, made #46 with Respect from 1967.
And the one song on the list I don't mind if I only hear it, say, once a year- Anita Ward's Ring My Bell, which wiggled it's way to #17, from 1979.
Hey, how'sabout the Bottom's Up?
10- Mac Davis comes in this week at #69 with one of Laurie's favorites, Whoever Finds This, I Love You. It is crawling up the chart in it's seventh week.
9- Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In The Sky is on its way down after 17 weeks, popping in at #70.
8- Robin McNamara's bubble-gummy Lay A Little Lovin' On Me sits at #72 after 4 weeks.
7- Alive And Kicking with their Joplin sound alike, Tighter, Tighter, is at 77 in their third week.
6- Eric Burdon and War are at #80 with Spill The Wine in its 3rd week.
5- Here's a song we have already seen rests at #70 on the summer 100, but this week in 1970 it rests at 81 in its debut week, the Carpenters with Close To You.
4- HEY! This is the unknown song! Come back in a little bit.
3- The list finishes with 3 debuts. The first is Shocking Blue with Long And Lonesome Road, at #87.
2- At this spot we find the summer 100 #65, Bread with Make It With You, coming in at #89.
And the top bottom?
Ronnie Dyson with If You Let Me Make Love To You (Why Can't I Touch You?), debuting at #98!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, now let's look at the summer 100 songs that don't actually have the title in the lyrics. Of course, some of these are instrumental recordings- or basically instrumentals, like 1963's Fingertips by Little Stevie Wonder at #38. We've already mentioned Mancini's Theme from Romeo and Juliet at #47; Other instrumentals include David Rose's The Stripper, at #68 from 1962, and Mr Acker Bilk's Stranger On The Shore- also from '62, which sits at #87. But there are three songs with legitimate lyrics that don't have the title in them- at least not as printed. The number one from 1971, the Raiders' Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee People) doesn't quite have the title in it:
They took the whole Indian Nation
Locked us on this reservation...
But the other two are clear winners: John Denver at #45 with 1974's Annie's Song, and Kyu Sakamoto at #36 with Sukiyaki from 1963.
Okay, okay, let's get on with the unknown song which got 2 panel #1s and made the Bottom's Up. It's by a band called Crow, who had a bigger hit in 1969 with Evil Woman (Don't You Play Your Games With Me). This time they would peak at #56 with a song named after the one food that is without a doubt the food I have consumed the most of in my life:
Y'know, I never mentioned I have a pretty neat six degrees next, which starts with Harry Nilsson!
The last charting song he had was called Many Rivers To Cross- and it didn't cross many of them, peaking at 109 in 1974. This was from the lp Pussy cats, produced by John Lennon. While working on this, there was a once in history moment on March 28th, 1974. Lennon was in the studio working on some tracks when Stevie Wonder dropped in. He was followed by none other than Paul McCartney, and what followed was the only post-Beatles recording done by Paul and John. It was basically a mess-around jam session that grew to include Lennon singing lead and playing guitar, Paul harmonizing and playing on Ringo Starr's drum kit (Ringo was helping on Pussy Cats but wasn't present), Stevie on the electric piano and singing, Linda McCartney on the organ, Mai Ping (it was during John's "lost weekend" away from Yoko) on tambourine, Nilsson adding vocals, Jesse Ed Davis on guitar, Ed Freeman (a producer who was working with Don McLean in the next studio) on bass, and at saxophone, a man who claims he doesn't really remember the session, one Bobby Keys. The session would be bootlegged extensively until finally released in the past few years as A Toot And A Snore (a reference to John apparently making offers to everyone of his stash of coke).
Keys was a session man who played on the Stones' lp Sticky Fingers, including the solo on Brown Sugar. The flip side of Brown Sugar was a tune called Bitch, and it is claimed that the riff from that song was stolen from our six degrees victim- sitting at #4 nationally but no love from the panel- Rare Earth's Get Ready!
And now, the scandal behind Laurie's at-random pick to fill out the 12 summer 100 songs of this week:
The song: George McRae's Rock Your Baby. 1974, sits at #82 on the summer 100.
ME: "So, tell the audience about your connection with this song!"
LAURIE: "Uhmm... I know it..."
(Note: if you haven't figured it out yet, Laurie's just not very scandalous.)
And now, the shuffle ten- featuring a new record and some stats. In 28 weeks of the ten, 194 acts have made the shuffle ten. There were 105 groups fronted by men, 59 men, 15 women, 12 groups fronted by women, and three acts that varied in gender at the front. There are two acts that have made the list 5 times, another four have made it 4 times, and a dozen have turned the trick three times. But this week, our #1 song marks the longest time between appearances- the act in question hasn't been on since the very first week- 27 weeks between appearances! Let's get at it, shall we?
At number ten, a double sided hit from a Canadian act called the Kings. They had fought their way to #64 on CB back in 1980 when the DJs just played the second half of the combo song, Switchin' To Glide. It dropped for three weeks, then the stations started playing both sides, starting with This Beat Goes On, seguing into Switchin' To Glide. It resumed climbing, and peaked at 50 on CB and 43 on Billboard. But I remember the charts here in Fort Wayne- it was Top Ten.
Donny Osmond cracks the list for the first time at #9 with his chart topper from 1972, Puppy Love.
Better Than Ezra becomes a three-timer with a song that has a lot of meaning for me, from a time that I was trying to hold my marriage together and failing. The song is called This Time Of Year, from their debut lp in 1995.
One of my top 20 from the sixties lands Del Shannon his first trip to the ten at #7- his top ten from 1964, Keep Searching (Follow The Sun).
The Hollies come in at #6 with a song they peaked one notch higher in 1966- Bus Stop.
Hank Williams Jr gets his second on the ten with his country #1 from 1981, All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down at #5. Hard to believe All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight actually came out AFTER this.
Number four is a song I just recently added to the shuffle after perusing old Byrds' lps. This song, a traditional English tune, is roughly based on Homer's The Odyssey, and is from 1966.
At #3 is the b-side of America's big hit A Horse With No Name from 1972- a song that gets a lot of AOR airplay, Sandman.
Runner up this week is another song with a meaning to me- for me, it woke up the 1982 scene and for a brief while gave me hope in music again. That song is Asia's Heat Of The Moment, which hit #4 back then.
And now, Scrappy with the number ones...
|Okay, you wanted the top dogs, here you go!|
The Beatles with The Long And Winding Road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Dad says I grabbed the wrong picture, but what do I know, it's not like I can read or something...)
And, shuffle says, the group with the longest time between shuffle tens is...
... the Doobies with Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That song hit #11 in 1975, and... what? Wrong picture again? It says, "doobies"... oh, Doobie BROTHERS... oops, my bad. (Here, Dad, take the mike!)
Uh, yeah, good job, Boofus! Tune in next week when we go to... 1974!