Today is August 21, 1966. The Beatles, who were wishing they'd just said Never On Sunday, played a midday set at Crosley Field in Cincinnati (because the rains came between them and the opening acts Saturday),flew 341 miles, and then played in Busch Stadium in St Louis that night, in another rainstorm that left them scrambling to keep their equipment dry. It was the final straw for Paul McCartney, who joined John and George in saying no more to touring.
"It rained quite heavily, and they put bits of corrugated iron over the stage, so it felt like the worst little gig we'd ever played at even before we'd started as a band. We were having to worry about the rain getting in the amps and this took us right back to the Cavern days - it was worse than those early days. And I don't even think the house was full.
After the gig I remember us getting in a big, empty steel-lined wagon, like a removal van. There was no furniture in there - nothing. We were sliding around trying to old on to something, and at that moment everyone said, 'Oh, this bloody touring lark - I've had it up to here, man.'
I finally agreed. I'd been trying to say, 'Ah, touring's good and it keeps us sharp. We need touring, and musicians need to play. Keep music live.' I had held on that attitude when there were doubts, but finally I agreed with them."
They only managed 23,000 in attendance that night, and when they ended the tour in San Francisco 8 days later, they played before a less than 60% full house at Candlestick. Perhaps it was the anti-Beatles mood; just days before the St Louis show, protesters from evangelical Christians to the KKK in full regalia protested their two shows in Memphis because of the Lennon "more popular than Jesus" interview earlier in the year. In the early show, someone tossed a cherry bomb at the stage, and all four looked around to see which one of them got shot. Or it might have been the set list- after wading through sets by the Remains, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle, and the Ronettes, you got the Beatles for eleven songs- and neither their latest single release (Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby) nor anything from the just released lp Revolver were played. Out of their 12 number ones to date, they played three (I Feel Fine, Yesterday, and Paperback Writer), along with one b-side and three never released tunes (two of which they didn't like and farmed out to the Hollies and the Stones). Or maybe it was the same reason the Boys often gave for not wanting to tour- their equipment was three guitars, three amps, and a drum kit. Not exactly something that will sound good in an arena half-full of screaming fans.
|At San Fran a few days later|
Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where we have lined up for your reading pleasure: Possibly the most time displaced panel chart we'll ever see; the unknown song, and the places you know the lead singer from; Dantalion's Chariot gives us a ride to the six degrees song; only one song debuts outside the Bottom's Up this week (and it's already been mentioned); and a shuffle ten in which eight acts get their first song on the list (not a record, but certainly a bunch)! So grab a seat, pull up a piece of corrugated, and let's go!
The panel this week consists of: WPTR Albany ("the Big Peter"? Maybe not), WAKR Akron, KRUX Phoenix, KYA San Fran, WPOP Hartford, WSAI Cincinnati, KDWB Minneapolis, WRIT Milwaukee, WLS Chicago, WLOF Orlando, KMEN San Bernardino, and KHB Kansas City. They combined for a whopping 29 different songs- and a lot of the work came from one station that obviously had a Tardis as well, WLOF. The Orlando station had at #5 a song that just joined the charts a week ago and was at #70 (the Sidekicks with Suspicions); their #4 was another newbie and sat at #86 (the Standells with Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White); their number three would finally chart at 112 next week (Left Banke's Walk Away Renee); their number two was the "other" side of a two sided hit, and WLOF was the only one of the five stations charting it that week that considered it the a-side (the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby, coming in at #58); and their number one would not chart on the Cashbox national chart for another FOUR WEEKS- Count Five's Psychotic Reaction. Only three of the other 24 songs the panel named were not yet in the top forty.
Outside of the Count Five, the other songs that got #1 votes without making the panel four were: Sandy Posey's Born A Woman (Cincinnati), Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs' Lil' Red Riding Hood, which just missed (Minneapolis), and the song we will see in just a bit as the unknown song. And now, the panel four:
(Actually it is close to a five- the other half of that Beatles' disc, Yellow Submarine (which debuted at #24 and thus is the debut that missed the Bottom's Up) had fourteen points and the number one from Phoenix- missing out by one #1 vote.)
With 14 points and two #1s (San Francisco and San Bernie), the nation's #6 this week, Donovan's Sunshine Superman.
With 20 points and the #1 from Kansas City, the Happenings with the nation's #8, See You In September.
With 21 points and the #1 from Akron, the aforementioned Bobby Hebb with Sunny, the nation's number 3 song.
And with 23 points and the rest of the #1s, the nation's number one as well... stay tuned!
Now, let's get back to that remaining number one, the unknown song coming to us from the Big Peter in Albany. It was by a band called Myddle Class, and it was called Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long. It only charted here on WPTR, and was an a-la-Count Five loud garage rock sound. The flip side was a Carole King/Gerry Goffin comp called I Happen To Love You, which we'll hear more about in a minute.
The band had started out as the King Bees, but somebody who actually made a dent in the charts took that name, so they changed to the Myddle Class. Playing gigs around Greenwich Village, they were heard by NY Post Columnist Al Aronowitz, who introed them to King and Goffin, who signed a write/produce deal with them. The single was actually (the writer of one fan site believes) one of the G/K comps the Monkees were to get, but they turned it down. Anyway, about this time G/K changed labels, then divorced, then Myddle Class ended up with a label just before the powers in charge were purged, and so no promo, no management, no deal, and no luck. Have a listen to I Happen To Love You - far superior to the a-side IMHO- and see if you think it was a shame:
Anyway, the band soon broke up, but the leader, one David Palmer, was still tied to ABC Records, who needed a vocalist for a hot new band who's leader was unsure of his own vocal abilities- Donald Fagen of Steely Dan. Palmer sang lead on their first (and my favorite) single, Dirty Work, and also sang high harmony on the chorus of Reeling In The Years. After touring for the lp (Can't Buy A Thrill), Fagen finally decided a) that he could sing, and b) they don't need no steenkeeng touring, so David was out in the cold again. But he still was friends with Carole King, and in 1974, Palmer wrote the lyrics to Carole's hit Jazzman. He now works as a digital photographer.
Let's go Bottom's Up!
10- The Temptations are on the way down with Ain't Too Proud To Beg, at 53 after 14 weeks.
9- The previously cited Eleanor Rigby , at 58 in its debut week.
8- Just two weeks into its run, the Kinks with Sunny Afternoon are at 59.
7- The also-mentioned-previously Cyrkle are at 60 on the way down after 14 weeks with Red Rubber Ball. This is one of my son's favorites, and you should have seen him light up the night we did karaoke when he thought someone was singing it- but it turned out to be Bobby Vee's much older Rubber Ball.
6- You cultists out there remember the band Love- and their song 7 And 7 Is, is at 61 after 2 weeks.
5- David Ruffin's classic What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted debuts at 73 this week.
4- The Critters come in at 74 in their third week with Mr Dieingly Sad.
3- The Surfari's Wipeout had returned to the charts after a previous 17 weeks, and were at 80 after three weeks of return. It had hit #2 in '63; it would make #16 in '66.
2- Neil Diamond debuts this week with Cherry Cherry at #88.
And the top bottom?
So once upon a time there was a Brit psychedelic band called Dantalion's Chariot. They didn't last long, but two of their members would land with the last iteration of Eric Burdon and the Animals, and their best songs were combined into a medley on the group's last album, Love Is. One of those members was Andy Summers, whom you would know better later as a member of The Police. He was at the time (or thereabouts) married to a singer named Robin Lane. One of Robin's accomplishments was singing harmony for the song Round And Round on the Neil Young and Crazy Horse lp Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere. Crazy Horse was the band that made the lps big songs Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl In The Sand, and Down By The River so cool. At one point on tour, Crazy Horse was accompanied by arranger/performer Jack Nitzsche on electric piano. He never made it to the studio, as Neil considered his live performance "in the way, tonally". Nitzsche had more success with the first part of his formula, arranging strings and choirs for several acts including the Stones, and notably the strings for Bob Lind's beautiful Elusive Butterfly. That tune was covered on Petula Clark's lp I Couldn't Live Without Your Love, whose title track sat at #9 on Cashbox this week but got bupkis from the panel.
|Well, maybe I could live without the panel's love... what do they know, anyway?|
And that brings us to the Shuffle Ten and the all-rookie first six!
Moon Martin scores the ten spot with his 1979 #30, Rolene.
Speaking of 1979, Bob Welch's hit from that year Precious Love, a #19 hit then, grabs number nine here.
The Temps get a second mention this week, with a song in the BU and their #1 from '71, Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) grabs the eight slot in the S10.
The second hit for A Flock Of Seagulls- the #30 from 1982 Space Age Love Song- is at #7.
Speaking of 1982, Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf is at our #6. It hit #3 back then.
Helen Reddy topped the charts in 1974 with Angie Baby; she grabs #5 on the S10 with it.
Our first multiple of the week belongs to another cut from Odessey And Oracle from the Zombies. This time it is the tune This Will Be Our Year, which was actually the b-side to the lp's first single, A Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)- a song about WWI that record execs figured was "close enough to being a Vietnam song" that it might cash in on the ongoing wave of such tunes. It was not a single-type song, though, and bombed. The b-side is pretty good, though:
Air Supply, which Maxim magazine doesn't approve of, comes in at #3 with their #2 from 1983, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All. Can't listen to nothing but AC/DC and George Thorogood, guys!
Number two is the only other act that has multiple S10 scores this week- the Supremes vol. II with their #37 (deserved better) from 1972, Automatically Sunshine., giving them two S10s.
And at number one? Survey says...
...the Lovin' Spoonful with Summer In The City!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, Shuffle says...
...another mention for the Left Banke with She May Call You Up Tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This cut was a release, but sadly barely scraped 120 in 1967. Deserved MUCH better.
And that be the wrap! Tune in next week when we toddle off to... uhm... 1977!