We swoop low over August 28th, 1977, a world now without an Elvis for 12 days. The $15 tickets to the show at the Mid South Coliseum in Memphis for tonight were a bone of controversy until 1989. The state of Tennessee won a case against the Presley estate and won ticket holders the right to turn in their tickets for a 310% profit- $43.52 each. However, if you hung on to that ticket it would net you now a 2400% profit- they're selling on e-Bay for $360.
In the mean time, Kiss is performing tonight the last of the concerts that would be recorded on Alive II. Those tickets run you $7.50 then, and now are probably worth..uhh...
Welcome to a game changing Time Machine. I'm going to give you one teaser and one teaser only- this week we have the BEST unknown song (my opinion) ever- and it will change the shuffle ten, possibly forever! Get yer ticket and come along!
This week the panel consists of WYSL Buffalo, KSTT Davenport IA, KTNQ Los Angeles, WRKO Boston, KTKT Tuscon, WCVS Springfield IL, WHYN Springfield MA (just so we have the Springfield market covered...
...WDRC Hartford, WLS Chicago, KGW Portland OR, WCOL Columbus, and old fave CKLW. They racked up 22 different songs- which ain't bad for 1977. They also had seven different #1 votes, including RamJam's Black Betty (the non-PC hit of Detroit and Buffalo), Shaun Cassidy with That's Rock And Roll, (debatable, but held as truth in Boston), Meco's Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band (Tuscon), and ELO's Telephone Line (Columbus, famous for good taste). The point race, however, was a two horse race at 36-35. The panel's top four...
With 13 points, but boned on #1s, the national #5, James Taylor's Handy Man.
With 19 points and the #1s of both Springfields (thus saving me some typing time) and Hartford, Rita Coolidge's cover of the old Jackie Wilson disc, (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, which was sitting at #3 on Cashbox.
The runner up, with the #1s of Davenport and Portland, the national Top Dog, The Emotions with Best Of My Love.
And at the top... stay tuned.
Normally I'd tell you about the unknown song here, but instead today I'm going to tell you what it did- which was to galvanize a plan forming in my head for a while. My Spotify list is a place of constant growth. Many times it is the unknown song itself that gets added. Other times I just go in search of, prowling the old albums of one hit wonders for unheard-of gems. Or a blog friend mentions a song, and that one (or one I found on the way to) gets added. Plus, Spotify has a list of "new releases" every Friday, and "Discover" selections based on your tastes every Monday. All in all, it adds up to a growing list of which the only fair way to judge is to put them on a separate list. And with a growing list, I could almost simulate an old style radio station, complete with a top ten.
Which is what I'm going to try to do. Henceforth- or at least until I decide it's not working out- I'm going to do a semi-live top ten each week, just like the ones Casey Kasem used to know. And the unknown song for this week- which I fell in love with immediately- will be somewhere in it, so you'll see it there in just a bit. Be sure to let me know what you all think of the plan, I'll try to get a video from the bunch in each week- might not be that easy, as 4 of them (you might want to sit down) are actually from THIS YEAR. But in the mean time...
...it's Bottom's Up Time!
10- The oddity that is Brownsville Station was at 70 in its second week with Martian Boogie.
9- On his way down is Waylon Jennings with his huge hit Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love), at 72 after a whopping 19 weeks.
8- Eric Carmen, with some help from the Beach Boys, is at 74 in his debut week with She Did It.
7- The Commodores, not with a ballad this time, but the rowdy Brick House, debuts at 77.
6- More country crossover- this time Crystal Gayle with Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, in its fourth week sitting at 78.
5- The song which I threatened many times to put on Time Machine but never have- Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life, debuting at 79.
4- Firefall's melancholy Just Remember I Love You is at 82 in its third week. A former Martin #1 song back in the day.
3- Here begins the amazing story of Paul Davis and I Go Crazy. It debuts here at 84. On Billboard it would begin a 40 week slow climb to #7... but on CB it would climb to #22 on week 17, drop COMPLETELY out of the top 40 for 4 weeks, re-enter and climb to a peak of #7 in week 31.
2- Marshall Tucker Band comes in here at 87 in week # 2 with Can't You See.
And the top bottom?
...Leif Garrett's cover of Surfin' USA, which was a debut at #88!
(Sorry, Leif, but YOU only get ONE exclamation point...)
We start our six degrees with something I dearly love here on Time Machine- a chance to bash the butthead known as Berry Gordy. Motown was known for their ubiquitous back up band, the Funk Brothers. But when several of them joined with several members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, whom they met when they played on various Motown songs, on a project, Gordy fined each "guilty" Funk Brother $1,000 for moonlighting. The project in question became known as the San Remo Golden Strings- who combined muzak with Motown and put out an lp in 1965. This record had a single, Hungry For Love, go to #27 pop and top five on adult contemporary.
The orchestra found itself on the pop charts in other places, too, notably the huge spoken-word hit by CKLW news director Byron MacGregor, Americans. That stirring record was the biggest hit for Detroit label Westbound Records, who also featured the Detroit Emeralds. They in turn, if you remember your TM history, hit the charts a couple of times, with their biggest on the pop charts being 1972's Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms). James Mitchell, a member of the DEs, had a brother on the band which had the week's biggest national hit that got no panel love- The Floaters' Float On, the #6 on CB this week.
And now, the inaugural top ten this week:
10- This is a song I found from the new release category. It's by a lady into "experimental rock" named Angel Deradoorian, and performs under just her last name. Her first solo lp is called Expanding Flower Planet, and the title track gets my #10 spot.
|"Hey, wow, cool!"|
9- Another recent release hasn't quite cracked the national charts very well, but was the #2 in Australia last week. Adam Lambert, late of American Idol, with the first single from The Original High, and it's called Ghost Town.
8- Dipping back into the past, I was listening to songs by The Cyrkle, who hit the charts with Turn Down Day and last week's BUpper, Red Rubber Ball. I found a tune which was the b-side of a low charting single of theirs called The Visit (She Was There), from the lp Neon from 1967.
7- This one I have to thank Bloggie Mich who commented a week or so back about a band called 16 Horsepower, who did a great cover of CCR's Bad Moon Rising. I began looking into this now-defunct band ( d. 2005) whose music was incompletely described as "alternative country", and on their 1996 album Sackcloth 'n' Ashes I found a haunting look at those who reject salvation. It's called Black Soul Choir, and it ain't a hymn:
No man ever seen the face of my Lord no
Not since he left his skin
He's the one you keep cold on the outside girl, he's At your door let him in
Every man is evil yes and every man's a liar
Unashamed with the wicked tongues singin'
In the black soul choir...
6- Another brand new act I stumbled onto was the supergroup Saint Asonia, made up of members of big Alternative bands like Staind and Finger 11. Their first lp, self titled, has debuted at #1 on the hard rock charts and #29 on the Billboard 200, and their first single is in the top ten alternative. It was not that song that caught me, though, but the last song on the lp- it's called Leaving Minnesota.
Now I'm leaving Minnesota
But I've got nowhere to go
In the middle of self-realization you've lost me along the way
You've lost me along the way...
5- This one came in as new on Spotify (and new to me), but maybe not to a lot of you. In 1968, Elvis was prepping for a big end of the year comeback special on NBC. He wanted something different to close with, and spoke to a songwriter about his angst at the recent murders of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Bobby Kennedy. The writer came up with a song which Col. Tom Parker said "Wasn't Elvis' kind of song." Elvis wanted to have a go, and after recording it said he was never going to do a song or a movie that didn't mean something to him again. The song that made that change in the King was called If I Can Dream, and it made it to #12 on the charts that winter.
Deep in my heart there's a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there's a beckoning candle
And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, right now
Let it come true right now...
4- This one I got clued into by KC's shuffle. Since I got out of listening to alternative, I hadn't heard a lot of really good stuff by bands I used to listen to. One of those hit #11 alternative back in 2001. From the self -titled lp commonly known by fans as "The Green Album", Weezer sits at #4 with Islands In The Sun.
3- Here is our Unknown Song for the week. It was at #16 at the time in Hartford, and would go on to hit their top five despite never being released as a single. The band is called NRBQ ("New Rhythm and Blues Quartet") though they had been around for years even at that point. However, they were one of those "culty" bands that never sold a lot of records. Their only charting single only made it into the 70's and their biggest lp hit 198 in 1982, I believe. However, this single got named to the Rolling Stone 50 best summer songs of all time. And it gets named as the all-time best unknown song so far...
Note: This is a very close remix of the original.
2- Here's a new song by an old friend. Remember King Harvest, who hit with Dancing In The Moonlight? They had got back together in 2012, just before lead singer Doc Robinson passed away. They did a redo on Dancing which was pretty tasty, and this year it was released on a new album called Old Friends. The best song IMHO on that record is one called Vaea, and it is my runner up this week.
And at number one?
...Andy Gibb (yet again) with I Just Wanna Be Your Everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the first number one of the New Martin Top Ten, we travel back to 1986. Status Quo is a hall-of-fame British act whose only real exposure in the States was their '60s hit Pictures Of Matchstick Men. The song in question here, which I found researching them, was #1 in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Ireland, as well as #2 in the UK and Norway, where the original by a Danish act had also hit #2 years before. Without further ado, Status Quo with the first number one on the new Martin Ten...
Let me know what you think! Next week- 1969!