Follow by Email

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


Friday, August 28, 2015

Time Machine week 38

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...'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?

Survey says...

...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!


  1. #9- Waylon Jennings. Our household was playing that album side to side and wearing it out. I was 9 years old. I bought the KISS album , BeeGees, and Kenny Rogers albums with my allowance money.

    1. I always remember seeing at the top of the country charts that whole summer.

  2. Hi, Chris!

    Yay Kiss! I met my favorite band in early January 1986. My video crew went right into their dressing room, stood beside them and watched them apply their make-up (post unmasking make-up) and fix their hair at a large venue where they were set to do a show with W.A.S.P. We interviewed their drummer, Eric Carr. Just six years later, the poor little guy was dead. Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, is one of my all time favorite flicks. It co-starred the original "Jack Abbott" from The Young and the Restless. The chant, "RIP RIP - RIP AND DESTROY," sung to the tune of "Hotter Than Hell" by those evil Kiss clones, is running through my head at this very moment. :)

    One of my faves in this post is ELO's "Telephone Line." I bought that single stamped on collectible green wax!

    I didn't particularly care for James Taylor's cover of "Handy Man," a top 5 hit in 1960 for R&B artist Jimmy Jones. I feel the same about Rita Coolidge covering Jackie Wilson. Why even try? And Leif Garrett? Puh-leeze! I'd rather listen to Debby Boone. Well, then again, maybe not. :)

    I don't mind you bashing Berry Gordy because I agree that he mistreated his artists. I remember that San Remo Golden Strings single "Hungry For Love" on the Ric-Tic label because I own a copy of it. I appreciated your anecdote about Elvis and how he came to record "If I Can Dream." Artistic integrity is more important than commercial appeal and Elvis did just fine and sold plenty of records singing meaningful, spiritual material.

    I like your Chrisey Kasem's Top 10 idea! I never heard of NRBQ but enjoyed their summery "Ridin' In My Car." My all time favorite summer song is the bouncy, irresistible "Beach Baby" by First Class.

    Thanks, Chris, and have a great weekend!

    1. First, Terry Lester and Kiss- mind blown. We were big Y&R fans back in the day- my nephew was a big Jack fan, but Dad was a fan of the TRUE villain- Victor Newman, okay?

      I also had the green disc of Telephone Line. Did I like it? First heard the song Tuesday, put at #1 on my top ten on Thursday (One of only two to manage that) and had the record on Sunday.

      I beg mercy for Sweet Baby James, but the rest of that paragraph I'm with you 110%!

      Glad I hurt no feelings with Gordy. That man never ceases to sink lower in my estimation the more I learn about him. And yeah, the story on that record is almost as stunning as the song itself.

      The list for my new top ten is going to be kept to a minimum at a time- it currently sits at 23 songs. That includes a certain song I heard at the cyber Dell, Lulu's The Trouble With Boys!

  3. I remember NRBQ. I never had any of their albums, but I remember listening to I guess their first album at one of my friends' house. "Ridin' in My Car" has a nice sound.

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

    1. Glad you liked it! I tried to find anything else of there's that grabbed me, without a lot of success.

  4. Every time I see KISS, I'm reminded of dating a guy who dressed up like Gene Simmons (frighteningly accurate) and had buddies who dressed like the rest of the gang. They painted a wall of the basement with flames so they could take pictures.

    Everyone kept telling me how cool it the girlfriend, I was really on the fence about it...

    I loved every Gibb brother but Andy was a sad tale. :-(

    1. I agree on Andy. And I think you can be too big a fan...

  5. Chris:
    --Just my opinion, but NOBODY could do "Your Love" like the late great Jackie Wilson (and the Ghostbusters PROVED that one, too).
    --Cantine Band -LOL - used to have that 45.
    --19 WEEKS? Hard to believe ithat NOWADAYS people have a hard time with 19 MINUTES (attention-span-wise...heh)
    --BRICK HOUSE debuted at #77?
    That was a huge hit back east!
    --Just could NEVER get into Leif Garrett (thank GOD!)
    --That was a VERY interesting 6-degrees...changes MY perspective of Gordy now.
    --Some GOOD lyrics from bands I never heard of before today.
    --IF I CAN DREAM...fantastic Elvis song...glad he made it happen. He puts his ALL into this number.
    --NRBQ - not a bad band (for the summer)
    --And, as far as Statu Quo goes...they don't sound (today) like they USED to sound when albums like ON THE LEVEL and PILEDRIVER came out.
    If I would have read this post PRIOR to yesterday afternoon (like I SHOULD, I could have dug out the vinyl, fired up the turntable and PLAYED some classic cuts from when I saw them LIVE.
    And yes, they're every but AS GOOD as the albums...can't say that about every band of that era.

    An excellent ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. Honestly, I never liked either version of the song, but Rita's version was so overplayed, it annoyed me a thousand times more.

      Brick house started low, but finished about number nine as I recall. Prolly higher in the Fort, it got a lot of air here, too.

      Gordy's rep for me was changed about 150 Time Machines ago. It's all a matter of bagging doo now...