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


Friday, September 4, 2015

Time Machine week 39

Well, even a Tardis had trouble finding noteworthy news events here on September 4th, 1969.  I mean, yeah, Ho Chi Minh kicked the bucket, but as he got his way (and his name plastered upon a city that had a perfectly good name without him), nothing real to celebrate there.  One source told me that the Chicago Eight trial began today... but closer examination proved two things- a) the source needs a new keyboard as their "2" isn't working, and b) it didn't really start for another twenty days.  I saw an entry for the Mike Douglas Show for that day, and thought maybe the musical guest might be interesting.

It was the Joe Harnell Sextet.  Joe was the house pianist for the Dinah Shore Show.  Sorry, Joe.

Then I found what I thought might be the story for the day- the first ATM opening in NYC!  But when I got there... it actually happened two days ago.  So I guess the best we can say about the day's news is, nobody really knew what they were doing on the 4th.

"Well, I know what I was doing- I was discovering, that's... not... Buddha..."
 Thankfully the music was better than the news, and that's what we do here on Time Machine!  And this week:  The unknown song that had an REM cover for a b-side; a six degrees that takes in noted psychologist BF Skinner; a peak at the "summer top 50" that Rolling Stone had; and the latest and greatest on the new Martin Top Ten!  So hit the button in your Skinner Box, and away we'll go!

Climb into that police box- to listen to music?  Will I get a cookie?

This week's panel ropes in KLOH Pipestone, MN (somewhere in the southwest rump of the state), WIFE Indianapolis (I wonder if they named the station that so that male listeners could say they were listening to their WIFE?), KOIL Omaha, old friend WKNR Detroit, WBOW Terre Haute, IN (somewhere in the southwest rump of MY state), old pals WRKO Boston, WMCA New York, KGB San Diego, WIXY Cleveland, and KPOI Honolulu, along with WALG Albany GA and KYNO Fresno.  These nine collected 25 different songs this week, including number one votes for Oliver's Jean (Boston) and Bobby Sherman's Little Woman (San Diego).  And the top 4 were:

At 16 points but just one #1 vote- Omaha's- the nation's #9 this week, Three Dog Night and Easy To Be Hard.

Also at sixteen points, but fifteen of those points being number one votes from Pipestone, Terre Haute (the "rump" vote), and New York, the national # 1- the Stones and Honky Tonk Women.

In second at 20 points- ten behind the leader- with 3 number ones (Indy, Fresno, and Blue Hawaii), the national #4 this week, CCR and Green River.

And at number one... stay tuned.


Our unknown song had a bit of trivia which I didn't even know until moments ago (that's right, forgot to prep the feature again!),  The band is called the Clique, whose home town is Holli Country- Texas!  Specifically, the Houston area.  Their leader- and sometimes only member, with session players filling out the team- was one Gary Zekley, who also was the writer of the big hit for the Grass Roots, Sooner Or Later.  Their song, which would get to #22 nationally next month, was number three in Boston, of all places.

The b-side of this was the song Superman, which REM would cover and take to #17 on  the mainstream rock charts in 1986.  Weird wild stuff!


Last week's #3 on the M10, NRBQ's Ridin' In My Car, was on the Rolling Stone mag's top 50 songs of summer chart from 2013.  They led off that chart at #50, and I thought it might be fun to take a look at what Martin Era songs made that list.  They were:

Chad and Jeremy's A Summer Song was 47.
Last week's M10 #4, Weezer's Islands In The Sun, was at 46.
Chicago's Saturday In The Park made 42.
The Kinks' Sunny Afternoon was 39.
Donna Summer had Hot Stuff at 31.
Chubby Checker was just behind the line with Let's Twist Again at 30.
Martha and the Vandellas had Heat Wave at 29.  TWENTY-NINE???
Chic discoed in Good Times at 26.
Marvin Gaye at 23 with, of all things, Got To Give It Up.
Mungo Jerry at 20 with In The Summertime.  TWENTY???

You can see I'm not all that agreeable here, Jan... but your Hall Of Fame sucks, too!  Anyway, moving on...

The Drifters' Under The Boardwalk... 18.
Jan and Dean, Surf City, 17.
Dancing Days, Led Zep, 16.  Really?
Summer Breeze, Seals and Crofts, 13.
Summer In The City, the Lovin' Spoonful, 7.
Sly and the Family Stone, Hot Fun In The Summertime, 6.  Well, maybe there's SOME hope here.

Beach Boys, California Girls, number 4.  And this is the only one out of 50?
Alice Cooper, School's Out.  Good pick. But #3?
And the last ME song is at #1...

Martha and the Vandellas- again- with Dancing In The Streets.  I can live with that.

The remainder of the top ten had Eddie Cochrane's Summertime Blues (missed my cut off) at #2, The Ramones and Rockaway Beach (?) at #5, the Go-Go's Vacation (missed the other cut off) at 8, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince with Summertime at 9 (please...), and Bananarama's Cruel Summer (missed the cut-off) at 10.


It's Bottom's Up time!

  A tad disappointing that the top of the bottom starts in the national top 40...

10- Stevie Wonder's My Cherie Amour, on it's way down at 38 after 15 weeks.

9- The aforementioned Bobby Sherman's Little Woman is at 39 in its 4th week.

8- Andy Kim placed at 45 this week with Baby I Love You in week 7.

7- Lou Christie was at 47 after 4 weeks with I'm Gonna Make You Mine.

6- The Who are at 53 and dropping with I'm Free after 9 short weeks.

5- Debuting this week is an underplayed gem by the Four Seasons, And That Reminds Me, at 61.

4- Here's a treat for Laurie- Joe South's Don't It Make You Wanna Go Home is at 67 after 2 weeks.

3- The Cuff Links are at 81 after two weeks with Tracy.

2- Orpheus comes in at 84 after two weeks with a song you KNOW I love, Can't Find The Time.

And the top Bottom?

...Gayle McCormick and Smith with Baby It's You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If you followed the former shuffle ten, you've seen ELO chart with some of the tunes from their "comeback" lp Zoom.  This was really a Jeff Lynne deal (Richard Tandy was the only alumni involved), but had a lot of good music on it.  On the sales-abbreviated tour, Greg Bissonette was the drummer.  He was also the drummer (and one of the few using his real name) in the semi-legendary, semi-fictional band Spinal Tap.  One of the three founders of said "band" was really Harry Shearer, who you know as many of the voices on The Simpsons.  One of those characters he voices is Pricipal Seymour Skinner...

"Moving on, our class trip to Italy is now spaghetti night at Papa John's. And your $1,500 deposits will not be refunded."

Skinner was named after the previously mentioned BF Skinner, whom older folks might understand why me and a high school buddy called him "the other guy".  Skinner at one point dated one Mary Rotolo, an activist whose family, particularly her daughter Suze, were the subject of the Bob Dylan tune Ballad In Plain D- after he had a nasty breakup with Suze.  One particular line of that song-

Of the two sister, I loved the young
With sensitive instincts, she was the creative one
The constant scapegoat, she was easily undone
By the jealousy of others around her-

Was the inspiration that lead Randy Bachman to write the Guess Who hit Undun, the b-side of their top ten hit Laughing- which, sitting at #11 on Cashbox this week, is the highest charting tune which got no love from the panel.


And now, this week's Martin Ten!

Holding at number 10, Angel Deradoorian with Expanding Flower Planet, the winner of a three-way battle for the last spot.

The first of three debuts this week was a suggestion from Spotify.  It was a 1971 Chicago hit for a band called Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah, and I'll likely feature it later on in upcoming M10s.  It's called Lake Shore Drive, and it sits at #9.

Number Eight comes to us from Shady Dell Knight, who featured this song very recently on his blog.  It belongs to Lulu, who had her big moment with the movie title song To Sir With Love in 1967.  This one was before that, in 1964, and was on the Lulu EP from that year- The Trouble With Boys.  Don't know how it didn't get released as a single, but A&R men are of course wiser than I.

Saint Asonia slips a notch with the song which is NOT their current single (Better Place, currently 8 on MSR), to number seven with Leaving Minnesota.

At six is our highest debut, a duo who go by the name Beach House.  They are into "dream rock", and have just released a new lp called Depression Cherry.  Their individual names are Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, they are from Baltimore MD, and their song, which was 17 last night on Spotify's viral hits, is simply called Space Song.

Tender is the night
For a broken heart
Who will dry your eyes
When it falls apart?

What makes this fragile world go 'round?
Were you ever lost
Was she ever found?
Somewhere in these eyes

Fall back into place
Fall back into place

Tumbling 3 spots to #5 is King Harvest with Vaea, from the comeback lp Old Friends.

The Big Mover this week belongs, most surprisingly to me, to Adam Lambert.  The lyrics to Ghost Town have been playing in my head all week, and that moves it up from 9 to #4.

Now, I'm searching for trust
In a city of rust
A city of vampires
Tonight, Elvis is dead
And everyone's spread
And love is a satire

And now I know my heart is a ghost town

Our first number one becomes the first to fall from number one- Status Quo's You're In The Army Now drops to #3.

And at number two, our video for the week...

Island In The Sun is pounding at the door, moving up from 4 to #2.

And our number ones?  Survey says...

The Archies with Sugar Sugar, which was the  national #3 this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, Martin says....

...NRBQ, up two spots with Drivin' In My Car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so Labor Day awaits, and the music begins to slip into fall.  Soon we'll be hearing Nat singing about those roasting chestnuts.  But for right now, it's close to 90 out and the only roasting chestnuts are near and dear to me!  In the meantime, tune in next week when we visit...


  1. Hi, Chris!

    I remember September 4th, 1969, very well. It went into the history books (and the Guinness Record Book) as "the day absolutely nothing happened." I remember doing nothing that day except sitting around contemplating my navel. :)

    It never fails. When your Time Machine lands anywhere in the 60s, the music always gets better. To make my case, I submit exhibits A, B and C: "Easy To Be Hard," "Honky Tonk Women," and "Green River." I remember that psychedelic sunshine pop single by The Clique. Not dark and dangerous enough for my taste but it was nice to hear it again after all these years. I'll bet Hootin' & Hollerin' Holli never heard of it.

    Summertime standouts from your lists include "Sunny Afternoon" (a "Dell song"), "Under the Boardwalk," "Surf City, "Summer in the City" (a BIG Dell song), "Hot Fun in the Summertime, "California Girls," "My Cherie Amour" and "I'm Gonna Make You Mine." You might be surprised that I didn't include "School's Out" on my list. Actually I got tired of hearing it many years ago. These days, "kid tested, mother approved" Alice Cooper is too tame for my heavy metal lovin' taste.

    My #1 summer song is "It's Summer Time U.S.A." by my hometown honeys, The Pixies Three, of Hanover, PA, (a town a few miles from York). That record was HUGE on York's WSBA radio throughout the summer of 1964, beating the Beatles on the local chart.

    Lulu? Never heard of her, but thanks for the plug! :) Truth be told I never heard of any of those other acts listed in your Martin Ten except for King Harvest, Status Quo, Weezer and the Archies.

    I'm delighted to see that 1962 is your next stop in the Time Machine. Will it be a salute to American Graffiti hosted by Wolfman Chris? :)

    Have a great L-Day weekend, good buddy!

    1. So, what did you conclude about your navel so long ago?

      I will be checking out your Pixies Three later. Who knows, they could make the M10!

      The Martin Ten was intended to be a blend of today and yesterday. My only requirement is that they be new to me! Actually, besides the four you mentioned, I only knew Adam Lambert previously, and that from American Idol. I'm trying to make a "living" radio station out of this, and hope that others might give some of my choices a chance. After all, I am, and 7 of the 10 are outside the Martin Era!

      A salute to AG? While it's one of my favorite movies, I don't know if I could do justice to it in a tribute. But, it does give me some food for thought.

      You and yours have a great holiday as well!

  2. So, not to be a grammar nazi, but TARDIS is an acronym and therefore should be all caps. Is that a grammar nazi? Or is that just a diehard geek?

    1. Ah, but when your dear Tardis is a friend, a companion... you may then address her in the Familiar. At least, that's the excuse I'm going with!

    2. That excuse only applies if, when alone, you refer to her as Sexy.

    3. A gentleman doesn't tell, lol!

  3. Woohoo! The Archies hit #1! That's purely awesome.

    I had no idea, CW, that Seymour Skinner is named after BF Skinner. That's very clever.

    Have a good weekend, Chris.

    1. As well as one of the big six degrees stretches I've made...

  4. Chris:
    --You had me laughing at the start with Ho Chi Minh AND B.F. Skinner (damn near in the same sentence)!

    --WIFE (radio)...yeah, that's GOT to be it...HA!

    --"Sugar On Sunday" - nice find. I rate it a 85 - easy to dance to to and has a good beat and vocals.

    I also nave to echo your call with Mungo Jerry - TWENTY???

    --Agreed on Martha & the Vandellas - but I MISS the days when it was DANCIN' in those streets (instead of the stuff that goes on TODAY).
    Had a couple good songs that missed that cut.

    --Gayle McCormick & Smith - wow, now THAT one takes me back.

    --I did find he Shearer/Skinner/Bachman connection QUITE interesting.

    --That Weezer tune is a toe-tapper.

    Very good ride this week...
    (and I got back 5 minutes before I left - sweet!).

    Have a great weekend &keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

  5. Glad you liked Weezer. I loved the video- especially when they released the doves. The hard part for me is finding the ONe to play each week!