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


Friday, September 11, 2015

Time machine week 40

Today, we fly to September 11th, 1962.  We whiz past the birth of Kristy McNichol (hah, hah, you're 53 just like me!), listen to Nikita Khrushchev warning the world that an attack on Cuba meant world war, and then settle on a recording studio where a basically unknown act calling themselves the Beatles were making a second attempt at recording their first single in the UK- a two sided disc with Love Me Do and PS I Love You.  Producer George Martin was running late, so he told his man Ron Richards to take the reins- and Richards decided Ringo Starr wasn't good enough and had studio man Andy White play drums.  Ringo gamely played maracas on the first and tambourine on the second.

C'mon, dude!  It got better...
Welcome to this week's Time Machine- a day when I was but 117 days old! And, the 275th actual Time Machine post over four volumes! So "Where were you in '62" for me was "in the bassinet pooping my diaper".  Our good friend Shady suggested I might do an American Graffiti themed post, but on research, I learned that only TWO songs on the AG soundtrack came out in 1962!  And BOTH of them got votes from the panel, though not enough to make the panel four.  So here's your quiz for the week which song- Booker T and the MGs' Green Onions, and the Beach Boys' Surfin' Safari- got the most points?  Answer coming later.

Also this week- a six degrees that starts with Elvis Presley asking permission to do a song from Ray Peterson; a twist on the unknown song; second most important, The lowest position on the national chart for a song in the panel four; and most important- a panel #1 setting a record that may never be broken- NINE number one votes and 52 points!  So climb in the Woody (temporary panel job on the Tardis this week) and away we go!


The record setting panel for this week include WTUF Mobile, WSAI Cincinnati, KRLA Los Angeles, WARM Wilkes-Barre, KOTN Pine Bluff, WABC New York, WYRE Pittsburgh, WGH Newport News, WPOP Hartford, KRUX Phoenix, WNIA Buffalo, and KDWB Minneapolis.  These stalwarts posted 21 different songs, including the number one in Newport News, Jimmy Clanton's Venus In Blue Jeans.  Jimmy had one of the three number one votes that didn't go to our winner.  In the meantime, here are the also-rans... er, runners up this week:

In just its second week on the national chart this week, giving us a lowest ever national position on the panel four at #57, with 13 points- Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers and The Monster Mash.

With 21 points and the number one from Mobile, Nat King Cole with the national # 5, Ramblin' Rose.

With 26 points and the number one vote from Wilkes-Barre, the national #2, Tommy Roe's Sheila.

And at number one, with 9 number one votes, the national #1... stay tuned.


This week, I'd like to do something a little different on the unknown song.  Since the story involves a not-so-unknown act, I'd like to tell the tale without the video- and save two videos for the Martin Ten at the end!  (Don't throw rocks until you hear 'em!)  Let me give you the interesting story though of the week's unknown song.

The tune comes to us from WARM in Wilkes-Barre, where their #4 was the national #26 according to Cashbox and peaked at #28 on Billboard.  It was by the Dion-less Belmonts.  Most people don't realize that Dion went solo after an incredible year-and-a-half run with the boys, that netted hits like I Wonder Why, No One Knows, and A Teenager In Love.  The Belmonts carried on after Dion's departure, with Carlo Mastrangelo singing lead, and they hit the charts without him 8 times, cracking the top 40 with Tell Me Why and the song in question- Come On Little Angel.  The sad part of the whole thing was that, according to one source, the Belmonts turned down a song about the time this one was charting, which would go on to be Dion's biggest hit- The Wanderer.

Yeah, I don't remember who's dumbbutt idea that was...


And now, it's Bottoms Up time!

10- The previously mentioned Monster Mash at 57 after 2 weeks.

9- Frank Ifield's haunting I Remember You is also in its second week at 60.

8- Pat Boone is at 61, on the way down after 13 weeks, with Speedy Gonzales.

7- Recently making a Time Machine post, Marin Denny's take on A Taste Of Honey is at 70 after five weeks.

6- Tony Bennett Left His Heart In San Francisco, at 71 after nine weeks.

5- David Rose is on the way down after an 18-week run, with The Stripper at 72.

4- Sammy Davis, Jr sits at 73 after three weeks- actually, the chart position is the Cashbox agglomeration of discs from Davis and Anthony Newly- with What Kind Of Fool Am I.

3- Another tip of the hat to Laurie- her boy Jimmy Dean is at 75 in his debut week with Little Black Book.

2- Gene Pitney's classic Only Love Can Break Your Heart sits at 79 after 2 weeks.

And the top bottom...

... Ray Charles, still hanging in there with the song which was at #1 on my birthday, I Can't Stop Loving You!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was at 95 in it's 18th and final week on the chart.


The six degrees starts off with Elvis asking permission to do a Ray Peterson song.

 "He [Elvis] asked me if I would mind if he recorded 'The Wonder of You.' I said, 'You don't have to ask permission; you're Elvis Presley.' He said, 'Yes, I do. You're Ray Peterson.'"

Peterson hit #25 in 1959... Elvis took it to #9 eleven years later.  Who's Ray Peterson, you say?  His big hit was the top ten from 1960, Tell Laura I Love Her.  That song was co-written by Jeff Barry, who has a buttload of credits to his name- but one of the more obscure was being the voice of Jughead when the Archies recorded.  Ron Dante, of course, was "Archie" (as well as the girls at times), as well as being the future long-time producer for Barry Manilow.  Among his collaborations with Manilow was Mandy, which featured saxophonist Artie Kaplan.  Artie played on a ton of records, including the highest charting song this week that got no love from the panel-  Neil Sedaka's original Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, which sat ignored at #6.


And just before we move to the Martin Ten- Booker T beat out the Beach Boys, collecting a #4 from Cincy, a #5 from LA, a #4 from Hartford, and a #3 from Phoenix for 8 points, while Surfin' Safari got a #3 from LA and a #2 from Phoenix, for an 8-7 score.


And now, the top ten this week:

10- I was recently perusing the solo lp from Alan Parsons from 2004, A Valid Path.  The song that stuck out to me was a composite of the first two songs on the Project's first lp, Tales Of Mystery And Imagination.  The song, renamed A Recurring Dream Within A Dream, comes in as a debut this week at #10.

9- Another song I pulled off Spotify's viral list is by a brand new band from Australia named Castlecomer.  Their lead single is called Fire Alarm, and it debuts at my #9.

8- King Harvest slides three more to #8 with Vaea.

7- Another debut comes to me from a Shady post you can check out here.  It was a melodical copy of the Shirelles top ten Foolish Little Girl.  It's by the Spandells, it's called The Boy Next Door, came out in 1964, and you can enjoy it  right here, right now (or on the link to Shady's digs):

6- Staus Quo slips three to #6 with our inaugural #1, You're In The Army Now.

5- A band I didn't know called Family Of The Year just released a new lp, and I was going to feature their lead-off single from it here.  I really was.  But the thing of it is, I got looking back and found their big hit so far, a tune that hit the top of the Adult Alternative chart and 12 on the main Alternative chart.  It's called Hero, and you'll be hearing it here in the next week or two.  For now, it is our high debut at #5.

Let me go
I don't wanna be your hero
I don't wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight like everyone else

Your masquerade
I don't wanna be a part of your parade
Everyone deserves a chance to
Walk with everyone else...

4- NRBQ slips out of the top spot to #4 with Ridin' In My Car.

3- Adam Lambert noses up one more spot to #3 with Ghost Town.

2- Our runner up moves up 4 to #2 in just its second week in the ten.  Beach House with Space Song, and you can hear it here.

And that leaves us with our number ones...

On the Martin Ten, Weezer moves into the top spot this week with Island In The Sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And our survey's new all time king....

...One of my top two all time, the Four Seasons and Sherry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, well... 1979.  But it only comes once each cycle!  Tune in next time!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Where was I in '62? I was age 12 that year. On September 11, 1962 (colossal coincidence alert!) I too was in the bassinet pooping my diaper (- in my own bassinet, not yours).

    American Graffiti was a great movie, but I don't like it as much as most people. One of the reasons is the lack of 1962 recordings on the soundtrack. To be fair about it, I suppose I should remember that the radio show that played throughout the movie, the one hosted by Wolfman Jack, was primarily an "oldies but goodies" show, driving home the fact that, even as far back as 1962, the times were a changin'. Many fans of old school rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and the doo-wop vocal group sound of the 50s were clinging to the past and reluctant to embrace surf rock, the Motown Sound and other new trends in pop music. I also thought that the movie would have been better if the soundtrack contained fewer well known hits and included more minor hits, non hits and regional records. A more creative mix of hits and misses would have enhanced the movie's authenticity, in my opinion.

    You mentioned the Beatles recording their first single, "Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You." I have a modest collection of near-mint condition 7-inch records that includes some of the Shady Dell's greatest hits along with rare DJ records and some pressed on colored vinyl, including "Love Me Do" and a few by the Stones which cost $75 each. I showed them off in a post a couple of years ago and thought you would like to see them. Be sure to click the images to enlarge:

    I used to chat on the phone with Jimmy Clanton when he hosted an oldies radio show in Central Pennsylvania. Very nice guy.

    Pat Boone - "Speedy Gonzales"? Why, Pat, why? Martin Denny? Tony Bennett? David Rose? Sammy Davis? Jimmy Dean? Can you see how much music on the Billboard chart and top 40 radio was still being made BY grown-ups FOR grown-ups? Thank heaven the Beatles were getting ready to invade. "I Can't Stop Loving You" was one of my least favorite Ray Charles recordings. Ray was at his best in the early and mid 50s when he waxed gritty, streetwise R&B numbers like "I Got a Woman" and "Greenbacks." I do not like the Ray Charles of the 60s when he turned to easy listening ballads and country tunes. Elvis showed a lot of class by respecting Ray Peterson enough to ask permission to record one of his songs.

    So cool that you used that single by The Spandells. Thanks for the plug, good buddy.

    I can't argue about the greatness of "Sherry," but my favorite record by the Four Seasons is an earlier release, a doublesider on Gone Records - "Bermuda" b/w "Spanish Lace." Check them out sometime.

    Thanks for the memories, good buddy Chris, and have a great weekend! Scrappy, too!

    1. Good day, my friend. In order of appearance:

      - at 12? Good Lord, but what do you expect from a kid who had Granny Clampett posters in his room, lol!

      - The point about Wolf doing an oldies show even back then is well taken. I guess every generation loves what they grew up with best, and I am no exception. But even with that, AG had songs from the future played in at least one case by acts that were still pooping in their bassinets.

      - See, here we part ways a bit, because I was an infant back then and had a music-is-music perspective. I love the Beatles; I love Percy Faith. When I was twelve, though, I began demanding a certain, modern kind of music. However, after radio became a trash dump later on, I went back to those roots and Enjoy Nat King Cole as much as Beach House.

      - Ray? I'm kinda like you there, but have a soft spot for this song because it was number one when I was born. And I love him and Willie on Seven Spanish Angels, so I don't mind the country so much, either.

      -No prob on the plug, you introed me to a great forgotten gem!

      -Checked out the pics (Great post, BTW, but send no awards lol), and the songs. I think I liked Spanish Lace better, but there are a lot of lesser known 4S songs it took me a while to really like (And That Reminds Me, I've Got You Under My Skin, Marlena). (( Boy, I coulda put those three in a different order, huh?))

      Cool that you talked with Clanton. I once met a guy who claimed to have been the drummer on Hang On Sloopy. Told me all these neat stories, got me all excited, and when I got home, had someone call me to say not to tell any of it on my blog. I never found any proof of his story, and so was hesitant anyway, but if you're gonna brag, be willing to prove it. That's the closest I got to fame like that. Other than a guy who said he was Delaney Bramlet's agent once told me in a comment thread that Delaney and not Bonnie was involved in the writing of Superstar. I showed him where I found my story, he accused me of deleting comments that were still there, and was never heard from again.

    2. Oh, and I would defend Pat on Speedy, but after having to listen to the Mexican version one too many times at my old job, he's on his own.

    3. They say you never forget your first. My first, I am proud to admit, was Granny Clampett.

  2. Meh. The Beatles. Just a flash in the pan.
    But, whadda I know?

    1. Yeah, I heard they were just Chad and Jeremy knock offs.

  3. Chris:
    --Heck I LOVE (the song) Green Onions...fantastic beat.
    (and green onion DIP isn't all that bad,
    --Monster Mash is STILL a favorite (in about a month and a half).
    --Ah, yes...always loved Nat Cole.
    --Wow, DION left after ONLY 18 months???
    (never knew that)
    And the Belmonts turned DOWN "The Wanderer"...amazing!
    --Betcha David Rose made a MINT on all those SHAVE CREAM!
    (take it off...take it ALL off)
    --Sammy Davis and Pitney - now THOSE two songs are memorable.
    --And Ray Charles...cannot go wrong there AT ALL.
    --Wow, NOW I remember Ray Peterson, and I already Knew who Ron Dante was...The Archies (?) - who'da thunk THAT?
    nice catch.
    --Nice to see Alan Parsons on there, too.
    --Cool, Sherry made it to the top o' the heap...mice.

    Very good ride this week.
    Woodys are COOL (like wearing a fez)

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.