Follow by Email

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


Friday, September 18, 2015

Time Machine week 41

The musical Tardis spins this week into the riotous year of 1979, where we see that today-

-Greg Arama, former bassist of the Amboy Dukes, assumed room temperature after crashing his '76 Harley;

- The National Enquirer announced that Penny (Laverne) Marshall and Rob (Meathead) Reiner are getting a "nasty divorce", and that a miracle vitamin was going to eliminate tiredness (something sorely needed there, apparently);

- Filming started on the classic movie musical Xanadu;

-and Jimmy Carter watched Two Years Before The Mast at the White House cinema (yes, apparently there is a webpage that lists every movie Carter watched in the White House.  And what a valuable resource that is!

"Alan Ladd!  Watch out for the Captain, he's a communist!"

I hope I can make the music of the day a tetch more appealing.  This week:  The unknown song makes the Martin Ten- and it should, I went around the world to find it! Also, a tight three song race for the panel #1, a train wreck of a six degrees, and will we have a fourth new number one on the Martin Ten?  Suspense!  Adventure!  Romance!  Oh, wait... that was the movie again!


Our panel features, through no choice of my own, 2 stations from Kansas City- KBEQ and WHB, along with the two Springfields (WCVS in IL, WHYN in MA), KTKT Tuscon, WKCI New Haven, CHUM Toronto, WKMI Kalamazoo, KFRC San Fran, CIHI Fredricton, New Brunswick (yep, hadda double up on Canada too), WRKO Boston, and from waaaaaaay out there, 2UE outta Sydney, Australia!  This group totalled 26 different songs and 7 number ones, including Maxine Nightingale's Lead Me On (Springfield IL), Chic's Good Times (New Haven), the Cars' Let's Go (Toronto), and the Commodores' Sail On (Kalamazoo).  Needless to say, the Sydney chart had some off the beaten path picks including the only votes for Kiss's I Was Made For Loving You at #2 and Peaches and Herb's Reunited at #5.   Two songs were totally unknown to me:  one was by an act called the Two Man Band, with a sports anthem which actually had it's beginnings in a WWI catchphrase, called Up There Cazaly.    Roy Cazaly was a 1916 footballer (if I remember right), and it was a call used to signal the men to leave their trenches back in the day.  The tune, composed by the two men, Mike Brady and Peter Sullivan...

No, not THAT Mike Brady...
...was the biggest selling Australian single at that time, hitting the quarter-million mark.  The other import, I'll be sharing with you just a bit later.

So before I lose track, here's the Panel Four:

With 12 points and no number ones, the week's #6 in America, ELO's Don't Bring Me Down.

With 22 points and the number ones of Tuscon and both KC stations, speaking of Australia- the Little River Band with Lonesome Loser, the national #9.

With 25 points- two behind the leader- and the #1 vote of Fredricton, Robert John with Sad Eyes.

And at the top, the national #1 as well... stay tuned.


Researching the six degrees became a study in tragedy about halfway through- both in the tales and confirming them.  The train wreck was in the band Heatwave (ironic, as one of their biggest hits was The Groove Line).  They had no fewer than three members meet tragic ends... but not everyone was agreed on what happened.  But as I finally boiled it down, founding member Jesse Whitten was killed in a stabbing during being mugged (although some places just said "an accident".)  Lead singer Johnny Wilder (who also wrote the beautiful flipside of The Groove Line, Happiness Togetherness), he was injured severely in a car accident, but like Teddy Pendergrass soldiered on from  a wheelchair.  Then came the story of Mario Mantese, who is mistakenly described as a fellow car accident victim.  But the truth was far worse- his girlfriend stabbed him in the heart after a fight at a party.  Clinically dead for six minutes, he was in a coma for somewhere around a year, and awoke to find himself blind and paralysed.  He eventually recovered somewhat, but remembers nothing of the incident- although he does recall having a near death experience.

I also found a board where someone asked about a rumour that the whole band was killed in a plane crash!  Yeesh, who'd they piss off?

However, what brought me to Heatwave was main writer at the time Rod Temperton.  Rod was one of a pair of celebrity writers who got credits on the Michael Jackson lp Off The Wall, composing the title track along with Rock With You.  Another was Paul McCartney, whose first contact professionally with Michael was the song Girlfriend, which Paul claimed he wrote with Michael in mind (though he also recorded it with Wings).  The tragedy here was that after the several collaborations between him and Michael, Paul said they drifted apart, after suggesting that Michael- who had just bought the entire Beatles portfolio and the royalties therefrom- "give him a raise".  Michael never responded.

And what does all this have to do with six degrees?  Well, the first single off Off The Wall was Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, which might be the lowest we've gotten down the chart before hitting a song that got no love from the panel.  It was #14 this week- a rare occurrence that the top 13 all made the panel list!

" 'Give you a raise'... that's a good one!"

Alright, cue the baby...

What, I gotta do the voiceover too, now?

It's Bottom's Up time!

10- One of my favorites by that guy that looks like me, Dave Edmunds, is Girls Talk.  It was at 69 in its 4th week.

"Yeah, but it works on me!"

9- Jimmy Buffett comes in at #9 with Fins, sitting at 71 after 3 weeks.

8- Kiss makes a second appearance this week.  I Was Made For Loving You was at 43 on the way down; but it's Sure Know Something that takes this spot, at 72 after 3 weeks.

7- A song that has gotten mentioned here before a time or to- the Crusaders with Street Life- is at 74 after 5 weeks.

6- JD Souther is at 78 with a debuting You're Only Lonely.

5- A nod to you hard rockers- Pat Travers' signature Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) is at 79, also in that third week.

4- Van Halen takes this spot with their Beautiful Girl, at 80 after four weeks.

3- Bob Dylan debuts with his lead single off the lp Slow Train Coming, Gotta Serve Somebody, at 83.

2- Here's one of those little heard songs I learned on American Top 40 and remember mainly for the name of the singer- 16-year old France Joli with Come To Me.

Steady, Henry...

And the Top Bottom?

...Chicago's Must Have Been Crazy, which was on the way down after 14 weeks, at #89!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That brings us to the latest Martin Ten!  And, soon, our unknown song!

10- King Harvest holds on by a thread at 10 with Vaea.  It drops 2 from last week.

9- One of those things I wasn't going to do is occurring right now!  Last week, I went with the big hit for Family Of The Year rather than the current hit.  This week, though, they both make the countdown, as the song off their latest lp called Make You Mine comes in at number nine.

8- The number three song on the Sydney chart was by a band called Racey.  They were actually a British act, and the song in question not only hit #2 in the UK and Ireland, but #1 in Australia and South Africa.  It scores it's way to the 8 hole here:

7- Castlecomer moves up a pair with their brand new single, Fire Alarm.

6- The Spandells take advantage of the updraft to move up a notch with The Boy Next Door at 6.

5- NRBQ slip, but only a notch, with the former top dog, Ridin' In My Car, at number five.

4- And the aforementioned big hit by Family Of The Year moves up one to number four:

3- Adam Lambert stays in place with Ghost Town, at 3 for a second week.

Now, the battle for the top spot was a tough battle for me... and truth be told, I wasn't really sure that I would keep it the way I wrote it down!  But I am, and that means Beach House holds at #2 with Space Song.

And the number ones?  Martin says:

...Weezer with Island In The Sun, for a second week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And Panel says....

... The Knack with My Sharona!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1978 next week kiddies!  See you then!


  1. Oh the memories...even though they are a bit hazy! Such good times back in those days. I can't pick out just one to say it's a favorite.

    Quick story..back in early 70'sRay was a cab drive in NYC for all of about 3 weeks. He picked up a far one night and the guy was super nice and chatted with Ray the whole taxi ride. Turns out it was Jiimmy Carter before he became president but not too far before.

    1. Thats so cool! I hope he didn't have to clean peanut shells out of the cab after though, lol!

  2. Hi, Chris! I don't mind '79. There was some great music that year. I had returned to bachelor status the year before and spent far too much time hanging out in discos getting smashed and picking up women. I shudder when I think back on that period because I was lost and lonely and in self destruct mode. TMI? I often write about my excessive drinking and one night stands because I am proud to be clean and sober and in control for more than 23 years and counting. It's the only way to fly.

    "Good Times" is one of the most memorable of those disco club hits as was "Come To Me" by France Joli. That same year I went to see Peaches and Herb ("Reunited") and Sister Sledge ("We Are Family") on the grandstand at the York Interstate Fair.

    By 1979, too much of a "good" thing was causing a widespread backlash against disco. Songs like "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees were making a mockery of the genre. Ethel Merman sang disco. Even my favorite band Kiss got into the act, achieving a major national hit with "I Was Made..." and success with another disco styled number "Sure Know Something." Cher gave us disco done right with "Take Me Home."

    Me likey The Cars' "Let's Go," ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" and LRB's "Lonesome Loser." I never knew the tragic stories about those members of Heatwave. Their early 1978 soul ballad "Always and Forever" was also a biggie in the dance clubs. The peeps spreading the rumor that the entire Heatwave band was killed in a plane crash were probably mistaking them for the Bar-Kays, the backing band for Otis Redding, members of which perished with the R&B giant in a plane crash in 1968. Surviving members went on to record funky urban club dance classics like "Hit and Run" (1981) and "Freakshow on the Dance Floor" (1984).

    I never heard of the group Racey. They are definitely too lightweight for my tastes. I did enjoy Family of the Year, however. I'm happy to see the Spandells on your survey at #6 with a bullet. Will they go all the way to #1? Only Scrappy knows.

    Adrian Monk gives a big thumbs up to "My Sharona."

    Thanks, Chris!

    1. You can tell your story here anytime you want- as long as an Irene Ryan one night stand isn't involved! Kudos to you in turning your life around, one of the fortunate to learn the lesson before someone dies. I have a few friends that could have been weel served to learn it.

      Good Times was prolly the first time I could really stand Chic. Not that they were that bad, but backlash from Le Freak, I guess.

      I've heard that Ethel Merman thing!

      Sure Know Something might have been disco, but it was a LOT closer to Kiss than I Was Made, etc. In fact, in playing it for Laurie I almost broke my first rule and let it into the Martin Ten choice list! Shame on me, but it would soar towards the top.

      As big a fan of ELO as I am- and that's substantial- I never cared that much for Don't Bring Me Down. Love Always and Forever, and I had to put Happiness Togetherness on my big list after having forgotten it all these years.

      I LOVED both those Bar-Kays songs- don't be surprised to see Hit And Run on a future Martin Ten!

      I'm thinking with two FOTY songs trying to climb over Adam Lambert's corpse, the Spandells might have a tough time getting too much higher. Sorry you didn't like Racey, I thought they had a lot in common with Sweet.

      Get The Knack, critics aside, was a great, fun album. I have most of it on my big list.

  3. My Sharona. Haven't thought of that in a long time.

    1. Bud da budda bump bump bump bump bump...

  4. My-my-my-my-my-my-my my Sharona! Amazing the crap that catches on with the public. But to its credit without this song there would have been no "My Bologna" by Weird Al.

    Jimmy Carter's administration would have been better if he had done nothing but watch movies--and maybe review a few of them.

    Obama should watch more movies--like 24 hours per day.

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

    1. I always liked it... never got why the critics tried to bomb them. That whole lp was nothing but fun. I think it got a bad rap for being stripped down pop rock when everybody wanted something "you can dance to".

  5. Chris:
    1979 was one of "those" years for me, (personally)...luckily it blurred on by quick enough.
    It was the ODD years of that later part of the decade which were problematic.
    Thankfully, the '80s were JUST around the corner...heh.

    --Did not remember the Amboy Dukes bassist wrecking his bike...nice find.
    --Sad about those members of HEATWAVE (good group), but those stabbings sound like a weekend in Ft. Wayne.
    --Pretty wild 6-degrees!
    --Chris Martin & Dave Edmunds - separated at birth?
    --Oh, how I remember that Pat Travers song...!
    --France Joli - she aged well...for a while.
    --A CHICAGO song...on it's way DOWN from 89th?
    --The KNACK staves off WEEZER...verrrrry interesting.

    And a VERY good ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. Thank you, dear sir! As I recall, 1979 was Junior year in High School, with all of the fun angst issues that made almost everything suck.

  6. Wow, this is like a flood of memories from my childhood. And now Don't Stop is rolling around my brain. Thanks a lot! If I start doing the Saturday Night Fever Dance, you're in trouble, Chris!

    1. ah-ah- ah- ah- Stayin alivvvvvvve.....