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


Friday, September 25, 2015

Time Machine week 42

Today we head to September 25th, 1978- not a good day, as tragedy struck at San Diego.  PSA Flight 182 was coming in for a landing at the airport when a Cessna doing training runs got in the way.  In a combination of the flight crew disobeying the traffic control by losing sight of the little plane, the tower not maintaining radar contact, and the training flight changing course without notifying the tower, the Cessna ended up taking off the right wing of the jet.

The desperately trying-to-save the plane crew had no chance.  The plane hit a house at 300 MPH, compacting everything from the cockpit to the rear stairwell into something roughly the size of a master bathroom.  144 people in the plane and on the ground were killed; only four bodies were left intact, and the captain was never found.  One man who had a ticket for the flight but cancelled was one Jack Ridout, who was a survivor of the even deadlier runway crash in Tenerife just 18 months before.


When you fly Musical Tardis Timeways, though, there's no chance of that disaster (although you have a slight chance of finding yourself on a sinking Titanic!)  This week, as noted, we are in 1978, and we'll take the Ohio Express to the six degrees song; stop in for some good after-hours R&B on the unknown song, and close out with brand new Duran Duran on the Martin Ten!  Fasten your seatbelts and put your trays in the reclining position...


Once again, it's been a bit of a struggle getting enough stations in the time frame this late in the decade, but stepping up to form the panel were WRKO Boston, KBEQ Kansas City, KFMB San Diego, WKAP living here in Allentown PA, WYSL Buffalo, KTKT Tuscon, WDRC Hartford, WHYN Springfield MA, CHUM Toronto, KHJ Los Angeles, CKLW Detroit, and WABC New York!  The dashing dozen recorded a mere 18 different songs, including #1 vote getters Mr. Blue Sky by ELO (Sand Diego) and Anne Murray's You Needed Me (Hartford).  The panel came to a pretty firm number one and a pretty firm #2 (43-32) with everyone else kinda lagging behind.  The Panel Four this week:

With no #1s and 15 points, the nation's #3, Olivia Newton-John's Hopelessly Devoted To You.

With no #1s and 16 points, the national #4, the Commodores and Three Times A Lady.

With three #1s and 32 points, the national top dog,  A Taste Of Honey and Boogie Oogie Oogie.

And at #1, the national runner-up...  stay tuned.


And it's also a struggle here on the late end of the decade to find good unknown songs, as programming had become fairly even across the board.  Our big winner, for example, was #1 on 7 stations, and #2, 3, and 5 on the others, missing just two top fives.  So I go for the highest song on any of the charts that I don't know, and I picked a good one this week.  It just missed the top five on CKLW, and was by a gentleman named Michael Henderson.  Henderson was a jazz-blues influenced bass player playing for Stevie Wonder's band when he was "discovered" by Miles Davis:

Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply "I’m taking your f***ing bassist."

Henderson also did some solo lps, and the song in question- while making only 88 on the hot 100- charted #3 on the R&B chart.  One You Tube commenter told the story:

Michael  Henderson (was) definitely after hours spot music  when the discos close at 4 0 clock in the morning in New York City,  then you go to the  after hour spot,  if Michael  Henderson  ain't  playing  you better believe Bobby Womack is, good ole days. 


Next, it's Bottom's Up time!

"Tonto!  I hear riders coming..."

10- At #78 in its debut week, Pablo Cruise with Don't Want To Live Without It.

9- One of my all timers, the Kinks' A Rock And Roll Fantasy is on its way down, 82 after 11 weeks.

8- Ironically after the Miles Davis story, Barry Manilow's Copacabana is at 83 and fading in week # 16.

7- Next up are a pair of massive dropping hits, each with 24 weeks logged on the chart!  The first is Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street at #84.

6- The other is that guy we can't get rid of, Andy Gibb with Shadow Dancing at 86.

5- Another long-timer on the chart at 19 weeks is Quincy Jones with Stuff Like That at #89.

4- In a bout of, "you mean they never released this?", the Beatles are on their third week on the chart, at # 92 "posthumously" with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help.

3- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are at 94 with their debut Listen To Her Heart.

2- Justin Heyward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues are at #95, debuting their haunting new single Forever Autumn.

And the top bottom?

...the Atlanta Rhythm Section, on their way down at 97 after 16 weeks with I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight!!!!!!!!

And as is usual when you have so many dropping songs on the BU, we missed the high debut of the week nationally- Foreigner's Double Vision, which started its chart life at #65 this week.


Way back here, nearly two years ago, you can find my story on the many and varied people who made up the Ohio Express.  They were (if you're too lazy to hit the link and scroll about halfway down), an amalgam of acts who'd cast their fate with an outfit called Super K records, and for many years there was a "touring OE" and a "Studio OE".  But Super K wasn't above just taking other acts and recording them under the aegis of Ohio Express.  One such group was the Measles, who recorded two songs on the debut OE album, Beg Borrow Or Steal- I Find I Think Of You, and And It's Time.  The Measles, if you know your music history, were led by one Joe Walsh, someday in the future of the James Gang and the Eagles.  Now Joe joined the Eagles during the recording of Hotel California, which was partially recorded at Criteria studios in Miami Beach.  And there, they influenced an act that was just recording his first US album- that guy we can't get rid of, Andy Gibb.  In fact, Joe actually played on the two number ones I Just Wanna Be Your Everything and Love Is Thicker Than Water!

That  first lp was called Flowing Rivers, and the song that gave it its name was to be the first single, but ended up the b-side to An Everlasting Love.  And that top 5 hit, which is also the the Epitaph on Andy's headstone, is the song that charted the highest this week (#7) but got no panel love.


And now, the Martin Ten!

Three debuts this week, and the first gets a tip o' the hat to Shady once again, who mentioned it in last week's comments!  It comes from the Bar-Kays, who rode the charts in 1981 with the song Hit And Run.  This week, they come in here at #10.

For those of you who are Black Keys fans, their leader Dan Auerbach released a side project called the Arcs.  There debut lp is Yours Dreamily, and they come in at #9 with a tune called Flower In Your Pocket, which I tease Scrappy about:

Put a flower in your pocket
If you seem them boy you drop it
And you run
You Run
They may pretend they like you
But man's best friend will bite you
Just for fun

The final debut this week is from the new Duran Duran lp Paper Gods.  I have a lot of candidates from that record in the top ten list, but I finally went with the single for my #8.  It's called Pressure Off.

Racey moves a notch to #7 with Some Girls, which I played for my son and he had to download it!

Adam Lambert slips three spots to #6 with Ghost Town, currently at #17 on the Adult Alternative chart.  Or was it Adult Pop?  They have a chart for every mood these days...

And at #5, up a pair, another song that KC downloaded, Castlecomer and Fire Alarm...

Family Of The Year is making a big splash here this week.  Their latest moves a big 5 to #4 this week, the new single Make You Mine.

Last week's #1 slips to three this week- Weezer's Island In The Sun.

The runner up this week is Family Of The Year's OLD hit, Hero, moving up a pair.

Before we hit the number ones, I have a quick story.  Michel Legrand is a French composer of jazz-flavored movie scores.  He won Oscars for Summer of '42 and Yentl, and best original song with Windmills Of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair.  He has ten other Oscar nominations, eight Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination and a slew of Golden Globes.  But perhaps a better measure of his success is the talent he passed down the generations.  This week, his daughter Victoria, leader of the duo Beach House, takes the #1 slot on the very prestigious Martin Ten with their hit, Space Song.

From a performance at Manchester Cathedral.

In the mean time, the Panel's number one...

...Exile with Kiss You All Over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  These guys were a ton better as a country act, IMHO.

Next time, we go back to the land of Nixon vs McGovern... 1972!  Don't miss it!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Can you put me in touch with Jack Ridout? I could use a few stock market tips and I was also thinking of putting some money on the 3rd race at Pimlico.

    I know I sound like a broken record, good buddy, but 1978 was not my favorite year in music. There were too many disco and easy listening records on the chart. I was hanging out in dance clubs that year. I cringed every time the DJ announced that he was going to "slow things down a little" because it always meant that I was going to have to endure "Three Times a Lady." (Believe me, ONE time is quite enough.) Another ballad, Anne Murray's "You Needed Me" brings back painful memories of a four year relationship that blew up in my face "You Needed Me" was her favorite song. Excuse me a second.


    My favorites in this post are "Copacabana," (a guilty pleasure, a song I hated to love), "Baker Street" (now you're talkin'!) and Foreigner's "Double Vision" (Yeah! - getting warmer). I appreciated the piece about Super K and I have a related post in the pipeline. Another guilty pleasure was "Beg, Borrow and Steal" by The Ohio Express. Thanks for the SDMM plug again this week and for mentioning "Hit and Run," the cool tune by the 80s incarnation of the Bar-Kays. "Hit and Run" only reached #101 on the Bubbling Under chart but went top 5 R&B. I'm glad it registered on the M-10.

    Cool story about Michel Legrand's daughter Victoria. Summer of '42 - Yeah! Jennifer O'Neill! ("Laughter becomes you.") ("I was never to see her again. Nor was I ever to learn what became of her.") Exile's "Kiss You All Over" was another guilty pleasure. Seems like I had a lot of guilt in 1978 and really not that much pleasure. :)

    Thanks for the music and memories, good buddy. I wish you and Scrappy a safe and happy weekend!

    FYI - next Friday I will be traveling the entire day and then spending the weekend visiting family. Please forgive me if I miss your Time Machine.

    1. I'm with you on 3 Times. And frankly I thought You Needed Me was painful enough without a heartbreak to add into it. I like a lot of AM's ballads, but that is definitely NOT one of them.

      " Seems like I had a lot of guilt in 1978 and really not that much pleasure. :)" I was a sophomore in '78. Obviously, that statement nailed me dead on!

      You have a good trip, come by late if you feel like it- being '72, you might find yourself trying to escape "Bread toxemia"!

  2. I could tell you I remember 1978 fondly, but that would be a lie as in truth I don't remember it much at all I was still in high school and I hated high school, it was a place to go and endure that said I do remember some of the music of the year back then I loved my music in fact I loved my music till I was about 40

    1. I'm with you there. By '78 I enjoyed my friends but not school so much.

  3. I was exploring life in Boise Idaho back then. Party party party and these songs bring back great memories. I really should get Ray to write about his days at Capitol Records. Oh the stories and who he met...unreal.

    1. He'll have at least one interested reader...

  4. Chris:
    --That PSA flight had way too many things going against FATE played the hand for them.
    --The Panel Four has some REAL good songs in that mix.
    --Say one thing - when the tunes bottom out, they drop like lead balloons...sign of those times?
    --Geez, Walsh got around in those days...!
    --I really liked Legrand's score for Summer of '42.
    (and the movie was a decent flick)
    Nice to know it runs in the family.
    --Exile went country?...Missed that one
    (I'm not getting all my memos)
    Still, a good band in ANY genre (imho)

    Very good ride this week

    Keep on rockin' up there, brother.

    1. Exile returned to country during my mid-80s country days, and had 10 #1s from 1983-87, the best IMHO was the one written for the singer's baby daughter, She's A Miracle. Great, great country music.