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


Friday, December 18, 2015

Time Machine week 54

Today we land in the merry year of 1970, and on December 18th, there were several things we see that we SHOULDN'T have seen.

In Germany, a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the birth-defect-causing drug Thalidomide is ended "without assignment of guilt."  And yet, the company, its charitable foundation, and for a time the government chipped in to pay victims with both one time lump payments and a monthly stipend- which the government took over paying after the foundation ran out of money.  The company has added more money to the foundation as recently as 2008.

In Poland, riots over a huge government price increase on basic foods led to rioting, and today the city of Gdynia will recover from hundreds of deaths caused when the Army was told to stop workers RETURNING to work, and fired into a crowd.

And at the Yucca Flats, Nevada, nuclear test site, a test set off nearly 300 meters underground managed to leak out.  It apparently was staged at an uncommon place in the desert test location- known as Baneberry- where groundwater (in the desert?) managed to magnify the 10 kiloton bomb's power, spreading fallout over an area of southern Nevada and south-central California that was implicated (though not proven) in the leukemia deaths of four site workers.

Welcome to another episode of Time Machine- the last for a little while.  With Christmas and New Years Day falling on Friday, I believe I will take a two-week sabbatical from TM until after the New year starts.  The Martin Ten will go on, and I'll let you in on them in some way, shape, or form, but without the hoopla I put into this feature.  Shortly thereafter, it will be time for the Beauty Contest Edition, so stay tuned for more info!  As for today, we have a Merry Christmas chart, a six degress that travels through the Rolling Stones to connect Peter Frampton with Chicago, a 7-debut Bottom's Up, and yet another rout in the Panel Four.  Come along, it'll be a blast!


Starting out with this week's Panel!  I did my best to come up with stations that have been on the list no more than once or twice, and though I had to round out the bunch with regular CKLW Detroit, I did a pretty good job!  The rest of the group are:  KIOA Des Moines, IA; WCRV, Washington NJ; WNIO Youngstown OH; CHED Edmonton; KAKC Tulsa; WMAK Nashville; KUDL Kansas City; KLIF Dallas; WTRY Troy, NY; WLAV Grand Rapids MI; and KXFM San Bernardino.  They totalled 22 different songs, including 4 #1s that didn't make the panel list:  Van Morrison's Domino (Youngstown), the Neil Diamond version of He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Edmonton),  Bloodrock's truly creepy DOA (Dallas), and the Partridge family with I Think I Love You (Troy).

Unfortunately for the competition, the winnah managed to grab six of the remaining number ones, and with the runner up ( by a 52-36 margin) taking the other two, that means that numbers three and four were skanked on #1s... and Number four might have the lowest score ever on a P4!  The results:

With a whopping 9 points and the national #2 (yes, #2) spot, Smoky and the Miracles with Tears Of A Clown.

With a more respectable 20 points, the national #3, the Fifth Dimension and One Less Bell To Answer...

Thus qualifying her for the Beauty Contest...
With 36 points, and the numero unos of Tulsa and Nashville, the national # 10, Dawn with Knock Three Times.

And at #1...on the national chart as well... stay tuned.


This next song was just too much fun (especially at the end) to not put it into the Martin Ten.  Where, you'll find out later.  Who, is a band called Little Green Cars.  Where and when, they are Dubliners, and the song was on their 2013 lp Absolute Zero...


And now, here's little Stevie with Bottom's Up!

That's NOT my name, damnit!

10- The first of the 7 debuts this week was clear up at #65, and a look at the calendar will tell you why- Michael Jackson's Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

9- The first five, in fact, are all debuts- the next one is that guy that looks like me, dave Edmunds with I Hear You Knocking at #68 this week.

8- The next newbie is the American Band, Grand Funk Railroad, at #75 with Mean Mistreater.

7- One spot up (or down, actually) are the Grass Roots with the first week of Temptation Eyes.

6- Another rookie this week is Judy Collins' a cappella Amazing Grace at #80.

5- A brief break from the debuts for a third weeker- Black Sabbath's Paranoid at 87.

4- Back to the debuts, with Bobby Goldsboro's Watching Scotty Grow- the "anti-Paranoid"- coming in at 88.

3- The last debut is a song I learned right here on its couple of visits to Time machine- Liz Damon's Orient Express with 1900 Yesterday, coming in at #92.

2- This week's runner up is another previous visitor to the old Tardis, the Mike Curb Congregation with Burning Bridges, at #96 in its second week.

And the Top Bottom......

...Wadsworth Mansion with Sweet Mary, in its second week, sitting at #99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So last year I did the highest charting Christmas song, and I needed a new way to celebrate the birth of Our Lord on TM this year.  So I decided to do it like I did this Independence Day.  No, not with fireworks-  find out who was #1 on Cashbox AND Billboard on all the Christmases in the Martin era, combine total weeks, and give us a Christmas Top Songs top ten!  And here we go:

10- Melanie's Brand New Key (1971), which collected 2 non-consecutive weeks on CB and 3 on BB for 5 total.

9- Billy Paul's Me And Mrs. Jones (1972; now there's a real holiday classic!) with a total of 5 weeks.

8- Ruppert Holmes' Escape (1979), with 6 total weeks.  Pina Coladas, anyone?

7- The Bee Gees with How Deep Is Your Love (1977), with 6 total weeks.

6- The Monkees with Daydream Believer (1967), racking up 8 total weeks.

5- And again with the Monkees- I'm A Believer (1966), with 8 weeks (all on CB as BB had Winchester Cathedral at the top Christmas week).

4- Rod Stewart with Tonight's The Night (1976), 8 weeks (all on BB since for some reason CB had You Make Me Feel Like Dancing at the top that week).

3- A song just featured on the panel four a couple weeks back, the Singing Nun and Dominique (1963) with 9 total weeks.

2- With a total of 12 weeks ( the BB 5 weeks being non-consecutive), Chic's Le Freak (Chris's Le Gag, 1978).

And the song with the most total weeks that was #1 at Christmas on BB and CB?

...Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1968), with 12 total weeks at the top!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Believe it or not, I had to stop production because I was lazy last weekend and never did the six degrees!  But I recovered just in time to mention that Peter Frampton turned 65 last April!

Oi, ya really had to mention that, dude?
But my story with him goes back to when he was a snot-nosed brat of 14, for it was then he was in the band the Preachers (no relation to the Preatures of recent M10s) with a gentleman named Tony Chapman.  Tony was the drummer for the Rolling Stones in their first public appearance, July 12th, 1962, 57 days after Yours Truly was birthed.  The birthing of the Stones came at the hands of one Brian Jones, who first was their inspiration and leader, then became overshadowed by the immense talents of bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, then fell into a huge drug problem- a battle he finally lost just a day before the Stones' big hit Honky Tonk Women was released.  The cowbell (again with the cowbell?  Didn't we just do this with BOC?) at the beginning was played by producer (and occasional drummer) Jimmy Miller.  Miller might have been the most famous for his co-writing with Stevie (whose name IS Stevie) Winwood in the bands the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic.  One of those comps was the tune I'm A Man, covered by Chicago on their debut lp.  And that lp held the song that this week was highest on the chart but got no panel love- Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, which sat at #7 on Cashbox this week.


And now, a just finished Martin Ten!

Hopefully I won't get in trouble with my boss for the song at #10.  He mentioned that he hadn't heard anything new "that tripped my trigger" in a while, so I wrote him down the prospective M10 for today... and I ended up choosing a different #10.  It's a song I decided to add after listening all the way through to Depression Cherry, which tells you Beach House is about to become the first act with a fourth M10 song... and here it is live...

Number nine is also a debut... the song you heard before, Little Green Cars with Harper Lee.

Jana Kramer slips a spot to 8 with I Got The Boy.

Castlecomer, who got a lot of good reactions last week, moves up a pair to 7 with their 2nd M10, Escapism.

And yes, Beach House is also at #6 and holding with Traveller- which officially puts them tied with their own Space Song as the leading M10 point getter so far.

Cage The Elephant Comes A Little Closer to the top, jumping from 10 to #5 this week.

The former #1 by Silversun Pickups, Nightlight, dropped from #2 to #4.

The Decemberist continue that steady climb, finding themselves two notches higher at #3 this week with The Wrong Year.

Avril Lavigne slides into the vacated runner up slot with I'm With You at #2.  And our number ones?

Panel says...

...George Harrison with My Sweet Lord, which had four weeks (all CB) in our little Christmas race- Smoky was on top mon Billboard.

And again at #1 on the M10.....

...Alvvays with Archie Marry Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that wraps our year!  Stay tuned next year for a new set of revolving years, the top songs of M10 2015, and the beauty Contest, when we return next year!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Thanks for your patience. I just got back off the road a little while ago.

    1970 was berry berry good to me. I remember listening to CKLW Detroit around that time.

    You might think Bloodrock's "DOA" is my kinda thing, but I always thought it was creepy, too. You mentioned the Partridge Family's hit "I Think I Love You." Mrs. Shady and I watch the superhero series Arrow (based on Green Arrow). The character Laurel Lance is played by Katie Cassidy, daughter of David Cassidy. At the age of 15, Katie recorded a cover version of her dad's "I Think I love You." (I think I love KATIE...but I'm still jumping for Joy (Harmon).

    I enjoyed Little Green Cars from Dublin, Ireland. I wonder if they ever sang "Little Green Apples." :) The Grass Roots were at their best early on when they sang "Where Were You When I Needed You" and "Let's Live For Today." However, several of their later, more commercial pop rock hits are guilty pleasures of mine, including "Temptation Eyes." Another guilty pleasure is "Sweet Mary" by Wadsworth Mansion (no relation to Marilyn Manson).

    Cool! You did what I am doing this week and next week which is featuring some of the great holiday season pop hits through the years. "Me and Mrs. Jones" and "Tonight's the Night" are great ballads and "I'm a Believer" and "Grapevine" were Shady Dell biggies. Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" rules.

    That Beach House clip had a dreamlike quality that reminded me of Julee Cruise singing in the roadhouse on Twin Peaks. Me likey!

    No more Time Machines until next year? Shirley, I will experience a painful TM withdrawal. In fact, I'm already getting the shakes. I can't wait for your Beauty Contest and find out if dark horse Jane Hathaway manages to upset Joy Harmon in the semi-finals and move on to face Granny Clampett for the title of Grand Champion.

    Thanks, Chris!

  2. From bottom to top:

    Granny does NOT, repeat NOT, make the Beauty Contest roster. She a) has to be in either a single still photo, or b) in a group photo with a DIRECT reference to her in the caption or the post. While she was in the group photo, Jed never mentioned her by name. However, I have tracked down the contestant list, and there are 54 qualifiers, which I whittled down to 14 quarter-finalists, and then to 6 semifinalists, from whom Scrappy will pick the winner when we get there.

    Glad you like Beach House. I am totally in love with Victoria Legrand. Molly Rankin of Alvvays, too. That's why Scrappy picks the winners.

    "My Sweet Lord rules." Truer words...

    Grass Roots are a lot like Neil Diamond for me. The ones that stuck with me, I really like, the ones that didn't I have no recollection of. Not a factor of what gets played on the radio all the time, either- I remember not long ago stumbling on to Neil's Do It- which I hadn't heard since approximately 3rd grade, but I saw the name and said, "Oh Yeah!"

    You and Bobby G would get along TV-wise. He watches the superhero shows too, and tipped me off to some Doctor Who actors making their appearances in them. Neat to see all the connections!

    My brother-in-law introed me to DOA back ages agone when he was trying to make a friend in the family. (Not good enough for dad). He also had me listen to LA Woman with him. I didn't get the Doors at that point... that finished them off. Still can't stand 'em.

    CKLW- My sister and I spent my childhood listening to CKLW. Most of my earliest music memories can be prefaced by the various "CKLW..." jingles. Though we did tend to listen to WOWO on the weekends. Back when it was worth listening to.

    I am planning an end of year countdown from the M10- but not necessarily from point values. I noted to Laurie that on the "top tens" playlist, which normally holds about 30 songs as I add some new and subtract the ones that have run their course (adding them to my main playlist of closing in on 2,600), there is exactly ONE song that was on the list on the original building at the end of August... and another that is just a week shy of that. Staying power will get figured in... whether it can overcome Beach House, rapidly becoming the Beach House of the M10 is anyone's guess.

    Hopefully talk to you before the holiday. If not, you and the Mrs. have a happy and blessed Christmas!

  3. You know what...I feel really old after seeing all of these songs that I listened to on the local radio stations. Waaaaa!

    1. Damnit, I keep telling you not to remember how old you ARE, but how young you WERE!

  4. Thanks for the trip down memory lane and I didn't fall over once how good is that, lol..........

    1. I did remind you to fasten your safety belt, slide your tray to upright, and extinguish all smoking items...

  5. After "Frampton Comes Alive," it was all downhill. And I don't just mean the hair.

  6. Chris:
    I like that year...great cars, I graduated from J.S., and Wifey was born (talk about robbin' the cradle ((yikes))!

    --Ever think that the whole Thalidomide gig was something cooked up (by some loons) in a roundabout way to control population?
    --Marilyn McCoo - (imho), on of THE best looking ladies of that era!
    (AND...she could sing)
    --The Emerald Isle has always had a steady stream of musical talent coming from across the pond.
    --LOL - Dave Edmunds rocks again...! ALright!
    --Wadsworth Mansion - can't Say I remember them to beat the band.
    --That was a pretty decent NON-Christmas "Christmas" top ten.
    --Nice 6-degrees...I'M A MAN was a great song off of Chicago (1). Imagine, the FIRST 2 albums were 2-record sets. Don't see THAT happen these days.
    --The BEACH HOUSE song reminds me of a group from decades, past, but I can't put a finger on them for the life of me.
    --Alvvays retains the top spot...C'om

    Very good ride this week.
    Keep the hits comin' up there, brother.

    Stay safe.

    1. - So she's the same age as my one niece... hmm...

      - Nope on the thalidomide- just another example of us not knowing what we were doing and liking the profits too much to stop. They had some pretty incredible misconceptions back then.

      - Thus the picture for Marilyn...

      - WM was a one hit wonder, and I keep wanting to mix them up with the other "thrown together" bands of the day like Edison Lighthouse.

      -Jana DID make the top ten on country this week finally.