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


Friday, January 15, 2016

Time Machine 56- and the M50 finale

Today the Tardis limps into January 15, 1972.  Yesterday the King of Denmark passed.  And as the Danish monarch doesn't get a coronation ceremony- or even a crown- here's what happened today:

At 3:00 pm, at the balcony of the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag proclaimed three times, "King Frederik IX is dead! Long live Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II!" 

And that was the show.

No crown?  Where's that commoner Steve Harvey?  Off with his head!

And thus we enter this week's trip through musical time- a week that brought you the M50 (whether you remember them or not (of course, I have the advantage of a play list, so...)!  This week also has four new M10 debuts, How a fictional song will lead to a fictional band on the six degrees, and the second biggest mandate for a panel #1 in history! Plus all the other fun stuff usually associated with having to put up with an oldies freak like me.  So enter the Royal Chamber, have a seat on the throne (not that one!) and let's be off!


The panel this week in 1972 included KIOW Des Moines, WLS Chicago, WKNR Detroit, fan favorite WFIL Philly, KHJ Los Angeles, WKLO Louisville, WOLF Syracuse NY, WMEX Boston, KGY Olympia WA, KCBQ San Diego, WIXY Cleveland, and WDGY Minneapolis.  They strung together 23 different songs  including Joy by Apollo 100, which was debuting at 91, the lowest charting panel pick.  One of them had a number one that didn't make the panel four- Boston had Harry Nilsson's Without You- and gave me a wide variety to pick for the six degrees, as the national #s 3,7,9, and 10 never got a vote!

But the big news is that our number one ALMOST became the biggest winner in Panel history!  A few months back, the Four seasons' Sherry claimed 9 Panel #1s and racked up a record 52 points.  This week's number one just missed- 8 number ones and 51 points!  And who might that be?

Well, the panel # 4 with 0 #1s and 17 points, the national #6, was Jonathan Edwards and Sunshine (Go Away).

At #3 was the national #12, with 20 points and the #1 from Louisville, Badfinger's Day After Day.

The runner-up, with 24 points and the #1s of San Diego and Los Angeles, was also the national #1- Melanie's Brand New Key.

The runner-up nationally but top dog by a wide margin by the Panel... stay tuned!


And now, hand me three envelopes for the #s 8,9, and 10 songs on the M50! (Drumroll if you care to...)

It was number one just two weeks ago, a surprise to me as it was a song I hadn't expected to grow on me like it did- The Decemberists with The Wrong Year. It is the #10 song of my year.

The spirit's willin'
Flesh is getting bored
Speakers blaring out some long forgotten chord
Some misbegotten, long forgotten chord....

At #9 the song that set the record for highest debut at #4, then sat at the top for 2 weeks- the lovely Molly Pankin and Alvvays with Archie Marry Me.

During the summer, take me sailing out on the Atlantic
I won't set my sights on other seas, there is no need to panic
So, honey, take me by the hand and we can sign some papers
Forget the invitations, floral arrangements and bread makers...

At #8, One of the handful of songs that regular radio brought me to.  It peaked at #4 on the alternative charts a couple weeks back, and spent a pair of weeks at #1 here- Silversun Pickups and Nightlight.

If we enter, through the front door
With the keys we stole the night before
Now we have right to be the masters
Of the tangles of disaster

Ladies and gentlemen its time to unveil
If this is the moment now to ask "do we dare?"


Cue up God Save The Queen....

Yes, it's time for the top ten across the pond this week in 1972.

T-Rex hits again this week with a song that charted not at all here but peaked at #2 in London Town- it's called Jeepster, and it holds the 10 spot this week.  This is a great little tune, how did this not hit here?

Johnny Pearson, who hit over here with Sounds Orchestral and was the leader of the TV show Tops of the Pops over there, and his Orchestra were at #9 with a tune called Sleepy Shores.  This 9is an instrumental I knew, but didn't know I knew.  It used to play on a jewelry store commercial many years ago, I believe.

The Panel's #2, Melanie and Brand New Key, was in the #8 slot in the UK, as well as #1 hereabouts.

At number 7 was a song that BJ Thomas would make big here in a few months, but it was Elvis Presley who had the hit in the UK, eventually peaking at #6 with I Just Can't Help Believing.  The arrangement is virtually the same as BJ's so just transpose voices.

Cilla Black, whose only time in the top forty here was a song that Helen Reddy would make popular later- You're My World- was at #6 with a tune called Something Tells Me (Something Is Gonna Happen Tonight), on its way to a peak at #3.  A nice, poppy tune.

Hooray!  One of my favorite unknown-to-America British bands, Middle Of The Road, comes in with one of my favorites of theirs, Soley Soley, at #5.

Over here, they were called the English Congregation, and were just starting a climb at #88, but in the UK, they were the Congregation and were at #4 with Softly Whispering I Love You.

The #3 slot were the guys that brought English audiences such classics as Gatherin' The Mushrooms and Transistor Radio.  That's right, Benny Hill and his gang were there with the bit Ernie, The Fastest Milkman In The West, soon to be #1.

The dude at #2 I had virtually no luck at finding anything out about (Or at least I thought I did; after the fact, I see he's on wiki, so I must have been too lazy to look before typing).  He did have another song that peaked here at #41, but in both nations he was a one-hit wonder.  He was, to my surprise, a youngster (12) at the time, and the song is a real tear jerker for those of us who have lost ours.  As one You Tube commenter said, "MUM is such a small word until you haven't got one to say it to!"

UPDATE:  Boy I was sleeping here, as I forgot both the kid's name (Neil Reid) AND his song (Mother Of Mine.  What an idiot!

And at the top of the UK chart?  Well, it had 4 votes for 5 points on the Panel list between the two versions charting at the time.  The one at the top in the UK was at #13 in the US of A this week- the New Seekers with their tune (that became a classic Coke Commercial by the Hillside Singers) I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing!!!!!!!!


Another three envelopes, pleeeease...

One of two songs that didn't make #1 on the M10 on this top 10 show... Only because she had a heated battle with the song that ended up at #12 and the one that ends up at #4!  Jana Kramer's Boomerang comes in in the #7 spot after peaking at #2.

I’m a train burning down the tracks
I’m a phoenix rising from the ashes
Gone baby gone baby gone
There’s nothing left
There’s nothing left to say
I ain't you’re boomerang
I ain't the kind of thing
That you can throw away and watch it
Circle back around...

Another of those rare radio-introed tunes on the list (4 out of the whole 50!) is the French band Phoenix's #1 alternative from 2009, Lisztomania, which spent 3 weeks at the top and comes in at #6.

Think less but see it grow
Like a riot, like a riot, oh!
Not easily offended
Not hard to let it go
From a mess to the masses...

And believe it or not, a third of those four songs takes the #5 slot!  The third #1 in M10 history, with one of the neatest videos I've ever watched, is Weezer's Island In The Sun.  It was a hit in 2001.

On an island in the sun
We'll be playing and having fun
And it makes me feel so fine
I can't control my brain

We'll run away together
We'll spend some time forever
We'll never feel bad anymore

Hip hip

We'll never feel bad anymore
No no
We'll never feel bad anymore


In 1940, Bing Crosby and Mary Martin played unknowingly competing ghost writers for an a-hole of a singer in the movie Rhythm On The River.  Throughout this movie, a certain song was mentioned- a song that didn't really exist called Goodbye To Love.  One day Richard Carpenter watched the film and thought, hey, that would be a good title for a Carpenters' song.  So he wrote a tune and Karen sang it, but it needed something... else.  They came up with the idea of having Tony Peluso, whom they'd met on tour with Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders fame.  He played something sweet, Richard basically said, "No!  Really let loose!" and thus the fuzzy guitar break that made the song was born.

With Lindsay he was, in addition to being another former Raider, the leader of his usual backing band, Instant Joy featuring Tony Peluso.    But occasionally Mark worked with brothers John and Tom Bahler, who fronted a studio group known as the Love Generation.  LG played on some Partridge Family (that fictional band) songs, and in fact wrote one of my favorites, Together (Having A Ball).  They also played on some of David Cassidy's solo stuff too- though not necessarily David's song at #3 nationally that the Panel ignored- his cover of the Association's big hit Cherish.


Three more envelopes, thank you...

The aforementioned #4 spent 4 weeks at #1 on the M10, and was the third chronologically (as much as such a thing exists) on the M10 for Beach House- Traveller.

I was looking out of the window at the sky
Starless vigil of a life that has gone by
Saturn turning and I feel there's not much more
For a vision of the night turn off your light...

The one song from the first week on the M10 that is still on the playlist- and the song most intimately the cause of of the M10's birth- comes in at #3.  Never released as a single, it was a big hit anyway on some New England stations in 1977- NRBQ with Ridin' In My Car.

And over in the corner, all alone with you
Was the boy from last summer singin' songs to you
And he can't sing what I can sing, oh, it's so hard
And I still think about you every time I'm ridin' in my car (Ridin' in my car)

When I'm home alone, I can think of other things to do
But when I'm rollin' in forward motion, I think about only you...

And the worst kept secret of the M50- the #1 comes from a time BEFORE the M10 started!  The highest charting M10 song of the year is, not surprisingly to me, Beach House and Space Song- which if I went solely by points as I do on the Panel list would have Tied with Traveller for most points (74) and most weeks in the M10 (9).  Only one other song has lasted more than 6 weeks- The Wrong Year at 8.

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


And now, this week's M10:

I have four debuts, and I'll link up videos on a couple now and a couple later.  The first debut comes from a Spotify pick called the Great American Canyon Band.  They are from Baltimore, and consist of hubs and wifey team of Paul and Krystal Jean Masson.  Their song is called Crash, and it comes in at #10.

The Wrong Year has already gotten a couple mentions, so I'll just say it slips from 6 to 9 to grab that 8th week.

The song at 8 is the latest one I pulled from Alvvays' debut lp.  A sad tune of love lost, it's called Next Of Kin.  Next week for sure.

The first of the two songs I will link up is a radio tune- it charted apparently just before we got the Alt station in Fort Wayne.  The band is called Nothing But Thieves, and their song...

...sits at #7.

The second video tune is another debut, and a spotify suggestion that hit the nail on the head.  This guy I definitely had troubles finding anything out about.  In fact, here's the scoop on him from Third Man Store:

In May of 1966, the unknown singer Jack Wood recorded two songs at Great Lakes Studio in Sparta, Michigan. These unique, otherworldly songs “Born to Wander” and “So Sad” would be self-released by Wood on his own Lawrence Records imprint in an edition of 100 copies. Going nowhere and being quickly forgotten, it would take Wood ten years to pay back the $250 he borrowed for the entire endeavor. 

And I find it the most impossible thing to believe that THIS is the song that went nowhere...

No such problem here.  It immediately becomes the highest charting '60s song on the M10, debuting at #6.

Unfortunately for Dent May, it's getting crowded at the top, and he got squeezed down a pair to #5 with Born Too Late.

That crowding left the Little Green Cars parked at #4 with Harper Lee.

The source of that crowding?  Ducktails, who leapfrog a couple to #3 with Headbanging In The Mirror.

As I always tell Laurie when I drop a #1... "The King is dead...", for Beach House slips to #2 with Beyond Love.

And now, our three #1s!

Panel says...

...Don McLean and American Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

M10 says...

...Boz Scaggs and Small Town Talk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the number one on the M50 is going to take a bit of explaining, hard to do because I was just listening to it again and as usual did an imitation of a fountain.  Time Crash is a indie band from Chicago and lays claim to the title of the nation's first "Trock" band.  Trock is Time Lord rock, the rage in the UK for Doctor Who fans.  This band has an lp called Regeneration which I discovered on the way to other things.  They mainly do songs relating to the David Tennant era (like Metacrisis Man) with a smattering of Matt Smith ( Little Amelia).  But the song I love is from the heartbreaking end of David Tennant's run, where he holds off his regeneration long enough to say goodbye to his many friends.  They don't have this song on You Tube, so I hope this link thing I found works (it did not, but you can play it- and I hope you will... here.  At #1, I give you... Time Crash.

  And there you have it!  Tune in for our more regular Time machine next time where we go to... 1978!  Allons-y!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    1872 was berry berry good to me! Oops, I mean 1972. (I was too young in 1872 to remember much about it.)

    I used to collect various artists record albums hosted by the DJs at WFIL Philly. Those budget long-plays typically had 20, 30 or more songs on them, which meant that roughly a third of the recordings were edited to fit. Plus, they were pressed on low grade vinyl. On a positive note, they made excellent Frisbees. I used to toss them in the park and allow my dog to run after them. He kept wanting to fetch and bring them back to me but I eventually trained him to bury them instead.

    The first "me-likey" that I came to in this post is Badfinger - "Day After Day." Next comes B.J. Thomas/Elvis - "I Just Can't Help Believing."

    What a coincidence! I just discovered Middle of the Road about a week ago while doing research. They remind me of Pickettywitch, the group that I posted about in 2014:

    I always had a negative reaction to "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" because it seemed like pandering to the masses.

    Some of my earliest memories are of watching Mary Martin in the androgynous role of Peter Pan. Mary was the mother of J.R. Ewing - Larry Hagman.

    Me likey "Trip Switch" by Nothing But Thieves! Their song is cool and the video contains all the essential elements needed for greatness: pole dancing women, fighting, pole dancing women, spooky ghosts (or was that a KKK rally?) and, last but not least, pole dancing women!

    Me like "Born To Wander" by Jack Wood (not to be confused with the song of the same name by Rare Earth). Jack Wood's ditty sounds like the soundtrack of Reefer Madness which is a very good thing indeed.

    Thanks, Chris, and have a great weekend!

    1. 45s weren't as good. We tried it with ramJams Black Betty, and I ended up with a big cut on the bridge of my nose.

      I see the resemblance with Pickettywitch, which the tardis has run into a couple of times before. I have a ton of MOTR on my main Spotify list, and Soley Soley was the one that won me over.

      Knew about Mary Martin. A lot of people, it would seem, don't know her beyond PP and JR. A shame, that.

      I told Laurie I KNEW you were gonna like Trip Switch, and I knew WHY you were gonna like it, lol! I can't say I exactly grasped the whole thing but my favorite flash was when the guy in the suit steps up to the mic...

      I kinda figured you'd like Jack too. That song blew me away! And he got Jack for it, smh...

      Say, what did you think of Time Crash?

    2. I like it, Chris, but I am not a fan of Harry Potter and wasn't familiar with Time Lord Rock, Trock, geek rock, nerdcore or any of the other subgenres I traced on Wiki. It just goes to show how many diverse styles there are. It boggles the mind!

  2. I'm sure at the king's passing, they served danishes.
    Prune, of course.
    Because it was a crappy occasion.

    1. In Denmark they call them "Viennese Bread."

      Kind of like the french calling french fries English Fries.

      "You aren't blaming that crap on us!"

  3. So, Coke taught the world to sing?
    What did Pepsi do? Teach it to burp?

  4. Those lyrics shout "Groovy dude, want some pot?"
    Hope you're enjoying the weekend, DR.

    1. Which ones, RC? Don't wanna waste a boofer on the wrong tune...

  5. I am a big Jonathan Edwards fan (he continues to tour and record). A few years ago, having saved "Sunshine" for the encore, he made a joke about half the audience thinking "that's who this guy is."

    1. Oh, that's too funny! Having a sense of humor about being typecast? Priceless.

  6. Chris:
    --WFIL - (560 AM on the dial)...nice way to kick this off!
    --Sorry, never DID like "Brand New Key" by Melanie...overplayed back then and didn't do a thing for me (except keep me away from roller skates...LOL.
    --And I would have NEVER guesses that the late BENNY HILL would have made it to #3 (well, maybe in the UK). Well done.
    (wish they would bring back his comedy show reruns)
    --Jana Kramer only made it to #7...(sighs)...maybe next year?
    --That was a good find about Mark Lindsay...only thought e was with the "raiders".
    --I really DO like that Jack Wood song (Born to Wander)...I also have a hard time believing the tune didn't chart...((why?))
    --And at the "top" - simply CANNOT go wrong with Don McLean's AMERICAN PIE!
    And, I checked out the whole ""TROCK phenomenon (I never get all my memos thee days), and found it strangely appealing (wonder WHY?
    Timecrash was av ery good find indeed. The link worked and their song is a wonderful homage to Tennant's farewell.
    (Still, NOTHING beats Murray Gold's VALE DECEM cut on the soundtrack CD)
    Glad the USA got a slice of that UK TROCK pie now.
    Like to get the whole album (a TANGIBLE version and not a digital download).
    Makes me want to check out more artists now (see what you started...heh)

    Excellent ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' & stay warm up there, brother

    1. Lindsay had a couple solo lps, and the singles Arizona, Silver Bird, and Miss America- not to mention that Indian Reservation was basically a Lindsay solo with the Raiders' name to help it sell.

      I still have that new Jana coming up.... but it might take a while to fight her way in.

      Let me know what you find that you like!