Follow by Email

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


Friday, January 22, 2016

Time Machine week 57

Forgive me if the ride is a little bumpy today.  The Tardis is a bit balky today.  Part of it is a sporadic reluctance of my keyboard to get it's message across to the computer screen.  The rest is that the last things I put together are the six degrees and the opening bit here.  Well, let me tell you I had to stretch mightily to even get four degrees this week, and the best I could do for what happened on target day January 22, 1978?  Johan Christian Lankes, Ambassador of West Germany to Ethiopia, was declared persona non grata  (Latin, plural: personae non gratae, literally meaning "an unwelcome person," refers to a foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country is prohibited by that country's government.) by the Ethiopian government.  Why?  I really couldn't figure it out (other than a google-translated page that seemed to blame it on the East Germans), other than to learn that he had also been thrown out of Portuguese Guinea in 1972.

Couldn't even find a picture of the guy... so here's a nice picture of Scrappy from 2013.

And so, here we are on what I hope will be an exponentially improving Time Machine, seeing the sights and hearing the tunes of this week in 1978!  Before we get too started, check Wednesday's post for the two songs that debuted on the M10 last week and I didn't get to then (Note to Shady- Molly Rankin!).  Anyway, you'll get two NEW debuts this week, plus an English Ten that actually has 6 songs (or 7, depending) that actually charted here, and a Panel battle that was actually close most of the way through!  What the heck, if you made it this far, whaddaya got to lose?


The panel this week includes CKLW Detroit, WHB Kansas City, WRKO Boston, KTKT Tucson, KEBQ also from Kansas City, WDRC Hartford, WLS Chicago, Chum Toronto, WYSL Buffalo, and one of my old favorites (late at night if the clouds were right), WLAC Nashville, and the Springfield twins- WCVS (Illinois) and WHYN (Massachusetts).  They only managed 18 different songs, and stayed towards the top- their lowest nationally charting choice was Con-Funk-Shun's Ffun, which WLAC had at #5 and Cashbox at #32.  They also managed to have three songs that got #1 votes but didn't make the final four this week- Hartford had Billy Joel's Just The Way You Are at the top; Player's Baby Come Back was tops in Nashville; and the Bee Gees ruled the Illinois Springfield with How Deep Is Your Love.

And the Panel's top four?

With 19 points and the #1s of WHB's side of Kansas City and Boston, the nation's #2, Randy Newman's Short People.  I remember actually having to explain this song to a short girl who was offended by it, no lie.

With 22 points and the #1 from Toronto, the national #4, Rod Stewart and You're In My Heart.

With 26 points and number ones from Tucson and Buffalo, the Bee Gees- yes, them again- with the national #14 with a bullet, Stayin' Alive.

And the top song of the Panel, with 4 #1s and 32 points, the national #1.... or #1s... (that's a clue) stay tuned.


Well, you can't say I didn't tell you that I was going to give you the lamest six degrees ever, so let's get it out of the way fast:  Cue up Barbra Streisand...

Wait... are you saying I'm LAME?

Well, not precisely.  After all, in just ten months you will torture treat us to your biggest hit, You Don't Bring Me Flowers with Neil Diamond.  And before that, you'll hit with the theme from The Eyes Of Laura Mars (which was a better song to me, but y'know...).  But we have a Time Machine, so we can go back to your very first record, which your record company wanted to title Sweet And Saucy Streisand, but you vetoed in favor of The Barbra Streisand Album.  Both really catchy, no doubt.  You had gotten that far singing nights in gay bars like Bon Soir and the Lion, courtesy of the booking help of your boyfriend (who would eventually come out himself), Barry Dennan.  Avoiding the cheap "look what dating HER does to a guy" joke- oh, wait- Barry comes into the equation having been the voice of Pontius Pilate on the original Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.  And who do we find playing that part in a 1993 touring revival of JCS but the lead singer of the band in question, and the writer of the song in question, Dennis DeYoung and Styx, who was at #9 this week- but got no panel love- with Come Sail Away.

Maybe if your Wiki entry had a little more beef in the bio...


The first of the debuts I want to share with you is from a band that showed up in my Spotify suggestions this week called the Quiet Hollers.  While looking up the song sent to me, I read that they had another, supposedly better song- and it was true.  And it is that "chilling" song that I debut at #9 on the M10 this week.

...and I used to worry what clothes I had on 
the school recitals and the manicured lawns 
and I had a laundry-list of people 
I could count on if it all went wrong... 
and then the bomb.


And now, a word or two from Winston Churchill:

A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll forward.

And now, our new tradition:

So let's take a look at the top ten this week in the UK:

10- Scott Fitzgerald, whose biggest claim to fame was coming in second ten years later in the 1988 Eurovision contest, combines with Dutch songstress Yvonne Keeley for a tune called If I Had Words.

9- I promised you 6 (maybe more) songs that were also on the American charts.  The first of those was at #12 on the Cashbox charts this week- and would end up peaking at 6 in both nations- Chic with Dance Dance Dance (Yowzah Yowzah Yowzah).

8- The second was one of my special favorites that OUR stations wouldn't play but I could hear on CKLW, Bill Withers and Lovely Day.  Over here, thanks to idiot stations like the ones in Fort Wayne, it peaked at 30; there it hit #7- and then it hit #8  as a remix in 1988.

7- This song topped out at 5 in the UK and #2 here, but was on its way down in both countries (it had fallen to #37 here)- Crystal Gayle's Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.

6- The next song wouldn't make it to our shores for another few weeks, debuting near the end of March, but soared to #3 once it did!  It makes it to #4 eventually in the UK- Bonnie Tyler and It's A Heartache.

5- A song that went #6 on the R&B chart here, and was just short of its peak of 21 in the US of A this week- Odyssey and Native New Yorker.

4- The Brotherhood Of Man, a choir who hit big in the US with United We Stand some years back, would end up hitting the top with the song Figaro, which was not released hereabouts.

3- Donna Summer released this one in Europe only, called Love's Unkind.

2- Another future #1 in the UK was the song at #2 by the teenage Jamaican girls Althea (Rose Forrest) and Donna (Marie Reid), Uptown Top Ranking.  It was a cover of a song by an act called Trinity to which the girls added some DJ style ad-libbing, as a joke at first- until it made them famous.

And the song at #1, the song that gives us six-or seven- US charting songs, was the first single to sell 2 million in the UK, one of their biggest hits of all time.  In the US, Wiki says that the flip side was the hit here, and was the one that was at #57 this week, on the way to a chart topping at #33.  BUT, I remember that it was the UK #1 that played here, and it was the one that Casey Kasem played on AT 40, so I don't know where exactly the b-side was the hit.  The song(s) in question?

....Wings with Mull Of Kintyre/Girls School!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And now, the Martin 10...

The Great American Canyon Band (which you may have listened to Wednesday) holds at #10 with their hit Crash.

You already heard the Quiet Hollers with Mount Blanc at #9 in their debut week.

And at #8 a band led by a guy with a name that sounds like a woman.  The band is called Diane Coffee, and the hit debuting at # 8 is this:

Gotta love that lp title- Everybody's A Good Dog.  BTW, the lead singer of Diane Coffee, Shaun Fleming, is a former Disney child voice actor, who played Goofy's son Max in a Christmas direct to video.

The song at # 7 was almost going to be Dent May, but at the last second I changed my mind- Born Too Late falls off the M10, and Little Green Cars hang on, dropping from 4 to 7 with Harper Lee.

Moving up a pair to #6, Alvvays and Next Of Kin, which was also on the Wednesday post.

Whenever I play the M10 for Laurie and the #1 from the week before drops, I always introduce it with, "the king is dead."

The king is dead.  Boz Scaggs drops to #5 with Small Town Talk.

Beach House slips another couple with Beyond Love, dropping to #4.

And why is everybody falling, because of the next two yahoos.  At #3, up 3, is jack Wood with Born To Wander.

And the #2 song blasts its way up from a debut of #7- Nothing But Thieves with Trip Switch.

And that gets us to our number ones.  For the first time, the M10 has its third different number one in as many weeks...

...Matt Mondanile and Ducktails with Headbanging In The Mirror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  For the second time ever, and the second time in three weeks, a song I could NOT have told you right from the start would hit number one HAS hit number one!

And, the panel sayeth...

...Queen with We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is a wrap, and tune in for a hopefully less rocky journey next week, as we hit 1966!!!!!!!!!


  1. Hi, Chris! Hi, Scrappy!

    1978 was berry berry good to me. Me likey "Baby Come Back" by Player, members of which included Ronn Moss, the actor who played Ridge on The Bold and the Beautiful for many years. Just to show you how smart I am, I'd like to remind you of the other "Baby, Come Back" song recorded by Eddy ("Electric Avenue") Grant and his band The Equals. See how smart I am?

    Randy Newman's "Short People" is on my list of all time most annoying songs. I'll take Annette's "Tall Paul" any day! I did not like the Bee Gee's disco phase. Their 60s output had much more credibility. I was not thrilled with Barbra's (or Diana Ross's) love ballads and duets that proliferated during the 70s, preferring refreshing alternatives like the evil Kiss clones singing "Rip-Rip, Rip and Destroy" in Phantom of the Park. Let's add "Dance Dance Dance (Yowzah Yowzah Yowzah)" to my list of me no likeys.

    I do like Rod's "You're In My Heart," a record that was riding the chart around the time of my divorce and the start of a new four year relationship with a co-worker. (It did not end well.) Me likey Bonnie Tyler's "It's A Heartache."

    Holy smoke! Those are powerful lyrics in that Quiet Hollers song! I like it a lot. It's bleak, reminds me of Rick Springfield's powerful recording and video "Rock of Life":

    Diane Coffee is an unusual act. At first you'd swear the lead singer is female but then you realize it's "a boy" but you wish it wasn't. Then the backing vocals come in and it turns into a cool ELO "Mr. Blue Sky" kind of affair.

    Thanks, Chris! I look forward to visiting 1966 next time, a year that was berry berry good to me!

    1. So much to reply to...

      Yes, I knew Ridge was in Player (long time soap addict here, I had Michael Damian's album) and to my surprise I knew Eddy Grant's song to, though I'll be hanged if I know from where. But I knew it from note one.

      Right before it, I played that Uptown Top Ranking. If you like reggae a la Johnny Nash, it's worth a listen. And playing Brotherhood of Man and Donna Summer before it, it kicked both their asses. Love's Unkind might be the worst DS song ever- I told Laurie it put me more in mind of Tiffany. (Gag)

      We've talked about disco before, and at the time I was very into the Bee Gees, though their disco portfolio doesn't come near the quality or lasting power that Run To Me on back does. Therefore I tend to agree with you on MOST Chic songs as well. I don't exactly know what to tell you on Short People and Tall Paul, but I suspect a female giant might be coloring your take here, lol!

      The ballad girls: For me, Streisand pretty much begins and ends with Prisoner, The way We Were and Stony End. I do love Mahogany, really liked Love Hangover, but she died for me with Upside Down and thereafter.

      Did your co-worker resemble Britt Eklund? That would be irony.

      I did know Rock Of Life too, though not well.

      I would have to say I was the same boat with Diane Coffee. I tumbled onto the truth about the third play (which is generally when I start paying more attention).

      Oh, and on the Wednesday post- I understand completely. You see it a lot more in the Archie video, but it's like an extra "air of mystery". Kinda like Susanna Hoffs (? hope Im right there) in Walk Like An Egyptian. Man, those eyes!

      Laurie was wanting to know if you had anything to add on the Mull of Kintyre/Girls school thing. She didn't know either one, because Fort wayne believed in "all top 20, all the time" back then.

      Thanks for adding a layer of more fun to the proceedings every week!

    2. Hi again, Chris (& Laurie) (& Scrappy!).

      My co-worker resembled a young Mary Steenburgen on Mary Steenburgen's best day.

      Do you mean THIS Susanna Hoffs?

      As Johnny Carson would say:


      Tell Laurie I skipped over the Wings thing because I drew a blank on it, but when I watched the video just now and saw those pipers it all came back to me. I do remember that song and video but I don't remember it as being a big hit in my part of America. I don't remember the B side, "Girls' School," at all. Just to show you how smart I am, here is that other "Girlschool" song, the one by hair band Britny Fox:

      See how smart I am?

      Have a great weekend, you three!

  2. Quiet Hollers have a good sound to my ears. Dianne Coffee is okay but I'd rather have a Starbucks. That Queen song with the long title is one of my least favorites by them--it's so trite and monotonous. Of course I'm sure I'm in the minority on this since the song has such staying power.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out
    Wrote By Rote

    1. Frankly, I liked Killer Queen and Somebody To Love better.

  3. Boz Skaggs will NEVER drop down in my world..Love him. Queen...priceless. I went to a fair in Massachusetts and walked by Crystal Gayle singing her hit. Wasn't that her only hit? Lol. Great list of songs this week.

    1. My book, either, Boz is the MAN! Crystal had a lot of other good hits (like Half The Way), but only charted country for the most part.

  4. Chris: picture of that guy? Tall about being a REAL footnote in history!
    --You might have to "splain" that song to ME...because I never liked it (or Randy Newman) either,
    --Sorry, but since I'm a Neil Diamond fan, I actually LIKED that duet w/ Streisand ()before she got all libtardy on us). It had some "history" for me.
    --HAH..dated Pilate (Dennan) from the original JCS...good find there.
    --Really LIKE that QUIET HOLLERS SONG, too.
    --Nice UK list...Chic's Dance (ditto x2) was a good song in it's day.
    --Lovely Day's one of those "feel good" tunes...sure don't make many of THOSE any longer.
    --BoM's FIGARO never hit HERE? That's amazing. It's a very nice tune (and the ladies of this "BRIT-ABBA"group were SO dang "HOT"!!!
    --EVERYBODY'S A GOOD DOG>..God, if ONLY that were true, hmm? Hood song.
    --QUEEN! Almost everything they wrote was great, but WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS has been one of THE best (imho), and if memory serves, that was adopted as an "anthem" of sorts when the USA team beat the Russkies in 1980 at hockey?

    Very good ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother!

    1. Short People doesn't need 'splaining... just actually listening to the first two lines of the chorus.

      When we played Figaro, I told Laurie "If you didn't know who it was, you'd swear it was ABBA." But, alas, to chart here, it must be released here. A&R men whaddya gonna do?