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


Friday, April 1, 2016

Time Machine week 66

So today is April Fool's Day.  What caused April Fools in the first place?  Frankly, I'll wait until Jo-Anne Meadows or Al "Geezer" Penwasser explain it on THEIR blogs.  I have enough research invested in this stuff!  However, in the spirit of the day, I tell you what I'll do.  I'll give you your choice of "this happened on _ 1st, 1963", and let you guess which one happened today!  No googling now- here are your choices:

1. Winston Churchill retired, having won his second consecutive World War.    He left the door open to returning if someone could possibly start WWIII before he goes senile.

"Hang in there, Winnie!  We got this!"

2- General Hospital has its TV debut today.  In that first episode, 16-year old Luke Spencer (Tony Geary) begins his on-again-off-again romance with 1-year old Laura Webber (Genie Francis).

3- A man visiting the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow set off a bomb and blew himself up.  Frankly, I would have went for his travel agent, but a bad vacation is a bad vacation.

4- Morocco invades Algeria to reclaim a few hundred square miles of litter box gifted to Algeria by France in what became known as the Sand War.  Again, I would have went for the travel agent.

5- Richard Nixon, who faced his loss for Governor of California with the exclamation, "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore" last fall, solidified his non-political future by joining the law firm of Mudge, Stern, Ebbs, and Todd.

All right, one of these actually happened on April Fools Day 1963.  The rest happened on the first days of other months in '63- except for one which is a false statement.  Can you guess who is the truth, who is the lie, and who haven't happened yet?  Make your choices for A,B, C, D, or E and we'll give the answers in a bit.


Welcome to Time Machine for this week in 1963, and beyond the quiz above, we also have a couple of funny stories about the low charters of the week, yet another M10 that disappeared from Spotify, the song that kept Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields out of the top spot in the UK, and why it tops the six degrees, and how one act sits at the top two spots of the UK ten!  Have a seat- but watch out for whoopie cushions...

Especially THAT one!


The Panel this week consists of:  WHK Cleveland, KJR Seattle, WJET Erie, WBIX Muskogee, WSPR Springfield MA, WMCA New York, WCOL Columbus, KBOX Dallas, WQAM Miami, KDEO San Diego, WWHY Huntington, WV, and WKLO Louisville.  They combined for 28 different tunes, including number one votes for non-Panel Four tunes Young Lovers by Paul and Paula (Erie), Edie Gorme's Blame It On The Bossa Nova (Muskogee), Jimmy Soul's If You Wanna Be Happy (Springfield), and Jackie Wilson's Baby Workout (Columbus).

We had two songs that were only charted locally.  One was the #3 in Louisville, the Monarchs with This Old Heart.  The Monarchs had one big national hit called Over The Mountain.  NOT the Ozzie Osbourne version, but a tune subtitled And Across The Sea, which was actually on this week's Panel done by Bobby Vinton (#5 in Erie).  The other was by the Viceroys, a tune called Granny's Pad (#5 in Seattle).  They were led by one Jim Valley, who for one lp (Spirit of '67) was the lead guitar for Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Also this week, the Beach Boys were at #5 in Louisville with Shut Down, which was still a week away from the national charts.  But the lowest actual charter this week was an instrumental by the dartells, called Hot Pastrami, which sat this week at #143.

ANYway, the Panel Four this we-

WAIT!  A quiz announcement!  If you guessed C, you were wrong!  Because, the choices were NUMBERED, not lettered!  And if you guessed #3, you're still wrong.  The unhappy vacationer redecorated Lenin's tomb in September.

As I was saying:

With 13 points and the #1s from Huntington and Dallas, Ruby and the Romantics with Our day Will Come, the national #1. (Fooled you, it was #3.)

With 18 points and the #1 of Louisville, Skeeter Davis and The End Of The World, the national #1 (Got you again!  It was #2).

With 21 points and the #1s from Cleveland, Miami, and San Diego, the national # 22 (Fooled you!  It really was on the way up at #22), Little Peggy March and I Will Follow Him.

And at the top of both the Panel Four and the cashbox charts... Stay tuned.


 Debut #1 on the M10 this week gives The Knocks a third M10 hit.  Classic drops out, but this one, featuring the band Walk The Moon (who had a big hit last year with Shut Up And Dance) comes in at #10:


And now these words from Winston Churchill, who actually retired in May (thus, if you took A or 1 you were wrong):

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

(This quote will come in handy with the highest debut- stay tuned)  And with that, let's...

10- Gerry and the Pacemakers land here with the song that was given- and refused- by the Beatles first, How Do You Do It?  They didn't figure it out here until September of '64.

9- The Cascades were also at #5 here with Rhythm Of The Rain.

8- The next song is by Joe Brown- not the judge, but a singer whose daughter Sam sang with Pink Floyd on their Division Bell tour, with That's What Love Will Do.

7- A sneak peek at the Beatles, as Please Please Me was here this week.

6- Another non charter here was the Bachelors, with Charmaine- a song written way back in 1926.\

5- The Springfields- two brothers and sister Dusty- were at #129 this week in the US of A with Island Of Dreams.

4- Ned Miller's big hit from last year, From A Jack To A King, is two spots higher this week than it got in America.

3- Billy Fury was in the three-hole with Like I've Never Been Gone.  For US audiences, more like Like I Never Got Here.

2- Cliff Richard with his band, the Shadows, were at the runner-up position with Summer Holiday.

And the top dog in the UK-

...there's those darn Shadows again, on their own with the instrumental Foot Tapper!!!


Before we forget, here's that tenuous connect between the Churchill quote and the high debut this week- from Danish band Lukas Graham:


QUIZ Update:  The Sand War actually did happen- but it started in October.  Some people will do anything for a date.


And that song that kept the Beatles out of the top a few years later?  Why that would be Engelbert Humperdink's Release Me.  And this leads to a bit of a April Fools six degrees.  Because, the question is, what does that song and these songs have in common:

Under Your Spell Again, which Buck Owens took to #4 Country in 1959;
Hank Locklin's Please Help Me I'm Falling, which was a #8 pop hit in 1960;
Johnny Tillotson's It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin', #3 in 1962;
I Hear That Lonesome Whistle, kind of a prototype of Folsom Prison Blues, which Hank Williams Sr took into the country top ten in 1951;
and Don Gibson's Oh Lonesome Me, #7 pop back in 1957.

Give up?  Well, they were all covered by Bobby Darin on the lp You're The Reason I'm Living- whose title track was the highest charter this week (#7) with no Panel Love.


So the totally false event was the Dick Nixon hiring- he joined Mudge, Stern, BALDWIN (not Ebbs), and Todd, and he did so in May.  Which means if you picked the General Hospital debut, you are correct!  (And no, the part about Luke and Laura came when they were much older.

And now, the M10!

You've heard #s 10 and 8.  In between them comes a song that now makes it four acts- and two this week- to have two songs in the 10 at the same time!  When I first heard Lucius, it wasn't Madness, but THIS tasty cover:

Best Coast slide a pair to #7 with Feeling Ok.

Nada Surf, who became the third act with 2 songs in the ten last week, drop to #6 with the first of those, Believe You're Mine.

Eleanor Friedberger slips a pair as well, to #5 with the former #1 Two Versions Of Tomorrow.

The other Nada Surf tune, Cold To Be Clear, leaps 5 spots to #4.

The Jayhawks soar to #3 with Quiet Corners And Empty Spaces.

Once again, Spotify lets me down, pulling The Joy Formidable's Liana from their list- in fact, the video has been pulled from YouTube, just as the lp Hitch was released on the 27th.  On their FB page, the band says it will return to Spotify "soon", but that's kind of a slap in the face to cheap bastards new fans like me.  Nonetheless, it is on the M10 at #2.

And the #1s this week?  M10 says...

...Lucius with Madness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And on top of the Panel Four....

...the Chiffons with He's So Fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That wraps today's April Fools edition.  Tune in next week when spotify removes all my songs, Luke and Laura break all marriage age restrictions, and Winston Churchill pushes the button.... no wait, let's just do 1968 instead!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    Sorry I'm late, good buddy. I'm nearly 5 hours into reading and commenting on the grueling A to Z circuit and just now came up for air to take a ride in your regularly scheduled Time Machine.

    I am a big soap fan and correctly guessed that GH premiered on April Fool's Day 1963. I watched the program almost from day one and fondly remember the three main stars of those early years, John Beradino Emily McLaughlin and Rachel Ames. (Please find a way to enter Emma Samms in your Beauty Contest.)

    I was 13 in 1963. This was the year I really started to get crazy about pop music, so much so that I picked up a weekly WSBA radio top tunes survey, studied it, memorized it, and listened to the station for hours each day waiting to hear the survey tunes played on the air. Almost every song listed here is a memory flogger and part of the soundtrack of my youth.

    I'm happy to see mention of Eydie Gorme's hit "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" because it is seldom heard in recent decades, at least by me. I am also glad to see "Shut Down," a Beach Boys song that isn't as famous as most, and "Hot Pastrami," another relic of the period when instrumentals were just as likely as vocals to place high on the chart. Another great one is the smooth and soulful hit "Our Day Will Come" which was one of Mrs. Shady #1's favorite songs. (Unfortunately, our day came and went!)

    I'm on the road today listening to your tunage on a laptop and cannot hear much bass on it, but i enjoyed the fresh, clean sound of the Knocks song and the one by the Danish band Lukas Graham. My Pick To Click is the cover of We Five's "You Were On My Mind."

    It's interesting how many acts that were big in the UK did not have much of an impact in the U.S. and vice versa. I once had a blog friend my age in the UK who amazed me with her lack of knowledge about U.S artists and hits that were very much a part of my life. I surprised her with my blind spots about English artists and their hits.

    As I might have told you previously, I worked with The Chiffons in 1984 when I was stage manager for an oldies revival show in which the girl group appeared along with Freddy Cannon, The Earls, The Coasters, The Flamingos, The Tokens and Jewel Akens.

    Thanks, Chris, and have a Scrappy weekend!

    1. Don't worry about being late, I'm here all week! (Ba dumDUM!)

      My mom was a CBS soaps fan, and I grew up with Nancy Hughes and Ma Bauer. Can't say that Emma did much for me, but I didn't watch her every day either. I don't know as I ever really had an object of Lust on the soaps except maybe when Lisa Loring was on As The World Turns and of course when Morgan Fairchild was on Search For Tomorrow.

      Blame it on the BN got a bad rap as being corny, but I always liked it. Shut Down was of course on Endless Summer which I have listened to just as endlessly, and I think Ruby had one of the truly sexy voices out there.

      Since you mentioned instrumentals, it reminds me that a youtube commenter on the Shadows' UK hit mentioned that it was like 3 instrumental number ones that year- and then no more for the next five. No, I didn't stop to research his claim, but with that time frame I'm guessing the next one was Fleetwood Mac's Albatross.

      I love the harmonies on that cover, too. It's been a while since an act wowed me just on harmonies like Lucius.

      Working with those acts would have been Muy Cool! ESPECIALLY the Chiffons. Thanks for the stop by- or drive by, as the case may be!

  2. I thought about going with April Fool's but went with the first entry in the dictionary, instead. One guess as to what I used for my 'Z' entry? The A-Z Challenge is such a restriction on my creative writing mojo.

    1. I'm going with... "zither". Can you imagine a conductor pissed at the zither player? "You zithering idiot!!"

  3. Is it bad that I thought of Judge Joe Brown? haha But I wasn't born in 1963 yet.

    I used to watch General Hospital with my mom. I remember the whole Luke and Laura drama...kinda. I was young. But my mom was all wrapped up in it. Good memories.

    1. We used to watch 'GH' on the ship every day. And you thought we were just burly he-men.
      Okay, maybe you DIDN'T think that.

    2. I figured the Judge would come up, so I tried to precautionarily pre-empt him. And Al, I have the book, I've seen the pictures...

  4. Chris:
    --The General Hospital thing...(nasty bioy). It actually featured nurse Jesse Brewer (in real life married to Robert Lansing (the 4D man, 12 O'Clock High) and Doctor Steve Hardy (in real life, a former MLB player). Why do you make me DATE myself? LOL.
    Well, Shady did too, so I'm in GOOD company there.
    --Shame that guy didn't blow up the corpse of Lenin.
    --Algeria/Morocco: Another annexation for another "king?"
    --Mudge, Stern, Ebbs & Todd - coulda been a 6 rock group...heh.
    --The cushion looks BETTER than Whoopie these days.
    --Blame it on the Bossa-Nove - the ONLY thing Obama HASN'T pointed his finger at (yet)
    -- My God, I DO remember "Over the Mountain"...(wow).
    --Rhythm of the Rain - that DOES take me back.
    --I remember "From a Jack to a King", but done by ELVIS.
    --Nice find with having ALL those songs covered by Darin. Well done.
    --Lucius does a VERY good job with "You Were on My Mind." Almost as good as the original.

    That was a cool TM ride this week with all the April Fool stuff tossed in.

    And keep those hit's comin' up there, brother.

    1. Funny you should mention the 4D Man, I'm currently reading Michio Kaku's Hyperspace...

  5. Michio Kaku is VERY COOL. (and SO much better than Neil deGrasse Tyson).
    The premise of the 4D Man is being able to go THROUGH objects, which can save time when you have to walk AROUND them (like today's blog alludes to - national days).
    But you already knew that.

    1. Yup, Kaku actually used that IN the book. Def better than NDGT.