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


Friday, April 15, 2016

Time Machine week 68

So today is Tax Day 1970, and we cruise past the grim scene of Apollo 13 on its way hopefully home.  The oxygen tank blew two days ago, and today one of the battery packs blows, and the crew began assembling the makeshift carbon dioxide filters so they can keep breathing another few days.  I know, we'd love to help, but...

Meanwhile on earth, it's time for Time Machine once again, as we return to all our old favorite features, as well as a brand new mystery...

Here are Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.  They are in a musical.  One of these men was described by the leading lady as having a voice "like water gurgling down a rusty pipe"; one of them sang a tune from this movie that makes the UK top ten this week.  Yes, one of THESE TWO.  (And to think the leading lady had her songs scrubbed and dubbed!)  Also, a tight battle between the Panel's top 2, and the return of the Tennessee Bird Walk!  So pull up a lunar lander, pass that roll of duck tape to Jack Swigert, and let's go!


The mighty Panel for today contains the following moving parts:  WCOL Columbus, WHAR Clarksburg WV, WCFL Chicago, KYNO Fresno, WIFE Indianapolis, WVOK Birmingham, WFLB Fayetteville/Ft Bragg NC, KQV Pittsburgh, CHER (but no Sonny) Sydney, Nova Scotia, KTKT Tucson, WLOF Orlando, and WTRY Troy NY.  They gave us 26 different songs this week, with a low chart this week of #100 for the Gentrys with their cover of Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl.  Well, except that Clarksburg hadn't got the memo and still had Brook Benton's Rainy Night In Georgia at #4 although it had dropped off the national chart 2 weeks ago.  They also racked up 8 #1 votes, including George Baker's Little Green Bag (Fresno), Tyrone Davis' Turn Back The Hands Of Time (Birmingham AND Fayetteville, but no other votes), The Moments' classic Love On A Two Way Street (Pittsburgh), and, on an ironically cool day in Tucson, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition with Something's Burning.  Oh, and in Columbus, a song I know I brought up once before, though Google has amnesia, Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan's Tennessee Bird Walk.

And as far as that tight (28-27) race?

With 12 points but without a #1, the Guess Who with American Woman/No Sugar Tonight, which were respectively at #s 12 and 39 nationally.

With 15 points and the #1 from Chicago (big shock there) the Jackson Five with ABC, the national #2.

With the aforementioned 27 points and the number ones of Orlando and Troy (which were the last two stations I picked and cut the deficit from 25-12), the national top dog... or wait?  When it's this close, you tell me:  Was the #2 Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In The Sky, or the Beatles' Let It Be?  Make your picks, find out at the end!


Three debuts in the M10 this week, and here comes the first.  From a 4-piece Minneapolis outfit called Carroll...

Bad Water comes in at #10 this week.


And now a word from famous composer and more famous astronomer (BONUS POINTS if you can tell me what he's famous in astronomy for- answer at the very end of the post) William Herschel;

Seeing is in some respect an art, which must be learnt.

And speaking of art, hearing is also a form.  So with that, it's time to

The UK top ten for this week in 1970:

10- a re-issue of the Four Tops classic I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch).  It had only made it to #23 in it's first trip in 1965, despite hitting the top here.

9- Jimmy Ruffin, a very underrated voice IMHO, was bigger with this one, Farewell Is A Lonely Sound, than in the US of A (#104.  ???)

8- And here we answer the question posed at the beginning...

Lee Marvin was both the "gurgling voice" and the singer of the big UK hit Wanderin' Star, from the movie Paint Your Wagon.  It was on it's way to the top in the UK;  You might know it better as the song playing on the Amazon Prime commercial where the doggie with the broken leg is upset until his master orders the baby carrier for him...

Clint, while he did sing, had the good sense not to have it released as a single.

7- This is a song Aretha Franklin did on an lp of the same name- and charted at #76-, but in the UK it was a hit for Bob and Marcia (Addy and Griffith, respectively), Young Gifted And Black.

6- I have a Freudian slip story to tell you here.  The song at #6 is the somewhat annoying Gimme Dat Ding by the Pipkins, which would peak at #9 in JULY here.  Now, I remember when this was playing back in the day; and a girl named Julie asked me, "You know that song, Gimme Dat Ding?  Isn't that selfish?"  (Yes, she was being sincere, if not terribly bright for a third grader.)  The slip comes in as I look at my notes and see that I wrote, "#9 in Julie" rather than July...


This one is either the # 1 or #2 song on the panel...  But since I can tell you without saying which, Spirit In The Sky is at #5 in the UK.

4- Mary Hopkin, famous here for Those Were The Days,  charts here with the runner up in the 1970 Eurovision contest, Knock Knock Who's There.  And the winner is ahead...

3- Andy Williams comes in here with a remake of Elvis' Can't Help Falling In Love, a tune that made 88 over here.

2- Back in February and March, Simon and Garfunkel were on top in the states with Bridge Over Troubled Water; in the UK, they are just now at #2.

And tops of the tops....

Her name was Dana Rosemarie Scallon, singer and future Irish Presidential candidate who went by just Dana, who was not only at#1 but won Eurovision with All Kinds Of Everything.


New debut #2 comes from a band from Regina, Saskatchewan.  Meet Erin Passmore and Rah Rah...

Fix Me sits at #9 this week.


Our six degrees start with an advertising exec and a PR man- Joe Beal and Jim Boothe.  They are the gentlemen who wrote Bobby Helms classic Jingle Bell Rock.  Helms was also responsible for the top song on the Great '50s Countdown, My Special Angel.  The Vogues would later take their version into the top 10 of my Great 60's Countdown.  That was on the lp named for the first single off it, Turn Around, Look At Me.  Another song on that disc was a song called It's Getting Better- which would later chart by Mama Cass (#58).  Cass Elliot was another one caught in that late sixties trap- she wanted to do her own thing, but the record company wanted her to sound a little like her old Mamas And Papas days, with a hefty dose of bubblegum thrown in- hence the lp title Bubblegum, Lemonade, And Something For Mama.  Also on that record was the first recording of the song that, recorded by Bobby Sherman (another "other Bobby"), is our highest charter that got no Panel love- Easy Come Easy Go, which sat at #7 this week.


And now, the M10.

You have heard #10 and #9; the third new song is at #8.  They hail currently from Denver, though lead vocal Emi Knight is a Hoosier girl.  I wish I had better to give you than this live version, but when it's all you got...  Presenting the Strawberry Runners...

Lukas Graham becomes another numbers game victim with Drunk In The Morning slipping 2 to #7.

The Lucius cover of You Were On My Mind holds at 6.

To my great surprise and enjoyment, The Joy Formidable is back on Spotify, and thus, Liana reverses course and moves back to #5.

Speaking of Lucius, they grudgingly give ground to #4 with Madness.

Next, the Nada Surf twofer- Believe Your Mine, falling just 2 weeks ago, hits its high water mark at #3, while Cold To Be Clear hangs on to #2.

And at the top?  M10 says...

...the Jayhawks break a four week streak of one-and-done #1s with their second week on top with Quiet Corners And Empty Spaces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel- did you guess right?

...Norman Greenbaum with Spirit In The Sky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Norman was #4 on CB this week, but just hung on to keep the Fab Four from another win.

Next week, we'll go back to April 1965!  And in the mean time, to answer the William Herschel question, he... well,, umm...

He found Uranus.

"The planet, you jackass!  The planet!"


  1. "Houston... we have a problem." (famous quote by Shady Del Knight when his brain became fried trying to keep pace with all the A to Z and BOTB posts on the same day :)

    Hi, Chris!

    1970 was still a good year for music - a much better landscape that it would be two years later. Brook Benton's "Rainy Night In Georgia" and Tyrone Davis' "Turn Back The Hands Of Time" are two of my favorite R&B singles from that year and I had those 45s in my collection. I enjoyed Kenny's group The First Edition and remember listening to "Something's Burning" on the campus of Paterno State. I liked The Guess Who in the early years when they were called Chad Allan & the Expressions and covered "Shakin' All Over." I was not a fan of the band at the peak of their popularity after they stopped rockin' and started poppin'. I didn't like The Jackson Five until they became The Jacksons and Michael's voice matured and he went solo.

    I am very impressed with Carroll and "Bad Water." The song and video have a groovy retro feel. I agree with you that soul artist Jimmy Ruffin had a wonderful voice and is underrated. Mrs. S #1 loved Aretha and "Young, Gifted and Black." Me no likey! Wow, good buddy. Your Freudian slip was indeed showing when you wrote "#9 in Julie" instead of July. It's a good thing Laurie doesn't read your blog! :) Shhhhh - don't tell the others, but I was not a fan of S & G after 1968 and didn't care for "Bridge Over Troubled Water" for the same reasons I didn't care for The Guess Who during that period - too much trendy pandering to the masses for commercial gain, IMO.

    YES! I shout "Rah Rah" for the sound and physical attributes of Erin Passmore (not to be confused with Miss Patmore on Downton Abbey:

    Please include Erin in your next Beauty Contest!

    I liked the Vogues early on when they had energy and pizzazz, but not later when they turned bland and crooned ballads like "My Special Angel." The audio pick-up wasn't the greatest on The Strawberry Runners, but I liked their sound nevertheless. Me likey Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky."

    I am eager to gaze at Uranus as next week's Time Machine travels back to 1965.

    Have a Scrappy weekend, Chris!

    1. Hey, buddy!

      I first have to say a word about the Guess Who- I love both eras... but their lps were rarely as good as the singles. I want Share The Land played at my wake. And I did like the Jacksons era, but in a different way.

      The Carroll video is an immediate add to my top all time!

      While I really have nothing to fear from a third grade non-romance, I do share the blog with Laurie. Even tried to get her to do a guest post a couple of times. Prolly been worse though, if I still kept up with Julie...

      I will try to get Erin in... there's a lot of competition this year! Is Ms Patmore the new granny Clampett?

      Strawberry Runners reminded me a lot of Alvvays, and I remember the live vid of Party Police had Molly struggling on her high notes just like Emi did.

      The Vogues for me start with Magic Town. The rest is just details.

      No comment on the closing line...

    2. I'll be quick to add that Ms Patmore is not to be confused with British comic Benny Hill:

  2. A musical with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. I like both of them, but I just can't do that to myself.

  3. First two debuts were excellent while the third was interesting if not a bit busy.

    I won't even bother a wisecrack about Herschel and his findings. I'm sure another one of your readers will come up with something. My crack would probably not be particularly wise anyway.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  4. Why aren't there any moons around Herschel's Uranus? Why didn't Al comment on Uranus?

    Now I'm singing ABC in my head ... 1,2,3...What's next? DEF, 456? I dunno but I like the song.

    Have a great weekend, friend.

    1. Al fell into a black hole. We are awaiting further word...

  5. Chris:
    --Yeah, those FIXED points in time ARE a bugger!
    --Love those call letters - "WIFE"...LOL.
    --I think I can count the number of times I've seen PAINT YOUR WAGON on ONE finger...heh.
    (never looked at Lee Marvin the same way again)
    Thankfully, he redeemed himself in DELTA FORCE.
    --"Gimme Dat ding" - one of THOSE songs that you hope doesn't get back in your head (and never wants to
    --Kinda like that FIX ME song.
    --Good six-degrees, too.
    All these years and I never REALLY knew the authors of Jingle Bell Rock - goes to show how inquisitive I'm not becoming.
    --STRAWBERRY RUNNERS definitely need a STUDIO release (if the "garage-live" is any indication of their REAL sound (which isn't that bad).
    --I confess I did BETTER with Norman Greenbaum than I did w/ William Herschel. I guessed PLUTO (well, duh!)
    --(Neither of whom ever found Myanus)
    Very good ride this week.

    Keep on rockin' up there, brother.

    1. Apparently Strawberry Runners have a two sided single out, of which that is one. MUCH better than that live. Perhaps I can come up with a way later on to get the real thing up there, too.

      Now, I KNEW who found Pluto, because is initials are in the name... Percival Lowell. Herschel was just a fortunate find.