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


Friday, May 13, 2016

Time Machine week 73

Wait a minute, you say?  Did we just go from week 71 to week 73?  No, you don't say that, because if anyone actually paid attention to the numbering, they'd have let me know I did "week 63 " twice in a row!  I stumbled onto that fact in researching how many acts currently qualify for next January's Beauty Contest (answer: 36) and how many non-qualifying as yet requests Shady has made (answer: 5).  Why am I telling you all that?  Because this is May 13th, 1978, and the biggest thing I could find that happened today was Joie Chitwood drove a Chevette 5.6 miles on two wheels.

...and it prolly rode smoother that way, I know...

Anyhow, welcome to Time Machine!  Without wanting to give away much, I also researched to find what was the 100th top ten debut on Cashbox during the Martin Era (because we might be seeing the M10's 100th debut) and the twentieth number one of the Martin Era in both CB and rival Billboard (because we may be hitting that milestone, too!)  Plus, a Panel Four that's just a bit closer for a change; and the Dance Music Hall Of Fame (there WAS such a beast?  Yes- for two years...)!  Put it back on all fours and let's go!


Our lovely and vivacious Panel this week consists of:  WYSL Buffalo; KDWB, Minneapolis; CKLW Detroit; WHB Kansas City; WRKO Boston; KTKT Tucson; The Springfield twins, WCVS (Illinois) and WHYN (Massachusetts); WDRC Hartford; WLS Chicago; CHUM Toronto; and WABC New York.  They collected 21 different songs, including Meat Loaf's Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad (whose only vote was Buffalo's #1) and Al Penwasser's least favorite Australian import Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta with You're The One That I Want  (which was #1 in Toronto.  Also,  the lowest charter this week was also the oldest- Natalie Cole's Our Love, in its 18th week and falling at #94.

As for the Panel picks, here we go:

With no number ones and 20 points, Flack and Hathaway with The Closer I Get To You, the national #3.

With 3 number ones and 21 points EACH, we have a tie for second.  One of which is Johnny Mathis and Denice Williams' Too Much Too Little Too Late, which got #1 votes from Detroit, Kansas City, and Hartford and sat at #6 nationally.

The other of which was the Bee Gees' Night Fever, who collected the top dogs from the Illinois Springfield, Chicago, and New York, and was #4 on the CB chart this week.

And at #1 this week, the national #2 with 4 top votes and 31 points?  Stay tuned... or you could take a guess.  If I Told you the National #1 was Yvonne Elliman and If I Can't Have You, would that help?  Maybe... maybe not.


First up, I made one of my famous arbitrary decisions weeks ago- if more than one song debuts the week we get to the 100th M10 debut, the higher ranked song is the winnah.  Thus, I give you at #101 on the debuts list a Boston band called Lake Street Dive...

The lovely lead singer's name is Rachael Price, and they come in at #10 on the M10 this week.


Speaking of debuts, let me get ahead of myself a bit and tell you the fruits of my research.  It took Cashbox 55 weeks from the start of the Martin Era (54 years ago Monday) to the first week of June 1963 to hit their 100th top ten debut- The Dovells and You Can't Sit Down.  By contrast, the M10 has made it in 38 weeks.

One the number one side of things, it took CB until the last week of April 1963- 49 weeks- to get their 20th number one of the ME, which was Andy Williams' Can't Get Used To Losing You.  Billboard took exactly a year to get theirs, Jimmy Soul's If You Wanna Be Happy.  And now you know.


And now, some sage words from Sir Edmund Hillary, who... aw, you KNOW what he did...

I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.

I'm not sure there's a connection to what comes next, but it's a neat quote.  And now that you've been uplifted, you are ready to...

The UK top ten this week:

10- A Doo-wop revival act called the Darts do a remake of Boy From New York City.  They didn't chart here, but were big there, with other top ten remakes of Daddy Cool, Duke Of Earl, and even the Four Seasons' Let's Hang On!

9- Chic's Everybody Dance was low and moving slow here- #77 this week- but better there.

8- A song I unfortunately remember well from bored saturday afternoons watching dance Fever- Michael Zager Band's Let's All Chant, which was at #25 here this week.

7- Patti Smith and her group would peak in June with the Springsteen comp Because The Night.

6- Once upon a time, there was a comedy recording duo made up of Brian Burke and Michael Coleman that was called, among other things, Burke and Jerk.  One day, Michael and an old buddy in another act, Kevin Parrot, helped him write a song called Matchstick Men And Matchstick Cats And Dogs.  He recorded it with Burke under the more serious name of Brian and Michael.  But just as the song took off, Brian broke up the act.  Then Kevin left his band to tour with Michael in support of the song, and that's why "Brian and Michael" consists of two guys named Michael and Kevin, and why Michael is no longer called Jerk.  And no, they never charted here.

5- Andrew Gold, famous for Thank You For Being A Lonely Boy (hah! Gotcha there!), was at the halfway spot in the UK with a song that peaked at #67 here- Never Let Her Slip Away.

4- Quite possibly the most annoying song on this week's post, we have a lady named Dee D. Jackson with Automatic Lover.  While it never charted here, her previous song Meteor Man (which was apparently either similar or a sequel) was so popular worldwide that in Brazil, there was another girl named Regina Shakti who Brazillian record execs turned into "D. Dee Jackson" and had her tour the nation singing the songs and dancing with a robot (for Automatic Lover) and her own Meteor Man.

3- Too Much Too Little Too Late, the US's #6- although I only agree with the first part.

2- For the first time, two Panel Four songs in the UK top ten!  Night Fever was in the runner-up spot.

And at the tops of the pops?

...Boney M with Rivers Of Babylon/ Brown Girl In The Ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rivers was a hit here, reaching #30 on BB in late August... although on CB it peaked two weeks sooner at #54,  As for the flip?  It gave Automatic Lover competition IMHO.


The hunt for the six degrees, which started out this week with the highest charting song that got no Panel love- the Trammps' Disco Inferno at #10- led me to discover that for a brief time in the early 2000's there was a Dance Music Hall Of Fame.  It fell apart after two years when the original board had a falling out, but in those two years they elected 6 acts and ten songs to their Hall.

The songs included Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees (#1 pop, #3 dance, with the Brothers being one of the six acts); Chic's Good Times (which charted the same numbers, and Chic was inducted); Cheryl Lynn's Got To Be Real (which got its start on The Gong Show, and featured David Paich soon of Toto on keyboards and Ray Parker, Jr, on guitar; #12 pop, #11 dance); Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive ( she makes the list with her double #1, and also holds the distinction of having the dance chart's FIRST #1- Never Can Say Goodbye); Donna Summer's I Feel Love (she also made the Hall; this song however made number one as a full lp, something not uncommon on the dance charts); Thelma Houston's Don't Leave Me This Way (one of the four songs whose singer doesn't make the list; a 6-week #1 on the dance chart); Sylvester's You Make Me Feel Mighty Real (which combined with his other hit Dance[Disco Heat] hit #1 dance, though the single only made #36 pop; he makes the list); Evelyn "Champagne" King's Shame (9 pop and 8 dance); and MFSB's Love Is The Message (a pre-dance chart cut that made #85 pop).  Oh, and Disco Inferno, a six week #1 on the dance chart when first released, later a #11 pop single once Saturday Night Fever hit the charts.

And, one act who got into the Hall but never got a song nominated- Barry White.

"Yeah, well the kinda dancin' you do to MY songs is a bit different..."

And now, the rest of the M10, which kicks off with the 100th debut in M10 history- the lovely Ruth B and her second hit:

Another record may have been set on this one- Rah Rah's Fix Me spends its fifth week on the chart without ever rising higher that #7.  It holds at 8 this time.

Carroll slips to #7, a 4 notch drop for Bad Water.

Charles Bradley had a rough with a capital "R" life before his late fame.  You have to read the wiki bio I linked to believe it.  He climbs to #6- a four notch climb- with Changes.

Fives across the board- 5 weeks, 5 last week, 5 this week- for Strawberry Runners and When We Were Good.

A surprise for me- Telekinesis and Lean On Me moves up only a pair to #4.

Redspencer slips back to #3 with Ride It Out.  Our first one week #1 since Madness back at the start of April.

The Jayhawks and Quiet Corners holds at #2.  If they fall no further that #7 next week, we will have a brand new all time #1.

And that brings us to the #1s.  For a change this week, the Panel's #1 first...

...Wings and With A Little Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you guessed Stayin' Alive (#34) or Shadow Dancing (#8) because of my false "clue", them's the breaks.

And now, on the week that the M10's 100th debut went to Ruth B, the M10's 20th #1 tune goes to...

...Ruth B with 2 Poor Kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's it for 1978!  Tune in next week when we touch down like a tornado in...1962, at the very start of the Martin Era!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    I remember coming to the second Week #63 post of Time Machine and thinking to myself:

    "It's like deja-vu, all over again."
    - Yogi Berra

    I would like to add another name to my list of acts to consider for your Beauty Contest:

    Jenna Jameson - She can't sing, but she has been known to hum a few bars.

    One of my earliest posts on SDMM recalled the excitement of The Joie Chitwood Thrill Show and The Jack Kochman Hell Drivers Stunt Show. Both acts appeared at the York Interstate Fair:

    1978 was deep in the heart of Disco and therefore I will need to do some scrolling (and suffer a serious case of carpal tunnel) to find a song or two that I like from this period. I preferred the Bee Gees' 60s output to their disco phase, but if I had to pick one of their disco ditties that was not completely cringeworthy it would be "Night Fever." Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You" was another example of disco that didn't suck too badly.

    I'm relying on your newly discovered tuneage to wow me more so than the stuff from 1978, and I enjoyed Lake Street Dive's song "Call Off Your Dogs," their follow-up to "Who Let the Dogs Out?" I am traveling again today and listening to your vids on a tinny sounding laptop, but from what I can hear they have a refreshing sound (and look). Lead zinger Rachael Price is nerdy but nice (kind of a naughty bookworm thing going on) and I think she should be entered in your B.C.

    Did I miss your birthday, good buddy? Happy 54th to you! I'd give anything to be SIXTY-4 again!

    Thank you for posting some sage words from Hilary. Glad you're finally coming around. :)

    I went to YouTube and watched the vid of The Darts covering the Ad Libs on TOTP. They did a great job with the song. Their covers are worth looking into when I get back home and can listen with my headphones.

    I give Chic's "Everybody Dance" a thumbs up because it is in the OST of one of my favorite movies, The Last Days of Disco, and was used at the most exciting (for me) moment of the movie, when "out of our league" babes Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny hit the dance floor.

    Me likey The Patti Smith Band and "Because the Night." I made the terrible mistake of checking out "Automatic Lover" on Y.T. Unforgettable!... and that's not a good thing. At least it makes "Let's All Chant" seem more palatable...almost.

    I have records by The Trammps released in the 60s when they called themselves The Volcanos just sayin'... (That's my nod to our friend Jo-Anne in Australia just sayin'... :)

    I enjoyed Ruth B and insist that you include her in the next B.C. I'd love to see/hear a mash-up called "Superficial Love with my Automatic Lover." I also watched Ruth B's "Lost Boy" video. I wouldn't mind watching her recite the telephone directory.

    I look forward to landing in 1962 next week, Chris. Have a Scrappy weekend!

    1. Jenna would be a stretch beyond my body's capacity, I'm afraid ;)

      I thought LSD had a Philly feel to it musically. And Rachael has a pic (even if it's the video still), so she's in, as is Ruth B this week. And I have to agree on the telephone directory thing...

      My birthday is Monday, Laurie's was Wednesday.

      Never had a problem with Sir Edmund... ;)

      Auto Lover: Now that's TWICE you were specifically warned what kind of song it was and you watched anyway. I may have to start putting a disclaimer at the beginning of each post...

      Lost Boy was actually the song that Jessica had me listened to to get me started on Ruth B. I hit the about button and saw her picture, and said this bears further investigation. Then I played Superficial and Jess goes, "THAT'S KC!!!"

      And yeah, I liked the Darts and intend on looking up what they did to Let's Hang On...

  2. Chris:
    I'm not late, I just enjoy reading your TM on a Sunday evening.
    ---I actually got to SEE Joie Chitwood back when he was running AMC cars at the old JFK stadium in Philly. He drove AROUND the entire track THREE times on 2 wheels. Did some cool JUMPS as well.
    ---I've also driven a Chevette (former girlfriend's) ONCE! (just once)...ROFL - whatta ride. Have to tell you about that some day soon.
    ---I don't think that there was one song MISSED as a hit in '78 from Saturday Night Fever.
    ---LAKE STREET DIVE gets my vote - good sound, clear vocals, nice lead singer AND a woman playing a STRING
    ---Always liked "Because the Night", but never was into Patti Smith - go figure.
    ---Not familiar with D. Dee Jackson (thank God).
    ---Not familiar with Boney M wither (too busy going to Ted Nugent concerts)
    ---That DMHOF "checklist" has a lot of songs from that era I did like.
    ---Ruth B sounds like a black Janis Ian (maybe it's just me). Not THAT bad.
    ---Charles Bradley keep on a'risin'!
    ---If ANYONE at that time could knock the Bee Gees outta the top, it had to be Wings.
    ---1962? Well, that was a good year. I was only10 years old and loving comic books.
    Very good rise this week.
    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.