Today we stumble into July 8th, 1975, where we find President Gerald R Ford announcing that after a year as POTUS, he was now going to RUN for the office. As you might recall, the 70's version of Joe Biden became Vice-President by appointment and President by resignation. While his run was unsuccessful, at least he survived it. Today, one who was not so fortunate was laid to rest.
Ruffian, a three year old filly who broke an ankle dueling with Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure, was put down after she... well, she fought too hard to live. First, she had magnified the damage by running 40 yards on three legs after the injury. Then, when she came out of anesthesia, she fought being confined so hard that she loosened and eventually smashed her cast. The vets had no choice but to put her down.
And speaking of a race not everyone survives, this week's Time Machine has another of the great battles for the M10 top spot- with FOUR acts-
|The former champs trying to regain the crown-|
|The defending champs, already in the underdog position-|
|The cheeky newcomers-|
|And the world famous dark horses|
Our Panel this week includes KQV Pittsburgh, WNJR Newark, WNBC New York, WIXY Cleveland, WCFL Chicago, KFRC San Francisco, KHJ Los Angeles, WAKY Louisville, CHUM Toronto, WHYI Ft Lauderdale, WPTR, The Big Peter, Albany, and WKAP, Allentown. They managed to put together quite an unusual 26-song list. The first four stations, plus the #1 on the 5th, were all different- I was on song #22 before I hit a repeat! Even more bizarre was the battle for the lowest charter, because: First, KQV- their #1 was a song that never charted, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass's Coney Island; another non-charter on their top five was a pair of jingle writers named Stark and McBrien with Big Star; and their #5 was a Dionne Warwick tune which missed Billboard called Take It From Me. It supposedly hit #110 on Cashbox, but I couldn't find out when.
But that's not all! New York also had a non-charter at #1- an album cut from the Love Unlimited Orchestra called Anything You Want. Newark chimed in with a couple of suspects- a band called South Shore Commission with Free Man (which would peak at #79 six weeks later), and another really musically named act called Consumer Report with a version of Ease On Down The Road (which, while it peaked at #42 on Billboard last week, never DID chart on Cashbox). And can you believe yet another number one vote getter- the one from Louisville, where Linda Ronstadt's It Doesn't Matter Anymore- the B-side to this week's national #9, When Will I Be Loved- sat on top.
But the actual lowest charter? Another candidate from Louisville, a band called New Birth with a tune called Mr. Dream Merchant, which was #86 on the CB chart this week.
And with that, we still haven't covered TWO songs that got Panel #1s but didn't make the final four. They would be Billy Paul's Love Won't Let Me Wait (Newark) and Michael Murphy (back before he started using his middle name too) with two votes for Wildfire (Chi-town and Allentown). And with that, we can finally get to the Panel Four:
At #4, with no number ones and 16 points, the national runner-up and one of my all timers, Wings and Listen What The Man Said.
At #3 with no number ones either and 17 points, another of my all timers and the national #6, England's Pilot with Magic.
At #2, with the one remaining number one that our big winner didn't get (Los Angeles) and 26 points, the national #4, Van McCoy doing The Hustle.
And at #1, with 5 top dogs and 41 points... stay tuned. It's one of my favorites, too!
Three debuts this week, and the first one is by a Canuck by the name of Basia Bulat. There are a couple of live versions of her song out there, but this tune has a high line she struggles with just a bit out of the studio (because it takes so damn much breath!), so here's the audio-only version, so you can see why I fell in love with this beautiful blonde...
Much like Casey Kasem, Time Machine gets letters from readers (of course, Casey's weren't imaginary) and I wanted to answer one. It comes from a Mr. S. Beagle, and he writes: "Dear
- I was stunned to find out that returning to the top was more common on Billboard than on the usually more volatile Cashbox. The trick was turned 18 times on BB against 11 for CB.
- Only once did a song get bumped out and return on BOTH charts- but it was different songs bumping it out. In 1966, Winchester Cathedral by the New Vaudeville Band hit number one, dropped out, and returned for two more weeks. Only on CB it was a week earlier, bumped for a week by the Supremes and You Keep Me Hanging On; on BB it was a week later and the Beach Boys popped in with Good Vibrations.
-Three sets of songs bumped each other. On CB, Frankie Valli's Can't Take My Eyes Off You and the Association's Windy traded weeks in 1967; Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound Of Silence and the Beatles' We Can Work It Out did the same in early 1966.
- But the grand champion of flip jobs occurred on BB from December of 1978 through January of '79. It began when Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand hit the top with their abominable duet, You Don't Bring Me Flowers on Dec. 2nd. The next week, Chic's Le Freak stole it away; but Babs and Neil re-took the top the next week, and Chic returned the favor one week later. Then, enter the Bee Gees with Too Much Heaven, who took the top for two weeks. Then, on January 20th, Le Freak retook the top for two MORE weeks- making it the only song to be bumped twice and return, not to mention by two different songs!
- And the Bee Gee thing was even bigger than this. The lp from which Too Much Heaven came (Spirits Having Flown) had two other #1 singles. And each of them split somebody's #1 run! Tragedy split a 3-out-of-5 week run for Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive; and Love You Inside Out broke up a 3 weeks of 4 run for Donna Summer's Hot Stuff!
-And there is a Gibb at the black heart of yet one more record of this story. Andy Gibb's I Just Wanna Be Your Everything had had a 3-week run at the top starting at the end of July 1977, and was supplanted by the Emotions and Best Of My Love for 4 weeks. And when they were done, on September 17th, Andy returned for one last week on top- a record month-long gap. If anyone's interested let me know, and I'll put the songs and their interruptors in the comments this weekend. In the meantime, let's move on...
Our second debut has one of the most bizarre videos I've had on the M10 yet (and after Cage The Elephant's Come A Little Closer, Nothing But Thieves' Trip Switch, and Carroll's Bad Water, that's an accomplishment!) An Irish band called Two Door Cinema Club come in at #8 this week...
Who can resist an excuse to get Heather Locklear entered into the Beauty Contest?
Heather was married at times to a pair of rock'n'rollers- Bon Jovi drummer Richie Sanborn and Motley Crue's Tommy Lee. What brings this up? Well, one of Heather's co-stars on the show TJ Hooker was one James Darren, who cut his musical teeth with a big hit called Goodbye Cruel World. He also did a song called Because They're Young, which he learned acting in the movie of the same name. That 1960 flick starred Dick Clark as a high school teacher- and how cool would THAT have been? Anyway, Darren played himself in the movie, as did Rock'N'Roll HOFer Duane Eddy, who actually wrote the title song. Now Duane was married at one time to a lady named (at the time ) Miriam Johnson. She would later marry Waylon Jennings- and go by the name of Jessie Colter. And it's Jessie's #7 song this week, I'm Not Lisa, that charted the highest without Panel love.
And that brings us into the near disaster that is the M10 this week. You see, I told Laurie picking the number one this week was "like putting four kids on a playground merry-go-round, spinning it REAL fast, and waiting to see who falls off." But we've already heard #s 10 and 8; and between them sits Dami Im, who refuses to fall- and may well have set another M10 record for most weeks on (7) without climbing higher than #4- drops two spots to #9 this week.
And now that third debut. This young lady grew up in a family where the father was a collector of exotic instruments and mom was classically trained and loved Chopin and Bartok. She- that she being Denmark's Agnes Obel- blends that training with passionate folk and comes up with a sound I think is unique in the M10 so far. And, as you listen, keep in mind (if I got the story right) all the lead vocals are hers- some with a little modification. At #7 this week:
Plume Of Feathers rises to #6- a four spot jump- with First date. Sounds more like most of my dates...
The Monkees have stiff competition- to say the least- but manage a one-spot climb to #5 with You Bring The Summer.
And first off the wheel- a song that I really thought I would end up with at #2- The Scott Brothers climbing one with Let The Night Shine In.
Next off the wheel?
case/lang/veirs drop to #3 after FINALLY breaking into the top spot last week with Honey And Smoke.
Have you placed your bets yet? Does Tangerine go where no song has gone before?
No, but finishing second ties them with Keep It Warm fourth for the M10's top spot all time. A placement of 5 or better next week puts them into second.
And that leaves the top spot on the M10 to..
...Marlene Gold and the Pom Poms with Betty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the Panel number one?
...The Captain and Tenille with Love Will Keep Us Together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whoosh, that was a lot of fun! Tune in next week when we crash land in.. 1964! I see Beatles in our future!