Our trip begins on July 29th, 1973, and this has to be the single most heartbreaking lead in we've ever had. During the Formula One Dutch Grand Prix, racer Roger Williamson had a tire or suspension failure early on. He hit the wall and flipped, going 300 feet upside down, but still very much alive.
Then the gas tank ruptured. The car caught fire. The corner he was at was attended by two track marshalls...
...but neither one was in ANY kind of safety gear, and they had just one fire extinguisher. Roger's friend David Purley stopped his racer, called to the marshalls to help him lift the car (they would not), or use the extinguisher (too afraid of the flames, they did not). Purley fired the extinguisher till it was empty, to no real effect. He waved at drivers desperately for help (their excuse being they saw Purley and assumed the car was empty), but no one stopped. Fans desperately tried to scale the barrier fence to help; security kept them back with dogs.
The fire engine waited for the racers who couldn't bother to stop to clear, then took their sweet time getting there. They put out the fire, threw a cover over the racer's dead body, and towed it back to the garage, where the race officials had the team remove him without further assistance. Kicker, the only transmission that made it to race control also thought Purley was the driver and said merely, "Accident, driver OK." A man was on scene with a radio... but apparently nobody heard him.
Frankly, I'd rather lead in with politics. Nobody gets killed there.
|Yep, can totally see why Jackie Stewart thought this meant, "Oi, I'm okay"...|
Hopefully the rest of our trip down memory lane will be a little cheerier. It's 1973 on Time Machine, and this week, the Panel gives us 9 #1 songs; the UK top ten gives us 2 from the American top ten; the would-be six degrees victim gives us a who's who of backup musicians; and three new debuts force their way past three songs I really didn't want to drop in the M10! The Tardis has plenty of fire extinguishers, a roof over our heads, no gasoline, and no tires to blow out, so hop in!
First, I have a game to play with our not-quite six degrees story. You see, this famous act's second biggest hit (at the time) had a semi-who's who of musicians playing on it, and I wanted to have a little fun here. I'm going to give you a very obscure hint at what this song is. On the lp it came from, among the players were: one member of Derek and the Dominoes; two members of Toto; the dude who not only played the guitar lead on several Monkees' songs, notably Valerie, but also was the guitar solo on Boz Scaggs' Lowdown; one member of the Crusaders; and two members of the Byrds! Oh, and one more duo- who if I tell you now would give it away. In a bit, I'll tell you who THEY are, and I'll bet you'll be real close to guessing who the main act and the mystery song is!
And now that you are both depressed AND confused (welcome to my work day), here is this week's Panel: WFAW Ft Atkinson KS; WMYQ Miami; WLS Chicago; WABC New York; CKLW Detroit; WRKO Boston; WXUS Lafayette IN; KHJ Los Angeles; WSAC Ft Knox, KY; KRPL Moscow ID (wonder if they had a tunnel...); WIXY Cleveland; and KKAM out of Pueblo, CO. These worthies managed 27 different songs, including 9 #1 votes, which means five songs of the 9 didn't make the Panel Four. Those would be The Carpenters with Yesterday Once More (the national runner up) in Kansas, Johnny Taylor's I Believe In You in Miami, Clint Holmes' Playground In My Mind in New York, Foster Sylvers' Misdemeanor in Kentucky, and Maureen McGovern's The Morning After in Pueblo. Short story on the bottom charter: Coven's One Tin Soldier had just started its climb at #82.
And the Panel picks?
At #4 with the #1 of Boston and 13 points, the national #11, Wings with Live And Let Die. Well, movie fans, that makes a Bond flick, The Poseidon Adventure, and Billy Jack so far this week!
At #3 and #2, we have a tie, with one each #1 and 23 points. One of them is the national #4, Three Dog Night's Shambala, which was tops in Chicago.
The other is actually the national top dog, with the #1 from Lafayette, Jim Croce's Bad Bad Leroy Brown.
So we've seen the #1 nationally already... and the #2. So is the Panel's pick #3? No. Perhaps 5? 6? 7? 8? No, those songs only gathered 14 points between them... and 9 is the 6D victim! No, the number one for the Panel, with 4 #1s and ALSO 23 points, is actually at # 15 nationally! And that is... to be revealed later.
As I said, I have three debuts this week, and I believe you know where two of them are coming from if you read the vacation M10 post. The first, at #10, is a third song from the Monkees' Good Times! lp.
Yep, this time I struck before they could make a video. This track was written by Adam Schlesinger, who was the producer of the lp and- alt fans will recognize- the bassist for Fountains Of Wayne, who might be most famous for the tune Stacy's Mom, but struck highest with 1996's Radiation Vibe.
So let's take a look at the allegedly famous people on our 6D song. The drummer was Derek and the Dominoes' Jim Gordon; the two Toto members, not surprisingly as they were everywhere, were David Paich and Jeff Porcaro; Lonnie Shelton did the recognizable guitar riffs on Valleri and Lowdown; John Guerin toured with the Byrds for about six months, but never recorded; and the other Byrd was also a Crusader- sax man/bassist Wilton Felder. So I really didn't help you much there. But what if I told you that backing vocals were the soon-to-be England Dan and John Ford Coley? Ah- HAH, right?
Debut #2 is the Beach Boys-esque sound of The Explorers' Club, a Carolina band from their new lp Together, at #9:
I realize not everyone out there is a big Beach Boys fan. But I am, and I guarantee that you'll be seeing this at the top soon.
Next on Bobby's list of famous English composers is a fourth generation musician with the un-English sounding name of Gustav Holst. And he has something very pertinent to say:
My philosophy exactly. And with those words, it's time to
10- The band Blue Mink only ever grazed our charts once, 3 years before with a top-70 called Our World. But in the UK, they were here with a song called Randy.
9- A song that was in OUR top ten, at #8 (and got 1 Panel point), Diana Ross's Touch Me In The Morning.
8- A song that was #15 in the US of A- back in 1966- Al Martino's Spanish Eyes.
7- The US runner up, the Carpenters' Yesterday Once More.
6- Now I like Suzi Quatro, but she never hit it big here. And the really big ones she hit with in the UK don't grab me all that much. But if you like screamo, you might like her tune 48 Crash.
5- David Bowie was in mid-chart with a song not released here- Life On Mars.
4- The Osmonds were at this spot with the song Going Home. In the US they were going down, having fallen precipitously to #50 this week.
3- Mungo Jerry was next with a non charter here- Alright Alright Alright. Not a surprise it didn't take here, but beats the crap out of #10.
2- An earlier TM featured a 1974 song by folk duo Peters and Lee. They return this time with their first big hit (don't you love the paradoxes of Time Travel?), called Welcome Home. This is the tune that I said " barely grazed the US charts" in that earlier post, peaking at #119.
And top of the pops? Well, I accidentally left the second "p" out of "pops" the first time, and it was a Freudian slip, as the #1 song...
.. the distasteful Gary Glitter with I'm The Leader Of The Gang (I Am). Boy, the gag I could add there...
Debut #3 is our M10 #8, and the previous single from... the Pom Poms:
Did you figure it out? That's okay. Dan Seals and his buddy John were helping out bro Jim Seals and his buddy Dash Crofts on the hit Diamond Girl, which was at #9 but got no Panel Love.
And now, what's left of an M10 that is evenly split between songs on the chart 3 weeks or less (#'s 10-6) and those on the chart for 4 or more weeks....
#7 is the same as last week- Maren Morris's Drunk Girls Don't Cry.
#6, and a song that went for me from "I'll put it on the playlist because I like the band" to "Damn this song plays in my head a lot", Castlecomer's The Noise goes from 10 to 6.
Last week, two songs fell 2 spots; this week, they both go back up one. The first of those is The Monkees' You Bring The Summer at #5.
The only song to fall this week and STILL stay on the charts...
...the Scott Brothers with last week's #1, Let The Night Shine In, dropping to #4.
Plume Of Feathers squeak up one more notch to #3 with First Date.
Which means Betty by the Pom Poms moves back up to the runner up spot in week #6.
And the number ones? M10 says...
Agnes Obel with Familiar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the winner of the three-way tie at the top of the Panel this week is...
...the Stories and Brother Louie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Getting us back on schedule, we'll be hitting 1966 next week! See you then!