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


Friday, September 9, 2016

Time Machine week 89

Today we arrive on Sunday September 9th, 1973- Two days before Salvador Allende is murdered by a military coup in Chile; one day after Arnold Schwarzenegger won his 4th straight Mr Olympia title; and right on the day that Willie Mays played his last game.  He drew two walks, struck out once, and his Mets won as the opposing Montreal Expos scattered 13 hits so evenly that never once did they threaten to score.

Or in other words, nothing earth shaking occurred- did I mention it's Sunday?  Anyway, welcome to this week's Time Machine, in which I will have a couple of intertwined special reports, along with a 6D that went all Columbo on me...

"Just one thing- does this put me in the Beauty Contest?"
Er, No, no it doesn't.  As I was saying, AND the first M10 #1 (to my knowledge) mostly written on a toy keyboard!  Extinguish all smoking materials and climb aboard!


This week's list is brought to you by the following distinguished Panel:

WFMJ Youngstown OH;  KCPX Salt Lake City;  WCWC Ripon WI;  KKDJ Los Angeles; WAKY Louisville;  WKXY Sarasota; WSLQ St Louis;  WWCO Waterbury CT;  WQAM Miami;  WLLL Lynchburg VA;  WHJB Greenburg PA; and WBBM Chicago.  These worthies collected a mere 18 different songs, which led to NINE songs scoring in double figures, which means you get a Top Nine this week!  Even with 9 entrants, we still managed two #1s that didn't make the list- the DeFranco Family with Heartbeat-It's A Lovebeat (Salt Lake city) and Cher's Half Breed (Los Angeles).  Heartbeat also doubled as the low charter by only being at #74 this week on Cashbox's national chart.  Or, if you please, it was the Carpenters' Yesterday Once More, which dropped off last week but was still #5 in Connecticut.

Speaking of low, the Under the Limbo Stick gang this week looks like this- and some of them did escape the bubbling under chart:

10cc's Rubber Bullets at #94;
Marie Osmond and Paper Roses at #97;
A re-release of They're Coming To Take Me Away by Napoleon XIV was stuck at #102;
Marshal Tucker Band's Can't You See was at #115;
But this week's how low can you go champ is Todd Rundgren with Hello It's Me, down here at #128!

And now, the Panel Nine:

At #9 with 10 points and the #1 of Chicago, the national #7, Wings and Live And Let Die.
At #8 with 11 points but no #1s, the national #4, Grand Funk Railroad and We're An American Band.
At #7 with also 11 points and the #1s of Youngstown and Greenburg, the national #9, Elton John  and Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting.
At #6 with 13 points but no #1s, the national #5, Paul Simon's Loves Me Like a Rock.
At #5 with 15 points and the #1 from Louisville, the national #13, Diana Ross' Touch Me In The Morning.
At #4, with 18 points but no #1s, the national #3, the Stories and Brother Louie.
At #3 with that same 18 points but a #1 from Ripon, the national #6, Tony Orlando and Dawn with Hey Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose?
At #2, with 22 points and the #1 of Sarasota, the national top dog, Helen Reddy and Delta Dawn.

And at #1, with 30 points and 4 number ones, the national # 2.... stay tuned.


Last week, Shady made this comment:

It's amazing that major hits like "You're The One" by the Vogues and Len Barry's signature song "1-2-3" began their chart journey at or near the bottom of the Bubbling Under basement. It might be fun for you to identify records that have climbed the greatest distance up the chart to get to the top 5 or to #1, or the ones that took the most weeks to do so. 

So I do like a challenge, so I started on a two-headed research project:  Head A- which number ones started chart life the lowest (in the Martin Era, of course); and Head B- who took the most Hot 100 weeks to get to the top?  Now the first was a bit challenging- I had to look at the #1s first week at the top, see what week on the hot 100 they were in (and record it for the second part), and then backtrack that many weeks plus one to see if they did time on the bubbling unders.

One thing I will tell you- the Beatles won't win this one.  In fact the only time I saw them on the bubbling unders at all was an EP in '64 that had their first wave of big hits.  Generally, they were 3-5 weeks to the top, and none longer than 8 weeks.  But anyway, back to the low chart side of things.  In about mid 1970, Cashbox began moving the bottom of the bubbling under up from 150 to 120, then 100, then 50.  So when it stopped being 150, I said, "I'm done!  The rest of this will be a snap!"  That didn't happen, but we'll get to that later.  So anyway, that left me with these being the #1s that started chart life the lowest:

10 (tie)- David Rose's The Stripper and the Box Tops' The Letter  at #143;
8 (tie)- Leslie Gore's It's My Party and Nino Tempo and April Stevens' Deep Purple, #145;
5 (tie)- The Archies' Sugar Sugar, The Four Tops' I Can't Help Myself, and Kyu Sakamoto's Sukiyaki, #146;
4- Paul Mauriat's Love Is Blue, #147;
3- The Association's Windy, #148;
And a first place tie at #149:

The Tornados, Telstar;
and Aretha Franklin, Respect (ironically enough).


Three debuts grace the M10 this week, and the one at #10 belongs to a Canuck by the name of Daniel Romano:


The other head of my research project had been easy to that point- in the 7 1/2 years of the sixties encompassed by the Martin Era, only 22 songs had taken 10 weeks or more- and the longest was the first- Chubby Checker's Limbo Rock taking 15 weeks to get there.

That song, for the full ME, was tied for 26th.  What the hell happened?

Well, there was an explosion, and I mean an EXPLOSION, of songs taking their sweet ol' time climbing the charts.  I made a graph that shows the percentage of #1s that took 10 or more weeks to reach the top, with the sixties in blue and the 70's in red...

As you can see, while the sixties averaged just over 10% 10+ week number ones, the seventies averaged just under 60%- and the years 1972-76, which EACH had more than the '60s combined- averaged almost 80%.  I will allow those of you who actually care try to dope out why this happened (I have my theories), but to move things along, let's find out who actually DID take the longest to hit #1:

A 6-way tie for 7th with 18 weeks- The Miracles and Love Machine, David Essex and Rock On, Crystal Gayle and Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, Samantha Sang and Emotion, Andy Gibb and Love Is Thicker Than Water, and John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads.

A three-way tie for 4th with 19 weeks: Frankie Valli's My Eyes Adored You, Rita Collidge's version of (Your Love Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, and Nick Gilder's Hot Child In The City.

A two-way tie for second at 20 weeks- Billy Preston's Will It Go 'Round In Circles, and Robert John's Sad Eyes.

And the longest, at 22 weeks-

And there you have it.  Only two acts in the '70s consistently raced up the charts: Elton John, who almost always made it in 9 or less, and Paul McCartney, who did about half-and-half.  And just for totals, there were, as I said, 22 10+ weekers in the ME '60s- and 195 in the '70s.


Debut the second, at #9, another new one from my Aussie boys Castle Comer:

Well, that was a mouthful!


So yet another failed attempt to do a 6 D, as the victim this week, War's Gypsy Man which was at #11 nationally but unloved by the Panel, was not just brimming with trivia.  But what I did find was that, back when the band was starting out with Eric Burdon, they had a gig with a very famous sit-it:  Jimi Hendrix, in his last public performance.  On the 15th of September 1970, he was invited to sit in with the band by Burdon, who was a friend, but when he got there he was too toasted to take the stage.  So they tried again the next night, and sometime after midnight- making it the 17th- Jimi sat in for a couple of songs- one of them Tobacco Road, which you can listen to here if you like.  The night of the 18th he was dead from sleeping pills and a bottle of wine.  But as I looked into all this, I kept hearing the allegations he was murdered.  The killer was supposedly men hired by his UK manager, who had taken out a life insurance policy on him.  But as I looked into the story, I found that basically it was a glorified roadie who decided to make a buck 40 years after the fact who made it up, including in the lie apparently the ME that examined the body, who claimed "I never saw so much wine come out of a body;  we'd pump some out, and more would gush to the top".  The star's American manager says that the "author" told him he needed a hook for his book, and this was it.  When the manager protested, he supposedly said, "Who's gonna know?  Every one involved is dead now."  And now the internet is full of idiots listening to this twerp, screaming  j'accuse at a case that was nothing but a money making lie.


Final Debut this week kicks off our M10 this week.  The guy who looked more like me than Dave Edmunds, Dent May- who had a hit earlier here with Born Too Late, is back with probably the favorite of mine of all the song titles the M10 has had- Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love.

At #7 M.A.G.S. slips a notch with My Love.

Wild Ones Move up a pair to #6 with Heatwave;  Dinosaur Jr does likewise to #5 with Tiny.

In their 7th week on the chart, the Explorers Club drop a single spot to #4 with former #1 California's Callin' Ya;  A newly former number one, Phantogram's Fall In Love, slides out of the top spot to #3.

Keane moves up two more spots into second with Somewhere Only We Know.

And at the top?

M10 says...

Shakes with Strange Tides!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am told that this song was written on the beach using a toy keyboard, and punched up later at the studio.

And the Panel says....

...Marvin Gaye and Let's Get It On!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, 1962!  Be there, I was!


  1. Hi, Chris!

    I'm happy to know you got the Time Machine up and running. (Too bad it crash landed in 1973. :) Although it wasn't my favorite year in music, I am nevertheless determined to find something to like here.

    The Carpenters are an example of a soft, easy listening act that I actually enjoyed, because Karen had heart and soul. That makes a difference to me.

    Math equation: 1 Karen = 100 Maries

    I like Wings' singles including "Live and Let Die," the theme song from the movie Mars Needs Women starring Tommy Kirk. (Well, not really.)

    I'm struggling now because I don't like Grand Funk, Elton John, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Tony Orlando & Dawn or Helen Reddy. Help me!

    "Brother Louie" was cool.

    Hey, thanks a million for taking me up on my chart challenge. This is fascinating! Looking at the "lowest starters" batch, it makes sense that instrumentals like "The Stripper," "Sukiyaki," "Love is Blue" and "Telstar" would start low, because vocals are more popular and have the advantage until an instrumental's melody catches on and gains chart traction. It makes sense that The Archies started low because they were a studio act based on comic strip characters and therefore quite a bit outside the mainstream. The Box Tops and Lesley Gore might have started low because they were new artists at the time, not the big names they soon became. The most surprising low starters are Aretha, who was following-up a top 10 hit; the Four Tops, who already had three hits under their belts; and The Association, who already had two top ten hits to their credit.

    In the "took longest" research category, the same reasoning might apply. For example the classical styling of Walter Murphy was such a wild card that it naturally took a while to catch on with listeners.

    Daniel Roman's song about Bond girl Valerie Leon is bizarre but better than most of the stuff on the chart in 1973. I enjoyed the parade of burlesque dancers. (The one at 2:20 is Shady's Pick To Click!)

    I have a theory as to why Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock" took so long to climb to the top - the "split play" phenomenon. Chubby's single was a double-sider - too good for its own good. The flip side, "Popeye the Hitchhiker," jumped onto the Hot 100 one week after "Limbo Rock" and competed for radio play, finishing at #10.

    I enjoyed the Castlecomer song. I would have enjoyed it more if the video had some of those jiggling burlesque queens. The Deny May ditty is my favorite of the debut songs. Someday, perhaps in our lifetime, ALL songs will have cool titles like "Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love."

    This was fun, Chris, and well worth the wait. I need to break away now, get showered, shaved and dressed in my tux (rented) for tonight's main event - the Midnight Special - Thea's Rave - exclusively on SDMM. The party won't be the same w/o you there in real time, but I certainly understand that you can't stay up that late on a "school night." I look forward to having you join the fun whenever you can get there in the week ahead.

    Have a Scrappy weekend, Chris!

    1. Surprised you don't like "The American Band", but the others I did know. Especially Miss Helen.

      I wondered at first how the length of time thing differed so drastically. I thought, with the great disparity between individual "panelists" in the sixties, that that might slow them down, and tight programming in the 70s SHOULD have sped things up. But later, I wondered if that uniformity just made it harder for a song to move relative to others in the same bunch. Either way, it was sure curious how suddenly it set in.

      I told someone at work about the Dent May title- they asked if it was a country song, lol!

      Well, be safe, run a clean show tonight. I'd much rather be up for it than wage war against these stubborn POS machines tomorrow, but whaddya gonna do, eh?

  2. Chris:
    Honest to God, I could NOT remember who Mays finished his career with if you put a million bucks in front of me. I DO NOW.
    And Columbo in the beauty contest???

    Wow, the "under the Limbo stick gang" had some pretty good songs in the mix.
    ---You undertook an impressive project (with tow heads at that).
    Didn't think the Beatles would make that ELVIS didn't either.
    ---cripes, the songs that started as "bottom-feeders" turned out to be REALLY popular in my time! Every one of them, in fact.
    ---Daniel Romano - okay, impressive w/ Betty Page and that buxom redhead, but the song left me wanting more (Of Betty and "Red"
    ---The percentages that change by decade seem to follow with people's "taste" in music (which also seemed to change) I noticed more songs "coming and going" so fast, with fewer ones having the staying power I remember from the 60s (for example).
    ---Castlecomer - just the opposite here. Liked the song, but the video didn't do much for me.
    ---Dent May - like the song and there was NO video...
    And I do think Dent May DOES look too much like a younger you...that is scary (but in a good way).
    ---Ahh, the late great Marvin Gaye...that's a lotta water under a lotta bridges in my life.
    (and a simpler time to boot)

    Another excellent ride this week.

    Kpp the hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. Yeah, the CC video was a bit... odd... but I kinda thought Daniel's was, too.