Follow by Email

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


Friday, November 18, 2016

Time Machine week 99

Well, we hit another real snoozer of a day this week- November 18th, 1971.  The President of Austria was in Rome being serenaded by the Pope, Bette Davis was on Dick Cavett, the EPA was in Birmingham AL, shutting down the air-polluting steel factories for one day to teach them a lesson in cooperation, and put away that gun, because as of today, you are not allowed to hunt or "harass" any animal from the air.  Given all that, let me step away from the dials and levers of the Tardis for some serious business.

Two legendary performers passed between last show and this.  I have only a bit of knowledge on Canadian folk legend Leonard Cohen, but his presence was felt on the M10 when Joe Cocker's cover of his First We Take Manhattan hit the chart a while back.  More in my sphere of musical interest was Leon Russell.  Coming from a high school where he shared building time with Anita Bryant, David Gates, and Elvin Bishop, he started in a band at 14 with another "unknown legend", JJ Cale.  He was tutored in guitar by HOFer James Burton, and composed a handful of hits such as co-credits on Gary Lewis and the Playboys' hits Everybody Loves A Clown and She's Just My Style.  He went on to be involved in two of the great tours of the rock era- the Delaney and Bonnie and Friends tour, and brought several musicians from that with him on Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs And Englishmen tour.  He penned hits such as Superstar for the Carpenters, and George Benson's This Masquerade.  He also made an impact on the charts himself with his signature tune Tightrope, and my favorite Lady Blue.  Two more names us old timers in music could ill afford to lose this sad and tragic year.

We tried to talk it over, but the words got in the way...

We're locked inside this lonely game we play....


Welcome to the start of changes on the old Time Machine!  I'll be introducing you to some of the changes waiting just on the other side of the 100/400 special next week as we go along, but I needed to find a way, even with "improved randomness" to avoid telling the same old stories over- and make a better Time ride for you all.  And in addition, you'll see- the 6D that Arlee Bird has been dreading; two new debuts- and one of them is the new OLDEST song to hit the M10; and all the rest of the fun we always have here!  So lay down a flower as we pass... and let's move on!


One of the things that is going to change is the Panel as you have known it.  But for one more time, let me intro you to this week's group:  WFDF Flint MI (of the clear and sparkling water); WABC New York; KGB San Diego; WNKR Detroit; KBPI Denver; WRNO NOLA; KQV Pittsburgh; WBBF Rochester NY; WEEX Easton PA; WDGY Minneapolis; WCRV Washington NJ; and KGMB Honolulu.  They turned up a mere 18 different songs, the lowest charter of whom was the Stylistics just starting their upward journey with You Are Everything at #60.  One thing that will be changing is I won't be letting you know about number ones that didn't make the P4, because... well, you'll see in a bit.  Anyway, one last time the songs who got #1s and didn't make the list were Sly and the Family Stone with Family Affair (Detroit, to no great surprise), and (here we go...) John Lennon's Imagine (Honolulu).  And one last time, the Panel Four:

With 2 #1 votes (Denver and Rochester) and 21 points, the national #7- the aforementioned David Gates and Bread with Baby I'm A-Want You.

With 2 #1s (Flint and Jersey) and 22 points, the national #5, the Chi-lites and Have You Seen Her.

With FOUR #1s (WABC, Pittsburgh, Easton, and Minnie) and 26 points, the national #3, soon to be space explorer Cher and Gypsies Tramps And Thieves.

All of which might make you think the race was a close one- after all, the top song has only 2 #1s left, correct?  BUUUUT... it was on every countdown but one and racked up 40 points!  It was the national top dog as well... stay tuned and you'll find out who.


Let me get debut #1 out of the way.  At the number ten slot, new Agnes Obel...


One of the things I intend to do is a complete rework of the UK ten.  From henceforth, it will go like this:

You get the #1 song- this week, Slade and Cuz I Luv You.

You get the highest song on the UK chart to chart in the US- this week that would be Rod Stewart's Maggie May, which is on its way down at #16 in the US, but #4 in the UK.

You get the highest song on the US chart that's also on the UK chart- this week that's our Panel runner up, Gypsies Tramps And Thieves, #3 here and #7 there.

And either here or on that-which-replaces-the-panel, you'll get the song that made me curious enough to check it out.  And this week, that's the tune at #15 on the UK chart.  They were a Norwegian one-hit wonder calling themselves Titanic.  They were shooting for a Santana vibe- hard to do without a Carlos Santana- but they did a decent job on an instrumental called Sultana:


So I learned this week that Bruce Springsteen was a huge Elvis fan.  In fact, he wrote the song Fire not for the Pointer Sisters, but for the King- but he died just before the demo arrived.  Springsteen ended up performing it himself for the first recorded time on the Live 1975-1985 lp.  Another song first performed by the Boss on that disc was his original lyrics for Because The Night, a tune he gave to Patti Smith, who changed some lyrics and re-arranged others.  Because The Night was also covered, and became the biggest hit, for Natalie Merchant's band 10,000 Maniacs.  The 10KM were also known for a cover on a 1984 lp that they removed from all further copies a couple years later when the original artist seemed to be condemning a then famous personality TO DEATH.  The artist- then Yusef Islam, but when he wrote the song, Cat Stevens- the personality condemned, Salman Rushdie- and the song, apologies to Mr. Bird, is Peace Train- which just happened to be the highest charter this week (#4) with no Panel Love.


The replacement for the Panel is going to be similar but less cumbersome (for me).  What is going to happen is I am going to take JUST the number ones from ALL the stations of that week- rather than the top five of just twelve-  and let you take a guess at who wins the "popular vote".  This week, you would have had 11 choices from 38 stations- those choices I would then reveal, and let you think on who might have carried the election.  This week, it would have looked like this:

2.6% of the vote for a five way tie of Peace Train, Maggie May, Donnie Osmond's Hey Girl, Dennis Coffey's instrumental Scorpio, and Climax's Precious And Few.

5.3% for Sly and the Family and Family Affair.

7.9% each for Imagine and Have You Seen Her.

13.2% for Baby I'm A-Want You; 15.8% for Gypsies etc.

And at #1 with 31.6% of the vote- not yet, guys!


I'm also going to intro a couple of other nifty things to the mix.  One is my personal five favorites out of the weeks' Cashbox hot 100.  That would look like this:

Ten Years After, I'd Love To Change The World, sitting at #28 on CB;
Rare Earth's Hey Big Brother, at #86;
Yes, Your Move, at #37;
One Fine Morning by Lighthouse, at #23;
 and my top would be Carpenters, Superstar, sitting at #24.

The other I am toying with is taking the year and profiling the song at that spot:

#71 in '71, Satisfaction (not that one!) by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.  It was the fourth and last single from the last Miracles lp with Smokey, One Dozen Roses.  Unlike the first two, including the #1 Tears Of A Clown, this tune and the one before it missed the top 40, Satisfaction peaking at #49.


And now, the M10!

You heard #10.  Number nine is last week's debut from Empty Houses, Daydream, up one spot.

Going down:  Tangerine drops to 8, down one, with Wild At Heart.  Former #1 for Dinosaur Jr, Love Is, slips from 5 to 7.

Last week's other debut, Baywaves and Time Is Passing U By, up 3 to #6.

And at #5 we have last week's Panel low charter from 1963- making it the oldest M10 hit ever.  The singer Billy Stewart, who had the huge hit with the "scat" version of the classic Summertime.  This tune though only got to #70- and I don't know how, because it's great!  Coming in hot at #5:

Agnes Obel, meanwhile, still is floating around near the top, slipping a spot to #4 in week number nine with Golden Green.

Buffalo Springfield has our other '60's contribution to the M10, Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It at #3, up one.

Holding at #2, Two Door Cinema Club and Lavender.

And at #1, M10 says...

...Radiation City and Come And Go for their second week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the winner of the election with 12 of the 38 votes, or 40 Panel Points one last time...

Isaac Hayes and the Shaft Theme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, the 100th/400th episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Wait a second, did I read that right? Family Affair is from 1971? I remember that song so well, I would've only been two in '71. Did it stay popular for a long time? Or am I reading this wrong because I have a migraine? Quite possible. In which case, I'll look like a complete moron. Also, quite possible. :)

    1. Your point? Sherry is one of my top favorites and I was two- and I love the Summer Place theme which was a bit before me...

  2. I love these posts! So much info from the years I remember fondly and 1971 was one of the greats. ☺ Beautiful tribute to Leon Russell. I will dedicate my next BOTB to him. The songs in the videos were new to me. Sultana Titanic definitely had a Santana-ish vibe, but yeah, without the man himself, it fell a bit short. Have a good weekend!

    1. I wish I could have done more for Cohen as well. Too many legendary "unknowns" pass without leaving a mark to mainstream mankind.

  3. That Pope serenade. I tried to get it on LP, but I couldn't find it at the record store. You think they sold out?

    1. Should be in the vinyl section near the benedictine monks and before the Singing Nun...

  4. Chris:
    Sorry about being late to the party...but better late than never, hmm?
    ---11/18/71 - well, I was too busy learning the ropes at a job I held for nine years at a downtown publisher in Philly (W.B. Saunders).
    ---Leon had a great talent for songwriting...gotta admit that.
    ---Think I might know that #1...we shall see.---New Agnes Obel...yeah, an exclamation mark is needed (imho).
    --Aww, gonna miss seeing a QUOTE as a leadoff to the UK10.
    ---Sultana - pretty decent job there.
    ---I still like Cat Stevens, even IF he switched religions...haven't heard a thing about HIM wanting to blow any Westerners up.
    (hope that doesn't paint me as a sympathizer)
    --- The Billy Stewart find is pretty good (sad to see he didn't even MAKE it to 1971).
    ---AHHH...knew it with the SHAFT soundtrack.
    Used to have the vinyl (think I wore the grooves out). But I do have a years-old CD.
    Still hits all the right notes for me...wish I'd hear some of THAT blasting from passing cars these day, INSTEAD of the (c)rap I do hear - might be a better world...who can say?

    Very good ride this week - looking forward to those ch-ch-ch-changes coming (as long as the TARDIS console still has the receptacle to plug in the sonic AS WELL AS the 2 buttons for KETCHUP and MUSTARD)...heh.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. Glad you liked it! I debated the Agnes asterix... the song DOES deserve it.