Friday, December 2, 2016
Time Machine: Co-ordinates VII40212274
We fly into December of 1974- the 2nd day of December, in fact, as we begin the next new era for our show. And today we are picking up the pieces of another plane crash; this time it was a TWA jet headed from Indianapolis to DC in some really nasty weather (Nasty? Detroit is digging out of just shy of a 20-inch snowfall). It had been re-directed from the main airport to Dulles due to some mean wind shear, and was closing in on a landing. But there was a hidden problem- one that had very nearly caused a mirror image crash in GOOD weather six weeks ago. The problem? The terms for making final approach were different for pilots and air traffic controllers. And in the middle of fighting turbulence, they were forced to determine whether "cleared for approach" meant they were still on radar guidance or not- and they were wrong: they hit the ironically named Mt Weather at 260 mph. Still more ironic, Mt Weather was the site of the "Bunker", where the government was to go and hide during a nuclear attack! The unplanned test of the facilities resulted in the severing of the Bunker's phone lines and the loss of all aboard.
I wish I knew how it is that we keep showing up so close to these disasters; Every volume of TM has been close to a few airplane crashes. We'll probably soon need FAA clearance to blog! Anyway, welcome to the first official post of TM volume 5, and of course I've already had two of my new features crash into each other and form one item! Also, a 6D that will start with a song (provided I can find it, lol!), and both the shortest and the third longest song in M10 history- on this week's chart! Plus, two new debuts will give us a wildly international flavor on the M10. So suit up, climb in, and let's taxi to the runway!
This week, we start the new era Panel- I'm surveying not just 12, but ALL the stations in the target week, and picking out the tunes that hit the top on these stations. And rather than give you a Panel Four, I'm going to give you the list- and let you guess who got the most votes! This week 25 stations gave us gave us 8 possibilities, and here they are:
Cats In The Cradle by Harry Chapin, which sat at #9 on Cashbox this week;
Billy Swan's I Can Help, which was the national top dog;
I Feel A Song In My Heart by Gladys Knight and the Pips, which was #19;
Carole King's Jazzman, which was a dropper this week at #57
Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas, chopping away at #5;
Reunion's one hit wonder Life Is A Rock at #26 and also falling;
Bobby Vinton's two-language classic My Melody Of Love at #3;
and the week's #3 song, appropriately by the Three Degrees, When Will I See You Again.
Who wins this week's vote? stay tuned...
Debut the First: Dami Im, who you might remember for her big M10 and bigger Eurovision hit Sounds Of Silence from last June, has a new single out, and it lands at #9 for the Korean-born Aussie:
So 2 of the new things I am doing is "week's most intriguing" where I, either on CB, the UK chart, or in the Panel, find something I never heard before and was curious about; and the "Year on the Chart", which this week would be the #74 song. Well, that #74 song this week was by Gene Cotton, who I best knew for his great song about the McCarthy Era, Like a Sunday In Salem. When I tried to learn more about the song in question, called Sunshine Roses, a contemporary Billboard article said that thematically and musically it was reminiscent of American Pie. Truth? It is a much more truncated time trip with a bit of the Don McLean flavor, but if you aren't a big AP fan, you still might enjoy it.
"So, Chris, what were YOUR favorite songs on this week's chart?" Well, glad you asked. (Boy, I so need a logo for this feature...)
5- climbing at #67 this week, Frankie Valli and My Eyes Adored You.
4- At #15 (and the flip side at #106), Wings with Junior's Farm/ Sally G.
3- #36 and climbing, Jethro Tull's Bungle In The Jungle (one of my favorite ever lines in a song: "I'll write on your tombstone, 'And thank you for dinner...' ")
2- A top ten all timer- at #10, Chicago's Wishing You Were Here.
And #1- another all timer, Barry Manilow's Mandy, climbing at #42 this week.
And here to kick off our six degrees, I give you Linda Laurie:
(BTW, she did Ambrose's voice, too.)
Linda took this novelty song (of which there were never any parts 1-4) to #52 way back in 1959 Possibly better known to us seventies kids, she wrote the lyrics to the theme of the Saturday morning live-action show Land Of The Lost.
This chunk of our childhood was composed by one Jimmy Haskell, who composed and arranged the song that charted highest this week on CB without getting a Panel vote- Neil Diamond's #4 Longfellow Serenade. Interestingly (or not), Diamond said it was born of a past use of Longfellow's writings to seduce "a much older woman", which makes me wonder if this woman was the inspiration for his later hit Desiree as well. Unfortunately, Neil and I have never been real close, so I guess I'll never know.
And now, by request of the inimitable Bobby G, a few words from novelist Aldous Huxley:
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
True That! So let's take our peak in at the UK chart this week.
The highest charting US single that is also on the UK chart: I was surprised to find that this week it belonged to BTO with You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, which was 8 here and 6 there.
The highest charting UK single that was also on the US chart: Barry White's You're My First, My Last, My Everything, which was #2 there and #12 here.
And tops of the pops? That would be David Essex (him again?) with Gonna Make You A Star, which as you recall I didn't much care for but somehow charted here- albeit at #105.
Oh, 'bout forgot the other debut, but you won't forget it for long. French singer Melody Prochet, her act called Melody's Echo Chamber, and her song comes in at #8:
Now, you know me. I have a sense whether a song has a serious shot at #1 when I bring it in- usually. The top is going to be VERY crowded the next few weeks.
And as we close in on the #1s, let's give you the first 6 that DIDN'T win the panel vote.
Gladys Knight, Carole King, and Reunion each got 4% (1 vote).
Harry Chapin got 2%.
The 3 Degrees got 12%.
And Billy Swan got 16%.
That leaves two candidates who split the other 52%. Who will it be? Is your horse still in the race?
And now, the M10.
Free-falling 6 spots to #10 is Buffalo Springfield with Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It.
You know #9 and 8; Baywaves holds at #7 with Time Is Passing U By. So now, we have a mixed American/Canadian act, a Frenchwoman, a Korean-Australian, and a Spanish band.
Next, our Northern Ireland contingent, Two Door Cinema Club, with Lavender falling from #2 to 6.
The Shacks move up 4 to #5 with This Strange Effect.
The international wing of things ends with Agnes Obel, as Denmark's best moves up 2 to #4 with Mary. Which, BTW, at 5:47 is the third longest song in M10 history, trailing only Paper Gods by Duran Duran and The Last Thing On My Mind by The Joy Formidable (which actually was a shorter song but had a little preliminary screwing around).
Radiation City says three weeks at the top is enough, and drops to #3 with Come And Go.
Billy Stewart clocks in, up one notch to #2 with the shortest song in M10 history by a full fifteen seconds, Strange Feeling.
And the number ones? M10 says:
The Shacks, with the El Michels Affair, and Strange Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the runner up on the vote, with 24% was Carl Douglas, so our first election winner is...
Bobby Vinton with My Melody Of Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So join me and President Vinton next week when we visit lovely 1977!