So we slide into December 9th of 1977- just two days away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers getting their first NFL win after 26 straight losses. Today was a big day for stupidity in sports. For one, Detroit traded Ben Oglivie to the Milwaukee Brewers- Oglivie averaged 30 HRs and 90 RBIs the next three seasons, while the pitcher they got for him, Jim Slaton, spent one year with the Tigers and free-agented himself right back to Milwaukee. And even dumber, this was the day Kermit Washington ruined both careers of himself and Rudy Tomjanovich by punching him in a basketball game and nearly killing him.
But the puzzling thing in this lead in is that I mis-spelled Oglivie the first time, so I did the click on the squiggle to accept their spelling, spelled it exactly the same the second time and got squiggled again, with spellcheck wanting yet another spelling! If Kermit is still looking for work, I have a job for him....
Anyway, welcome to another week's Time Machine, where we get a 6D with Johnny Nash, Chicago, and Chaka Khan; a very failed attempt at a "interesting unknown song" pick; two new debuts which have been pounding on the door for a month; and yet another statistical anomaly I choose to call a record! So let's get off the sports channel and back to the music!
The polls closed with a tight three-song race this week, from our 20 reporting stations. They give us 7 contenders to replace President Bobby Vinton this week, and here are those candidates:
|"Wait, you mean I'm not President anymore? But I had a program of love..."|
Player's Baby Come Back, currently #15 on the cashbox charts;
Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou, #5;
Heatwave's Boogie Nights, #14;
Crystal Gayle's Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, the week's top dog;
The Bee Gees and How Deep Is Your Love, #2;
Queen with We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You, #25;
and... uhhm... Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life, #3.
Make yer picks, and we'll let you in on the winner at the end!
Debut #1 is from the band that really talked me into doing M10 in the first place! That would be NRBQ, which had the M10's second #1 with Driving In My Car from 1977. A much older NRBQ debuts this week with a song from the 1994 lp Message for The Mess Age... at #10:
And now, some words to live by from Ozzy Osbourne:
Being sober on a bus is, like, totally different than being drunk on a bus.
Uh, yeah, I bet it is! But we're on a Time Machine, so let's see what this week holds for us.
The highest song on the UK chart that was charting here as well would be this week's #1 in the UK, McCartney and Wings with the two sided Mull Of Kintyre/Girl's School. Girl's School was at #48 here- although, as I mentioned before, it was the MOK side that Casey Kasem always played once it made American Top 40. The highest over here that charted over there was How Deep Is Your Love, which they had at #3. In fact, this was one of those "somewhat similar" weeks- as there were a grand total of 8 mutual top 40's this week.
Now I tried a couple of songs from the UK10 for this week's unknown tune, but first, let me tell you about the FIRST one I had to say no to. On our bubbling under list, I saw a sight that made me cringe in amazement. Y'all remember the Floaters? They were that disco band that did the Zodiac-pick up line song Float On. Well, at #102 they had what I could not possibly believe- but yet it was- a cover of the Dusty Springfield hit You Don't Have To Say You Love Me. Really? Yes, really. And if you skipped all but the last minute, it had potential.
So I tried the UK charts- and after a day's delay when their chart site was having some sort of computer fart, I thought I might try a couple of the names I didn't know there. They turned out to both be instrumentals, and as different as they could possibly be. First I tried Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (whom I had at least heard of) and a number called Egyptian Reggae. While it wasn't exactly horrible (which wouldn't necessarily exclude a song from the UK 10), it did seem a bit like what a white boy might imagine an ancient Egyptian band would sound like after a week in Jamaica. The other option was the Brighthouse and Rastrick Brass Band with something called the Floral Dance. This tune could be best described by, "Imagine the band at your senior prom was the school's marching band." That pretty well covered it. And with that, I waved the white flag on this feature.
I did want to make a couple of announcements. I am working hard on the M10 top 50 countdown, and just as last year, the points mean nothing! If you made the chart this year, you have a shot, right up to sometime in the next couple weeks when I say the heck with it and make it official. I will prolly do like last year and make the posts over Christmas and New Year's solely the top 50 and the M10. And right after that, will come the infamous Beauty Contest 2017, which I have also been working on. I have a list of 14 semifinalists, with 2 spots still open, out of the as-of-last-week 47 eligible ladies from this years posts. And speaking of which, let's open the 6 Degrees this week with contestant # 48:
Yes, Chaka Khan, who was one of two acts that I found- the other being Johnny Nash- who recorded a tune called Everyone Has An Aura. This was a comp by one Gordon DeWitty, a PacNW- based R&B and blues writer. I tumbled onto his name when he wrote several tracks on Bonnie Bramlett's solo debut, cleverly titled Sweet Bonnie Bramlett. I was surprised to hear (well, read) that her backing band on that first effort was Scotland's Average White Band, whom she paid their way over to LA to record with her.
Now here's where the story starts to double back on itself. One of the longtime (though not founding) members of AWB was Hamish Stuart- who later contributed backing vocals to Chaka Khan's breakout solo hit I'm Every Woman. And Chaka contributed backing vocals- and the great improv at the end- on the Chicago hit take Me Back To Chicago. And that was a track from Chicago XI- the last of their numbered lps- which also had the hit Baby What A Big Surprise. And THAT is the song that charted the highest on Cashbox nationally (#4) without getting a Panel vote.
Debut #2 -charting at #9 on the M10- is a song that was the "last one cut" the last two weeks. English songbird Amber Bain records under the pseudonym The Japanese House, who I have been listening to here and there for a while. But the one that cracks the countdown is this one:
And contestant # 49 goes into the mix!
Chris' favorites from this week in 1977:
5- Kansas with Point Of Know Return, sitting at #27;
4- Bill Withers' Lovely Day, currently at #57;
3- Rita Coolidge's cover of We're All Alone, at #6;
2- At #40 and rising, Samantha Sang and Emotion;
And at #1- sitting at #54 and falling...
Barry Manilow and Daybreak!
Oh, and before I forgeddaboutit, the 77 in '77 goes to Foreigner's A Long Long Way From Home, just debuting this week. Their third charting single from their debut lp, it would climb into the top 20.
So, who'd ya pick? I will tell you this much now- if you took Linda (3 votes), Player (1), Heatwave (1), or Queen (2), you've made the wrong decision...
And now, the rest of the M10!
#8 is the still falling Two Door Cinema Club, for whom gravity has resumed control. Lavender down 2 spots.
#7 is Dami Im, fighting for 2 spots and Fighting For Love.
#6 is Radiation City with Come And Go, the former three time champ down 3 notches.
You know it's crowded at the top when a hot song gets stuck- and that's where the Shacks are with This Strange Effect, still at #5.
Billy Stewart takes 2 steps back to #4 with Strange Feeling.
Agnes Obel has now charted in the top 3 three times. But with Familiar going to #1 and Golden Green to #2, will she be stuck at #3 with Mary?
Possibly... because Melody's Echo Chamber has lept from 8 to 2 with I Follow You!
And at #1... M10 says, again...
Which led me to observe that this tune, Come And Go, and Dinosaur Jr's Love Is... have now held the top for 7 weeks. The record? Well, from Sept. 24th (or October 8th) of last year to November 20th (or December 5th), it was Lisztomania by Phoenix, Traveller by Beach House, and also Beach House's Space Song (or Silversun Pickups' Nightlight) for 9 weeks; and from January 27th to March 17th it was Jack Wood's Born To Wander, Flo and Eddie's Keep It Warm, and Eleanor Friedburger's Two Versions Of Tomorrow for 8 weeks.
And the Panel vote? Well, Debby and Crystal tied with 4 votes, so our new triune President with 25% of the vote is...
... the Bee Gees with How Deep Is Your Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And that brings us one week closer to all those fun things I just mentioned! Next week, My Three Presidents will take us to... 1962!