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


Friday, March 3, 2017

Time Machine co-ordinates VX4183317

Today, we sail high above the political landscape and re-enter space-time in March 1978- the 3rd to be precise.  Yesterday, Vladimir Remek became the first non-American or Russian to go into space.  He was the son of a Czech mother and a Slovak father- a Russian propaganda "coup".  Today, a supposedly theretofore "respected" reporter released a book in which he claimed a billionaire had had a clone made of himself.

The March 3, 1978 edition of the New York Post bore a glaring headline declaring the birth of the first human clone. But scientists didn't buy it — they read the book and felt it was full of shit. (David) Rorvik (Post medical reporter) had based his cloning technology on one that was only known to work with frogs — there was no way that this could have been used to clone a human. Then an Oxford geneticist cited in the book sued Rorvik for making false claims and won, and the courts ruled that Rorvik's book was "a fraud and a hoax."

Remek- space hero and current Czech ambassador 

Dave Rorvik- 98% of scientists find him full of shit

And so starts another lovely trip in the musical Tardis, and this week:  The return of "4 new debuts"; A SPLIT Panel for the first time in the 70's; the story of George Jones' first number one- and what it has to do with Lynyrd Skynyrd; and what a beautiful woman has to do with Leif Garrett (not much these days...)!  And the longest titled number one in M10 history- or tied for it, depending on how you figure it up!


So we are approaching the spring of '78, and that means we have a LOT of Bee Gees in the countdown.  So, like I have done for the Beatles in the past, I'm going to give you a "Bee Gees" candidate list, and a "Non Bee Gees" list.  And that will start- right after our first debut!


Debut #1 came across my feed this weekend in the form of a re-packaged and re-mastered re-release of a 1967 lp called 13 Big Hits.  I perused the lp (not knowing at the time it was a very young 50) enjoying such songs as Hold On I'm Coming and You Keep Me Hanging On, but not finding one I liked enough until I hit the second to last song ( the order is different from the original, I found later).  That song was called I Know, and it debuts at #10.

The singer?  Tom Jones.


So, if we go by the TRUE charts from this week, here are your contestants:

One of two non-Gibb written tunes on the list, ,Barry Manilow's Can't Smile Without You, which was #17 and climbing on Cashbox.

Samantha Sang and Emotion, #2.

The other non-Gibb, Billy Joel and Just The Way You Are, #4.

Andy Gibb with Love Is Thicker Than Water, #1 this week.

Night Fever, which sat at #6.

Annnd Stayin' Alive, #3.

Now, what you had if you subtracted the Gibbs boys and their songs?  A hard job, as there were 7 Gibb songs in the Hot 100 this week.  But I have them, and you'll see them-

-right after the second debut.


(I kinda like these asterisks...)

Our second debut is another one off the 2012 self titled lp by Melody's Echo Chamber.  And she comes in at #9 this time:


And the 21-station No Bee Gees list of candidates:

Again, Can't Smile Without You, and Just The Way You Are;

Chic and Dance Dance Dance (Yowzah, Yowzah, Yowzah), the week's #11;
Raydio and Jack And Jill (which tells me I was listening to CKLW these days), the #21;
Eric Clapton and Lay Down Sally, #9;
Steely Dan and Peg, #8;
Dan Hill and Sometimes When We Touch, #5;
Jay Ferguson and Thunder Island, #16;
Look out, Mich!  It's Queen with We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You, on the way down at #15;
And Art Garfunkel, with Paul Simon and James Taylor, and What A Wonderful World at #18.

So here's the gig:  Vote if you like on both, but the Presidency will go to the SECOND list, as the Bee Gees have already had ONE turn.


Debut three from a veteran from the 1990's getting his first nod here, and it's an unusual story.  You see, instead of releasing a new lp in one shot, he's releasing it in 3 4-song EPs.  From the second, called The Search For Everything Wave Two, here's John Mayer:

Helpless comes in at #8.


So I did the same thing as the Panel on our UK feature; And here to tell us about it is Rythm Heritage keyboardist, multi-awarded arranger and producer, and Contemporary Christian star Michael Omartian:

Thank you, Chris, and while I can't really say it's an honor to be here, I will say... um, here's the UK list.  With the Bee Gees, it goes like this:  The highest charting UK hit in America was Stayin' Alive, which was #4 there and #3 here; while the highest charter here that charted there was Emotion, which was #2 here and #16 there.

Without the Brothers Gibb, the highest UK in the US was Sweet's Love Is Like Oxygen, #9 there and 76 here in its second week in the Hot 100; and the highest here that charted there was Just The Way You Are, which was 19 there and 4 here.

And number one in the UK either way- Abba's Take A Chance On Me, which was a summer song here.  How's that?

"Can't really say it's an honor..." REALLY?

Dude, I have three grammys, three Dove awards, and was the first producer to have #1 hits in three decades.  President for a week on a low-readership blog is like being the star of Tool Time on channel 112...

Cold, man, real cold....


Our highest debut is actually on the charts.  Last week, this song peaked at #37 on hot rock songs, #31 on alternative, and #2 on adult alternative.  Here, it debuts at #7.  I give you- the Shins:


Our #78 in '78 is Leif Garrett's cover of the Paul Anka-written Put Your Head On My Shoulder, a song a lot of people have covered...

Including Potsie on Happy Days!

Anka had hit #2 back in 1958; the Lettermen did a fantastic job on it in 1968, though only reaching #44; and a young lady named Sunday Sharpe, who did more than one countryfied Anka cover, took it to #49 on the country charts in 1975...

Oh, and Leif got to #58.


When George Jones recorded his first country #1, White Lightning, back in '59, they went through 80 takes trying to get it right- mostly because George was drunk.  The bassist, Buddy Killen, had fingers so badly blistered, he apparently threatened George with an ass-whuppin'.  The song itself was written by none other than the Big Bopper, BTW.  It featured on George's recording a not-as-blistered piano player named Hargus "Pig" Robbins, a veteran session man also heard on Roger Miller's Dang Me.

How does all of this get us to Lynyrd Skynyrd?  Well, Pig also played piano on 1974's Merle Haggard Presents His 30th Album;  a track on that lp called Honky Tonk Night Time Man, was covered by Skynyrd on their last lp before the tragic plane crash, Street Survivors (which was in fact released just 3 days before the crash), and that lp contained the highest charter this week with no Panel love, the Cashbox #7, What's Your Name.


And the remains of the M10:

At number six, Foxygen slides two with Follow The Leader.

The Orwells fall back 2 to #5 with Black Francis.

Didn't I tell you?  Well, I know I told somebody, but Colony House reverses gear and returns to #4 with You And I.

And the Peppermint Twist falls out of #1 for Sweet, dropping to #3- which means the latest streak of weeks without a one-week number one ends at the same place the first one did- 17 weeks.

The Pretenders/Neil Tennant climb a quick three to #2 with Let's Get Lost.

And, at #1, M10 says-

...Chicano Batman, with Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This makes them by words tied for the longest song title for an M10 #1 with Dent May's Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love- but by letters they beat Dent 30-25.

And the Panel?

Well on the Bee Gee side, the winner by an 11-4 margin and 52.3 percent of the vote- Stayin' Alive.

But on the NON- Bee Gee side, the winner by a 5-3 margin and 23.8 %, next week's POTM (President of Time Machine):

...Billy Joel and Just The Way You Are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew, long post!  Tune in next time for... 1965!


  1. Chris:
    ---That's some weird stuff about Rorvik.
    ---That Tom Jones debut...Yep, that's Tom Jones all right! And re-mastered as well.
    Nice find.
    ---Melody's Echo Chamber...The intro to the song tossed me for a loop, but it isn't half bad.
    ---I can say that ALL those station songs are ones I remember and liked a lot.
    Both Bee Gees and NON Bee Gees.
    ---John Mayer...while never a fan, he still cranks out some decent tunes. the Michael Omartian exchange...And I remember him from the Chris Cross days as well as the Vince Gill "When Love Finds You" song. His producer credits are extensive.
    ---Name For You (The Shins) is (to me) the best debut aside from Tom Jones...just my take.
    ---That's a really wild 6D, too. Had to idea that Skynyrd was ever tied to George Jones
    ---Thought Stayin' Alive might make it...and Billy Joel's song is no real surprise considering all the airtime it had back then. Quite a timeless song, really.
    Hope the Pretenders make it to numero uno.

    Excellent ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. You may well have reason to rejoice on next week's M10...