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


Friday, March 17, 2017

Time Machine co-ordinates VXII42031780

Today we push the Tardis outside of the Martin Era, farther than she's ever gone- to St Patty's Day, 1980.  In the news, race riots are sweeping Miami after 4 cops were acquitted in the death of black insurance man Arthur McDuffie.  Arthur, in addition to (or in spite of) being an insurance salesman, was a traffic law violator with a suspended licence who decided to take off on his motorcycle from the police, with a high speed chase, followed by escape on foot, followed by fighting, followed by his death from a cracked skull.  And, Matti Webb became one of five acts this year to hit #1 in their first week on the Irish charts, with her hit Take That Look Off Your Face.

Yes, it's a St. Patty's Day Time Machine, and frankly, I'm not sure what's gonna happen this show!  Welcome to our first show outside the Martin Era, and let's have some fun!

First St Patrick's day Irish chart trivia:  the most hits on the Irish chart is a tie with 70- and if you have paid attention on our English segues, you might guess the two are Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley.


And our only debut this week belongs to a half-Irish Jewish boy from Brooklyn.  I might be a bit remiss in calling him a boy- he turns 74 in June.  This was the guy whose poster hung on my bedroom wall, the man I have called "our generation's Sinatra."  His new lp coming out in April is called This Is My Town: Songs Of New York, and his name is Barry Manilow.

The medley comes in at #9 this week.


I managed to scare up a 15 station Panel for 1980, and they give us 7 candidates for the new POTM, and here to introduce them is our own Irish President of the week, Sir Paul McCartney!

'ello, and welcome to the show!  Once again, I and me mates thank you for this honor, unlike that snooty sod last week.  Your choices this turn are...

A country and western outfit called the Oak Ridge Boys, with, uhm, Buh-Buh, Buh-buh, Bobbi Sue.  It was at #14 on the Cashbox charts this week.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have the numero uno on Cashbox this week, with a tune that was first done here in England by the Arrows, I Love Rock'N'Roll.

Hey, wasn't that written by two of the Osmonds?

Er, no.  It was written by Alan Merrill, not Alan AND Merrill.

I know, little joke there.

Very.  Anyway, next we have  Bertie Higgins, another partial Irishman, with Key Largo, which was #11 on the charts.

Journey's Open Arms was at #4.

Folk singer John Denver, and Placido Domingo teamed up for an AC hit called Perhaps Love, which peaked at #59.

Next, my mates in Soft Cell are at #62 and climbing with Tainted Love.

And finally, the lovely lassies of the Go-Gos and We Got The Beat, the #5 song.

There you go, mate!

Thanks, Sir Paul!  And now, I would give you a clue, but I think that outside of knowing that Denver and Domingo aren't your best choice, I'll leave you on your own here.


Next Irish trivia: The most weeks at #1 in Ireland was Bill Whelan's Riverdance at 19 weeks. The most weeks for a song you prolly know is the #3 on the list, Pharrell Williams' Happy with 12.


Thankfully I have all this St Patrick's Day stuff I can horn in here, because I sucked eggs trying to do a 6D on the highest charter nationally without a Panel vote, the #2 That Girl by Stevie Wonder.

(Okay, help me out here.  The blog doesn't come in braille, so everybody just tell Stevie I had a real good story on him.)


And here I have a neat little feature for the UK segment, and I was just about to not do the UK for fear of perturbing the Irish.

So anyway, the #1 in the UK this week in 1980 was a remake of The Lion Sleeps Tonight by a studio act called Tight Fit.  It wasn't too bad, but it got me thinking of all the times that song has charted over the years.  I found 8 times between the UK and the US, starting with Gordon Jenkins' band featuring the Weavers on vocals.  It was one of many that went by the alternate title Wimoweh, and made #14 back in '52.  The Tokens took the best-loved version to the top in 1961, while in Britain a Slim Whitman-on-5 HR Energy type named Karl Denver reached #4 there in '62.  It charted twice in 1972:  Here, it was Robert John who made it to #3, while in the UK a gent by the name of Dave Newman (about whom I could find little other than his death just this last summer) hit #34 there.

Brian Eno, in his early days, just missed the UK top 50 three years later with an electronica version.  Then came Tight Fit, followed by the Tokens reprising it in 1994, which charted at #51.

Now the highest song that hit both charts was J Geils' Centerfold, which was #3 here and #9 there.


I considered doing a top songs by Irish acts deal here, but since I only realized the date when I sat down to type, the best I can manage is a shout out to some of the Irish acts that charted here.  So shouts to Gilbert O'Sullivan, Thin Lizzy, the Boomtown Rats, U2, the Irish Rovers, the Cranberries, Van Morrison, and Chris DeBurgh for a start.

In the meantime, it was a much quicker lookup to learn that the ME has seen three times Cashbox's Hot 100 hit on St Patrick's Day, and thus we have three St Patty's number ones:  Bruce Channell's Hey Baby in '62, Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly in 73, and the Bee Gees with Tragedy in '79.


NOTICE:  At this point, I just discovered that the Musical Tardis was far more damaged by the attempt at the future than I thought.  While my lead in was from 1980... EVERYTHING ELSE is from 1982!  The only reason I discovered that stupidity was that when I went to my notes to do the #80 in '80, I saw that it was ACTUALLY the #82 in '82!  So just in your mind, set everything from the picture of the lovely Ms Webb down to 1982, and if I ever do a 1980, I'll be sure to confuse you with a 1982 lead in!

(But at least I get to use the new meme I made last night...)


Oh, so that #82 at 1982 was Elton John's Empty Garden, his tribute to his good friend and ours, John Lennon, which had just debuted.


And since it is the Beatles' week at the Presidency, I'll mention that they had five songs debut on the Irish chart at #1- Ticket To Ride, Help!, Paperback Writer, Hey Jude, and The Ballad Of John and Yoko.


And now, the M10.

Colony House slips to #10 in their 8th week with the little song that could, You And I.

Sadly for a couple of last week's climbers, room towards the top is at a premium this week, and thus Helpless by John Mayer and Name For You by the Shins do an as-you-were and go back to 8 and 7, respectively.

The former #1 by Chicano Batman, Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm), slips from #2 to #6.  But don't grieve them; they'll be hitting the chart in a big way next week with their latest...

POWERS slams their way up 5 spots to #5 with Heavy.

Tom Jones moves up a precious spot to #4 with I Know.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons rocket from #9 to #3 with Walk On By.

The Pretenders et al slip out of the top spot to #2 with Let's Get Lost.

And before the reveal, I would like to point out that I was amazed to learn yesterday that, although 31 acts have had multiple hits on the M10, and 16 of them hit #1, there have only been three acts- Beach House, Lucius, and The Explorer's Club, who have had multiple $1s.

Until Now.

 The number ones?  M10 says...

...Melody's Echo Chamber with their second #1, Crystallized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And winning the Panel by a 7-3 margin over Open Arms...

Joan Jett and the boys with I Love Rock N Roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, since this foray has been such a "smashing" (more like smashed up) success, let's see if we can slingshot closer to home by going to 1960 next week!


  1. Now that we're in the 80s, I actually know the songs!

    However, what stood out to me was the notice that so many folks covered The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I'm always looking for songs I really like to use for Battle of the Bands. I will look into that one. Thanks for the tip!

    1. You never know, you might see something good in 1960 too...

  2. Some great songs that bring to mind some great memories

  3. Chris:
    Okay, so who's passing out the Guinness?
    ---Matti..sure was a looker!
    ---Manilow is back...and the years haven't been THAT bad for him.
    ---What? No candidates from that Irish band THIN LIZZY??
    ---Did not know about all the times THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT had charted. Interesting.
    ---No Gilbert O'Sullivan hits??
    Oh, OKAY...a shout out is better than a wink OR a nod Glad we had U2 in that mix.
    ---"When the feeling's gone and you can't go on it's TRAGEDY"...very good Bee Gees song.
    ---So, the old TARDIS missed it by ONLY two years...better than the 11th doctor (who overshot Amelia Pond by like 12!
    ---Both good picks for the top o' the heap this week.
    (kinda miss Joan "petite" and yet so powerful. Same height as Cherie Currie and Lita Ford, btw)
    Very good ride this week, didn't miss those 2 years at all.
    Sure, and it's been a grand day to be Irish, if only in spirit, laddie.

    Keep those hits (and near "misses") coming up there, brother.

    1. Next week, the focus shifts from The Lion Sleeps Tonight to Harbor Lights... and Chuck Berry, of course.