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


Friday, March 24, 2017

Time Machine Co-ordinates VXIII42132460

Somehow trapped outside the Martin Era, we have slingshotted into March of 1960, and landed one day short of the day that Oliver Cromwell's head was buried.  What, you say?  Yes, Cromwell, in addition to being a buzzkill at parties, was so unpopular amongst the GP of England that he was dug up after his 1659 death; his body was dumped in the sea (or a pit, no one's really sure), and his head, after touring the country on a pike, was passed around until finally coming into the possession of a certain family from 1815, and they finally got tired of passing him around and had him planted somewhere in Cambridge.

Legend has it whoever displayed the head never worried about mice or cockroaches in the house.

Well, this week has a lot of somber news before we begin.  You all have heard about the recent passing of Chuck Berry by now, and we'll deal more with that in a bit.  Also this week we lost Boston drummer Sib Hashian, who collapsed onstage during a Legends cruise.  I hope that both of them were happy with where their lives had led, because in music as in other lines, it's easy to lose the life while concentrating on the career.  Just today I saw an article on M10 artist John Mayer, musing on what he'd missed out on.  From FoxNews:

John Mayer is approaching 40, and he realizes he didn’t do everything right during his years in the spotlight.

Mayer, who has a reputation as a womanizer, spoke to the New York Times about his new album, “The Search for Everything,” and the rocker admitted he has some major life regrets.

“I wish there was somebody to throw me the 40th,” Mayer told The Times. “I want the baby with the protective earphones [by the stage].”

The guitarist added, “I’m right on time for my career, and I’m running late for my life.”

Okay, now, let's shake off the melancholy and get to some fun music and trivia, starting with:


The first of three debuts this week.  At #10 we have a new release by a group called Work Drugs...

Their lp, One Foot Off The Merry-Go-Round, comes out this summer.


And now for our Panel picks.  26 stations gave us 11 candidates- and in the end, two of them duke it out in a run-off this week!  The contestants, if you will...

Brook Benton and Dinah Washington with Cashbox's #3 this week, Baby You've Got What It Takes.

Toledo's Johnny and the Hurricanes with their #12 instrumental, Beatnik Fly.

Jackie Wilson with Doggin' Around, which would enter the bubbling under end of things at 125 next week.

Jim Reeves with the national runner-up, He'll Have To Go.

Hull, Quebec hadn't yet got the memo about the holidays being over- they had Harry Simeone's Chorale with The Little Drummer Boy still at the top of their charts.  Needless to say, that's a clue.

Connie Francis' two sided hit Mama/Teddy, which were at #s 9 and 35.

Paul Anka and Puppy Love, at #5.  Hey, BTW, keep an eye on me so I don't slip in a $ instead of an # like last week...

Brenda Lee with Sweet Nothings, at #6.

Percy Faith and orchestra with one of my all time top 5, the Theme From A Summer Place.  It was #1 on CB this week- in fact, it was on week 5 of an eight week run, and kept Jim Reeves out of the top spot for three of those weeks.

Johnny Tillotson with a nifty doo-wop tune, Why Do I Love You So, stuck at #39.

ANNNNNNNNNNNNd Bobby Darin with Wild One, at #4.

And here with your opening clue , our POTM this week, Ms Joan Jett!

Yeah, I thought you were lettin' me do the Chuck Berry thing.

The day's still young.  You never know.

I WANTED to do the Chuck Berry thing.

You know, a lot of POTMs would LOVE the chance to do two features...

Awright.  So the clue is, there are six acts that got multiple #1 votes- Connie and Brenda, that fox Bobby, the Hurricanes, and Percy and Reeves.  And two of 'em tied, forcing a run-off- the #1 and 2 songs!  So you get ta pick from Summer Place and He'll Have To Go.  So place your bets.

See, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Yeah, but I wanna do...

Okay, okay, ladies and gentlemen, Joan Jett with a bit of a Chuck Berry tribute!


One of the great things about Chuck's music is that it was so accessible.  Everybody with a guitar played Chuck's tunes back in the day.  The Beatles, in fact, covered most of his songbook at one point or another, most famously Rock'N'Roll Music.  They didn't release it stateside, but topped the charts with it in Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Austria.  It was also covered by another band he heavily influenced, the Beach Boys, who took it to #5 on Billboard.

Of course, the Beach Boys more famously covered his #2 hit Sweet Little Sixteen- although they changed the words to Surfin' Safari and got sued over it.  That Murray Wilson was a real peach.

Johnny Rivers was also big on covering Chuck, hitting #12 with Maybelline, and #2 with Memphis.

His songs had a few covers hit big on the country charts, too.  Buck Owens took Johnny B Goode to #1, and Emmylou Harris took C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell) to #6.

Over in England, he also had a lot of covers, with Jimi Hendrix, Peter Tosh, and Judas Priest all doing Johnny B Goode, and Don Lang and his Frantic Five- along with as varied of acts from Gary Glitter to AC/DC- doing School Days.  And over here, a couple last covers to mention:  Linda Ronstadt went top 20 with Back In The USA, and Chris' favorite CB cover- ELO hammering out Roll Over Beethoven!   So if you judge a man by the company he keeps- just look at all the talent that wanted to keep company with him...

Well, done, Joan.  And now, the second debut, coming in at #8, I give you the new tune from a Philly group called Real Estate...


Our 6D victim this time was the song without a vote sitting at #7- the Platters and Harbor Lights.  The fascinating thing about this tune came when it first came out in the fall of ten years before- 1950.  Between September and November, no less than 6 different versions were on the charts basically at the same time.  Three of them were Billboard top tens- Sammy Kaye and his Swing-and-Sway boys at #1, racking up 25 weeks on the chart; Guy Lombardo, who spent 20 weeks and peaked at #2; and Bing Crosby, who took it to #10.  With Ray Anthony, who peaked at #15, these four were all combined as one chart-topper on CB which held the top from November 11th until December 23*, and spent 11 more weeks in the top ten after that.

Also, Billboard charted versions by Ralph Flanagan (who worked sometimes as an arranger for Sammy Kaye) and organist Ken Griffin, who would pass just 5 years later.  They both peaked at 27 on BB, and I found no trace of them on CB.

*That run for the gang of four was interrupted one week- December 17th when Phil Harris- band leader, comedy artist, and the voice of 70's Disney characters Baloo the Bear, O'Malley the Alley Cat, and Robin Hood's Little John, broke onto the top with The Thing, which if you are interested, you can listen to here.  What was amusing as I listened was the YouTube comment speculation of what the "thing" was- including " Kanye West & the Kardashians, U2, Coldplay, Nickelback, Rascal Flats & Justin Bieber all rolled into one", a picture of President Trump, a "penis in a box" ("No because his wife didn't want it either"), an embarrassing party pic of Spongebob Squarepants, a gun, a bag of marijuana, and "Jumanji".


As we are starting to run long this week, I'm going to combine a bunch of untied ends up in one shot here.  The top song in the UK was one of my brother's all time favorites, Johnny Preston's Running Bear (which was on the way down at #44 here).  The 60 at #60 was Della Reese with Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)... and a new feature I'm thinking of starting, "What happened to the guy at #101? " That guy this week was Wilbert Harrison with a sequel to his song Kansas City, called Goodbye Kansas City.  Wilbert was in a bit of trouble at the time- you see, he had released KC on the Fury label, but he was still under contract to Savoy Records.  It would create conditions that would keep him off the charts for almost a decade.  In any event, Goodbye KC was the exact same tune as Kansas City- just with the words changing, having him abandon all his crazy women to return to New York.


And now, the rest of the M10.

#9 is the slowly falling former #1 by Chicano Batman, Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm), which slips 3 spots.  But don't grieve for them because their NEW one comes in at #6:

Barry Manilow, in between all of this, moves up a pair to #7 with the New York City Rhythm/On Broadway medley.

POWERS holds at #5 with Heavy.

The Pretenders et al drop 2 more to #4 this week with Let's Get Lost. (NOTE:  I just caught myself twice hitting that darn dollar sign...)

Tom Jones climbs another spot to #3 with I Know.

The Four Seasons edge up to the runner up spot with Walk On By.

And the number ones?  M10 says...

Melody's Echo Chamber for a second week with Crystallized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And now, the battle at the top of the Panel Picks... we had a tie at 23% each, which means I do a run-off election to see who got the most votes at #2!  And by a 7-3 margin, the winner is....

...Jim Reeves and He'll Have To Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I can't tell you for sure if our musical Tardis is going to break back into the ME real soon... but I can say next week's journey will be a little... Orwellian...


  1. That's a fascinating story about Oliver Cromwell's head! R.I.P. Chuck and Sib (hadn't heard about that one!) At 40, John Mayer still has time to change his life, if he's not happy with it. Life is too short for regrets! I was only 5 in 1960 and don't know most of the songs you mentioned. I do love Joan Jett, though.

    1. I wasn't born until 1962 myself... just have an appreciation for classic music.

  2. The debut tunes are all fairly pleasing--nothing earthshaking, but nice innocuous listening. They won't be considered rock and roll history like Chuck Berry's music was, but I'd rather listen to those kinds of songs than most of Chuck Berry's old stuff. Sure, he broke ground in his day, but I never got into his music or the remakes of his songs all that much.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I can understand. I appreciate Chuck more as the icon than the artist as well, although I do have soft spots for songs like No Particular Place and C'est La Vie.

  3. I hate to quote wisdom from William Shatner, who wrote "live life like you're going to die because you will."

    I love my life-always have, and when people with far more than I have ever dreamed of having whine about how bad their life is, it always amazes me.

    Kind of like the Work Drug tune.

    I just read a story from a guy who worked in a club where Berry played a few decades ago. He found a man sleeping in his car in the lot outside the club when he went to open, and the day manager told him not to disturb the man-Chuck Berry had finished his set at two and was too cheap to spring for a room.

    Like Lee, there are a lot of other artists who owe their sound to Berry that I prefer, but Chuck was the one who started it all.

    Well, Marty McFly started it all-if Marvin Berry hadn't cut his hand at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance, who know what rock and roll would be like?


    1. Bobby G recently did a story on the US having the richest poor people in the world. A long time ago, I wondered what it would have been like to have lived in Russia under the Tsars. God gave me an emotional glimpse- just a glimpse- and I came away knowing that my bitterest complaint is a hair's breadth away from a two-year-old crying about a dirty lollipop.

  4. Didn't know that about Cromwell, for me that was the most interesting bit of the whole post but I do love history

  5. Chris:
    ---Yeah, something tells me that Cromwell didn't go out of his way to ENDEAR himself to his subjects very well.
    ---That was a good assessment by Mayer. Didn't know that about the Boston drummer...crazy stuff.
    ---WORK DRUGS - like the song, but the video was too frenetic for the music.
    They need to work on that a bit.
    ---Reeves, Faith, Francis, Anka, Wilson, Lee...hard to pick out of ALL t6hose greats.
    ---That was a very good trib to Chuck Berry. He's got to be on of the MOST covered performers of the genre, if not of all time.
    ---REAL ESTATE - nice slow number...good for after dinner music (for me, anyway).
    ---I always LOVED hat Platters song...excellent. I never knew anyone ELSE did that song (probably not as well, either).
    ---Interesting about the song Kansas City...that town can have that effect on
    ---PASSED YOU BY - another "after dinner" song for me (like when I passed by the chocolate pudding at the buffet...LOL).
    ---TJ and the 4 Seasons making a run to the top.
    (Ahh...too close to call I didn't choose because BOTH songs were great. Mom loved Reeves music. Dad loved Percy Faith. I was in the middle - hadda like both.

    Excellent trip this week.
    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

  6. I'm late, but I'm here! And I brought plenty of work drugs. I assume that's what helps make work tolerable. No, but I do like that Work Drugs song. I'm perusing their YouTube as I write this.

    Poor John Mayer. I half feel sorry for him and half don't. I mean, he did do it to himself, but he's also been in the spotlight almost his entire adult life. I think it's easy to get caught up in your career, especially when it's hot, and neglect your personal life. I think he's the perfect example that you can be a millionaire rock star and still not be happy.

    He and his music get a lot of hate, but I like his sound. I have a few of his albums. He's got a great voice and a knack for writing great songs.

    1. Ironically, Mayer's new one, Helpless, just dropped off the M10 this very week. I think it's great that he admitted it when he's still young enough to do something about it.