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


Friday, May 26, 2017

Time Machine co-ordinates VIIV43152660

Today we go to May 26, 1960- and Henry Cabot Lodge goes to the UN with this:

A wooden replica of the Great Seal of the United States, given to the US embassy by "Russian citizens"- complete with a bug just under the eagle's beak.  This proof of Soviet espionage was supposed to equal out the U2 spy plane that was shot down on the first of the month.  Just goes to show you that in 57 years, nothing has changed between the US and Russia- just a couple of petty, overgrown nuclear kids.

But here in that rad-proof Time Machine of mine, we can safely look into the music of the age including for the first time, a song that sweeps the trifecta of Panel winner, US Cashbox #1, and #1 in the UK!!! Plus, a record label named for a movie song (kinda), a song to a cat (sorta), and "undoubtedly the greatest Canadian singer of all time"!  Plus, for just the 4th time, a song DEBUTS in the M10 in the top four!  Don't get bugged, get with the music!


Now since I have left the cat out of the bag as far as the trifecta, I can give you the the Panel list but not the Cashbox national positions this week.  However, I will give you a clue in a bit here to narrow things down a little- and it's not a big list of candidates.  Six candidates, in fact from 22 stations- and not surprisingly, our winner ran away with it, collecting 68% of the vote.  But without a clue yet, here's the six:

The Hollywood Argyles (which I still think is one of the coolest names in music history) and  new debut (clue!)Alley Oop;

The Everly Brothers and Cathy's Clown;

Jimmy Jones, perhaps better known for the original version of Handy Man, with Good Timin' (that "perhaps better known" not necessarily a clue);

Roy Holden- allegedly discovered by former cop-turned-record exec Larry Nelson in jail after being busted for possession- and Love You So;

Anita Bryant, two years removed from winning Miss Oklahoma, a year removed from runner up in Miss America, and nine years from singing about the Florida Sunshine Tree, and Paper Roses;

And, his majesty Elvis Presley with Stuck On You.

4 of these are in the top ten- and that leaves the Argyles and Roy in the cold.  Pick from the remaining quartet and we'll let you know later.


Three debuts this week- and two of them replace songs by the same act!  At #10, we replace Styx's Gone Gone Gone with their second single from The Mission, called Radio Silence (ironically)...

...BUT they are only putting it out on streaming right now.  So if you have Spotify, follow this link to find it!  If not, why not get it?  It's free, kicks Pandora's butt in that you can pick your song and setlist, and maybe you can link up with what's on my shuffle playlist!  Just sayin'...

However, so you won't be too disappointed, the OTHER song replacing one of their own is the latest by Flogging Molly!  The Hand Of John L Sullivan drops out, and this one drops in at #7...


Our POTM, Johnny Horton, was just finishing a run in the top ten and falling this week with Sink The Bismark.  It was the 8th of nine country top tens for the man known as The Singing Fisherman.  That is, before he was killed in November of this year (1960) by a drunk driver.   Johnny Cash read John chapter 20 at the funeral. He would have one more- the #9 Sleepy Eyed John- after his death, from a 1961 Greatest Hits record.
 He made the pop top 4 three times- with last week's winner, The Battle Of New Orleans, plus North To Alaska and the aforementioned Sink The Bismark.


So this week I slumped a bit, only knowing 14 of the week's hot 100.  HOWever, there were another 8 songs I knew, but by other acts.  Dion and the Belmonts were doing Jimmy Cricket's When You Wish Upon A Star; Harold Dorman was doing Mountain Of Love; Ella Fitzgerald doing a tasty cover of Mack The Knife, Lenny Welch doing You Don't Know Me, Jimmie Rodgers strolling gospel with Just a Closer Walk To Thee; Pat Boone Walking The Floor Over You; Sylvia Robbins doing Frankie And Johnny, and Bobby Darin stylin' on Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey.

 The #60 in '60 belonged to Jack Scott- the man reviewer Dave Marsh called "Undeniably the greatest" etc. etc.  Scott, who never charted in his homeland until 1992, is fifth all time with 19 charting singles in a 41-month period, including 4 top 10s and 9 top 40s-  The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino and Connie Francis ahead of him.  The song he had at #60- Oh, Little One- was not one of his big ones, peaking at #34.  In fact, it was the b-side of his #3 Burning Bridges (which was #10 on this week's chart)- the last time he would sniff the top ten.

And finally, we had 3 songs tied for the 100th spot on the chart this week.  One gentleman you should be familiar with- Paul Anka, with Something Happened.  The second was from one Marv Johnson, called Ain't Gonna Be That Way.  Marv was the first act to record for Motown- back when it was called Tamla (originally Tammy after the movie and its theme, but soon changed because there was already a Tammy Records).  The final act of the trio is Larry Bright with a local hit called Mojo Workout (Dance).  It didn't make a bigger impact because it was so spread out over time- stations were featuring it as much as three months after it peaked.  Bright had a bit of a drinking problem, during which he would "sign anything", and often found himself tied in contracts he didn't want.  One such contract he tried to void by gathering a couple buddies and throwing rocks through their picture window!  He ended up seeing  Mojo Workout on an lp by the Kingsmen- their breakout lp, in fact- but never saw a dime because of yet another bad contract.  His only other ripple in the music world was a tune called Twinkie Lee- written for the cat of a record exec's daughter.


And before the 6D and the tops, here is that high debut- coming in at #3.  It's been a year and four months since this act put together a four song, 22-week run at the very beginning of the M10, and they are back with a song actually recorded in between the twin releases of their lps Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the return of- Beach House:


Not much "6" in the 6D this week- the victim being Jackie Wilson showing off his vocal talent in the opera range with the song Night, which sat at #3.  Night was adapted from the aria Softly Awakes My Heart (English version) from the 1877 opera Samson and Delilah.  It was Delilah's part, first sung by Auguste von Muller at the premiere.  It has since been recorded by people as varied as Julie Andrews, Reverend Run of Run DMC, and alt rockers Muse.


And now, the rest of the M10.

9 and slipping a spot, The Fleetwoods and Graduation's Here.

8 and up a pair, Nothing But Thieves and Amsterdam.

6 and holding, Ruth B and Dandelions.

5 and down 2, Jason Isbell et al with Hope The High Road.

4 and down 2- Melody's Echo Chamber and You Won't Be Missing That Part Of Me.

2 and up a pair, PVRIS and Heaven.

And still Numero Uno this week-

...the Orwells and They Put A Body In The Bayou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(BTW the part I won't be missing- after four weeks of songs with a combined 15 words in their titles, the current contenders for the top next week have a grand total of TWO.  Thank you, Lord!)

And the winner of that Panel vote?  Well, Jimmy Jones and Anita Bryant got one vote each, and Elvis got three, so that means the winners- again-

The Everlys and Cathy's Clown- number one on Cashbox, in the UK, and on the Panel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1961 comes next, see you then!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


So once again I have decided to join in a bloghop, this one sponsored by Debbie the Doglady and her friend Emily over at Emily's World.  The dealio is 30 questions which you are to answer about yourself- along with a bonus question I see that Stephen T McCarthy added in the comments.  So let's get on with the fun!

1. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Good grief, which day of the week?  A zookeeper, a baseball player, Superman, Spiderman, Marlin Perkins...

2. Which “Friends” character do you relate to the most? Why?

I've seen like three episodes of Friends, and one of those I saw twice.  I really liked the video for the theme, though.  When it was hot, we had a neat little group of friends that used to meet up at a friend hotel room/"apartment".

3. Do you like your name? Why?

Yes, I do.  It means Bearer of Christ, and I am blessed to have such a name to live up to.

4. Are you messy or neat?

Well, that's kind of a relative thing, as my "organization" is a bit more "spread out" than most people's.  I do reach a point where clutter annoys me, but being fairly easygoing, it takes a LOT of clutter to reach that point.  My ex-wife and her father could hit it without breaking a sweat, though.

5. How tall are you?

Five foot six, which kinda precluded my dreams of being able to dunk a medicine ball.

6.  How tall were you when you were 10?

About a button above Dad's belt buckle, as I recall.

7. What is your guilty pleasure?

If I told you, I'd have to kill you... or at least contact a lawyer.  As a diagnosed Type 2 diabetic and on blood pressure meds, virtually anything I consume is a guilty pleasure.

8. What are you saving money for right now?

One grandchild and his two bigger siblings.

9. How many Pringles can you eat at once?

Are you referring to "How many Pringles can you eat at one sitting" or "How many can you stuff in your mouth in one shot?"Assuming the first, let me separate the answer by flavors:

Original, Cheddar, Cheddar and sour cream, and pizza- all of them!
French Onion, loaded baked potato, sour cream and onion- most of them
Ranch- some of them
BBQ, honey mustard, jalapeno, Memphis BBQ, salt and vinegar, screaming dill pickle, and tangy buffalo wing- none of them!

10. Tea or coffee?

Coffee I have not had, though I love the smell.  I would hate to break the illusion by trying it, but I would if I had to.  Tea, I have had- and there is not enough sugar in all the world to make it something I could ever stand in this life.  So coffee by default.

11. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Intro until you "pull my chain", as my uncle used to say.  Not the same as pulling my finger, BTW.

12. What will be your Halloween costume this year?

A missing homeowner.

13.  Sweet or salty?

Both in about a 60-40 balance.  Ever try a cheez-ho?  That's when I stick a Cheez-whiz nozzle in the back end of a Ho Ho.

14. Favourite social media?

Have to say blogging, although it seems fewer and fewer share my enthusiasm these days.  S'okay, I'm used to talking to myself.

15.  Who is the last person you kissed?

Need you ask?

16. What is your favourite breakfast?

Not a big breakfast eater.  While not my favorite (or even a good one), I was once a guest somewhere where they were out of milk and I used flat Pepsi that sat out overnight on my Rice Krispies.

17.  When is your birthday?

You just missed it!  Yup, to no great surprise I am a Taurus.

18. When did you start your blog?

The first day of 2010.  And haven't shut up since.

19. What is your opinion on the Kardashians?

Their butts are fake.

20. How would you describe your style?

Modern American slob.

21. What colour is your hair?

Currently gray.  Why didn't you ask what THAT was when I was ten?

22. What colour socks are you wearing?

Unbleached white.  Darker than snow, lighter than my hair.

23.  What is your dream job?

While the easy answer would be historian or archeologist, the real truth is work and dream don't often come up in the same sentence, at least in a pleasant sense.

24.  Dogs or cats?

Whadda you think?

25. What makes you weird?

The way I survived being picked on through school- and a lot of my working life- is to purposely be weird so that they would pick on me for what I WANTED them too, and not notice that which I wouldn't have handled well.  I suppose what makes me weird is that I'm weird enough to WANT to be me.

26. Celebrity crush?

Currently Melody Prochet of Melody's Echo Chamber.

27. Opinion on cigarettes?

Nasty habit.  Makes for an unpleasant kisser.  To each their own, though.

28. Do you want/have children? How many?

Son KC, daughter Shenan.  Thus proving it worked at least twice.

29. Three favourite boy names?

I'm long past the point of needing to have a favorite name, so Winken, Blinken, and Nod sprang to mind first.  I was always partial to Stephen (my confirmation name);  and Christopher is pretty cool.

30.  Three favourite girl names?

I always thought Jacob picked a couple of winners in Rachel and Leah.  Sarah completes my Old Testament trifecta.

And now, STMC's extra:

31. Do you prefer the Beatles, the Beach Boys, or the Rolling Stones?

At least THAT question was easy....

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The state of science 2017

I have said for a long time that the science of, well, science isn't what it used to be.  Once upon a time, you observed something, made a theory based on the observations, tested the theory, and that's how you learned.  Nowadays, you start with an agenda- say, changing the way the world uses fuels- and come up with a theory that supports what you want to make of it- say, man-made climate change.  Then, instead of testing the theory, you seek out observations that support your stand, and instead of testing, you just shout louder than the other guy, bashing him if he disagrees with your "settled science".  And thus clowns like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy replace Einstein and Newton.

Hey, I resent you calling me a clown just a little bit...

Ok, let me fix that...

Better?  Anyhow, a major problem in the field of science is that peer review has slid down the path of "just check the right boxes", and a great example of that comes in a story I found earlier in the week.  It involved a pair of professors- Peter Boghossian, a full-time faculty member in the Philosophy department at Portland State University, and James Lindsay, who has a doctorate in math and a background in physics.  Their goal was to write an entirely nonsense paper to see if a peer-reviewed science journal- in this case, Cogent Social Sciences- would publish it.  And, with a few small changes, they did.

The paper, “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” not only removes the penis from the list of male organs and adds it to the list of nebulous social ideas, but also places the blame squarely on the penis for climate change!  How, you ask?  Read this...

Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset. This mindset is best captured by recognizing the role of [sic] the conceptual penis holds over masculine psychology. When it is applied to our natural environment, especially virgin environments that can be cheaply despoiled for their material resources and left dilapidated and diminished when our patriarchal approaches to economic gain have stolen their inherent worth, the extrapolation of the rape culture inherent in the conceptual penis becomes clear. (from the actual paper.)

I suppose it was so easily accepted on the basis of science as I described it above.  Start with an agenda, find observations that equate with your agenda, model a theory around it.  Which is just what they did, according to the authors:

We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic Left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.

Or, to put it another way...

“The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” should not have been published on its merits because it was actively written to avoid having any merits whatsoever. The paper is academically worthless nonsense.

And yet, two "experts in the field" of social sciences readily lapped it up.   But wait!  Our leftist friends at tried to defend Cogent Social Sciences- but I don't think they did a very good job....

 First, the open-access journal that published their article requests that authors pay to publish. In the case of Cogent Social Sciences, the recommended fee is a whopping $1,350. I have affirmed that Boghossian and Lindsay were, for unknown reasons, asked to pay less than half of this, namely $625, but the journal apparently never got around to actually requesting the money. Boghossian has repeatedly declared on social media that he and his colleague paid “nada” for the article’s publication, which taken out of context is patently misleading.

So now, if we have this right, Salon says that CSS is really the scientific equivalent of all those ads you used to see in comic books where you could "get your poem published" if you paid the $50 bucks to buy the book that was going to contain the poem that you along with other poor losers submitted.  And that pretty much PROVES the Profs' point- that peer review can be had for a little cash or a little bit of flattery.

Salon's piece reminds me of an old joke where a rich man comes up to a beautiful lady.  Will you go to bed with me for a million bucks?"  He asks, and she gives him a quick look over and says, "Sure."  Then he says, "Will you sleep with me for $20?" She turns red and says, "How dare you?  Do you think I'm just a... a prostitute?"

"We've already established that," he replies.  "Now, we're just dickering over price."

Monday, May 22, 2017

You'll like this hockey story...

So when last we discussed the topic, my hockey teams had all been eliminated, and KC still had his Penguins in the NHL playoffs, while Laurie had St John in the Canadian Quebec League and Nashville also in the NHL tourney.  And so it remains- an exhibition of how not to handle the puck gave Pittsburgh a 7-0 win against Ottawa while Nashville has a shot to make the finals with a win over Anaheim tonight.  And St John won the Quebec League title, but that's not the end of the story for Laurie's best Canadian team.  Or for me, as it turns.

See, Canada's Major Juniors are three semi-pro leagues with players ranging in age from mid-high school to "Going for my doctorate".  And at the end of their season, they have an overall championship called the Memorial Cup.  This is the first time I have paid attention this far into the season, so I wondered how they do a three-way tournament.  As it happens, it is a four-team tourney, with the three champs being joined by the host team of the tournament.  And when I looked to see who the host was this year, guess who I found?

My own Windsor Spitfires from the Ontario League, who had a great regular season, but blew a 3-0 game lead against the London Knights, who in turn became prey for the Erie Otters, who have the biggest scorer in North America in Blackhawk prospect Alex DeBrincat, who scored 65 regular season goals.  So I was back in business, and celebrated by knocking off Laurie's favored St John 3-2 while Erie won its first game over Western League champs Seattle Thunderbirds.

Last night, I got to watch Windsor's second game in the round-robin against Seattle.  Remember me mentioning the earlier Pittsburgh game and the "exhibition on how not to handle a puck?"  I hadn't seen jack yet...

Early in the game my Spits scored first.  And 22 seconds later, a Seattle forward was playing around behind his own net, got his pocket picked by a Windsor kid, who threw it out front, and another slammed it past the shell shocked 16-year-old rookie goalie for Seattle that the announcers had been bragging up the whole pre-game.

And 17 seconds after that, another sleeping Seattle player got his pocket picked right in front of the net, the thief slammed it past the stunned goalie, and in 38 seconds Windsor had a 3-0 lead.

But wait.

The kid goalie was pulled for his more veteran backup, who survived the rest of the first period.  And in the second, Seattle actually scored to narrow things to 3-1.  But almost immediately thereafter, a scramble in front of the Seattle net seemed to break up, and goalie #2 went behind the net to play the puck.  And got HIS pocket picked, and Windsor swiftly put the puck in the now-empty net for a 4-1 lead.

But wait.

Early in the third period, Laurie gets up to go to the bathroom.  This is mentioned to give you a sense of timing.  No more does the door shut when the strangest goal I have ever seen occurred.  The Windsor player was to the goalie's left a way off when he fired a rising shot.  It glanced off the raised stick of a fellow Spitfire.  It careened off the FACE of a Seattle defenseman and dropped.  Seemingly about to go wide, the goalie let down his guard, and the puck hit the far post and went in.  5-1 Windsor.

Three minutes later, just before Laurie left the bathroom, Windsor scored again, and it would end 7-1.

I have honestly seen some of the stupidest goals ever in my life this playoff season.  Goalies misplaying things, forwards dropping off pucks to teammates that aren't there.  But the three banker (credited to Graham Knott, the stick that was bank #1) had to be the most amazing BAL goal I've ever witnessed.  And it was even better than my memory said.  Here  you can watch for yourself- it actually hit off a Seattle stick, then Knott's arm, then the defender's face, and then went in!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Message: The right answer

On the way home from work Friday, Mike Fabarez' question and answer topic was, "Do good people go to hell?"

And I said to myself, "Depends on whose perspective you look at it by."

One thing I have learned from God over the years is our concepts of a "grey area" are a lot different.  For instance, I used to listen to a preacher who was a "You have to get wet" baptism guy.  Never mind that the thief on the cross next to Jesus didn't get wet by any stretch.  Or the Ethiopian eunuch that Phillip saved- all we know is he said, "Here is some water!  What prevents me from being baptised?"  And we have no idea whether they were passing a lake or just went through a puddle.

Am I saying God has "grey areas"?  No.  BUT, we don't always see HIS black and white.  We try to focus in and see something fuzzy, but one day we'll see it with reborn eyes and it will be sharp and clear.

Well, some of us will.

It struck me in all this that giving the Law to the Hebrews was an illustration of God's principle of salvation.  Jewish tradition says that the Pentateuch contains 613 different laws from God.  And if you break one law, you've broken THE LAW.  And if you break the Law, you will have judgment.  You don't have to break all 613, or even a percentage.  One and done.

And that's where the question comes in.  See, there are morally good things we all can do, saved or atheist or anywhere in between.  These will look pretty clear to us, with our vision.  But here's the thing:  Being good isn't the Law you need to avoid breaking.

Just like Adam and Eve had one rule- which they blew- we have that one rule.  And that is Jesus must be believed in and accepted as having paid for your sins.  If you think, like the guy in my recent M10 song Good With God, that good intentions are good enough, you might be the one to whom God sings in Brandi Carlile's voice, "You're just a joke that's going 'round"...

Consider that.

I have had many before, and prolly will again, who tell me, "Well if that's the kind of God there is, then I want no part of him."  Which is ironic, because that is exactly what they will get.  And I will admit, there are fringes to God's program that I do not claim to understand.  But I can tell you this- and I'm not trying to say this in a derogatory way, except directed at myself- Once upon a time, I was a good Catholic boy.  Made sure I hit confession 6 times a year, missed darn few Sundays (or Saturdays as the case may be), said prayers at night.  And yet this passage...

Matt. 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

...scared me silly.   Until the day I gave my life to Christ.  Because before, I had GOOD reason to be scared.  I was on the depart from me list, despite the prayers, the confessions, the hundreds of Hail Marys, and the bucks in the poor box.  But with the help of some very good friends, I learned that being a Catholic, or a regular churchgoer, or just an all around good guy wasn't enough.

And it made a difference immediately.

And it made a difference down the road, when I'd strayed far enough I was in over my head.

And it made a difference when another good friend took me to Promise Keepers and I began to learn what I should have been learning the previous 15 years.

And it makes a difference now when I fuss, fume, fall, and fail over and over- and dust myself off and ask God to walk with me again the next day.

You can look at yourself as good as you want.  But God sees you one of two ways.  Either covered by the blood of Christ and fit to enter, or unrighteous and about to be judged by your works as HE sees them.  So I guess the best answer to "do good people go to hell?" is:

"Being good" is not the pertinent question- and you need to look at heaven/hell in a totally different way.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Time Machine co-ordinates VIIII43051959

Today we return, after a month's absence, to 1959, where today, we see the foundation of the North Vietnamese military group that would build the Ho Chi Minh Trail; Jimmy Hoffa threatens a strike (yawn); and St Joseph MO cleans up after a cloudburst sent a six-foot wall of water through town.  Not exactly a rockin' good time, I admit, but we're here for the music anyway.

Welcome to this week's version of Time Machine, where we're gonna spill the dope on what makes a Happy Organ, intro the first band I know of named after a missile, and pull out of the mists of time the oldest song in M10 history!  Plus a damn tight Panel vote, coming right up!


At this point, I should remind you to check out Wednesday's Mid Week Music Post, where I give you a rundown on the Eurovision '17 straight from Kiev to you, and a lovely little editorial about musicians giving up music to be unvoted politicians.

Also, at this point a mention of the sad demise of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell.  As I mentioned to a friend who did a much better eulogy, Superunknown may well have been the last cassette I wore out.  The were like the pied pipers that led me towards alternative back in the day, and were so refreshing after music had dwindled to classic rock reruns and the occasional factory-made syntho-pop tune.  Sad, in that such a talent couldn't have bent that energy into saving his own soul from his demons including but not limited to drug addiction.  As Justice Peace said, "I don't mourn for his death, but for the waste of his life."  And we move on.


21 stations line up for our Panel Vote, and 8 candidates are named to the poll.  And to give you the rundown, here are this week's POTMs, Phil and Don Everly!

(BTW, I'm trying to do this with a lot of actual quotes, so give the boys a big hand!)

D: Old men need applause too.

P:  In my old age, it's kind of funny - at night, what I like to do is watch TV when I go to sleep. And what I really like is to put on a Gene Autry film, because he sings really well. So he sings me to sleep. Any Gene Autry songs this week?

Sorry, no.  Would one of you like to open the candidate list?

P: The '60s weren't my cup of tea. 

But we're doing 1959.

D: That's not the 60's.

P: In the beginning of rock n' roll, there was always innovation. Artists were always trying to do something new and something different.

Guys, the list?  Please?

P: Okay, let's see.  First we have Johnny Horton with The Battle of New Orleans, the #6 song on Cashbox.

D:  I loved Johnny in North To Alaska...

P:  He just sang the song, Donny.  He wasn't in the film.

D:  I thought he played that Lieutenant..

P:  That was Douglas Dick.

D:  Oh, yes, that's right.  I was thinking of  the one guy, Billy Pratt...

P:  Donny, that was Fabian...

Together:  Hey, Venus, oh Venus...

And THAT was Frankie Avalon.

P: Frankie wasn't In North To Alaska...

OHHHHkay, for time's sake, let me do this.  After Johnny, our next candidate is Billy Grammer with Bonaparte's Retreat, at #65 and climbing.

The Fleetwoods- who have a major part to play in today's show- are at 20 and dropping with Come Softly To Me.

Bobby Darin was at #8 with Dream Lover.

We just can't shake ol' Wilbert Harrison- chimes in at #1 on CB with Kansas City.

Next up is the Del Tones- who actually did not chart in the hot 100 with this one- and Moonlight Party.  Now, this isn't the more famous Dick Dale and the Del Tones.  They started with the name, but switched, once DD became famous, to the Beau Marks.  And where does one get THAT name?  Why from the Bomarc surface to air missile.  And why would a group of Canadian boys name their band after a missile?  Well by 1962, the Bomarc was pretty famous in Canada...

Initially, it was unclear whether the missiles would be equipped with nuclear warheads. By 1960 it became known that the missiles were to have a nuclear payload, and a debate ensued about whether Canada should accept nuclear weapons. Ultimately, the Diefenbaker government decided that the Bomarcs should not be equipped with nuclear warheads. The dispute split the Diefenbaker Cabinet, and led to the collapse of the government in 1963. (wiki)

As the Beau Marks, they would graze the top 40 later on.

Anyway, next is one that I have brought up many times, Martin Denny's Quiet Village, which was at #5.  And rounding out the set, the Impalas and Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home) at #4.

By now, between our POTMs and missiles, you likely have no clue where to go to.  It was a tight 6-5-4 race for the top, and the four singers that managed multiple votes were Denny, Wilbert, Bobby, and Johnny.  Make yer picks and find out in a bit.


Two songs enter the M10 this week, and while one of them will be the oldest song to hit our countdown, the other is from an lp that won't be released until September!  At #10, the latest from the boys that brought us last year's Trip Switch, Nothing But Thieves...

And that oldest tune?  Well here's the thing.  As I perused this week's hot 100 to find out how many songs I knew this week (22), I noticed that there were at least five of them I knew from the stacks of 45s in our old victrola: three of them our candidates The Battle Of New Orleans, Quiet Village, and Come Softly To Me, along with the Coasters' Along Came Jones and Ricky Nelson's Never Be Anyone Else But You.  Then I noticed one of those acts debuted with a song I didn't know, and so I listened- and 40 years fell away, I put myself squarely into the emotions of the song, and I said to myself, I've got one more debut to squeeze in.  From 1959, here are the Fleetwoods:


So as I began the search for my 6D victim this week, I typed it into Google and the first thing that came up, of course was the video- along with the lyrics to Money (That's What I Want), which is amusing for that is neither the song in question, nor does that song HAVE lyrics (though it DID, once... but hang on for that).  Anyway, the journey to said song starts with a question- what do the songs Tossin' And Turnin', Dedicated To The One I Love, and (legends say) Aretha Franklin's Respect have in common?  Well, for starters a very unique guitarist named Wild Jimmy Spruill, who ALSO was on this week's #1, Kansas City.  AND, he was also on the previous week's #1- which slipped to #2 this week and became the 6D victim- Dave "Baby" Cortez's The Happy Organ (shame for what you were thinking before!).  This song originally had lyrics- but Dave didn't like the way he sounded on them.  Then he saw an organ in the corner, started playing with the melody- and the rest is history.


The Numbers Game:  Our #59 in '59 goes to the Kingston Trio with a single that followed up the mega hit Tom Dooley, called Tijuana Jail.  Released as a stand alone single, it didn't get on an lp until the live lp Once Upon A Time ten years later.

The UK #1 this week- and both the highest UK song on the US chart and vice versa- was Elvis with A Fool Such As I (#14 US) and the double side I Need Your Love (US #28)- starting a 5 week run at the top, as its components drop after their successful US runs.

And at the bottom of the chart, once again we have 2 #100s.  One was Ray (Tell Laura I Love Her) Peterson's first chart hit, the original The Wonder Of You.  The second was the 50's "Queen of R&B", Ruth Brown, who had 21 R&B top tens from 1949-59.  This one, Jack Of Diamonds, was not one of them, but was right before her last charting hit.


And we are at last to the rest of the M10:

Flogging Molly drops to #9 with The Hand Of John L Sullivan.  But don't feel bad, Willie Nelson would have been at #8 had I not hit that Fleetwoods tune, so at least they SAW another week!

Styx gets pushed outta the way, a one-notch drop to #7 with Gone Gone Gone.

Ruth B sprouts up 2 to #6 with Dandelions.

Real Estate's surprise hit Serve The Song slips to #5 but pulls into #9 all time in its 9th week.

Leaping 6 to #4 is PVRIS with Heaven.

Jason Isbell starts back down from the High Road, slipping a spot to #3.

And, so does Melody's Echo Chamber with You Won't Be Missing That Part Of Me.

Meaning the new M10 #1 is....

The Orwells and They Put A Body In The Bayou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And that's a jump from #4, the longest such jump since the beginning of February.

And our new President of Time Machine?  Well, it wasn't Martin Denny with 2;
it wasn't Bobby Darin with 4;
it wasn't Wilbert Harrison with 5;

 but it WAS...

....Johnny Horton with The Battle Of New Orleans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tune in next week where, much to Phil Everly's disappointment, we go to 1960!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mid week music commentary

So Eurovision 2017 has come and gone, and while I was going to shoehorn this into Time Machine, I've decided to do this now, with a little commentary on something else after.

I listened to all the finalists, including the one I was told was the bookie's choice this year, Italy's Francesco Gabbani's Occidentali's Karma, or westerner's karma, which was very entertaining.  HOWever, the judges were in the mood for toned down, syrupy ballads instead.  There were two songs that ran away with the vote.  The runner-up was from a Bulgarian kid (who might have the largest front tooth-gap I've ever seen, just sayin') named Kristian Kostov.  His power-ballad Beautiful Mess would have been 1-2 with Italy for me.  But the winner was a bit of an odd duck- hunched over, baggily dressed, who had no idea how to deal with the instant fame he got.  Salvador Sobral is his name, a passionate defender of refugees, who sung a song written by his sister Luisa called Amar Pelos Dois", literally Love For Both Of Us.  He won with the Portugese words- when a lot of singers did theirs in English- and translated is something like this:

If one day someone asks for me
Says I lived to love you
Before you, I only existed
Tired and with nothing to give (love for both)

My love, listen to my prayers.
I ask you to come back, that you want me again
I know you do not love yourself
Maybe you can learn again.

My love, listen to my prayers.
I ask you to come back, that you want me again
I know you do not love yourself
Maybe you can learn again.

If your heart does not want to give in
Do not feel passion, do not want to suffer
Without making plans of what will come after
My heart can love for both of us.

None of them (unlike last year's Dami Im) were what I would call M10 material- Westerner's Karma was about the closest-  But there were a few I liked.  Outside the two I mentioned, I liked the song from the dude from Israel (IMRI's I Feel Alive, finished 23rd of 26), and the true stranger of the contest- Illinia of Romania with Yodel It! , which basically had her yodeling the chorus over Alex Florea's rap verse- yeah, I know, but the result was better than it looked to be.  It finished 7th.  Others not so much, like the Swedish entry from Robin Bengtsson, I Can't Go On, which was like a musical Men's Warehouse commercial.

The amusing thing (outside of Ukraine's revenge by not allowing the Russian entrant into the country for the contest) was how the whole deal was supposed to be themed Diversity. But, as we hear from The Telegraph:

It was never going to go well, was it, having three white men hosting a Eurovision Song Contest that strove to "celebrate diversity"? But Oleksandr Skichko, Volodymyr Ostapchuk and Timur Miroshnychenko might have been forgiven had they actually been funny. 

They also had a nice description of Bengtsson's performance...

 It was, essentially, an artistic interpretation of bankers enjoying a drink after a long week in The City. 


The other item on our agenda was the recent statement from Todd Rundgren, who apparently has wearied of being a musician and has, like many of his ilk, decided to become another self-deluded politician-sans-votes.  I did not look into the article, which is too dumb on the surface to bother digging into, but, here's my take.  You're an artist and you don't want to go somewhere where laws are against your principles?  So don't.  You don't want certain political candidates using your songs at their rallies?  Well within your rights.  But you want to tell supporters of a politician you don't like THEY aren't welcome at your concerts?  Well, son, that there is a special kind of stupid.  You think you are making some kind of "principled stand"?  All you are doing is showing your "love and tolerance" for what it is- only for those who agree with you.  If your precious doctrine must be kept so pure that your "enemies" (also known as fellow Americans) aren't allowed to benefit from your melodious tones, then I have an idea.  Take 46.1% of the money you make from the tour- just in case you MIGHT happen to attract a cross-section of the nation to your concerts- and just, like, burn it.  Throw it out.  You certainly wouldn't want to stain your charity by giving blood money away.  So just have your agent do a quick calculation of your net worth, and trash it.  Then you can really be that highly principled paragon of virtue you imagine yourself to be.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Scrappy and the Great Ground Hog War

Yes, Scrappy has finally had his long awaited duke out with a ground hog.  Actually, there were FIVE of them.

But now, I'm leaving out an important part of the story here in the build up, so let's go back to the beginning.

First, I spotted what appeared to be a small bugger on Ground Hog Road ahead of us.  He kept  ducking into the grass.

And when I got up closer, he didn't move, which I found odd.  But then I saw the size of things.

It was a little guy fer shure, small enough I could have gotten two of them in a sock.  He was doing as he was taught by mom- danger comes, play dead.

Which was all well and good, until Scrappy- who damn near stepped on him before he noticed- tried to sniff him.

The battle began once Scrappy got nose to nose!  It snapped, swatted, ran away, DID A COMPLETE 360 DEGREE BACKFLIP, and generally antagonized Scrappy until, not knowing what to do, he tried to pick him up from his back.  I told him to let go, he did, and the feisty little $#!t ran off.

A few feet ahead, another one lay playing dead.  I heard a third scamper into the bushes.  This one, Scrappy had NO desire to even mess with for some reason, and we left him laying there after a few seconds.

Then, a few feet later, enter two MORE...

And the feature match of the night quickly broke out between Scrappy and the more aggressive one of the pair...

He would charge, Scrappy would jump back, Scrappy would come up, he would snap, he'd run away, Scrappy would give chase, he'd turn around and fight some more.  Long before anyone could get hurt, I pulled Scrappy back and we watched the diminutive Avenger scamper off to safety.

All in all a "good" time was had by all (give or take a tad of rodent adrenaline), and Scrappy's tail wagged like a whip on 5 HR Energy all the way back down Ground Hog Road.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Birthday weekend

So the three day weekend went off fine despite the rocky Thursday night episode.  The highlights included the "boys only" picnic on Saturday and the "humans only" trip to the lake on Sunday.

The 1.5 mile walk to our Saturday destination included passing by the swamp

...some of us passing closer than others...

I guess we're supposed to call this the PFW Bridge now...  the "fart bridge"?  Yeah, it works...

Swallows having a time over the river.

And tucked into the remotest part of the "PFW" nature trail, our picnic spot.

Our picnic fare, along with a canteen of water for Scrappy (food shared)

"Damn right..."

This goose was the leader of a band of about five that apparently thought they made prior reservations to our spot.  He would go back and forth honking for several minutes- as you shall see- before giving up and leading them across the cove.

See?  Still going...

This is Scrappy pouting because I remained sitting after the food was all gone.  Animals, can't please 'em!  Got worse after a lady and her dog happened by.

And there are the geese, finally convinced that goose intimidation tactics don't work on me, across the cove climbing up to kibbitz.

Me, at peace for a change.

Scrappy, not so at peace.

Besides the geese and the lady, we also had a heron, a kingfisher, and a couple of boats go by.  And one big fish that jumped twice.

Almost a racing rower

This is Scrappy trying to hide from me so he could eat grass

The geese have now been scared off accidentally by the lady with the dog

So finally the walk resumed.  Here we are, examining the gazebo.

And this tree, that was of particular interest

Where we were, from where the geese went

Other doggies enjoying the river.  Which may not be "an ocean with banks" like back east, but we don't have to deal with commercial ships blocking the view or crabbers in our back yards, either

And this brings us to the Sunday part of our story, spent in large part at the Pokagon Nature Center.

They were about to embark on a VERY steep ride down...

Lillies of the valley!  How I wanted to bring some home!

Chipmunks were hard to catch- until you got close to the restaur- er, the nature center

Whaddaya lookin' at, buddy?

One fuzzy jay, one flying 'munk

Lotsa these cute little red squirrels

If you ever need a picture of a woodpecker's butt, here ya go

Lots of little turtles inside the center.  They were feeding a tiny snapper worms.  "You can find them in our macadamia nut cookies".  Thank you, no.

Cold?  Yes!

Still not believing Laurie didn't take a "butt pic" when I stopped to roll up my pants a bit

These two dogs had a time in the water chasing each other

Home early to give Boofus some bark park time.