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


Friday, February 2, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VIXXXIX4722273

Today, we sail into Ground Hog Day, 1973 (Phil saw his shadow), and watch the very first regular-schedule episode of the ground-breaking Midnight Special...

But was it REALLY the Midnight Special without ME?
  That's right, Helen Reddy hosted that first show, singing I Am Woman; guests included Curtis Mayfield (Superfly), Don McLean (Dreidel), Rare Earth (I Just Want To Celebrate), the Byrds (So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star, Mr Tambourine Man), and a comedy bit from George Carlin.  Note on the way to researching this:  Most appearances on the Midnight Special?  One of my favorite bands... and I'll slip in the answer later.

Welcome to the fun and hijinx of Time Machine, where we have the guy with the most hot 100s without hitting the top 40 meets the song that charted the most without cracking the top 40; M10 does something that it has only done twice before;  a special feature that I darn near forgot I had set up for you all this week;  the crappy job the top 10 on Cashbox did on the Panel picks; and a glimpse into living with my Mom....

All that, and Don McLean fresh off his Midnight Special appearance!  AOWWWOOOOO!!!!!


Let's bring Don McLean into the Musical Tardis!  Don, nice to have you here.

Nice to be here!  I feel 45 years younger!

You ARE 45 years younger!  Are you ready to dig into the 12 candidates from 44 stations?

You bet!  I guess one of the perks of being an act from the 70s is the list I have to read is a lot shorter...

Usually it doesn't get this short- but two songs split 28 of the 44 votes between them, and nearly forced 2 overtimes!  Let 'er rip!

All right, we start off with Dr Hook and the Medicine Show doing Cover Of The Rolling Stone, which was at #30 on Cashbox.

Then came the week's #1 nationally, Elton John's Crocodile Rock.

King Harvest was at #14 with Dancing In The Moonlight.

And Steely Dan's Do It Again was at #11.  Say, we AREN'T hitting Cashbox's top ten much...

No, this week was bad for the Cashbox top ten.  In fact, while not mentioning the highest song without a vote (AKA the 6D victim), we also saw no votes for #5 (Hurricane Smith's Oh Baby What Would You Say),  #7 (Loggins and Messina's Your Mama Don't Dance), #8 (Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man), #9 (War's The World Is A Ghetto), OR #10 (Brighter Side Of Darkness' Love Jones), which has to be the most top tens ignored in Panel History!

Wow- the downfall of the top ten, brought to you by Don McLean!  Anyway, the next candidate is one of two songs on the list by Lobo- Don't Ask Me To Be Your Friend.  It was at #12; while the vote getter from Lorenzo Marquez this week was his I'd Love You To Want Me, which peaked here in December.

Dueling Banjos from Deliverance was at #29... I'll stay off the pig jokes...

Good move.

Wings are at #6 with Hi Hi Hi.

The O'Jays are next with Love Train at #26.

Next comes a pair from Stevie Wonder.  Superstition was the #2 song on Cashbox; while one of the continental US stations didn't get the memo and had a song called Superwoman at #1- a song that peaked everywhere else SIX MONTHS AGO...

...or else they made a really unfortunate typo...

...And we round out the pack with Carly Simon and You're So Vain at #2!

Here, read this envelope, too...

Okay... ah.  The act with the most all-time appearances on the Midnight Special, with four, is...

...The Electric Light Orchestra!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, sir!  Thanks, Don, and let me give you your choices.  Of course, you know we have a big two and everyone else, so let's give you a couple of throw ins just to keep you nice and confused.  Choose from Superstition, You're So Vain, Hi Hi Hi- AKA the three top tens- Love Train, and Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend.  That gives you all but 7 of the votes!  I'll narrow it down to the overtimers in a bit.


This week, the M10 does something it has only done before on April 27th, 2016, and on July 12th of 2017- NO new debuts!  And that would have meant that I had no songs to play for you this week, and that would be sad.  But I had gotten thinking about an old, old song that was among the many my Mom liked to sing around the house when I was little- and one of the few that she actually sounded good singing.  You see, she was, you might say, Edith Bunker before Edith Bunker was, except that she would sound bad on purpose, to annoy you.  But I never heard her do that on this song.  So I looked it up the other day, and surprisingly, It only cracked the top 40 anywhere twice-  it came from a movie soundtrack sung by Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer which hit #30 here in 1953, and Richard Chamberlain made it to #20 in the UK in '63.  Mom's not near so deep-voiced as Richard, and IMHO the Caron/Ferrer version was terrible, but I found a good match to Mom's style and pitch by Shelby Flint, which I will share with y'all.


So I was wondering the other day, what, pray tell, is the biggest act in M10 history?  And I figured it up, starting by saying to myself, "they have to have multiple hits and more points than the biggest hit of M10 history, Mo Kenney's Unglued with 92."  As of this week, that gives us 20 acts- and I'll give you 11-20 this week, and the top ten next week.  Of course there may be a little jostling in that list by then, as right now 4 of the top ten are on the charts this week!  So, that first 10 goes like this:

19 (tie)- Jana Kramer and Ducktails (93 points).  Jana is one of just 2 acts that made the list without a #1- and they are Laurie's 2 favorite acts!  Go figure..

18- Northern Faces, 94.

16 (tie)- Tangerine and Ruth B, 96.

15- Radiation City, 97.

14- Laurie's other favorite, the Monkees 98.

13- The Explorer's Club, 100.

12- The Pom Poms, 102.

11- The Shakes, 104.

And next time, I'll give you the rest.

 But right now, here's your big clue:  If you picked Stevie, Wings, The O'Jays, or Lobo, go sit down.  If you have Carly or Elton, you have 14 votes and a trip into the wonderful world of the run-off election!


Stat Pack:

The year 1973 on MusicVF says that Gladys Knight pipped the Carpenters for top act of the year.

Our #73 in '73 was the last charting single for the Raiders, called Love Music.  Despite being up here on CB, it only got to #98 on Billboard.

At #101 a surprise- a song you should know!  Vicki Lawrence started her journey to the top here with The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia.

Big Mover this week is a bit of an irony- legend says it was written about our POTM, Don McLean!  Roberta Flack moved 19 from #58 to #39 with Killing Me Softly.

I knew 41 of 100 this week.  Go me!

And the #1 in the UK this week was Sweet with Blockbuster.  It peaked at #73 over here.  As for how the Panel picks did over there- You're So Vain was at #3, Hi Hi Hi was at #13, Superstition was at #24, and Croc Rock was at #45.


I didn't get very far in researching the 6D victim this week, the #3 Why Can't We Live Together by Timmy Thomas, because I noted that his producer was Steve Alaimo.  Steve, if you know if you have been around the ol' Musical Tardis for a while, is a record holder with 13 singles that made the hot 100 without EVER cracking the top 40.  The highest he got was with a song that peaked at 46, called Everyday I Have To Cry.  And when I looked into that song, I found that it and Steve have something in common.  Five times this song has made a musical chart- without much better luck than Steve.  The composer, Arthur Alexander, took it to #45 in 1975; ten years earlier, the Gentrys only got to #77.  Bob Luman had a little better luck on the country chart, getting to #23 in 1969.   HOWever- the Bee Gees took it to #3 in 1966- in Australia, the only place that they released it as a single.


The M10, for a change in its entirety:

Sunflower Bean holds off all comers and stays in the countdown at #10, down a pair with I Was A Fool.

Mo Kenney is officially off the roof, falling from 3 to 9 with On The Roof.

Moon Taxi- who made a brief TV appearance on last Sunday's NHL All-Star Game- move up 2 to #8 with Let The Record Play.

The Shacks had kind of a mixed bag week- they dropped 2 to #7 with Audrey, and were stuck at 4 with Follow Me.

The Decemberists move 3 to #6 with Severed.

B├śRNS moves from 7 to 5 with We Don't Care.

Lucius pounces up the chart 3 spots to #3 with Neighbors.

illuminati hotties slip surprisingly out of the top spot to #2 with (You're Better) Than Ever.

And that makes the new numero uno, in the wake of the best "lobbying campaign" since Wayne Newton was jamming The Letter up the chart...

...Dent May and his third #1- Take Me To Heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the winner of an 8-5 run-off OT...

...Elton John and Crocodile Rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, 1974! 


  1. I was there (in my living room) for that debut of Midnight Special and watched just about every show thereafter. Easily one of my favorite shows of the seventies. If they did that show now it would probably be pretty crappy with artists I don't much like and an overload of messaging.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Before I even read the comment, I would just like to ask Blogger- why is Arlee the ONLY one who comments and you don't send me an e-mail OR put it in the "waiting moderation" until DAYS later? That said, let me read the comment...

      OMG so true. It would have to be hooked up to seven different social medias, be overwhelmed by whatever the charts said was popular, and BET on it would be lip-synched.

  2. I was so engrossed in this post that when Leo jumped up from behind me and gave me a hug I jumped and hit my leg on the desk which hurt so that wasn't good it was painful just so you know

    1. Should I put caution tape around the Tardis?

  3. Chris:
    ---I used to watch Midnight Special all the show of it's kind in that era.
    (everyone else fell short)
    ---Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man (shades of Captain America - The Winter Soldier).
    ---The World is a Ghetto...a bit on the ":prophetic" side, wasn't it?
    ---Love Train...great song. (shame the world didn't follow suit).
    ---LOL...had a feeling it was ELO!
    ---Your mom picked a classic song, and Shelby does a VERY respectable job with it...nice find.
    (heard that around our house as well)
    ---I agree w/ Laurie on Jana. And the Monkees.
    (bet Mo Kenney is in the top 10...just a hunch)
    ---I'm sitting down happy?
    (O'Jays didn't make the cut)
    ---Steve Alaimo...I remember him from the show Where The Action Is (summertime stuff)...that goes back.
    (not eve a glimmer with that song for me)
    ---Dent May hits the top again...well done.
    ---Had to be Sir Elton (never liked that song, btw).

    Still, a very entertaining & enjoyable ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. - I did too, when I could get away with it...

      - Mom had a plethora of classic songs in her repertoire, this was one that she gave a little more respect for some reason. Her version of Please release me could be blood-curdling at times.

      Yes, mo is in it- she would have only needed one more point to be in the top 20, so it makes sense.

      I am not deducting points from you since I forgot to mention the eventual winner when I gave the first list. Of all my TM gaffes, that has to be the topper. Thinking about putting my "Well, shit" meme on top of this weeks post in honor...

      We played the Bee Gees version of Alaimo's tune, it was decent.

      Elton never liked it either. I loved it then, love it now.