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


Friday, March 9, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VIXLIV4773956

And we start over again, and find ourselves on March 9th, 1956, and about the best I can do for a news story is this:

Opononi George, or Opo (the ‘gay dolphin’), was found dead on 9 March 1956. The young female bottlenose dolphin had regularly approached the beach near Opononi wharf, Hokianga, to frolic with locals. Her playful antics attracted widespread media coverage over the summer of 1955–56, helping to attract thousands of holidaymakers to Opononi.

The Opononi Gay Dolphin Protection Committee was established to protect her; the government also made it an offence to ‘take or molest any dolphin in Hokianga Harbour’. In the end these measures failed to save Opo...

To add to this sad yet ridiculous story, some say fishermen killed her with gelignite (think dynamite, but stable).  The site that reported this also claimed the name was "Opo Jack" instead of George, either of which are fairly dumb things to name a female dolphin.  So enquiring minds want to know- how did they know she was gay?  Was she transgender, thus explaining the names?  Were the "fishermen" really homophobic construction workers who lifted the gelignite from their demo site?  Wait, what do you mean "gay" meant "happy" or "friendly" back then?  I'm trying to build a PC scandal here!


Anyway, we are back to that lovely era in Time Machine where the charts I have access to are limited- can you say "I had 7 charts for the WHOLE MONTH"?  So once again, I will be combining the Billboard chart with the Cashbox chart, along with the ONE chart that actually fell on this week (and wasn't a country chart) to give us a list;  I'll be going to the UK chart to get us a 6D victim; And that 6D will include a movie on the worst movie of all time list, starring a lady who goes on to be a worst new star of the year winner, and sang possibly the worst remake of a song that was already questionable in history (that last part is IMHO)!  Also, two 8 year old girls make appearances- kinda- and the M10 sets two new records and just misses tying a third- and none of them are good news for the top of last week's chart!  So put on your trunks, grab a beach house ball, and let's proceed!


So here's our dilemma- our POTM is Mary McGregor, and little Mary is 8 years old in 1956!  Mary, do you like music?

Yes, sir, I've been playing songs for a couple of years now...

Do you listen to the radio much?

Oh, no, sir.  My parents don't approve of all that 'rock and roll' stuff.

Hmm.  Okay, well, Mary, I found an interview of you when you get older...

How old?  Twelve?

Wouldja believe 68?

Wow, that must be as old as you...

Uh, not quite.  Anyway, it seems that older Mary wasn't any fonder of the song than I was...

"I never liked the song too much, and I still don't," said Mary. "There are just some songs I like, and some I don't, and this is one of them. Peter (Yarrow, her producer) and I had a very long relationship. We're both very emotional people, and whenever we got together it was a very volatile experience. Sometimes it was positive, sometimes negative, and on this particular song we had a lot of fights. Was it really good? Was it going to make it? We had a lot of discussions about this song.

"For me to sing anything, I have to get emotionally involved. That's what really makes it for me. I didn't like 'Torn' mostly because it was boring to sing. It's a real 'sleeper' kind of ballad. Peter thought it was a real statement, and he wanted it to happen. He wanted a woman to sing it, and he wanted that woman to be me."

The interview, which I found on SuperSeventies, goes on to explain what a poop sandwich it made of her life...

 Oh, little Mary, could you go in the other room for a minute?

Which one?

There are approximately 70,000 rooms on a Tardis.  Pick one.

Okay, now I can safely play this:

"Torn Between Two Lovers" began its rise in November 1976, finally peaking at number one in February 1977. It put Mary in the spotlight -- for the moment -- but ruined her career singing advertising jingles. 

Living on her central California ranch where she raises horses and writes songs, Mary looked back at her moment in the spotlight. She says the song ultimately proved to be a strain -- "not because I was sleeping with someone else, but because I was living with my career instead of with him (her husband, whom she ended up divorcing). But those things happen."

"Now I'm in a dilemma because I'm too well known to return to being an anonymous singer for a bank, but I'm not well known enough to get bookings. I never thought about being a success until 'Torn.' I was trying to make a career out of doing commercials. Now I can't.

"Success is so fickle," she warned. "You're only as good as you're next hit."

Okay, Mary, you can come out now.  Mary?  MARY?

I'm right..

YEOOOWWW!!!, I never left.  Am I gonna get a divorce?

Well, timelines are a funny thing.  Who's to say something wont change now? (Geez...)

Anyway, your job is to read- you can read, right?

I'm not a baby- I'm EIGHT!

Gotcha.  Anyway, read off these songs on the list- all three lists only had one change, so there are only 11 songs, and since we're naming a winner off best chart points, you can't read the chart positions- and when you're done, I'll let the people know which ones are the highest scorers.  Okay?

Okay.  The first song on the list is Don Cherry, Band Of Gold.

Not the one by the Honey Cone...


Never mind.  Go on, sweetie...

Next is the Platters, The Great Pretender.  I get to listen to that one...

Do you like it?

I don't know... (giggles)  The next song is Pat Boone, I'll Be Home.

Lisbon Antigua, Nelson Riddle.

Memories Are Made Of This, Dean Martin.  My Mommy likes him, but not daddy.  He says he drinks too much.  Mommy says daddy drinks too much.

Mor...Mor.. how do you say this one?

Moritat, by Dick Hyman.  From the 3-Penny Opera, it's basically Mack The Knife as an instrumental.

What's Mack The...

It's rock and roll, honey.  Nasty stuff.  Go on.

The Four Lads, No Not Much.

Les Baxter, The Poor People Of Paris.

Kay Starr, Rock And Roll Waltz.  Is that nasty too?

Well, I myself don't think so...

Bill Haley and His Comets, See You Later, Alligator.  I got to listen to that when Mommy wasn't around. (Giggles)

And the last one is Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, Why Do Fools Fall In Love.  I think Frankie is dreamy...

Aren't you a little young for that?

I'm not a baby- I'm EIGHT!

Oh, that's right.  So anyway, I put these songs through Ye Olde Point System and came up with just four of them that scored 20 or better.  You can choose your winner from Kay Starr, Nelson Riddle, the Four Lads, or Les Baxter.

What do we do now?

Now, you are going to put you head under this little memory eraser  music player for a little bit, while I play the folks out there a new song...


And that song is our M10 debut, clocking in at #10 from last year's lp Emerging Adulthood, here's the UK's Dan Croll...


So because I don't have anything to go off of to get a 6D victim, I decided to take the highest charter off the UK chart that wasn't on our list- and our #s 1, 4, 7, and 9 did, so we get the British #2 this week.  And instead of the usual backwards in time, let's follow this one forward. 

The song at #2 in the UK was Zambesi, an instrumental, as so many of these songs (3 of our 11) are back then.  Now, back in those days, several artists would put pout a song at the same time and compete head to head, and the same thing happened in Britain.  Zambesi was on the charts at #18 by Eddie Galvert, and at #2 by Lou Busch.  Busch ( who added the "c" later in life to class up the name) was another early starter, leading a band called Lou Bush and his Tickle-Toe Four at the age of 12.  He would go on to do a lot of themes and scores, including- pay attention, Laurie- the closing theme to What's My Line!  He often worked with one Milton DeLugg, including a low-light of scoring a movie consistently voted one of the worst of all time-

Yes, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.  And one of the players on that movie...

...was a little 8-year old martian named Pia Zadora!  (the one on the right)  Pia, of course would go on to be a case study on what you can do with a (very) little talent...

...earning at least one critic's "worst new star award" for her role in the movie Butterfly in 1981.  She would also briefly dabble in music, actually getting to #36 in 1983 with her cover of what I regard as one of the dumber songs to remake of all time, Shirley Ellis' 1965 The Clapping Song.  I thought it was bad by Shirley (and not a lot better than The Name Game), and 50 shades of worse when Pia attempted it.  But it gets her a spot in next year's Beauty Contest, so there's that...


Stat Pack:

I was amazed to know an entire TEN songs on this week's top fifty- including the #50, Frank Sinatra's Love And Marriage...

"Jeez, Peg, we can't get away from that damn song anywhere!"

Among those ten also were two rather significant new debuts- Carl Perkins' Blue Suede Shoes at #28 and Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel at #26.

The big mover was a song I really thought got higher- Eddie My Love.  As Cashbox combined all artists doing a song back then, you had to ask Billboard where they went individually.  The combined effort of three acts- the Teen Queens (who Billboard would peak at #14), the Chordettes (also #14), and the Fontaine Sisters (#11)- would peak at 13 on CB, but this week it jumps the most, 15 spots from 44 to 29.

And the UK's top dog?  Dean Martin and Memories Are Made Of This.  (Dave King and the Key Notes also had this at #5.)  Also charting from our Panel were Rock And Roll Waltz (#4), See You Later, Alligator (#9), and Band Of Gold (#7).


And now, the violently shifting M10:

Well, except for the Moondoggies, who hold at #9 with Easy Coming.

Two years ago, the Strawberry Runners fell from the top spot to #9 with When We Were Good.  This week, the Voodoo Children just miss that, slipping from the top to #8 with Tangerines And Daffodils.

And sucked into the vortex just shy of being their biggest hit, Lucius falls from 2 to 7 with Neighbors. 

Frankie Cosmos, avoids falling objects and climbs a pair to #6 with Jesse.

Not so for the Decemberists, who tumble 2 to #5 with Severed- making the first time that ALL of last week's top three fell to #5 or below.  Two of 'em managed it 4 times, but never 1,2, AND 3.

Surviving the slaughter is a woman for whom the word survivor is an apt description for her life- Shilpa Ray, with Rockaway Blues up one to #4.

Sunflower Bean has their highest charting hit to date, with Twenty Two moving up 3 spots to #3.

Mikaela Davis makes the power move, going from #7 to #2 with Little Bird.

And at #1- at least for now- with their record-breaking FOURTH #1-

Beach House and Lemon Glow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel winner?  Well, Les Baxter charted a 5, a 5, and a 3 to get 20 points- 4th.

The Four Lads got a 4, a 3, and a 5 for 21 points- third.

Nelson Riddle got a pair of 2s and a #1 (CB) to be the runner up with 28.

Which means the winner, with the remaining 1s and 2s- 

...Kay Starr, and Rock And Roll Waltz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YAY!  I'm glad she won!

What the..  Why are YOU still here?

Why AM I still here?  And who are you?


  1. Chris:
    ---Ahh, back into the 50s (my "formative" years)...
    ---Having Mary there was a real nice thing. Hearing about her career was sad, and yet, she managed to move beyond it. A shame we never heard more from her, though.
    ---That's a good list, a few real favorites on it. My Dad was a fan of Kay Starr (gee, wonder why?)
    ---Don Croll - not keen on the video, but the song IS very good!
    ---Never saw that movie (nor had a desire to do so), but I DO remember Pia Zadora, who started the whole "vapid" gig with young girls (the Kardashians and Hiltons somehow come to mind these days).
    ---Katey Sagal...ahh, Leela from Futurama.
    (she's worth an entry in the beauty contest...yes?)
    ---LOL...Shilpa Ray a survivor...sure looks that way.
    Mikaela Davis moving up, too...nice.
    Beach House...seems the whole ALBUM will be #1 soon enough...heh.
    ---YAY...went with Dad's choice of women, and got the top pick this week.
    (Dad was a wise man when it came to many things...among them, musical ladies).

    Very good ride this week.
    (please get Mary back to her timestream).

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. - Katey or Leela? (Well, at least Katey's in...)

      -Of course, at least Pia TRIED to do something (even if not well)...

      - Beach House: They have released a second single (more on that later) but no word on when the album drops...

      - Laurie went with the only song she knew (Four Lads). Can't win 'em all...

      -Rest assured, as soon as I get my hands on... er, I mean, as soon as I figure out where little Mary got off to, I'll send her home. I don' need no steenking companion!

    2. No- only INTELLIGENT life, lol!