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


Friday, September 14, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VILXIII50491458

Once again we have to dodge our way into September 14th, 1958, narrowly missing the first launch of the German Mohr rocket, designed by Ernst Mohr.  The 51/2 foot long rocket held 165 pounds of propellant that shot the cone ( or "dart") 31 miles up after a 2-second burn.

At 2,684.324 MPH, it was 46 1/3 times as fast as the Chevy with which Speedy Thompson won the NASCAR Richmond 200 that same day...

Faster than a speeding Chevy... although an average of not quite 58 MPH is hardly speeding...

Welcome to a brand new Time Machine episode, featuring Debbie Reynolds, Jack Keller (another composer) on the 6D, a new feature, and a run off in the Panel picks!  Boogity boogity boogity, let's go... er, listening!


Two debuts this week, and the first one has been eating its way slowly up the M10 shuffle for some time, and finally makes a second M10 hit for Leon Bridges...

Leon places his second hit at #10 this week.


Ladies and gentlemen, Debbie Reynolds!  It's a real honor to have you here!  I've had a crush on you since the first time I heard Tammy!

Why, thank you!  Did you like the movie?

I, uh, don't know if I've ever watched...

Oh... well, have you watched any of my other films?

Lemme bring up the list... um, I believe I've seen Divorce American Style...

That's it?

Um, I'm not a big movie guy... oh wait!  Charlotte's Web!  I loved that movie!

I was the voice of a SPIDER...

I watched your TV show...

Which I gave up because they were selling ads to cigarette makers...

Everybody did.  I can still sing a lot of the jingles-  "This is the L&M moment..."

I'd have rather you learned from the anti-smoking PSAs...

Actually, I remember most of them too.  "To get right to the heart of the matter, where there's smoke... there's danger of heart attack."  Actually, the one about the gunslinger "Johnny Smoke" used to scare hell from me.  Prolly kept me from being a future smoker...

Great!  I'm sorry if I was rough on you...

Not a thing.  So this week, we have a normal (or what passes for it) list, with 9 contestants from 22 stations.  Here's the list...

Thank you!  So you have here the "one vote wonders"... Marty Robbins hit #26 in May, but was #1 in Australia this week with Just Married.

Dion and those cute Belmonts were at #37 with No One Knows...

Doris Day was at #19 with Everybody Loves A Lover...

And Nelson Riddle with a version of Volare which did not chart nationally.

And that leaves five possible winners:

The Everlys with Bird Dog at #2...

Tommy Edwards with It's All In The Game at #4...

The Elegants with Little Star at #3...

Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu, also known of course as Volare, by Domenico Modugno, at #1...

...and Robin Luke with Susie Darlin' at #10.  And you get to pick which two TIED for the most #1 votes!

That's right, Debbie!  We had a tie with 5 votes each for two of these hits, and your first job is to pick which two!


Something new that got my curiosity after last week's discussion with the Platters was how the label competition went back then.  So, from here in, every week I will go to MusicVF's top 100 for each year, check out the labels and see who did best.

This year, 1958, 46 different labels were represented among MVFs top 100, and I decided to see by both number of hits and chart positions who did the best!  Now single record labels would do best in a average place contest, so I limited my mathematics to those who got at least 4 records placed.  Now, Capitol had the most records place with 9, but they didn't get started till #18, and their average was brought down by hitting the #100 song too.  Which left the race for best between the three companies that tallied 7 hits- Cadence, MGM, and RCA.   RCA also kinda shot themselves in having their votes split between RCA and RCA Victor, which would have netted them a combined 10.  But when I averaged out the positions, the winner at 29.42 was... MGM!  Their seven records were:

The year's top song, and Panel contestant, It's All In The Game;
Conway Twitty's It's Only Make Believe;
Connie Francis with Who's Sorry Now;
Sheb Wooley's The Purple People Eater;
Connie Francis again with My Happiness;
and again with Stupid Cupid;
and finally the legendary (and obscure) Marvin Rainwater and Whole Lotta Woman.


Our other debut makes #3 for this young lady, her second from this year's lp Rebound- Eleanor Friedberger coming in at #9:


So speaking of labels, I found a bit of a controversy involving the 6D song.  You see, it lead me to composer Jack Keller, who has a ton of stuff to his credit, most of which was with lyrics from Howard Greenfield.  In fact, here's the shortlist of his hits:

Connie Francis had Everybody's Somebody's Fool (#1), My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own (#1), and Breaking In A Broken Heart (#7);

Bobby Vee's Run To Him (#2);

The Chordettes and Just Between You And Me (#8);

Bobby Sherman's Easy Come Easy Go (#9);

And a little ditty by Jimmy Clanton called Venus In Blue Jeans, which really started me on the whole trip- and yet, when I pulled MVF's list of the biggest Jack Keller credits, Jimmy Clanton was not there- but the English cover by Mark Wynter was!  So after fighting with a broken link, I found that, while Wynter's version was credited to Greenfield/Keller, Clanton's original was credited to Greenfield and Neil Sedaka!  So back I went to wiki, where the article clearly states that it was a Greenfield/Keller comp.  And the PICTURE of the record on wiki just as clearly shows...

...Greenfield and SEDAKA!?!  I have no clue what the real deal with this was all about, but it all came from Clanton having the 6D victim at #4- Just A Dream, which Clanton wrote himself- or possibly with help from his manager, Cosimo Matassa, no one knows for sure there, either...


Ready to see if you are still in the game?  If you picked the Elegants, Robin Luke, or Tommy Edwards, go sit down.  If you took Bird Dog or Nel blu di..., oh heck, Volare, go to the final round!


Stat Pack:

With Cashbox still down at research time, I had to go to Billboard, which this week in 1958 was only 7 weeks along on their official Hot 100.  That gives us a #58 in '58 of Bobby Darrin's Splish Splash, which was on the way down after... well, seven weeks that we know of...

And they don't have the Bubbling under where I can get it, so #100 was the Four Lads with Enchanted Island- which would eventually sail to #29.

I knew 20 of our 100- and 11 of the UK 30,  not including the #1 When by the Kalin Twins- though Panel run-offers Volare (#10) and Bird Dog (#16) made their list.

And our big mover, which I almost forgot because I didn't write it very big, was Tony Bennett's Firefly with a 44-notch move TO #44.

BTW, I just checked and Cashbox has risen from the dead yet again, and will hopefully still be up when I get to making next week's post...


And the rest of this week's M10:

Cullen Omori's A Real You and Elvis Costello's Unwanted Number flip places to 8 and 7, respectively.

Dorothy slips just one to 6 with Ain't Our Time To Die.

For the second time in 3 weeks, the #10 moves up to #5- this time, it's the Jayhawks and Come Cryin' To Me.

And from there, everybody holds their spots!  ELO stays in 4th with Buildings Have Eyes, Beach House at 3 with Equal Mind, Vanessa Carleton at #2 with Lonely Girls, and a second week at the top for...

...Blackberry Smoke and One Horse Town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel run-off winner, with a run-off score of 4-2...

...Domenico Modugno with Volare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you next week, Lord willing, with 1959!

1 comment:

  1. Chris:
    ---Interesting intro...rockets and NASCAR.
    (Maybe if Mohr strapped one of those ONTO a Chevy...?)
    ---Leon Bridges...the man who reminds us of the late Sam Cooke...not a bad song.
    ---Never would have thought that MGM would take the label "showdown", but considering the artists they had and the popularity of them (and the songs), it makes sense.
    Then again, we had SO many other labels back then (most of which are long gone) that it had to knock out a lot of the other players.
    ---Eleanor the song, but the video got me scratching my head going WTH is with this? Doesn't anyone ever feed this girl?
    ---Can't say I recall Jack Keller, but I'm also wondering WHY Sedaka shows up on that song? Must be more that we're not being told.
    ---Can't say I'm surprised at the M10 this week...seems like a static list (except for Vanessa Carlton).
    And NO...I barely made the semi finals (missed with Tommy Edwards, but stayed in w/ Bird Dog), but eventually lost out to a "Plymouth" (Volare)

    Very good ride this week.

    Keep the hits comin' up there, brother.