Follow by Email

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


Friday, December 7, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VILXXIII51612769

This one's for you, all you PC warriors out there!  We are back in December 7th, 1969...

...the day Frosty The Snowman premiered!   BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!


Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where we have a tight Panel race; the strange story of our new debut- and the even stranger story of the guy he covered his song from; the Mexican charts make an appearance (!); Guess Who wins the label war (a clue, perhaps?); and SOME iteration of the Supremes on the Panel picks!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

(BTW, that was just because Frosty, that tobacco-promoting collection of Snowflakes, used to say it...)


And now, since Diana Ross is once again mistaking me for Berry Gordy's wallet, and the REAL Supremes didn't sing on the POTM song Love Child, I give you the Andantes- Jacqueline Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps!!!!

Ladies, nice to have you here!

All:  Happy to be here!

You all were on some of the biggest hits ever- all uncredited, unfortunately.  I read where you had such a talent for your arrangements that you could get done in 5-10 minutes what would take other singers days!  What was your secret?

L:  Well, they always told us we had a gift from God... I guess that's the truth.

J: Marlene and I started as singers at the Hartford Avenue Baptist Church, and I guess that always stayed with us.

M: Didn't hurt that Louvain was the best of us...

L: Aw, that's so sweet...

Yes, it is.  So we have 28 songs from 77 stations this week, I better let you get at it.  Here is the one-vote wonder list...

L: All right, we have the Grass Roots at #20 with Heaven Knows, appropriately enough.

M: Just go ahead, do two or three!

L: Sure!  Next on the list- Mel and Tim's Backfield In Motion at #12.  I'd like to see that..

J: (blushing) Lou...

L: Oh, don't be a prude! (giggles) Next, I have a song from a chart from the Netherlands- Fleetwood Mac doing their song Oh Well.  It would peak at #62 in the USA next March, but was #18 in the UK this week.

M:  Okay, I have - oh, this is French!  Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin's J'taime Moi Non Plus- did I say that right?

Close enough.  This song- basically a dirty phone call with music- has been around the M10 block before, and Jane has been- and is- a beauty contestant.  It was at #110 here this week, and 42 in the UK.

M: Next, I have Crosby Stills and Nash with Suite: Judy Blue Eyes at #19.

And finally, here's the Original Caste version of One Tin Soldier, which would peak at #32- but not until February.   Jackie?

J:  Oh, I start with an entry from South Africa- the Bee Gees with Don't Forget To Remember, which peaked at #63 here on Cashbox back in September.

Bobbi Gentry hit #1 in Australia with a song that didn't chart here, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, and was at #40 in England.

And for my last one, I have The Friends Of Distinction- those girls are so adorable- with Going In Circles at #82.  Lou?

L:  There's more?  Gee, here's the Originals with Baby I'm For Real at #16.  Walter Gaines, I just bet you were...

M: You are SO bad!  (giggles)

L: The Plastic Ono Band- that's a weird name-

Not surprising, it was basically John Lennon...

L: Oh.  Anyway, he was at #42- 28 in England- with Cold Turkey.

And, another Australian hit, Roy Orbison had Penny Arcade, which was #37 in the UK and peaked at #133 in the USA.

M: Boy, here's another one stuck in the 100s! John Barry's arrangement of the Midnight Cowboy Theme was at #116.

Elvis- didn't I just see him pop his head in?- he was at #38 with Don't Cry Daddy.

And the last one-vote song was Tommy Roe's Jam Up Jelly Tight at #25.

Okay, great job!  So great, I'll give you a tip- avoid the buffet!  Anyhow, here's the "also receiving votes" list...

J:  Okay... with 2 votes, we have the wonderful 5th Dimension with Wedding Bell Blues at #5...

RB Greaves and Take A Letter Maria at #3...

...and Blood Sweat and Tears with And When I Die at #2.  The top songs are taking a beating, aren't they?

L: The Beatles have the one side of a double sided hit, Something, at #10- and both sides at #11 in the UK...and they got 3 votes.

Same for Neil Diamond with Holly Holy at #8...

...and Credence Clearwater Revival at #18 with Down On The Corner, which is another B-side...

But unlike the Beatles, their A-side is the 6D victim!

M:  Okay, where am I at?  More three vote songs:  Three Dog Night with Eli's Coming at #9...

BJ Thomas with Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head at #22...

...and Billy Joe Royal with Cherry Hill Park at #15.  Jackie?

J: Oh, I get to do the finalists?

Knock yourself out!

J: Okay, ladies and gentlemen, choose from the # 14 song, the Supremes and Someday We'll be Together...

And if it wins, I'll have to have Jr Walker from the All-Stars and Merry Clayton from the Stones' Gimme Shelter as hosts, because there aren't any Supremes on this one, either...

J:... the #6 song, Peter Paul and Mary with Leaving On A Jet Plane...

...the #1 song, the Beatles' A-side, Come Together...

...and the #4 song, Steam with Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye!

Thanks, ladies!  As I said, this was a tight race until right before the end, and the Final Four got 38 of the 77 votes!


So like I said, our new debut is a cover from a guy with a very interesting story!  Sixto Rodriguez tried a singing career in the early 70's in the Detroit area.  But combine a little label with a boss so scared of being PC he made Sixto record as "Rod Riguez", the song never went anywhere.  Midway through what would have been- and never became- his third lp, Rodriguez (as he goes by today) got dropped, and he moved on to somewhat different things.  But twenty-some years later, his daughter discovered a funny thing.  It seems an Australian company got the rights to his former label, and farmed his first two lps and various other things to South Africa.  By 1992, Rodriguez had sold more records in South Africa than Elvis, and had a fan website dedicated to him- and he NEVER knew it!  She told her dad, and a sold out six-city tour later, Rodriguez was back on the map.  And that first almost-hit he recorded was covered by the late Charles Bradley just before he passed.  The posthumous lp he was working on- called Black Velvet for a reason I'll get into when time permits is like a living tribute to a man that became a legend late in life- and the song he covered from "Rod Riguez" is our lone debut at #9:


So if you know your CCR, you know our 6D vic was Fortunate Son, at #7 without a vote.  That said, I'm still gonna tell the story backwards.  In 1970, the Mexican charts published by Billboard had three big hits by Anglo acts:  Sugar Sugar by the Archies held the top spot at the beginning of the year for 4 weeks; right after the 4th of July, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head spent 9 out of ten weeks at #1; and before that, the four weeks ending on the 4th belonged to CCR with Cottonfields, a song that, like Fortunate Son/Down On The Corner were on the lp Willie And The Poorboys.

 So, here comes the international rest of the story.  Also on that lp was Midnight Special, which is a song far older that we realize:  Some evidence for it dates back to 1905, but the for sure earliest reference was in sheet music published in 1922.  The first Modern hit with the song was by one Paul Evans in the early sixties.  Paul had his biggest hit with the oddly titled Seven Little Girls In The Back Seat, which was a #9 hit here, and also big in Sweden, Norway, and the UK.  And Paul was best known for writing Roses Are Red, which Bobby Vinton took to #1 in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and South Africa!


Stat Pack!

I knew 20 in the UK, including their #1, Sugar Sugar.  In the US I knew 40, which included our big mover in a week that didn't have a ton of big moves- The Jackson Five and I Want You Back, up 22 spots from 50 to 28.  However, I did not know our #69 in '69, the Ohio Express and Cowboy Convention.  And I suspect I'm not alone- while it would snuggle up to #61 on Cashbox, it boned out on Billboard at #101.

Speaking of #101, our #101 this week was the MC5 with Tonight- and that is where it stopped.

Oh, and the girls left out that Someday We'll Be Together was #47 this week in the UK.  They are very sorry and blame it on me being a attention w... hey, wait a minute!


I almost screwed up the math and gave us the wrong winner of the Label game this week...

Heh, like that's a surprise...
...but I recovered, and this week's win goes to... 

...RCA Victor, which we haven't seen in a while!  They were led by three hits from Elvis' big return (Suspicious Minds at 43 for the year, In The Ghetto at 28, and If I Can Dream at 54), The Friends Of Distinction's Grazing In The Grass (59), the Youngbloods' Get Together (42), Mancini's Romeo And Juliet (36), Zager and Evans' In The Year 2525 (#11), and two from the Guess Who- These Eyes (22) and Laughing (84), giving them a average place of 42, just sneaking past Dunhill after I figured their hits correctly...


So now, the M10 in motion...

three long-lived hits move down this week- Blackberry Smoke's You Got Lucky (3 to 10), Alkonost's instrumental Paporotnik (2 to 8), and our 3-week #1, Rosanne Cash's Not Many Miles To Go (to #4).

Stuck kinda in the middle was Lucius' Ghosting, which got shoved down a notch to #6.

Our four last week debuts had a BIG week:  New Zealander by birth Juanita Stein goes up 2 to 7 with Get Back To The City.  I saw where she got voted Sexiest act in rock by some site called Gigwise.  I wasn't impressed with most of the rest of their picks- mostly names I didn't know, and IMHO debatable candidates for the Beauty Contest on one end, and "why did you pick her?" at the other, with Gwen Stefani jammed in the approximate middle.

The other three debuts:  Worst Nights by Foster The People from 8 to 5, Anna Burch's 2 Cool 2 Care 6 to 3, and the Beths and Future Me Hates Me the big move from 10 to 2...

And a move from 4 to one for...

...Sade and The Big Unknown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel Picks?  Well, if you took the Beatles, you got just under 9.1 %...

Steam got you something less than 10.4%...

Thankfully, the faux Supremes got you only 11.7%...

So your winner, with not quite 18.2%...

Peter Paul and Mary's Leaving On A Jet Plane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Join the four of us for 1970 next time!


  1. Chris:
    ---The Andantes...never heard of them (but probably did, know all the music I listened to growing up).
    Anyway, very nice banter...well done.
    ---The Charles Bradley cover of Rod's song...not that bad, really.
    ---I STILL have all the "original" CCR lps, and yes, Cottonfields is on it. Good album, really, right up there with Cosmo's Factory.
    ---Would not surprise me that Midnight Special is THAT old...hearkens back to a time when STEAM ruled the rails, and when "hopping a freight" out of town to parts unknown was not that uncommon a practice.
    ---Stat Pack - I Want You Back...made a comeback thanks to the MCU and the Guardians of the Galaxy closing ...(funny as all get out, imho).
    ---RCA VICTOR...a VERY popular label with LOADS of familiar tunes of that era. I think half my (former) "45" collection was RCA.
    (I personally love Elvis' IF I CAN DREAM)
    ---The Beths made a HUGE 8 spot move and it's good to see SADE make it to #1.
    ---As for the panel pick...HAD to be Peter Paul and Mary with THAT song...(another personal favorite).(nailed it)

    Another very good ride this week.

    Keep the hits comin' up there, brother.

    1. Laurie: (Ponders choices)
      Voice in back of my mind: "Tell her, 'Whatever you think it is, it isn't'"
      Laurie: "Well, it's probably the Beatles..."
      Voice: "Tell her!"
      L: "But I'm going to go with the supremes..."
      V: See?
      L:... and if not them, it's Steam.."
      Me and voice: "OMG!"