Posts Tagged ‘Tee Set’

A Baker’s Dozen Under No. 1 From 1970

June 15, 2011

Originally posted March 5, 2008

As I’ve mentioned a fair number of times, it was in late 1969 and early 1970 that I began to listen regularly to Top 40 radio. Every once in a while, I wander over to one of the sites that catalog local radio charts from those years. I choose a station and a weekly chart almost at random and let my eyes wander up and down the list, with my internal radio playing snippets of songs first heard long ago.

I did that this morning, casting about for a theme for a Baker’s Dozen. I had at first thought about a list of songs with “Road” in their titles, as I’ve long wanted to share Elvis Presley’s version of “True Love Travels On A Gravel Road.” But I ran part of a random search and then thought to myself, well, maybe another day. So I looked at the charts for March of 1970, thinking I might just present the top thirteen songs of one week. But during that month, one of the top records everywhere I looked was Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that record at all. It’s a truly great record (as is the album from which it came). But I shared it here last August, and – besides that – it’s one of those omnipresent records. I don’t think anyone ever hears it and thinks, “Wow, when was the last time I heard that?” And that reaction is one I hope that at least some of the things I share here will generate.

So I looked at 1969, and I looked at 1971 and 1973 and 1975. And I was dissatisfied by what I saw. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood today, I thought. Then I had the thought that maybe I should go ahead and pretend that the Simon & Garfunkel record wasn’t there, present records Nos. 2 through 14 as a Baker’s Dozen Under No. 1 or something like that. So I went back to the WDGY (Twin Cities) chart for March 6, 1970, and looked at those records. Not a bad batch, but I’d have to go find two of them, Frijid Pink’s version of “House of the Rising Sun” and “Easy Come, Easy Go” by Bobby Sherman. (Now that I have the external hard drive, I can afford to use storage space for frivolities like songs by Bobby Sherman.)

And I got sidetracked. I not only found those two songs, but also found – and saved to the hard drive – Sherman’s “Julie, Do Ya Love Me” and “Seattle.” Being at least a little bit of an archivist, I wanted to find the catalog numbers for those. “Julie” was easy, but it’s a bit harder to track down the genesis of “Seattle,” which was Sherman’s version of the theme song for the 1968 TV show Here Come the Brides. (Sherman was one of the stars of the show.) Wikipedia says that Sherman’s version of the song reached the Cash Box Top 100 in 1969, but twenty minutes combing through the online charts cast doubt on that; I found Perry Como’s version of the song listed, but not Sherman’s. Another search left me looking at a picture of a record cut from the back of a cereal box. I doubt that was the only way “Seattle” was released, but by that time, I’d already spent thirty minutes on a record that’s not in my plans for today. So I’ll get back to it later and go ahead and present my rather odd idea.

A Baker’s Dozen Under No. 1, March 6, 1970

“Ma Belle Amie” by the Tee Set, Colossus single 107

“Who’ll Stop The Rain”/“Travelin’ Band” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fantasy single 637

“Give Me Just A Little More Time” by the Chairmen of the Board, Invictus single 9074

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by the Hollies, Epic single 10532

“Easy Come, Easy Go” by Bobby Sherman, Metromedia single 177

“Thank You”/“Everybody Is A Star” by Sly & the Family Stone, Epic single 10555

“No Time” by the Guess Who, RCA single 0300

“House of the Rising Sun” by Frijid Pink, Parrot single 341

“Rainy Night In Georgia” by Brook Benton, Cotillion single 44057

“Oh Me, Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby)” by Lulu, Atco single 6722

“The Rapper” by the Jaggerz, Kama Sutra single 502

“Hey There, Lonely Girl” by Eddie Holman, ABC single 11240

“Kentucky Rain” by Elvis Presley, RCA single 9791

A few notes:

One of the quandaries facing me here is one that I think almost any radio lover encounters when trying to assess a cluster of songs from the past. Most of these songs are old friends, and it’s hard to look at them, to listen to them, objectively.

I think the best of this list are the Creedence sides along with “A Rainy Night In Georgia,” “Kentucky Rain.” and “Oh Me, Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby).” (That last should not be a surprise to regular readers.)

Of the rest of them, some have aged well, some haven’t, and some never had a chance.

“Give Me Just A Little More Time” and the two Sly & the Family Stone records still sound pretty good, although “Everybody Is A Star” sounds to me a little bit better than its A side, the full title of which is “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” The Hollies, the Guess Who and Eddie Holman are still good listening, too, though maybe a notch lower.

Frijid Pink’s “House of the Rising Sun” sounded better this morning – hearing it for the first time in years – than I expected it to, but my expectations were, I admit, low. I guess I won’t hit the skip button when it comes up again, though. The same holds true for “Ma Belle Amie,” which I kind of like, as clunky as it may be.

As for “The Rapper” and the Bobby Sherman record, well, if I had to trim these thirteen down to ten, they’d be the first ones cut. After that, well, I suppose the Frijid Pink song would fall, if only because I like to sing along during the French lines in “Ma Belle Amie.”

I’ve presented the B sides of the two double-sided singles because I think they’re less likely to be heard on the radio.

Saturday Single No. 172

February 6, 2010

Well, it’s time for another game of “Jump!”

No, not Van Halen. We’re going to find today’s single by looking at the Billboard Top 40 for one week – in this case, this approximate week in 1970 – and see which single moved the most from the previous week, up or down. I’ve done this several times before, so the only thing different is that this time, I have a name so I can create an index whenever I do this.

Jump!

First, here’s a look at the Top Ten for the week ending February 7, 1970. (And I should note that, while all of 1970 was a great time on the radio, for some reason, the late winter and early spring of that year is one of three or so seasons at the top of my chart for superlative listening. This was mostly very good stuff.)

“Venus” by the Shocking Blue
“I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5
“Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” by B. J. Thomas
“Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Agin)/Everybody Is A Star” by Sly & the Family Stone
“Without Love (There Is Nothing)” by Tom Jones
“I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” by Dionne Warwick
“Hey There Lonely Girl” by Eddie Holman
“Whole Lotta Love/Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)” by Led Zeppelin
“No Time” by the Guess Who
“Jingle Jangle” by the Archies

A couple of these are records that I know now, but I question whether I heard them frequently enough for them to make an impression forty years ago: The B-side of the Led Zeppelin record and the Tom Jones tune. Otherwise, everything is familiar and a couple of these ride pretty high on my all-time list.

And it turned out that the first full week of February 1970 was fairly volatile in the Top 40. Seventeen of the forty records listed had moved more than six spots since the previous week’s survey, with eight of those seventeen moving into the Top 40 for the first time, ascending from the Hot 100 of the previous week. And some of the jumps were, honestly, pretty remarkable.

A jump of six places is the minimum I require to mention a record here. Three records moved six places: Englebert Humperdinck’s “Winter World Of Love” dropped from No. 22 to No. 16. “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes fell from No. 9 to No. 15. And Eddie Holman’s sweet “Hey There Lonely Girl” climbed from No. 13 to No. 7.

Moving eight places were five songs: Bobbie Gentry’s “Fancy” went up from No. 39 to No. 31. Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia” rose from No. 34 to No. 26. “Early In The Morning” by Vanity Fare – posted here earlier this week – fell from No. 12 to No. 20. Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Cry Daddy/Rubberneckin’” fell from No. 6 to No. 14. And “No Time” by the Guess Who moved up from No. 17 to No. 9.

The Temptations’ “Psychedelic Shack” went from No. 21 to No. 11, a leap of ten places.  “One Tin Soldier” by the Original Caste (not Coven, as I originally wrote) did two places better than that, jumping from No. 48 to No. 36. The Delfonic’s “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” leapt seventeen places, from No. 45 to No. 28. Better than that by one was one of my utter favorites, Lulu’s “Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby),” which jumped eighteen places from No. 52 to No. 34.

Some of those are pretty good leaps. But, to quote Randy Bachman, you ain’t seen n-n-n-nothin’ yet.

Santana’s “Evil Ways” moved into the Top 40, jumping twenty-one places from No. 61 to No. 40. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by the Hollies jumped twenty-two places, climbing from No. 57 to No. 35. The Chairmen of the Board and “Give Me Just A Little More Time” bounced from No. 60 to No. 37, a leap of twenty-three places.

That leaves two records remaining of those that moved six or more places, and boy, did they jump. I thought I’d found this week’s winner when I was scanning the top twenty and saw that Creedence Clearwater Revival’s double-sided “Travelin’ Band/Who’ll Stop The Rain” had climbed from No. 50 to No. 18, an improvement of thirty-two places. But during that particular week forty years ago, that huge leap was only good enough for second place.

 The winner, with a mind-boggling ascent of thirty-eight places, is a record I mentioned not all that long ago in connection with a yearbook signing in the spring of 1970. (That means that it had reached hit status much faster in the $ilver Dollar $urvey from San Diego’s KCBQ – which I examined for that post on January 15 – than it did in the Billboard charts.) And happily, it’s a record I like pretty well.

 So here’s the Dutch group the Tee See with “Ma Belle Amie,” today’s Saturday Single.