Song of the Day: Mr. Mister, “Kyrie”

From their 1985 album Welcome To The Real World, from which their previous hit, "Broken Wings," was drawn, Arizona-based Mr. Mister reached the #1 spot on the Hot 100, the Cash Box Hot Singles, the Mainstream Rock, and the RPM Top Singles (Canada) charts, and also scored a #1 in Norway. Kyrie eleison is Greek for "Lord, have Mercy," and is said toward the beginning of the Catholic Mass and in many other denominations as well. Richard Page, who wrote the song along with Steve George and lyricist John Page, said that the song was "a prayer." There were rumors that Page wrote the song while in the hospital after an accident, but they’ve proved to be false.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “The Letter” Results

My last battle was between two songs named "The Letter," one by Karla Bonoff and the other by Joe Cocker. I honestly thought that at least one of you would vote for Ms. Bonoff, maybe even surprise me by making it close. Well, I was wrong…

Karla Bonoff: 0

Joe Cocker: 10

Maybe I need to institute a "mercy" rule, also known as a "slaughter" rule, where if one contestant runs away with it as Joe did here, I stop the contest and declare the winner. I think I could have called this one by Thursday afternoon. In any event, congratulations to Joe, and Karla? Sorry, sweetie…

Next Battle will be next Thursday, October 1. Be there or be square!

Top Ten Tuesday: WRSU (680 kHz, New Brunswick, NJ), 9/21/63

I don’t think we’ve done a college station here in all the time I’ve been doing The Friday 5×2 and Top Ten Tuesday. WRSU broadcasts from the campus of Rutgers University in beautiful New Brunswick, New Jersey. Currently, they operate on 88.7 MHz on the FM band, but in 1963 they were an AM station broadcasting on 680 kHz. Here’s their Top Ten from 1963.

# Song/Artist Comments
10 Honolulu Lulu
Jan & Dean
The follow-up to “Surf City” (which it sounds almost like), “Honolulu Lulu” reached #11 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Cash Box Hot Singles chart.
9 Then He Kissed Me
The Crystals
Produced by Phil Spector, who brought along his “Wall O’ Sound” and made these girls from New York City sound just like The Ronettes. Not that anyone complained: it reached #6 in the US and #2 in the UK.
8 Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
Peter, Paul & Mary
The group later christened as Pizza, Pooh and Magpie by John Lennon had hits with several early Bob Dylan tunes. This was the follow-up to “Blowin’ In The Wind” and did pretty well, reaching #9 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
7 Surfer Girl
The Beach Boys
The follow-up to “Surfin’ USA,” it had a pretty good run on the chart, reaching #7. Its flip side, “Little Deuce Coupe,” reached #17, so in all, another success from these California boys.
6 Donna The Prima Donna
Dion
Dion’s song compares Donna to “Za Za Gabor,” which I find hilarious. No matter: it reached #6 on the Hot 100, #9 on the Cash Box Hot Singles, and #17 on the R&B chart.
5 Sally, Go Round The Roses
The Jaynetts
A somewhat odd song that was written by Zelma “Zell” Sanders and the wife of producer Abner Spector (no relation), recorded by The Jaynetts, who had recorded “Be My Boyfriend” in 1958. In addition to the five Jaynetts, there were at least five other singers on the track. The song peaked at #2 (behind Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet”) and has been covered by the likes of Tim Hardin and Grace Slick, and for some reason I remember Pentangle did this one as well.
4 Blue Velvet
Bobby Vinton
Speak of the devil… Originally recorded by Tony Bennett in 1950 and many times since, Bobby Vinton took it the furthest, reaching #1.
3 If I Had A Hammer
Trini Lopez
We used this a couple of weeks ago, didn’t we?
2 Washington Square
The Village Stompers
“Washington Square” and Village Stompers probably told you that this folk/Dixieland band comes from Greenwich Village in New York. This was the first of several hits for them, and th one that reached the highest chart position, #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1 Be My Baby
The Ronettes
What more can I say? Ronnie Spector was married to Phil, who recorded and produced this, Wall O’ Sound and all.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for September 22, 2020.

Song of the Day: Yes, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”

Prog rock icons Yes seem like an odd fit with the music of the mid-’80’s, yet here they are. The first track on their 1983 album 90125 was written by guitarist Trevor Rabin, with input from Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and producer Trevor Horn. Released in late 1983, it reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart in the US in ’83 and #1 on the Hot 100 in 1984.