The former KMVI on 550 AM in Kahului, Hawai’i (on the island of Mau’i) is now KNUI, which has been broadcasting a country music format since last July. Pacific Radio Group swapped the call letters in 2013, and the new KMVI is at AM 900, broadcasting a sports-talk format. In any event, KMVI was broadcasting Top 40 music in 1971, so let’s look at their Top Ten almost exactly 50 years ago.
#10 – The Fifth Dimension, "Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes": Title track from their 1971 album, the song was written by Dorothea Joyce and originally recorded by Diana Ross. It reached #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #19 on the Hot 100 and in Canada, and #26 on the R&B chart. The Brotherhood of Man (who had a hit with "United We Stand" in 1970) recorded it in 1972 for their album We’re The Brotherhood Of Man.
#9 – Paul McCartney, "Another Day": This single was recorded during the Let It Be sessions in 1969. It reached #2 in the UK, #5 in the US, and #6 in Canada, and was a Top Ten elsewhere in the world. Later releases of Paul’s album Ram include this song as well as its B side "Oh Woman Oh Why."
#8 – B. J. Thomas, "No Love At All": A somng by Johnny Christopher and Wayne C. Thompson, originally recorded by Lynn Anderson. B. J.’s cover reached #16 in US and Canada and did best on the US Adult Contemporary chart, reaching #5.
#7 – Manila Machine, "Poor Loser": I’m not finding anything on the Manila Machine in any of my usual sources (Wikipedia, AllMusic, Discogs), and DuckDuckGoing it tells me that Manila Machine is a food truck selling Filipino food in Los Angeles. What I have found is that they were a soul group who recorded this as the B side of their cover of "Higher And Higher," they recorded an album on a private label in 1973, and the song is on a record called Soulful Thangs Vol. 5.
#6 – Sammi Smith, "Help Me Make It Through The Night": A song by Kris Kristofferson, this was a crossover for Sammi, one of the few women in the "outlaw country" movement of the ’70’s. Sammi’s record reached #1 on the US and Canadian Country charts, #3 on the US Easy Listening chart, #4 on the Canadian Singles chart, and #8 on the Hot 100.
#5 – Cat Stevens, "Wild World": From Tea For The Tillerman, Cat took this to #11 in the US and #14 in Canada.
#4 – The Mixtures, "The Pushbike Song": The Mixtures were an Australian band who had done a cover of Mungo Jerry’s "In The Summertime." Normally this wouldn’t draw much attention, except for the the 1970 Record Ban, during which Australian radio stations refused to play songs by British and Australian acts that were released on major labels. Benefitting from the lowered competition, their "In The Summertime" reached #1 in Australia for six weeks. "The Pushbike Song" was their follow-up, and it reached #2 in Australia and #44 in the US.
#3 – Arkade, "The Morning Of Our Lives": Another band about which I could find next to nothing, other than they were led by the singer-songwriter Austin Roberts, who came from Newport News, Virginia.
#2 – Donny Osmond, "Sweet And Innocent": Oh, yeah, this… Donny was the next to youngest Osmond Brother (Jimmy came later) and a veritable tweenage heartthrob (as in cover boy on Tiger Beat and "16" magazines), so this was his debut single. It’s actually a cover of a Roy Orbison tune, and it reached #7 on the Hot 100.
#1 – Three Dog Night, "Joy To The World": Up to this point, Three Dog Night had done a lot of very good songs that didn’t go very far (their cover of Randy Newman’s "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)" had reached #1, and they had a couple of Top Ten hits before then). Then they decided to change things up a little and covered Hoyt Axton’s "Joy To The World," and it did better than anything they had done prior, with the exception of "Mama Told Me." It reached #1 in the US, Canada and South Africa and #8 in Australia.
We’re headed down under for tomorrow! Join us then!