The Friday 5×2: Springbok Radio, 1974

Let’s head back to Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa (we were there last June) and see what their Top 10 looked like on this day in 1974.

  1. Peter Vee, “The Tips Of My Fingers” Discogs tells us that Peter Vee is a South African singer/songwriter, producer and record company executive, and that this was his biggest solo hit.
  2. David Cassidy, “Daydreamer” This was a #1 hit in the UK and South Africa that didn’t make a dent in the US market.
  3. Johnny Gibson, “My Daddy Was A Rock’n’Roll Man” The site 45cat tells us that this was the first of his two big hits (the other was 1978’s “I Saw The Light”) and that he had a further three that weren’t quite as big.
  4. Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” This was a hit just about everywhere it was released.
  5. ABBA, “Ring Ring” A song from before they became famous in the US and UK. Went to #1 in their native Sweden.
  6. The Rolling Stones, “Angie” Another huge hit for the Stones. Written primarily by Keith Richards, the song was named for his daughter, not Angela Bowie, as was suspected.
  7. Jody Wayne, “The Wonder Of Your Love” South African singer who was born in Bangalore to Canadian parents. Does some pretty good country music.
  8. David Bowie, “Sorrow” From David’s 1973 album Pin-Ups, on which he did all covers of songs he liked. This was originally done by The Merseybeats.
  9. Ringo Starr, “Photograph” Interesting thing this week: these are either songs I’ve played before and are familiar with, songs I’ve never heard by artists I recognize, or songs I don’t recognize done by artists I don’t recognize. This fits into the fitrst category, and in fact I’m pretty sure I’ve played it recently.
  10. Albert Hammond, “The Peacemaker” American and Canadian audiences remember “It Never Rains In Southern California,” Albert’s only US hit.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for February 1, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: WTMA, Charleston, SC, 8/31/74

I seem to have caught a 72-hour bug in my gastrointestinal tract (you don’t want to know the details), so this is a little late.

Like so many other AM (or mediumwave, if you prefer) radio stations in the US (and probably throughout the world), WTMA is now broadcasting a “news/talk” format, but in 1974 they were a Top 40 station. Here’s what they were listening to in the capital of the Palmetto State today in 1974.

  1. Elton John, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” From his 1974 album Caribou, named for James William Guercio’s recording studio in Colorado. Guercio is best known to most of us as the producer for the band Chicago.
  2. George McCrae, “Rock Your Baby” Yes, the age of disco was just starting in ’74. Despite that, it’s a pretty good song.
  3. John Denver, “Annie’s Song” While I’m not actually fond of John’s music, it was an integral part of the soundtrack of my life, and that counts for something.
  4. Commodores, “Machine Gun” This was their first single, and made it to #22 nationally. This means that, while it did well in the Top 40 in some cities, it didn’t even chart in others. I honestly didn’t hear it until today. Maybe if I had turned on one of the R&B stations in Chicago, such as WVON, WBMX, or WJPC, I would have had better luck, as the song reached #7 on the national R&B chart.
  5. Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” I have discussed the connection Rufus had with another Chicago band, The American Breed, so I’m not gonna do it again.
  6. Dave Loggins, “Please Come To Boston” A one-hit wonder as a performer, Dave was a draftsman and an insurance salesman before getting into the music biz. Known better as a songwriter, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995. His second cousin is Kenny, who you might have heard of before.
  7. Roberta Flack, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” A lady with a gorgeous voice singing a great song written by Eugene McDaniels.
  8. Eric Clapton, “I Shot The Sheriff” Off his 1971 album 461 Ocean Blvd., which was his address while he was in Miami recording this album.
  9. Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” Nothing more needs to be said about “the East side of Chicago,” which most Chicagoans call “Lake Michigan.”
  10. Paul Anka with Odia Coates, “(You’re) Havin’ My Baby” Of this song, Wikipedia tells us “Despite its commercial success, the song has been criticised for its maudlin sentimentality and perceived sexist undertones, and has appeared in ‘worst song’ lists. It was voted the #1 ‘Worst Song of All Time’ in a poll conducted by CNN.com in 2006.” In other words, an EBS Special. Odia Coates got her start singing with the Edwin Hawkins singers, and sadly died of breast cancer in 1991 at the age of 49.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for August 31, 2018.

The Friday 5×2: Radio Veronica, from This Date in 1974

Back to that ship off the coast of The Netherlands that we talked about a couple of weeks ago. It’s mid-summer 1974, and Radio Veronica’s Top 10 looks much different from any of the ones in the US. There are a few here I have never heard before, in some cases by bands I’ve never heard of. This should be fun.

  1. Terry Jacks, “If You Go Away” Jacks is best known for his #1 hit and quintessential EBS Special, “Seasons In The Sun.” This was his follow-up, which went to #10 on the Canadian AC chart and #8 in the UK, but failed to reach the Top 40 in the US.
  2. Catapult, “Let Your Hair Hang Down” Never heard of these guys or the song. They were a Dutch Glam-Rock band whose name was suggested by olden Earring’s vocalist Barry Hay. Golden Earring’s hit “Radar Love” was still making its way up the US chart at the time. This made its way all the way to #5 on the Dutch Singles chart.
  3. Hot Chocolate, “Emma” This British soul band was formed by Jamaican lead singer Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, and were a little more influential than I thought: the US band Stories took their “Brother Louie” to #1 in 1973. They had their biggest international hit with “You Sexy Thing” in 1975. This made it to #8 on the Hot 100, and I don’t remember hearing it.
  4. Gerard Cox, “Die Goeie Ouwe Tijd” (“That Good Old Time”) Rotterdam-based Cox is an actor who for fifteen years played the lead character on the Dutch sitcom Toen Was Geluk Heel Gewoon, which Google translates as “When Was Geluk Very Ordinary.” I’m sure that anyone who speaks Dutch can come up with a better translation. (For that matter, I’m sure anyone who doesn’t speak Dutch can come up with a better translation.) Wikipedia tells us that the sitcom was a Dutch adaptation of The Honeymooners.
  5. Hues Corporation, “Rock The Boat” At the same time this song was topping the charts in Chicago for a fourth consecutive week, it was #6 with a bullet on Radio Veronica.
  6. Wings, “Band On The Run” Sir Paul and crew were headed down the charts in the US, but were still rising in Europe.
  7. Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” While this had just reached the Top 20 in the US, it was #4 with a bullet in The Netherlands. Meanwhile in the US, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods’ cover of Paper Lace’s “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” (the subject of a Battle of the Bands a couple of years ago that ended in a tie) was starting its descent down the US chart.
  8. Resonance, “O. K. Chicago” Resonance was basically a French singer named Pierre Bachelet who had a “gentle, romantic voice,” according to Wikipedia, not that you’d know it from this song.
  9. Earth & Fire, “Love Of Life” Never heard of either the band or the song. Earth & Fire (not to be confused with Earth, Wind & Fire, obviously) was “a progressive and symphonic rock band who over time evolved into a pop group,” according to Wikipedia. This reached #2 on the Dutch charts and #20 in Belgium.
  10. The Rubettes, “Sugar Baby Love” As was the case so often during the ’60’s and ’70’s, the hit song came before the band. In this case, it was a group of studio musicians who were brought together by Wayne Bickerton, head of A&R at Polydor Records, and his songwriting partner Tony Waddington, who had written this song and couldn’t sell to anyone. It went to #1 for four weeks in the UK and #37 here in the US.

And there’s your Friday 5×2 for July 27, 2018.

The Friday 5×2: 1974 One-Hit Wonders

1974 was a significant year in my life (I graduated high school and started college) and there was a lot of great music that came out that year. A lot of the songs on the list for that year were songs I hadn’t heard, and Cathy already did many of the ones I had heard in her post, so I only have ten to share this time.

  1. Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room” The pride of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Brownsville Station got considerable airplay on FM, but had just the one Top 40 hit, which reached #3. It was later covered by Motley Crüe.
  2. David Essex, “Rock On” Actor and singer Sir David Essex, OBE has had considerable success in the UK (19 Top 40 singles and 16 albums), so it’s a little surprising that this was his only US hit, which reached #5 in March.
  3. Rick Derringer, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” Rickie Dean Zehringer, a/k/a Rick Derringer, sang “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys in the ’60s and has worked with both Winter brothers, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Steely Dan, and Todd Rundgren. This was from his first solo album, 1973’s All-American Boy, and it peaked at #19.
  4. Sister Janet Mead, “The Lord’s Prayer” Sister Janet was an Australian Sister of Mercy from Adelaide who directed the Rock Masses at Adelaide Cathedral. She had a three-octave voice and perfect pitch, but was very shy and reserved, saying that the year she had her hit record (#3 in Australia, #4 in the US) was one of the hardest of her life.
  5. Sami Jo, “Tell Me A Lie” Country singer Jane Annette Jobe, a/k/a Sami Jo, reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the Easy Listening chart with this sing. Her next single, “It Could Have Been Me,” the title track from her 1974 album, reached #46 on the Hot 100 and #31 on the Easy Listening chart. She never had another hit record.
  6. Bobby Womack, “I’m Looking For A Love” A remake of The Valentinos’ hit from the early ’60s, which Bobby sang as lead singer for them. It’s a secular remake of the gospel song “Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray.” He’s had a long and varied musical career, as you can see here. The J. Geils Band had their first hit with the song in 1972.
  7. Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells” Oldfield’s 1973 album of the same name was essentially two album-side instrumental compositions, edits of which were played on the radio. This particular edit was used as the theme for the movie The Exorcist, and peaked at #11. The full album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Cash Box Albums chart.
  8. Dave Loggins, “Please Come To Boston” The second cousin of Kenny Loggins, Dave was a musician and composer who wrote the song “Pieces of April” for Three Dog Night. His one hit reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
  9. The First Class, “Beach Baby” The First Class was a British studio-based group assembled by producer and composer John Carter. It was sung by session singers Tony Burrows (who I discussed in the 1970 post) and Chas Mills, and peaked at #4 in the US and #13 in the UK.
  10. Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” Scott Joplin wrote “The Entertainer” in 1902, and it was used as the theme song for the 1974 movie The Sting. Hamlisch, of course, is only one of two people to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, a Tony Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in his career (Richard Rodgers is the other). Despite all that, this was his only hit single, reaching #2.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for December 1, 2017.

Monday’s Music Move Me: Grammy Winners from 1974

The theme for this week, “tunes from the Grammys the year you turned 18,” confused me. I turned 18 in 1974; did the person who gave the prompt want songs from the Grammy Awards ceremony held in 1974 (which honored the best records from 1973), or the songs from 1974 that were honored at the Grammy Awards ceremony in 1975? I decided the answer was “yes,” so here are three songs each from both years

From the 1974 Grammy Awards ceremony:

Roberta Flack, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” This won Record of the Year for Roberta Flack and producer Joel Dorn and Song of the Year for Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, who wrote it.

Charlie Rich, “Behind Closed Doors” The Silver Fox took the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male.

Eumir Deodato, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” Deodato took home the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

And from 1975:

Olivia Newton-John, “I Honestly Love You” The lovely Olivia and her producer, John Farrar, took the Grammy for Record of the Year, and this song also won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells (Theme From The Exorcist)” Mike Oldfield won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition. This is only a portion of the full Tubular Bells, which itself is a pretty outstanding record.

Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” Hamlisch was the big winner in 1975, winning with this for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. He also won, with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Song of the Year for “The Way We Were,” again with the Bergmans for Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special for The Way We Were, and took home the trophy for Best New Artist. Way to go, Marvin!

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for April 10, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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