Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crunching The Numbers

No, it’s not about math…

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My latest series on Two for Tuesday, “High School Days,” features artists and songs that were popular when I was in high school. Naturally, I had to find some way to figure out which songs and artists were popular, so I went to Wikipedia and got the data on all the songs that reached the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 weekly survey for each year I was in high school (started in 1970, graduated in 1974). I then limited the list to just the songs that entered the top ten from the time I graduated from grammar school (June 6, 1970) to when I started college (September 16, 1974).

I finally finished it this past Thursday and started to analyze the data, figuring out which artists had the most Top Ten Singles and the greatest number of weeks in the Top Ten. Here are the top five Top Ten artists by total number of weeks in the Top Ten for the period from 6/6/70 to 9/16/74.

#5: Tony Orlando & Dawn I originally thought Chicago, with 34 weeks in the Top Ten, was #5, then I realized that Tony Orlando & Dawn were credited both as “Dawn” and “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando.” Adding those two together gave them 36 weeks in the Top Ten, making them #5. “Knock Three Times” entered the Top Ten just before Christmas 1970 and spent eleven weeks there, eventually reaching #1.

#4: The Jackson 5 With six hits in the Top Ten totaling 43 weeks, Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon come in at #4. Eleven of those weeks represent “I’ll Be There,” which reached the Top Ten in October 1970, peaking at #1.

#2 (tie): Elton John We have a tie for #2, one of them being Elton John, with eight songs totaling 47 weeks in the Top Ten. “Crocodile Rock” entered the Top Ten in January 1973 and was there for nine weeks, peaking at #1.

#2 (tie): Three Dog Night I don’t have to tell you that Three Dog Night, for me, represented my high school years. Eight Top Ten hits in that period for a total of 47 weeks. Eleven of those weeks were for “Joy To The World,” which reached the Top Ten in April 1971 and reached #1.

#1: The Carpenters By far the leader in the Top Ten Derby, Karen and Richard far outpaced everyone, spending 71 weeks in the Top Ten. Their ten songs over the period are tied with Chicago. Interestingly, only two songs reached #1, “We’ve Only Just Begun” in 1970 and “Top Of The World” in 1973. My favorite of their ten songs is “Superstar,” which hit the Top Ten in September 1971 and spent eight weeks there, peaking at #2.

Just a couple more things: Paul McCartney, as himself, Paul and Linda McCartney, and Paul McCartney and Wings, had eight songs in the Top Ten totaling 40 weeks, so he would be #5 on this list, but I kept his work with Wings (six songs, 28 weeks) separate. If you combined the solo work of the four Beatles, you’d end up with seventeen songs (eight by Paul, five by Ringo, three by George, and one by John) and 90 weeks (40 by Paul, 18 by George, six by John, and 26 by Ringo). So The Fab Four were still a force the first four years after their breakup.

Be sure to join me on Two for Tuesday each week for the artists that provided the soundtrack of my high school years. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 20, 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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Top Ten From WCFL, June 20, 1968

I had no luck with any of the prompts from Mama Kat this week, amnd thought, it’s been a while since I did a Thursday Ten… This just leapt out of my Facebook feed (where I always go when I’m really stuck for a topic). The person who posted it said that it was what we were listening to on this date in 1968, but the actual survey date is June 20, which was the Thursday of that week, making June 16 the Sunday… well, whatever. What I can tell you is this was Mom’s last week of school that year, which meant one week until she was around to supervise us (or, to put it another way, our last week of total anarchy, at least until 3:30 PM when she got home, that year).

Anyway, here’s the Top Ten from WCFL that week.

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#10: Master Jack – 4 Jacks and a Jill This was headed back down the chart this week; it had been #8 the week before.

#9: How’d We Ever Get This Way – Andy Kim Its second week at #9.

#8: Like To Get To Know You – Spanky and Our Gang A semi-psychedelic tune from Chicago’s Spanky and Our Gang. (The other half of the semi was “easy listening.”) Down from #6 the week before.

#7: Macarthur Park – Richard Harris Who else thinks of Dave Thomas doing his impression of Richard Harris on “Mel’s Rock Pile” on SCTV? Here it is, in all its seven-minute glory. This was up from #10 the week before.

#6: Reach Out Of The Darkness – Friend & Lover One of those “peace, love, and understanding” songs from the late Sixties. I remember watching a White Sox doubleheader, and Friend & Lover appeared between games. You could hear them wailing this one during the interview. Thankfully, WFLD cut to a Meister Brau commercial halfway through. Down from #4 this week.

#5: Angel In The Morning – Merrilee Rush Up from #7 this week, a beautiful tune by a lovely singer. I was at the first Summerfest in Milwaukee, and saw a comedy duo singing this song. When they got to the line “Just touch my cheeks before you leave,” one of them grabbed his rear end, and it changed how I heard this song forever.

#4: I Love You – People This is the “long” version, with a full minute of psychedelia leading into the tune. Most radio stations cut that minute out because the song was “too long,” but for some reason they played all seven minutes of “Macarthur Park.” Up from #5 the week before.

#3: Yummy, Yummy, Yummy – The Ohio Express Most of us could have gone the rest of our lives without hearing this one again, but it was still high on the charts in Chicago this week. It was down from #2.

#2: Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel S&G were a veritable hit machine in the late Sixties, and this was helped by the popularity of The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. This swapped places with “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” this week.

#1: This Guy’s In Love With You – Herb Alpert Herb Alpert was a force to be reckoned with. This was its second week at #1; it stayed at #1 until July 11, when it was knocked all the way to #5 by “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones, which wasn’t even on the survey this week.

Hope you enjoyed this look back into what we were listening to in the late Sixties. Did I play your favorite song from the period?

That’s the Thursday Ten for June 16, 2016.