Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17, 1971

(click chart to enlarge)

Riding high on the WLS "All Hit Music" Survey this week was Carole King's classic "It's Too Late", which was enjoying its FIFTH week at #1 here in Chicago. In at #2 was ANOTHER Carole King-penned tune, "You've Got A Friend", included in her chart-topping album "Tapestry" and covered with great success by HER friend, James Taylor. Tommy James was enjoying some solo success at #3 with "Draggin' The Line", a song that would move to #1 the following week.

Some of our local talent also made The Top Ten ... Chase was sitting at #5 with their horn-rocker "Get It On". (Sadly, four members of the band would perish in a plane crash three years later.) Although "Get It On" never made Billboard's Top 20, it was a Top Five Smash here in Chicago, where we still hear it from time to time, particularly on Bob Stroud's "Rock And Roll Roots" Radio Program.

The Grass Roots were sitting at #7 with their big hit "Sooner Or Later" ... and a song that they turned down placed three points higher ... although they rejected "Don't Pull Your Love" as being "not hit material", it, in fact, became a HUGE hit for the musical law firm of Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds.

Rounding out The Top Ten was "Funky Nassau" by The Beginning Of The End (talk about your Forgotten Hits ... this one always seemed like a "Tighten Up" rip-off to me for some reason ... but it was a big hit nonetheless) and the recently discussed Forgotten Hits Favorite "Never Ending Song Of Love" by Delaney and Bonnie.

A few surprises? How about "I'm The Only One" by Lobo, in at #11 ... I honestly don't think I could hum this song if I had to ... it was another local hit that didn't do much on the national charts ... in fact, "I'm The Only One" charted in Billboard as the tag-along B-Side to the bigger hit "She Didn't Do Magic" ... and even THAT one stopped at #46.

Despite their TREMENDOUS success in the second half of the '60's ... even giving The Beatles a run for their money at one point and time ... The Monkees did not fare well as solo artists. Only TWO solo releases made The Chicagoland Top 20 ... last year, Mike Nesmith's "Joanne" peaked at #13 here ... and this week in 1971, Davy Jones' only Top 20 solo hit, "Rainy Jane", written by Neil Sedaka, was in at #18 on the WLS chart ... it never rose above #52 in Billboard.

A couple of others worth noting: the very moving Tom Clay narrative reading of "What The World Needs Now Is Love / Abraham, Martin And John" was brand new on the chart at #24, one of my all-time favorite B.J. Thomas songs, "Mighty Clouds Of Joy" debuted one spot below it at #25 and a great, over-looked Tony Orlando and Dawn song, "Summer Sand", was holding down the #13 position.

We'll listen to a few of these today ... and maybe some of the 'LS jocks will get on board and play one or two of these on the air, too!

What The World Needs Now Is Love / Abraham, Martin and John
by Tom Clay

Mighty Clouds Of Joy by B.J. Thomas
(Play THIS one today and I guarantee you you'll get some calls!!!)

Summer Sand by Tony Orlando and Dawn