Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (April 12th)

We WAY overdid it last week ... SEVEN Charts in all!!!  But there was just SO much GREAT music to choose from.

This week we work our way back to a little bit closer to normal ... with FIVE charts covering this date from the '60s and '70's.

First up ...

KLIF out of Dallas / Fort Worth decided to take the easy way out when it came to programming Beatles music ... rather than list as many as a dozen different songs by The Fab Four, they just lumped them ALL together and called their #1 Hit "All Beatle Records"!!! (lol)

In hindsight, it may have been the fairest way to handle it ... at least this gave 40 spots to all the other artists out there making records at the time!  (In fact, tying for the #1 spot was "Suspicion" by Terry Stafford, a record that never officially reached the summit in Billboard ... but DID top the charts on any number of Spring, 1964 charts I've seen over the years ... including those here in Chicago.)

You'll find a few more country tracks on this list than some others ... but this was, after all, Texas.  (Young Frannie grew up listening to this station when she was a little girl!)  Another favorite of mine (with a pedal steel guitar no less) is Pete Drake's version of "Forever".  (Just listen to how he makes that guitar "sing"!!!)

Jumping ahead ten years to 1974, we find a chart from WDUZ out of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Their main chart was down to just 14 positions.  (WLS did virtually the same thing right around this time.)

Instead, to better explore their play list, they simply listed the other tracks they were playing as "Hit Bound".

Three solo Beatle tracks are featured on this week's chart from 1974 ... these include the #1 Record in Green Bay by Ringo Starr with "Oh My My" and Paul McCartney, who is climbing the chart with his two latest hits, "Jet" and "Band On The Run".

It's some of the Hit Bound tracks that I find most interesting.  Chicago's New Colony Six make the list with "Never Be Lonely", a record that never charted here in Chicago.

They're also charting "Daybreak" by Nilsson, "Dance With The Devil" by Cozy Powell, "A Dream Goes On Forever" by Todd Rundgren and "Tell Me A Lie" by Sami Jo, records you didn't typically see on most Top 40 Charts at the time.

I also see another 1974 favorite of mine ... "Virginia" by Canadian Bill Amesbury, a record that only charted here in Chicago on the WCFL weekly survey ... WLS didn't play this record.  Amesbury became more famous for what he did AFTER his record hit the charts than for his biggest hit.  Bill had a very publicized sex change operation that had tongues a-waggin' for quite some time!  (Guess that sort of makes him the Bruce Jenner of his day, eh???  Of course Bill never made the Wheaties box ... but just the same!)

Jumping back to 1967, we move on to Toledo's WTTO ... where we find The Five Americans on top of the chart with their '60's classic "Western Union".

Some rare stuff here in The Top Ten ... At first I had to assume that this must be local talent ... but "Story Of My Life" by The Unrelated Segments is actually a Taylor, Michigan band ... and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" by Terry Knight, also comes from Michigan ... Flint this time. After a couple of minor hits of his own, Terry would go on to manage Grand Funk Railroad.

And check out The Monkees ... Monkeemania has definitely hit the Toledo, Ohio area ... The Pre-Fab Four are at #2 with their two-sided hit "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" / The Girl I Knew Somewhere", at #10 with the mis-spelled "Valerie" ("Valleri"), a record that wouldn't REALLY come out as a single for a full year ... (they must have been playing the version used on their TV Show at the time, much as WCFL did here in Chicago at the time) and "She Hangs Out" (called here "She Hangs On"), which I can only assume was the R&B version that was released as the B-Side to their "A Little Bit Me" single up in Canada for a short time before it was pulled off the market.  The Micky Dolenz (spelled "Mickey") solo hit "Don't Do It" is also on the charts.

In the era before spell-check, you'll also find The New COLONEY Six at #27 with "You're Gonna Be Mine", AGATHA Franklin (I think she was the Queen of SOLE) at #29 with "I Never Loved A Man", "Oh No That's Bad" by Sam The Sham (actually, "Oh That's Good, No That's Bad"), "Creeque Alley" (missing an "e') by The Mamas and the Papas and "Girl, You'll Be A WOMEN Soon" by Neil Diamond, perhaps an early investigation into cloning.  (Incredibly, they managed to spell GARFUNKEL correctly!!!  Oh wait ... no they didn't!!!!)  They've also listed "Sayin' Somethin' Stupid" by Frank and Nancy (Sinatra) and COMPLETELY destroyed the Every Mothers' Son title "Come And Take A Ride In My Boat", charting here three full weeks before it would premier in Billboard.

Bobby Darin's "The Lady Comes From Baltimore" in The Top Ten is a surprise.  So's a solo hit by Keith Allison, an obscure track by Sopwith Camel and "Matthew And Son" by a then very young (and COMPLETELY unknown) Cat Stevens!  (Man, I love lookin' at these old charts, don't you?!?!?)

Reaching back to 1962, we find some GREAT classics that don't receive any airplay anymore ... "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares, this week's #1 Hit (you'll also find Shelley's "Donna Reed Show" co-star Paul Petersen at #19 with his current hit "She Can't Find Her Keys") ... "Stranger On The Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk, "Midnight In Moscow" by Kenny Ball and "Love Letters" by Ketty Lester can all be found in this week's Top 15 Tracks.

A few surprises  here ... "King Of Clowns" by Neil Sedaka at #7 (it peaked at #45 on the Billboard Chart), "La Paloma Twist" shown as the A-Side of the Chubby Checker record "Slow Twistin'" (nationally it only charted for two weeks and stalled at #72) and "Ginny Come Lately" in The Top Ten ... it never climbed higher than #21 in Billboard.  Boy, it seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?

KEYN (out of Wichita, Kansas) certainly went their own way in 1969.  While tracks like "Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In", "Hair", "These Eyes", "Galveston", "Sweet Cherry Wine", "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show" and "Time Is Tight" were tearing up the charts everywhere else around the country, THESE guys had "Did You See Her Eyes" by The Illusion, "Morning Girl" by Neon Philharmonic, "First Of May" by The Bee Gees and "Playgirl" by Thee Prophets at the top of their chart!

Other big unusual hits included "When You Dance" by Jay and the Americans, "The Early Bird Cafe" (apparently an album track by The Serfs), "Sorry Suzanne" by The Hollies, "Apricot Brandy" by Rhinoceros and "Hunky Funky" by Chicago's own American Breed ... wow, what an eclectic countdown!  (I've got to tell you, though, that's it's pretty cool to see "Baby Driver" charting as a B-Side for Simon and Garfunkel!)