Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Saturday Surveys

Our special 2014 series draws to a close this week with this final batch of charts.

Very special thanks again to Clark Besch, who supplied the lion's share of surveys featured this past year ... it made for a nice weekend diversion.  (Beginning on January 5th, we're going to launch a brand new weekly feature that will combine both our 50 Years Ago This Weekend series with The Saturday Surveys ... rather than concentrate solely on The British Invasion acts that occupied the charts, this will be more of a weekly overview of music in generous, featuring charts from all over the USA with a few surprises thrown in.  We hope you will join us every Monday for this brand new feature.)


Check out this Miami / WFUN Chart from the last week of 1964.  Petula Clark leads us into 1965 with her first U.S. Hit "Downtown".  (This one wouldn't top The Billboard Chart until January 23rd, nearly a full month later!)

Marianne Faithfull sits at #2 with "As Tears Go By", a record that never climbed any higher than #22 on the Billboard chart.  You'll also find The Bachelors at #3 with "I Wouldn't Trade Your For The World" ... (they've also got this week's Pick Hit / Fun Discovery) ... and "Roses Are Red, My Love" by The You Know Who Group at #4 ... as well as the COMPLETELY unfamiliar "The Hero" by Bernadette Carroll at #5!  (All of these before you hit The Beatles at #6 with "I Feel Fine", a song that seemed to top the charts this week everywhere ELSE but Miami!!!  lol)

A couple of neat novelty hits in The Top Ten ... "Leader Of The Laundromat" by The Detergents (featuring our FH Buddy Ron Dante) ... and "I Want My Baby Back" by Jimmy Cross ... a rather macabre tale probably most famous for mentioning The Beatles in the lyrics ... it was a staple on Dr. Demento's Program for YEARS ... and a complete flop on the charts nationally, peaking at #92 in Billboard ... but a Top Ten Hit here in Miami!

John Records Landecker is pictured on this WLS Chart from December 27, 1980 ... his biography is still "highly recommended reading" for anyone who grow up listening to his program in the '70's.

John Lennon's got the #1 song with his "comeback hit" "Starting Over" ... this chart was published about three weeks after Lennon was murdered outside his Dakota Home in New York City.  We had a huge local hit here with "This Beat Goes On" / "Switchin' To Glide" by The Kings ... "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors was also VERY big here in Chicago ... and these were all amongst my late 1980 favorites.  I also liked the Eddie Rabbit hit "Drivin' My Life Away" ... and when's the last time you heard the Doobie Brothers debut at #45, "One Step Closer"???

Check out the LP Cuts featured on this WAPE List from 1971 ... "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin would eventually be released as a single ... but the Wings version of "Love Is Strange" never got that far.  (Too bad ... it probably would have been a hit!)

Despite these heavy sounds ... you'll also find Sly and the Family Stone, Dennis Coffey (misspelled along with at least half a dozen other artists and / or song titles), Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Rare Earth and Lee Michaels ... it's The New Seekers who you'll find holding down the #2 position this week with their Coca Cola Commercial Hit "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing".

Here's a station that was light years ahead of its time ... WRKO  bragged about being "Your Automated All Music Station" from 9 am - Midnight in 1966 ... today you're lucky to find a live "jock" in the studio in virtually ANY city in the USA!!!

Check out the Forgotten Hits Favorite at #2 this week ... EVERY time we've ever had a discussion about the Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich hit "Bend It", we strike a nerve with readers from coast to coast ... yet somehow this record NEVER made Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.  EVERYBODY knows it ... EVERYBODY loves it ... and the best it could do was "bubble under" at #110.  (That's one I've NEVER understood!!!)

Illinois Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen is also on this 1966 chart ... we're giving "Gallant Men" a spin ... because this is one you may NEVER hear anywhere else again!!!  (After the success of this record, comedian Bill Minkin cut the novelty hit "Wild Thing" as Senator Bobby, another cult-favorite.  Senator Bobby and Senator McKinley even had a follow-up "hit" with their version of Donovan's "Mellow Yellow".  (It peaked at #99 in its only week on the Billboard Chart!)  You'll find the Donovan original version of the classic '60's hit at #13 on this WRKO Chart.  (And yes, that IS Paul McCartney whooping it up in the background.  Story goes that Donovan gave Paul the line "sky of blue, sea of green" to use in "Yellow Submarine" ... so Paul paid back the favor by joining Donovan in the studio for his next big hit record!)

One more before we wrap things up this year ...

This WSAI Chart from Cincinnati (circa 1970) features another one of our FH Buddies, Don Young (we know him as Donny Albano) with his One-Hit Wonder "She Lets Her Hair Down".  (This song came from a shampoo commercial that has proven to be VERY popular with our Forgotten Hits Readers over the years ... I can't tell you how many times this topic has come up in these pages!!!)  Don jumps from #20 to #5 this week ... so (by Cincinnati standards anyway), he's got a major hit on his hands!

We recently featured "Fancy" by Bobbie Gentry ... and told you that this is always a GREAT one for our "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot" feature.  Well, right ahead of it on this week's chart is "Early In The Morning" by Vanity Fare ... ANOTHER one that fits the bill of "One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot" when you pair it with their mega-hit "Hitchin' A Ride"!

You'll also find the recently-discussed Wilbert Harrison version of "Let's Work Together" on this chart at #24 ... and Crow at #26 with "Evil Woman", another Forgotten Hits favorite!