Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Helping Out Our Readers

>>> Help!  I had a white label 45 in the 70's and lost it in the 90's. Not only can't I find it anywhere, but I can't find anything on it nor anyone who has ever heard of it. Sung by a female, it was on an independent label, and the chorus was "Michael Michael Michael life is but a garbage pail ... " 
It was probably a novelty record, but it was sung straight and serious. The song title had parenthesis and part of it was "The Unexpected ... " something or other. I can't recall the entire title because it was one of those ridiculously long titles that had nothing to do with the lyrics.  Any clues?  Cheers!  (Charles Rosenay)   
The song is "The Unexpected Experience Of Michael D.Tippet In An Unspecified Part Of San Francisco Last July (Michael, Michael, Michael)" from 1969.
Here is a label scan:
– Randy
I'm not familiar with this song and couldn't find it on YouTube ... now that you've seen it, does it ring a bell with you, Charles?  (kk)
Good morning,   I am trying to recall a song from the 60's or 70's that contained the lyrics: "... she's a child of summer, and she's mine, all mine ..."
Please help an old man's memory.
This one's not clicking with me ... anybody?  (kk)
Kent ...
I was listening to Scott's Sunday show.  He said that only once in music history, both the A & B side went to #1. It was Elvis = 1956, A-side "Don't Be Cruel" / B-side "Hound Dog."  I guess the Beatles never did it.
Frank B.
I would have to say that that's MOSTLY true ... if you consider only the era when Billboard Magazine charted both sides of the same record separately.  (Roughly 1955 - 1969)
Quite honestly, I never really understood how they accurately determined which side of a record people went into the record store to buy since it was the same 45.  For example, did you go into the record store to buy "Travelin' Man" (#1 in Billboard) or the B-Side "Hello, Mary Lou" (#1 in Chicago ... but only #9 in Billboard) ... or simply reap the benefit of getting BOTH incredible tunes for 99-cents back in the day?  How on earth would the record store owner know how to distinguish sales or popularity of one from the other when reporting their record sales to Billboard that week?
The Brooklyn Bridge tell a story in concert that in 1969 their record company (Buddah Records) got the great idea that as their current hit ("Blessed Is The Rain") was starting to fall down the charts, they'd start pushing the flipside ("Welcome Me Love") to see if they could extend the life of the record before the group had a chance to record their follow-up release.
The experiment worked ... "Blessed Is The Rain" reached #45 and two months later "Welcome Me Love" peaked at #48.  In fact, for a couple of weeks, the two-sided hit competed with itself on the chart!  (That's not the first time that happened, potentially hurting the record in the process due to the confusion of the buyer OR the statistician responsible for determining that week's chart ranking!  Several people out there believe that many two-sided hits actually HURT the artist's chart performance because, in effect, they were "splitting the vote" with their fans ... whereas a big push to a dedicated A-Side probably insured a bigger hit overall.)
As they tell it, in the case of the Brooklyn Bridge record, when all the final sales were tabulated ... and all the dust had settled ... it turned out that BOTH sides of this record sold EXACTLY the same number of copies.  (How could it not?!?!  They were both pressed as one piece of vinyl!!!)  lol
Other artists have enjoyed similar experiences ... The Guess Who followed their smash "Laughing" up the chart with its B-Side, "Undun", which has proven to probably be the more popular of the two tracks today with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (and extensive airplay over the years for this very popular flip.)  Original B-Sides like "Black Water" by The Doobie Brothers and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones" both enjoyed tremendous chart success and popularity when they were re-released later as A-Sides ... after first being stuck on the flipside of "Another Park, Another Sunday" and "Honky Tonk Women" (respectively), at which time they went virtually ignored.
As for your original question ... (yes, I DO have a tendency to over-elaborated these points!!!) ... in late 1969, Billboard switched their policy of charting each side of the same record as independent hits and instead began showing both sides of the same record at a "shared position" ... in many cases this was a HUGE misrepresentation of reality ... nobody will EVER convince me, for example, that an equal number of people went into the record store to purchase The Beatles' "For You Blue" instead of the A-Side, "The Long And Winding Road", thus allowing "For You Blue" to "equally contribute" to this record reaching #1.)
However this would NOT be the case with The Beatles' two-sided hit "Come Together" / "Something", which I would ABSOLUTELY consider to be a Double A-Sided #1 Record.  In fact, "Something" was printed on the Green Apple (A-Side) of the 45 while "Come Together" was denoted as the B-Side (sliced apple).  Even The Beatles themselves celebrated the fact that George Harrison had finally composed, earned and recorded his very first A-Side Single.
Billboard defined their method of determining which title was listed first, stating that it was based on the song currently receiving the most airplay at the time.  So for the lone week this Beatles single sat on top of Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart, "Come Together" was listed first, ahead of the ACTUAL A-Side, "Something".
But if that's STILL not enough to convince Scott to modify his findings, then THIS one should do it hands down.
Frank, you mentioned hearing this two-sided hit #1 tidbit on Scott's new, syndicated program "America's Greatest Hits" ... which seems to focus primarily on the music of '70's and '80's these days ... and even dips its big toe into the '90's (shudder!) from time to time ... but rarely explores the '60's and, virtually NEVER acknowledges the '50's (which is why I was so surprised to hear about his Elvis comment above)This being the case, he certainly cannot deny the chart history THIS mega #1-Hit from 1997.
That's the year that Elton John hit the #1 Spot for 14 incredible weeks with his two-sided hit "Candle In The Wind, 1997" / "Something About The Way You Look Tonight". 
The A-Side, of course, was the reworking of his popular "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" track from 1973, now sporting new, updated lyrics dedicated to Princess Diana, who had recently died in that horrific car crash a few months earlier that year.  (Elton even performed the song with its new lyrics at Princess Di's funeral.)
For the first three weeks of its 14-week #1 chart run, "Candle" was shown as the A-Side #1 ... but for the remaining eleven weeks on top, it was "Something About The Way You Look Tonight" that held the lead position.  That incredible fourteen week run even trumps Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog" run of eleven weeks as a two-sided #1 hit back in 1956.  (Who knows ... maybe he'll amend his original comment and acknowledge our findings on an upcoming show!)
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits
By the way ... several years ago, with the help of Randy Price, who put together The Super Charts, calculating the COMBINED chart positions of EVERY hit record, utilizing information gathered through all of the available, multiple sources used by the three major music trades at the time (Billboard, Cash Box and Record World) to tabulate their own charts, we mathematically calculated The Top 200 Biggest Two-Sided Hits Of All-Time and posted the results list on our website.  This list was determined by the COMBINED POINTS earned for BOTH sides of the same record ... which meant that a record like "Hey Jude" (which topped Billboard's Chart for nine weeks) actually finished below another Beatles Hit because the flipside "Revolution" only peaked at #11.  (And, because we only used mathematical statistics collected at the time in order to develop this ranking, it is free of any personal bias ... or benefit of hindsight ... that might otherwise impact how popular many of these records have remained over the ensuing years.)
Our final chart covered the years 1955 - 1979 ... the first 25 Years of Rock And Roll ... and, as such, doesn't take the 1997 Elton John record into consideration.
However, you MIGHT be surprised to see that The Top Three Records on this list are none other than "Travelin' Man" / "Hello, Mary Lou" by Rick Nelson (#3), "Come Together" / "Something" (#2) by The Beatles and "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley (#1)!!!  (Now, what are the odds?!?!?)
You can check out the whole list here: