Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20th

The Strawberry Alarm Clock hold on to the #1 Spot on the Pop Charts this week as "Incense and Peppermints" tops the chart for the second consecutive week.  In hindsight it's the perfect record to wind up the year of psychedelic sights and sounds … The Summer of Love … The Year of Sgt. Pepper … hippies, love-ins, peace, love and make love not war.  

Up a couple of notches to #2 is "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" by The Cowsills, which moves from #4 to #2 this week.  "To Sir With Love" by Lulu holds at #3.  The Monkees continue to make major strides with their latest, "Daydream Believer", which moves from #31 to #5 (after debuting at #68 the week before that!)  Also entering The Top Ten for the first time this week is "I Say A Little Prayer" by Dionne Warwick.  

Other big Top 40 movers this week include "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba (#18 to #13), "Keep The Ball Rollin'" by Jay and the Techniques (#21 to #15), "In And Out Of Love" by Diana Ross and the Supremes (which makes a big leap from #37 to #18), "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips (#27 to #20), "Stag-O-Lee" by Wilson Pickett (#28 to #22), "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" by Victor Lundberg (up 31 places from #57 to #26), "You Better Sit Down Kids" by Cher (#40 to #27), "Wild Honey" by The Beach Boys (#35 to #30), "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (up ten spots from #41 to #31), "She's My Girl" by The Turtles (#42 to #35), "Massachusetts" by The Bee Gees (#54 to #36), "Out Of The Blue" by Tommy James and the Shondells (#43 to #37), "Neon Rainbow" by The Box Tops (#49 to #39) and "Yesterday" by Ray Charles (#52 to #40).  

The #1 Album in the Country is once again "Diana Ross and the Supremes" Greatest Hits.  "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" stands right behind it in the #2 position, which means that out of the 23 weeks this Beatles album has spent on the chart, six weeks have been spent at #2 and fifteen weeks were spent at #1.  

Arlo Guthrie's landmark album "Alice's Restaurant" is released.  It has become a staple of Thanksgiving broadcasting for the past fifty years.  Arlo first premiered the eighteen minute song at The Newport Folk Festival earlier that year … and two years later would star in a (pretty horrible) movie adaptation. 

(This is a "MUST PLAY" every year on Thanksgiving!!!)

Albert Grossman, Janis Joplin’s Manager, approached Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield, former members of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band but now both members of The Electric Flag, about creating a new back-up group for Janis.  This group later became known as The Kozmic Blues Band. 


In hindsight (although I will admit to also being confused by it at the time), I never really understood how Cher got away with her gender-bending performance of "You Better Sit Down Kids".

First of all, it was pretty line-toeing subject matter to tackle in song at the time ... this was, after all, a song about a couple getting divorced ... but it was clearly written from the Dad's point of view.  (Sonny Bono wrote the tune ... but evidently felt his wife Cher could do a far better job of singing it than he could ... which is probably true ... but as such, the lyrics as written really don't make any sense!)  And honestly, I think it may have been even more heartfelt had Sonny tackled the vocal instead.

From start to finish, the storyline is ass-backwards ... yet we loved it enough to propel it all the way to the #8 spot on The National Charts.

After being the Poster Couple for the Beat Hippie Movement of the '60's, Sonny and Cher reinvented themselves in the '70's as a Vegas show act ... Sonny cut his hair, hung up his bear-skin vest and wore a tuxedo while Cher constantly raised eyebrows in her breath-taking Bob Mackie dresses.  This new persona earned them their own highly-rated television series ... and Cher's career was rejuvenated along the way with three more #1 Hits between 1971 and 1973.

The couple divorced for real in 1975.  (Incredibly, they tried to keep the show going despite the well-publicized end of their marriage!)  Each ultimately hosted their own variety show but it just wasn't the same.

Sonny died in 1998 in a skiing accident ... and Cher has had quite a bit of acting success (including a couple of Oscar nominations, with a win for her role in "Moonstruck") as well as done about thirty "farewell tours" over the past few decades.