Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (September 20th)

Kicking off this week with three from the '70's ...

First up, the first of TWO KLMS Charts featured this week.

September 20, 1970 finds Ernie's big hit "Rubber Duckie" falling out of the #1 Spot to make way for the latest from Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Lookin' Out My Back Door".  (While "Rubber Duckie" was a Sesame Street staple ... and a fairly successful novelty hit ... it was still an unlikely record to make The Top 40 ... and ESPECIALLY to go all the way to #1!!!  Billboard Magazine recorded its peak at #16.)

My favorite Bobby Sherman record, "Julie Do Ya Love Me", falls to #7, while Michael Nesmith's first big post-Monkees hit "Joanne" leaps thirteen places from #26 to #13!  I've also always liked The Poppy Family's follow up hit to "Which Way You Goin' Billy?", "That's Where I Went Wrong", which would still sound GREAT coming out of your radio today as one of those "WOW Factor" songs, COMPLETELY unexpected and out of left field!  (Ah, if only radio was that creative!!!)

Neat to see Bob Dylan's "instrumental" hit "Wigwam", falling from #12 to #18, right next to Johnny Cash's latest cross-over hit "Sunday Morning Comin' Down" (another Kris Kristofferson tune).

I've always been partial to the Mashmakhan record "As The Years Go By" ... and it's nice to see the Grand Funk Railroad classic "Closer To Home" working its way up the chart (up nine places this week from #37 to #28).  

John Lennon's future back-up group Elephant's Memory is at #34 with their best-known hit, "Mongoose" ... and the incredibly beautiful Linda Ronstadt track "Long Long Time" moves up a notch from #40 to #39.

Jumping ahead to 1973, we find Grand Funk on this Chicagoland chart, too ... they've just vacated the #1 spot with their latest hit, "We're An American Band".  You'll find Bob Dylan back on this chart, too, with his latest, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".

Surprises this week?  A few ... how about "Sweet Charlie Babe" by Jackie Moore at #13.  (I don't think I could hum a line from this one without putting the record on first ... so let's do that!)  This record didn't even make Billboard's Top 40.  And look at that Styx record at #34 from back when they were still on the Wooden Nickel record label!

We've got some early 10cc with "Rubber Bullets", debuting at #42 this week ... followed closely behind by that love-it-or-hate-it Bobby Goldsboro track "Summer (The First Time)".

When it comes to personal favorites, I've got to include the Cross Country track "In The Midnight Hour" ... a slowed down, James Taylor / Crosby, Stills and Nash sounding version of the Wilson Pickett classic, done by Cross Country (who are REALLY The Tokens, sounding a LONG, long way from "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" on this one!)

1974 brings us back to KLMS with this chart, also dated September 20th.

Very little in the way of big surprises on this chart ... although it IS kinda funny to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joni Mitchell and Cheech and Chong falling back-to-back-to-back on the countdown.  (Wonder what THAT sounded like back in '74?!?!)  Let's find out, shall we???

And finally, a step back to 1968 where The Beatles top the chart with "Revolution" ... pretty amazing since this was clearly the B-Side of the record.  (Sliced Apple, remember???)  "Hey Jude", the designated A-Side (that topped Billboard's Chart for nine consecutive weeks) premiers at #17 as an "Extra"  (huh?!?!)

And talk about unusual rankings ... bubblegum was all the rage back in '68 ... so it's not at all surprising to see "Down At Lulu's" by The Ohio Express and "1,2,3 Red Light" by The 1910 Fruitgum Company back-to-back on the chart at #4 and #5 ... but look what follows it at #6!!!  

Making a BIG leap from #13 to #6 this week is Iron Butterfly with their classic "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (which is also the #1 album this week!) And that's the very definition of '60's Radio diversity, my friends ... 'cause up at #2 is "Harper Valley PTA" by Jeannie C. Riley, a country / novelty hit that took the country by storm for a few weeks in '68 (before we all got sick of hearing it!!!)

In fact their Top Ten Albums list this week shows some pretty heavy programming ... besides The Iron Butterfly, they've ranked the latest offerings from Cream, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Steppenwolf ... that's some pretty heavy stuff for a station ranking a couple of Top Five bubblegum hits!!!

Another one I still play all the time is "The Snake" by Al Wilson ... and check this out ... last week we featured a 1968 chart that showed Aretha Franklin's version of "I Say A Little Prayer" at #1 ... and this week on KXOK that record is just first premiering on the chart at #29!  This somewhat "spread out" popularity caused many a hit record to chart far lower than it should have back in the day ... and why records that did VERY well locally and were a big part of your lives growing up often seem to fall short of your memories on the national charts.