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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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February 20th, 2015


THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

February 22, 1964

HOT 100

TOP 10 SINGLES

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘64:

 

No. 10 (LW 21) “NAVY BLUE”

Diane Renay 20th Century456

No. 9 (LW 10) “WHAT KIND OF FOOL (Do You Think I Am)”

The Tams ABC-PARAMOUNT10502

No. 8 (LW 14) “CALIFORNIA SUN”  

The Rivieras RIVIERA1401

No. 7 (LW 4) “HEY LITTLE COBRA” 

The Rip Cords COLUMBIA42921

No. 6 (LW 5) “UM, UM, UM, UM, UM, UM”

Major Lance OKEY7187

No. 5 (LW 9) “JAVA”

Al Hirt RCA VICTOR8280

No. 4 (LW 2) “YOU DON’T OWN ME”  

Leslie Gore MERCURY72206

No. 3 (LW 11) “DAWN (Go Away)” 

The 4 Seasons PHILIPS40166

No. 2 (LW 3) “SHE LOVES YOU” 

The Beatles SWAN4152

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND”

The Beatles

CAPITOL RECORDS5112

The American single (like most of the Beatles’ early recordings) “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was put to tape in the giant Studio 2 at the Abbey Road Studios of EMI on October 17, 1963, intended as single for U.K release; but it was used as the main attraction and opening track on the U.S. LP Meet The Beatles. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the first four track recording they were able to release, as the London studio only had three-track tape machines when they first started recording in 1962 through most of ’63. The group had made a conscious decision to not include singles on their albums, thinking people already had the single. In America, Capitol (the EMI/Parlophone subsidiary) didn’t care.

The B side of the 45 in America was “I Saw Her Standing There” (your Biggest Jay’s favorite early Beatles song to this day) recorded during the one-day session on February 11, 1963 for their first album Please Please Me. The British 45’s B side was “This Boy” recorded the same day as “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on October 23, 1963. “This Boy” was also included on Meet The Beatles in America; but all three tunes did not appear on their new British album With The Beatles. Because a Washington, D.C. radio station began playing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” before its official release, Capitol finally realized they had better get this song on the market—fast. They used other companies pressing plants, producing discs 24 hours a day for both that single and the LP. Vee-Jay Records out of Chicago and Swan Records based in Philadelphia had first dibbs at the American market for early Beatles recordings, but they had little national success in ‘63. That was changing rapidly as you can see on the Hot 100 Singles chart above, including this week’s No. 2 song on Swan, “She Loves You” soon to be No. 1. It had to first knock off “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (taking several survey-periods to accomplish) which, this week in ’64, was in the fourth of an ultimate seven seven-day cycles as the prime 45 RPM in the U.S.A. 


EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘64

No.1

EASY LISTENING

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 5)


“JAVA”

Al (He’s The King) Hirt

Trumpet with Chorus and Orchestra)

RCA VICTOR RECORDS – 8280

“Java,” an instrumental (with a chorus) track from Al (He’s The King) Hirt—as it said the label of this RCA Victor Records release—ruled the roost on the Easy Listening Singles chart this week in ’64. Hirt had previously toured with the Dorsey Brothers and had his own combo with clarinet player Pete Fountain. This was the first of four eventual weeks at the zenith of that listing for “Java” during this survey-period in ’64. Born and raised in New Orleans, Al (Alois Maxwell) Hirt was a Jazz trumpeter (who got his first horn at the age of six) recorded “Java” written by New Orleans legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Allen Toussaint, along with guys named Alvin Tyler and Freddy Friday. Country sensation guitarist/producer Chet Atkins produced the 1:55 long song with Steve Sholes; who was the guy that signed Elvis Presley to RCA Victor in 1955. Sholes died in ’68, just a few years after “Java” was a hit. Chet Atkins passed in 2001. Here’s the big guy on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Toussaint had recorded the song as a piano-based instrumental himself in 1958. Here’s Toussaint’s version of “Java” to get an idea of his original take the way he heard it. 

Note how these tracks (recorded six years apart) are quite similar, except for the piano lead instead of trumpet. Al Hirt’s “Java” won a Grammy® for Best Performance by an Orchestra or Instrumentalist with Orchestra. The track was highlighted on Hirt’s LP Honey In The Horn. The song reached No. 4 on the Hot 100. Born Alois Maxwell Hirt in 1922, his nicknames included “The Round Mound Of Sound” and “Jumbo” due to his size. Hirt died in New Orleans in 1999.

 

**NOTE:

There was no HOT R&B SIDES Chart this week in ‘64, as Billboard Magazine stopped reporting this listing from November of ’63 through January of ’65. In its place, I have chosen the Cashbox Magazine R&B Singles chart to portray the biggest R&B single this week in ’64.

 

CASHBOX

TOP 50

IN R&B LOCATIONS CHART


THIS WEEK IN ‘64

No. 1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“WHAT KIND OF FOOL

(Do You Think I Am)

The Tams


ABC-PARAMOUNT RECORDS – 10502

Due to Billboard not publishing an R&B singles chart at this time, Cashbox Magazine continued to dispense a listing of R&B records called simply the Top 50 in R&B Locations. This week, the Tams were No. 1 with “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” on the ABC-Paramount Records label. The vocal group (based in Atlanta, Georgia) was enjoying the biggest Pop chart-hit in their careers during this; their second of three back-to-back weeks in the top spot of the Cashbox Top 50 in R&B Locations register. It also peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The song (written by Ray Whitley) went as high as No. 6 on the WABC All American Survey, and got to No. 4 on the WMCA Good Guy Survey here in the New York area. Their sound would later be a mainstay in the “Beach Music” scene in the Carolinas. Here’s the Tams’ highest charting song, “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” a huge record in New York, that (speculating on my part) could have risen even higher on the charts had it not been for the Beatles two initial American monster hits and “Dawn (Go Away)” by the 4 Seasons.

The Tams first recorded on the Philadelphia-based Swan Records, most well known for artists like Freddy “Boom-Boom” Cannon and some group named the Beatles with their ONE release on the label: “She Loves You.” Another perennial Beach Music fave from the Tams is 1968’s “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” released on ABC Records, reaching No. 61 on the Hot 100, but an important song to this day in the Mid-Atlantic states. The Tams’ website claims that 45 RPM was certified a million-selling record, which cannot be verified by your Big Jay’s reliable sources. That song was co-written by Ray Whitley and J. R. Cobb, a then current (in ’68) member of the Classics IV (co-writer of “Spooky” and “Stormy” among others) and later in Atlanta Rhythm Section. Because I love this recording, here’s “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy” by the Tams. If you’ve never heard this one, I think you’ll like it.

In 1986 the Tams received the enviable award and designation “Beach Band of the Decade”, at the Beach Music Awards. In 1988, The Tams were highlighted as the Outstanding Black Musical Group by the Atlanta Black History Awards. In 1992, The Tams were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Lead singer Joseph Pope died in 1996. His brother and co-founding member Charles is still going strong with the Tams. Sadly, Ray Whitley, the songwriter of “What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” died while living in a homeless shelter in Gainesville, Georgia in 2013.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

February 22, 1964



TOP LPs

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘64:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

MEET

THE BEATLES

The Beatles

CAPITOL RECORDS2047

The “Fab Four” was becoming a phenomenon very quickly since their first HIT release in America just weeks ago in ’64, and recently, it was the 51st anniversary of the Ed Sullivan Show appearance by the Beatles on February 9, 1964. They performed three days later at Carnegie Hall in NYC, brought to America by promoter/impresario Sid Bernstein. Anyone who was around then either loved them or hated them; but most Americans had been exposed to something about these four guys on TV, radio or magazine and newspaper stories. Top 40 Pop music stations had a field day with this new “thing” from Liverpool. Where? Somewhere in England, I think. The new album Meet The Beatles was on top of the U.S LP chart this week in ‘64; first reaching that position on the February 15th issue date; making this the second of what would become an 11-week run at the pinnacle of the Top LP’s chart in ‘64. This was a different record than what truly was their second album in the U.K. on Parlophone (EMI) Records. Though it included some of the tracks on the British version of With The Beatles, many of the songs would show up on the U.S. only LP The Beatles 2nd Album later in ’64. That album would replace Meet The Beatles on the top of the LP chart. The group began recording songs that would appear on Meet The Beatles a year prior; ending with their last session for this set on October 23rd. The long span was because Capitol Records (the EMI’s U.S. subsidiary label) had taken songs from their first U.K. LP and tunes from their latest album to piece together on a record that lasted just 29 minutes! While much attention was given to the A side of the single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” it was the B side (for North American audiences) that grabbed my ear. Here’s the always satisfying “I Saw Her Standing There.” This clip is a pieced-together piece from various performances. It’s quite Fab.

“I Saw Her Standing There” had been recorded during the one-day session on February 11, 1963 for their first album Please Please Me. So for the Beatles, this was an “old” song for the group. The U.K.’s 45’s B side of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was “This Boy” recorded the same day as the monster hit on October 23, 1963. “This Boy” was also included on Meet The Beatles in America; but all three tunes did NOT appear on their new British album With The Beatles. Because a Washington, D.C. radio star Carroll James on WWDC-AM began playing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” before its official release, Capitol finally realized they had better get the recording on the market—fast. They used other companies pressing plants, producing discs 24 hours a day for both that single and the LP. Vee-Jay Records out of Chicago and Swan Records based in Philadelphia had first dibs at the American market for early Beatles recordings, but they had little national success in ‘63. They did cash-in on some of their early tracks, but without the rights to new product landing in Capitol’s lap instead, Vee-Jay and Swan Records both because an asterisk in history for Beatles vinyl. But with Meet The Beatles, there was no denying Beatlemania was in full swing. By the end of ’64, Capitol gained all rights to their recordings (except the Soundtrack album to the film A Hard Day’s Night which remained in the hands of United Artists Records in America) but later used the songs from the film (and other filler) on a future LP called Something New. The iconic picture on the front cover of Meet The Beatles was taken by former newspaper photo-journalist Robert Freeman. It’s been written by author Philip Norman that Freeman’s then wife, model Sonny Drane, began having a lengthy affair with John Lennon while he was married to Cynthia Lennon. Drane told Norman that she was the inspiration for the 1965 song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).”

 

**NOTE:

There was NO Hot R&B LPs chart during this period from Billboard, nor did Cashbox show a separate R&B LP list at this time. If anyone has copies of Record World’s R&B album charts, please get in touch with me at BigJay@BigJaySorensen.com

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

February 28, 1970


HOT 100

TOP 10 SINGLES

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘70:

No. 10 (LW 9) “VENUS”

The Shocking Blue COLOSSUS108

No. 9 (LW 10) “RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA”

Brook Benton COTILLION44057

No. 8 (LW 7) “RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD”  

B. J. Thomas SCEPTER12265

No. 7 (LW 8) “PSYCHEDELIC SHACK” 

The Temptations GORDY7096

No. 6 (LW 14) “MA BELLE AMIE”

The Tee Set COLOSUSS107

No. 5 (LW 6) “NO TIME”

The Guess Who RCA VICTOR0300

No. 4 (LW 2) “HEY THERE LONELY GIRL”

Eddie Holman ABC11240

No. 3 (LW 5) “TRAVELIN’ BAND” /

“WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN”

Creedence Clearwater Revival FANTASY637

No. 2 (LW 1) “THANK YOU (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” 

Sly & the Family Stone EPIC5-10555

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

 

“BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER”


Simon & Garfunkel

KEYBOARD: Larry Knechtel

COLUMBIA RECORDS45944

Replacing “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” from Sly & the Family Stone (after two weeks on top of the Hot 100 Singles chart) was the monumental Columbia Records single “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from Simon & Garfunkel. Paul Simon could have sung the tune that he composed, but wisely let the saintly, yet soaring voice of Art Garfunkel be used to its fullest. Garfunkel once told me during an interview that he has always been grateful for that. It was Arty who pushed Pauly and producer Ray Halee (with Simon and Garfunkel listed as co-producers) to lengthen the song and add rumbling reverberated percussion; leading to an enormously powerfully-built ending. Prominent on the recording was the piano playing of Larry Knechtel, who is reported to have practiced for days to get his part right. In fact, on some pressings of the 45 RPM, he was given credit (with smaller letters) on the left-side of the label right under the moniker Simon & Garfunkel. Here’s the re-mastered mix of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with much of the previously heard ‘hiss’ finally missing and a bit of the percussion absent as well.

Paul Simon had been listening to Gospel music when he got the idea to write a song like this one, but nothing specific prompted him to pen the tune. The rest of the musicians on this track (and the whole LP also called Bridge Over Troubled Water) included select members of the so-called “Wrecking Crew”—the ace team holding court on hundreds of hit songs recorded in Los Angeles over the prior 10 years. Knechtel received a Grammy® for his piano arrangement on the recording. This was the 45’s first of six week as the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart.


TOP 40

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘70

 

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

“BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER”

Simon & Garfunkel

KEYBOARD: Larry Knechtel

COLUMBIA RECORDS45944

Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” single followed the exact trajectory on the Top 40 Easy Listening Singles chart as it did on the Hot 100. (**See above.) This was the first of six uninterrupted seven-day survey-periods as the leader of the Easy Listening Singles list this week in 1970. A total of six Grammy® Awards were given to the single and the album it was on.

 

BEST SELLING SOUL SINGLES

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘70

No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“THANK YOU”

Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin” 

Sly

& the Family Stone

EPIC RECORDS5-10555

This was the fourth of an ultimate five weeks at the Best Selling Soul Singles chart’s crest for Sly & the Family Stone with “Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin” / “Everybody Is A Star” on Epic Records. This single had been on top of the Hot 100 Singles chart for two weeks in the first two weeks of February of ’70 and was headed for a five-week run on this chart. In this week’s Billboard Magazine, there was a news article about the group showing up late for a show in Washington, D.C. at Constitution Hall, plus an unrelated melee with rock-throwing outside the hall when concert-crashers tried to get inside. Little did those outside of the venue know, the group only performed for 30 minutes, way short of their expected time; and that they were at least three hours late. A report said the group hadn’t even left New York City at the time the Washington show was supposed to start. Compounding the issue was the refusal of the production firm for the venue unwilling to refund concert-goers unwilling to wait over three hours for a show to begin. This type of situation would happen repeatedly with Sylvester Stewart and company regularly showing up late or even not at all, due to Sly’s increasing use of drugs. All this came at a time when the group was at its peak on the record charts. “Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin” along with the B side “Everybody Is A Star” were charted together as the No. 1 song; a practice that Billboard Magazine instituted for a few years around the turn of the decade. Here’s the A side performed on the TV show The Midnight Special.

The B side was “Everybody Is A Star” another of Sly Stone’s message songs about loving one’s self and equality. Note the shared lead vocals from Sylvester, his brother Freddie, his sister Rose and their cousin Larry Graham on “Everybody Is A Star.”

Those two songs and “Hot Fun In The Summertime” with “Hot Fun In The Summertime” ended up on a new compilation LP called Sly & the Family Stone Greatest Hits with other older material on Epic. “Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again” and “Everybody Is A Star” were the last tunes they recorded in the ‘60s, and new material from the band didn’t show up for 20 months with the release of “Family Affair” with an obviously ragged and drug-ravaged performance by Sly. Denton, Texas-born Sylvester Stewart, his keyboard player and singing sister Rose Stewart with their guitarist brother Freddie, their cousin Larry Graham on the “thumpin’ and pluckin’” bass guitar, drummer Greg Errico, sax player Jerry Martini and trumpeter Cynthia Robinson created a multi-racial rockin’ funk-sound out of Northern California that was distinctive and enormously popular. They made their base in Oakland after Sly had been a DJ and record producer in the Bay area. The group was actually a merging of Sly’s band and his brother’s band. It was this ensemble that was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993; with a very odd quick appearance by Sly. At a Grammy® tribute to the band in 2006, Sly once again showed up for just a few moments wearing a blonde Mohawk haircut, and true to form, slithered off the stage to leave the band to finish the performance. At a recent tribute concert in Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf formally declared January 24, 2015 as Sly & the Family Stone Day, citing the local band’s positive message. Original band members Greg Errico, Jerry Martini, Cynthia Robinson, and Freddie Stone were on hand to accept the award—Sly Stone was nowhere to been seen.

 

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

February 28, 1974

 

TOP LP’s

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘70:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

LED ZEPPELIN II

Led Zeppelin 

ATLANTIC RECORDS8236

Led Zeppelin and the Beatles had been swapping places on the Top LP’s chart from the last week of 1969, into the first two months of 1970. That reign was about to end, as this was the last seven-day survey-phase for Led Zeppelin II to be the prime LP in America on Atlantic Records. All together, Zep was in the No. 1 spot for seven non-consecutive weeks going back and forth with the Fab Four. Led Zeppelin II had been released on October 29, 1969, following their debut album released 10 months prior. This second studio set was recorded as various studios in the U.S., Canada and their native U.K., as they were on tour during the process; writing as they went along across the globe. In fact, some of this new material was a result of rehearsing for their next tour, according to Page. It was guitarist Jimmy Page who produced the album, but much credit goes to engineer and South African-native Eddie Kramer for introducing some elaborate recording methods to the band’s sound. Here’s the only single from Led Zeppelin II, the opening track, “Whole Lotta Love.”

Let it be known that the band was not happy with Atlantic Records releasing an edited version of the song for radio play. Most FM rock stations insisted on playing the long album track complete with some of those tape tricks and creative mixing by Kramer and producer Jimmy Page. The B side of “Whole Lotta Love” was “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman.)” Oh go ahead Big Jay, play this one too. Fine. But I’ll do ya one better…as I’ll include the song before it on the album, “Heartbreaker.” The two naturally go together.

Led Zeppelin II went on to sell well over 12 million copies in the U.S. alone. David Juniper (given a Grammy® nomination for Best Album Package) designed the sleeve of the gatefold LP complete with an outline of a zeppelin on the cover with a brown background. That ensured the record having the nickname, “Brown Bomber.” Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were given Kennedy Center Honors in 2012. Drummer John Bonham died at Jimmy Page’s residence after a night of heavy drinking on September 25, 1980. On December 4th of that year, the surviving members decided not to continue as Led Zeppelin.

 

 BEST SELLING SOUL LP’s

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘70:

No. 1

Soul

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

Diana Ross Presents

The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5

MOTOWN RECORDS700

In the February 28, 1970 issue of Billboard Magazine, the music industry trade publication listed this album as being called I Want You Back. It was later corrected to the official title: Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. That phrase itself was patently false. This was the third of an eventual nine weeks at the apex of the Best Selling Soul LP’s listing. The only single released from this initial Motown set was “I Want You Back.”

Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon along with Michael, became a huge sensation just weeks after the release of that single. Berry Gordy’s hunch had paid-off. However, at first, radio stations were reluctant to play the song, as they were thought of as just kids. The idea was raised to have Diana Ross’ name ‘presenting’ the group. Radio programmers and music reporters grabbed the bait and gave the song some spins on turntables due to the Diana Ross association—listed as HER protégés by promotion people from Motown. It certainly didn’t hurt that Diana Ross was also being primed for solo stardom. But it wasn’t Gordy who discovered the group; nor was it Diana Ross. If you look carefully, you’ll see the producer listed as Bobby Taylor with the Corporation. Bobby Taylor was the leader of the group Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, signed to Motown. Ironically, it was Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson of the Supremes who discovered Taylor’s group while they were performing in Vancouver, Canada. Others like Gladys Knight sometimes have claimed THEY saw them first. Either way, here’s another side note; as a young Tommy Chong was one of the Vancouvers in Taylor’s group before his pairing with Cheech Marin in the comedy duo Cheech & Chong. It was Flo and Mary brought Taylor’s band to the attention of Gordy. Are you following this? The man who claims he introduced their manager Papa Jackson to Bobby Taylor was longtime promotion man for Motown, Weldon McDougal. It was Taylor who drove the group from Gary, Indiana to Detroit to meet with Motown execs. Finally, Gordy saw them after being snubbed that first time they went to Detroit, even staying in Taylor’s small apartment. With the Jackson 5 newly signed, Bobby Taylor broke all the rules to get them recorded at Hitsville, U.S.A. in Detroit with the dazzling backing of the what were later known as the Funk Brothers; Motown’s ace musicians. Gordy wanted them to score with not just black audiences, but the general population as well—which was the overall strategy of the company. Gordy insisted that they have no chance at failure and put together a core group of songwriters for their first single. Members of the so-called Corporation was led by Gordy himself, along with Freddy Perren, Deke Richards and Alphonso Mizell. Gordy was directly involved because he didn’t want another internal group of, “Back room superstars” as he called his former writers/producers Holland-Dozier-Holland. In other words, he didn’t want to share the glory or cash. The Corporation© was listed just that way with the © symbol at the end of the word so no one in particular was identified. The Jackson 5 had tons of hits as a group and I don’t have to tell you the impact on the world of music by Michael; the future King of Pop. 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the

Chart-Week Ending

February 22, 1986


HOT 100

TOP 10 SINGLES

 

THIS WEEK IN ’86:

No. 10 (LW 5) “THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR”

Dionne & Friends Featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder ARISTA9422

No. 9 (LW 3) “BURNING HEART”

Survivor SCOTTI BROTHERS05663

No. 8 (LW 12) “SILENT RUNNING (On Dangerous Ground)”

Mike + the Mechanics ATLANTIC84988

No. 7 (LW 11) “LIFE IN A NORTHERN TOWN”

The Dream Academy WARNER BROTHERS28841

No. 6 (LW 8) “THE SWEETEST TABOO”

Sade PORTRAIT05713

No. 5 (LW 7) “LIVING IN AMERICA”

James Brown SCOTTI BROTHERS05682

No. 4 (LW 9) “SARA”

Starship GRUNT14253

No. 3 (LW 2) “WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING”

Billy Ocean JIVE9432

No. 2 (LW 4) “KYRIE”

Mr. Mister RCA14258

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“HOW WILL I KNOW”

Whitney Houston

ARISTA RECORDS9434

Stump your friends with this superb Big Jay’s Record Pig Trivia question. What was the third artist to replace another blood relative in the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 Singles chart after the Bee Gees and Andy Gibb did it to each other in 1978? If you’ve read this far into my feature, you already realize the answer. Yes, it was Whitney Houston who succeeded Dionne (Warwick) & Friends. “How Will I Know” toppled “That’s What Friends Are For” last week after a four-week ride along with Dionne’s ‘friends’ Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder. Warwick was Houston’s cousin and Dionne has described Whitney as the, “Little girl I never had.” Whitney’s song was in the last of two seven-day chart-phases on the Pop list this week in 1986. “How Will I Know” was intended for Janet Jackson to record, but she chose to pass on it. One of the music suits at Arista Records heard the song from the publishers of the tune, written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam (the members of the group Boy Meets Girl of “Waiting For A Star To Fall Fame”) and begged Houston’s producer Narada Michael Walden to produce the track for Whitney. He did, and included it on her first album. “How Will I Know” became Whitney’s second consecutive No. 1 45 RPM, on the way to having seven-in-a-row.

The music tracks on the song were performed in a small studio in California, and Whitney added her vocal chords in New York City. Whitney’s mom Cissy Houston almost recorded back-up vocals on “How Will I Know” after being asked to do so by Whitney. But the producer Walden wanted it all Whitney, so that’s how it ended up. The song was the third single from the late Jersey girl’s debut album Whitney Houston.

 

HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘86

 

No.1

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 4)

“SARA”

Starship

GRUNT RECORDS14253

Starship neither did what Jefferson Starship nor Jefferson Airplane was able to do — have a No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart. As Starship, the ever-changing ensemble, had three. But, for this listing, “Sara” was in the first of three survey-periods at the apex of the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles listing. “Sara” was released on Grunt Records. The other incarnations of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship came close to hitting the top. The closest to hit the peak of the Hot 100 was from Jefferson Starship with “Miracles” in 1975 featuring Marty Balin as the lead singer. “Sara” wasn’t the first No. 1 song on the Hot 100 for Starship. That honor went to “We Built This City” in 1985. But they DID have back-to-back chart-toppers with that song and then “Sara.” It would become the biggest hit on the Hot 100 for the week ending March 15, 1986.

“Sara” featured the lead vocals of Mickey Thomas; heard as the lead vocalist on the song “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” by Elvin Bishop in 1976. Thomas replaced Marty Balin in Jefferson…er, uh…Starship. The song had leapt from No. 4 to No. 1 this week on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart due to its softer, well produced sound. It was also riding the momentum of “We Built This City.” Sara was included on the album Knee Deep In The Hoopla. The tune was written by Peter Wolf and Ina Wolf. Peter is not to be confused with the leader singer of J. Geils Group. THIS Peter Wolf is an Austrian-born composer/producer/arranger/keyboardist who has many hits under his belt, with credits that span from the Commodores to Wang Chung and from Heart to Patti LaBelle.

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘86

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“DO ME BABY”

Meli’sa Morgan

CAPITOL RECORDS5523

Here’s a remake of a 1981 bump-‘n-grind Prince ballad from Meli’sa Morgan called “Do Me Baby” on Capitol Records. The original version by Prince was on his album Controversy. This was the second of three consecutive weeks as the standard-barer on the Hot Black Singles chart during this seven-day survey-phase in ’86. Meli’sa Morgan is a Queens-born was in a few dance groups and had done some backing vocal work for Melba Moore, Whitney Houston and her music hero Chaka Khan before setting out on her own. “Do Me Baby” was certainly not for the faint-of-heart lyrically, as you might expect from early Prince compositions. If this song doesn’t get you in the mood, I don’t know what else will.

“Do Me Baby” only reached No. 46 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. She did have a strong No. 5 peak on another single from her debut album (also called Do Me Baby) entitled “Do You Still Love Me.” She went on to have several Dance-oriented hits in the late ‘80s into the early ‘90s.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

February 22, 1986


TOP POP

ALBUMS CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘86:

 

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


PROMISE

Sade 

PORTRAIT RECORDS40263

 

The group Sade (yes it’s the group’s name) led by the vocals of Nigerian-born British citizen Sade a/k/a Helen Folasade Adu was in the last of a two-week run at the zenith of the Top Pop Albums listing. The prime cut from the album was “The Sweetest Taboo” which landed in the No. 5 spot on the Hot 100 Singles chart in a few weeks in March of ’86. “The Sweetest Taboo” had been the biggest hit on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart for one survey-period for the week ending on February 8th.

Promise was the second album for Sade, after their first U.S. success, the album Diamond Life featured “Smooth Operator” which had also reached No. 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles list back in ’85, and No. 5 on the Hot 100. Promise, which sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone, received its title from a letter sent to Sade from her dad saying he would ‘promise’ to recover from cancer. The album also had another decent single called “Never As Good As The First Time,” reaching No. 20 on the Hot 100. (**See below.) The group Sade had won a Grammy® for Best New Artist representing the year 1985. In addition to the singer, the group Sade consisted of Andrew Hale on keyboards, Paul S. Denman on bass guitar and Stewart Matthewman on sax and guitar.

 

TOP BLACK

ALBUMS

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ’86:

No.1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

PROMISE

Sade

PORTRAIT RECORDS40263

The album Promise sure had legs on the Top Black Albums chart this week in ’86, as it was currently in the fourth of an ultimate 11 weeks as the No. 1 LP on this chart. Here’s the other single from Promise (**see above) called “Never As Good As The First Time.”

Sade (Helen Folasade Adu) was given the honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London in 2002.

**Special thanks to www.ShopRadioCast.com for supplying the photo of the 45 RPM adapter insert.

(Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net -- '60s 45 record image by dan; '70s headphones/vinyl record image by dan; '80s cassette tape image by graur razvan ionut.)

**All chart information is used by permission of Record Research, Inc., from Publisher Joel Whitburn. The original information comes from Billboard Magazine’s various Hot 100 singles, Top 200 albums, and various R & B charts published by Billboard as compiled by Record Research. www.RecordResearch.com

Copyright 2013-2014 by Big Jay Sorensen, Hosted by STCNtech (stcntech.com)
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