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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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March 27th, 2015


THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

April 4, 1964



HOT 100

TOP 10 SINGLES

CHART

**Plus, OTHER CHARTING BEATLES SONGS or Records ABOUT The BEATLES**

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘64:

 

No. 85 (LW 86) “A LETTER TO THE BEATLES”

The Four Preps CAPITOL5143

No. 79 (LW Not Charted) “THANK YOU GIRL”

The Beatles VEE-JAY587

No. 68 (LW 75) “ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN”

The Beatles CAPITOL of CANADA72133

No. 65 (LW Not Charted) “YOU CAN’T DO THAT”

The Beatles CAPITOL5150

No. 58 (LW 71) “ALL MY LOVING”

The Beatles CAPITOL of CANADA72144

No. 46 (LW 78) “DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET”

The Beatles VEE-JAY587

No. 42 (LW 57) “WE LOVE YOU BEATLES”

The Carefrees LONDON INTERNATIONAL10614

No. 41 (LW 50) “FROM ME TOO YOU”

The Beatles VEE-JAY581

No. 31 (LW 26) “I SAW HER STANDING THERE”

The Beatles CAPITOL – 5112

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

No. 10 (LW 10) “GLAD ALL OVER”

Dave Clark Five EPIC9656

No. 9 (LW 19) “MY HEART BELONGS TO ONLY YOU”  

Bobby Vinton EPIC9662

No. 8 (LW 16) “THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG (It’s In His Kiss)”  

Betty Everett VEE-JAY585

No. 7 (LW 8) “HELLO DOLLY” 

Louis Armstrong And The All Stars KAPP573

No. 6 (LW 7) “SUSPICION” 

Terry Stafford CRUSADER101

No. 5 (LW 4) “PLEASE PLEASE ME” 

The Beatles VEE-JAY581

No. 4 (LW 2) “I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND”  

The Beatles CAPITOL5112

 No. 3 (LW 1) “SHE LOVES YOU” 

The Beatles SWAN4152

No. 2 (LW 3) “TWIST AND SHOUT”

The Beatles TOLLIE9001

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 27)

 

“CAN’T BUY ME LOVE”

The Beatles

CAPITOL RECORDS5150


 

The Billboard Magazine front page headline says it all; “Chart Crawling With Beatles.” There were 12 songs from the Fab Four on this survey in ‘64. Next week, there would be a best-ever 14 titles from the Beatles on the Hot 100; the most at one time by any artist to date. Elvis Presley once had nine titles on the chart during one week—that was dated December 19, 1956—then a record-breaking occasion. “Can’t Buy Me Love” (with “You Can't Do That” on the B-side) was released in the United States on March 16, 1964 on Capitol Records, with advance orders of over a reported two million copies globally. The record debuted on the Hot 100 Singles chart at No. 27 just last week, and jumped all the way to the chart’s most coveted position—an astonishing feat.

It was with this analysis of record sales and radio air-play that the A side of the single became No. 1 on the Hot 100 Singles chart (the week ending on April 4, 1964) and the next top 4 positions were correspondingly occupied by Beatles singles. “Can’t Buy Me Love” stayed at the chart’s apex on this register for five consecutive seven-day survey-spans. The basic tracks for the song were recorded at the Pathé Marconi Studios, Rue de Sevres, Boulogne-sur-Seine, Paris, France on January 29, 1964. When back in London, Paul McCartney added a doubling vocal, with George Harrison also doubling his guitar solo. Just four takes were needed to nail the basic tracks in Paris. This occured right after they had reluctantly recorded German versions of “Sie Liebt Dich” (“She Loves You”) with totally new vocal and instrumental tracks, and “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” (“I Want To Hold Your Hand”) with just new vocals inserted on a rhythm track for the German-speaking market—making those three recordings the only EMI/Parlophone/Apple sessions the Beatles ever did outside of England. Both producer George Martin and Norman “Hurricane” Smith (EMI’s balance engineer) joined the Mop Tops in France for this recording session. Next week, every Beatles song seen above (not counting the tributes) appeared again; most in a different order, obviously, but with the addition of two more 45 RPM’s from “The Boys”—“There’s A Place” (the B side of “Twist And Shout”) and “Love Me Do” (No. 1 Pop) the A side of their first U.K. single, that was backed with “P.S. I Love You.” That song later reached No. 10 on the Hot 100. “There’s A Place” was on the chart for just that sole week, garnering the No. 74 position; then gone. But nothing in the music business was ever the same from this week forward—and likely-- no artists will ever have this much saturation again. This feat is still a marvel 51 years later.  Little did anyone realize (including the band itself) that the act would remain overpoweringly fashionable over a half-century after they first landed on our territory.


POP STANDARD  SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘64


No.1

EASY LISTENING

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“HELLO DOLLY”

Louis Armstrong

And His All Stars

KAPP RECORDS573

“Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong was sittin’ pretty for the second successive week on the Pop Standard Singles chart, on its way to being in the No. 1 slot for an amazing nine weeks on this listing for the guy everyone called “Satchmo” (short for satchel-mouth) on Kapp Records. His version was recorded in December of ’63, intended as nothing more than a publishing demonstration (demo) disc to promote the Great White Way’s newest musical. It was hastily sent to market as-is for commercial release.  Armstrong reportedly didn’t even know the song was from a Broadway show when he was asked by the songwriter Jerry Herman’s publisher to make a rendition.  

Kapp was a very pleased record label, as “Hello Dolly” unseated the Beatles in the weeks ahead on the Hot 100 Singles chart, after the Fab Four had reigned supreme there for a stunning 14 uninterrupted weeks with three different titles. The song “Hello Dolly” won a Grammy® for Song of the Year for the writer Jerry Herman, and it also won a Grammy® for Armstrong for Best Vocal Performance, Male—itself an amazing feat; as he was best known as a Jazz trumpeter and the fact that he was 64 years-old at the time. Louis (also known by his friends and family as “Pops”) Armstrong had been recording since the early 1920’s becoming a virtual American Ambassador; something he wasn’t always happy about later in life, due to race issues in the U.S., especially after events in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. He highly criticized then President Dwight D. Eisenhower for his lack of immediate handling of the integration issue at Central High School in Little Rock. Armstrong died in his sleep on in Corona, Queens, New York on July 6, 1971. He received a posthumous Lifetime Grammy® less than a year after he passed away.     


**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 Top 50 in R&B Locations 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. 6)


“THE WAY YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO”

The Temptations

GORDY RECORDS – 7028

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 the Top 50 in R&B Locations. This week, as the Gordy Records single displayed right on the 45 RPM, glued-on label proclaiming: “IT’S WHAT’S IN THE GROOVES THAT COUNTS.” (You do know there are only two grooves on each mono 45 RPM—on A side there’s just one, and only ono the B side.) How right that slogan was, with this week’s top R&B single on the Cashbox Top 50 in R&B Locations chart; The Temptations with “The Way You Do The Things You Do.” This was the first Pop Hot 100 single from the group; although they did reach the “Bubbling Under” chart with a song called “Paradise” in 1962 that reached the lowly No. 122 on that survey for just a week. But Berry Gordy, Jr. had found his goldmine with the vocal group featuring five great singers—each capable of singing lead on their songs. At first, with Smokey Robinson producing the Temptations, he utilized the voice talent of Eddie Kendricks. So it’s Eddie on the lead on the Temptations first true hit song. Here are the Temptations with their newly-learned moves from Motown’s resident choreographer Charles “Cholly” Atkins.

Cholly Atkins was a busy guy at Hitsville, U.S.A. in the mid-60s, teaching all of the touring acts just how to do synchronized singing while dancing. You almost can’t think of the Temptations without seeing them do their moves—or any Motown act for that matter. Atkins was a former vaudevillian and professional dancer. Before his days at Motown, Atkins (an Alabama-native) had taught acts like Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Cadillacs, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Shirelles and the Moonglows how to move with the music. He died in 2003 at the age of 89. The Temptations would go on to have 37 Top 40 hits either by themselves or with the Supremes. Make it 39 if you include “Super Freak” by Rick James and “The Motown Song” by Rod Stewart with the group prominently featured. “The Way You Do The Things You Do” was written by Smokey Robinson and his Miracles band mate, Robert (Bobby) Rogers, who died in 2013.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week

ENDING

April 4, 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 swiftly since their first HIT release in America just weeks ago in ’64. They performed on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time on February 9, 1964. They MIGHT have played on that Monday, February 10th, but two Buffalo, New York radio personalities passed on the chance to have them perform in that upstate city because they didn’t think they could sell enough tickets in the dead of winter there in snow-laden Western New York.. Radio legend Joey Reynolds and his pal Dan Neaverth then at East Coast powerhouse WKBW 1520 AM still kick themselves today for not risking it all to have the Beatles play in Buffalo; something the Beatles never did. The Fab Four took a train to Washington, D.C. instead and did a concert that Tuesday at the Washington Coliseum; then quickly headed back to New York for two performances at Carnegie Hall in NYC. The Beatles were actually brought to America by the late promoter/impresario, the marvelous man Sid Bernstein. Many people think the Beatles came here just to perform on Sullivan’s show. People in the know remember that Bernstein made a deal with Brian Epstein months before those shows at Carnegie Hall or Sullivan’s deal to get them on his program. The new album Meet The Beatles was on top of the U.S LP chart this week in ’64 (first reaching that position for the week February 15th) making this the eighth of what would be an 11-week run at the zenith of the Top LP’s chart. Here in the Colonies, the B side of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” single was “I Saw Her Standing There.” The U.K. 45’s B side 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 of those tunes did NOT appear on their new British album With The Beatles, because they didn’t wish to have singles on their albums. They had no control over their American record company, Capitol.  

Meet The Beatles was a different record than what actually 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. 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).”

 

 

**NOTES:

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

Because I don’t have access to the Cashbox R&B LP charts, I used the highest charted R&B LP on the BILLBOARD Top LPs (POP) list to be the featured R&B album this week.

 

PURE DYNAMITE!

LIVE AT THE ROYAL 

 

James Brown

And the Famous Flames

KING RECORDS883

This LP was in the No. 11 slot of the Top LPs (Pop) chart in Billboard this week in ’64; the highest charting album from a pure R&B (African-American) artist. To be fair, Nancy Wilson’s LP entitled Yesterday’s Love Songs – Today’s Blues on Capitol Records was in the No. 7 spot. Subjectively, I decided her music on this album was more from the Great American Songbook, and wasn’t a true R&B album—though she’s a great artist. Accordingly, my highlighted album in this section featured live renditions of some of James Brown’s recent singles and other tracks recorded at the Royal Theater in Baltimore, Maryland. In fact, the full title of the album as it appears on the label is: PURE DYNAMITE! All New! Recorded on the Spot. The Dynamic James Brown on the Stage of the Famous Royal Theater. Those recent singles done live included: 1962’s “Shout And Shimmy,” an early ‘63 B side “Like A Baby,” plus more live versions of “These Foolish Things,” “Signed Sealed And Delivered” and a new version of his 1960 R&B masterpiece, “Please, Please, Please.” It also contained a hit song from this set. Here’s the (not-really) live version (I explain below) of his early ’64 hit (No. 23 Pop) called “Oh Baby Don’t You Weep.” And, a first for James Brown singles; an over six minute track, with Part 1 on one side and Part 2 on the other surface of the 45 RPM. Because Billboard didn’t show R&B singles on a separate chart at this time, “Oh Baby Don’t You Weep” reached a respectable No. 4 on the Cashbox Top 50 in R&B Locations chart in early ’64. Listen to JB wail his lungs out along with the Famous Flames.

“Oh Baby Don’t You Weep” a last-minute addition to this album, and was based on the spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep.” That single was the very first James Brown 45 RPM to have a picture sleeve on the front cover on the King Records label. And to be honest, I’ve discovered that the audience sounds on that single (the track above) was dubbed-in later to make it sound live. All of the other tracks were indeed recorded live at the Royal Theater in Baltimore in November, 1963. The LP included ample liner notes and pictures of the soon-to-be-crowned Godfather of Soul. PURE DYNAMITE! All New! Recorded on the Spot. The Dynamic James Brown on the Stage of the Famous Royal Theater was a well-recorded album for a late ’63 Long-Player. Having seen James Brown on-stage live, and later meeting him briefly after a show in Atlantic City later in his career, I can tell you he always gave it his all. If you like real gritty soul, grab a copy of this mostly live set.


 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

April 3, 1976


HOT 100

TOP 10 SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76:

 

No. 10 (LW 11) “GOLDEN YEARS”

David Bowie RCA VICTOR 10441

No. 9 (LW 10) “MONEY HONEY”

Bay City Rollers ARISTA0170

No. 8 (LW 1) “DECEMBER, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”  

The Four Seasons WARNER BROTHERS / CURB8168

No. 7 (LW 7) “DREAM ON” 

Aerosmith COLUMBIA10278 (re-issue with different catalog number)

No. 6 (LW 9) “RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM”

Maxine Nightingale UNITED ARTIST 752

No. 5 (LW 6) “SWEET THING”

Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan ABC12149

No. 4 (LW 8) “LET YOUR LOVE FLOW”  

The Bellamy Brothers WARNER BROTHERS / CURB – 8169

No. 3 (LW 3) “LONELY NIGHT (Angel Face)”

Captain & Tennille A&M1782

No. 2 (LW 2) “DREAM WEAVER” 

Gary Wright WARNER BROTHERS8167


 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 5)

 

“DISCO LADY”

Johnnie Taylor

COLUMBIA RECORDS10281

 

 

It was the biggest hit in Johnnie Taylor’s career, and his very first on Columbia Records (after a long tenure at Stax Records through much of the ‘60s through ’74)) with “Disco Lady.” The song was in week-one of an eventual six-week run at the top of the Hot 100 Singles chart. The record was in the fourth of an ultimate six survey-phases at the summit of the Hot Soul Singles chart during this time in ’76. Taylor began having pop chart hits as early as 1963, but he had replaced Sam Cooke when he left the Gospel Group the Soul Stirrers way back in 1957; even signing to Cooke’s own label SAR Records for a brief time. When he inked his signature with Stax (billed as “The Philosopher of Soul) he had smokin’ hot songs like: “Who’s Making Love” and “I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)” both million-selling singles, produced by Don Davis. “Disco Lady” would succeed the Four Seasons with “December ’63 (Oh What A Night)” at the high point of the Hot 100 next week. “Disco Lady” would be there for four uninterrupted weeks in ‘76. Here’s the long version of the song from the album Eargasm. That’s not a typo. Nor is this: Eargasm would explode to the climax of the Hot Soul LPs chart during the next two seven-day survey-stages.

Four members of the conglomerate Parliament/Funkadelic performed their instrumental magic on this track. Yeah, that’s William “Bootsy” Collins on the slap-bass. Plainfield, New Jersey-native Bernie Worrell was featured on the electric piano, Plainfield-native Glenn Goins was plucking the guitar strings and Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey was hittin’ the skins. That was Brailey who played the incredible drumming track on “O-o-h Child” by the Five Stairsteps in 1970. And, that’s one of the voices of (Tony Orlando and) Dawn—future actress Telma Hopkins on backing vocals on “Disco Lady.” It was not recorded in Memphis as Taylor had been doing for almost a decade. Instead, “Disco Lady” was recorded in Detroit at United Sound Studio. The longtime associate of Johnnie Taylor, Don Davis produced the track there, as he owned the landmark studio founded way back in 1933 at 5840 Second Avenue in the Motor City. In fact, Berry Gordy, Jr. recorded what is considered the first Motown record at this facility in 1959. That historic song was from Marv Johnson called “Come To Me” for your Record Pigs. “Disco Lady” was the very first certified “Platinum” single (over two-million copies) listed by the RIAA—Recording Industry Association of America. Certainly other 45 RPM’s sold two million or more, but this was the first to be certified. It was the seventh biggest single of the year in New York City on the AM Top 40 station WABC’s Musicradio 77 Survey. “Disco Lady” became the third biggest record on the national Billboard’s Hot 100 of 1976’s year-end chart. Johnnie was given a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in 1996. In 2000, Taylor died of a heart attack suffered at a Dallas-area hospital. He had been working at the time as a radio personality, known as “The Wailer, Johnnie Taylor” at radio station KKDA-FM in the Metroplex—Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76


No.1

EASY LISTENING

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

 

“THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH (ALL OVER THE WORLD)”

Carpenters

A&M RECORDS1800

Karen and Richard Carpenter owned the No. 1 slot on the Easy Listening Singles chart this week in ’76 with a remake of “There’s A Kind Of Hush.” They added the subtitle “(All Over The World)” that wasn’t on the original hit by Herman’s Hermits back in ’67. The song was co-written composer Les Reed and lyricist Geoff Stephens. This track was released as the first single from the LP A Kind Of Hush on A&M Records. That album also featured the follow-up singles “I Need To Be In Love” (No. 25 Pop) and “Goofus” which was their lowest charting Hot 100 single since one of their B sides charted at No. 67 in ’71 called “Bless The Beasts And The Children”—the B side of the million-selling song “Superstar” (No. 2 Pop) written by Leon Russell along with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett. “There’s A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)” was a fave of the brother and sister team when they first heard the song in ’67. But Richard has since stated he wishes they hadn’t recorded it the way they did, complete with synthesizers—or perhaps not at all! But this track what their thirteenth No. 1 tune on the Easy Listening Singles chart.

Even with the help of the now famous members of “The Wrecking Crew”—the crack L.A. musicians who played on thousands of session—the luster had begun to wear off of the brand Carpenters by 1976. Carpenters was still able to have hits, with this one reaching No. 12 on the Pop Hot 100 Singles list, the highest position they would attain on that survey after reaching No. 4 with “Only Yesterday” in ’75 until Karen passed away in 1983. 

 

BEST SELLING SOUL SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“DISCO LADY”

Johnnie Taylor

COLUMBIA RECORDS10281 

The first song to hit No. 1 Pop song with the word “Disco” in the title—“Disco Lady”—was in the fourth of an ultimate six survey-phases as the prime 45 RPM on the Hot Soul Singles chart during this point in time in ’76. It was also the top song on the Hot 100 Singles listing as well. (**See above.)

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

April 3, 1976

 

TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76:


No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

THEIR GREATEST HITS

(1971 – 1975)

Eagles

ASYLUM RECORDS7E-1052 

You can’t just go by just by the chart numbers to determine a hit record or album’s magnificence. This Eagles compilation album is the proof in the pudding. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) on Elektra Records was a No. 1 album on the Top LPs & Tape chart only for a total of five non-consecutive weeks; with this being the fourth of those five concluding weeks at the peak in ‘76. But, if you based it on total sales from the time it was released (February 17, 1976 to March 16, 2014) it’s TIED as the biggest album of ALL TIME with Thriller by Michael Jackson—both selling over 29 million copies according to the RIAA—Recording Industry Association of America! Eagles were still on the Hot 100 with their current single “Take It To The Limit” which had peaked at No. 4 on that listing at the time this album was released on February 17, 1976 on Asylum Records. “Take It To The Limit” was co-written by Randy Meisner (who said he intended it to be a solo track) with help from Don Henley and Glen Frey. It was originally included on the album One Of These Nights which had been released on June 10, 1975. The single of “Take It To The Limit” was released on November 15, 1975.

Not to be outdone (although it would be hard for any mortals to duplicate their first Greatest Hits compilation) their second anthology, the album called Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2 (released on November 13, 1982) has sold a mere (tongue-in-cheek) 11 million copies. And, you can insert another three million copies with those two albums combined into one set as a new release in October of 2003 called aptly, The Very Best Of Eagles.  If you include the LP Hotel California at 16 million, plus their other recordings, you realize just how massive Eagles are to the American music-buying public. Eagles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. And yes, their official name is Eagles—not THE Eagles. 


HOT SOUL LPs

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76

 

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


RUFUS featuring CHAKA KHAN

Rufus

featuring Chaka Khan

ABC RECORDS909 

This is the final survey-period, ending six weeks at the peak of the Hot Soul LPs chart for the album Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn on ABC Records. The group performed a balance of Jazz, Rock and Funk. The Long-Player featured the Tower Of Power horn section on some of the tracks. Singles from this album were: “Sweet Thing” which became a No. 1 Hot Soul Singles chart-leader back in February of ’76, reaching No. 5 on the Hot 100 Singles chart and still on the listing. “Sweet Thing” was the groups’ second million-selling single after their first was Stevie Wonder’s “Tell Me Something Good” their initial hit in ’74 when they were known as just plain Rufus.

“Sweet Thing” was co-written by Rufus member Tony Maiden along with Chaka Khan. But before their huge success as a major act, they were known as Ask Rufus; recording a couple of not that triumphant LPs. By the time of their major splash in ’74, the core group was made up of Khan, former session-drummer André Fischer (formerly of The American Breed, who would go on to produce and arrange Natalie Cole’s duet with her late father Nat “King” Cole for “Unforgettable,” and is currently the Dean of Music Industries at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota) Kevin Murphy (also formerly of the Chicago group The American Breed of “Bend Me, Shape Me”-fame) on keyboards, Bobby Watson on bass (who had performed on “Space Race” and the No. 1 song “Nothing From Nothing” for Billy Preston, as well as on “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson) and Jazz pianist Nate Morgan who died in 2013. By the way, Chaka Khan’s birth name is Yvette Marie Stevens. Also on this LP was the follow-up to “Sweet Thing” called “Dance Wit Me” later realizing the No. 5 slot on the Hot Soul Singles list and No. 39 on the Hot 100.  In addition, a remake of “Jive Talkin’” (the Bee Gees hit) only reached No. 35 on the Soul Singles chart. Khan became a solo artist after their next album; with occasional contentious reuniting due to contractual recording obligations. Rufus did join forces once again for a short tour in 2001 with some remaining members.

 


 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

April 4, 1981


HOT 100

TOP 10 SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81:

 

No. 10 (LW 10) “WHAT KIND OF FOOL”

Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb COLUMBIA 11430

No. 9 (LW 11) “WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE”

Steve Winwood ISLAND49656

No. 8 (LW 4) “KEEP ON LOVING YOU”  

REO Speedwagon EPIC50953

No. 7 (LW 8) “JUST THE TWO OF US” 

Grover Washington, Jr. with Bill Withers ELEKTRA47103

No. 6 (LW 6) “HELLO AGAIN”

Neil Diamond CAPITOL 4960

No. 5 (LW 5) “CRYING”

Don McLean MILLENNIUM11799

No. 4 (LW 9) “KISS ON MY LIST”  

Daryl Hall & John Oates RCA12142

No. 3 (LW 3) “THE BEST OF TIMES”

STYX A&M2300

No. 2 (LW 2) “WOMAN” 

John Lennon GEFFEN49644


 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“RAPTURE”

Blondie

CHRYSALIS RECORDS2485

 

 

While certainly not being the first rap single, “Rapture” by the group Blondie was the first to sit at the summit of the Pop chart. Released on Chrysalis Records in January of ’81, “Rapture” perplexed a few fans of the band. Was it Rap, New-Wave or Disco? To be truthful, some musicologists believe it was all three. Regardless of how you classify it, it was the first “Rap” video to air on MTV. Deborah Harry wrote the song with her partner Chris Stein. The U.S. 7-inch vinyl version was taken directly from their current album in ‘81 (their fifth) Autoamerican.

There was a 12-inch single mix that had just less than one minute of bonus music; while the 7-inch U.K. version was a completely different mix from the American releases. “Rapture” was Blondie’s fourth No. 1 hit in the U.S.A. It was also their last hit of any significance as well. Saxophone-wizard Tom Scott performed on the track. At that point, Blondie consisted of Deborah Harry, Chris Stein lead guitar, Frank Infante on rhythm guitar, Nigel Harrison on bass, Jimmy Destri on keyboards and Clem Burke on drums. Blondie had just one more (classic line-up) album in them after Autoamerican, the poor-selling The Hunter released in 1982. Deborah Harry released a solo album called Koo-Koo produced by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards (of Chic-fame) in between these two group-efforts, with just over a half-million copies sold. Perhaps a disturbing album cover with Harry’s face having four skewers going through her face and neck designed by a Swiss surrealist designer was just too much for the general record-buying public. Stein became ill after drug use and the band effectively broke up. They regrouped in 1997 for a few shows and recorded yet another album in 1999 put them back on the charts for a brief time called No Exit, which was a bigger hit in the U.K. than in America. Blondie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They released an album called Panic Of Girls which only charted in Europe in 2011, and their 10th album was called Blondie 4(0) Ever—a double album—consisting of re-recordings of their big hits called Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux along with record-two called Ghosts Of Downloads, released in May of 2014.  

 

HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81


No.1

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“WHAT KIND OF FOOL”

Barbra Streisand

& Barry Gibb

COLUMBIA RECORDS11430

“What Kind Of Fool” was the prime 45 RPM on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart this week in ’81 from Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb. He had produced the album in collaboration with Albhy Galuten and engineer Karl Richardson. “What Kind Of Fool” was the third single taken from the album Guilty on Columbia Records; Streisand’s biggest international album to date, with over 12 million in sales globally. “What Kind Of Fool” was the second consecutive duet featuring the diva and Gibb. This tune was written by Barry, along with co-producer Galuten, and was in the fourth and final week atop this Adult Contemporary listing.


The album Guilty had already sprung two singles by this point; the over two-million-selling “Woman In Love” featuring Barbra as a solo. That song was Grammy® nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female, along with nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The song “Guilty” another duet with Barry Gibb, was a million-selling single as well. That song won a Grammy® for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Duo or Group. The LP was nominated for Album of the Year. Due to the album, Streisand won an American Music Award® for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. Guilty was the twelfth biggest chart LP of the year in ’81 according to Billboard; selling over five million in the U.S. alone.

 


HOT SOUL SINGLES

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)


“BEING WITH YOU”

Smokey Robinson

TAMLA RECORDS54321 

April of 1981 was a big month for Smokey Robinson, as his single “Being With You” was not only the crowning Hot Soul single on Tamla Records, but the title of the No. 1 Hot Soul LP in the nation. The single just missed the summit of the Pop chart landing at number two; by far his biggest solo single in a very long career. “Being With You” (the single) sold over a million copies and was in the first of five back-to-back survey-periods in the top slot. The single was also a chart-topper in the U.K.

 

There was also a Spanish version of the song released with the translation reading, “Aqui Con Tigo.” The LP Being With You also went Gold and would soon begin five eventual weeks at the peak of the Hot Soul LPs chart. His former wife Claudette provided backing vocals on “Being With You,” along with sisters Julia and Maxine Waters (who were the two other “Supremes” on the Motown monster hit, “Someday We’ll Be Together.” Smokey’s follow-up single from his album, “You Are Forever” didn’t even make the Hot 100’s Top 50. Smokey had ‘retired’ in 1972 after remaining with the Miracles after the surprise success of the song three year-old recording “Tears Of A Clown” in 1970, but returned to the scene in ‘73 later as a solo artist with mixed results. He was still a Vice-President of Motown Records, and some music experts believe that title in the company hurt his music-making career. But, truth be told, the main reason was a drug addiction that slowed his singing momentum in the later ‘70s and into the ‘80s—with Smokey finally conquering his addictions in 1986. Robinson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in ’87, and also was voted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in ’89. In ’93 he was awarded a National Medal of Arts, selected by the National Endowment of the Arts, and was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2006. The rest of the Miracles (along with longtime group guitarist Marv Tarplin) were finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012; originally seen as a slight after Robinson’s surprising solo-only induction in ’87.

 

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

April 4, 1981

 

TOP LPs & TAPE

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81:


No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

 

 

PARADISE THEATER

STYX

A&M RECORDS3719 

Replacing the huge album Hi Infidelity by REO Speedwagon at No. 1 on the Top LPs & Tape chart was undertaken by Paradise Theater by Styx. This was the initial survey-phase (of an eventual three non-consecutive weeks) for the A&M Records album to sit at the apex of this listing. Hi Infidelity would roar back to the peak of the chart in a couple of weeks; only to lose the slot to Paradise Theater for one sole survey-period again for the week ending on May 9, 1981—with REO Speedwagon coming back yet again for another six weeks during the late spring. Their first and only chart-topping album, Styx’s LP was a concept record about a real theater built in 1928 in the West Garfield Park section of Chicago. However, the album was a made-up description of the movie theater’s rise, downfall and eventual demolition in 1956; used as a metaphor to describe the changes of Chicago and the nation as we morphed from the late ‘70s into the early ‘80s. The theater that was supposedly built to last forever, took over six months do take down and cart away. The LP Paradise Theater was a huge success, selling over three million copies in the U.S. alone, and was the last multi-million-selling album for Styx. The first single from Paradise Theater was “The Best Of Times,” written by Dennis DeYoung, reaching No. 3 on the Hot 100 singles survey for three weeks. It was the second No. 1 song for Styx on the Canadian singles listing. The Dennis DeYoung-penned and sung track ended side-one of the Long-Player with a sad tale about the demise of the Paradise Theater. But the song was uplifting at the same time—seeing the positive side of being with the one you love.

The second single “Too Much Time On My Hands” debuted on the Hot 100 for the week ending March 31, 1981 and was currently in the second survey-phase of an ultimate 19 weeks on the Hot 100; eventually climbing to No. 9 on that monitor of sales and radio airplay. “Too Much Time On My Hands” was written and sung by Styx’s guitarist Tommy Shaw.

Ultimately, the unraveling of the core members of Styx was caused by tensions about the path of the band’s music. DeYoung was doing more Pop-oriented songs (many ballads) while Tommy Shaw and the other members of the ensemble desired a more rock-slanted sound. DeYoung was even briefly fired over his aspiration to follow-up one of his ballads with yet another. The band had to fight to prevent it. DeYoung was rehired, but the giant split happened while Styx was making their next album after Paradise Theater called Kilroy Was Here. Tommy Shaw left the group citing musical differences, and joined with Ted Nugent and Night Ranger’s bassist/singer Jack Blades and an unknown drummer to form the band Damn Yankees. The Styx album Kilroy Was Here featured “Mr. Roboto” (No. 3 Pop and a million-seller) and “Don’t Let It End (No. 6 Pop) but the band would never be the same. DeYoung started a solo career not long after Kilroy Was Here. He did return to the group for a few years, but after the 1990 album Edge Of The Century, featuring the No. 3 Pop hit “Show Me The Way,” the group split up after A&M didn’t renew their contract. Founding drummer John Panozzo died of gastrointestinal bleeding in 1996. His twin brother announced he is living with HIV and campaigns for AIDS awareness and no longer performs with the group. DeYoung continues as a solo artist. Guitarists Shaw and James Young also have had solo careers but still tour with the current line-up of Styx. Lingering bad blood between Shaw and DeYoung will likely prevent any reunion between the two with or without Styx.


SOUL LPs

CHART

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘82


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


THE GAP BAND III

The Gap Band

MERCURY RECORDS1-4003

The Gap Band was making huge inroads on the Soul LPs chart in ’81 after their first two albums set the stage for LP, The Gap Band III. Previously, they had some false starts with as many as 12 members in the group at one time in the mid-‘70s. Move up to 1979, and the newly signed (to Mercury Records) ensemble was whittled down to just three brothers and three backing musicians (for live shows) under the wing of producer Lonnie Simmons. The main three performers were brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma—Charlie, Robert and Ronnie Wilson. GAP stands for local streets in that city; Greenwood, Archer and Pine—GAP. With little mainstream success initially, they had triumph on the R&B charts with their first two albums in ’79 and ’80 with songs like: “Shake” and “I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops Upside Your Head).” But with this third release, the Gap Band began to crossover a bit into the Pop realm in ’81. “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” was the first single from The Gap Band III, reaching No. 2 on the Soul Singles listing and No. 84 on the Hot 100. “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” was riding high this week in ’81. Wait until you see them dressed in their matching Oklahoma cowboy outfits and hats. They be funkin’ for sure.

The Gap Band scored higher on the Pop singles list with “Yearning For Your Love,” the second single from The Gap Band III, attaining the No. 60 spot on the Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Soul singles survey. A third single called “Humpin’” (yeah, you read that correctly) only charted on the Soul list, reaching No. 60 there. Their total crossover was just one album away on The Gap Band IV, with songs like: “Early In The Morning” (No. 24 Pop—their highest charting Pop record—and No. 1 on the Soul Singles survey, plus a decent position on the Hot Dance Club chart, “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” (No. 31 Pop and No. 2 Soul) and third single called “Outstanding” (No. 51 Pop and another No. 1 Soul hit) all on a new record label called Total Experience. The Gap Band’s hits dried up by 1985. Charlie Wilson went on to have a very successful solo career; even being named “Uncle Charlie” by Snoop Dogg and having nine solo Grammy® Award nominations as well as the Soul Train Icon Award. Charlie Wilson had the No. 1 Urban Adult/R&B song of 2009 with “There Goes My Baby” from the album Uncle Charlie. That song was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, only to lose to Maxwell with the tune “Pretty Things.”

**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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