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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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May 1st, 2015


THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

MAY 3, 1969

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69:

 

THIS WEEK—LAST WEEK—TITLE—WRITER(s)—ARTIST(s)—RECORD LABEL—CATALOG NO.    

***************************************************************************

No. 10 (LW 7) “GALVESTON”

(Jimmy Webb)

Glen Campbell CAPITOL2428  

**************************************************************************

No. 9
(LW 16) “THE BOXER”

(Paul Simon)

Simon & Garfunkel COLUMBIA44785

***************************************************************************

No. 8 (LW 13) “HAWAII FIVE-O”  

(Mort Stevens)

The Ventures LIBERTY56068

***************************************************************************

No. 7 (LW 10) “(SWEET CHERRY WINE  

(Richie Grasso / Tommy James)

Tommy James & The ShondellsROULETTE7039

***************************************************************************

No. 6 (LW 8) “TIME IS TIGHT”

(B. T. Jones / Al Jackson, Jr. / D. Dunn / S. Cropper)

Booker T. & The MG’s STAX0028

***************************************************************************

No. 5 (LW 5) “ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE” 

(Jerry Butler / Kenny Gamble / Leon Huff)

Jerry Butler MERCURY72898

***************************************************************************

No. 4 (LW 2) “YOU’VE MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY” 

(B. Gordy / B. Holloway / P. Holloway /F. Wilson)

Blood, Sweat & Tears COLUMBIA44776

***************************************************************************

No. 3 (LW 4) “HAIR”

(Rado / Ragni / MacDermot)

The Cowsills M-G-M14026

***************************************************************************

No. 2 (LW 3) “IT’S YOUR THING”

(R. Isley / O. Isley / R. Isley)

The Isley Brothers T-NECK901

***************************************************************************

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“Medley: AQUARIUS / LET THE SUNSHINE IN / The Flesh Failures”

 (James Rado / Gerome Ragni /

Galt MacDermot)

 

Flip-Side:

“DON’TCHA” HEAR ME CALLIN’ TO YA”

 

The 5th Dimension

 

SOUL CITY RECORDS772

This is the fourth of an ultimate six nib-naba-nuby weeks as the nation’s leading Hot 100 Singles chart record this week in ’69. The 5th Dimension song (and it’s a long title) “Medley: Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In / (The Flesh Failures)” was on the Johnny River’s-owned Soul City Records. It was the vocal group’s first of an eventual two No. 1 Pop singles, and their second of five overall two-million-selling singles. The song was enjoying the No. 2 position on the Top 40 Easy Listening chart as well during this survey-phase; heading for a two-week stay at the summit of that listing beginning next week. The pioneering line-up of the 5th Dimension was blistering with this recording, including; Billy Davis, Jr., Lamont McLemore, Ron Townson, Marilyn McCoo and Florence LaRue. The so-called “Wrecking Crew” of ace studio Los Angeles musicians backed-up the vocal group on this and virtually all of their recordings. The most difficult part of the recording was how to transition the first half (“Aquarius”) with the second half (“Let The Sun Shine In.)” Legendary studio session drummer Hal Blaine recommended to producer Bones Howe that he would try a time-signature/tempo-shift using his snare drum, and the results were of blockbuster proportions. “Medley: Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In) (Flesh Failures)” was selected as the Grammy® for Record of the Year for 1969, and was the most played song of the year on American radio.

The song appeared on the 5th Dimension Long-Player called The Age Of Aquarius that also featured some other classic songs like: “Wedding Bell Blues” (No. 1 Pop) written by Laura Nyro, “Workin’ On A Groovy Thing” (No. 20 Pop—originally recorded and charted by Patti Drew in ’68) written by Roger Atkins and Neil Sedaka and “Blowin’ Away” (No. 21 Pop) also penned by Nyro. The music for this week’s No. 1 45 RPM release were written for and performed in the Broadway play Hair (The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical) with the song’s lyrics written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni—music composed by Galt MacDermot. The show opened Off-Broadway in 1967, and jumped to the Great White Way at the Biltmore Theater on West 47th Street in Manhattan a year later. You’ll notice in the list of the Top 10 hits of the week (**see above) that a version of the title song “Hair” is there by the Cowsills at No. 3. “Hair” peaked at No. 2 Pop. There were other songs from the musical to hit the Hot 100 including: “Good Morning Starshine” by Oliver (No. 3 Pop) “Easy To Be Hard” by Three Dog Night and a really good recording that should have been a hit by the Happenings (of “See You In September” and “I Got Rhythm”-fame) of another medley called “Where Do I Go / Be-In / Hare Krishna.”


TOP 40

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69

No.1

EASY LISTENING

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“GALVESTON

(Jimmy Webb)

 

Flip-Side:

“HOW COME EVERY TIME I ITCH I WIND UP SCRATCHIN’ YOU”

 

Glen Campbell

 

CAPITOL RECORDS2428

While Glen Campbell had two charting Hot 100 songs after his No. 3 hit “Wichita Lineman”—a Christmas chart song “Christmas Is For Children,” and a duet re-make of “Let It Be Me” with Bobbie Gentry (No. 36)—he scored his second million-selling single with “Galveston,” written by Jimmy Webb. “Wichita Lineman” had also been composed by Webb and was Campbell’s first truly monster hit. This was the sixth and final week in the top slot of the Easy Listening Singles chart for the Capitol Records release.

“Galveston” also reached the summit of the Country Singles chart for three survey-phases. Here’s some interesting Big Jay’s Record Pig Music Trivia©—Hawaiian lounge singer Don Ho was the first to record Webb’s “Galveston!” Jimmy Webb wasn’t pleased that Campbell’s cover version changed some of the lyrics; that for some, was seen as a patriotic tune. Webb had intended it originally to be a protest song about the Vietnam War. Campbell recorded his million-selling hit in L.A. with his pals who were later tabbed as “The Wrecking Crew”—the same people who backed the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, and almost every Pop hit that came out of Southern California in the ‘60s. Campbell had been a mainstay in that bunch of studio musicians before and during the launch of his own solo career as a singer/guitar player. Campbell’s first release was in 1961 on the small Crest Records label with the first charted version of “Turn Around, Look At Me” (No. 62 Pop) later a huge hit for the Vogues in 1968 (No. 7 Pop) their first million-selling 45 RPM. Campbell went on the superstardom with his own TV show and 37 Hot 100 charting records including two No. 1 songs: “Rhinestone Cowboy” in ’76 and “Southern Nights” in ’77. Campbell is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and has retired from the music business.     

 

 

BEST SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES

SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“IT’S YOUR THING”

(R. Isley / O. Isley / R. Isley)

Flip-Side:

“DON’T GIVE IT AWAY”

The Isley

Brothers

 

T-NECK RECORDS – 901

Their last single on the Tamla (Motown) label only reached No. 92 on the Hot 100 Singles chart…and that was in the spring of 1967. Clearly, the Isley Brothers were not happy with their three-year stay at Motown. They were fortunate to have gotten a Holland-Dozier-Holland masterpiece “This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)” (No. 16 Pop) before the songwriters bolted for the door at Hitsville, U.S.A.; but clearly, that wasn’t enough to keep them there. So Ronald, O’Kelly and Rudolf Isley along with their younger brothers (15 years-old) Ernie and Marvin (16 years-old) along with brother-in-law Chris Jasper (18 years-old) re-christened their own label based in Teaneck, New Jersey and aptly called it T-Neck Records. They had originally embarked on their label before their stint at Tamla Records, but with no charting hits. This time, with their first new release, the group had their first certified million-selling 45 RPM “It’s Your Thing” (No. 2 on the Hot 100) plus an LP called It’s Our Thing that made noise on the R&B and Pop charts as one of the first true funk records.

The Isley Brothers Ronald, O’Kelly and Rudolph revived T-Neck Records (after first trying in 1964) for the purpose of not only releasing “It’s Your Thing,” but to record other artists as well. Despite only reaching No. 22 on the (Pop) Top LPs chart, their album It’s Our Thing sold over two-million copies, beginning a new phase for the group. “It’s Your Thing” won a Grammy® for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group or Duo. Their next huge mass-appeal hit was another million-selling single called “That Lady (Part 1)” after they switched the distribution of their T-Neck label from Buddah to CBS Records. Remarkably, after recording since 1957, the Isley Brothers returned to the Pop Top 20 in 2001 with a song called “Contagious” (No. 19 Pop billed as the Isley Brothers featuring Ronald Isley a/k/a Mr. Biggs with additional vocals by Chante Moore. O’Kelly Isley died of a heart attack in 1986 at the age of 48. A younger brother Marvin (who joined the group as a bass player officially in 1973) died in 2010 at the age of 56. The Isley Brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.


THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

MAY 2, 1969

 

TOP LPs

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69:

No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

 

Michael Butler Presents

HAIR

The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

Various Artists 

RCA VICTOR RECORDSLSO 1150

It’s week number two (of an eventual 13-week run) in 1969 for the original cast soundtrack to HAIR The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. For all intents and purposes Hair was a play about young people in New York’s East Greenwich Village who were dropping out of the social order and dodging the draft. The show had its roots planted as early as 1964. Actors James Rado and Gerome Ragni were hearing about stories of kids being kicked out of school for letting their hair grow long. The show’s producer Eric Blau put the play’s writers in touch with a Canadian songwriter Galt MacDermot who began penning several melodies. The show opened Off-Broadway at the then new Public Theater in Manhattan’s East Village on October 17, 1967, moving to the Cheetah discothèque in December. The show went though many changes after that run before moving to Broadway at the Biltmore Theater located at 261 West 47th Street. Other theaters had refused to have the musical in their buildings due to the nudity and drug use added to the show by the time it opened again on April 29, 1968. The original Broadway production ran for four years and 1,750 performances, closing on July 1, 1972. As a special treat, here is the entire LP, the No. 1 album in America this week in ’69.

Many future prominent artists performed in the musical during that time, including actress Diane Keaton and singers Melba Moore, Ronnie Dyson, Robin McNamara, Paul Jabara, Beverly Bremers, Barry McGuire, Vicki Sue Robinson and Meat Loaf. While the Off-Broadway soundtrack was released in 1967, the new Broadway adaptation was released in ’68. There were several remakes from the production that became hits including the medley “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)” by the Fifth Dimension (No. 1 this week on the Hot 100--**see above) “Easy To Be Hard” by Three Dog Night, another medley by the Happenings “Where Do I Go/Be In/Hare Krishna”, “Good Morning Starshine” by Oliver (real name William Oliver Swofford) and the title tune “Hair” by the family group the Cowsills. The show was nominated for two Tony Awards® in ’68 and this soundtrack won a Grammy® for Best Score from an Original Show Album for the year 1969, selling over three million copies.

 

BEST SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES

 LPs

“Special Survey”

                                                                                                                                 

THIS WEEK IN ‘69:

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

CLOUD NINE

The Temptations

 GORDY RECORDS939

This was “Psychedelic Soul” at its best. It was the sixth of an ultimate 13 non-consecutive seven-day chart-phases for the Long Player Cloud Nine by the Temptations on Gordy Records to sit atop the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart. The vocal group was now fully under the auspices of Norman Whitfield, who had the difficult task of having a new lead singer—Dennis Edwards—who had taken over for a booted but very popular David Ruffin. The first time with the group in a recording studio for Dennis Edwards was for the title track of the LP, “Cloud Nine.” Not a bad way to join the rat-race for chart superiority. That title track reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 Singles chart and was a certified million-selling single after Berry Gordy, Jr. finally released information to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) about record sales. The track was not a No. 1 song on the R&B singles list. But, the 45 RPM issue of the song “Cloud Nine” won a Grammy® for Best Rhythm & Blues Group Performance, Vocal or Instrumental for 1969. That musical composition had been released a number of months before the LP hit the record shops on February 17, 1969 under the heading of “The Sound of Young America.”

Also released just before the Cloud Nine album touched down to earth was the follow-up single to “Cloud Nine” called “Run Away Child, Running Wild”—another Best Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart-topper.

Both songs (produced by Norman and co-written by Whitfield and Barrett Strong) featured at least one line sung by each member of the Tempts. “Run Away Child, Running Wild” was sitting in the No. 7 slot on the R&B singles listing this week; on that 50 song chart for 10 survey-periods so far—and No. 26 (after a peak-position of No. 6) on the Hot 100. The long version (of this edited 3:17 single) was a lengthy 9:38.

 

 


THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

MAY 3, 1975

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘75:

 

THIS WEEK—LAST WEEK—TITLE—WRITER(s)—ARTIST(s)—RECORD LABEL—CATALOG NO.    

***************************************************************************

No. 10 (LW 21) “ONLY YESTERDAY”

(John Bettis / Richard Carpenter)

Carpenters A&M1677

***************************************************************************

No. 9
(LW 12) “LONG TALL GLASSES (I Can Dance)”

(David Courtney / Leo Sayer)

Leo Sayer WARNER BROS.8043

***************************************************************************

No. 8 (LW 10) “WALKIN’ IN RHYTHM”  

(Barney Perry)

Blackbyrds FANTASY736

***************************************************************************

No. 7 (LW 11) “SHINING STAR  

(Philip Bailey / Maurice White)

Earth, Wind & FireCOLUMBIA10090

***************************************************************************

No. 6 (LW 14) “JACKIE BLUE”

(Steve Cash / Larry Lee)

Ozark Mountain Daredevils A&M1654

***************************************************************************

No. 5 (LW 6) “CHEVY VAN” 

(Sammy Johns)

Sammy Johns GRC2046

***************************************************************************

No. 4 (LW 2) “PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM” 

(Elton John / Bernie Taupin)

The Elton John Band MCA40364

***************************************************************************

No. 3 (LW 7) “BEFORE THE NEXT TEARDROP FALLS”

(Vivian Keith / Ben Peters)

Freddy Fender ABC / DOT17540

***************************************************************************

No. 2 (LW 1) “(Hey Won’t Ya Play) ANOTHER SOMEBODY DONE SOMEBODY WRONG SONG”

(Larry Butler / Chips Moman)

B.J. Thomas ABC12054

***************************************************************************

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

 

“HE DON’T LOVE YOU (Like I Love You”

 

 (Jerry Butler / Calvin Carter / Curtis Mayfield)

 

Flip-Side:

“PICK IT UP”

Tony Orlando

& Dawn

ELEKTRA RECORDS45240

For the first year of its existence, this group’s first four singles were listed as by Dawn on the Bell Records labels. For the next six 45 RPM Bell discs, the act was renamed Dawn featuring Tony Orlando. When they ended their association with that record company, they signed with Elektra Records and as Tony Orlando & Dawn, had their first Hot 100 Singles chart leader in two years (following their previous No. 1 songs; “Knock Three Times,” and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”) with “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)”—a remake of the 1960 Jerry Butler Vee-Jay Records song “He Will Break Your Heart.” Their renamed version ended up being the 18th biggest hit of the year in ’75. The Ice-Man, Jerry Butler’s original title was different, but the song remained the same. Here’s a live version sung to a track on TV as Tony Orlando & Dawn.

The name Dawn was picked to protect Orlando from losing his job as a manager for the April-Blackwood Music publishing house. Hank Medress of the Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and co-producer Dave Appell asked him to sing on a session for the song “Candida” without giving up his true identity. So originally there really was no “Dawn,” as the backing singers on Orlando’s initial tracks were songwriters Ellie Greenwich (“Chapel Of Love,” “Be My Baby,” etc…) and “Sugar Sugar” (Archies) singer Toni Wine on “Candida” and the follow-up “Knock Three Times.” Then, the producers needed to get the act on the road after those two monster hits, and a couple of minor hits “I Play And Sing” and “Summer Sand.” So from then on, the backing singers were Telma Hopkins (a former Motown back-up singer and later a TV actress on Gimme A Break, Family Matters, Bosom Buddies and others) and her friend singer Joyce Vincent. Hopkins has said she and Vincent joined with Orlando, “Reluctantly.” Throughout their six-year recording and TV variety show career, the Dawn ensemble was produced and arranged by a founding member of the Tokens, Hank Medress and Dave Appell. “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)” became a three-consecutive-week No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart, beginning with this seven-day graph-period in 1975. The act was left high and dry when Orlando had (what was described as) a nervous breakdown during a live show in 1977 on a Massachusetts stage not long after his friend, comic Freddie Prinze committed suicide earlier that year. He told the crowd he was quitting the business; suddenly leaving Hopkin and Vincent without a gig. They’ve since reconciled, and even toured in the late ‘80s into the early ‘90s. Then 16 year-old Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis was discovered by “The Man with the Golden Ears,” Don Kirshner and had solo hits like: “Halfway To Paradise” (No. 39 Pop) and “Bless You” (No. 15 Pop) both in 1961. The years in between his teenage success and his Dawn years were lean, forcing Tony Orlando to sing under the name Billy Shields for a one-off record, and was the voice of a studio group called Wind. That teaming with producers Bo Gentry and Joey Levine, led to a superb One-Hit-Wonder called “Make Believe,” sounding very much like Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons. Here’s one of Big Jay’s favorite tracks from 1969; “Make Believe.”

Orlando once told me he was impressed that I had a copy of the single “Make Believe” on the small Life Records label, but also that I also had one of the few remaining copies of the Wind album. Of course he autographed my rare near mint piece of vinyl. That project also happened while Tony was working as a manager for the April-Blackwood Music publishing house, and couldn’t record under his real name. Then, Hank Medress of the Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and co-producer Dave Appell asked him to sing on another session for the song “Candida” that other singers had turned down. Not long after that and “Knock Three Times” were hits, he suddenly didn’t need that publishing gig. The rest is history.  

 

TOP 40 EASY LISTENING SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘75

No.1

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“ONLY YESTERDAY”

(John Bettis / Richard Carpenter)

 

Flip-Side

“HAPPY”

Carpenters

A&M RECORDS1677

During the prolific career of Carpenters, this one was the beginning of a slow decline. “Only Yesterday” on A&M Records was the No. 1 song this week on the Top 40 Easy Listening Special Survey. But the thing that made it distinguishing was the fact that it was the act’s last Top 10 Hot 100 Singles chart hit; with the No. 4 position as its zenith. Carpenters had four more No. 1 songs on the Easy Listening or Adult Contemporary Chart, but this was the last big one across the board.

!

The song “Only Yesterday” came from the album Horizons on A&M. Five previous albums by Carpenters had reached the Top 5 on the Pop albums chart, but this one stalled at No. 13. It still sold over a million copies however. The single “Only Yesterday” did not reach the one-million plateau as their last of 10 million-sellers was their final No. 1 Pop 45 RPM, “Please Mr. Postman”—the remake of the Marvelettes classic. That song was also included on the album Horizons. A third sad-song single co-written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody from that LP reached No. 17 on the Pop singles gauge called “Solitaire”—but was a No. 1 Easy Listening single for one week as the follow-up to “Only Yesterday.” Karen’s brother Richard co-wrote “Only Yesterday” with lyricist John Bettis. Richard Carpenter produced the LP with his sister getting Associate-Producer status.   


HOT SOUL SINGLES

“Special Survey”

THIS WEEK IN ‘75

No.1

SOUL

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH YOU”

(Barry White)

Flip-Side

“WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH YOU BABY”

Barry White

20th CENTURY RECORDS – 2177

This was the sole survey-phase in the No. 1 slot on the Hot Soul Singles chart for Barry White’s “What Am I Gonna Do With You” on 20th Century Records. White didn’t hit the million-mark with the sales of this single, yet it reached a healthy No. 8 on the Pop Hot 100 listing. As with almost all of White’s ‘70s output, the recording was arranged and conducted by the legendary Gene Page. “What Am I Gonna Do With You” was the last Top 10 Pop hit for Barry until 1977, when he scored again with “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me.” Here’s a ride on the Soul Train with “The Maestro” performing with the Love Unlimited Orchestra for “What Am I Gonna Do With You” taken from the album Just Another Way To Say I Love You.

Barry White had a total of six million-selling 45 RPM releases, including from ‘73: “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby” (No. 3 Pop & No. 1 Soul) “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” (No. 7 Pop) “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” (his only No. 1 Pop hit & No. 1 Soul) from ’74, “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” (No. 2 Pop & No. 1 Soul) from ‘77 “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me” (No. 4 Pop & No. 1 Soul) and after a very dry spell, White made a comeback with the No. 18 Pop (and No. 1 Black chart) hit, ‘Practice What You Preach” in 1994. Barry also participated on a multi-artist song for Quincy Jones in 1990, the million-selling “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)” along with Al B. Sure, James Ingram and El DeBarge. White had played the piano as a 12 year-old boy on an early Rock & Roll hit “Goodnight My Love” by Jesse Belvin in 1956 after studying classical piano as a youngster. Barry played on numerous recording sessions through the ‘50s and ‘60s, and formed a female vocal group Love Unlimited which included his future wife Glodean James. That led to having a No. 1 song producing “Love’s Theme” by Love Unlimited Orchestra. That song opened the floodgates for Barry to use his distinctive baritone voice on all those sensuous hit songs. Barry’s health declined and he passed away due to complications from diabetes and a stroke at age 58 on July 4, 2003.  

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

MAY 3, 1975

 

TOP LPs

& TAPE

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘75:

No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 3)

CHICAGO VIII

Chicago  

COLUMBIA RECORDS33100

My second favorite band had their seventh studio album ranked No. 1 during this seven-day survey-cycle on the Top LPs & Tape chart in ’75. Chicago VIII was recorded after the group had toured relentlessly since their breakout days in the Windy City in late ‘68. Music critics blasted this album as just average after having such great material for their first six studio sets. Never the less, Chicago VIII had a couple of hit singles and one miss. The first 45 RPM from the LP came out before the album release called “Harry Truman.” The track was written and sung by Robert Lamm who penned the song as a political metaphor after America went through the upheaval of Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency. The song stalled at No. 11 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Next up, a more upbeat track was released as a single in April of ’75 titled “Old Days,” written by trombone player James Pankow and sung by bass player Peter Cetera. This song didn’t use the lyrics to do anything but remember Pankow’s childhood, with mentions of everything from Howdy Doody to baseball cards. “Old Days” brought Chicago back into the Top 5 stalling in that slot. Here’s a live TV appearance featuring Chicago’s newest member, percussionist Laudir de Oliveira.

The last single simply didn’t connect with Chicago’s fan-base. “Brand New Love Affair (Part I & II)” was only on the Hot 100 for five weeks and stiffed at No. 61. Chicago’s founding members were all intact at this point in the band’s life with the aforementioned Robert Lamm on keyboards, Terry Kath on guitar, Danny Seraphine on drums, (future solo star) Peter Cetera on bass, and the famed Chicago horn section comprised of James Pankow on trombone, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and Walt Paraziader on sax plus, the newest official member mentioned above who had performed on Chicago VI and VII as a side player. The fact that Chicago is not in the so-called Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is simply incomprehensible.

 

HOT SOUL

LPs

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘75:

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

 

A SONG FOR YOU

The Temptations

 GORDY RECORDS957

While the Temptations still had some life in them, by 1975, the group’s classic line-up had largely left with David Ruffin long-gone after being booted from the vocal group, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams left in ’71, leaving founding member Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin left. Ruffin’s replacement, Dennis Edwards was still with the group, but not for long. Short-term member Ricky Owens was quickly replaced by Otis “Damon” Harris; only to have him leave the group to form the band Impact. After this album, the changes were just too difficult to follow. But the LP A Song For You did have some shining moments. The first single “Happy People” was supposed to be a track by the Commodores—in fact, they can be heard on the track on a tape loop. The 45 had been released in late ’74 in front of the LP being let loose on the record-buying public. “Happy People” did quite well on the Hot Soul Singles Special Survey, attaining yet another No. 1 spot for the veteran vocal group; co-written by Lionel Richie. It stalled at No. 40 on the Hot 100 even though it had a Disco-groove; quite hot at the time. Next up for a 45 release was the funk-track “Shakey Ground” sung by the great Dennis Edwards. This song was co-written by Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel (who performed on the track) along with Al Boyd (a former member of the Imperial Wonders and the group Truth, along with Jeffrey Bowen; former husband of singer Bonnie Pointer. “Shakey Ground” was notable as being the final No. 1 song on any Billboard R&B chart for the Temptations.

Also performing on the track was onetime Funkadelic bass player Bill “Bass” Nelson. “Shakey Ground” reached No. 26 on the Pop Hot 100; the highest position they would ever achieve again as an act (save for guest spots on other artists recordings) before the Temptations fell into a steep decline on the charts. The album A Song For You was in the No. 1 position for just this sole survey-period. The Temptations were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the class of 1989. Otis Williams is the only original member still performing with the Temptations.

 


 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

May 9, 1987

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘87:

 

THIS WEEK—LAST WEEK—TITLE—WRITER(s)—ARTIST(s)—RECORD LABEL—CATALOG NO.    

***************************************************************************

No. 10 (LW 7) “I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (For Me)”

(Simon Climie / Dennis Morgan)

Aretha Franklin and George Michael ARISTA9559

***************************************************************************
No. 9 (LW 18) “BIG LOVE”

(Lindsey Buckingham)

Fleetwood Mac WARNER BROS.28398

***************************************************************************

No. 8 (LW 16) “THE LADY IN RED”  

(Chris DeBurgh)

Chris DeBurgh A&M2848

***************************************************************************

No. 7 (LW 13) “HEAT OF THE NIGHT  

(Bryan Adams / Jim Vallance)

Bryan AdamsA&M2921

***************************************************************************

No. 6 (LW 5) “SIGN ‘O’ THE TIMES”

(Prince)

Prince Paisley Park28399

***************************************************************************

No. 5 (LW 3) “DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER” 

(Neil Finn)

Crowded House CAPITOL5614

***************************************************************************

No. 4 (LW 4) “LA ISLA BONITA” 

(Bruce Gaitsch / Patrick Leonard / Madonna)

Madonna SIRE29425

***************************************************************************

No. 3 (LW 6) “WITH YOU OR WITHOUT YOU”

(Adam Clayton / Dave Evans / Paul Hewson /          Larry Mullen)

U2 ISLAND99469

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No. 2 (LW 2) “LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE”

(Andre Cymone / Jody Watley)

Jody Watley MCA52956

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No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“(I Just)

DIED IN YOUR ARMS”

 (Nick Van Eede)

 

Flip-Side

“FOR THE LONGEST TIME”

 

Cutting Crew

VIRGIN RECORDS99481

The No. 1 Hot 100 Singles chart record in America this week in ’87 was “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by the English rock band Cutting Crew for the last of two consecutive survey-phases at the pinnacle on Virgin Records. Nick Van Eede (vocalist) wrote their only chart-topper in the U.S. It certainly isn’t the first song about sex, but it ‘came’ to Eede after having carnal knowledge with his girlfriend. “(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” had already been a hit in England; peaking at No. 4 in August of 1986. The track came from the album titled Broadcast.  

The LP Broadcast and single (“I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight” were both bigger hits in America than in the U.K., with the album attaining the No. 16 slot in the states and a lowly No. 41 over in Blighty. It was the 32nd biggest hit of the year according to Billboard. Noted British sax player Gary Barnacle performed on this track. The follow-up single called “One For The Mockingbird” stalled at No. 38; however, the third single from the LP called “I’ve Been In Love Before” brought the band roaring back peaking at No. 9 on the Hot 100. Cutting Crew had just one more single reach our shores called “(Between A) Rock And A Hard Place” stiffing at No. 77. Cutting Crew Guitarist Kevin MacMichael died of cancer in 2001 at age 51.

 

HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘87

No.1

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“THE FINER THINGS”

(Will Jennings / Steve Winwood)

Flip-Side

“NIGHT TRAIN”

Steve Winwood

ISLAND RECORDS28498

The biggest hit on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles list this week in ’87 was the fourth single from Steve Winwood’s stellar album Back In The Highlife with the track, “The Finer Things” on Island Records. The song reached No. 8 on the Pop Hot 100 Singles chart. Listen closely, and you may recognize the backing singers on “The Finer Things.” I’ll tell you who they are after you listen and watch the video.

Well, unless you cheated and looked it up, the backing singers on “The Finer Things” were James Ingram and the late Dan Hartman. Ingram was a major R&B star in the ‘80s and Hartman was the guy who sang “Free Ride” by Edgar Winter Group and had solo hits like “Instant Replay” and “I Can Dream About You.” The LP Back In The Highlife had four singles here in the state; while seven of its eight tracks were put on 45 RPM in the U.K. Here in America, Winwood scored a No. 1 Pop and Rock Singles chart song with “Higher Love” in the summer of ’86, with backing vocals by Chaka Khan, then “Freedom Overkill” (No. 20 Pop) followed by this week’s Hot Adult Contemporary Single list-topper and finally (in the U.S.) “Back In The Highlife” featuring James Taylor on backing vocal was released as a single later in the spring; gaining the No. 13 spot on the Hot 100 and another No. 1 on the A.C. survey. The LP was a Grammy®-nominated for Album Of the Year, and won the Best Engineered, Non-Classical Album award, as well as “Higher Love” receiving Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Grammy® wins. The song “Back In The Highlife Again” was nominated for Record of the Year the following year. All in all, the album sold over three million copies in the U.S. and reached the peak position of No. 3 on the Top Pop Albums chart.

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘87

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN LOVE”

(L. Vandross / J. Skip Anderson)

Flip-Side

Instrumental version of

“THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN LOVE”

Luther Vandross

(Duet With

Gregory Hines)

EPIC RECORDS – 06978

This record was not a big Hot 100 chart hit (No. 50 Pop) but it did reach No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles list and No. 20 on the Adult Contemporary Singles survey. Luther Vandross was flirting with mass stardom with this duet along with dancer/actor/singer Gregory Hines. It was Luther’s second No. 1 song in a row on the Hot Black Singles chart. The first was his first Top 20 Pop hit, “Stop To Love” (No. 15 Pop) with yet a third consecutive stay in the wings in that No. 1 Black chart slot with his next 45 RPM release (No. 44 Pop) “Any Love.” Vandross had also topped this chart for the first time back in ’81 with “Never Too Much.” But for this song, he utilized the star-power of Gregory Hines.

“There’s Nothing Better Than Love” was from Luther Vandross’ fifth studio LP called Give Me The Reason which gave him an American Music Award for Favorite Soul / R&B Male Artist of the year for ’87. Vandross never had a No. 1 Pop hit, but he came close with his duet with Mariah Carey on the remake of “Endless Love” in 1994. After a lengthy illness, Vandross died at age 54 on July 1, 2005.

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

APRIL 27, 1986

 

TOP POP

ALBUMS

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘87:

No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

THE

JOSHUA TREE

U2  

 

This week’s top album in America in ’87 (the third of nine back-to-back survey-periods) was from the Irish rock band U2 with The Joshua Tree on Island Records. Members of the group are credited with writing all of the material for the album, with sunglass-wearing singer Bono (Paul David Hewson) composing the lyrics for each track. The album was inspired by the band’s touring of the U.S.A. with politically and socially cognizant lyrics inflated with spiritual metaphors. Bono’s words are about a man who is troubled by being a musician on the road frequently and the home life issues it creates. Many have noted the use of the so-called ‘infinite-guitar’ by The Edge (David Howell Evans) as a way of allowing an electric guitar note to be held with infinite sustain. The first single from The Joshua Tree was rapidly climbing the Pop singles chart this week. “With You Or Without You” that would sit at the peak of the U.S. chart for three weeks beginning next week. With that in mind, U2’s manager Paul McGuinness didn’t think the song should be released as a single, saying it was, “too unusual.” Obviously, he was incorrect. The track was the first for the band to be widely released as a compact disc (CD) single, while also being released as a 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl single.

This single was released a couple of weeks after the album made its debut in America on March 9, 1987. Clearly, “With Or Without You” was the U2 breakthrough song for American music audiences; bringing them from a decent act to superstardom. The song “With Or Without You” is always included on lists among the greatest songs of all-time in magazines and by critics; yet the record was not a number one song in the U.K. (it was on top of the separate Irish music chart.) Their next single from the album Joshua Tree would also be a No. 1 Pop hit in the U.S. for two survey-phases; “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois had produced U2’s prior LP The Unforgettable Fire, and were enthusiastically asked to produce The Joshua Tree. That album was recorded in a giant 18th century Georgian-style house in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland called Rathfarmham in the foothills of the Wickalow Mountains. Get your maps out.

 

TOP BLACK ALBUMS

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘87:

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

JUST LIKE THE FIRST TIME

Freddie Jackson

CAPITOL RECORDS12495

 

R&B crooner Freddie Jackson had the No. 1 Hot Black Album chart-leader for an astounding 23rd of an ultimate 26 non-consecutive weeks during this survey-phase in ’87; titled Just Like The First Time. The Capitol Records artist was riding high on the three consecutive No. 1 Hot Black singles: “Tasty Love,” “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” and “Jam Tonight.” Another single reached No. 2 on that chart, with the slow-jam called “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love.” Oddly, the song did not even appear on the Hot 100 Pop chart as the three others had done.

This was Jackson’s second studio LP; peaking at No. 23 on the Top Pop Albums chart. Some pressings of the set featured another No. 1 Hot Black chart song—a duet with Melba Moore called “A Little Bit More” which was also featured on her album titled A Lot Of Love, also on Capitol. Freddie Jackson’s album was by far the biggest R&B Long- Player of the year in 1987. This set of songs was released on vinyl, cassette and CD formats. Freddie Jackson was from Harlem in Manhattan, and had formerly been a back up vocalist for Melba Moore; thus their duet. For all of his success on the R&B charts, Jackson never quite successfully crossed-over to the pop side, having only four Top 40 Pop hits; the highest reaching No. 12 with “You Are My Lady” from his first album on Capitol. I participated in an interview with Freddie at the peak of his success along with my friend Joey Reynolds at the old 66 WNNNBC-AM. And while a bit shy, he projected that he was zealous about his music. Jackson’s peers, record-buyers and concert audiences venerated his work.


**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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