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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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July 17th, 2015

THE

BIG
SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week

 

ENDING

 

JULY 20, 1963

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘63:

 

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

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

No. 10 (LW 13) “PRIDE AND JOY”

(Norman Whitfield / Marvin Gaye / William Stevenson)    Produced by: William Stevenson                       
Backing Vocals: Martha & the Vandellas

MARVIN GAYE TAMLA54079

***************************************************************************No. 9 (LW 16) “(You’re The) DEVIL IN DISGUISE”

(Bill Giant / Bernie Baum / Florence Kaye)                        Produced by: Elvis Presley

ELVIS PRESLEY                             with The Jordanaires RCA VICTOR8188

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

No. 8 (LW 6) “SUKIAKI”  

(Rohusuke Ei / Hachidai Nakamura)                 
Produced (in U.S.) by: Dave Dexter, Jr.            
Arranged in Japan by: Hachidai Nakamura

KYU SAKAMOTO CAPITOL 4945

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

No. 7 (LW 10) “WIPE OUT  

(Ron Wilson)                                                            Produced by: Dale Smallen                                             

THE SURFARIS DOT16479   

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

No. 6 (LW 11) “FINGERTIPS –PT 1”

(Henry Cosby / Clarence Paul)                              Produced by: Berry Gordy, Jr.                           
Arranged & Conducted by: Clarence Paul                                 
Featuring Stevie on Harmonica & Bongos   

LITTLE STEVIE WONDER TAMLA54080

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

No. 5 (LW 7) “MEMPHIS” 

(Chuck Berry)                                                      
Produced by: Carl Edmonson                                                               
                                                         

LONNIE MACK FRATERNITY 906

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

No. 4 (LW 3) “TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN SPORT” 

(Rolf Harris)                                                          
Produced by: George Martin (**This was a re-recorded version done in England of the Australian original.)                                                             
With Accompaniment Directed by: Johnnie Spence                                                        

ROLF HARRIS EPIC5-9596 

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

No. 3 (LW 4) “SO MUCH IN LOVE” 

(William Jackson / Roy Straigis / George Williams)
Produced by: Unknown                                                              
Arranged by: Billy Straigis & Billy Jackson                                                        

THE TYMES PARKWAY 871

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

No. 2 (LW 1) “EASIER SAID THAN DONE”

(William Hinton / Larry Huff)                                                                                        Produced by: Henry Glover & George Goldner  

THE ESSEX ROULETTE 4494

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

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

 

“SURF CITY”

 (Jan Berry / Brian Wilson)

Produced and Arranged by: Jan Berry & (**and reportedly Brian Wilson—uncredited)

Flip-Side:

“SHE’S MY SUMMER GIRL”

JAN & DEAN

LIBERTY RECORDS55580

Jan & Dean had the No. 1 hit in America for the first of two weeks in ‘63 on the Hot 100 Singles chart with “Surf City” on Liberty Records. Jan Berry (the brains behind Jan & Dean) had tried to convince Brian Wilson to let his act record “Surfin’ U.S.A,” but he wouldn’t give it to his friend; keeping it for his own ensemble instead. The Beach Boys had done the musical backing for a show of Jan & Dean’s, and became quick friends. The duo had sung two earlier Beach Boys minor hit songs that evening; “Surfin’” and “Surfin’ Safari.” The LP Jan & Dean Take Linda Surfing actually features the Beach Boys on backing vocals. In exchange for the chance to perform with Jan & Dean, Wilson gave his pal Berry another surfing song, “Surf City.” You could see that Steve Allen wasn’t too happy that this was the No. 1 song in America for this TV broadcast.

Did you notice Jan Berry altering the lyrics a bit? Listen again and see if you pick up the snipe toward Steve Allan for his disdainful introduction. It’s been reported that neither Capitol Records (the Beach Boys record label) nor Brian’s father Murry (then their manager and publisher) were too happy that he let this one get away. But that’s Brian Wilson on the high falsetto parts on the original recording of “Surf City.” It has also been suggested that Brian Wilson aided Jan Berry in the production of the song. The musicians, later called “The Wrecking Crew,” performed the music on the track.  In April of 1966, Jan Berry suffered a critically brain injury when his vehicle crashed not far from the so-called “Dead Man’s Curve” near the gates of U.C.L.A. Famous cartoon voice-actor Mel Blanc was almost killed in an earlier accident near the same location. That famous bend in the road was also the name of a No. 8 Pop hit from 1964 from the duo. Their next biggest hit was “The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena)” (No. 3 Pop) in ’64. Jan Berry died at age 62 after suffering a seizure in 2004. Since the late ‘60s, Dean Torrence had a wildly successful career away from performing; designing logos for album covers for dozens of hit record albums and other artwork. 

 

MIDDLE-ROAD SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘63

No.1

MIDDLE-ROAD

(Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN SPORT”

(Rolf Harris)
   Produced by: George Martin
(**This was a re-recorded version done in England of the Australian original.)                                                             
With Accompaniment Directed by: Johnnie Spence

ROLF HARRIS
EPIC5-9596 

(Rolf Harris)

Produced by: George Martin
(**This was a re-recorded version done in England of the Australian original.)                                                             
With Accompaniment Directed by: Johnnie Spence

Flip-Side:

“THE BIG BLACK HAT”

ROLF HARRIS

EPIC RECORDS9596

Rolf Harris had recorded the original version of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” in 1960 at a brand new TV station in Perth, Australia with three other musicians, after performing a children’s show earlier in the day. But a re-recorded version, produced by a man who already had a major new band on his hands (namely the Beatles) was a hit three years earlier in its original crudely recorded form in both Australia and the U.K. It stiffed in the U.S. in 1960. But with this new arrangement and sparkling production, comedian/singer Harris almost hit the heights of the Hot 100 Singles chart in America (peaking at No. 3) and did hit the peak of the so-called Middle-Road special survey, for this, the second of an ultimate three weeks during this survey-phase in ’63.

Interestingly, the No. 2 song this week was also from a foreign act, Kyu Sakamoto with “Sukiyaki” in the No. 2 slot on this Easy Listening survey. Rolf Harris moved to England in his mid-‘20s. He had briefly moved to Vancouver, Canada just before returning to London to record his song under better quality circumstances with the future Sir George Martin. The song has had its share of controversy in recent years due to political correctness in his native Australia, with some of the lyrics changed due to concerns of native Australians. Harris is now perhaps known more for his exploits outside of performing. In 2014, the dishonored performer was shifted to a more cloistered English prison after reportedly being bullied by inmates at another facility. The now 85-year-old was relocated to a prison for “vulnerable” sex offenders. What was the reason for Harris going to prison in the first place? Harris was convicted of 12 indecent assaults in 2013. One was an eight year-old autograph hunter, two on girls in their teens and a list of abuse on his own daughter’s friend over a 16-year timeframe. His plunge from grace was underscored as he was stripped of a Bafta fellowship and tributes in his native Australia were taken away. In addition, Harris faces losing his prestigious CBE in the U.K.



HOT

R&B

SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘63

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

 

“EASIER SAID THAN DONE”

 

(William Linton / Larry Huff)

Produced by: Henry Glover / George Goldner   

 

Flip-Side:

“ARE YOU GOING MY WAY”

THE ESSEX

ROULETTE RECORDS4494

Like the liner notes from their only charting LP, the Essex was four guys and a girl. Two of the guys were from New Jersey: Walter Vickers (guitar and vocals) from New Brunswick and after attending Rutgers University joined the U.S. Marine Corp., and Billy Hill went to Princeton High School, also joining the Marines after graduation. Drummer and singer Rodney Taylor was from Gary, Indiana, and yes; he joined the Marines. New York City native Rudolph Johnson also was a Marine—see a pattern here? The guys met on a bus on the way back to North Carolina from boot camp, while spontaneously singing together on the trip. Vickers thought they needed a girl in the group. Of course, Anita Humes was also a Marine and the guys heard she could sing. They realized they struck gold after hearing her with their vocal blend. Humes originally came from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The five singers put together a demo recording of “Easier Said Than Done” while all were stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina at Camp Lajuene—as were the two songwriters, William Linton and Larry Huff, as (you betcha) Marines. That demo (based on the rhythm of teletype machines in the communications office on at Lajuene) led to the Essex being invited to New York to audition for Roulette Records, under the auspices of the legendary boss (wink-wink) the notorious Morris Levy. The only issue was that the members of the group were scattered around the globe by then, and all had to wait until they could obtain a “leave” from the Marines. Obviously, they passed the audition; with the music world much richer from not only their service during the “Cold War,” but also from their unstoppably infectious recording. This was one of the first 45 RPM records I ever purchased with my own money. It was 49 cents at my local A&P Supermarket, and I remember jumping for joy when I spotted it. The first time I heard this song was on Fabulous 57 WMCA and was blown away. When you’re 10, things like that really are big deals. Just in case you’ve never heard a newsroom teletype machine, here’s what they sound like. If you listen to 1010 WINS-AM, one of the CBS-FM sister radio stations here in New York, you hear one similar to the one below in the background whenever the newscaster turns on the microphone.

And now, listen to the rhythm of “Easier Said Than Done” by the Essex.

Where did the name the Essex come from? According to Billy Hill, when they were driving to New York, they saw a sign for Essex while in Maryland. When they saw another sign for Essex County in New Jersey, they knew that was their new name. Anita Humes left the Marines not long after “Easier Said Than Done” had run its course on the Hot 100 (No. 1 for two weeks, ending its esteemed slot during last week’s survey-period) and the Hot R&B Singles special survey, where it was the chart-topper this week and next. The Essex were able to record an entire album. They had just two more Hot 100 singles, neither on their debut LP; “A Walkin’ Miracle” (listed as the Essex featuring Anita Hume—No. 12 Pop) along with “She’s Got Everything” (same listing on this follow-up—No. 56 Pop) all on Roulette. The group was touring in Dallas on November 22, 1963 on a Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour with Bobby Vee, the Ronettes, Little Eva, Jimmy Clanton, the Dovells and others on the day President John F. Kennedy was killed. Obviously, that evening’s show was cancelled. The group broke up shortly after the assassination. After her time in the Marines, Humes then joined the Army, where she met her future husband, Gene Chappelle. She toured with Army entertainers while in that arm of the service. When she and her husband were told they would be stationed in different countries, Humes- Chappelle left the Army. They were later divorced. As the lead singer of the Essex, Humes was able to join-up years later with a few of the group’s members for some reunion shows, one televised and shown on PBS by T.J. Lubinsky. Sadly, in 2010, Anita Humes was found dead in her car; two days after she died at age 69 in her native Harrisburg. She reportedly never received sales royalties from her recordings. Gee—Roulette Records and Morris Levy—who would have thought they never saw a dime? Ask Tommy James. Drummer Rodney Taylor was killed during a mugging in his native New York City in 1966. Both of the “Easier Said Than Done” songwriters have passed; William Hinton left us in 1995, and Larry Huff died in 2004. From what I can ascertain, Billy Hill still performs occasionally in New Jersey. For any further information about the song and the Essex, you’ll have to pay me. I’m tired.   

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

JULY 20, 1963

 

TOP LPs

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘63:

No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

and Other TV Requests

ANDY WILLIAMS

COLUMBIA RECORDS8815

Produced by: Robert Mersey

If you like your “middle-of-the-road” songs, you’re gonna love this section. Andy Williams was still on fire this week in ’63 with his latest album Days Of Wine And Roses and Other TV Requests on Columbia Records leading the 150 Top LPs Monaural survey. It was also the prime album on the Top 50 Stereo LP chart as well. On the Mono listing, it was in the twelfth of 16 back-to-back survey-periods as the leading record. On the Stereo list, it was in week number eight of an ultimate 12 chart-cycles at the crest. It remained on the album listing for a staggering 117 weeks. A song from the album, “Can’t Get Used To Losing You,” had reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 in that position for four survey-periods; written by legendary songwriters Jerome “Doc” Pomus and Mort Shuman. That track was produced by Robert Mersey. It had been the biggest Middle-Road chart song for four weeks.

The flip side of “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” was written by some other legendary songwriters; notably Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. “Days Of Wine And Roses” only got to No. 26 on the Hot 100, but garnered the No. 9 slot on the Middle-Road list. That title track from the movie Days Of Wine And Roses won an Oscar® for the songwriters in the Best Original Song category. Here’s the sweater-guy with his smooth rendition of “Days Of Wine And Roses.”

The film starred Jack Lemon and Lee Remick. The title comes from a poem written by Ernest Dowson. One of the song’s writers, Henry Mancini, also had an instrumental version of his composition reach No. 33 on the Hot 100.New inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bill Withers, once claimed his inspiration for his huge hit “Ain’t No Sunshine,” came to him while watching the movie Days Of Wine And Roses. Andy Williams’ follow-up to “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” b/w “Days Of Wine And Roses” was called “Hopeless,” and was featuring on this LP as well.

“Hopeless” was far from it, as it gained enough traction to garner the peak position of No. 13 eventually on the Hot 100 and was sitting in the No. 18 spot this week on that listing. But on this week’s Middle-Road (Easy Listening) special survey, “Hopeless” was finding a happy life in the No. 5 spot. Iowa native Howard Andrew “Andy” Williams passed-away in 2012 at the age of 84 in Branson, Missouri.

 

NOTE:

There was NO separate Rhythm & Blues ALBUM chart during this time in Billboard Magazine. However, the highest charting R&B artist this week on the Pop Top 50 LPs chart will be featured.

Love,

His Bigness.

HIGHTEST CHARTING R&B ALBUM on the TOP LPs Pop chart

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘63:

No. 3

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 5)

The Apollo Theater Presents • In Person

THE JAMES BROWN SHOW
(also known as James Brown Live At The Apollo)

JAMES BROWN

 KING RECORDS826

Produced by: James Brown

Credited Recording Engineer: Tom Nola

Mr. Dynamite had ripped it up at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on October 24, 1962. He was already being heralded as, “The most potent and dynamic talent in the show business today.” At least that’s what it said on the rear cover’s album liner notes. But this 40 minute Midnight show set (disputed—see below) is considered one of the finest collections of live recordings by virtually any R&B artist then—and now. Live recordings of this magnitude were difficult, as the crowd was generally raucous whenever Brown hit the stage. But it seems that some of the crowd noise was added during the mastering process, as the crowd was TOO quiet during some songs. A recording engineer named Tom Nola, of Nola Recording Studios in New York City painstakingly laid this show down on tape in stereo with just eight microphones on to a two-track Ampex tape recorder at this Apollo Theater appearance. I dug up some interesting information however. Hal Neely, who wrote the liner notes to the LP claims that it was HE who engineered the recording that night in Harlem. Neely also claimed it really wasn’t just one show that was included in this set, but pieces of the best versions from a few shows. But who’s quibbling. The current single (the night of this recording) from James Brown was called “Mashed Potatoes U.S.A.” where the Godfather of Soul mis-spelled his own hometown of Augusta, Georgia as A-G-U-S-T-A. Because I love you all, I’m featuring the entire album for you here as a Big Jay Big Bonus.

At the time, James Brown utilized the talents of the Famous Flames as his backing band for recordings and his by then almost legendary live act. Brown was infamous for hearing flubbed notes or missing dance steps during those live performances and almost immediately issuing fines to the musicians. And reportedly, the fines would not have been $5 or $10 bucks—but $100 for each infraction that night. There was a lot at stake with this live recording, as Brown had to almost beg the head of King Records, Syd Nathan, to do it in the first place, and only got the OK when Brown himself picked up the tab for the now legendary recording. Brown died on Christmas Day, 2006.

 

     


 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week

 

ENDING

 

JULY 22, 1972

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘72:

 

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

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

No. 10 (LW 12) “SCHOOL’S OUT”

(Alice Cooper / Glen Buxton / Michael Bruce / Dennis Dunaway / Neal Smith)
Produced by: Bob Ezrin for Nimbus 9 Productions, Ltd. – An Alive Enterprises Production 

ALICE COOPER WARNER BROS.7596

***************************************************************************No. 9 (LW 6) “ROCKET MAN”

(Elton John / Bernie Taupin)                                                Produced by: Gus Dudgeon – Recorded in England

ELTON JOHN UNI55328

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

No. 8 (LW 11) “HOW DO YOU DO”  

(Hans van Hemert / Harry van Hoof)                  
Produced by: Hans van Hemert                        
Arranged and Conducted by: Harry van Hoof  

MOUTH AND MACNEAL PHILIPS 40715

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

No. 7 (LW 10) “WHERE IS THE LOVE”

(Ralph MacDonald / William Salter)                   
Produced by: Joel Dorn & Arif Mardin              
Arranged by: Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway
Strings & Woodwinds Arranged by: Arif Mardin
 

ROBERTA FLACK & DONNY HATHAWAYATLANTIC2879

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

No. 6 (LW 7) “DADDY DON’T YOU WALK SO FAST”

(Peter Callander / Geoff Stephens)
Produced by: Wes Farrell for Coral Rock Productions 
Arranged by: Mike Melvoin              

WAYNE NEWTON CHELSEA78-0100

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

No. 5 (LW 9) “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT”

(Homer Banks / Raymond Jackson / Carl Hampton)
Produced by: Johnny Baylor                                      

LUTHER INGRAM KOKO 2111

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

No. 4 (LW 5) “BRANDY (You’re A Fine Girl)”

(Elliot Lurie)
Produced by: Mike Gershman / Bob Liftin / Looking Glass                                                                    
Arranged (Horns & Strings) by: Larry Fallon

LOOKING GLASS EPIC10874

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

No. 3 (LW 8) “ALONE AGAIN (Naturally)”

(Gilbert O’Sullivan)                                                
Produced by: Gordon Mills                                  
Arranged (music) by: Johnnie Spence

GILBERT O’SULLIVAN MAM3519

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

No. 2 (LW 2) “TOO LATE TO TURN BACK NOW”

(Eddie Cornelius)                                         
Produced/Sound by: Bob Archibald Music Factory, Miami, Florida                                                    
Arrangement by: Bob Archibald & Mike Lewis 

CORNELIUS BROTHERS & SISTER ROSE UNITED ARTISTS50910

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

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“LEAN ON ME”

 (Bill Withers)             

Flip-Side:

“BETTER OFF DEAD”

BILL WITHERS

SUSSEX RECORDS235

Produced by: Bill Withers with Jackson, Gadston, Dunlap and Blackman

Arranged (strings) by: Ray Jackson

This week in ’72, “Lean On Me” became an anthem, with Bill Withers owning the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 Singles list, whilst having the best selling Soul album called Still Bill (**see below.) on Sussex Records. It was the third and concluding survey-cycle atop the Pop chart in the U.S. this week in ’72 for Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Withers. The song “Lean On Me” had already spent a week at the summit of the Soul singles chart in June, and was in the No. 5 position (up from No. 6) this week on the Top 40 Easy Listening listing as well. William Harrison Withers, Jr. was a product of a tiny town in West Virginia. After several years in the Navy, Withers moved to L.A.; the burgeoning hub of the music industry by the late ‘60s. There, Withers had speech rehabilitation to control a stuttering issue. Bill struck pay-dirt with his first album, Just As I Am in ’71, featuring the production of Booker T. Jones (of the M.G.’s-fame) along with Stephen Stills on lead guitar and the hit single, “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Here’s a live TV version of “Lean On Me.”

The album Still Bill sold over one million copies; as did “Lean On Me” and “Us Me” as singles. Withers has claimed that his time working at California factories permitted him to see how co-workers or friends leaned on each other, just as they did while growing up in a little town called Slab Fork, West Virginia; thus the theme of this touching song “Lean On Me.” Some members of the group Watts 103rd Street Band from L.A. were backing musicians on the tracks of Still Bill and received co-producers credits as well. Bill Withers was included in the class of ’15 to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “Lean On Me” would again become a No. 1 song (for two weeks) in 1987 by the Pop/New Jack Swing group, Club Nouveau.  

 

TOP 40 EASY LISTENING SINGLES

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘72

No.1

MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 2)

 

“WHERE IS THE LOVE”

(Ralph MacDonald / William Salter)                  

Flip-Side

“MOOD”

ROBERTA FLACK & DONNY HATHAWAY

ATLANTIC RECORDS2879


Produced by: Joel Dorn & Arif Mardin
Arranged by: Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway
Strings & Woodwinds Arranged by: Arif Mardin

Their voices melded perfectly together with Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway with Flack’s second million-selling single, “Where Is The Love.” The 45 RPM was at the pinnacle of the Top 40 Easy Listening chart this week in ’72, and was currently No. 7 on the Hot 100 Singles list, on the way to its peak position there at No. 5 in the weeks ahead. “Where Is The Love” was a robust No. 3 on the Best Selling Soul Singles listing this week as well; ultimately reaching that chart’s apex for just one survey-period ending on August 6, 1972. The track came from the Atlantic LP titled Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway; holding steady in the No. 2 slot on the Best Selling Soul LPs chart and No. 3 on the Pop Top LPs & Tape register. Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway won a Grammy® Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus for “Where Is The Love.”



The Grammy’s® were kind to Flack that year, as her monster hit, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” also won Record of the Year and the songwriter, Ewan MacColl won for Song of the Year with that composition. But now back to the relationship with Roberta & Donny. They had met while students at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Flack had been given a scholarship to the prestigious school at the age of 15. Hathaway had also been given a scholarship to attend, but never graduated; seeking a paying music career over his continuing education. The Chicago-born but St. Louis-raised Donny was a superb utility man with artists like: The Unifics, Curtis Mayfield, Staple Singers, Jerry Butler and Aretha Franklin. He signed a solo deal with ATCO Records, an Atlantic subsidiary label, where he was paired with his old college bud Roberta Flack. He recorded a holiday song called “This Christmas” in 1970, which has become a holiday standard since the ’70. The same year (’72) when he did the duets LP with Flack, Hathaway also recorded a well-regarded album called Live! The duo paired again in ’74 for another million-selling song “The Closer I Get To You,” which reached No. 2 (Pop) and No. 1 Soul for a couple of survey-cycles in the early spring of ’74; sprung from Flack’s album called Blue Lights In The Basement, a Top 10 Pop and Soul LP. Sadly, Donny Hathaway suffered from paranoid schizophrenia; which made him act irrationally. It has been reported that his health issues drove a wedge between he and Flack until they worked things out leading to their hit, “The Closer I Get To You.” However, not long after an aborted recording session due to his odd behavior in New York City on January 13, 1979, Hathaway was found dead on the street below his 15th floor room at the Essex House Hotel in Manhattan. He and Flack had previously recorded more tracks together for another album of duets called Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway. Two tracks from that album were released posthumously in 1980, as they were the only two tracks completed together: “You Are My Heaven” (reportedly the last song he recorded co-written by Stevie Wonder and Eric Mercury) reaching No. 47 Pop and “Back Together Again,” peaking at No. 56 Pop. The rest of the album was completed by Flack.  

 

BEST SELLING SOUL

SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘72

No.1

SOUL

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

 

“(If Loving You Is Wrong) I DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT”

 

(Homer Banks / Raymond Jackson / Carl Hampton)                                          

 

Flip-Side

“PUTTIN’ GAME DOWN”

LUTHER INGRAM

 

KOKO RECORDS2111

Produced by: Johnny Baylor

I’m not sure which recording got Luther Ingram more royalty checks. Could it be for co-writing “Respect Yourself” a No. 1 record for Staple Singers (co-composed by Mack Rice) or his own No. 1 Soul hit (and No. 3 Pop) “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right” that he DIDN’T write? If I was a betting man, I’d go with the songwriter co-credits on that Staple Singers No. 1. But I must tell you, Ingram certainly sold a mess of 45 RPM records with the latter. Ok, it didn’t sell over a million copies the way his “Respect Yourself” co-composition did, but this record’s message went to the cheatin’ side of town, and resonated on the dark side of the good vs. bad spectrum. But hey; doesn’t the word bad mean good? Replace bad for cheating, and without even hearing the song, the title says it all. And all I know is, from the opening guitar notes performed on this Koko Records release (a subsidiary distributed by Stax/Volt Records) this mournful track begged to be heard.

This was the third of four back-to-back weeks in ’72 as the biggest Soul hit in America. By the way, Koko Records was owned by this track’s producer, ex-boxer Johnny “Koko” Baylor. I’ve found out that another Stax/Volt vocal act recorded “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right.” The Emotions (on the Volt label) recorded it first from a female point of view, but the tempo was apparently too rapid-paced. The Emotions’ version did get released years later on a collection of their lost tracks called Songs Of Innocence And Experience. Dig that one up if you can. Ingram found the Emotions’ track among some old master tapes in the Stax vault, and thought a slowed-down more Gospel-like version would work. He recorded the rhythm track in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to get that even grittier sound than what was coming out of the Stax Studios (Soulsville, U.S.A.) in Memphis. The song was performed as a Country No. 1 song in ’78 by Barbara Mandrell. Ingram was no newcomer to the recording business. He had formed an early R&B group with some of his brothers and others near St. Louis. Luther recorded as early as 1953 with a vocal act called the El Corados with little success. Then with his brothers back in the fold, he was with them as a Gospel act called the Midwest Crusaders. In ‘56, Federal Records executive Ralph Bass held some auditions in St. Louis. Liking what he heard, he sent them to play for Ike Turner (yes that one) at Turner’s home and someone came up with a new name; the Gardenias. They recorded four tracks with the backing of Turner’s group the Kings Of Rhythm. Remember, those were the same musicians who recorded what is considered by many as the very FIRST Rock ‘N Roll record, 1951’s “Rocket 88” listed as by Turner’s sax player Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, which was actually Ike Turner’s group with Brenston signing. That groundbreaking single was recorded at the Sun Studio in Memphis, where a couple of years later, a skinny (then blonde-haired) teen named Elvis would record for the first time. An Ike Turner-produced single from the Gardenias is a good find called “Flaming Love” b/w “My Baby’s Tops.” But the group didn’t last long, as Luther’s brothers wanted to return to Gospel recording so that act broke up. Luther had always wanted to be a solo artist, so this was his moment. By the mid-‘60s, Ingram had a few R&B hits, but no monster smashes. Skipping ahead, it took until 1970 for Luther to reach the Pop singles listing, but overall he had an impressive over 20 R&B chart-songs, including the follow-up to his monster hit titled “I’ll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm) reaching No. 40 Pop; written by the same songwriting team at Stax (Koko) that had composed his biggie. Ingram suffered from diabetes, and after a decades- long battle, succumbed to complications from the disease at age 69 in 2007.     

   

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

JULY 22, 1972

TOP LPs

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘72:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

HONKY CHÂTEAU

ELTON JOHN

UNI RECORDS93135

Produced by: Gus Dudgeon

This was the second of an ultimate five survey-cycles as the biggest album in America for Elton John with Honky Château on UNI Records. This fifth studio set from Reginald Hercules Dwight contained his biggest hit single to date; “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)” as it was seen on the album. This week, the 45 RPM release was in the No. 9 spot, after peaking at No. 6 during the last analysis-period. However; Elton John had not had a million-selling single in the U.S. as of yet, including “Rocket Man.” 

The current Elton John LP was named after the place where the album was largely recorded; The Château d'Hérouville, built in 1740 near Paris, France. Elton John and his band was just one unit to record music in the old building. Other British musicians to record there, including: David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd and Sweet. The album Honky Château was the second of three Elton John projects to be done in France. His prior album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, and the next double LP called Goodbye Yellow Brick Road were also laid to tape in this 30 room building. Honky Château also featured another single in the late summer of ’72 called “Honky Cat,” attaining the peak position of No. 8 on the Hot 100. My favorite track from this album has always been “Mona Lisa And The Mad Hatters.” At this point in time, the Elton John Band consisted of Nigel Olson on drums, Dee Murray (real name David Murray Oates, who died in 1992) on bass guitar with Davey Johnstone on electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and steel guitar. Johnstone still plays for Sir Elton and acts as his musical director after all these years; although he was once fired with the other two band members when Elton wanted a new sound. For “Rocket Man,” a guy named David Hentschel (credited as Henschel) played the ARP synthesizer.   

 

BEST SELLING SOUL

LPs

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘72:

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

STILL BILL

BILL WITHERS

 SUSSEX RECORDS7014

Produced by: Bill Withers with Ray Jackson, James Gadson, Melvin Dunlap and Benorce & Blackman

 

Proving that his first single “Ain’t No Sunshine” from the 1971 album Just As I Am wasn’t a fluke, Bill Withers became a star with his sophomore album release. This week in ’72, his Still Bill was the biggest Soul album in America, featuring not only the week’s top Pop single, “Lean On Me,” (**see above) but also a future major hit, “Use Me”, reaching the No. 2 position on both the Pop and Soul singles charts later in the year. The album sold over one million copies; as did “Lean On Me” and “Use Me” as singles. Those tracks (in reverse order) were the last two tracks on Side-One of the gatefold LP. Still Bill was in the second of an eventual six continuous weeks as the prime Soul LP in the land. Because I featured “Lean On Me” in the Big Jays Big Singles list above, how about if I present “Use Me” to you here.

Withers gave his studio musicians co-producing credit on the album; a nice gesture. Ok, so Bobbye Hall, the percussionist, didn’t receive producers credit, but perhaps she was late for a session or something. She has had a stellar career, although not being a household name. Hall has performed and recorded with musicians as diverse at Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, the Temptations, Doobie Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Manhattan Transfer, Sarah Vaughn, Harry Chapin, Smokey Robinson, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Diana Ross and many more. Bill Withers had a rough time after this second album for Sussex, based in L.A. It took moving to Columbia Records in 1975 to find his groove again. His first outing with Columbia didn’t strike the right chords, but two years later, the song “Lovely Day” (No. 30 Pop) brought Withers back into the mainstream. His second biggest chart hit (based on peak position and total weeks) came in 1981 as a vocalist for sax player Grover Washington, Jr. with the  track “Just The Two Of Us” (No. 2 for three weeks) which won a Grammy® for Best R&B Song. It was written by Withers along with Bill Salter and Ralph MacDonald. Washington died in 1999 at the CBS Television studios in Manhattan after taping four songs for the Saturday Early Show.

 

 


 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

JULY 23, 1988

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘88:

 

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

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

No. 10 (LW 11) “RUSH HOUR”

(Jane Wiedlin / Peter Rafelson)                                                      
Produced by: Steven Hague for Blue Panda, Ltd.                
Engineered and Co-Produced by: David Jacob

JANE WIEDLIN EMI MANHATTAN50118

***************************************************************************No. 9 (LW 14) “SIGN YOUR NAME”

(Terence Trent D’Arby)                                                        Produced by: (or as it says on the 45 RPM label) Seduced and Licked by Martyn “Teddy Bear” Ware and Terence Trent D’Arby                                 
Arranged by: Terence Trent D’Arby

TERENCE TRENT D’ARBY COLUMBIA07911

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

No. 8 (LW 2) “MERCEDES BOY”  

(Perri McKissack a/k/a Pebbles)                                  
Produced by: Charlie Wilson                           
 Executive Producer: George L. Smith                 
Remixed and Addition Production by: Jeff Lorber               
Additional Production supervised by: Louil Silas, Jr. 

PEBBLES MCA53279

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

No. 7 (LW 9) “MAKE ME LOSE CONTROL  

(Eric Carmen / Dean Pitchford)                                               
Produced by: Jimmy Ienner

ERIC CARMEN ARISTA 9686

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

No. 6 (LW 8) “HANDS TO HEAVEN”

(David Glasper / Marcus Lillington)                                                     
Produced by: Bob Sargent                                
Arranged by: Breathe David Glasper, Marcus Lillington, Michael Delahunty and Ian Spice                
Remixed by: Chris Porter      

BREATHE A&M2991

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

No. 5 (LW 1) “THE FLAME” 

(Dick Graham / Robert Mitchell)                                Produced by: Richie Zito

CHEAP TRICK EPIC 07745

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

No. 4 (LW 6) “ROLL WITH IT” 

(Steve Winwood / Will Jennings)
Produced by: Steve Winwood and Tom Lord Alge
Mixed by: Tom Lord Alge                   

STEVE WINWOOD VIRGIN 99326

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

No. 3 (LW 4) “NEW SENSATION”

(Andy Farris / Michael Hutchins)                       
Produced by: Chris Thomas                                    
Mixed by: Bob Clearmountain

INXS ATLANTIC89080

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

No. 2 (LW 3) “POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME”

(Joe Elliott, Phil Collen / Rick Savage / Robert John Lange / Steve Clark)                            
Produced by: Robert John “Mutt” Lange                

DEF LEPPARDMERCURY870402

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

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 5)

“HOLD ON TO THE NIGHTS”

 (Richard Marx)

 

Flip-Side

“LONELY HEART”

RICHARD MARX

EMI / MANHATTAN RECORDS50106

Produced by: Richard Marx & David Cole
Remixed by: David Cole

 

This week in ’88, holding the crown of the Hot 100 Singles chart for this week only, was a tune from Richard Marx on EMI / Manhattan Records, “Hold On To The Nights”, his first No. 1 song, and the earliest male solo performer to have four Top 3 singles from a debut album; which happened to be mysteriously called Richard Marx. This guy jumped right out of the box with his first hit on what was then called Manhattan Records with the No. 3 hit, “Don’t Mean Nothing” with backing vocals by Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit. His follow-up did the exact chart position and the exact amount of weeks on the Hot 100 at 21 with “Should’ve Known Better,” only this time the backing vocals were from   the Tubes’ leader, Fee Waybill along with Schmit. But it sure got even better in short order for Richard Noel Marx. The next single released in just after Christmas of ’87, “Endless Summer Nights” just missed the peak of the Hot 100 at No. 2 for a couple of weeks, lasting again for 21 total survey-periods on the listing. It also got to No. 2 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart. But wait, there’s more. For only $19.99 I’ll tell you what was next. Call now…I’ll wait. OK, fine. The final single from the album Richard Marx placed him where the air is rare with his first No. 1 Hot 100 single, “Hold On To The Nights.”

“Hold On To The Nights” also garnered the No. 3 position on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart. The next Richard Marx LP featured two No. 1 singles, and the biggest hit of his career. “Satisfied” was the first No. 1 from his second album called Repeat Offender. But it was apparent that the next Marx single was going to be the one he’s likely most remember for; “Right Here Waiting,” No. 1 for three survey-periods in the late summer of ’89—selling over two million copies. The hits didn’t stop after that, but Richard Marx cooled, relatively, with five consecutive Top 20 hits. He hasn’t been on the Hot 100 since 1997. But all in all, not bad for a guy who did backing vocals for Lionel Richie and turned that into a huge career of his own.

 

 HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘88

No.1

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“MAKE ME LOSE CONTROL”

(Eric Carmen / Dean Pitchford)

Flip-Side

“That’s Rock ‘N Roll”

ERIC CARMEN

ARISTA RECORDS9686

Produced by: Jimmy Ienner

 

Eric Carmen has resurrected his charting records career three different times. His first burst of stardom came as the lead singer for the Raspberries in 1972 with the song “Go All The Way.” That led some people to think (briefly) they were the Beatles re-incarnated. Not so, but it sure was loud Pop/Rock music from a band from Cleveland. They followed that No. 5 million-selling hit with a sound-alike “I Wanna Be With You,” reaching No. 16 on the Hot 100. I believe their finest single was their third called “Let’s Pretend,” one of the best Pop singles of the decade—only not many people remember it, as it reached only No. 35 in ’73. The Raspberries were sorta quiet for the rest of ’73, but they had one more hit left in them at the end of ’74 called “Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)” which may have been autobiographical in nature. The hits ended with Eric Carmen going solo in ’75. His first hit on his own was the sublime million-selling 45 RPM, “All By Myself” on the Arista Records label. The song was roughly based upon Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninov. The No. 2 was an omen, as “All By Myself” stalled in that position. Carmen liked the number two, as his follow-up was based on the Second Symphony by good old Rachmaninov. That song reached No. 11 called “Never Gonna Fall In Love Again.” Three Top 40 chart entries followed during the rest of the decade. Then came the ‘80s and splat. It took until 1985 for Carmen to have another Top 40 hit with the No. 35 single, the forgettable “I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips.” Then came a little movie you may have seen called Dirty Dancing. New Jerseyean, and Big Jay acquaintance Franke Previte co-wrote the mega-hit featuring Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.)” But Previte wasn’t done. He along with Dean Pitchford wrote another smash new song for the motion picture called “Hungry Eyes” reaching No. 4 on the Hot 100 list as 1987 turned into ’88. The follow-up single from Carmen was released on his Eric Carmen’s Greatest Hits album. “Make Me Lose Control” got to No. 3 on the Hot 100 and was in the second of three ultimate weeks as the biggest hit on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart.

That anthem-ish tune “Make Me Lose Control” was actually not only Eric Carmen’s last Top 40 hit, but he barely made the Hot 100 with his final chart entry later in ’88! But all in all, not bad for a classically trained little kid who made the big-time and escaped the mistake by the lake in Ohio. Let’s see if he can resurrect the hits for a fourth time. I’d love to see it happen.

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘88


No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

“DON’T BE CRUEL”

(Babyface / L.A. Reid / Daryl Simmons)

Flip-Side

“DON’T BE CRUEL (INSTRUMENTAL)”

BOBBY BROWN

MCA RECORDS – 53327

Produced by: L.A. & Babyface (Kenneth Edmonds) for LA ‘Face, Inc.

Executive Producer: Louil Silas, Jr.

 

In 1988, Bobby Brown was in the headlines for other reasons. His latest single was the crossover breakthrough he needed to become a mainstream hit artist. His previous solo single did quite well on the Hot Black Singles chart, reaching No. 1 there for two survey-periods with “Girlfriend,” but the song only squeaked in at No. 57 on the Hot 100. This next single changed aw dat bra. The New Jack Swing craze was in high gear and Brown’s corresponding album also called Don’t Be Cruel (the biggest album for all of 1989) made him the breakout star from his former “Boy-Band” New Edition.

The Don’t Be Cruel LP was the start of something even bigger in Bobby Brown’s musical future. Not only would the album be the best-selling LP of the following year, his next single would also be his first No. 1 Pop single; “My Prerogative.” Brown’s career was on a skyrocket trajectory from this point on—until it wasn’t. The early ‘90s were kind to Brown, as he kept having hits, and married Whitney Houston. He even did a duet with the Diva called “Something In Common” in ’93. What a profound title for Bobby Brown’s last charting record on the Hot 100. They divorced in 2007. As of this writing, their only daughter Bobbi is clinging to life in a hospice.   

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

JULY 23, 1988

 

TOP POP

ALBUMS 

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘88:

No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

HYSTERIA

DEF LEPPARD

MERCURY RECORDS422 830 675-1

Produced by: Robert John “Mutt” Lange

This week’s No. 1 album in ’88 was to become the biggest in Def Leppard’s career, much to the chagrin of some of their initial British fans who thought the group sold-out to American audiences by being more ‘commercial.’ The heavy metal band has ancestry in the Sheffield, England area, and was initially called Deaf Leopard. Being ‘commercial’ allowed Hysteria to eventually sell over 12 million copies on vinyl, cassette, CD in the U.S. alone; its worldwide sales have topped 20 million. Hysteria had been released almost a year prior in August of ’87 on Mercury Records, but with the success of the singles after “Women”, “Animal” and the title track “Hysteria,” the group exploded with the hit “Pour Some Sugar On Me” moving the album to the top of the chart. That song was at No. 2 during this very seven-day survey-phase; and for just this week.  

There were even more singles to come, including Def Leppard’s only No. 1 Hot 100 single, “Love Bites” later in ’88, then “Armageddon It” (No 3 Pop) and finally “Rocket” peaking at No. 12 Pop. Robert “Mutt” Lange had produced the Australian heavy metal group AC/DC and began working with Def Leppard beginning with their second album High ‘n’ Dry in 1981, and also produced their hugely successful predecessor to Hysteria called Pyromania that elevated the band to incredible success. But it was Hysteria that pushed them into the outer limits of rock. That exaltation led them to win the 1989 American Music Awards for Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album for Hysteria, and Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist. The band is now considered the biggest of the so-called New Wave of British Heavy Metal. But, do yourself a favor and never say to a member of the band that they are a “Glam Metal’ band.” You could get seriously hurt.

 

 TOP BLACK ALBUMS

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘88:

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

IN EFFECT MODE

AL B. SURE

UPTOWN / WARNER BROS.  RECORDS25662

Produced by: Al B. SURE
Executive Producers: André Harrell & Benny Medina

Yes, that’s an exclamation point at the end of his name—just to make SURE you got the joke. Al B. Sure’s real name is Albert Joseph Brown III. His early years were in Leonia, New Jersey before moving to Mt. Vernon, New York. You could call his act part of the “New Jack Swing” thing that was goin’ on in the late ‘80s. His stage name was meant to be one word, thus; he’s labeled alphabetically under “A” and not “S” for Sure! That likely confused not only record store employees (remember those) record buying customers and even radio stations with libraries with alphabetical listings. Leave off the S for savings. Here’s Al B. Sure’s biggest chart success from a bit earlier in 1988 with “Nite And Day” on Uptown Records.

“Nite And Day” reached No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles list; but it rose to only No. 7 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. It was propelled by his two-million-selling album titled In Effect Mode; No. 1 this week for the fourth of seven strong survey-cycles on the Hot Black LPs chart. Al B. Sure received an American Music Award for Best New R&B Artist, a Soul Train Award for Best New Artist in 1988 as well as a few Grammy® Award nominations. His reported biggest selling single was collaboration with Quincy Jones, along with James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White called “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)” in 1990. Al B. Sure! has had eight Top 10 hits on the R&B charts; but just one on the Hot 100. His recording career has been start then stop for several years, with his last chart album (a comeback of sorts) in 2009 called Honey I’m Home.



Have a super week &

BE BIG!

**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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