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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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August 7th, 2015

THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week

 

ENDING

 

AUGUST 14, 1965

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘65:

 

 


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

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

No. 10 (LW 14) “DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS”

(Joe South)

Produced by: Joe South                      

BILLY JOE ROYAL COLUMBIA43305

***************************************************************************
No. 9 (LW 28) “CALIFORNIA GIRLS”

(Brian Wilson)                                   

 

Produced by: Brian Wilson

Arranged by: Brian Wilson

 

 

THE BEACH BOYS CAPITOL5464

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

No. 8 (LW 10) “DON’T JUST STAND THERE”  

 

(Bernice Ross / Lor Crane)                                                           

Produced by:

Jack Gold

Arranged and Conducted by:

Arnold Goland

 

PATTY DUKE UNITED ARTISTS 875

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

No. 7 (LW 17) “IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG”  

(Eddie Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland)                                                           

Produced by:

Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier                                                                            

 

FOUR TOPS MOTOWN1081

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

No. 6 (LW 15) “UNCHAINED MELODY’”

(Hy Zaret / Alex North)                             

Produced by:

Phil Spector

 

THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS PHILLES129

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No. 5 (LW 3) “WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT” 

(Hal David / Burt Bacharach)                                                 

Produced by:

Peter Sullivan

Orchestra Directed by:

Charles Blackwell

 

TOM JONES PARROT 9765  

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

No. 4 (LW 1) “I’M HENRY THE VIII, I AM” 

(Fred Murray a/k/a Fred James Barnes / R. P. Weston a/k/a Robert Patrick Weston) **Written in 1911                                                       

Produced by:

Mickie Most




HERMAN’S HERMITS MGM13367

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

No. 3 (LW 4) “SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME”

(Gary Geld / Peter Udell)

Produced by:

Snuff Garrett

Arranged by:

Leon Russell         

GARY LEWIS AND THE PLAYBOYS
LIBERTY55809

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

No. 2 (LW 2) “(I Can’t Get No) SATISFACTION” 

(Mick Jagger / Keith Richards)                                                  

Produced by:

Andrew Loog Oldham for Impact Sound

 

THE ROLLING STONES LONDON9766

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

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 5)

 

“I GOT YOU BABE”

 (Sonny Bono)

 

Flip-Side:

“IT’S GONNA RAIN”

 

 

SONNY & CHER

 

ATCO RECORDS6359

 

Produced by:

Sonny Bono

A York-Pala Production

Arranged by:

Sonny Bono 

Engineered by:

Stan Ross

 

 

His apprenticeship paid off in wheelbarrows full of cash. Sonny (Salvatore Phillip) Bono was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1935, making him already 30 years-old when he had hit first true hit song as a performer. Bono had previously worked for Spector as a self-described, “Flunky” who hired the musicians, the singers and sang backing vocals. In his spare time he was a record promotion guy for Philles Records. Bono’s wife Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkasian—changed to La Piere when she was adopted by her stepfather at age 15—was nine years Sonny’s junior when “I Got You Babe” hit the No. 1 slot on the Hot 100 this week in ’65 on ATCO Records. She was from El Centro, California and was a back-up singer on many hits for producer Phil Spector including: “Be My Baby” from the Ronettes, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers and many others produced by Spector. Sonny Bono was a protégé of Phil Spector’s in the studios of Los Angeles where his famous “Wall of Sound” was produced; largely performed musically by what became “The Wrecking Crew,” the cream of the L.A. session musicians. Their first session produced by Sonny, who had to borrow just over one hundred bucks to rent the time in the studio, fashioned “Baby Don’t Go,” that was supposed to be a solo record for Cher. She was petrified in the room as a solo singer, so Sonny joined her, and it became a duet. But slow down. Reprise couldn’t get the record into the national consciousness—just yet. That single didn’t chart countrywide originally; but was a semi-hit in late ’64 into early ’65 in cities like: L.A., San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and even Nashville. In actuality, “I Got You Babe” was nowhere near the first single from the duo; but this time ATCO Records seized the chance to grab the duo after Reprise didn’t have a contract with the Bono’s. Sony & Cher were signed by parent label Atlantic’s Ahmet Ertegun. His first choice for a single release was a track called “Sing C’est La Vie.” That ended up on the ATCO follow-up single, but was relegated to the B side of the A side, “Just You” that eventually reached No. 20 on the Hot 100. Bono pleaded with Ertegun to reconsider that single as their debut on the label. And he got his wish—but it almost didn’t happen that way. Ertegun liked the B side of “I Got You Babe” called “It’s Gonna Rain.” Sonny almost had a kanipshin over that decision. So, Bono, ever being a record promoter, somehow got the track he thought should be the A side played on an L.A. radio station to show Ertegun that he was wrong. The label owner then believed Sonny and rush-released “I Got You Babe.” The song ended up being No. 1 the three consecutive survey-periods; with this the first week of its run. While this song was No. 1, the duo was in London to promote this single and Cher’s first solo release on Imperial Records, as you’ll see later in this article.

I will be honest with you; I liked “Baby Don’t Go” better than “I Got You Babe.” Phil Spector must have liked it too, as he had offered Bono $500.00 for 50 percent of the publishing rights. At that point, Salvatore and Cherilyn had already recorded as a duo two years prior as Caesar & Cleo. In fact, two of those recordings were released after they became known as Sonny & Cher: “The Letter” (No. 75 in ’65) on a label called Vault Records (trying to capitalize on the strength of “I Got You Babe”) and “Love Is Strange” a remake of the ‘50s hit on Reprise that never reached the Hot 100 but “Bubbled-Under” at No. 131. “Baby Don’t Go” was recorded under the name Caesar & Cleo as well. Because I can, here’s the No. 8 Pop hit “Baby Don’t Go,”

As an act, Sonny & Cher had 18 records reach the Hot 100, with “I Got You Babe” their only No. 1 and only million selling 45 RPM. Their three other biggest hits were “The Beat Goes On” (No. 6 Pop in ’67) “All I Ever Need Is You” (No. 7 in ‘late ’71) and “A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done” (No. 8 Pop) in ’72. Cher had already had some solo success (produced by Sonny) with “All I Really Want To Do” (No. 15 Pop in ’65 riding on the coattails of “I Got You Babe”)—simultaneously being promoted during a tour of the U.K. at this time in ’65) “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” (No. 2 Pop) “You Better Sit Down Kids (No. 9 Pop) and her first No. 1 song, “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” and a remake of “The Way Of Love” (No. 7 Pop) by the time the act called Sonny & Cher stopped having hits. They had a successful TV variety show, but had divorced during its second run. Cher was quoted years later saying she would have stayed with Sonny had he managed their financial affairs better and hadn’t had such a, “Tight grip.” Sonny & Cher did famously sing “I Got You Babe” one final time on the Late Show with David Letterman on November 13, 1987. Here’s that emotional clip.

Not a dry eye in the place. Sonny eventually became mayor of Palm Springs, California, and later, a U.S. Congressman. He died after a skiing accident at age 62 on January 5, 1998. Cher of course, became an Oscar® winning actress and has been on her farewell tour for 139 years.

 

TOP 40

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘65

No.1

MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

 

“SAVE YOUR HEART FOR ME”

 

(Gary Geld / Peter Udell)

 

Flip-Side:

“WITHOUT A WORD OF WARNING”

 

GARY LEWIS AND THE PLAYBOYS

LIBERTY RECORDS55909

 

Produced by:

Snuff Garrett

Arranged by:

Leon Russell

 

This was a very strong record for the Top 40 Easy Listening special survey, as it debuted at No. 5 and was No. 1 the following week. This was the second survey-cycle to feature Gary Lewis And The Playboys in the pinnacle position of this middle-of-the-road listing. It certainly didn’t seem it belonged there, but as a mid-tempo ballad, it did a remarkable job of appealing to adults as well as record-buying teens. Maybe it was the whistling? “Save Your Heart For Me” peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 Singles chart while “I Got You Babe” was the No. 1 tune on that listing.

 

I hope you enjoyed “Count Me In,” as “Save Your Heart For Me” was the perfect follow-up to that upbeat record. “Save Your Heart For Me” was an ideally short little summer ditty by Jerry’s kid and his pals. It certainly didn’t hurt that Gary was Jerry’s son; but the quality of the songs produced by Snuff Garrett with the help of the Wrecking Crew—with arrangements and keyboard playing of Leon Russell—made the group an instant success when Liberty released “This Diamond Ring” at the end of ’64. That song was the group’s only million-selling 45 RPM and the only one to reach No. 1 on the Billboard list. Their first nine singles all reached the Top 20; with seven of those in the Top 10! Gary Levitch was drafted into the military at the height of his group’s fame. By the time he was released from duty, tastes had changed dramatically away from simple Pop songs, into a hard-rock sensibility; keeping Lewis pigeon-holed as a lightweight act. I remember seeing Gary Lewis And The Playboys at Steel Pier in Atlantic City in 1966, just before he was inducted. I won a contest for getting the most new customers on my paper route (daddy, what are those?) and I remember, they were a last minute substitution for comedian and the Joker on the Batman TV series, Frank Gorshin. I was upset, as I loved that show, but once I heard Gary Lewis And The Playboys songs, I realized I had seen my first rock concert. Well, ok…Pop concert. I was dazzled by the screaming girls and the great songs I’d heard on the radio for two years from the band. They played every hit up to that point, and they may have played a total of 30 minutes. Remember, 45 RPM songs were rarely over 2:40 back then. Following “Save Your Heart For Me,” see if you remember these great Pop tunes: “Everybody Loves A Clown,” (No. 4 Pop) “She’s Just My Style,” (No. 3 Pop for four weeks) “Sure Gonna Miss Her” (No. 9 Pop) and my favorite song of theirs, “Green Grass” (No. 8 Pop) on the Hot 100. Their output for ’66 just landed in the teens on the chart, and by the time he returned to the scene, Gary Lewis And The Playboys couldn’t buy a hit. There have been consistent rumors through the years that Gary didn’t sing lead on the records, or was “helped” by another voice; reportedly named Ron Hicklin. For more help following this story, I invite you to read and subscribe to my friend Kent Kotal’s daily blog called Forgotten Hits. The column is a bit Chicago-centric (he’s from the Windy City area) but its chock full of great observations, commentary and links to songs. Here is the direct link with his permission to the continuing saga of, “Did He, Or Didn’t He Sing on those Gary Lewis And The Playboys ‘60s Recordings.” Fascinating stuff if you ask me.

http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2009/08/gary-lewis.html

  

TOP SELLING RHYTHM & BLUES SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘65

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 4)

 

“PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG
(Part 1)”

 

(James Brown)

 

Flip-Side:

“PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG (PART II)”

 

 

JAMES BROWN & HIS FAMOUS FLAMES

 

KING RECORDS5999

 

Produced by:

James Brown Productions

 

He was the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, Mr. “Please Please Please,” the King of Soul, Soul Brother Number One, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite, the Inventor of Funk, the Minister of the New Super-Heavy Funk, the Original Disco Man, the Grandfather of Hip-Hop and a charter member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. James Brown and the Famous Flames topped the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles listing this week with his landmark recording, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag Part 1” on King Records. This record was the result of an unprecedented new contract with the label, allowing Brown complete artistic control of his resonance. The song was also his biggest Pop chart hit to that date, reaching No. 8 on the Hot 100, which is exactly what he fought for. His NEXT hit was even bigger; a monster Pop and R&B hit (No. 1 R&B and No. 3 Pop) “I Got You (I Feel Good.)” Your Biggest Jay has the fortunate experience to have met James Brown twice, and I have an autographed copy of “I Got You (I Feel Good)” in mint condition, thank you. Here are “Papa” and “I Got You” in medley-form on the Ed Sullivan Show in color on CBS!

For single release, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Part 1)” was sped up and pitched up a half step with ‘slap-back’ echo to make it explode out of the radio and record player speakers. The 45 RPM was in the very first of eight uninterrupted survey-periods at the summit of the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart this week in ’65. This very important record won a Grammy® for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording, beating out one of the most enduring songs of the ‘60s, “My Girl” from the Temptations, another Motown act Jr. Walker & the All-Stars for “Shotgun,” Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour,” and even Sam Cooke’s “Shake” released 12 days after he was killed on December 11, 1964; taken from his last recording session on November 22nd of that year. Despite all of the hoopla over James Brown’s record sales dominating the R&B charts especially during the ‘60s, it wasn’t until 1972 that he had his first certified million-selling single. “Get On The Good Foot (Part 1)” on Polydor Records got that distinction; although it is likely other earlier recordings from J.B. sold at least a million, but not reported. James Brown died a legend on Christmas day 2006.

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

AUGUST 14, 1965

 

TOP LPs & TAPE

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘65:

 

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

BEATLES’ VI

 

THE BEATLES

 

CAPITOL RECORDS2358

 

Produced by:

George Martin


Capitol Records printed the phrase, “Made in England” on most of the Beatles singles and albums. It wasn’t called the “English-Invasion” however; we called it the “British Invasion” of ’64 and ’65. And the hits just kept on coming.  Capitol Records’ slogan should have been, “Don’t fire until you see the bucks in their hands.” Capitol had already done a hatchet- job of creating Beatles material for the North American marketplace—and this album was no different. Beatles VI (six) was a combination of an already old single (“Eight Days A Week” backed-with “I Don’t Want To Spoil the Party”) four other Lennon/McCartney songs, plus one from George Harrison and four hastily recorded remakes of R&B songs ranging from “Kansas City/ Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey,” “Bad Boy,” “Words Of Love” and Dizzy Miss Lizzie.” 


My favorite song on Beatles VI was going to be sung by Ringo Starr, but John Lennon decided to do the song himself with harmonies from McCartney and Harrison on the early Country/Rock tune “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party,” the B side of “Eight Days A Week.” That single had been recorded way back in the fall of ’64 and released in December ’64 in the U.K., and in the U.S. in February ’65. The Beatles themselves never wished to have singles released from albums, feeling it cheated their fans of new content. But Capitol Records didn’t care, as they saw the gravy-train by making American LPs out of left-off tracks from their British albums and some singles. In the case of Beatles VI, tracks were used from the British versions of Beatles For Sale and Help! “Bad Boy,” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” were recorded and released expressly with the American market in mind, and both were remakes of stateside R&B tunes from singer Larry Williams. For those of you with long memories, perhaps you were in attendance at the now demolished William A. Shea Municipal Stadium at 126th Stand Roosevelt Avenue in Queens on Sunday, August 15, 1965. If you really dig deep into your memory bank, you’ll remember that Motown singer Brenda Holloway opened the show, followed by the King Curtis Band, then Cannibal & the Headhunters, Sounds Incorporated followed by the Young Rascals. After all, this show, like their first at Shea, was promoted by Sid Bernstein, who also had the Young Rascals under his amazing tutelage. We lost Bernstein, a marvelous gentleman (but shrewd businessman) on August 21, 2013 at the age of 95. I had the pleasure of meeting and dining with Mr. Bernstein on a couple of occasions.  

 

TOP SELLING R&B 

LPs

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘65:

 

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

TEMPTATIONS SING

SMOKEY

 

 

THE TEMPTATIONS

 

 GORDY RECORDS912

 

Produced by:

Bill “Smokey” Robinson



He was the focal point of this album, but truth be told, it wasn’t JUST “Smokey” that the Temptations were singing, as Robinson typically had a collaborator helping him compose the music for songs. “My Girl” had previously been a No. 1 Pop (one week) and R&B smash (six weeks) by the Temptations; ending up being a two-million-selling 45 RPM for Gordy (Motown) Records. William “Smokey” Robinson had written “My Girl” along with Miracles member Ronald “Ronnie” White. They had vocalized together since before they were teenagers in the Motor City. The follow-up and second single from the LP Temptations Sing Smokey called “It’s Growing” had debuted at No. 77 on the Hot 100 for the week ending on April 3rd, it had just recently fallen off the Pop and R&B singles charts. Now, while “It’s Growing” (No. 18 Pop) was no “My Girl,” it did sell in respectable numbers for the Temptations. Here’s “It’s Growing,” co-written by another Miracles member Warren “Pete” Moore; that group’s vocal arranger.

The B side of “It’s Growing” was also on the album, with the title “What Love Has Joined Together.” Other signature Smokey tunes on this Temptations LP included remakes of “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” (a Miracles hit in late ’62) and “You Beat Me To The Punch” a ‘62 No. 1 R&B hit for Mary Wells. Smokey remained the Temptations’ producer through the end of ’65; replaced by Norman Whitfield at the demand of Motown owner, Berry Gordy, Jr. due to Robinson’s growing role as Gordy’s right hand man at Motown, and the fact that “Get Ready” was not as big a Pop hit as Gordy wanted. It was Berry himself who wrote the extensive liner notes on this album, which was seen as The Temptations Sing Smokey on the front and back cover, but as just Temptations Sing Smokey on the actual vinyl labels—from which I usually determine as the true title of a record. So despite owning songwriting acknowledgment with others, it was decided to advance Smokey over and above any of his co-writers on this capitalizing project. The LP had two long runs in the peak position of the Top Selling R&B LPs chart; for a grand total of 18 survey-cycles in ‘65—12 the first time, plus, an additional six weeks after a four week stay out of the No. 1 slot caused by Four Tops album called Four Tops for three of those seven-day survey-phases and Jr. Walker & the All-Stars with his LP Shotgun for a week.

 

 

 


 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week

 

ENDING

 

AUGUST 14, 1976

 

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76:

 

 

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

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

No. 10 (LW 12) “TURN THE BEAT AROUND”

(Pete Jackson / Gerald Jackson)

Produced and Arranged by:

Warren Schatz for Sunbar Productions, Inc.

Associate Producer:

Al Garrison

Engineered by:

Joaquin J. Lopes

Guitar solo by:

Elliot Randall   

 

VICKI SUE ROBINSON RCA10562

 

***************************************************************************
No. 9 (LW 8) “KISS AND SAY GOODBYE”

(Winfred Lovett)

Produced by:

Manhattan Productions, Inc. and Bobby Martin

 

THE MANHATTANS COLUMBIA10310

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

No. 8 (LW 26) “(Shake, Shake, Shake) SHAKE YOUR BOOTY”  

(Harry Wayne Casey / Richard Finch)

Produced by:

Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch for Sunshine Sound Enterprises, Inc.

 

K C & THE SUNSHINE BAND TK 1019

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

No. 7 (LW 19) “I’D REALLY LOVE TO SEE YOU TONIGHT”

(Parker McGee)

Produced and Engineered by:

Kyle Lehning

 

ENGLAND DAN & JOHN FORD COLEYBIG TREE 16069

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

No. 6 (LW 2) “LOVE IS ALIVE”

(Gary Wright)                                                         

Produced by:

Gary Wright

 

GARY WRIGHT WARNER BROS.8143

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

No. 5 (LW 6) “ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC”

(Words and Music by Chuck Berry)

Produced by:

Brian Wilson

 

 

THE BEACH BOYS BROTHER / REPRISE 1354

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

No. 4 (LW 9) “YOU’LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER LOVE LIKE MINE”

(Kenneth Gamble / Leon Huff)

Produced by:

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff

Arranged by:

Bobby Martin

                                                                   

LOU RAWLS PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL3592

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

No. 3 (LW 4) “LET ‘EM IN”

(Paul McCartney)

Produced by:

Paul McCartney

 

WINGS CAPITOL4293

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

No. 2 (LW) “YOU SHOULD BE DANCING”

(Barry Gibb / Robin Gibb / Maurice Gibb)

Produced by:

Bee Gees

Co-Produced by:

Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson

 

BEE GEES RSO853

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

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART”

 

 (Ann Orson / Carte Blanche**)

** (Elton John / Bernie Taupin)             

 

Flip-Side:

“SNOW QUEEN”

 

ELTON JOHN

 

THE ROCKET RECORD COMPANY40585

 

 

Produced by:

Gus Dudgeon

Strings Arranged by:

James Newton-Howard

Recorded in Canada

 

 

 

Of course that was Elton John and his writing partner Bernie Taupin trying to pull one over on the record buyers by listing themselves as Ann Orson and Carte Blanche; or in other words, a horse and cart blanche. British humor never works in America…except Benny Hill’s gags. What a great summer song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was from Elton John on his own The Rocket Record Company label. He was trying to give a tip of the hat to Motown and some of the great duets we all loved from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The 45 RPM was yet another million-selling 45 RPM for the future Sir Elton; the 11th to sell at least one million in the U.S. alone. Kiki Dee (real name Pauline Mathews) was a woman from Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Elton had signed her to his Rocket Records Company in ’74. Here’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” from Elton John and Kiki Dee, with a live version in ’77 of what became the second biggest chart hit in America for 1976.

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was not included Elton’s forthcoming album Blue Moves, but it did appear years later on compilations. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was Elton John’s last No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart until 1985 for “That’s What Friends Are For” when he teamed with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder. Elton’s biggest hit ever was his tribute to Princess Diana of England with “Candle In The Wind 1997,” the largest selling single of all time. Did you know that Elton and Taupin originally wanted the legendary White Queen of Soul, Dusty Springfield to sing on the tune? Reports said she was under the weather when Elton wanted to record the track. And here’s another BIG hunk of Big Jay’s Record Pig Music Trivia©. This was Elton John’s first No. 1 single in the U.K. Kiki Dee had but one other hit in the U.S. besides her duet with Elton. Her first outing totally bombed—stalling at No. 108 on the “Bubbling-Under” chart. But her next single was a fairly big hit called “I’ve Got The Music In Me.” I’ll play it here in a live setting in case you don’t remember this No. 12 Hot 100 hit.

Kiki Dee had a couple of singles after “I’ve Got The Music In Me,” but it appears she didn’t have that much more music in her, as she went into semi-retirement shortly after her success with “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” She did appear with Elton on a 1993 minor hit (“True Love” No. 56 Pop) but that’s the last time we saw her reach the chart.

 

TOP 50 EASY LISTENING SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76

No.1

MIDDLE-of-the-ROAD

(Easy Listening)

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

 

 

“IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN”

 

(Neil Diamond)

                                                                                      

Flip-Side:

“STREET LIFE”

 

NEIL DIAMOND

 

COLUMBIA RECORDS10366

 

Produced by:

Robbie Robertson

Strings and Horns Arranged by:

Nick DeCaro

 

This one just missed the Pop Top 10, as it attained the No. 11 slot on the Hot 100, but it was a solid performer; and was No. 1 twice on the Top 50 Easy Listening singles special survey. “If You Know What I Mean” was from Neil Diamond’s album Beautiful Noise on Columbia Records. The track was Diamond’s third to reach the Easy Listening chart’s pinnacle up to this point in ’76. Robbie Robertson from the Band produced this track and the entire LP as well.

Not only did Robbie Robertson produce Beautiful Noise, he also played guitar on several tracks. But the LP also included a bevy of stellar musicians including: the Bands’ Garth Hudson, multi-instrumentalist Larry Knechtel, Jesse Ed Davis on guitars, Toto’s David Paich on keyboards, Russ Kunkel, Jim Gordon and Jim Keltner on drums, Joe Lala on percussion (he later played the congas on “You Should Be Dancing” by Bee Gees) as well as Dr. John a/k/a Mac Rebennack and Jazz great Bob James both on keyboards. That’s a pretty impressive bunch of studio cats. The single was No. 1 the first time around for the week ending on July 17, 1976, and was still strong enough to make another stake at the top of the Easy Listening music mountain this week as well after a three-survey-period layover to make way for one-week each from “I’m Easy” by David Carradine, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” by Lou Rawls and even “Let ‘Em In” from Wings. Diamond’s follow-up single didn’t fare as well as “If You Know What I Mean,” as “Don’t Think….Feel” laid an egg, stalling at No. 43 on the Hot 100. Diamond was going to have the biggest chart hit of his entire career in just over two years from now with the duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” co-starring Barbra Streisand. That song first showed up as a solo recording in 1977 on Neil’s LP called I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight. Diamond was finally elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011; although I’d hardly call him a Rock & Roll artist during the last 45 years. Early on in his career—perhaps he qualified. But you must call Neil Diamond a Pop music mega-star.

 

 

HOT SOUL SINGLES

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“GETAWAY”

 

(Bernard “Beloyd” Taylor /

Peter Cor Belenky)

 

Flip-Side:

“GETAWAY (Instrumental)”

 

 

EARTH, WIND & FIRE

 

COLUMBIA RECORDS10373

 

Produced by:

Maurice White and Charles Stepney

for Kalimba Productions

Arranged by:

Charles Stepney

 

“Getaway” was the third million-selling single for Earth, Wind & Fire on Columbia Records. It attained those sales without ever being a Top 10 record on the Pop Hot 100 Singles listing. But this 45 RPM was in the second and final assessment-cycle in the No. 1 place on the Hot Soul Singles special survey this week in ’76. The song had some classical roots, as musician Peter Cor wrote the music for the track, with words from Bernard “Beloyd” Taylor who passed away in 2014. “Getaway” was co-produced by EWF founder Maurice White and Charles Stepney who died during the making of the album the song came from; Spirit.  

Charles Stepney has a great place in the history of Rock and Soul music, as he put together the band Rotary Connection along with Marshall Chess, the son of Chess Records’ co-founder, Leonard Chess. Rotary Connection was a groundbreaking act from ’67 through 1970, that included Minnie Ripperton, who later had a huge hit in ’76 called “Loving You.” Ripperton died at age 31 in 1979. Ripperton’s daughter is actress Maya Rudolph. Stepney was also a classical music conductor; thus the connection with the co-writer of “Getaway” Peter Cor. The follow-up single from the album Spirit from Earth, Wind & Fire was called “Saturday Night,” reaching No. 21 on the Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Hot Soul singles listing later in the year of the Bi-Centennial. 

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 

 For the Chart-Week

ENDING

AUGUST 14, 1976

 

TOP LPs & TAPE

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76:

 

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE

 

 

PETER FRAMPTON

 

ASYLUM RECORDS7E-1039

 

Produced by:

Peter Frampton

 

There’s no word if Peter Frampton threw someone’s cell phone into the rafters for using it while this album was recorded. Wait. There were NO cell phones back then. My bad. Sorry. I was thinking of last year’s concert-interuptus issue, when the guitar-hero threw an annoying fan’s device and broke it into pieces during a show. There was no keeping this album down. Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive was again the No. 1 album on the Top LPs & Tape chart on A&M Records. This was the third of an eventual 10 non-consecutive weeks as the prime album in America. This double-album set first became No. 1 for the week ending April 10th, again for the week ending on July 24th, yet again this week through the survey-cycle ending on August 28th, and finally for another five-week run from the week ending on September 11th, though the week ending on October 9, 1976. This was quite an amazing display of staying power at or near the pinnacle of the list. The co-owner of A&M Records, Jerry Moss insisted that Frampton Comes Alive be released as a two-record set, after hearing some of the semi-completed tracks, after ordering more shows be taped The song “Show Me The Way” had been a studio recording by the guitarist/singer on his album simply titled Frampton in 1975. The live 45 RPM version of “Show Me The Way” reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 Singles chart, while the original studio version failed to chart. “Show Me The Way” was recorded live at the Island Music Center in Commack, Long Island, NY in ’75. It was recorded with Peter using a Heil Sound ‘talk-box’—a gizmo with a tube attached to the mic stand that allows the shaping of speech sounds into a musical instrument—in this case Frampton’s black Les Paul guitar with three pick-ups. Here’s a different version from an appearance on TV’s Midnight Special.

The Beckenham, England native’s live follow-up single “Baby, I Love Your Way” was also on the studio Frampton LP in ’75, and written the very same day as “Show Me The Way” recorded live for this week’s No. 1 album. The LP’s edited live version reached No. 12 on the Hot 100. Here’s Frampton on TV’s Midnight Special.

“Baby, I Love Your Way” has been remade by other artists including South Florida’s Will To Power in a medley with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” in ’88 reaching No. 1 and by San Diego’s Big Mountain in ’94, getting to No. 6. Yet another single was released from Frampton Comes Alive in the early autumn of ’76, recorded live at Winterland in San Francisco; “Do You Feel Like We Do.” This track was 14:15 on the album, heavily edited for single release, reaching No. 10 on the Hot 100. Besides Peter, his band was rounded out by musicians John Siomos on drums, Bob Mayo on keyboards and guitars and Stanley Sheldon on bass guitar.  To be clear, some of the album had studio over-dubbing added later to enhance the sound of the over eight million-selling double-LP set.

 

 

SOUL

LPs

“Special Survey”

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘76:

 

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

BREEZIN’

 

 

GEORGE BENSON

 

 WARNER BROS. RECORDS2919

 

Produced by:

Tommy LiPuma

This week in ’76, the LP Breezin’ from Pittsburgh, PA native George Benson was No. 1 for the last of six non-consecutive weeks on the Hot Soul LPs chart. In fact, the album Breezin’ was at the summit of the Pop Top LPs & Tape chart as well for the two survey-periods prior to this one. So you know, the quite talented in his own right, guitarist/singer/songwriter Bobby Womack penned the title track from Benson’s LP Breezin’ on Warner Bros. Records. Bobby Womack died in 2014. But George Benson was not the first to record the title track. That exploit was attained by Hungarian-born guitarist Gábor Szab_, who thought Benson ripped-off HIS arrangement. George’s three-million-selling album also included the single “This Mascarade” which preceded the song “Breezin’” to the 45 RPM sales bins and was his first hit single. “This Mascarade” was written by Leon Russell; the B side to his own hit single “Tight Rope” in ’72. “This Mascarade” by Benson got to the No. 10 spot on the Hot 100 Singles chart. The former child prodigy, Benson, along with Russell and producer DiPuma won all kinds of awards for tracks from the LP Breezin’. Here’s the eight minute album version of the song that won a Grammy ® for Record of the Year; a producer’s prize, for Tony DiPuma.

Ralph MacDonald provided percussion for the LP along with Phil Upchurch on rhythm guitar. Upchurch also wrote a song for the Breezin’ LP called “Six To Four,” the B side of the single “Breezin’.” That Chicago native is perhaps best known for his Phil Upchurch Combo and their Top 30 1961 instrumental called “You Can’t Sit Down Part 2.” The title track “Breezin’” was released in the early autumn of ’76 and reached No. 63 on the Hot 100. It won a Grammy® for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

You can hear the influence of one of my favorite guitarists, the late Wes Montgomery on “Breezin.” George Benson’s biggest successes were yet to come, as he had enormous popularity, with selling-power on Pop, Soul and Jazz charts. His biggest charting single was “Give Me The Night, (No. 4) in 1980. Benson won several more Grammy® Awards through the years.

 


 

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

 

 

For the

 

Chart-Week ENDING

 

AUGUST 15, 1981

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81:

 

 

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

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

No. 10 (LW 11) “(There’s) NO GETTIN’ OVER ME”

(Tom Brasfield / Walt Aldridge)

Produced by:

Ronnie Milsap and Tom Collins                             

 

RONNIE MILSAP RCA12264

***************************************************************************
No. 9 (LW 9) “QUEEN OF HEARTS”

(Hank DeVito)

Produced by:

Richard Landis

Background Vocals:

Otha Young

 

JUICE NEWTON CAPITOL4997

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

No. 8 (LW 8)“HEARTS”    

(Jesse Barish)

Produced by:

John Hug in Association with JEN Productions

Engineered by:

Tom Flye – A Great Pyramid, Ltd., Production

 

MARTY BALIN EMI AMERICA8084

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

No. 7 (LW 7) “BOY FROM NEW YORK CITY”                           

(John Taylor / George Davis)

Produced by:

Jay Graydon for Garden Rake Music

Arranged by:

Jay Graydon

 

THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER ATLANTIC 3816

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

No. 6 (LW 6) “SLOWHAND”

(Michael Clark / John Bettis)

Produced by:

Richard Perry

Associate Producer:

Trevor Lawrence

POINTER SISTERS PLANET47929

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

No. 5 (LW 5) “ELVIRA” 

(Dallas Frazier)

Produced by:

Ron Chancey

 

THE OAK RIDGE BOYS MCA 51084

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

No. 4 (LW 1) “JESSIE’S GIRL” 

(Rick Springfield

Produced by:

Keith Olson for Carmen Productions

Arranged by:

Rick Springfield, Keith Olson & Neil Geraldo

 

RICK SPRINGFIELD RCA12201

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

No. 3 (LW 4) “I DON’T NEED YOU”

(Rick Christian)

Produced by:

Lionel B. Richie, Jr.

Arranged by:

Gene Page

Engineered and Mixed by:

Reggie Dozier

 

KENNY ROGERS LIBERTY1415

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

No. 2 (LW 3) “THEME FROM ‘GREATEST AMERICAN HERO’ (BELIEVE IT OR NOT)”  

(Music by: Mike Post / Lyrics by: Steven Geyer)

Produced by:

Mike Post

Executive Producer:

Stephen J. Cannell

Arranged by:

Mike Post and Steven Geyer

                

JOEY SCARBURYELEKTRA47147

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

 

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)

“ENDLESS LOVE”

 (Lionel Richie)

 

Flip-Side

“ENDLESS LOVE (Instrumental)”

 

 

DIANA ROSS & LIONEL RICHIE

 

MOTOWN RECORDS1519

 

Produced by:

LIONEL RICHIE

Arranged by:

Gene Page

 

 

 

Raise your hand if you can remember three people who starred in the film that featured the song “Endless Love.” If you answered Brooke Shields along with Martin Hewitt and a little known (first-time on a screen actor named) Tom Cruise; you’d be correct. Endless Love was only the 22nd highest grossing motion picture that year, but the song, written by Lionel Richie, was the key hit of the calendar year in ’81, if you take into account that “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John was also No. 1 in the beginning month of 1982 as a carry-over from ’81—10 weeks total. It would become the No. 1 Hot Soul Single next week; sitting there for seven ultimate survey-phases. The song would also be the most important single on the Adult Contemporary chart for four back-to-back weeks beginning with the survey-stage ending on September 5, 1981. “Endless Love” still is the biggest record to date for both Ross and Richie; plus was called the “best duet of all time” in 2011 by Billboard Magazine. Add to those accolades, the record got Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominations for Best Original Song, losing both to “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do).” It has also been described as the most successful song featured on a soundtrack that actually was heard in a motion picture.

Tensions over Richie’s solo endeavors made it necessary for him to depart the Commodores (after a victorious career with the group) when the 45 RPM became such a huge recording. Richie had written the music for what became “Endless Love” while a member of the Commodores. He was asked by the film’s director Franco Zeffirelli to add lyrics to the melody after he and Jon Peters heard it. Though Diana Ross had freshly left Motown Records for RCA Records, she was granted approval to record the duet with Richie and it was released on Motown. The original score was on Mercury Records. Ross had never even seen the lyrics until she and Lionel recorded it. They had to do those vocals at a studio in Reno, Nevada near where the diva was performing at a casino at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. This was the first survey-period of an ultimate nine weeks at the zenith of the Hot 100 Singles chart for the super-hit. Ms. Ross never had another #1 song, and she only hit the Top-10 four times after “Endless Love”. They were: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” “Mirror, Mirror,” “Muscles” and “Missing You”—a song about Marvin Gaye. The hits ended for the Diana in ’86 with her last three charting records co-produced by Barry Gibb and Michael Jackson failing to give Ross anything near a Top 40 hit.

 

TOP 50

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81

 

No.1

ADULT CONTEMPORARY (Middle Road)

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 1)

 

 

“I DON’T NEED YOU”

 

(Rick Christian)

 

Flip-Side

“WITHOUT YOU IN MY LIFE”

 

KENNY ROGERS

 

LIBERTY1415

 

Produced by:

Lionel B. Richie, Jr.


Arranged by:

Gene Page

 

Engineered and Mixed by:

Reggie Dozier

 

A guy named Rick L. Christian wrote the song “I Don’t Need You” that appeared on the Kenny Rogers LP Share Your Love on Liberty Records. Christian has never even MET Rogers. And, lo-and-behold, it’s one Lionel B. Richie, Jr. who produced this version of the song and the entire album. The engineer was Lamont Dozier’s brother, Reginald “Reggie” Dozier; who has been called “The Mix Doctor” by countless artists. Reggie has won three Grammy® Awards and 11 nominations for his work. Lamont Dozier, of course, was one of the most successful songwriters of the ‘60s & ‘70s, with the trio Holland-Dozier-Holland. Here’s a re-mixed version I Kenny Rogers’ “I Don’t Need You” from 2006.

“I Don’t Need You” managed to reach No. 3 on the Hot 100 Singles chart, but it’s greater strength was attaining the No. 1 spot on both the Adult Contemporary Singles AND the Hot Country Singles charts in the summer of ’81. This was the last of six consecutive survey-periods on the AC chart. As your King of Record Pigs, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that “I Don’t Need You” was actually a remake of a version recorded by Harry Nilsson for his forgotten 1980 album Flash Harry. Nilsson’s variation, recorded about a year earlier, was grittier than Rogers’ interpretation. Nilsson’s LP was his final full album and only released in the U.K. and Japan featuring Ringo Starr on drums. Your Biggest Jay is proud to let you hear what Nilsson did with the track before Kenny Rogers made it a hit.

But indeed, the song’s roots go all the back to 1978, when Tennessee songwriter Rick Christian recorded it himself on Mercury Records, and was produced by legendary Stax guitarist Steve Cropper in Memphis. Coincidentally, Cropper also produced that Nilsson LP. Kenny Rogers’ version of “I Don’t Need You” was smooth yet heartfelt as were many during this period of his career.

 

BLACK SINGLES

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81

 

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 3)

 

“I’M IN LOVE”

 

(Kashif)

 

Flip-Side

“THE OTHER SIDE OF LOVE”

EVELYN KING

 

RCA RECORDS – 12243

  

Produced by:

Morrie Brown for Mighty M Productions

 

After her first two singles were both million-selling 45 RPM releases: “Shame” (No. 9 Pop & No. 7 Hot Soul) and “I Don’t Know If It’s Right” (No. 23 Pop & No. 7 Hot Soul) Evelyn “Champagne” King decided to drop the bubbly and just axed the nickname. She had a minor hit in ’79 with the “Champagne” still intact, but on this, the next single; Evelyn King didn’t have a million-seller, but did have her first No. 1 Hot Soul chart single with “I’m In Love.” The record only reached No. 40 on the Pop Hot 100. But “I’m In Love” was notable as having Kashif (Saleem—formerly Michael Jones) as the songwriter. He co-produced the album; with this track taken from called Get Loose on RCA Records. Here’s “I’m In Love.”

The album Get Loose would give Evelyn King her biggest Hot Soul hit later in ’81 called “Love Come Down” (No. 1 Hot Soul & No. 17 Pop) which lasted five weeks in the pinnacle position on the R&B chart. King’s charting recording career lasted a few more years, but the big hits were behind her by 1986. But her first hit and biggest Pop chart record, “Shame” was voted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

 

THE

BIG
ALBUMS

 

 For the Chart-Week ENDING

AUGUST 15, 1981

 

TOP POP

ALBUMS 

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81:

 

No.1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

 

 

PRECIOUS TIME

 

PAT BENATAR  

 

CHRYSALIS RECORDS

1346

 

Produced by:

 

 

Keith Olson & Neil Geraldo

 

Precious Time was Pat Benatar’s (real name Patricia Mae Andrzejewski) third studio set on Chrysalis Records, and it contained a Grammy® winning song from the summer of ’81, “Fire And Ice.” Benatar won in the category of Best Rock Female Vocal Performance. If you simply went by the chart position that would seem like a curious pick, as “Fire and Ice” only attained the No. 17 slot on the Pop Hot 100 Singles list. But by this time, Billboard Magazine was showing a plethora of charts, splintering into charts named Rock Albums and Rock Tracks. Her album was No. 3 on that album chart and “Fire and Ice” was the No. 2 song on the Rock Tracks survey. So, Benatar was still a force to be reckoned with on the more Rock side of the musical scale. “Fire and Ice” was No. 24 this week, still climbing the Hot 100.

The Pat Benatar LP called Precious Time also featured the second single from the set, “Promises In The Dark” that got to No. 38 on the Hot 100. The album not only contained songs from Benatar’s (at this time) soon to be husband and guitarist/producer, but there were two interesting remakes of classic hits from the ‘60s, including: “Helter Skelter” from the Beatles “White Album,” and “Just Like Me” an early hit for Paul Revere & The Raiders. They rocked, as you would expect. The title track did well on Rock radio, as did most of her recorded output.  Pat Benatar’s biggest hits were on the horizon on future releases. Her biggest chart record on the Hot 100 was “Love Is A Battlefield” in ’83 (No. 5 Pop, her second million selling single and also winning her a Grammy®) followed by “We Belong” also reaching No. 5 Pop. She had one more Top 10 Pop hit called “Invincible” in ’85. Her career started off with a bang, especially on Rock radio and harder-edged music lovers in ’79 with “Heartbreaker” (No. 23 Pop), “We Live For Love” (No. 27 Pop) a Young Rascals remake “You Better Run” (No. 42) her first million-selling 45 RPM “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (No. 9 Pop) followed by (No. 18 Pop) “Treat Me Nice,” another Grammy® winner “Shadows In The Dark” (No. 13 Pop) in ’82, and (No. 20 Pop) “Little Too Late” in ‘83 Pat Benatar was the first female artist to be featured on MTV (the second song they played during their debut—“You Better Run”) in its early days when they actually played videos. Of course that first song aired was “Video Killed The Radio Star” by the Buggles. No you didn’t. Benatar had her last charted single on the Hot 100 in 1988 from her album Wide Awake In Dreamland, the Grammy® nominated track “All Fired Up” which peaked at No. 19 Pop. Benatar is still on the concert stage, opening for Cher during her 942nd Farewell Tour.  

 

HOT SOUL

LPs

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘81:

 

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

 

STREET SONGS

 

 

RICK JAMES

 

GORDY RECORDS8-1002

 

Produced, Arranged and Written by:

Rick James

It was the 11th of an ultimate 20 weeks as the foremost album on the Hot Soul LPs chart for Rick James (and the Stone City Band) with his record Street Songs. The first single to materialize from the LP was “Give It To Me Baby” on Gordy Records. That song narrowly tip-toed into the Top 40 on the Hot 100 Singles chart (No. 40) but had just concluded a five-week stay at the top of the Hot Soul Singles listing for five survey-cycles in June and July of ‘81. The album reached No. 3 on the Top LPs & Tape chart as well. The succeeding single from Street Songs was the everlasting monument to Rick James, at least on the POP side of the charts. “Super Freak” (No. 16 Pop at its peak and No. 64 Pop THIS week in ‘81) is his most remembered song; not just for the slightly decadent lyrics, but the addition of the Temptations on the backing vocals. It’s super freaky, yoww.

Plus, James’ recording was capably sampled in 1990’s smash by MC Hammer, “U Can’t Touch This.” Despite the mainstream and lasting success of “Super Freak,” Rick’s initial single for Motown (Gordy Records) was, in point of fact, his highest-charting Hot 100 single; “You And I” springing to No. 13 out of the box as his launching 45 RPM release back in ’78. “You And I” was No. 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart for two weeks that summer. The album Street Songs sold over three million copies, helping a slipping Motown recoup some of its luster in the early ‘80s. Rick James (real name James Johnson) grew up in Buffalo, NY. James had drug issues in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He served time in Folsom Prison in California during the ‘90s for assaulting two women. After his release, James suffered health issues including diabetes and strokes, and died of a heart attack on August 6, 2004, due to complications from diabetes and a multitude of drugs found in his system. James was 56.


**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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