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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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December 5th, 2015
 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week

ENDING

DECEMBER 8, 1962

 

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘62:

 

 

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

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

No. 10 – (LW 16)

(Peak: No. 8 Pop—No. 1 R&B for 3 Weeks)

“RELEASE ME”

(Eddie Miller / Robert Gene Yount / Dub Williams a/k/a James William Pebworth)

Produced by: BOB GANS

Arranged by: CLIFF PARMAN

ESTHER PHILLIPS

(“Little Esther”)

LENOX / AD LIB 6Records  NX- 5555

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

No. 9 – (LW 6)

(Peak: No. 3 Pop—No. 1 Easy Listening 5 Weeks)

“ALL ALONE AM I”

(Manos Hadjidakis / Arthur Altman)

Producer: OWEN BRADLEY

Chorus & Orchestra Conducted by: OWEN BRADLEY

Arrangement by: BILL McELHINEY & CAM MULLINS

BRENDA LEE

DECCA Records  31424

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

No. 8 – (LW 4)

(Peak: No. 2 Pop—No. 3 R&B)

“LIMBO ROCK”

(John Sheldon a/k/a Kal Mann / Billy Strange)

Produced by: Kal Mann & Dave Appell

CHUBBY CHECKER

PARKWAY Records  P-849-B

Backed with:

“POPEYE (The Hitchhiker)”

(Peak: No. 10 Pop)

(Kal Mann & Dave Appell)

PARKWAY Records: P-849-A

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

No. 7  (LW 13)

“TELSTAR”

(Joe Meek)

Produced by: JOE MEEK for R. G. M. Sound

THE TORNADOS

LONDON Records  9561

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

No. 6  (LW 7)

“THE LONELY BULL

(El Solo Torro)”

(Sol Lake)

Produced by: HERB ALPERT & JERRY ROSS

THE TIJUANA BRASS

Featuring HERB ALPERT

A&M Records  703

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

No. 5  (LW 8)

“RIDE”

(Dave Leon / a/k/a Dave Appell / John Sheldon a/k/a Kal Mann)

Produced by: KAL MANN

Arranged by: Dave Appell

DEE DEE SHARP

CAMEO Records  C-230-A

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

No. 4  (LW 6)

“DON’T HANG UP”

(Kal Mann / Dave Appell)

Produced by: KAL MANN

Arranged by: DAVE APPELL

THE ORLONS

CAMEO Records  C-231-E

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

No. 3  (LW 3)

“BOBBY’S GIRL”

(Henry Hoffman / Gary Klein)

Orchestra under Direction of: BILLY MURE

MARCIE BLANE

SEVILLE Records  45-120

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

No. 2  (LW 2)

“RETURN TO SENDER”

(from the Paramount picture

“Girls! Girls! Girls!”)

(Otis Blackwell / Winfield Scott)

Produced by: STEVE SHOLES & CHET ATKINS

ELVIS PRESLEY

RCA VICTOR Records 47-8100

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

 No.1

 

Pop

 

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 1 Pop)

(Also peaked No. 1 R&B for 3 weeks)

 

 

“BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY”



(Bob Crewe / Bob Gaudio)

 

Flip-Side:

“CONNIE - O”

 

THE 4 SEASONS

featuring the “SOUND” of Frankie Valli

 

VEE-JAY Records#465

 

Produced by: BOB CREWE

 

Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: Charlie Calello

 

Voice Arranger: Nick Massi

  

 

 

The story of the 4 Seasons is now legendary. Along with the Beach Boys, Frankie Valli, along with Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito and Bob Gaudio as the 4 Seasons led the way during a musical transition that saw the explosion of new sounds coming from Los Angeles and New York; but also from Detroit, Memphis and across the sea from England. As this tale’s been told by co-writer Bob Gaudio (4 Season’s member and songwriter) he had been watching a film on TV called Tennessee’s Partner, starring John Payne, Rhonda Fleming and future president of the United States, Ronald Reagan. He fell asleep during the movie, but when he awakened he heard John Payne’s character Tennessee smack Fleming’s character Duchess in the mouth; and then said, “Big girls don’t cry.” Gaudio hastily wrote down that line. When he awakened, he wrote the basis of this week’s No. 1 song on the Hot 100, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” on Vee-Jay Records. This week in ’62 was the fourth of an eventual five survey-periods for this track as the biggest hit 45 RPM in America. Gaudio and producer Bob Crewe needed a follow-up to the groups’ first true hit song, “Sherry.” This new one fit the bill. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” prevented “Return To Sender” from Elvis and “Bobby’s Girl” by Queens-native Marcie Blane (Blank) from reaching the coveted top spot on the Hot 100 during its five-week run. Here’s a live version of the song.

The 4 Seasons were lucky on a few counts. First, when Bob Crewe was down to his last dime, he decided to give the group another shot at having a hit record after several misses and backing vocal gigs. “Sherry” became a success, partly because a guy named Joey Reynolds played that song for four hours straight after locking himself in a radio station control room for his four hour shift. The police tried to break down the door, thinking some nut had taken over the station in Hartford, CT. No—it was just my dear friend Joey being…well…Joey. He is the REAL radio personality who put the 4 Seasons on the map. In fact, the group recorded his theme song using the melody of “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Here is that breathtaking theme song by the 4 Seasons as a gift to Reynolds.

The 4 Seasons album called Big Girls Don’t Cry and Twelve Others on VEE-JAY Records had liner note written by Bob Crewe. It said,

“Dear World,

The Gigantic success of story of “the 4 Seasons” rings through all Tin Pan Alley as the brightest highlight of the year 1962!! First, it was “Sherry”… then “Big Girls Don’t Cry”…then came “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”…Here they are again…… “The 4 Seasons”…to do it again!!

Sincerely, Bob Crewe.”

“Big Girls Don’t Cry” got another push in 1987 with the release of a second album of music from the film Dirty Dancing, appropriately called More Dirty Dancing: More Original Music from the Hit Motion Picture. While this album didn’t sell anywhere near what the original soundtrack did, it brought the song to the forefront again; and even led to a re-mixed version with a more contemporary beat. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” was the second of an ultimate five No. 1 songs for the 4 Seasons spanning 13 years. When you consider the group had 47 Hot 100 charting records, 30 Top 40 hits not including the solo material listed as by Frankie Valli; you get a glimpse of the enormous staying power and excellent choice of material the group has had. And perhaps their lasting legacy is all of this led to a Broadway show and a film directed by Clint Eastwood called Jersey Boys. Frankie Valli had told your Biggest Jay in 1983 during an interview in Atlantic City, that he and Bob Gaudio wanted either a film, Broadway show or a book to tell their story of the rise and fall and rising again of the partnership that began on a handshake. They got their wish with the first two of the three. I’m certain, there will be some kind of printed story, with so many more details to explain once Valli retires. And even at age 82, he shows no signs of slowing down; performing live dozens of times per year across the globe.  



 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week

ENDING

DECEMBER 6, 1975

 

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘75:

 

 


 

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

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

No. 10 – (LW 12)

“MY LITTLE TOWN”

(Paul Simon)

Produced by: PAUL SIMON, ART GARFUNKEL & PHIL RAMONE

Horns Arranged by: DAVE MATHEWS

Engineered by: JERRY MASTERS & PHIL RAMONE

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL

COLUMBIA Records  3-10230

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

No. 9 – (LW 11)

“SATURDAY NIGHT”

(Bill Martin / Phil Coulter)

Produced by: BILL MARTIN & PHIL COULTER for Martin-Coulter Enterprises, Ltd.

Arranged by: PHIL COULTER

BAY CITY ROLLERS

ARISTA Records  AS 0149

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

No. 8 – (LW 9)

“NIGHTS ON BROADWAY”

(Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb)

Produced and Arranged by: ARIF MARDIN

by arrangement with The Robert Stigwood Organisation

Conducted by: GENE ORLOFF

Engineered by: KARL RICHARDSON & LEW HAHN

BEE GEES

RSO Records  SO - 515

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

No. 7  (LW 7)

“LOW RIDER”

(War—S. Allen a/k/a Thomas (Papa Dee) Steven Allen / H. Brown a/k/a Harold Ray Brown / M. Dickerson a/k/a Morris “B.B.” Dickerson / Leroy Jordan a/k/a Lonnie Jordan / C. Miller a/k/a Charles Miller / L. Oskar a/k/a Lee Oskar Levitin / H. Scott a/k/a Howard E. Scott / Jerry Goldstein a/k/a Gerald Goldstein)

Produced by: JERRY GOLDSTEIN in association with LONNIE JORDAN and HOWARD SCOTT for Far Out Productions, Inc.

Engineered by: ANDREW BERLINER, ED BARTON & CHRIS HUSTON

WAR

UNITED ARTISTS Records  UA-XW706-Y

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

No. 6  (LW 3)

“ISLAND GIRL”

(Elton John / Bernie Taupin)

Produced by: GUS DUDGEON

Engineered by: JEFF GUERCIO

ELTON JOHN

MCA Records  3355

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

No. 5  (LW 4)

“THE WAY I WANT TO TOUCH YOU”

(Toni Tennille)

Produced by: MORGAN CAVETT

Associate Producer: TONI TENNILLE a/k/a Cathryn Antoinette Tennille for Moonlight And Magnolias Productions

Arranged by: The Captain a/k/a Daryl Dragon

CAPTAIN & TENNILLE

A&M Records – 1725-S

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

No. 4  (LW 5)

“LET’S DO IT AGAIN”

(Curtis Mayfield)

Produced by: Curtis Mayfield

Arranged by: GIL ASKEY & RICH TUFO

THE STAPLE SINGERS

CURTOM Records  CMS 0190

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

 

No. 3  (LW 6)

“SKY HIGH”

(From the Motion Picture “Dragon Flies” – A 20th Century Fox Production – A Golden Harvest / Movie Company Co-Production)

(Des Dyer / Clive Scott)

Produced by: CHAZ PEATE – A Belsize Production

Arranged by: RICHARD HEWSON

JIGSAW

CHELSEA Records  CH 3022

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

No. 2  (LW 2)

“THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT)”

(H. W. Casey a/k/a Harry Wayne Casey / R. Finch a/k/a Richard Raymond Finch)

Produced and Arranged by: HARRY WAYNE CASEY & RICHARD RAMOND FINCH

K. C. AND THE SUNSHINE BAND

T. K. Records  1015

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



 No.1

 

Pop

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 1)

 
“FLY, ROBIN, FLY”



(Sylvester Levay / Stephan Prager)

 

 

SILVER CONVENTION

 

MIDLAND INTERNATIONAL RecordsMB 10339

 

Produced by:

 

MICHAEL KUNZE – A Butterfly Production

 

Arranged by:

 

Sylvester Levay

 

 

 

The first so-called “Euro-Disco” hit in America was at first going to be identified as, “Run, Rabbit, Run,” by one of its writers Silvester Levay. But previous to recording the track he had written with Stephan Prager (both Munich, Germany musicians) Levay listened to an old 1940s song on the radio with the title “Run, Rabbit, Run.”That song was first performed by Flannigan And Allen, and written by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler for the English Musical production The Little Dog Laughed. The song was quite popular in Europe at the beginning of World War II. Once learning that totally different song was a big hit from another era, producer Michael Kunze then proceeded to change the title to this new recording to “Fly, Robin, Fly instead”—and the rest is history. Producer Kunze was certain the track would be a hit before the vocals were put to tape. Levay’s original concept was that the song would only be an album track. Previous to making this LP, in due course titled Save Me, the musicians had a European hit called “Save Me,” sung with anonymous session singers. That track didn’t reach the Hot 100 Singles chart, but was listed on the “Bubbling-Under” chart in the U.S.A., peaking at No. 103. Not exactly a hit. But your very perceptive and enormously egocentric Big Jay (the Jock) was certainly one of, if not THE first DJ to play “Save Me” in the clubs in New Jersey at that time to great response. With the success of that dance track, Kunze decided to record an full Long-Playing album, and were astonished to find that song was a smash in the new DISCO clubs America; particularly in NYC. They were even more taken aback when the song “Fly, Robin, Fly” went No. 1 on the Hot 100 in the states. That song also topped the Disco Action chart, based on its strength on New York Metropolitan Area DISCO club play. Later, it became the No. 1 Hot Soul Singles chart-leader for the week ending on November 15, 1976; for that sole survey-cycle. Then, it blasted to the top of the Hot 100 Singles list two weeks later; remaining there for three back-to-back seven-day chart-phases. This week in ’75, “Fly, Robin, Fly” was in the second of the three survey-phases at the crest of the Pop listing.

Silver Convention got their name when the session’s drummer Keith Forsey (a future major producer) suggested they use Levay’s nickname “Silver” as part of the moniker. So the name of the studio group became Silver Convention. It should be observed that the song has merely six English-spoken words, “Fly, robin, fly Up-Up to the sky”—count them to prove I’m not fibbing—as the rest of the song is virtually all instrumental. The 45 RPM release won a Grammy® for Best R&B Instrumental Performance; even though it had some lyrics. This single was the first for a German Pop act to reach No. 1 in America in the Rock era. And NO, bandleader Bert Kaempfert was not a group, yet he did lead an orchestra and chorus; but “Wonderland By Night” doesn’t count. Silver Convention’s follow-up single (another million-selling 45 RPM) “Get Up And Boogie” (No. 2 Pop) had to use a new set of female singers, as the deal for the anonymous back-up women lapsed after that initial LP. The NEW singers who became part of Silver Convention included Penny McLean; who had a solo song (a DISCO-club hit in the U.S.—yes, I was again one of the first to play it—called “Lady Bump.” McLean, along with Linda G. Robinson and Ramona Wolf actually sang on “Get Up And Boogie,” a No. 2 Hot 100 hit just before the Bi-Centennial commemoration in the U.S. in ’76.

 




THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

 

 

For the   Chart-Week

ENDING

DECEMBER 9, 1989

 

HOT 100

SINGLES

Top 10

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘89:

 

 


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

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

No. 10 – (LW 16)

“PUMP UP THE JAM”

(Manuella Kamosi a/k/a Ya Kid K / Thomas de Quincey a/k/a Jo Bogaert)

Produced by: Thomas de Quincey

Vocals (Uncredited): Ya Kid K a/k/a Manuella Barbra Moasco Kamosi

TECHNOTRONIC

featuring FELLY

SBK / CAPITOL Records  B-07311-K

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

No. 9 – (LW 5)

“LOVE SHACK”

(The B-52’s – Kate Pierson / Fred Schneider / Keith Strickland / Cindy Wilson)

Produced by: Don Was

THE B-52’s

REPRISE Records  22817

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

No. 8 – (LW 11)

“WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART”

(Tommy Faragher / Lotti Golden / Arthur Baker)

Produced by: RICK WAKE for Wake Productions

Arranged by: RICK WAKE and RICH TANCREDI

Recording and Mix Engineer: BOB CADWAY

 

TAYLOR DAYNE

(a/k/a Leslie Wonderman)

ARISTA Records  AS1-9895

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

No. 7  (LW 4)

“ANGELIA”

(Richard Marx)

Produced by: RICHARD MARX & DAVID COLE

RICHARD MARX

EMI Records  B-50218

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

No. 6  (LW 7)

“BACK TO LIFE”

(Beresford Romeo)

Produced and Mixed by: JAZZIE B & NELLEE HOPPER for Silent Productions, Ltd.

SOUL II SOUL

VIRGIN Records  7-99171

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

No. 5  (LW 8)

“DON’T KNOW MUCH”

(Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil / Tom Snow)

Produced by: PETER ASHER

Recorded and Mixed by: GEORGE MASSENBERG

LINDA RONSTADT

featuring Aaron Neville

ELEKTRA Records – 7-64987

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

No. 4  (LW 3)

“(IT’S JUST) THE WAY THAT YOU LOVE ME”

(Oliver Leiber)

Produced by: OLIVER LEIBER for Noise Club

Arranged by: OLIVER LEIBER and ST. PAUL a/k/a Paul Peterson

Original Mix by: STEVE WIESE

Re-Mix and Additional Production by: KEITH COHEN & STEVE BELTRAN

Edited by: OLIVER LEIBER & PETER MARTINSEN at Creation Audio, Minneapolis, MN

Additional Keyboards by: JEFF LORBOR

PAULA ABDUL

VIRGIN Records  7-99282

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

No. 3  (LW 1)

“BLAME IT ON THE RAIN”

(Diane Warren)

Produced by: FRANK FARIAN for Far Music Productions

MILLI VANILLI

ARISTA Records  9904

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

No. 2  (LW 6)

“ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE”

(Phil Collins)

Produced by: PHIL COLLINS & HUGH PADGHAM

Mixed by: HUGH PADGHAM & PHIL COLLINS

Engineered by: HUGH PADGHAM

Assisted by: SIMON OSBORNE

PHIL COLLINS

ATLANTIC Records 88774

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

 No.1

 

Pop

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 2)

 

“WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE”



(Billy Joel)

 

Flip-Side:

“HOUSES OF BLUE LIGHT”

 

 

BILLY JOEL

 

COLUMBIA Records38-73021

 

Produced by:

MICK JONES and BILLY JOEL

 

 

 

Who was the 50’s singing star’s name is mentioned in the following songs: “We Didn’t’ Start The Fire” by Billy Joel, “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “Are You Jimmy Ray” by Jimmy Ray, and “Don’t Need A Gun” by Billy Idol? I’ll tell you at the end of this feature. It was Billy Joel who had the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart during this seven-day survey-stage in ’89 with “We Didn’t Start The Fire” on Columbia Records. Billy had his third and final chart-topping single (this was the first of two successive weeks at the peak) and his final million-selling 45 with this release. Joel decided he really wanted a change for his next album Storm Front; using Foreigner’s co-founder Mick Jones as the lead producer, after utilizing Phil Ramone for that job during a nine-year span. Storm Front came at a time when Billy was in desperate financial straits due to his $90 million lawsuit against his longtime manager and former brother-in-law Frank Weber for fraud and breach of fiduciary duties. “We Didn’t Start The First” was indicative of what Billy was doing with this album. He de-emphasized his piano playing, and instead used a lot of electric guitars instead with edgy lyrics on this, his eleventh studio LP. The song wasn’t even recorded once the new musicians and drummer Liberty DeVitto thought the album was completed. Columbia Records liked the song “I Go To Extremes”—to use as the second single. But they needed a smash out of the box. Billy reportedly had a song called “Jolene” that was in the Country vein. When it was pointed out that Dolly Parton had a song called “Jolene,” Joel was upset, and grabbed a copy of a Time/Life Almanac of Historic Events (other accounts claim it was a different source of history) and went to town listing things that happened from the end of World War II all the way through early 1989. Here’s the result as Billy envisioned it to Mick Jones.

Billy Joel wrote the lyrics before the melody of “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” and wasn’t all too happy with the composing of the tune. But the edge and historical mentions resonated with record buyers and radio listeners, making it one of his biggest hits. School teachers liked it, because it gave the students a quick-capsule of things to discuss in history class. But after close examination, the song asks more questions than answers with its unceasing mention of good and bad events (just some) during the years brought up. The gist of the message was we didn’t start this mess, but perhaps we can fix it. Or can we? By the way, Johnny Ray, who had major hits during the 1950’s including: “Cry,” “The Little White Cloud,” “Just Walkin’ In The Rain” and others was mentioned in all of the songs listed in the first paragraph of this segment. Raymond Roger Ray died in 1990.

 

**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

All content on this page is copyright Big Jay Sorensen and of its respective copyright owners.

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