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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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August 29th, 2014




THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week ENDING

 September 3, 1966

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’66:

No. 5 (LW 8) “YELLOW SUBMARINE”

The BeatlesCapitol5715

No. 4 (LW 7 ) “YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE”

The Supremes Motown1097

No. 3 (LW 3) “SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER”  

The HappeningsB.T. Puppy520

No. 2 (LW 1) “SUMMER IN THE CITY” 

 Lovin’ SpoonfulKama Sutra211

 

N o.1

Pop 45 RPM

(Last Week No. 5 )

“SUNSHINE SUPERMAN”

Donovan

Epic Records5-10045

 

Unfairly called “The Scottish Dylan,” Donovan Philip Leitch recorded “Sunshine Superman” on December 22, 1965. But his triumph was not released in the U.K. for almost a year. The 45 RPM was unleashed on the American public in July of ’66. What was the reason for the delay? Donovan’s producer, the legendary Mickie Most was sued by Pye Records for defecting to CBS Records; thus keeping any new product from Mr. Leitch (also obligated to the record label) from being released. The LP Sunshine Superman finally came out in America just before Labor Day in ’66. The song was trippy—and there’s a reason. Donovan has said the song was about two things; LSD and a woman who would eventually become his wife five years later. Here’s a shortened clip of Donovan singing “Sunshine Superman” in glorious black and white.


The reference to sunshine was about acid, as it was the street slang word in the U.K. for the drug in late ‘65. The Superman mention was about being able to attain a higher state, entering a so-called fourth-dimension of perception. So what about the love angle? That was about a woman named Linda Lawrence who had been dating Brian Jones, and broke off the relationship. Donovan had two albums under his belt and a minor hit in America called “Catch The Wind,” released in the U.S. on the Pickwick label. He met Lawrence and dated her for a short time, then parting. Leitch claims many of his songs were about her. She was the muse for his prolific love songs throughout his career, even when they weren’t seeing each other. They ended up married in 1970. The amazing thing about the song “Sunshine Superman” is that it predated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles by over a year. Leitch was warned by his producer NOT to allow Paul McCartney to hear the song when it was first recorded, because he thought Donovan was on to something quite new and different. He played it for Sir Paul anyway, and well…you make the connection. Oh, and the original title of the song was “Sunshine Superman (For John and Paul.)” The song was not his biggest selling record in America, but it was his only No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Donovan’s best-selling tune was “Mellow Yellow” the follow-up single and his only million-seller. Trippy indeed! THAT song was about a vibrating personal device and NOT a banana-peel smoking experience; which I’m told didn’t elevate anything except nausea.  

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘66

No.1

Easy Listening 45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“BORN FREE”

Roger Williams

Kapp Records – 767

This song was first recorded by an English guy who sounded a lot like Frank Sinatra; Matt Monro. His version of “Born Free” had a rocky start. It was intended to be used in the film of the same name, starring Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers and Elsa the Lioness. The animal was the basis of a book written in 1960 by the couple who nurtured the orphaned animal in Kenya; later releasing her into the wild. Monro found out that his song, “Born Free” was not included in the final cut of the movie and protested enough to have it put back in edited form for the closing credits. But it was Roger Williams who had the hit version of the tune; this week’s biggest 45 RPM on the Easy Listening Singles chart in ’66.


How many people get to perform for nine President’s of the United States? Not many. This guy did. Roger Williams studied piano at the Julliard School of Music in Manhattan before attaining the title of “the most recorded pianist in the world.” Williams could claim having over an astonishing 115 albums in his long career before his death in 201 at the age of 87. Roger Williams was signed to Kapp Records after he performed on TV on the shows Chance Of A Lifetime and Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. The owner of Kapp Records, David Kapp, founded his label in 1954, and based on remembering seeing him perform on television, Williams was among the first acts signed. His recording of “Autumn Leaves” was a No. 1 song in America in 1955. Roger Williams was a stage name, based on the founder of the state of Rhode Island. David Kapp suggested he change his given name from Louis Jacob Weertz to that new moniker. Williams’ version of “Born Free” was on top of the Easy Listening Singles chart for the first time this week in ’66, and would have a total of six non-consecutive survey-periods at the apex. “Born Free” reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 Singles listing; but the song had just entered that chart last week, for an eventual 21-week cross-over hit ride.


TOP SELLING

R&B SINGLES CHART

 

 

THIS WEEK IN ‘66

No.1

R&B 45 RPM


“YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE”

The Supremes

Motown Records – 1097


This fast-rising record was in the No. 4 position on the Hot 100 Singles chart; but it was at the peak of the Top Selling R&B Singles chart for the first of two-survey periods this week in ’66. The Motown Records act the Supremes were starting another string of No. 1 hits on the Pop chart with “You Can’t Hurry Love” written and produced by the legendary team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. The record starts out with the magic fingers of James Jamerson plucking the bass notes for about six seconds and then BAM. Here’s the very first take of what this recording sounded like that would soon be the seventh of the eventual 12 No. 1 tunes for the vocal group.


The song was taken from the LP Supremes A’ Go-Go, capitalizing on the “go-go” fad that was sweeping the country at that time. For that album, the girls did covered several songs in the Berry Gordy, Jr.-owned Jobete Music catalog. Just about eight months from when “You Can’t Hurry Love” was on top of the charts, Florence Ballard was dismissed from the Supremes due to well-chronicled friction with Diana Ross and Berry Gordy, Jr. By the year 1975, Ballard was on public assistance and died at the age of 32 of cardiac arrest in February, 1976.


THE

BIG

 ALBUMS

For the Chart-Week ENDING

September 3, 1966

TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘66:


No. 1

Pop LP

(Last Week No. 2)


WHAT NOW MY LOVE

Herb Alpert

& the Tijuana Brass  

A&M Records4114

  

The ancestry of this song started across the sea in France, when composer/singer Gilbert Bécaud wrote a melody called “Et Maintenant” in ’61; a major hit in that country. The translation was “What Now My Love” and the English vocabulary were fashioned by Big-Band-era lyricist Carl Sigman. Take the Time Machine up to 1966, and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass had the No. 1 album on the Top Pop LPs chart with the ‘new’ song “What Now My Love” as the title track.


What Now My Love was the unit’s sixth studio album, and was enjoying the fourth of an eventual eight non-consecutive weeks in that position on A&M Records. The Beatles’ LP Yesterday And Today interrupted the run of What Now My Love, with Revolver (also by the Fab Four) replacing it the second time at the zenith of that chart. It was the longest-running Tijuana Brass album in longevity in the top spot. In reality, just Alpert performed on the record; as the Tijuana Brass was, in point of fact, ace studio musicians later hailed as called “The Wrecking Crew” in L.A. Watch for a sensational documentary about the Wrecking Crew soon. For touring purposes, Alpert had hired-hands regularly dressed in stereotypical Mexican-styled attire on stage. “What Now My Love” was the lone 45 RPM from the LP to chart; attaining No. 24 on the Hot 100. The photograph on the front of the LP featured Alpert and his partner Jerry Moss’ wife (A&M) Sandra Moss clinging on to Herb; the fourth and last Tijuana Brass album to use an appealing woman on the cover.

 

TOP SELLING R&B ALBUMS

CHART


THIS WEEK IN ‘66

No. 1

R&B LP

(Last Week No. 1)


GETTIN’ READY

The Temptations

Gordy Records – 918

This was the fifth of six non-consecutive weeks for Gettin’ Ready as the principal album on what was at that time called the Top Selling R&B LPs chart. For one week in between, Sam And Dave occupied the summit with their album Hold On I’m Comin’. Detect that two No. 1 albums in-a-row used an apostrophe in the title. And, just around the corner in ’66, Lou Rawls had an album called Soulin’. The success of the single “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” in the late spring/early summer of ’66 with Norman Whitfield producing, forced David Ruffin to sing out of his customary vocal range in a much higher key. Plus, that victory led to Smokey Robinson losing his post as the vocal group’s main music maven after this LP. Then, as their prime producer, Whitfield fairly quickly evolved the Temptations from a lush R&B sound into an amalgamation of rock and more complex soul textures and arrangements. In May of ’66 the Temptations didn’t realize the instantaneous sensation of the song, and were ordered by the suits at Motown to perform “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand as a last-minute swap of another song, having to invent dance steps moments before the national broadcast. The 45 RPM release reached No. 13 on the Hot 100 Singles chart In ’66 and was certified a million-seller. “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” had just completed eight non-consecutive weeks at the height of the Top Selling R&B Singles chart for the week-ending August 20th.  The song was composed by Whitfield, with legendary lyric-writer Eddie Holland, Jr. handling the lyrics.

The song from the LP that hit the charts back in February of ’66 was Smokey’s “Get Ready,”—only garnering the maximum position of No. 29 on the Hot 100—though it did reach the top of the R&B chart for a sole week. Smokey had produced most of the LP and wrote or co-wrote five tracks. But the lack of mainstream success initially for the single “Get Ready” was enough for Berry Gordy to try someone new to write and produce his flagship male vocal group. The song has (in contradiction) become more well-known as the years have gone by, and “Get Ready” is considered one of the Tempts best performances on record. So perhaps Smokey DID have the last laugh.    

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES 

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

August 31, 1974

 

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES


THIS WEEK IN ‘74:

No. 5 (LW 4)“FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE”

Roberta Flack Atlantic 3025

No. 4 (LW 2)“THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED

Paper Lace Mercury73492

No. 3 (LW 3)“TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD”

Rufus ABC11427

No. 2 (LW 5)“I SHOT THE SHERIFF”

Eric Clapton RSO409


No. 1

Pop 45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“(You’re) HAVING MY BABY”

Paul Anka

United Artists Records454


An extraordinary comeback for Paul Anka happened in 1974, with his first Top 10 hit since 1961 (“Dance On Little Girl”) when he was just 20 years-old. Leading up to that record, the Canadian had 22 charting singles on the U.S. Hot 100 Singles chart. He’d have another 18 survey hits after that ABC-Paramount release on that label and RCA Victor, Buddah and even the Fame Records label. But it was his association with producer Rick Hall of Fame Records in Alabama that pushed Anka back to not only the Top 10, but to his first No. 1 45 RPM since 1959, when the tune “Lonely Boy” graced the apex of the Hot 100. “(You’re) Having My Baby” became No. 1 a full 15 years and two weeks after “Lonely Boy.” The new hit was not greeted with universal thumbs-up, but was in the second of an ultimate three back-to-back weeks at America’s fave 45. So you know, Fame stood for, “Florence, Alabama Music Enterprises” the original home of the publishing firm Rick Hall started with two others in 1959. That relationship lasted only a year; but Hall opened the small Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama shortly thereafter. That facility would record some of the most important music of a generation or two. Anka’s song was produced by Hall; and the back-up singer Odia Coates accompanied the former teen-idol on the track.

Coates was un-credited on the label of “(You’re) Having My Baby.” That would be rectified on the next three duet single releases from Anka, including; “On Man Woman/One Woman Man,” (No. 7 Pop) “I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone” (No 8 Pop) and (the No. 15 Pop hit) “(I Believe) There’s Nothing Stronger Than Our Love.” Featured playing on the radio when the Great White shark struck again in the film Jaws, “(You’re) Having My Baby” sold over one-million copies despite the National Organization of Women giving it a thumbs-down. Anka made nice to NOW and other critics, and while on tour for the song he altered the lyrics to, “having OUR baby,” despite saying it was a declaration about him being caught up in the elation of his then wife giving birth. Odia Coates was a cousin of studio owner Rick Hall. Another connection was that she was formerly in the Gospel group The Edwin Hawkins Singers (“Oh Happy Day”—No. 4 and a million-seller in ’69) and the namesake recommended her to Anka, who was producing an album for his choir at the time. Coates released a couple of solo singles to little notice, but did have a 12-inch Disco single in ‘77 called “Make It Up To Me In Love” that got played in clubs. Odia Coates, the one-time Gospel singer died of breast cancer at age 49 in 1991.   

 

 EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘74

 

No. 1

Easy Listening 45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“I’M LEAVING IT UP TO YOU”

Donny and Marie Osmond

MGM/Kolob Records – 14735


The roots of this week’s top record on the Easy Listening Singles chart go way back to 1957 in Pasadena, CA with Don and Dewey (Donald F. “Sugarcane” Bowman—changing his last name to Harris—along with Dewey Terry, Jr.) who wrote “I’m Leaving It Up To You” and recorded it on the Specialty Records label; specifically, Specialty 610, released in August of 1957. They switched labels when asked by Specialty Records A&R (Artists & Repertoire) man Sonny Bono (yes that one) to do so in the early ‘60s. Their recording career suffered due to that decision. They ended up backing up Little Richard later in the ‘60s. Both have since passed. Move up to 1963 and Sam Montel, record label owner/producer found the Louisiana-based female Cajun music singer named Grace Broussard, and teamed her with a Country & Western vocalist/piano player Dale Houston. Montel remembered the song and initially recorded it with just Grace singing. But Montel put them together and released the song on a label named after himself and one of his daughters—Montel-Michele Records. Move up on the year 1974, and Mike Curb decided to put together brother and sister Donny and Marie Osmond for an album of duets. “I’m Leaving It Up To You” was the lead track and namesake of the LP, and the song was the leader on the Easy Listening Singles chart for this sole week in ’74.

The duo of Donny & Marie also released a follow-up single to “I’m Leaving It Up To You” called “Morning Side Of The Mountain” a minor hit from 1951. That melody was written by Russian-born Dick Manning (real name Samuel Medoff) likely most known for writing “Papa Loves Mambo”, “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)” both million-sellers by Perry Como,  “Allegheny Moon” another million-selling single by Patti Page and “Hawaiian Wedding Song” written way back in 1926 and later made popular by Andy Williams in 1958. Manning co-wrote “Morning Side Of The Mountain” with  Larry Stock; a Tin Pan Alley songster famous for co-writing lyrics to “Umbrella Man” (a song about the pre-WWII British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain) along with “Blueberry Hill” a hit in 1940 by many artists. In the Rock & Roll-era, it was a smash for Fats Domino in ‘56. Larry Stock autographed MY copy of the Donny and Marie 45 RPM version of “Morning Side Of The Mountain” when I interviewed him on the radio in 1974. Yes, we had radio back then.

 

HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘74


No. 1

Soul 45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE”

Roberta Flack

Atlantic Records3025


This week’s primary hit on the Hot Soul Singles chart was an across the board smash; reaching the top of the Hot 100 Singles list for one week back in early August (her third No. 1 Pop hit) also topping the Easy Listening Singles chart for two weeks this month in ’74. Add to that, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” from Roberta Flack on Atlantic Records was in the last of five ultimate survey-periods on the Hot Soul Singles survey. The song was released to the public on August 14, 1974 and quickly rose to the top of the charts within a few short weeks with backing vocals supplied by Rhetta Hughes, later a co-star in Broadway’s Dreamgirls and Amen Corner. Hughes also had a solo No. 1 Hot Dance Club Play chart hit in ’84 called “Angel Man (G.A.)” about the Guardian Angels. Ever hear of Rubina Flake? That’s the name Roberta Flack used (on the inside album sleeve) as she had to fill the producer’s chair for the making of the LP also called Feel Like Makin’ Love after her longtime producer Joel Dorn had a falling-out with Atlantic Records suits. Flake—I mean Flack, used an all-star line-up of musicians and vocals on the LP including: Patti Austin, Betty Buckley, Denise Williams, Ralph MacDonald, Hugh McCracken, Bob James an over a dozen more singers and instrumentalists.  

Here’s some more Big Jay Record Pig Trivia©. Do you remember the Snuff Garrett-produced song “A Hundred Pounds Of Clay,” the million-selling single in ’61 by Gene McDaniels? He also had hits like “A Tower Of Strength” and “Chip Chip” in the early ‘60s. If you guessed McDaniels wrote the song “Feel Like Makin’ Love” for Flack under his full name Eugene, or E. McDaniels, you’d be a Record Pig. The song “Feel Like Makin’ Love” was nominated for Grammy® Awards for Record of the Year, and Best Pop Vocal, Female. McDaniels died at age 76 in 2011 at his abode in the state of Maine.

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

August 31, 1974


TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘74:


No. 1

Pop LP

(Last Week No. 1)


461 OCEAN BOULEVARD

Eric Clapton  

RSO Records4801


It took “Slow Hand” almost four years to make his second solo album, but Eric Clapton was rewarded with his first No. 1 album on the Top LPs & Tape chart this week in ’74. The house where E.C. was staying during the recording of this album was (of course) on 461 Ocean Boulevard near Miami, Florida in a mile-long village named Golden Beach. The Criteria Studios, where the LP was recorded, was nearby on NE 149th Street. It’s now called the Hit Factory Studios. Clapton is said to have originally not cared for the song “I Shot The Sheriff” written by Bob Marley that was about to become the Hot 100 Singles chart-leader next week.

After being in rehab for heroin addiction prior to the making of the album, South Florida session guitarist George Terry played a tape of “I Shot The Sheriff” for Clapton and the other musicians at Criteria, and convinced him to record it. Thinking it was not worthy of being on the album, Clapton finally was convinced to allow the inclusion. George Terry also co-wrote another Clapton hit single, “Lay Down Sally” included on the 1977 LP called Slowhand, and was a member of Eric’s touring band until ’79. Joining Clapton for the album’s recordings were fellow RSO Records artist Yvonne Elliman, previously known for singing one of the songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” as Mary Magdalene; a part she sang for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (with the lyric and book written by Tim Rice) in the concept album rock opera, and the later London play and even the movie version. She later had a No. 1 Hot 100 hit with the Bee Gee’s song, “If I Can’t Have You” in ’78. Other musicians performed with Clapton for the 461 Ocean Boulevard sessions; bass player, the late Carl Radle and drummer Jamie Oldaker. The legendary man-behind-the-console Tom Down produced the LP. The current owner of the house, the former mayor of the town, says people regularly show up at the door expecting to see God…er, uh…Clapton. Why the guy doesn’t unplug the doorbell is beyond me. Eric was nicknamed “God” for his guitar-playing prowess as early at 1965 in London.


HOT SOUL LPs CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘74


No. 1

Soul LP

(Last Week No. 1)

THIS WEEK IN ‘74


No. 1

(Last Week No. 2)


“MARVIN GAYE LIVE”

Marvin Gaye

Tamla RecordsT6-333S1


Marvin Gaye struggled after the death of Tammi Terrell his long-time singing partner and rumored lover. But he needed to make a living, and reluctantly decided to tour again despite intense stage-fright brought on by the fact that Tammi collapsed in his arms on-stage during a late ‘60s concert. The result of a live show at the Oakland Coliseum in California was Marvin Gaye Live!  The Tamla Records LP was recorded on January 4, 1974; released on June 19th of that year. Here’s some similar concert-footage of Gaye later in ’74.

The tracks on Marvin Gaye Live! included songs like: “Trouble Man,” “Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler),” “Distant Lover,” a song for his current girlfriend (Janis Hunter) called “Jan,” a bevy of earlier hits he called “Fossil Medley,” rounded out by “Let’s Get It On” and “What’s Going On.” Marvin Gaye produced this LP, and it sold over one million copies, but was only at the top of the Hot Soul LPs chart for one week.  

 

THE

BIG SINGLES 


For the Chart-Week

Ending

September 5, 1987


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘87:

 

No. 5 (LW 8)“DIDN’T WE ALMOST HAVE IT ALL”

Whitney Houston Arista9616

No. 4 (LW 5)“ONLY IN MY DREAMS”

Debbie Gibson Atlantic89322

No. 3 (LW 2)“WHO’S THAT GIRL”

Madonna Sire28341

No. 2 (LW 6 )“I JUST CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU”

Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett Epic02753


No. 1

Pop 45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“LA BAMBA”

Los Lobos

Slash Records28336


Considering the original version of “La Bamba” only reached No. 22 on the Hot 100 Singles chart by Richie Valens the day before he died on February 3, 1959, having the song in its second of an eventual three weeks on top of the survey as a remake by Los Lobos must have been a nice observation from above. It turns out that Valens barely knew what he was singing about, as his even speaking Spanish was minimal. He only knew the song from family parties he attended as a child. He died at age 17 along with Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson a/k/a The Big Bopper (and the pilot) in a plane crash in Iowa on what’s called “The day the music died.” The A side of the original single was actually a bigger hit at the time, with “Donna” reaching the No. 2 position on the Hot 100. It didn’t hurt that the film about Richard Steven Valenzuela, La Bamba, was a box-office smash in 1987. Writer and director Luis Valdez wanted new original music used in the production instead of using the versions recorded in the ‘50s. The band Los Lobos got the nod to re-record the so-called wedding song that originated in Veracruz State of Mexico.

Los Lobos’ (which translates to mean the Wolves in English) roots are in East L.A. They started out doing cover versions of rock songs, but were convinced to be able to make it as a recording act they’d have to do something different. That difference was performing the music they heard as kids; traditional Mexican tunes. Their re-creations of Valens’ songs for the soundtrack put them in front of mainstream audiences worldwide.  

 

 ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’87:

 

No. 1

Adult Contemporary

45 RPM

 

(Last Week No. 1)  

 

“I JUST CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU”

Michael Jackson

and Siedah Garrett

 Epic Records02753


It was the second of three eventual weeks as the biggest hit on the Adult Contemporary Singles survey for “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” from Überstar Michael Jackson and what was originally supposed to be Barbra Streisand, or even Whitney Houston as a duet partner. Streisand, ever the diva, declined because she wasn’t enamored with the song. Plans to have Whitney sing it with the King of Pop failed. So, instead, Michael and producer Quincy Jones turned to a singer named Siedah Garrett, who had co-written Jackson’s soon-to-be hit, “Man In The Mirror” along with Glen Ballard. That song was also on the album Bad, and a future No. 1 Hot 100 Singles chart hit—one of FIVE chart-toppers from the LP, the first time that ever occurred. “Man In The Mirror” was the fourth single from the LP, released in early January of ‘88. Garrett had been working with Jones on other projects when she was tapped to vocally work with Jackson for this “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” released on July 20, 1987. Garrett didn’t KNOW she was going to be singing the duet until she was brought into the studio by Quincy Jones.

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was the first song to be released from the follow-up LP to Thriller, called Bad which was released on August 31, 1987. So this week’s Adult Contemporary Singles-leader came out nearly a month before the album officially was unleashed to the public. Bad wasn’t quite the monster hit that Thriller was, but it did sell over nine million copies in the U.S. alone and over 30 million units across the globe. Not too shabby. It took another two weeks for “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” to reach the No. 1 position on the Hot 100 Singles chart, where it would stay for a singular week. The record also attained the highest position on the Hot Black Singles chart for the very same week as the Pop chart.    

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’87:


No. 1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

“LOVE IS A HOUSE”

Force M.D.’s

Tommy Boy Records28300


Force M.D.’s (standing for Musical Diversity) first hit on the POP Hot 100 Singles chart was from the all-Rap musical film shot mostly in the Bronx called Krush Groove titled “Tender Love,” with the ‘quiet-storm’ record reaching No. 10 on that list. A year and a half later, the R&B vocal group from Staten Island struck again with “Love Is A House.” That record didn’t make much noise on the Pop side, garnering the lowly No. 78 spot at its peak. But looks can be deceiving, as “Love Is A House” ascended to the peak of the Hot Black Singles chart, for this, the first of two concurrent survey-periods.

The song was from the Force M.D.’s album called Touch and Go on Tommy Boy Records. They started out singing in Times Square on the streets, and for captive audiences on the Staten Island Ferry to and from Manhattan. They had the added benefit of having the red-hot team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis write and produce “Tender Love” from their own album Chillin which was released on Warner Bros. Records due to its inclusion in Krush Groove flick. The group members included: brothers Stevie and Antoine Lundy, Jesse Lee Daniels, Trisco Peterson and Charles “Mercury” Nelson. Charles died of a heart-attack in 1995 at the age of 30. Antoine died of ALS disease in ’98.    

 

THE

BIG ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

September 5, 1987


TOP POP ALBUMS

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘87:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


WHITNEY

Whitney Houston  

Arista Records8405

Whitney, the sophomore album from Jersey-girl Whitney Houston, was in the last of 11 successive weeks at the high point of the Top Pop Albums chart. It debuted in the No. 1 location, after being released on June 2, 1987 by Arista Records. The opening single, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” was No. 1 on the Hot 100 Singles chart for two weeks at the end of June into the first week of July of ’85, with over two million copies snapped up. It had taken merely six weeks for the track to arrive at No. 1, and certainly tempted record-buyers into getting their hands on the album the split second it was released. The next single, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” was another ballad from the up-and-coming diva, which was No. 1 for two survey-periods the last week of September into the opening week of October of ‘87. That single certainly also added to the continuous momentum of the LP as it was climbing the singles charts, produced by Michael Masser who co-wrote the tune with Will Jennings. Here’s a live rendition by Whitney.

The third single from the collection Whitney sold over a million copies called “So Emotional.”  The fourth was No. 1 Pop for two weeks in the early fall titled “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” The fifth and final authorized single from Whitney was “Love Will Save The Day” and it broke the streak of seven consecutive No. 1 Hot 100 singles, reaching only No. 9, plus it stopped the four No. 1 singles-streak from this LP. The album Whitney had four producers, including: Narada Michael Walden (seven of the 11 tracks) along with Michael Masser (two cuts) John “Jellybean” Benitez (one track) and Kashif Saleem (born Michael Jones) with one as well. Whitney was the earliest album from a female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Top Pop Albums chart in its history. It went on to sell over nine million copies.

 

HOT BLACK ALBUMS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘87


No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

 

IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN 

Stephanie Mills

MCA Records5996

Motown songwriters Leon Ware, Pam Sawyer and Clay McMurray’s song “If I Were Your Woman” was, in my mind, the second greatest performance on record by Gladys Knight & The Pips. (Write to me at BigJay@BigJaySorensen.com to ask me my first fave.) When she and the vocal group were still employed at Motown on their Soul Records subsidiary, the late 1970-early 1971 hit song went to No. 9 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Stephanie Mills, who had hits like: “What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’ in 1979, and the million-selling single “I Never Knew Love Like This Before” decided to rework the song her way. Here’s her version of “If I Were Your Woman” from ’87 from the album of the same name on MCA Records—the No. 1 Hot Black album chart-leader for this solitary week.  

The album also reached No. 30 on the Top Pop Albums chart. Other tunes from that record were R&B hits, including: “I Feel Good All Over,” “(You’re Puttin’) A Rush On Me” and “Secret Lady.” At the age of 11, Stephanie Mills was the victor of the Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem a record six times. She moved into a Broadway career starring in The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical “Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Because I love you all for reading my column each week, and SHARE it too plus because I adore this original hit version of “If I Were Your Woman” by Gladys Knight & the Pips, I’m giving you a bonus present…an extended version of this 1971 masterpiece. Enjoy.

 

A Big Note From Big Jay!

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We will be updating the LOOK of www.BigJaySorensen.com soon, with new photos, and eventually I’ll bring back Big Jay’s Record Pig Music Trivia© to the site. Thanks to all of you who read this information regularly. I hope you gain some more knowledge about the music we love and grew up with. If there is something you’d like to see or even hear on the site, let me know.

(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

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