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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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July 11th, 2014






THE BIG  SINGLES   

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

July 17, 1965

 

HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK:

 

No. 5 (LW 8) “CARA MIA”

Jay & the Americans – United Artists – 881

No. 4 (LW 3) “MR. TAMBOURINE MAN”

The Byrds – Columbia – 43271

No. 3 (LW 13) “I’M HENRY VIII, I AM”

Herman’s Hermits – MGM – 113367

No. 2 (LW 2) “I CAN’T HELP MYSELF”

Four Tops – Motown – 1076

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“(I CAN’T GET NO) SATISFACTION”

The Rolling Stones

London Records – 9766

Here’s the song that made the Rolling Stones a household name in America. When the Beatles and other U.K. groups hit our shores, there was an almost unquenchable thirst for all things British rock ‘n roll. And these were the so-called “Bad Boys” that fathers wouldn’t let their daughters date. They weren’t the pretty boys that some of the other British ensembles were, but they had a style all their own. This week’s No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart was in the second of an eventual four weeks in the pinnacle position with the London Records 45 RPM release, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.)”


It almost seems odd, but “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was released in the U.S. first. Great Britain didn’t see the single come out until August of ’65. In fact, it had been banned by the BBC and only played on pirate radio stations. Originally, the track had been recorded in May of ’65 in Chicago at the Chess Studios, but the group re-recorded their signature song just two days later in L.A. at the RCA Studios, this time using a Gibson Maestro Fuzztone, performed by Keith Richards. He had initially wanted a horn-section in the background, but when he discovered the ‘box’ used for distortion for a demo recording, that sealed it. This take was the one producer Andrew Loog Oldham selected as their next single; their first No. 1 song in America. The tune was composed on an acoustic guitar in a hotel room in Florida, with Mick Jagger adding lyrics.

 

EASY LISTNING SINGLES

CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“A WALK IN THE BLACK FOREST”

Horst Jankowski

(His Orchestra and Chorus

Mercury Records – 72425

Did ya ever hear "Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt?” It is likely you did if you were around and paying attention to music in 1965. That title was the original German name of what we know as the instrumental, “A Walk In The Black Forest” by bandleader and songwriter Horst Jankowski (His Orchestra and Chorus) on Mercury Records in the U.S. The literal English to German translation in sentence form is “Ein Spaziergang im Schwarzwald.” The song reached No. 12 on the Hot 100 Singles chart in the U.S., but was the chart-topping hit on the newly renamed Easy Listening Singles chart this week in ’65, its last of two weeks at the apex of that listing.



“A Walk In The Black Forest” (an actual wooded mountain-forest in southwestern Germany) was included on the U.S. LP called The Genius of Horst Jankowski. The one-time bandleader for the Italian international singer Catarina Valente (who had recorded some songs in German known as “schlager songs” or “hit songs”) the Berlin native Jankowski was a prominent figure in the Easy Listening genre. He died at age 62 in 1998.

 

TOP SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES SINGLES

CHART

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“I CAN’T HELP MYSELF”

Four Tops

Motown Records – 1076

This week in ’65 was the amazing seventh of nine concluding weeks in the top spot on the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart for “I Can’t Help Myself,” sometime shown as “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” on Motown Records. The song was featured on the LP Four Tops’ Second Album which contained the similar-sounding follow-up single “It’s The Same Old Song” (hurriedly written, recorded and released as their old record company released an older recording trying to capitalize on their new success) and another single released later in ’65 called “Something About You.”


“I Can’t Help Myself” featured not only the “Funk Brothers” (the Motown studio cats) but the string section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, plus the added vocal embellishment of the female backing vocal group the Andantes. The song had been the biggest hit on the Hot 100 Singles chart for two non-consecutive weeks in June ’65. This was another masterpiece by the hit songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland.  

 

THE BIG  ALBUMS

For the Chart-Week ENDING

July 17, 1965

TOP LPS CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

BEATLES VI

The Beatles

Capitol Records - 2358

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 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 on albums, feeling it cheated their fans of new material. But Capitol Records didn’t care, as they saw the gravy-train by making 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 U.S. R&B tunes from singer Larry Williams.  

 

TOP SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES LPs

CHART

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

 

FOUR TOPS

Four Tops

Motown Records - 622

Four Tops’ debut album was on top of the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart this week in ’65—the very week their latest single from the album Four Tops’ Second Album, “I Can’t Help Myself” (see above) was still in the No. 1 slot on the R&B Singles chart. Motown finally figured out what to DO with Four Tops after they’d been signed by the label a few years earlier. Their roots were in more Middle-Of-The-Road or Jazzy material on Columbia before Berry Gordy, Jr. decided to pair the vocal group with producers Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier and the Funk Brothers backing musicians and the Andantes female vocal embellishments. 


Their first three singles from the album Four Tops were included on this first Four Tops Motown release, including: “Baby I Need Your Loving,” Without The One You Love (Life’s Not Worth While) and the chilling track, “Ask The Lonely” seen above. While reaching the peak of the R&B LPs chart, this album just reached the No. 63 position on the Top LPs chart in ’65. Their next album made them Soul Superstars.

 


For the Chart-Week Ending

July 18, 1970

HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK:

No. 5 (LW 3) “BALL OF CONFUSION (THAT’S WHAT THE WORLD IS TODAY)”

The Temptations – Gordy -- 7099

No. 4 (LW 5) “BAND OF GOLD”

Freda Payne – Invictus – 9075

No. 3 (LW 7) “(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU”

Carpenters – A&M – 1183

No. 2 (LW 2) “THE LOVE YOU SAVE”

Jackson 5 – Motown – 1166

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“MAMA TOLD ME (NOT TO COME)”

Three Dog Night

Dunhill-ABC Records – 4239

Right up there among the greatest singles bands in the nation during the very late ‘60s into the mid-‘70s was Three Dog Night. This week in 1970, their interpretation of the Randy Newman song “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” was sitting on top of the Hot 100 Singles chart for the last of two weeks in that location.  


Three Dog Night was more than just the three vocalists Chuck Negron, Danny Hutton and Cory Wells. Their band was part of the group that included: Canadian Floyd Sneed on drums, Jimmy Greenspoon on keyboards (his Godfather was the one and only, comedian Jack Benny) Mike Allsup on guitar and the late Joe Schermie on bass guitar. He died at age 56 in 2002. Negron had a serious drug problem starting in the early ‘70s—the heyday of Three Dog Night. He overcame his issues in 1991 after long being banished from the group and wrote a best-selling auto-biography called Three Dog Nightmare. Wells and Hutton continue to use the name Three Dog Night and Negron tours as a solo act. Both the group and Negron separately sing their hits on the road.

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART:

 

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU”

Carpenters

A&M Records – 1183

If you said actor Richard Chamberlain (Dr. Kildare) first released a version of “They Long To Be Close To You,” you’d be correct. Burt Bacharach and Hal David had written the song as early as 1963, as Chamberlain used it as a B side to his single “Blue Guitar.” That single reached No. 42 on the Hot 100 Single chart. Even the Bacharach/David evergreen artist Dionne Warwick recorded it as a demo, and was eventually released as an album track in 1964 and was used as the B side to her single “Here I Am” which was from the film What’s New Pussycat. Herb Alpert’s vocal version was initially set to be the follow-up to his 1968 hit “This Guy’s In Love With You,” but he didn’t like it and it was cast aside. Flash forward to 1969, and Carpenters recorded the song, (given to them by Alpert after he signed them to his A&M Records) but this time it was released with parentheses, calling it “(They Long To Be) Close To You.”



Notice the name of the act is just Carpenters, not THE Carpenters. Karen and her brother arranger/conductor Richard Carpenter had a minor hit with a remake of the Beatles “Ticket To Ride” in early 1970 as their debut single for A&M. But “(They Long To Be) Close To You” (released on May 15th) not only became their first No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Singles chart on NEXT week’s listing (for a four survey-period stay) it was already the crown hit on the Easy Listening Singles chart,  into its second of an eventual six-week run on that list’s zenith, selling over a million copies. The core of the crack L.A. musicians later known as “The Wrecking Crew” actually played the music on most, if not all of their hits including this one. The record company wanted people to think Karen played the drums. Nope. That was the legendary Hal Blaine. Carpenters eventually had 29 charting singles on the Hot 100, with 20 Top 40 hits—12 in the Top 10. Karen died of heart-failure in 1983 at age 32. 

 

HOT RHYTHM & BLUES SINGLES

CHART

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“THE LOVE YOU SAVE”

Jackson 5

Motown Records – 1166

Jackson 5 held the pinnacle place on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart this week in ’70 with their third-straight hit, “The Love You Save” on Motown Records. This single was from their second album ABC, also featuring the title-track. The tunes from that LP were recorded in late ’69 into early ’70. “The Love You Save” had already had a two-week run at the top of the Hot 100 Singles chart.



The 45 RPM release of “The Love You Save” was in the fifth of a decisive six weeks at the peak of the Best Selling Soul Singles chart. The song was written by the same group of writers and producers known as “The Corporation” ™. (that phrase was trademarked) comprised of Deke Richards, Freddie Perren, Alphonso “Fonce” Mizzel and none other than Berry Gordy, Jr., Motown’s founder. The name Hal Davis shows up on some copies of the record as co-producer with “The Corporation” ™. Gordy wanted Jackson 5 to succeed so much, that he didn’t want the usual cast of writers/arrangers/producers doing anything by themselves. This collaboration worked beyond anyone’s dreams in launching what would become Motown’s bread and butter for a half-decade.

 

   THE BIG ALBUMS

For the Chart-Week ENDING

July 18, 1970

TOP LPS CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

WOODSTOCK:

Music from the Original Soundtrack and More

Various Artists

Cotillion Records – SD 3-500

This was the second of four back-to-back weeks as the biggest album in America—make that triple-album. The Woodstock Music & Arts Fair—An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music—actually occurred during four days in Bethel, New York from August 15th through the early morning of August 18, 1969. The soundtrack to the film wasn’t released until May 11, 1970, long after the festival was a distant memory to many; if they remembered it at all!! It was placed on Cotillion Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records based in New York City.



Later, many album compilations made from the event included a bunch more of the music that was recorded on film and audio tape. THIS three-album set only featured some of the highlights. Creedence Clearwater Revival would not allow their performance to be released on the original collection, thinking their concert segments was sub-par. Some of those recordings eventually saw the light-of-day—first in 1994 and some other material in 2009. There is one giant deception on the original set. The song “Sea Of Madness” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was recorded at the Fillmore East in New York City a month before their emergence in Sullivan County. That was corrected in later compilations of the festival’s music and atmosphere. My favorite track from the original three-LP set was “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker. See and hear that electrifying, if not strange performance above.

 

HOT RHYTHM & BLUES  ALBUMS

CHART

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

ABC

Jackson 5

Motown Records -- 709

This was the fifth consecutive week of an ultimate 12-week non-successive run in the No. 1 slot on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Album chart for Jackson 5 with the LP ABC on Motown Records. Michael, Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon were clearly on a roll for Motown. The title track (seen below on American Bandstand) was their second No. 1 Hot 100 single, after “I Want You Back” took the world by storm from their previous LP, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5.



But Diana Ross had virtually nothing to do with Jackson 5’s meteoric success except to have her name put on the kids’ LP by Berry Gordy, Jr. Gladys Knight had sent a tape of the Jacksons to Motown’s headquarters in Detroit after seeing them perform live in what’s believed to be Chicago in early 1968. That original tape didn’t impress the suits. She tried again a bit later and still, nothing happened. But move ahead a few months later in ’68, and Bobby Taylor (of the Vancouvers—then having a hit with the song “Does Your Mama Know About Me”) saw the Jackson brothers during another appearance at the Regal Theater in Chicago, and was so spellbound he drove with the family from the Windy City to Detroit and brought them to a Motown executive. Taylor was vociferous in his plea to speak with Berry Gordy, Jr. who was at his new L.A. offices. Gordy told Taylor to have producer Johnny Bristol videotape the kids. That tape made its way to Gordy; he loved what he saw, and the rest is music history. Taylor let the family live in his Motor City apartment while they made their first album, mentoring them. The song “I Want You Back” had a working title of “I Want To Be Free” before it morphed into the Soul standard it is today. It was Freddie Perren who added the piano glissando at the beginning of that song at the last minute before the track was mastered, making it perfection. It took many years later, but Michael Jackson told Taylor’s daughter who was working on a video for the King of Pop years later to thank her dad for him—something Berry Gordy, Jr. reportedly never did. The Gloved-One managed to rekindle their friendship later in his life. There have been rumblings that Taylor also had a hand in co-writing and producing those first hits for Jackson 5, but nobody associated with Motown has ever acknowledged that. Taylor now lives in Hong Kong.


THE BIG SINGLES 

For the Chart-Week Ending

July 18, 1981

HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES THIS WEEK:

No. 5 (LW 5)“YOU MAKE MY DREAMS”

Daryl Hall & John Oates – RCA – 12217

No. 4 (LW 4)“JESSIE’S GIRL”

Rick Springfield – RCA – 12201

No. 3 (LW 3)“THE ONE THAT YOU LOVE”

Air Supply – Arista – 0604

No. 2 (LW 2)“ALL THOSE YEARS AGO”

George Harrison – Dark Horse – 49725

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“BETTE DAVIS EYES”

Kim Carnes

EMI-America Records – 8077

This was the final non-consecutive week of an amazing nine survey-periods cycle over 10 total weeks at the top of the Hot 100 Singles chart for Kim Carnes and her version of “Bette Davis Eyes.” The EMI-America release was from Carnes’ LP called Mistaken Identity. The biggest hit of 1981 was by far “Betty Davis Eyes.” The song was written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon. Yes…that Jackie DeShannon who had quite a number of big hits in the ‘60s. When a song wins Record of the Year and Song of the Year Grammy® Awards, it’s a big deal. DeShannon had recorded the tune for her 1975 LP called New Arrangement on Columbia Records. DeShannon got the inspiration for the record from seeing the movie legend in the 1942 black & white film Now Voyager. Listen to DeShannon’s original version below!



Bette Davis supposedly loved the song, as performed by Carnes— thanking the writers for making her chic once more. The difference between the original by DeShannon and Carnes’ adaptation involved some chord changes and the synthesizer track performed by Bill Cuomo, and the very first take (all done LIVE in the studio) was the one chosen to make public. The song that interrupted that run was a medley of newly re-sung oldies (mostly Beatles songs) called “Stars On 45” from Dutch studio-only group also called Stars On 45 for the week ending on June 20, 1981.

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY SINGLES

CHART:

 

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“I DON’T NEED YOU”

Kenny Rogers

Liberty Records – 1415

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; engineer and mixed by Rogers himself!



“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 Single chart AND the Country Singles chart later in the summer of ’81. “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. 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. This was the second of six continuous weeks at the crest of the Adult Contemporary Singles chart. 

 

 

 

HOT SOUL SINGLES

CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 2)

“DOUBLE DUTCH BUS”

 

Frankie Smith

WMOT Records – 5356

 

Frankie Smith hailed from the City of Brotherly Love—Philadelphia, PA. In that city, doing jump rope included an activity called “double- Dutch.” Plus, the railway and bus system is called SEPTA, short for Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority. That’s the “bus” in “Double Dutch Bus.” Smith, combined the two ideas with his co-writer Bill Bloom, had the No. 1 Hot Soul Singles chart-leader for the first of four back-to-back weeks in ’81. The song was included on Smith’s LP called Children Of Tomorrow.



The letters in WMOT Records label stood for “We Men Of Talent.” This single sold a million on seven-inch vinyl, plus separately sold a million on 12-inch singles as well. In spite of the record being No. 1 for four weeks on the R&B chart, it only reached No. 30 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Smith had a big “one-hit-wonder” with “Double Dutch Bus.”  

 

THE BIG ALBUMS

For the Chart-Week ENDING

July 18, 1981

TOP LPS & TAPE

CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Kim Carnes

EMI-America Records – 17052

Based mainly on the incredible strength of her hit song “Bette Davis Eyes,” Kim Carnes was enjoying the last of four uninterrupted survey-periods as the biggest record on the Top LPs & Tape chart. See the story about “Bette Davis Eyes” in the Big Singles section above. You would almost not know it, but there was another single that made noise from this album called “Draw Of The Cards” reaching No. 28 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Listen at your own peril. It’s a very odd song, perhaps explaining why it was not the best follow-up to Bette Davis Eyes.



This EMI-America release was produced by Val Garay, who has produced, engineered or mixed albums for such diverse artists as: James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, the Motels, Seals & Crofts, Dolly Parton, Queensryche, Pablo Cruise and Neil Diamond. Garay recently put together the massive project by Frankie Valli, engineering and mixing the 10-album box-set called Selected Solo Works just released.

 

HOT SOUL LPS

CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

STREET SONGS

Rick James

Gordy Records – G8-1002

It was the seventh of an ultimate 20 weeks as the chief album on the Hot Soul LPs chart for Rick James with his record Street Songs. The first single to come from the LP was “Give It To Me Baby” on Gordy Records. That song just barely squeaked into the Top 40 on the Hot 100 Singles chart, but had just finished a five-week stay at the top of the Hot Soul Singles chart, last week. The album reached No. 3 on the Top LPs & Tape chart as well.  



The next single from Street Songs was the eternal moment for Rick James, at least on the POP side of town. “Super Freak” (No. 16 Pop) is his most remembered song; not just for the naughty-nature of the lyrics, but the inclusion of the Temptations on the backing vocals and also for being sampled in 1990’s hit by MC Hammer, “U Can’t Touch This.” Rick’s first single for Motown (Gordy Records) was actually his highest-charting Hot 100 single; “You And I” vaulting to No. 13 out of the box as the debut 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 regain some of its luster in the early ‘80s.

 

(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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