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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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The Week of May 22nd, 2014






THE BIG SINGLES 

For the Week Ending May 27th, 1967

The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:

No. 5 (LW 2) “THE HAPPENING” – The Supremes – Motown – 1107

No. 4 (LW 7) “RELEASE ME (And Let Me Love Again)” – Engelburt Humperdinck – Parrott – 40011

No. 3 (LW 6) “I GOT RHYTHM” – The Happenings – B. T. Puppy – 527

No. 2 (LW 5) “RESPECT” – Aretha Franklin – Atlantic -- 2403

No. 1: (LW 1)

“GROOVIN’”

The Young Rascals

Atlantic Records – 2401


Call this one “Blue-Eyed Soul.” It was the second of what would become four non-consecutive weeks in the pinnacle position of the Hot 100 Singles chart Sid Bernstein’s discovery (the man who brought the Beatles to America) for the Young Rascals on Atlantic Records. The song is based on the songwriters’ only day off—Sunday; to be with their girlfriends. The muse for the music was a girl named Adrienne who was dating keyboard player Felix Cavaliere at the time; and he and Eddie Brigati worked in partnership on the lyrics. Other band-members include Gene Cornish on guitar and Dino Danelli on percussion. For historical purposes, Cornish, Brigati and Cavaliere were previously part of the house band for Joey Dee & the Starliters of “Peppermint Twist”-fame.

For Groovin’,” the Young Rascals (who produced the track) enlisted the talents of a session bass guitar player named Chuck Rainey (a member of the King Curtis All-Stars—also on Atlantic Records) along with the harmonica parts suggested by arranger Arif Mardin performed by session-musician Mike Weinstein (for the SINGLE version) with Cornish claiming he played the part on the stereo version most often heard today. I believe the mono single mix is the better of the two; which sound quite different. The bird sound effects were the idea of Felix after hearing the Beatles use effects in their song “Yellow Submarine.”

The track has an “Afro-Cuban” or baiόn flavor, recorded at the Talent Masters studio on W. 42nd Street in Manhattan, rather than the usual Atlantic Studios to get the R&B feel that the group wanted. The recording was highlighted by backing vocals by Eddie and his brother David Brigatti and Rainey’s smooth bass playing. It’s been reported that Atlantic Records head producer Jerry Wexler didn’t want the track released as a single, as it didn’t sound like their other records to date. Cavaliere (who sang lead on this cut) claims DJ Murray the K (Kaufman) dropped by the studio on 42nd Street and loved the recording. He talked to Wexler, telling him that “Groovin’” was a smash. Reluctantly, Atlantic indeed issued the song as a 45 RPM and the rest was history. The song was SO strong, that despite a two-week interruption by another Atlantic single, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Groovin’” returned to the top slot for another two weeks of supremacy after the Queen of Soul’s two-week reign. There was even a version of the song recorded in Spanish and Italian. “Groovin’” received a nod with the recording sitting in the Grammy® Hall of Fame. The group changed their name from the Bernstein-suggested YOUNG Rascals to simply the Rascals with the later release of the single “A Beautiful Morning” in 1968 about a year after the release of “Groovin’.” 


No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart:

No. 1 (LW 1)

“SOMETHING STUPID”

Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra

Reprise Records – 0561

This was the ninth and final week in the No. 1 position on the Easy Listening Singles chart for the only father-daughter chart-topper (it had also been at the helm of the Hot 100 Singles chart) for Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra (as it appeared on the 45 RPM) with “Something Stupid.” The Reprise label (founded by Frank as the CEO) released this long-lasting Easy Listening single in March of ’67 and ended up being only the second No. 1 Hot 100 single for Frank AND Nancy Sinatra in the Rock & Roll era; from 1955 through the end of their chart appearances. Both had charting songs after this release, but neither was able to match the success of this tune on the lists. 


No. 1 on the R&B Singles chart:


No. 1 (LW 1)

“RESPECT”

Aretha Franklin

Atlantic Records – 2403




“Respect” from Lady Soul and the album I Never Loved A Man The Way That I Love You was in the second of an eventual eight weeks as the ruler of the Top Selling R&B Singles chart. “Respect” was listed as being written by Otis Redding, but many accounts suggest he took the basics of the song from a guy named Speedo Sims who attempted to record a ballad version with his group in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Redding didn’t like the results, and then sang the song himself with a more upbeat tempo. It’s been suggested by Sims that Redding promised him recognition on the liner notes of an upcoming album, but Otis broke his promise; with Sims becoming a footnote in musical history. Franklin’s version is in the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry. Her recording utilized the talents of the very talented sax player King Curtis. 

 

 THE BIG ALBUMS

For the week ending on Saturday, May 27th, 1967

No. 1 on the Top LP’s chart:

No. 1 (LW 1)

More Of The Monkees

The Monkees

Colgems Records – 102



What a streak the Monkees were having on the Top LPs chart. This was the 16th of an ultimate 18 weeks at the helm of that listing with More Of The Monkees on Colgems Records. If you add their debut album, The Monkees, you then see an incredible 13 weeks added to those 18 for the group being at the apex of the chart. But wait—there’s more. With just a week with the Mamas and the Papas in the No. 1 slot after the sovereignty of More Of The Monkees, their LP Headquarters was at the peak for a sole week. But it gets even better, as at the end of 1967, they had another five week run with their last No. 1 LP called Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. More Of The Monkees was the biggest album of the year on the charts (in terms of weeks at No. 1 even besting the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) AND in overall sales in the U.S. And to think the four Monkees didn’t LIKE the album, including the liner notes, song selection and even the front and back covers!   


Top Selling R&B LPs chart This Week:

No. 1 (LW 1)

I  Never Loved A Man The Way That I Love You

Aretha Franklin

Atlantic Records – 8139




“Lady Ree” had two of the biggest R&B records of 1967. The first 45 RPM from the album was No. 1 on the Top Selling R&B Singles chart from the end of March through the beginning of May with “I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Love You)” on Atlantic Records. Aretha Franklin’s first single for the label was the title track of her current album. That LP rose to No. 2 on the Pop Top LPs chart, with a long 14 non-consecutive week residence at the peak—this week was the fifth of those 14, making it attain one of the longest runs at No. 1 in the R&B albums field in the ‘60s. “Respect” (see above) would become a standard of our time.


 



THE BIG SINGLES

For the week ending on Saturday, May 27th, 1978

The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:

No. 5 (LW 2): “THE CLOSER I GET TO YOU” – Roberta Flack with Donny Hathaway – Atlantic Records – 3463

No. 4 (LW 6): “SHADOW DANCING” – Andy Gibb – RSO – 893

No. 3 (LW 4): “YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT” – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – RSO – 891

No. 2 (LW 3): “TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE” – Johnny Mathis / Denise Williams – Columbia – 3-10693

No. 1 (LW 1)

“WITH A LITTLE LUCK”

Wings

Capitol Records – 4559



Paul McCartney was still capable of having not only Top 10 hits, but Hot 100 Singles chart-toppers in the late ‘70s. This week, “With A Little Luck” from the Wings album called London Town was at the summit. The single was considerably shorter than the LP version. But here’s an oddity. His group’s previous single in the U.S. was called “Girls School.” Only “Macca-maniacs” remember that one. But the flip side of that single was called “Mull Of Kintyre” which was one of the biggest selling single EVER in the U.K! It didn’t even reach the Hot 100 in America. I guess we weren’t ready for a song filled with bagpipes.

But let’s get back to THIS week’s No. 1 song, “With A Little Luck.” The song was taped on a yacht called Fair Carol in the Virgin Islands. Sir Paul played bass (of course) along with electric piano and synthesizer. Denny Laine and Linda McCartney contributed some keyboards and the drumming was handled by Joe English. He and lead guitar player Jimmy McCulloch left Wings during the recording of the album London Town due to home-sickness (English) and conflicts with pay and dealing with the perfectionist McCartney (McCulloch) who left to briefly join the recently re-formed Small Faces. This Wings LP had the working title of Water Wings initially, with a wink and a nod toward how and where they recorded most of the record. But after Linda became pregnant, Paul, Denny Laine and Mrs. McCartney returned to Jolly Old England; with the married couple heading back to Scotland. The second single was not a huge hit here called “I’ve Had Enough” just getting to No. 25 and that 45’s follow-up, the title track “London Town” reached a mortal No. 39 in the U.S. London Town just missed the top spot and only reached No. 2 on the Top LPs & Tape chart in the U.S. Because of the lack of promotion (according to Paul) he jumped ship and landed at Columbia Records for a few years after the release of London Town.   



No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart:

No. 1

“EVEN NOW”

Barry Manilow

Arista Records – 0330


This was one of those cases where the Hot 100 Singles chart and the Adult Contemporary Singles chart were miles apart. “Even Now” just got to No. 19 on the Pop chart, but on the “AC” chart, this was the first of three consecutive weeks at the zenith of that list. Barry Manilow had seven Top 5 Pop singles before “Even Now.” But his success on the Adult Contemporary chart was even more impressive. Manilow co-produced the tune with his then producer Ron Dante (yes…the guy who sang “Sugar Sugar” as the Archies) with Barry writing the music and lyrics penned by Marty Panzer. “Even Now” was the follow-up the much higher charting (on the Hot 100) “Can’t Smile Without You” (No. 3) and the first single from the album also called Even Now.

 

 

No. 1 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart:

No. 1:

“Use Ta Be My Girl”

The O’Jays

Philadelphia International Records – 3642


The O’Jays had a total of eight No. 1 songs on the R&B charts through the years; this one was their last. “Use Ta Be My Girl” was in the first of five consecutive weeks at the crest of the then called Hot Soul Singles chart on Philadelphia International Records. The song was co-produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who also co-wrote the tune. This was also their last certified million-selling single. The O’Jays had a long history in the music business, starting in Canton, Ohio; with this song featuring the cream-of-the-crop of Philadelphia’s musicians. “Used Ta Be My Girl” was taken from the LP called So Full Of Love and also featured the single “Brandy.” As founding associate William Powell died in 1977, members of the O’Jays at this juncture were: Eddie LeVert, Walter Williams and newcomer Sammy Strain, formerly with Little Anthony & the Imperials. The O’Jays got into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in ‘04.

 



THE BIG ALBUMS

For the week ending on Saturday, May 27th, 1978

No. 1 on the Top LPs & Tape chart:

No. 1 (LW 1)

Saturday Night Fever – The Original Movie Soundtrack

Various Artists

RSO Records – RS2-4001



This is the 19th week in the No. 1 position on the Top LPs & Tape chart for not only the Bee Gees, but for several other artists included on the Original Movie Soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever on RSO Records. The double-album would go on to have an eventual 24 consecutive weeks atop this chart. The awards were many for this album; plus the set was put into the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress in 2013. I’ll bet you have a copy somewhere.  

 

No. 1 on the Best Selling Soul LPs chart:

No. 1 (LW 1)

Showdown

The Isley Brothers

T-Neck Records -- JZ 34930



This week’s Hot Soul LPs & Tape chart was headed for the third consecutive and final week by the Isley Brothers with the album Showdown on T-Neck Records. This album featured the No. 1 Hot Soul Singles chart-leader for the previous two-weeks, the funk/disco song “Take Me To The Next Phase (Part 1)” and the ballad “Groove With You.” Showdown was yet another million-selling LP for the Isley Brothers. The album reached No. 4 on the Pop Top LPs & Tape chart. In the not too distant future, the extended family members (Ernie and Marvin Isley along with brother-in-law Chris Jasper) left the three founding members of the Isley Brothers (Ronald, Rudolph and O’Kelly) to form their own group, Isley-Jasper-Isley.

 




THE BIG SINGLES 

For the week ending on Saturday, May 27th, 1989

The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:

No. 5 (LW 6): “PATIENCE – Guns N’ Roses – Geffen – 22996

No. 4 (LW 4): “SOLDIER OF LOVE” – Donny Osmond – Capitol – 44369

No. 3 (LW 5): “ROCK ON” – Michael Damian – Cypress – 1420

No. 2 (LW 2): “REAL LOVE” – Jody Watley – MCA – 53484

No. 1 (LW 1)

“FOREVER YOUR GIRL”

Paula Abdul

Virgin Records – 99230



The single version of “Forever Your Girl” featured a different mix than the version on Paul Abdul’s album of same name on Virgin Records. In fact, there were several different mixes of the track in many formats, including: 12-inch re-mix single, 12-inch dub version and others. Abdul’s previous single, “Straight Up” had sold over one million copies, and “Forever Your Girl” though only certified as a half-million-seller, was her second of what would be three-straight No. 1 songs on the Hot 100 Singles chart. That song was “Cold Hearted” which reached the top spot the first week of September of ’89. After missing the No. 1 position with “(It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me,” Paula hit the apex again with “Opposites Attract” during the second week of February 1990 listed as Paula Abdul w/the Wild Pair, who were Tony Christian and Marv Gunn. She’d have two more No. 1 songs on the Hot 100 through 1991.



No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart:

No. 1 (LW No. 1)

“SECOND CHANCE”

Thirty Eight Special

A&M Records – 1273



This was the second and final week as the list-topper on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart for .38 Special with “Second Chance” on A&M Records. This was the group’s biggest chart hit on the Hot 100 Singles chart in its history, reaching No. 6 there. Previously, “Caught Up In You” (reaching No. 10 on the Hot 100) had been their biggest success. This more easy-going song hit the heights of the “AC” chart and was called the Adult Contemporary Song of the Year by Billboard. Note the name of the group used to be listed as .38 Special. That changed with the song released prior to “Second Chance” called “Rock & Roll Strategy.” Well, that strategy didn’t work out too well, as after “Second Chance” was a hit, the group would never again reach the Hot 100 or AC Top 30. They’ve since reverted back to being called .38 Special. Co-founding member Ronnie Van Zant retired from the band permanently in 2013 due to a hearing disorder.

 

No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles chart:


No. 1
“MY FIRST LOVE”

Atlantic Starr

Warner Bros. Records – 27525


This ballad never reached the Pop Hot 100 Singles chart, but placed in the No. 1 spot for a sole week this week in ’89. The slow-jam “My First Love” by Atlantic Starr was taken from their Warner Bros. Records album called We’re Movin’ Up that didn’t even reach the Top 100 on the Top Pop Albums chart and only garnered a No. 26 peak on the Hot Black Albums chart. Atlantic Starr was best known for their 1987 No. 1 Hot 100 hit “Always,” their No. 3 1985 Pop hit “Secret Lovers” and “Masterpiece,” No. 3 in 1992.

 

THE BIG ALBUMS

For the week ending on Saturday, May 27th, 1989

No. 1 on the Pop Albums Chart:

No. 1 (LW No. 1)

Like A Prayer

Madonna

Sire Records – 25844



This was the last of six consecutive weeks for the album Like A Prayer from Madonna. Born Madonna Louise Ciccone, she took almost three years to release her fourth album Like A Prayer after her third (True Blue) in 1986—but the wait was worth it. Five U.S. singles sprang from the album in this order: “Like A Prayer,” (No. 1 for three weeks and a million-seller during the last two weeks in April and the first week of May) “Express Yourself,” (No. 2 for two weeks) “Cherish,” (No. 2 for two weeks) “Oh Father,” (No. 20) and “Keep It Together” (No. 8)—all on the Hot 100 Singles chart. A sixth single called “Dear Jessie” was released only in Europe and was a hit single there. The single “Like A Prayer” caused much commotion for the singer, as the Roman Catholic church had issues with the song and Pepsi cancelled their deal with her to promote their cola product. Madonna co-wrote and co-produced each song on this set. If you have a first pressing of the original LP, Cassette or CD, your package came with the smell of patchouli oils to simulate incense you would smell in a Catholic church. In addition, you received an insert talking about safe sex and ways to prevent AIDS.


 

No. 1 on the Hot Black Albums chart:

3 Feet High And Rising

De La Soul

Tommy Boy Records – 1019


If you liked “Knee Deep” by Funkadelic, then you likely recognized the samples used in the song “Me Myself And I” from De La Soul, included on this week’s No. 1 Black Albums chart-topper. George Clinton (Parliament/Funkadelic leader) got a writing credit on the song, along with members of the group. This album came out at a time when Gangsta Rap was the rage; but De La Soul was able to use a positive message on their songs, enabling this set of songs to become one of Rap/Hip-Hop’s most influential records. The album also reached a respectable No. 24 on the Top Pop Albums chart from the Amityville, Long Island ensemble.

 

(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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