The Week of May 8th, 2014
THE BIG SINGLES
For the Week Ending May 14th, 1969
The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:
No. 5: “SLOOP JOHN B” – The Beach Boys – Capitol – 5602
No. 4: “KICKS” – Paul Revere & the Raiders – Columbia – 43556
No. 3: “RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 & 35” – Bob Dylan – Columbia 43592
No. 2: “GOOD LOVIN’” – The Young Rascals – Atlantic – 45-2321
No. 1: “MONDAY MONDAY”
The Mamas And The Papas
Dunhill Records – 45-D-4026
“Monday Monday” replaced the first No. 1 for the Young Rascals, “Good Lovin’” on the Hot 100 Singles chart—that song was a remake of a remake. John Phillips struck pay-dirt with an original song for the first album by the Mamas and the Papas called If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears. But, the first single scheduled for release from that album was called “Go Where You Wanna Go,” remade by the 5th Dimension about a year later as that group’s first hit single. The Mamas and the Papas Dunhill Records LP, produced by Lou Adler, might not have taken off like it did if Adler had not belatedly issued “California Dreamin’” as the lead single. “Go Where You Wanna Go” was almost immediately recalled from the marketplace and “California Dreamin’” replaced it. Adler claimed that career-changing decision occurred to him in a dream. While “California Dreaming” was getting as high as John Phillips and the rest of the group were feeling while that single climbed the charts, their true debut single reached No. 4. Radio stations began playing THIS week’s No. 1 song as an album track.
This was the second of three consecutive chart-periods on the Hot 100—for “Monday Monday,” a song the three non-writers of the song didn’t like. Adler didn’t care for it either, but the head Papa, John Phillips overcame the nay-sayers. That was a good move, as the record allowed them to become the first fully sexually integrated group in the rock era to reach No. 1. The LP itself had some issues to overcome. The photo on the front cover had to be re-issued, as showing the group in a bathroom WITH a toilet in the picture was too much for middle-America to witness. Even that wasn’t enough, as another re-issued cover had to be made, getting the foursome out of the bathtub. Were we that prudish back then? I guess so, as bathrooms weren’t acknowledged as a place of decency in the U.S.A. Here’s some Record Pig Trivia—“Monday Monday” was the second-straight No. 1 record with what’s called a “false ending.” The Young Rascals “Good Lovin’” had one as well.
No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart:
ABC-Paramount Records – 10785
This record was the fourth single to reach No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart during the career of Ray Charles. However, his ABC-Paramount 45 RPM 7-incher only got to No. 19 on the Hot 100 singles chart. “Together Again” was a remake of a Country No. 1 song from Buck Owens just two years prior. “Together Again” was released just after Charles had been arrested for heroin possession. He avoided jail-time by successfully going to re-hab. His tenure at ABC-Paramount (that distributed his own Tangerine Records) was largely a place for Ray to become an interpreter of other songwriter’s material; “Together Again” was no exception.
No. 1 on the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart:
“WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN”
Atlantic Records – 2326
Rock & Roll Hall-Of-Famer and Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Percy Sledge is best-known for “When A Man Loves A Woman” on Atlantic Records—this week’s list-leader on the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart. This song is famous for being released by mistake, as Jerry Wexler told producers Quin Ivy and Marlin Green to send him another version that was NOT out-of-tune. The song was redone, but that off-key version is the one erroneously released that we loved and purchased as fellow-forlorn lovers. The song was written by Sledge who ad-libbed his sadness of a break-up with his girlfriend by simply riffing over a melody written by bass player Calvin Lewis and organist Arthur Wright. They were all members of a group called the Esquires Combo. Oddly, Sledge didn’t get the payday he should have received, as he gave those two band-mates all of the songwriters credit to the million-selling single—the first for Atlantic Records. “When A Man Loves A Woman” would become the nation’s biggest POP hit on the Hot 100 (for two survey-periods) in just a couple of weeks after the run of “Monday Monday.”
THE BIG ALBUMS
For the week ending on Saturday, May 14th, 1969
No. 1 on the Top LP’s chart:
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
A&M Records – SP-4112
The A&M Records label was on a hot-streak with albums from Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. Their fifth album called Going Places featured the singles: “3rd Man Theme,” (No. 47 on the Hot 100 Singles chart) “Zorba The Greek” (No. 11) backed with “Tijuana Taxi” (No. 38) and “Spanish Flea” (No. 27) later used as the theme song to the TV game show Dating Game. To tell the truth, there really wasn’t an actual group “The Tijuana Brass,” as much of their recordings were filled with studio session-cats we now know as “The Wrecking Crew” that recorded hundreds of hit songs out of L.A. and particularly at the Gold Star Recording Studio where this album’s tracks originated. Alpert DID play trumpet and was a partner at the time with label co-owner Jerry Moss. Thus the A&M letters as the name of the record company; originally called Carnival Records, but quickly changed when they discovered someone already had that name. A&M was bought by the international label Polygram in 1989, and Alpert and Moss left managing their baby in 1993, 31 years after its founding.
No. 1 on the Best-Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart
ABC-Paramount/Tangerine Records – ABCS 544
This was the first imprint of the Tangerine Records Corporation, which was distributed by the label that signed Ray Charles, ABC-Paramount Records. The single “Crying Time” was the first single from the LP of the same name, and listed on that 45 RPM disc as by Ray Charles with the Jack Halloran Singers and the Ray Charles Orchestra with the Raelets. The reached No. 6 on the Pop Hot 100 Singles chart in early ’66. Ray’s current single “Together Again” was No. 1 on the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart (see above) but was NOT included on this, his present long-playing album. The B side of the single, “You’re Just About To Lose Your Clown” was on the LP, as well as the Valarie Simpson & Nicholas Ashford (with Jo Armstead) composition, “Let’s Go Get Stoned”—a No. 31 Pop hit, but a No. 1 record on the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart later that summer.
THE BIG SINGLES
For the week ending on Saturday, May 16th, 1970
The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:
No. 5: “CECILIA” – Simon & Garfunkel – Columbia – 45133
No. 4: “LET IT BE” – The Beatles – Apple – 2764
No. 3: “VEHICLE” – The Ides Of March – Warner Bros.-Seven Arts – 7378
No. 2: “ABC” – The Jackson 5 – Motown – M 1163
No. 1: “AMERICAN WOMAN” / “NO SUGAR TONIGHT”
The Guess Who
RCA Records – 74-0235
Starting with the Beatles single “Come Together” and “Something,” Billboard Magazine altered (for a brief time) the way they compiled their Hot 100 Singles chart. In the middle of that 45’s chart-run, both songs were counted as ONE entity for rank purposes. Thus; this oddity happened with other 45 RPM releases that followed, including this dual-sided No. 1 song, “American Woman” / “No Sugar Tonight” on RCA Records. The Canadian group (hailing from Winnipeg) had their first U.S. No. 1 record (in this the second of three successive weeks) with these two songs. “American Woman” was not intended to be a slam on women in the U.S.A. according to the writers (the entire band) listed as Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Gary Peterson and Jim Kale. But the lyrics led many to believe that is was a scathing commentary on life South-of-the-Border—of Canada. “No Sugar Tonight,” the B side of the single, was written solely by Bachman, who would leave the group after a show at the Fillmore East in Manhattan this week in 1970 after musical direction disagreements with Cummings; and due, in part, Randy’s conversion to Mormonism. “No Sugar Tonight” was an edited version of the song on the album also called American Woman. Bachman went on to have a successful rock-band career with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and continues to be considered a guitar impresario and still performs and records. Cummings also had an active solo career (especially in Canada) after he left the band in ’75 with one major hit in the U.S. that peaked in early ’77 called “Stand Tall” (No. 10) and another 45 that reached No. 37 on the Hot 100 Singles chart in ‘81 called “You Saved My Soul.” There have been a few reunions by the group with varying line-ups.
No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart:
“FOR THE LOVE OF HIM”
United Artists Records – 50602
Non-Record Pigs usually think of Brooklyn-born and Baltimore, MD-raised Bobbi Martin as a “One-Hit-Wonder.” Well, she wasn’t, as the Pop singer had a Top 20 hit called “Don’t Forget I Still Love You” (No. 19 on the Hot 100 Singles chart) peaking in early 1965. That song reached No. 2 on the Easy Listening Singles chart at that time as well. Martin also had a minor hit (No. 46 Pop) called “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You,” (No. 9 on the Easy Listening Singles chart) which she performed on TV’s the Dean Martin Show that year. Another release on Coral Records stiffed at No. 70 in ‘65. A label change to United Artists Records five years later brought Bobbi Martin her first and only No. 1 record on the Easy Listening Singles chart (also getting to No. 13 on the Hot 100 Singles listing) called “For The Love Of Him.” Martin co-wrote the song with her producer Henry Jerome under the name Al Mortimer. Feminists have derided the song as being overtly chauvinistic. Martin would not have another hit of any consequence after “For The Love Of Him” and died of cancer in 2000.
No. 1 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart:
“LOVE ON A TWO-WAY STREET”
Stang Records – 5012
This week’s No. 1 song on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart was from the Moments and “Love On A Two-Way Street” on the All Platinum Records subsidiary, Stang Records. The Moments were (at the time of the recording) William “Billy” Brown, Willy Albert “Al” Goodman and John Morgan. The lead vocal was re-sung by Brown for release as a single by the Moments (the original lead singer had parted ways with the label) which had been recorded prior to the group as a solo by a woman named Lezli Valentine. Three prior members of the Moments left just before the release of the single with the lead vocal erased and redone by Billy Brown. Valentine (a former member of the Jaynettes, known for “Sally Go Round The Roses”) claimed she co-wrote the song, but was not credited with it once it came time to release her original version. So the Moments’ adaptation is a cover record of the song LISTED as being written only by Sylvia Robinson (of Mickey & Sylvia “Love Is Strange”-fame) and Burt Keyes. According to Valentine, she had to be hospitalized due to the stress of losing any and all royalties. Not long after “Love On A Two-Way Street” was a hit; the vocal group also added a guy named Harry Ray. Now if you’re still following this, Ray, Goodman & Brown (of “Special Lady”-fame) became an act in the late ‘70s due to contractual issues and were not allowed to be called the Moments. If YOU have a moment, please explain this whole thing to me please.
THE BIG ALBUMS
For the week ending on Saturday, May 16th, 1970
No. 1 on the Top LPs & Tape chart:
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Atlantic Records – SD 7200
The sophomore release from the act Crosby, Still & Nash (now Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) was the biggest album on the Top LPs chart for just one week—this week in 1970. The highly anticipated second album from the now quartet, had to topple Bridge Over Troubled Water, from Simon & Garfunkel, which had been in the No. 1 slot for 10 weeks. Déjà Vu would succumb to the new album called McCartney the following week—and then the Beatles last released album, Let It Be shortly thereafter. Déjà Vu contained three singles: “Woodstock,” written by Joni Mitchell, “Teach Your Children,” written by Graham Nash and “Our House,” also penned by Nash. There was a fourth single, “Carry On” written by Stills, but that failed to hit the Hot 100. Often mentioned is the appearance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in upstate New York by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young) as only their second gig together. And they were scared, “$#^*less” as was spoken said from the main stage. Déjà Vu would go on to sell over seven million copies in the U.S. alone, even though it was No. 1 for just a sole week on Atlantic Records. On the LP (instrumentally) the foursome was joined by Dallas Taylor on drums and Greg Reeves on bass guitar. There were cameo appearances on Déjà Vu by Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar (on “Teach Your Children”) and for the title track, the harmonica playing of John Sebastian. After this LP, Young would occasional join the trio as a fourth member whenever the mood hit, or when Stephen Stills and Neil didn’t musically hate each other.
No. 1 on the Best Selling Soul LPs chart:
The Isaac Hayes Movement
Enterprise/Stax Records – ENS. 1010
For the second time in as many albums, Isaac Hayes released an LP with just four songs on it, and called this one The Isaac Hayes Movement on Stax Records. This was the first of seven non-consecutive weeks as the No. 1 album on the Best Selling Soul LPs chart. The four songs contained on the record were: “I Stand Accused” written by Jerry Butler and his younger brother Billy, and “One Big Unhappy Family” co-written by arranger, producer and sax player Charles Chalmers along with Sandra Rhodes on side one—with “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” the Bacharach & David song and “Something” written by George Harrison on side two. In addition to Hayes, the only other musicians listed on The Isaac Hayes Movement were the surviving members of the Bar-Kays. You’ll remember that some members of that instrumental band were killed in the plane crash in Wisconsin in December 1967 that also took the life of Otis Redding, a fellow Stax label-mate of Hayes. The only single from this set was an edited version of “I Stand Accused” (the original was 11:39 in length—the single was 6:50) which was released on Enterprise Records, founded by Hayes as a subsidiary of Stax Records. The single didn’t do that well; but the LP certainly did. In addition to the Soul LPs chart success, The Isaac Hayes Movement was the leader of the Jazz LPs chart and got to a respectable No. 8 on the Pop Top LPs chart. Isaac Hayes, later a New York radio personality, died in 2008.
THE BIG SINGLES
For the week ending on Saturday, May 16th, 1981
The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:
No. 5: “MORNING TRAIN (NINE TO FIVE)” – Sheena Easton – EMI-America – 8071
No. 4: “ANGEL OF THE MORNING” – Juice Newton – Capitol – 4976
No. 3: “BEING WITH YOU” – Smokey Robinson – Tamla – 54321
No. 2: “JUST THE TWO OF US” – Grover Washington, Jr. (with Bill Withers) -- Elektra – 47103
No. 1: “BETTY DAVIS EYES”
EMI-America Records – 8077
The biggest hit of 1981 was by far “Betty Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes on EMI-America Records. 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 already put the song on tape for her 1975 LP called New Arrangement for Columbia Records. DeShannon got the inspiration for the song from seeing the movie legend in the 1942 black & white flick Now Voyager. Betty Davis purportedly loved the song; thanking the writers for making her fashionable again. The difference between the original by DeShannon and Carnes’ version 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 picked for release. Kim’s version of “Betty Davis Eyes” was enjoying the first of an ultimate nine non-consecutive weeks in the peak position on the Hot 100 Singles chart during this survey period ending on May 16, 1981. 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. Actually (if you’re ready) the entire title of THAT song was (as it appeared on the Radio Records 45 RPM label) “Medley: *Intro “Venus” – Sugar Sugar – No Reply – I’ll Be Back – Drive My Car – Do You Want To Know A Secret – We Can Work It Out – I Should Have Known Better – Nowhere Man – You’re Gonna Lose That Girl – *Stars On 45.” Interestingly, no writers’ credit was printed on that single, but all of those titles were there for copyright purposes on behalf of utilizing the Lennon/McCartney songs and the tunes “Venus and Sugar Sugar.”
No. 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Singles chart:
A Taste Of Honey
Capitol Records – 4953
Yes, this is the same melody of the international hit “Sukiyaki” originally sung by Japanese artist Kyu Sakamoto, a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Hot 100 Singles chart on Capitol Records in 1963. Sakamoto’s version was a hit in been a hit in Japan in 1961 under the title “Ue o Muite Arukō, which translates into English a few ways; most commonly, “I Look Up As I Walk.” Sakamoto was killed in one of the worst airline tragedies in history; as he was on-board the Japan Airlines Flight 123 that slammed into Mount Takamagahara, killing 520 people on-board on August 12, 1985.
This remake-version by A Taste Of Honey was credited as written by the same writers as the original; Rokusuki Ei (lyrics) and Hachidia Nakamura (music) under the proviso that the English lyrics would not be credited for royalty purposes. Truth be told, the reason the title was chosen originally by Capitol Records (on Sakamoto’s version) was because it was one of the few Japanese words Americans knew! Sukiyaki is a dish resembling stew in a so-called “hot-pot” style.
Now back to the 1981 version of the song. A Taste Of Honey member Janice Marie Johnson supposedly heard Linda Ronstadt’s remake of the Miracles song “Ooo Baby Baby” and wanted to re-image another ‘60s song—picking “Sukiyaki”—but realizing it needed English lyrics. So she wrote words that had nothing to do with the original, or even resembling a translation. Because of the lyric-rewrite proviso, Ms. Johnson was only credited with the arrangement of the song on the record label. Jazz great George Duke was used as the producer of the track and the rest of the album by A Taste Of Honey called Twice As Nice; a wink and a nod to the fact that the vocal group was made up of two female singers—Johnson and Hazel Payne. After their monster hit in ’77 called “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” (and a handful of other minor hits) the two women were left to perform as a duo after Perry Kibble and Donald Johnson left to eventually move to Canada. And after “Sukiyaki” was the No. 1 song (for the first of two consecutive survey-periods) this week and No. 3 on the Hot 100, the duo had just one more minor hit in the U.S.; a remake of a different song written by William “Smokey” Robinson for the Miracles and used as an A side for Tamla Records back in ’62 called “I’ll Try Something New.” More about Smokey later.
No. 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart:
“A WOMAN NEEDS LOVE (JUST LIKE YOU DO)”
Ray Parker Jr., & Raydio
Arista Records – 0592
After altering the name Raydio to Ray Parker, Jr., & Raydio, the future “Ghostbusters” writer/singer had the No. 1 song on the Hot Soul Singles chart this week in ’81 with “A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)” on the Arista label. The act formerly known as Raydio had two big hits with “Jack And Jill,” and “You Can’t Change That.” Parker, Jr. dropped the Raydio moniker completely after “The Old Songs” (No. 26) was the follow-up single to this week’s chart-topper. “A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)” was enjoying the first of two back-to-back weeks in the No. 1 slot. It wasn’t his biggest hit (that was of course “Ghostbusters”) but it was the longest lasting chart record for Ray on the Hot 100 as a performer with 27 total weeks. “A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)” was Parker, Jr.’s first No. 1 record on the Hot Soul Singles chart. The cut also reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 and a respectable No. 11 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The single came from an album of the same name. The group Raydio broke up quietly later in ’81 after it was obvious that Parker, Jr. was the main attraction.
THE BIG ALBUMS
For the week ending on Saturday, May 7th, 1988
No. 1 on the Top LPs & Tape Chart:
Epic Records – FE 36844
Call this one the album that refused to leave the No. 1 spot. REO Speedwagon had been a regional hit in the mid-west for a several years before hitting the national spotlight. Formed at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL in 1967, REO Speedwagon had begun to be recognized in 1978 as rockin’-good band with the release of the album You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish. That LP sold over two million copies. Next up in came Hi Infidelity, released in the autumn of 1980. The singles from the album, in order of release were: the power-ballad “Keep On Loving You” (No. 1 Pop)—selling over two million copies, “Take It On The Run” (No. 5 Pop)—selling over one million copies, “Don’t Let Him Go” (No. 24 Pop) and “In Your Letter” (No. 20 Pop) with the album selling over 10 million over time. Hi Infidelity’s songs were written largely by Kevin Ronan and Gary Richrath. The rest of the group (for this incarnation of REO Speedwagon) also included Neal Doughty, Alan Gratzer and Bruce Hall. Richard Page, later the lead singer of Mr. Mister, lent his voice for the REO Speedwagon LP. The Hi Infidelity picture cover was knee-deep in the controversy department, as a couple is depicted as being involved in sexual infidelity by showing the man putting a record on a “HI-FI” record player while his lady friend is scantily dressed.
No. 1 on the Hot Black Albums chart:
Being With You
Tamla Records – T8-375M1
Sitting pretty at the apex of the Hot Soul LPs chart this week in ’81 was Smokey Robinson’s Being With You on Tamla Records. The title track was currently at No. 3 on the Hot 100 Single chart; peaking at No. 2 for three consecutive weeks beginning in the next seven-day survey period. This was Robinson’s biggest hit single since leaving the Miracles. The song “Being With You” had been the No. 1 song on the Hot Soul Singles chart for five consecutive weeks, beginning with the week ending on April 4, 1981. The irony of this particular song was that Smokey had written it FOR Kim Carnes to sing after she had turned one of his older songs, “More Love” into a No. 10 Pop hit in 1980. Her song “Betty Davis Eyes” prevented Robinson’s version of “Being With You” from the pinnacle position during both of their Hot 100 chart runs. It was George Tobin, the producer of the LP Being With You, (and the producer of the remake of “More Love”) who convinced Smokey to keep the song for himself. That single was also a No. 1 hit in the U.K. Backing singers on the LP included Smokey’s wife Claudette (an earlier member of the Miracles) and the two sisters who sang AS the Supremes (sisters Julia and Maxine Waters) on the last single featuring Diana Ross, “Someday We’ll Be Together.” Another twist…the guy who performed the synthesizer on “Betty Davis Eyes” (Bill Cuomo) also performed keyboards on the album Being With You. It’s a small world after all.
(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