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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History

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November 14th, 2014



THE

BIG

SINGLES

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 20, 1965

 

HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ’65:

No. 5 (LW 8) “LET’S HANG ON”

4 Seasons Featuring the “sound” of Frankie Valli PHILIPS40317

No. 4 (LW 6) “RESCUE ME”

Fontella Bass CHECKER1120

No. 3 (LW 1) “GET OFF MY CLOUD”  

The Rolling Stones LONDON9792

No. 2 (LW 3) “1-2-3” 

Len Barry DECCA31827

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 5)

 

“I HEAR A SYMPHONY”

The Supremes

MOTOWN RECORDS1083

 

As we headed for Thanksgiving-time in 1965, Motown’s flagship act, the Supremes, were giving thanks for yet another No. 1 record on the Hot 100 Singles chart. “I Hear A Symphony” was in the first of a two-week stint in the pinnacle position on the Pop side. It’s hard to imagine any young woman on the streets of Detroit or anywhere in America for that matter hearing a symphony in her head when she saw her man; but that image resonated across the land with another smash from the pens and production prowess of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland. Frankly, the only reason this song was written was because of the wrath of Berry Gordy, Jr., when the Supremes’ previous single, “Nothing But Heartaches” ONLY reached No. 11 on the Hot 100. He even put out a company-wide memo stating that the Supremes would only release No. 1 records and that Motown would only put out Top 10 hits! Talk about pressure. So, Holland-Dozier-Holland broke the mold of the sound they had so perfectly created for the group and others they were producing. The result was certainly a sharp left turn in terms of song structure; yet maintaining the beat that so identified “The Motown Sound.”

“I Hear A Symphony” halted a slide of No. 1 songs by the Supremes, after they had five back-to-back chart-toppers. But the new “Sound of Young America” didn’t last long (for now) as the two follow-up Supremes singles, “My World Is Empty Without You,” and “Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart” reached only No. 5 and No. 9 respectably on the Pop singles list. Not to worry, as Holland-Dozier-Holland must have gotten another memo from the boss, and the Supremes would then have another run of four No. 1 songs, and another that reached No. 2—“Reflections” which would be the last major hit that H-D-H wrote and produced for the vocal group before departing the Gordy’s sphere of influence at Hitsville, U.S.A. to form their own record labels and production house.

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘65

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“A TASTE OF HONEY”

Herb Alpert

& The Tijuana Brass

A&M RECORDS – 775

 

This was the fourth of an ultimate five seven-day survey-periods for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with “A Taste Of Honey” on A&M Records. “A” stands for Alpert, and “M” stands for Moss; as in Herb’s partner Jerry Moss. They struck gold with an act that really didn’t exist—at least in the studio. The crack recording session cats later dubbed “The Wrecking Crew” laid down the tracks as the Tijuana Brass, along with Alpert on his trumpet. There is a documentary floating around about those musicians that will blow your mind, as well as any trumpet. Truth be told, those musicians performed on perhaps hundreds or even thousands of recordings from the early ‘60s through the mid-‘70s—songs you would have THOUGHT were performed by the groups themselves on records. And now, back to the “brass.”

The song “A Taste Of Honey” had already been around awhile by the time Alpert and company decided to include it on the LP called Whipped Cream & Other Delights. That album was a huge seller; complete with a pregnant then 27 year-old model named Delores Erickson covered in shaving cream on the cover. There was a dollop of whipped cream on her head to be factual. It’s interesting to note that she’s now 77 years-old! Egad! “A Taste Of Honey” came from a British play in 1958, and then a movie version in 1961. The Beatles had done a remake of the song on their first British album Please Please Me after hearing the Lenny Welch version with lyrics. Nobody knows who wrote the lyrics, as all of the many versions only credit the composers, Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow. Scott would later co-write the big hit for the Hollies called “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother.” Marlow was a TV actor as well as a songwriter. “A Taste Of Honey” won a Grammy® for Best Instrumental Theme in 1962. Then, in ’65, the song helped Alpert’s ensemble win four Grammy® Awards for their version, including: Record of the Year (for Herb Alpert the artist, and Alpert and Moss as producers,) Best Instrumental Performance, Non-Classical, Best Instrumental Arrangement for Alpert and Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical, for Larry Levine—who got credit on the 45 RPM label as the engineer. 

 

TOP SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES

SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘65

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“RESCUE ME”

Fontella Bass

CHECKER RECORDS – 1120

 

Fontella Bass sat at the summit of the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart this week in ’65 with “Rescue Me” on Checker Records. She had signed with Chess/Checker records and did some duets with a guy named Bobby McClure, a former member of the Gospel group the Soul Stirrers along with Sam Cooke in the ‘50s. Their “Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing” had reached No. 33 on the Pop singles listing earlier in ’65. McClure died in 1992. Bass (who grew up in St. Louis, then moving to Chicago) had also been a Gospel singer earlier in her career before sliding into secular music. “Rescue Me” was supposedly written by the record’s Raynard Miner and Carl William Smith, both Chess/Checker staff songsmiths; but was concocted in the studio when musicians were “riffing” with arranger Phil Wright. Some accounts say Fontella Bass was a third co-writer and was promised credit, but was not officially given that potentially lucrative right.

Billy Davis was the record’s producer. You may know him by other names, including Tyran Carlo and Roquel Davis, as a co-writer of songs (with Berry Gordy, Jr.) by Jackie Wilson including “Lonely Teardrops.” This was the last of four consecutive weeks for “Rescue Me” as the chart-capping 45 RPM on the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles index. Oh, and the drummer on that jam-session was future leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White, along with the famous bass pattern performed by his friend, Louis Satterfield. He would also become a founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire. The “ums” you heard Bass singing in the song on the final take occurred because she got forgot the lyrics and just ad-libbed. That ‘take 3’ was the one we love, mistakes and all. Bass won a lawsuit for un-authorized use of her voice on a TV commercial in 1990. Fontella Bass died at the age of 72 in 2012.

THE

BIG

ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 20, 1965


TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘65:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


An Original Soundtrack Recording

Roger & Hammerstein’s

THE SOUND OF MUSIC


Various Artists

Arranged and Conducted by

Irwin Costal

RCA VICTOR RECORDS2005


A 1959 Broadway production spawned this 1965 film version with a few songs excised from the original; and a couple of new songs added for the motion-picture by composer Richard Rodgers, and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. The film starred Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp, Christopher Plummer as Captain George von Trapp and Eleanor Parker as Baroness Elsa von Schraeder. This adaptation is based on the 1949 book The Story Of The Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp. Julie Andrews was already a major star before this film was made, having won a Oscar® for Mary Poppins the year before. Nobody can forget the opening lyric and scene featuring Andrews singing.

Other memorable songs from the play and film include: “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things” “Edelweiss” “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” This soundtrack LP has sold over 11-million copies across the globe. Along with four others, a Best Picture Oscar® was awarded to the film version. This was the second of two weeks at the peak of the Top LPs chart in the U.S. In the U.K., The Sound Of Music soundtrack would go on to be the No. 1 LP for a total of 70 non-consecutive weeks over there; spanning from 1965 through the end of 1968! In the U.K., the album was the leading LP of 1965, ’66 and ’68—yeah, yeah, yeah, even bigger than the Beatles!

 

TOP SELLING RHYTHM & BLUES

 LPs CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘65


No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


THE IN CROWD

Ramsey Lewis Trio

ARGO – 757

The album called The In Crowd by Ramsey Lewis Trio was released on two record labels, since Chess Records in Chicago started Argo with the purpose of using it as a Jazz label; and due to an overwhelming amount of recordings coming out of the their studios in the Chi-Town. The Ramsey Lewis Trio was the namesake on piano, Eldee Young on bass and cello, plus Isaac “Red” Holt on drums. Those two guys formed Red-Holt Unlimited after just one supplementary LP with Lewis. The In Crowd was recorded live at a nightclub named The Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. in May of ‘65. The set was in the 10th of an ultimate 12 non-consecutive weeks as the prime album on the Top Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart. Here’s the entire version of the title track from the Long Player. The single was significantly edited for Top 40 radio airplay. 

The song “The In-Crowd” was composed by Billy Page, the brother of the exceptionally talented arranger, Gene Page who later went on to bigger things working with many artists including Barry White on his hits. The song “The In Crowd” was previously known by Top 40 and R&B listeners from a vocal account by the late Dobie Gray. His performance earlier entered the chart in ’65, attaining the No. 13 opening on the Hot 100 and listed as “The “In” Crowd” on the tiny Charger Records label.

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 18, 1972


HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘72:


No. 5 (LW 2) “NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN”

The Moody Blues (With The London Festival Orchestra) DERAM85023

No. 4 (LW 8) “I AM WOMAN”

Helen Reddy CAPITOL3350

No. 3 (LW 5) “I’LL BE AROUND

The Spinners ATLANTIC RECORDS2904

No. 2 (LW 3)“I’D LOVE YOU TO WANT ME”

Lobo BIG TREE147


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

“I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW”

Johnny Nash

EPIC RECORDS5-10902

 

 

This is the third of an eventual four weeks at the helm of the good ship Hot 100 for Johnny Nash (along with a Jamaican Reggae and Soul of Calypso or Soca group called the Fabulous Five, Inc.) with “I Can See Clearly Now” on Epic Records. Nash wrote the song; in addition to producing and arranging the track. The single was recorded in London, England. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Nash had been in the recording business since he was a teen, and began having hits in 1957. Growing up in Texas, John Lester Nash, Jr. was a regular on the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts program in the early to mid-‘50s. His first hit song was on ABC Paramount Records released in ’57 called “A Very Special Love” which attained the No. 23 position in early ‘58 on the Most Played by Jockeys chart. He and label-mates Paul Anka and the recently departed George Hamilton IV had a collaborative hit called “The Teen Commandments” (No. 29 on the Hot 100) also on ABC Paramount. Nash was an actor as well; appearing in TV and movie roles, such as Take A Giant Step with Burt Lancaster in 1957. It was that film’s on-location scenes in Jamaica that led Nash to find a future hit sound; totally re-inventing his singing career. By 1968, he had formed a record label originally called JoDa (standing for Johnny and his partner Danny Simms. Nash had one of the first bona fide Reggae hits in the U.S. with “Hold Me Tight” (No. 5) in ’68, recorded in Jamaica with a ‘rocksteady’ group called Byron Lee And The Dragonaires; although some accounts claim it was a group called Lynn Tate & the Jets. Regardless, Nash moved to London when his sound caught on hugely in England, eventually hiring Bob Marley for songwriting purposes. One of those songs was “Stir It Up” which stiffed upon release in the U.S., but was re-released as the follow-up to “I Can See Clearly Now” after its No. 1 showing.

The track “I Can See Clearly Now” was performed by some of Marley’s pals (and reportedly Marley himself on backing vocals) plus the horn section called the Dundee Horns; who not long afterward became members of the Average White Band! (**See more directly below).

   

EASY LISTENING SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘72

 

No.1

Easy Listening

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW”

Johnny Nash

EPIC RECORDS5-10902

 

Johnny Nash is now seen as a main contributor to not only helping Bob Marley & the Wailers become household names, but for raising the awareness of Reggae music in general worldwide. Johnny Nash effectively became a pioneer in the genre, paving the way for others. Here’s that follow-up to “I Can See Clearly Now” called “Stir It Up” in its original 45 RPM mix.

That Marley song “Stir It Up” which actually preceded “I Can See Clearly Now” in release, eventually got the recognition it deserved when it was re-issued as the follow-up single in early ’73, reaching No. 12 in America. Marley used the proceeds of “Stir It Up” to start his own record label and became Reggae’s pre-eminent superstar.

 

BEST SELLING SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘72


No.1

Soul

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME BY NOW”

Harold Melvin

& The Blue Notes

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS3520


This is the epitome of the “Philly Sound.” A little history here, as a Philadelphia vocal group called the Blue Notes had some minor success on the record charts in 1960 with a very old song (from 1910) called “My Hero.” They largely disappeared from any national success, bouncing from label to label; with a constant change of the group’s line-up. Harold Melvin was the only constant from their beginnings through their hit-making years. Move up to 1972, when Gamble & Huff signed them to their new label Philadelphia International Records, and released a very slow-paced soulful ballad called “I Miss You” with the group’s new lead vocalist and drummer Teddy Pendergrass. That song was the first track on an album originally titled I Miss You (later changed to Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes with the same catalog number, but with a different album cover) stalled at No. 58 on the Hot 100. Not deterred, Gamble & Huff released yet another ballad as the second single from the LP called “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” With the slick arrangement by handled by Bobby Martin, this song became a No. 3 Pop hit, and was No. 1 this week for the first of two consecutive seven-day survey-periods on the Best Selling Soul Singles index.

Gamble & Huff had intended “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” to be recorded by the group LaBelle, but they passed, never recording it. That mistake hurt them, as they didn’t have a hit until “Lady Marmalade” was released in late ‘74. Also, Gamble & Huff tried unsuccessfully to sign the Chicago legendary vocal group the Dells to their new label, and wanted them so record the song. That deal fell through. So, the producers gave it to the new line-up of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Members of the MFSB Orchestra accompanied the quintet of vocalists on the track, with Leon Huff himself playing the piano. Theodore Pendergrass would become one of R&B’s legendary performers, leaving the group for a successful solo life. His career was curtailed when he was involved in a car accident, paralyzing the singer for the rest of his life. Pendergrass passed away in 2010 in Bryn Mawr, PA—a Philadelphia suburb. Harold Melvin died in Philly in 1997. 17 years after Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes had the hit; the English Blue-Eyed-Soul band Simply Red featuring Mick Hucknall had a No. 1 Hot 100 record with the song in ’89 from their album A New Flame. Nothing compares to the power and aura that surrounded the original.

 


THE

BIG

ALBUMS


For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 18, 1972



TOP LPs

CHART

THIS WEEK IN ‘72:


No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 2)

CATCH BULL

AT FOUR

Cat Stevens

A&M RECORDS4365


First of all, what does the album name Catch Bull At Four mean? From what I can ascertain, it is one of the Ten Bulls of Zen. For the uninitiated, it’s a cluster of 10 Japanese poems along with pictures (number four on the cover of Cat Steven’s album) used in the Zen ritual to show a person’s growth toward the cleansing of the mind and enlightenment; then their return to the world to act on that knowledge. Picture number four is when the person literally catches the bull (insert your own joke here) in order to tame it. Cat Stevens had become one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the early ‘70s by this point. Catch Bull At Four was released by A&M records on September 27, 1972. Born to a Greek Cypriot and a Swedish mother in London, Steven Demetre Georgiou (now known as Yusuf Islam) had two spectacular successes as Cat Stevens prior to this album; Tea For The Tillerman and Teaser And The Firecat. Both albums had hit singles. Catch Bull At Four sold quite well in America, the U.K. and did especially well in Australia; but the single “Sitting” failed to gain the accolades and airplay that previous 45 RPMs had done.

Before Catch Bull At Four, Cat Stevens had reached the Top 11 with “Wild World” (No. 11) “Peace Train” (No. 7) and “Morning Has Broken” (No. 6) all of the Hot 100. On the other hand, “Sitting” stalled at No. 16 and was the only single to be a hit record in the U.S. from the album. Cat Stevens was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He just released a new album as Yusuf, and will tour North America with just six dates this December for the first time since 1976. The nearest concert to NYC will be at the Tower Theater, just outside Philadelphia in Upper Darby, PA.

 

BEST SELLING SOUL

LPS CHART


THIS WEEK IN ‘72

No. 1

R&B

LP

(Last Week No. 1)


The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

SUPERFLY

Written and Performed by

Curtis Mayfield

CURTOM RECORDS8014


This was the sixth and final survey-period for Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly to sit in the peak position of the Best Selling Soul LPs chart on his own Curtom Records this week in ’72. The soundtrack to the “Blaxploitation” film is seen as one of the finest R&B concept albums of the era, with its combination of Soul, Funk and social consciousness about the scourge of drugs in the ghettos of America. But Curtis Mayfield had been addressing social issues for many years, especially during the ‘60s Civil Rights era. The first single from this set was “Freddy’s Dead (Theme from Superfly)” first reaching the Hot 100 in August of ’72. That song reached No. 4 on the Pop list and was certified as a million-selling single. The next single was the title track “Superfly” which reached a respectable No. 8 on the Pop chart, was also a million-selling 45 RPM.

Curtis Mayfield had several more albums in him, but the hits dried up on the Pop singles lists in ’75. Curtis was severely injured when lighting equipment fell on him at Wingate Field in Brooklyn, New York during a performance and was paralyzed for the rest of his life, but still managed to compose music. Mayfield was honored with a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. He was later inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but was in poor health from diabetes; preventing him from attending that March, 1999 ceremony. He succumbed to the disease that December in Georgia.  

 

THE

BIG

SINGLES


For the Chart-Week

Ending

November 22, 1980


HOT 100

TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK IN ‘80:


 

No. 5 (LW 5) “I’M COMING OUT”

Diana Ross MOTOWN1491

No. 4 (LW 4) “ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST”

Queen ELEKTRA47031

No. 3 (LW 3) “THE WANDERER”

Donna Summer GEFFEN49563

No. 2 (LW 2) “WOMAN IN LOVE”

Barbra Streisand COLUMBIA11364


No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


 

“LADY”

Kenny Rogers

LIBERTY RECORDS1380


There was a log-jam at the top of the Hot 100 Singles chart this week in 1980; with the identical Top 5 as the week prior. Plus, it would continue on next week’s Hot 100 as well. Every single song in the Top 5 stood completely still for three straight weeks. In the case of Diana Ross’ “I’m coming out,” No. 5 would be the peak position for the Diva. In the No. 4 slot this week in ’80 was already a No. 1 song with “Another One Bites The Dust” holding at No. 4. It had sunk to No. 5 a few weeks back, but the song had colossal staying power. At No. 3 for this seven-day survey-period, Donna Summer’s debut with Geffen Records was at its maxed-out position. No. 2 had been No. 1 for three straight weeks starting in October, and now rested in the second slot. This week’s No. 1 song (for the second consecutive week) would sit atop the Hot 100 for another four weeks; six all told. Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” was written and produced by Lionel Richie.

As Kenny so eloquently put it, he wanted to meld Country with R&B on his new material, and in jumped Lionel Richie. Rogers new record company, Liberty Records, included three songs that that were not on any of his studio albums, on an LP called Greatest Hits. Those included: “Love the World Away” which had only been on the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack, a lesser-known song called “Long Arm of the Law” and “Lady.” Not only was “Lady” the third biggest hit of the year on the Pop chart, but it was the first 45 RPM of the 1980s to be listed on all four of Billboard’s singles charts. And it was No. 1 on three of them: Hot 100, hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and the Country Singles charts. It managed to get to the No. 42 on the Hot Soul Singles listing based on the name of Lionel Richie in the credits. By the end of the decade, “Lady” would be the 10th biggest hit in the ‘80s.

 

 HOT ADULT CONTEMPORARY TRACKS CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

 

No.1

Pop

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)

 

 

“LADY”

Kenny Rogers

LIBERTY RECORDS1380

 

“Lady” from Kenny Rogers was the biggest hit for the second of what would become a four-week stay on top of the Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. (**See above entry.)

 

  HOT SOUL SINGLES CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 1)


“HOTTER THAN JULY”

Stevie Wonder

TAMLA RECORDS53417

 

Written, arranged, produced and performed by Stevie Wonder was something we saw on almost every record he put out from the early ‘70s on. And this one was no exception. Oh yeah, and he played some wicked drums on this track. “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” was a monster hit on the Hot Soul Singles register, and was No. 1 for the fourth of an ultimate seven-week span. The tune reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 two weeks from now in 1980 on Tamla Records.

The song came from this week’s new No. 1 album Hotter than July. (**See the description below under Hot Soul LPs.) “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” was not Stevie’s first foray into Reggae, but this one was a direct result of Wonder having Bob Marley open his most recent tour, and the track was, in essence, a tribute to him.

 

 

THE

BIG

ALBUMS

 

For the Chart-Week ENDING

November 22, 1980


TOP POP

LPs CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

No. 1

Pop

LP

(Last Week No. 1)

THE RIVER

Bruce Springsteen

COLUMBIA RECORDS36854


For the third consecutive week, Bruce Springsteen’s The River sat atop the Top LPs & Tape chart on Columbia Records. The album was No. 1 for the final week during the next seven-day survey-stage. The River, Bruce’s fifth solo set was opulent due to it being Springsteen’s first double-album collection. Six of the tunes were leftovers from his previous album Darkness on the Edge of Town, and were used to fill this epic double-LP. Originally, Springsteen wanted this album to be a single LP, but due to the overflow of semi-recent and new material, he pushed for the two disc release. The album was supposed to be called The Ties That Bind, but because ‘the Boss’ didn’t think it was “BIG” enough, he took it back and not long after it became the two-LP assortment called The River. The first single from the album was “Hungry Heart” which became his highest-charting single to that date; reaching No. 5 on the Hot 100. Here’s a live version of “Hungry Heart.”

The only other U.S. single from The River was “Fade away,” reaching No. 20. However, several of the album’s tracks were released as singles in the U.K., including: “I Wanna Marry You,” “Sherry Darling,” “The River/Independence Day,” “Cadillac Ranch” and “Point Blank.” The River is Springsteen’s third best-selling album (over four-million) behind Born In The U.S.A. and Born To Run.

HOT SOUL

LPs CHART

THIS WEEK IN ’80:

No.1

R&B

45 RPM

(Last Week No. 2)


“MASTER BLASTER (JAMMIN’)”

Stevie Wonder

TAMLA RECORDS53417

 

Some prominent singers did background vocals on Stevie Wonder’s Hotter Than July; the No. 1 album on the Hot Soul LPs chart this week in 1980 on Tamla Records. Those singers included: Michael Jackson, Angela Winbush, two members of the O’Jays, Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, along with Betty Wright (“The Clean Up Woman”) and Stevie’s former wife Syreeta Wright, wife among others. (**See below.) Hotter Than July was enjoying its first of what would become 14 continuous weeks in the pinnacle position of the Hot Soul LPs chart; with the chart-run at the crest ending on Valentine’s Day in 1981! Beside the current single sitting in the No. 1 spot on the Hot Soul Singles listing (**see above) “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” the album featured the next single, “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” that reached No. 11 on the Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Hot Soul Singles listing.

“I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” featured the backing vocals of two members of the Gap Band, siblings Charlie and Ronnie Wilson. A third single from Hotter Than July was called “Lately”—only getting as high as No. 64 on the Hot 100, and No. 29 on the Hot Soul Singles directory. There was a fourth single from Hotter Than July that never reached the Hot 100, but may have more significance for people; “Happy Birthday” which was a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the beginning of Stevie Wonder touting the fact that the Reverend should have a U.S. National Holiday in his honor. He succeeded, as President Ronald Reagan made Martin Luther King Day a yearly occurrence (signed on November 2, 1983) on the third Thursday of February each year beginning in 1986. “Happy Birthday” was a huge hit in the U.K. of all places. Wonder sang the song at the unveiling of the King Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2011.


**Special thanks to www.ShopRadioCast.com for supplying the photo of the 45 RPM adapter insert.

(Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net -- '60s 45 record image by dan; '70s headphones/vinyl record image by dan; '80s cassette tape image by graur razvan ionut.)

**All chart information is used by permission of Record Research, Inc., from Publisher Joel Whitburn. The original information comes from Billboard Magazine’s various Hot 100 singles, Top 200 albums, and various R & B charts published by Billboard as compiled by Record Research. www.RecordResearch.com

Copyright 2013-2014 by Big Jay Sorensen, Hosted by STCNtech (stcntech.com)
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