February 6, 2017
Howdy do, thanks for dropping in on our weekly gathering, Week #290, actually, but who’s counting?
I don’t pay much attention to groundhogs, but Claflin Clyde, our own staff groundhog at the radio station, looked out the other day and predicted four more weeks until March. We’re not sure how to interpret that, but it’s hard to argue with his logic. At least he’s here this year. Last winter he went to Florida.
Regular readers of this feature who I see here and there around town, occasionally ask me why I don’t write anything about music anymore. If you’ve been a long-time reader here, you no doubt remember that I did a weekly ‘Ten Favorite Songs and Why I Like ‘Em’ thing here for quite a while. I was up to 330-some songs when I decided to take a break. Don’t know if I’ll resume that same approach, but what the heck, let’s do something with music this week.
Let’s call this ‘Pick a Page’. I’ll just take my trusty Joel Whitburn Pop Annual 1955-1982 Billboard chart book, open a random page and talk about some of the songs on that page. Could be fun. (Joel’s excellent books are still available from Amazon and probably other sources, too.)
Okay, here’s a few from 1972…
1. Night in White Satin–Moody Blues. What a great atmospheric hit. When we started doing dances around the area in 1975 we used that song as a sure-fire slow dance. Even though it was an ‘oldie’ by that time, it still got ‘em out on the floor.
2. Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress—The Hollies. Probably the best fast dancin’ song the Hollies ever did. It had an irresistible guitar intro ( repeated several times in the song) and a great beat.
3. If You Don’t Know Me By Now- Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. When I was with AFKN in Korea I spent one month subbing for a station manager at one of our affiliates near the DMZ. Part of my duties included a morning show. This tune was a big request song from troops in the area.
4. Popcorn—Hot Butter. This was an early piece of electronic music and just about as addictive as, well, popcorn with hot butter. Listen on YouTube.
5. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) –Looking Glass. An unusual hit, but one of the biggest of the year, basically an up-tempo ballad. Unfortunately, the song was SO big that the group had a hard time following it and disappeared shortly thereafter.
6. American Pie—Don McLean. Wow, what a monster hit this was, a seven minutes-and-some-seconds piece of poetry in song, the story of “the day the music died,” which come to think of it, was 58 years ago on the 3rd of this month. We’re referring, of course, to the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper.
That’ll do it for this time. Hope you enjoyed a little ‘backward time travel’. Feel free to comment below.
Kudos to Terry, who got Charley Pride right ‘off the bat’ as the country singer who first aspired to be a major league baseball player. He had a bunch of great country–and crossover to pop– hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Julie, researcher par excellence, knew we were talking about the Smother Brothers show, a show that not only had great performers, but top shelf writers, too, like Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, both of whom went on to Bigger Things. Martin was the one we were thinking about, but Rob was just as big in his own right.
Terry checked back in with his own early TV memories, most notably the ‘horse’ shows like My Friend Flicka and Fury. Yeah, our family watched those, too. My older sister LOVED horses and even bought one with her own money while still in high school.
Charlie made me chuckle with his “what, no Mr. Ed?” comment. You’re right, how could I not mention one of the great comedy hits of the early ‘60s, a show which can still make me laugh. “Wilburrrr!!!” Ah, great stuff.
Okay, two questions still open: the one about why President Buchanan stayed single, and the question regarding the interesting history of the old bakery building, which is still standing across from Washington School. Any takers?
Here’s a pair of new ones…
Frank Sinatra with all his money could afford any type of gourmet food. What was his favorite dish?
What’s the ‘official’ name of the building on Forest Avenue just behind American State Bank?
Well, I need to mosey along and get my monthly allergy shots at the Doc. Yeah, I know how to have fun, huh? See you next week.