Saturday Single No. 231

Thirty-four years ago today, in the Billboard Hot 100 released March 26, 1977, the No. 1 song in the United States was “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates.

Makes you wanna get up and cheer, doesn’t it?

No, not me either. But that’s what I started with this morning as I looked for something to write about. I opened the Hot 100 for that week and saw Hall & Oates perched at the top, followed by Barbra Streisand’s “Love Theme from ‘A Star Is Born’.” Not a good start, I thought.

Okay, well, how about movement, our little game of “Jump”? I did some looking at the Top 40 for that week, gauging what there might be to talk about. There weren’t a lot of big moves – moves of six or more places – which would make for a brief post. And the largest shift of the week in the Top 40 was a climb of thirteen places – a good-sized shift – for the Climax Blues Band’s “Couldn’t Get It Right.”

I sighed. Not that I dislike the record. It’s okay, but I was hoping for a bigger payoff. It seemed a little anticlimactic.

So, beginning to feel a little desperate, I dropped to the bottom of the file, wondering what tune had anchored the Bubbling Under portion of the chart during the first week of spring thirty-four years ago. It was “We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again” by Deardorff and Joseph. I knew the song – England Dan & John Ford Coley took it to No. 9 in early 1978. But who the heck were Deardorff and Joseph?

In Top Pop Singles, there’s not much information, just that they were a pop duo: Danny Deardorff and Marcus Joseph, and “We’ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again” was their only single listed. The record spent four week bubbling under and never got higher than No. 109. I found a video at YouTube, and it was an okay version of the tune, which has never been high on my list of my favorite songs, anyway. But I like obscure groups and duos, so I looked to see what All-Music Guide had to say about Deardorff and Joseph.

The main page was pretty empty, but the duo’s only album – the source of their bubbling-under moment – got a full review. Odd, I thought, as I began reading the piece, which was mostly complimentary and which noted that the duo’s self-titled album has become “a cult item for collectors of soft Californian ’70s pop.” I went off to do some looking. Vinyl copies of the album are available at a couple of places I checked – prices ranged from $3 to more than $135 – but the Arista CD is pretty rare. My quick search found just one copy available, priced at more than $102.

Now intrigued, I went back to AMG and took a closer look at the album as I was beginning to think I might have to dig around for it. I checked the track listing, and there, at No. 5, was Bob Welch’s “Sentimental Lady,” recorded first by Fleetwood Mac for its 1972 album Bare Trees and then covered by Welch himself in 1978.

So I made one more run to YouTube. After a couple of listens, I’m finding a lot to like in Deardorff and Joseph’s take on “Sentimental Lady,” and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

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4 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 231”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    Just ten days ago, I pulled out the three Deardorff & Joseph singles on my shelf and gave them the ol’ digitation treatment. I doubt that I’d listened to them at all since the ’70s, and agree wholeheartedly that their take on Sentimental Lady (Arista 0246) hits the spot. I wonder if it may have been the catalyst for prompting Bob Welch to have another go at it.

    The third single from the D&J album was “Nighttime Love” (Arista 0263) and listening to it again made me wonder how Arista Records managed to mishandle some of the sublime “West Coast Pop” product it had issued in 1976-77. Exhibit “B”: Cooter Crow & Magic’s “Polka Band Hits” (Arista 0226), a sublime look back at those “Sunday mornings with the polka band hits on the radio” that featured nary a trace of a Whoopie John beat. Indeed, the record itself would have sounded great on the radio any day of the week. File under: shoulda/coulda/woulda.

    Shifting to a more typical AC vein: just as Deardorff & Joseph had been the first to cut what would prove to be a hit for someone else, both Gino Cunico’s “When I Wanted You” (Arista 0204) and “Can’t Smile Without You” (Arista 0220) went unnoticed by all, it would seem, save for labelmate Barry Manilow. Although we were excited about all of the above releases in the promotion department of the Minneapolis distributor for Arista at the time, no one at the label’s home base in New York seemed to share the same commitment to breaking them. [sigh]

  2. Hello,

    Just stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to say thank you very much for your kind words. FYI The main reason our album received very little promotion was because I quit the duo and Arista just as our version of Never Have To Say Goodbye was climbing up the charts. No fault of Clive Davis. He is a wonderful man and deserving of his reputation as a Master in the business. Just weeks after our LP’s release, I met with Clive and told him I wanted out, mainly because I had become a father and my priorities had changed. He understood my situation and kindly wished me well. A couple of years later in 1978 I recorded a solo album “Things I Meant To Say” and wouldn’t you know, just upon it’s release I quit again, only this time for good. The record was basically shelved and never promoted at all, though it got some FM airplay for a while. Amazingly in 2002 it was re-packaged and re-released as a CD in Japan and even more amazing, it seems I have a small cult following there and elsewhere in the East and also parts of Europe. What a strange world. Go figure. Anyway thanks again and I hope I didn’t bore you with too much unsolicited information.

    Marcus Joseph

    P.S. Really as a lark I wrote “Nighttime Love” as my rebuttal to “Afternoon Delight”, a record I didn’t much care for.

  3. […] late March of last year, I wrote about the fairly obscure late Seventies duo Deardorff & Joseph, digging a little bit into their 1976 […]

  4. don brown says:

    The Deardorff and Joseph version of “Sentimental Lady” is better than the original versions…I play it over and over. Thanks !.

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