One Chart Dig: January 20, 1973

Here’s the Billboard Top Ten from January 20, 1973, forty-five years ago tomorrow:

“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
“Me & Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul
“Crocodile Rock” by Elton John
“Your Mama Don’t Dance” by Loggins & Messina
“Rockin’ Pneumonia – Boogie Woogie Flu” by Johnny Rivers
“Clair” by Gilbert O’Sullivan
“Superfly” by Curtis Mayfield
“Why Can’t We Live Together” by Timmy Thomas
“Oh, Babe, What Would You Say” by Hurricane Smith

And, as might be expected, those ten records slap me right into the middle of my sophomore year at St. Cloud State, sparking memories of music theory classes, of Cokes with a young lady who worked the main desk at the Learning Resources Center, of lengthy bull sessions in the office of the small TV studio next door at the Performing Arts Center, of a cross-country skiing weekend in Wisconsin with the Luther League from Salem Lutheran, and of trying to figure out where I belonged.

In that last category, three things come to mind. It was about this time when I realized I no longer fit in with the group of kids I’d hung around with for much of my freshman year and quit trying to spend time with them. It was around the middle of January in 1973 when a young woman in my philosophy class invited me to join her for coffee at Atwood Center after class to meet her friends, a group of people that turned out to be The Table, the center of my on-campus life for the next several years. And it was around this time when a friend of mine from church asked me to go to a meeting one evening and take notes for her, a meeting set up to assess students’ interest in spending the next academic year in Fredericia, Denmark.

So even though I felt lost and uncertain as the month began – and even though I never got past friendly Cokes after work with the girl from the main desk – I can look back at January of 1973 and see from 2018 a hinge on which my life pivoted.

Looking through the rest of the Hot 100 from that long-ago time, I don’t see any records that really speak to those days (though I do note that Shawn Phillips’ “We” – a record that showed up in the Atwood Center jukebox during the autumn of 1974 and became one of the touchstones of my life – was sitting at No. 92 in the second of its three weeks on the chart).

So I looked for something I might never have heard that sounds good, and I found, parked at No. 66, “Daytime Night-time” by Keith Hampshire, a native of England who grew up in Canada. I don’t recall the record at all, though if I’d heard it back in 1973, I probably would have liked it, what with the piano in the intro, the horns throughout, and the vocal very reminiscent of David Clayton-Thomas. It peaked at No. 51 during the second week of February.

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One Response to “One Chart Dig: January 20, 1973”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    If you’d gone to the right university, you might have heard “Daytime Night-Time” several decades ago. 😉 It was #2 on the U of M’s WMMR ‘Pacesetter’ survey for a solid month, and lemme tell ya, that big, brassy production was pure AM radio dynamite.

    Keith’s follow-up, “First Cut Is The Deepest” also did well at our station, with it’s even more over-the-top brass-o-rama. But my music director predecessor didn’t care for “Big Time Operator”, and that was the end of our Keith Hampshire invasion.

    Keith definitely favored British tunes from his ’60s pirate radio deejay period. In addition to “Daytime Night-Time” (written as “Each And Every Day” by Manfred Mann’s Mike Hugg, and issued as the initial 1966 U.S. A-side of the Manfreds’ “Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James” single), he also covered Marmalade guitarist Junior Campbell’s “Hallelujah Freedom,” his final Canadian A&M single.

    The flip side of that last one was a cover of Paul Williams’ “Waking Up Alone,” which I’ve never heard. It was included on Keith’s sole A&M LP, ‘First Cut’, which, like “Hallelujah Freedom”, never got a release in the U.S.

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