Posts Tagged ‘Alice Cooper’

What’s At No. 68?

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

I can’t resist today’s date: 8/20/2020. So we’re going to play Games With Numbers and turn those numerals into sixty-eight, and then we’ll check what was at No. 68 in the Billboard Hot 100 on this date during the seven years that make up my sweet spot, the years 1969 through 1975.

So, during the third week of August 1969, when the No. 1 record was “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones, what was parked at No. 68? Well, it’s a record I don’t think I’ve ever heard: “I Do” by the Moments. The R&B trio from Hackensack, New Jersey, was eight months away from breaking through with the sweet “Love On A Two-Way Street,” and “I Do” went only to No. 62 in the Hot 100 (and to No. 10 on the Billboard R&B chart). Listening this morning, it sounds shrill.

A year later, the third week of the eighth month of 1970 found Bread’s “Make It With You” at No. 1. Our target spot down the chart was occupied by a short version of one of my favorite tracks from that summer fifty years ago: A cover of Neil Young’s “Down By The River” by drummer Buddy Miles & The Freedom Express. The link is to the single version, which I don’t recall hearing; Rick and I heard the album track – a much better piece of work – on WJON during late evenings in his screen porch that season. We’ve caught the record at its peak; it would go no higher than No. 68.

Sitting at No. 1 forty-nine years ago this week was the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.” The No. 68 record during that week in 1971 was one of the two hits I recall from my college years to feature a banjo solo: “Sweet City Woman” by the Stampeders, a trio from Calgary, Alberta. (“Dueling Banjos” from the movie Deliverance is the other I recall; there are likely more.) The Stampeders’ record went to No. 8 in the Hot 100 and to No. 5 in the magazine’s Easy Listening chart. And you know, you can do lots worse than love and tenderness and macaroons.

On to 1972, when the No. 1 record as August 20 went past was “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” by the Looking Glass (and its mention brings back radio memories as Rick, Gary and I drove to Winnipeg, Manitoba). As we drove, we likely also heard the A-side of the single at No. 68 that week: “Burning Love/It’s A Matter Of Time” by Elvis Presley. (I don’t know that I’d ever heard the B-side until today.) “Burning Love” was Presley’s last big hit in the Hot 100, as it peaked at No. 2. (He would still have Top Ten hits on the Easy Listening and Country charts.) On the Billboard Easy Listening chart, the record – with “It’s A Matter Of Time” listed as the A-side, according to Joel Whitburn’s top adult songs book – went to No. 9.

“Brother Louie” by the Stories sat atop the Hot 100 as the third week of August 1973 ended and the fourth week began. Down at our target slot that week was the title track from Alice Cooper’s current album, “Billion Dollar Babies.” I admit that I’ve listened to very little of Cooper’s work over the years, and in 1973, I was, I guess, pointedly ignoring it as gauche or something. The record had guest vocals from Donovan, but still disappointed, peaking at No. 57, considerably lower than Cooper’s last few singles.

Perched at No. 1 as the third week of August 1974 passed was “(You’re) Having My Baby” by Paul Anka and Odia Coates. Hoping for better, we drop down to our target at No. 68 and find “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m a Changed Man)” by the Impressions, a record I do not recall and honestly doubt that I’ve ever heard until today. It’s a sweet soul/R&B side, underlaid with the social awareness that ran through much of Curtis Mayfield’s work. The record peaked at No. 17 in the Hot 100 and spent two weeks on top of the Billboard R&B chart.

Forty-five years ago this week, as August 1975 spooled out, the No. 1 record was “Fallin’ In Love” by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. Sixty-seven spots further down the chart, we find, again, the Impressions, this time with “Sooner Or Later,” a tale of romantic consequences told with an irresistible groove. The record went no higher on the Hot 100, but went to No. 3 on the R&B chart.

A Six & Two Twelves Equals Thirty

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Being in a mood to play games with numbers this morning, I headed out to the Airheads Radio Survey Archive this morning. I took today’s date of 6-12-12 and added that up to thirty, and then I headed to ARSA to find out what records were at No. 30 on various radio stations during this time of June during six different years.

I also decided to do some geographic sorting along the way, looking for charts from various regions, starting in the Northeastern U.S. and ending up on the West Coast.

We’ll start in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1965, where WHYN released one of its weekly surveys on June 12, forty-seven years ago today. The No. 1 record in Springfield was “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops, and at No. 30 we find “I’ll Keep Holding On” by the Tops’ labelmates, the Marvelettes. The Marvelettes record would reach No. 34 in the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 11 on the R&B chart), one of twenty-five singles the Marvelettes would place in or near the Hot 100 between 1961 and 1969.

Down in Orlando, Florida, in the middle of June 1967, the No. 1 record on WLOF was “Airplane Song” by the Royal Guardsmen, the same group that had hit No. 2 nationally with “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” the previous winter. At No. 30 in WLOF’s June 17, 1967, survey was a cover of the Who’s “Boris the Spider” by Joey Covington, better known as a drummer for Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane. Covington’s single didn’t make either the Billboard or Cash Box charts.

As the middle of June 1969 approached, the No. 1 record at Kansas City’s WHB was the Beatles’ double-sided “Get Back/Don’t Let Me Down.” Sitting at No. 30 on the station’s survey of June 13, 1969 was “Welcome Me Love” by the Brooklyn Bridge, one side of a two-sided single with “Blessed is the Rain.” “Welcome Me Love” went to No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100, while “Blessed is the Rain” went to No. 45. The Brooklyn Bridge is best-known, of course, for “The Worst That Could Happen,” which had gone to No. 3 in February 1969.

Here in Minnesota as June of 1971 played out, the No. 1 record in the June 13 survey from KDWB was “Indian Reservation” by the Raiders. Down at the No. 30 slot, we find “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” by the Bee Gees. (I was really hoping for something that I liked more, but that’s how games with numbers sometimes go.) “How Can You . . .” turned out to be the first of the Bee Gees’ nine No. 1 hits on the Billboard chart.

Out in the Arizona desert, the No. 1 hit on Tempe’s KUPD as June of 1973 rolled by was Clint Holmes’ “Playground in My Mind.” Things got quite a bit tougher lower down, as the No. 30 record on the station’s June 16, 1973, survey was “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Alice Cooper. The record would go to No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. (I just checked, and this is the first time – after something like 1,200 posts – that a record by Alice Cooper has ever been featured here at Echoes In The Wind. I don’t really dislike Cooper’s work, but it just never meant much to me, either.)

And we arrive, finally, at the West Coast, where in mid-June of 1975, San Bernardino’s KFXM showed the Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” as its No. 1 record. At No. 30 in the survey released June 13, 1975, we find “I Dreamed Last Night” by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, members of the Moody Blues. The single came from Blue Jays, an album that Hayward and Lodge released while the Moodies were on a six-year hiatus. Unsurprisingly, Blue Jays sounded a lot like the Moodies. “I Dreamed Last Night” went to No. 47.