Posts Tagged ‘Jefferson’

And At No. 86 . . .

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

We’ll take a break from summer records and memories for today and dive deep into some charts from the years that make up our sweet spot. We’ll take today’s date – 8/15 – and twist it just a little so it becomes 86, and then check out the Billboard Hot 100 charts from mid-August for a half-a-dozen years. We’ll start in 1965 and come forward two years at a time.

(A note on our methodology, if that’s not too grand a word for something that Odd and Pop and I came up with off the top of our shiny heads a while back. When we dig into the charts to see what record was doing what on a particular day, as we are doing this morning, we look at the chart that would have been released on that day or during the following six days. Take August 1965 as an example. Billboard released a Hot 100 on August 14. We’re looking at where records sat on August 15, so we’ll look at the following chart, which came out on August 21. When we started digging into charts for games like this, a six-day gap like that was a little disconcerting, but those things happen. Anyway, on with the fun . . .)

When we look just past the mid-point of August 1965, we find Gerry & The Pacemakers’ “Give All Your Love To Me” perched at No. 86, heading toward a peak at No. 68. The Liverpool group, signed in 1962 by Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles, had scored three Top Ten hits (“Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” “How Do You Do It” and “Ferry Cross The Mersey”) starting in the spring of 1964, but it was clear that since “Ferry,” the ride was slowing down, as the group had missed the Top Twenty with its next two releases. “Give . . .” was a little more dramatic and over-wrought than the group’s earlier hits, almost as if the boys – especially lead singer Gerry Marsden – were trying too hard. The record was the ninth single the group had placed into the Hot 100, but there would be only two more of them – none in the Top Twenty – and three other releases that bubbled under the Hot 100. (One of those bubblers would be a 1970 re-release of “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” which stalled out at No. 112.)

Just for context, the No. 1 record during that week in August 1965 was Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe.”

“Leon Haywood” is a name that’s never been mentioned in this space. That’s not a huge omission, but I’d have thought that in more than six years of blogging I would have somehow mentioned his 1975 hit “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To Ya,” which moaned and grooved its way to No. 15 (No. 7 on the R&B chart). But it’s Haywood’s “It’s Got To Be Mellow” that brings him here today, as during mid-August 1967, it was sitting at No. 86 on its way to No. 63 (No. 21 R&B). It was the first record released under the Houston singer’s real name; “She’s With Her Other Love,” a late 1965 release credited to Leon Hayward, had gone to No. 92 (No. 13, R&B). Haywood would show up sporadically on the pop charts up to 1980 and on the R&B charts a few years longer than that. “It’s Got To Be Mellow” was a decent record but not all that different from what a lot of other R&B groups were doing at the time; it sounds to me very much like an Impressions record.

The No. 1 record on the August 19, 1967, Hot 100 was the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”

As August passed its midpoint in 1969, the No. 86 record was one that we mentioned in this space a little more than three years ago. But three years is an eternity in blogtime, and anyway, the record in question probably doesn’t get mentioned all that often anywhere, so we’ll take another listen to “The Colour Of My Love” by the English singer who performed under the name of Jefferson. It’s a melodramatic single, a bit overwrought with splashes of brass underneath. I don’t remember hearing it back in 1969, but I might have liked it then. I know I liked Jefferson’s only other hit, “Baby Take Me In Your Arms,” which went to No. 23 (No. 19 on the Adult Contemporary chart) in February of 1970.

Sitting at No. 1 in mid-August of 1969 was a record that showed up in this space a little more than a week ago in one of our posts about summer records: Zager & Evans’ “In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus).”

From 1967 through 1973 or so, Clarence Carter was a regular presence on the pop and R&B charts. In mid-August 1971, his “Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love” was sitting at No. 86 in the Hot 100. A piece of deep soul, the record would only go two places higher on the pop chart but would get to No. 25 on the R&B chart. It was the fourteenth Hot 100 record for the blind singer from Alabama; he’d have two more records on the chart and three more bubble under into 1973; his total on the R&B chart would be eighteen, with seven of them hitting the Top Ten. His best-performing records – “Slip Away” in 1968 and “Patches” in 1970 – would get to No. 2 on the R&B chart and to No. 6 and No 4 respectively on the pop chart.

The No. 1 record as the third week of August 1971 rolled on was the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend  A Broken Heart.”

I’m not sure I ever heard America’s version of “Muskrat Love” on the radio. It was sitting at No. 86 during this week in 1973, and it climbed just a little bit, peaking at No. 67 (No. 11 AC). At the time, I was preparing for my stay in Denmark, and I was gone for more than half of the eight weeks the record charted, so it doesn’t really hit any buttons. I’ve heard it in the intervening forty years, of course, and it’s not as bad this morning as my gut reaction to the title said it would be. I imagine that I tend to conflate America’s folky version with the cutesy No. 4 hit that the Captain & Tennille had with the song in 1976. Anyway, the record was one of America’s lesser hits; the group put nineteen records in or near the charts between 1972 and 1984, hitting No. 1 with “A Horse With No Name” in 1972 and “Sister Golden Hair” in 1975.

Sitting at No. 1 during the third week of August 1973 was Diana Ross’ “Touch Me In The Morning.”

Speaking of the Captain & Tennille, in 1975, when “Love Will Keep Us Together” was a hit, the duo recorded and A&M released a version of the single in Spanish, something I’ve not heard until this morning. “Por Amor Viviremos” was sitting at No. 86 this week in 1975, heading for a peak of No. 49. The English version (which makes up the first half of the linked video) was, of course, a massive hit, spending four weeks at No. 1 (one week at No. 1 on the AC chart), topping the year-end chart and winning a Grammy for Record of the Year. And to be honest, coming across the listing for the Spanish version has made me listen to the English version for the first time in years, and if I set aside the cynicism that’s somehow gathered around my memory of the Captain & Tennille and their records, “Love Will Keep Us Together” – in English or Spanish – is a hell of a record. (The duo ended up with fifteen records in or near the Hot 100; “Do That To Me One More Time” was their second No. 1 hit in 1979.)

Sitting at No. 1 during that week in August 1975 was “Jive Talkin’” by the Bee Gees.

Chart Digging: A Six-Pack From July 26, 1969

Monday, July 26th, 2010

With some time and energy available on a Monday morning, I thought I’d pull a Billboard chart from a long-ago July 26 and dig around in its depths, with the only requirement being that I’d stay away from 1970, as we’ve been spending a fair amount of time there in recent months. I needn’t have worried. The years during which a rendition of the Billboard Hot 100 has been released with a date of July 26 are 1969, 1975, 1980, 1986, 1997 and 2003. (I think I got them all; if not, oh well.)

After that, it was a relatively easy choice. The latter two don’t interest me much at all, and although I don’t dislike the tunes of the 1980s as much as I once thought I did, I’m still happier messing around in the music of times earlier than that. So I looked at 1969 to see what interesting artifacts lay around in the tunes in the lower portions of the Top 40 and further down the chart.

First, though, to get grounded, here’s the Top Ten from that week ending July 26, 1969, forty-one years ago today:

“In The Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)” by Zager & Evans
“Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James & the Shondells
“Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat & Tears
“My Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder
“What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” by Jr. Walker & the All Stars
“Good Morning Starshine” by Oliver
“One” by Three Dog Night
“The Ballad of John and Yoko” by the Beatles
“Baby, I Love You” by Andy Kim
“Love Theme from ‘Romeo & Juliet’” by Henry Mancini & His Orchestra

That’s either a great or only tolerable Top Ten, I imagine, depending on how one feels about the No. 1 song of the week. This was the third week at No. 1 for “In The Year 2525.” (It would stay there for three more weeks before being dislodged by the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.”) And there are, I think, very few music fans who are noncommittal about the record. It’s either loved or detested. In these precincts, it’s loved.

So for me, this is a stellar Top Ten. July 1969 found me on the verge of becoming an active Top 40 listener – my work as a football manager that tipped the balance would begin in another three or so weeks – and I remember most of these as radio tunes rather than as something I learned about some time later. Go down the list, and there’s some R&B, some ballads, some psychedelic sounds, a Beatles tune and a sweet instrumental. What more do ya want?

Things were just as interesting a little further down. “I Turned You On,” a funky slice of R&B by the Isley Brothers, was at No. 30, having spent the past two weeks at its peak position of No. 23. It was the fourth of an eventual fifteen Top 40 hits (through 2001) for the group from Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

From there, we go to what I guess would be called a slice of Bazooka from a group from Baltimore, Maryland. The Peppermint Rainbow had scored a Top 40 hit earlier in 1969, when “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” went to No. 32. By the week of July 26, a follow-up, “Don’t Wake Me Up In The Morning, Michael,” was at its peak position of No. 54. It would stay there another week before first dropping two places and then falling off the chart entirely.

The Happenings – a quartet from Paterson, New Jersey – reached the Top 40 four times between July 1966 and July 1967, with the best known of their hits most likely being their first: “See You In September,” which went to No. 3. After “My Mammy” went to No. 13 during the summer of 1967, the group had four other singles enter the Hot 100 without reaching the Top 40, according to All-Music Guide. The last of them turned out to be a double-sided single pulled from the album Piece of Mind. The A-side, I assume, was “New Day Coming,” but the presumptive B-side got some airplay, too,  and was sitting at No. 77 as July 26 rolled around. That rather odd track, “Where Do I Go/Be-In (Hare Krishna),” peaked at No. 66 two weeks later.  (Based on information from reader Yah Shure, it’s clear that “Where Do I Go/Be-In (Hare Krishna)” was in fact the A-side and “New Day Coming,” was the B-side. Thanks, Yah Shure!)

Duke Baxter never had a Top 40 hit. He did, however, get at least one record into the Hot 100: “Everybody Knows Matilda,” which was at No. 92 during the week ending July 26, 1969. The record – released on the VMC label – peaked in mid-August, sitting at No. 52 for two weeks. I know very little else about Mr. Baxter. All-Music Guide barely notes his existence. I learned from a bulletin board discussion I found through Google that Baxter released at least one album, also titled Everybody Knows Matilda. Baxter also released several other singles on VMC, Festival and Mercury. How those other singles did, I have absolutely no idea, although YouTube has a couple of them here and here.

Jefferson was the recording name of one Geoff Turton, a native of Birmingham, England. His one hit was “Baby Take Me In Your Arms,” which went to No. 23 in early 1970. The previous year, however, he got into the Hot 100 with “The Colour of My Love,” which peaked at No. 68 in early November of 1969. During the week we’re looking at, “The Colour of My Love” was bubbling under the Hot 100, at No. 106. Four weeks later, the record would get to No. 84 and then drop back under the Hot 100 before rebounding on its way to No. 68.

Further down yet in the Bubbling Under section of the July 26, 1969, chart, we find at No. 120 a single by a group from Montreal, Canada, called Life. The single in question, “The Hands of the Clock,” seems to have bubbled under for two weeks before falling out of the chart entirely. The website Garagehangover offers pretty much everything one might need to know about Life, as well as downloadable mp3s of “The Hands of the Clock” and the B-side of one of the group’s Canadian singles.

That’s enough digging today. I’ll be around Wednesday with the next six selections from the Ultimate Jukebox.