Posts Tagged ‘Mark Lindsay’

Saturday Single No. 464

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Things have been pretty sparse around here, what with the Texas Gal on vacation for the first portion of the month, followed by a scrambled week of getting reorganized. And come next week, we should be back to regular postings here.

But this morning, we’re off to staff our Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s booth at the annual Pride In The Park celebration. We’re set to be there pretty much all day, joined along the way by other members, so by the end of the day, we’re likely to be pretty tired.

So here’s a Saturday song, a pretty good cover of “Come Saturday Morning” by Mark Lindsay. It’s from his 1970 album Silverbird (a pretty decent record from a good year), and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

See you next week!

Chart Digging: Late April 1970

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I suppose it was inevitable that I slept through most of the movie.

In the spring of 1970, St. Cloud Tech High School sent its Concert Choir on a two-day trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba. We performed three times: At a school, in a shopping mall and on the long steps inside the provincial capitol building.

We also took advantage of our free time during our one night in Winnipeg, heading in groups from the downtown hotel out into the Canadian evening. I really don’t recall with whom I hit the Winnipeg streets that night, except that I’m sure that my pal Mike and I were in the same bunch. We stopped for dinner and then headed into an area of the city that had a fair number of movie theaters.

We looked around at the marquees, the eight or so of us, assessing our options. Earlier that day, as we rode the bus through downtown to one of our performances, we’d seen the theater where the current feature was I Am Curious (Yellow). That had gotten our attention, as the Swedish film was quite notorious. Not only was the film revolutionary in its structure – Wikipedia notes that “the movie uses jump cuts and its story is not structured in a conventional Hollywood way” – but it was said to be one of the most sexually frank films ever. It had originally been banned in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, an action that was reversed by a U.S. federal court.

From where the eight of us stood after dinner that evening, we could see the theater where I Am Curious (Yellow) was playing. Were we tempted to head down the street and take in the steamy – and, based on my reading, politically turgid – Swedish movie? Perhaps, but we were certainly too timid. I’m not sure we could have gotten in; I imagine there were some age restrictions for steamy movies in Canada at the time, and the eight of us were all sixteen or seventeen.

But we didn’t even head that way. I’m not sure that any of us thought about it seriously. We considered seeing Midnight Cowboy, the Dustin Hoffman/John Voigt film that had recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture. (It remains the only X-rated film to have done so, although on a re-release without any changes, the film was re-rated R.) Some of the students in the choir saw Midnight Cowboy that evening. But not the group I was in.

For whatever reason – for many reasons, I imagine, including not wanting to tell our parents when we got home that we’d gone to a steamy Swedish movie or an X-rated film – the eight or so of us walked over to a third theater and bought tickets to see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I’m not sure about the rest of the guys, but I really didn’t see the movie. We’d spent the previous night riding the bus from St. Cloud to Winnipeg, and I’d gotten little sleep during the four-hundred mile trip. So as I sat in the darkened theater and the story of Butch and the Sundance Kid played out on the screen, I fell asleep. I do remember seeing the sequence showing Paul Newman’s Butch and Katherine Ross’ Etta Place riding a bicycle as B.J. Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” plays on the soundtrack. But that’s about all I recall of those hours in the theater.

(And though I’ve seen bits and pieces of the movie here and there over the past forty-one years, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the entire movie at one time. Maybe I should.)

One memory from that choir trip to Winnipeg that’s certainly more vivid than the movie is connected to that long nighttime ride the night before. About ten minutes after we headed northwest out of St. Cloud, someone pulled a radio out a traveling bag, and we cruised through the Minnesota night to the sound of the Top 40. Here’s the Billboard Top 10 from that week:

“ABC” by the Jackson 5
“Let It Be” by the Beatles
“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum
“Instant Karma (We All Shine On)” by John Lennon
“American Woman/No Sugar Tonight” by the Guess Who
“Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” by Edison Lighthouse
“Come And Get It” by Badfinger
“Love Or Let Me Be Lonely” by the Friends of Distinction
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Turn Back The Hands Of Time” by Tyrone Davis

Boy, that would be a great hour or so of radio! I imagine we heard all of those during the hours we had the radio playing during that drive. And I imagine we heard tunes from lower in the Top 40 as well, and maybe a few that were lower down in the Billboard Hot 100. There would have been some interesting tunes to choose from once you dropped below No. 40.

One of those tunes was sitting at No. 47. Mark Lindsay – one-time lead singer for Paul Revere & The Raiders – had reached No. 10 earlier in the year with “Arizona.” And in late April, his “Miss America” was moving up the chart, having jumped seventeen places to No. 47 in the past week. It’s a political plaint posing as a love song, and it peaked at No. 44.

From there, we’ll head down to No. 67, where “Deeper (In Love With You)” had gotten the O’Jays into the Hot 100 for the ninth time since 1963. But the Canton, Ohio, group still hadn’t cracked the Top 40. They wouldn’t this time, either, as “Deeper” would peak at No. 64. It would take another two years for the O’Jays to get into the Top 40; “Back Stabbers” would go to No. 3 in 1972.

The Gentrys had made the Top Ten in 1965, when “Keep On Dancing” had gone to No. 4. A few singles after that had gotten into the Hot 100 (or bubbled under it), but nothing had clicked. In early 1970, the band from Memphis signed with its hometown label. The band’s first Sun single, “Why Should I Cry,” went to No. 61 in the late winter, and in spring, Sun sent the Gentry’s cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” out to play. The record went only to No. 52. But that was still better that Young did. Backed by Crazy Horse, Young released the song as a single during the summer of 1970 and saw the record stall at No. 55.

As I was scanning the Hot 100 from April 25, 1970, this morning, for some reason the title “I Got A Problem” by Jesse Anderson popped out at me, and I’m glad it did. A tale of juggling a wife and at least two lovers, it’s a funky piece of R&B that was sitting at No. 95 that week. It would go no higher, though it went to No. 35 on the R&B chart. Neither the book Top Pop Singles nor All-Music Guide knows much about Anderson. A note left at YouTube not quite a year ago says, “Jesse Anderson is alive and well, living in Wichita, KS. He has recently released Funk N Blues, an album compilation of his songs from the 70’s. He’s working again with Gene Barge on some new material and possible record deal. Good luck to him!” (Anderson’s compilation is available at cd Universe.)

Dipping below No. 100 and into the Bubbling Under section of that April 25, 1970, chart, we find the Canadian group the Original Caste and what appears to be the group’s follow-up to “One Tin Soldier,” which went to No. 34 in February 1970. “Mr. Monday” was sitting at No. 119; a week later it was gone. The same thing happened to two more singles by the band: “Nothing Can Touch Me (Don’t Worry Baby, It’s Alright)” spent one week at No. 114, and “Ain’t That Tellin’ You People” spent a week at No. 117.

Finally, we find Rare Bird’s “Sympathy” sitting at No. 121 in the last of its three weeks Bubbling Under. Rare Bird is listed by AMG as a British prog band, and based on the sound of the single – which I’d describe as naïvely charming – that’s probably accurate. The group would have one more single bubble under – the oddly titled “Birdman – Part 1 (Title No. 1 Again)” would spend one week at No. 122 – and a couple of its albums reached the lower half of the Billboard 200. As the band kept recording and releasing albums into 1975, I’m assuming that Rare Bird was more successful in Britain than in the U.S.

Back To 1970 Once Again

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

A lot of records from 1970 have been explored in this space in the past few months, but it’s been a while – going back to July, actually – since we looked at a chart from that year, which I noted some time ago was my first great music year and the first full year I spent digging into Top 40.

So what was I doing forty years ago as October entered its final fortnight? Well, I finally got my driver’s license, passing the behind-the-wheel test on my fifth try. Nerves had been my nemesis, but knowing that another failure meant retaking driver’s training focused my attention, even if it didn’t really settle my nerves, and I squeaked through.

My afternoons and Friday evenings were spent as head manager for the St. Cloud Tech high school football team, which was struggling through the first season of two high schools in St. Cloud. We had kids on the team who’d never gone out for football before in their lives, and although some of them did quite well, our inexperience showed on the field and in our won-lost record.

Other than that, I filled my time with a number of hobbies: I was deep into making model rockets, shooting them off in the empty field just down the alley from Rick’s house. I was expanding my collection of LPs, still catching up on the Beatles; but I was also savvy enough to be one of the first people among my small group of friends to get a copy of Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. And along with rockets and records, I spent a good deal of my free time pondering a group of sophomore girls, one of whom became, as I told some months ago, the recipient of song lyrics – original and otherwise – printed in purple ink.

Much of that pondering came as I listened to my old RCA radio in my room. Here’s the Billboard Top Ten from the week ending October 24, 1970, forty years ago this week:

“I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5
“Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond
“Green-Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf
“We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters
“All Right Now” by Free
“Fire and Rain” by James Taylor
“Candida” by Dawn
“Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor
“Lola” by the Kinks
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross

The first seven of those are stellar. The final three, not so much. I liked “Indiana Wants Me” a lot at the time, and I still like it as an artifact of its time, but it’s aged much less well than the others on that list, with its sirens and police bullhorns. But it was fun at the time. I’ve never much cared for “Lola” or for “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” though.

But there were plenty of records further down the chart that I liked a lot. And looking at the chart this morning, there were plenty of them that I didn’t know all that well.

Mark Lindsay, previously with Paul Revere & The Raiders, had scored two hits earlier in the year: “Arizona” went to No. 10 in the early months of 1970, and “Silver Bird” had reached No. 25 during the summer. During this fourth week of October, his current single, “And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind,” was sitting at No. 53. The record, which is a sweet ballad, got as high as No. 44, where it spent two weeks in mid-November, but it got no higher.

 

Sitting at No. 70 during this week in 1970 is a record I know I heard at least once, though I swear I also heard a cover version of the song as well. Jake Holmes released a few well-regarded albums in the 1960s: The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes, A Letter to Katherine December and a self-titled effort. The best known of those is probably the first, as it includes the song “Dazed and Confused,” which was later seemingly appropriated without credit by Led Zeppelin. But the song I remember was from Holmes’ lesser known fourth album, So Close, So Very Far To Go. Forty years ago, “So Close” was at No. 70, and it peaked at No. 49 during the last week of November. Since I found the record at YouTube a couple of weeks ago, I’ve listened to it several times, and although I recall Holmes’ version, I swear I remember another performer singing it, and no, it wasn’t Robert Plant. Is anyone out there aware of who might have covered Jake Holmes’ “So Close”?

It was likely during the autumn of 1970 that I made one of my worst LP purchases of all time, spending five or six bucks for Iron Butterfly Live. The review of the album at All-Music Guide nails it, noting that the album “is noteworthy for its second side, which contains a 20-minute version of ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.’ Even though it’s only three minutes longer than the original version, it’s three times as tedious.” I would have done far better to get a copy of the group’s new album, Metamorphosis, which included a pretty good single. “Easy Rider (Let The Wind Pay The Way)” was at No. 82 during this week in 1970; it peaked at No. 66 during the third week of November.

Just a little further down, we find the first record to reach the Billboard charts from one of the first country rock bands. Poco, the foundations of which had emerged from the wreckage of Buffalo Springfield, would have four Top 40 hits from 1979 through 1990, but the group’s best music, most fans would say, came in the first half of the 1970s. “You Better Think Twice,” which was at No. 88 during the week of October 24, 1970, peaked at No. 72 during the third week of November. It should have done far better.

Dipping into the Bubbling Under section of the Billboard Hot 100, we find a great slice of southern soul sitting at No. 105: “Ace of Spades” by O.V. Wright. While he never had a record reach the Top 40, Wright – according to the listings at All-Music Guide, which are sometimes incomplete – had three records reach the Hot 100 and twelve records in the R&B chart between 1965 and 1978. His highest-charting single was “Eight Men, Four Women” – a song about the jury that convicted the narrator of a crime – which went to No. 4 on the R&B chart in 1967. “Ace of Spades” didn’t do quite that well, but it did all right: No. 11 on the R&B chart and No. 54 in the Hot 100.

And closing our search this morning is a one-hit wonder by a group from Los Angeles: “Games” by Redeye. The record was sitting at No. 116 during the fourth week of October 1970; by the fourth week of January 1971, “Games” was at its peak of No. 27. The record was Redeye’s only Top 40 single, though the group did see “Red Eye Blues” get to No. 78 in the Hot 100 later in 1971.

Now that we’re facing our first week since February without an installment of the Ultimate Jukebox, Odd, Pop and I are dealing with the task of finding something else to fill our time and our posting space here. Stop by Thursday and see what we come up with. (We have no clue at the moment what that will be.)

Baseball Report
For those who are interested, this year’s Strat-O-Matic tournament, about which I wrote briefly on Saturday, went to Dan, whose 1998 Atlanta Braves defeated Rick’s 1961 New York Yankees two games to none in the finals. My 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates and 2006 Minnesota Twins both went down in the semifinals.