Found In A Scrapbook

One of my minor projects last week was dissecting a scrapbook put together for me in the early 1980s by the Other Half. She meant well, but the scrapbook was one of those with adhesive lines on each page and a clear plastic sheet covering the page. The Texas Gal – citing expertise earned while working for years for Creative Memories, the direct sales scrapbooking firm – told me not long ago that if I wanted to save the photos in the scrapbook, I should take the book apart soon.

So I did that last week. All of the photos save one came out whole; the one that shredded was a picture of my mother’s aunts and uncles, and I have at least one more copy of that somewhere else. Most of the non-photo stuff was stuck too tightly to the adhesive to remove it; I cut and trimmed some of the book’s pages to keep a few things and discarded a lot of stuff that was important at the time and now seems less so. I will likely take one more look through the book to make certain before sending it on its way to the dumpster.

One of the things I found in the book is a list I’ve referred to in this space at least once: On January 1, 1971, I moved my RCA radio to the living room and reclined on the couch while KDWB in the Twin Cities completed its rundown of the top singles of 1970. I don’t know whether the station used a list of 100 singles or perhaps 63 (its frequency was 630), but I got in on the action at No. 30. And I spent, most likely, the better part of two hours listening to the station’s top 30 records of 1970 and making a list of those records on two pieces of note paper using – as I nearly always did at the time – purple ink:

KDWB Top 30, 1970

(I have no idea why I started in the middle of the page on the right and worked upward. I obviously had some arrangement in mind that did not come to fruition. But I got them all. And just in case the pic is faint or my adolescent printing is unclear, here’s the list, from No. 30 to No. 1:

Nos. 30-21
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross
“I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5
“All Right Now” by Free
“Reflections Of My Life” by Marmalade
“Gypsy Woman” by Bryan Hyland
“I Know I’m Losing You” by Rare Earth
“O-o-h Child” by the Five Stairsteps
“Come And Get It” by Badfinger
“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
“Walking Through The Country” by the Grass Roots

Nos. 20-11
“Spill The Wine” by Eric Burdon & War
“My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison
“War” by Edwin Starr
“The Rapper” by the Jaggerz
“Green Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf
“Lay Down” by Melanie
“Make It With You” by Bread
“Ride Captain Ride” by Blues Image
“Which Way You Goin’ Billy?” by the Poppy Family
“I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5

Nos. 10-1
“Venus” by the Shocking Blue
“Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” by Three Dog Night
“Band Of Gold” by Frieda Payne
“Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond
“(They Long To Be) Close To You” by the Carpenters
“Up Around The Bend” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“American Woman/No Sugar Tonight” by the Guess Who
“Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel
“I Think I Love You” by the Partridge Family
“Let It Be” by the Beatles

That’s a hell of a hundred or so minutes of music. The only record of those thirty that I disliked at the time – and still do – was the Poppy Family’s “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?” As I looked over the list at the end of the day, I also thought that “I Think I Love You” was pretty slight for the No. 2 record of the year. Over the years, though, I’ve come to recognize it as a great piece of popcraft, one that spoke to its intended audience as least as clearly as the heavyweights that bracketed it spoke to theirs.

I took a quick look at the 1970 Top 40 from Billboard (as presented in Joel Whitburn’s A Century Of Pop Music), and there were some major national hits in the magazine’s list that were absent from KDWB’s Top 30. The six biggest were B. J. Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” at No. 2; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “The Tears Of A Clown” at No. 11; the Jackson 5’s “The Love You Save” at No. 14; Sly & The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” at No. 15; Ray Stevens’ “Everything Is Beautiful” at No. 16; and the Beatles’ “The Long And Winding Road” at No. 17.

(Since I came in on the middle of KDWB’s list on that long-ago New Year’s Day, I would assume that most, if not all, of those records were in KDWB’s Top 100 or Top 63 or whatever number the station offered.)

I’m not sure any of this proves anything or has any great significance, but as I pulled treasures out of the scrapbook, it was fun to remember that January afternoon so long ago and fun as well to wonder when I quit using purple ink.

And since I like to share at least one tune here most of the time, I wondered if all of those thirty have showed up here at one time or another (with the exception of the Poppy Family). Most have, I’m sure, but I did a little digging, and not once in the more than eight years that I’ve been blogging have I ever mentioned the Grass Roots’ “Walking Through The Country.” The record fell far short of the Billboard Top 40 for the year, having gotten only to No. 44 during its time in the Hot 100 in early 1970. But I thought it was a pretty decent record back then, and I still do today.

Okay, so there were thirty-one records there. KDWB had “Venus” and “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” tied for tenth place, and I failed to read my own long-ago note carefully enough to note that the station did not – as would seem to be customary – jump from 10th place to 12th place. Note added August 22, 2015.


One Response to “Found In A Scrapbook”

  1. Steve E. says:

    They are all wonderful songs, and I remember each one fondly from 1970. Sorry you don’t like the Poppy Family song, though. I’ve always liked it and in fact appreciate it even more these days. Susan Jacks’ voice is heavenly. Did you at least like their follow-up, “That’s Where I Went Wrong”?

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