Remnants From 1973

There’s a lot of stuff to dig into unknowingly when one is rummaging around in the Bubbling Under portion of the Billboard Hot 100 from September 1, 1973, forty-two years ago today. I recognize some of the titles – “Heartbeat – It’s A Love Beat” by the DeFranco Family and “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band are two (spanning a wide gulf in style, of course, and, as I perceive it, quality) – and I don’t recall anything about most of the twenty-two singles listed.

Titles intrigue me: “Old Betsy Goes Boing, Boing, Boing” by the Hummers, sitting at No. 104, turned out to be a novelty record about the serial challenges faced by a man and his auto. The Hummers, according to Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, were a studio group, and the record went no higher in two weeks of bubbling under. It’s the only listed single for the Hummers.

“Bondi Junction” by Peter Foldy, sitting at No. 113, turns out to be a feathery boy-meets-girl tune seasoned with just a hint of regret. Foldy was a Hungarian-born Canadian who was raised in Sydney, Australia, where the area known as Bondi Junction is home to – one assumes from the video – an amusement park. (The video, featuring an older Foldy, was evidently made to promote a hits package.) The record, which went to No. 14 in Canada, went no higher, and Foldy never showed up in the Billboard chart again.

And then there was the title listed in Billboard as “We’re Haldeman, Erlichman” by the Creep, bubbling under at No. 116. I went and found that one, too, and learned that the magazine had left out part of the title. The full title is “We’re Haldeman, Erlichman, Mitchell & Dean,” but I hadn’t needed the missing names to know that the record was a novelty poking fun at the President’s men as the walls around the Nixon White House began to crack during the Watergate scandal.

The Creep – an abbreviation for the Committee to Rip off Each and Every Politician, according to Whitburn – was another one-shot studio group. Its name, of course, was a take-off on Nixon’s own Committee to Re-Elect the President, which in 1972 had inevitably been called CReeP. The record bubbled under for two weeks at No. 116. I’d never heard it before.

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