Posts Tagged ‘Osmonds’

Some No. 10s From November 20

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

“Hmm,” I thought this morning as I scanned the Billboard Top Ten from November 20, 1965, and my eye fell on the listing for “You’re the One” by the Vogues. “I’m not sure I know that one.”

And I wandered off to YouTube, where I learned that I did, of course, know “You’re the One,” which went to No. 4. I had just never connected it with the Vogues. And that got me to wondering for a moment about how many records from the years, say, 1960 to 1980 that I know but that I’m not aware I know. It’s a thought that has no answer, unless I want to go line-by-line through the Hot 100 charts and run to YouTube every time a title seems unfamiliar to me.

That might be interesting for a while, but I imagine the task would eventually lapse into drudgery, and I have better ways to spend my time. This morning, for example, I’m going to invest a little bit of time in looking at the Billboard Hot 100 charts issued over the years on November 20. And given that I noticed “You’re the One” sitting at No. 10 in that 1965 chart, I thought I’d look at the records that were at No. 10 as well as noting which two records topped the separate charts.

My collection of Billboard charts starts in December 1954 and ends during the summer of 2004, a nearly fifty-year span. During that time, there were seven charts released on November 20; we’ll look at five of them and leave the charts from the 1990s to themselves.

The first chart released on November 20 came in 1961, when Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” was No. 1 and Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue” was sitting at No. 2 (after peaking at No. 1). The No. 10 single that week was “The Fly” by Chubby Checker. Another dance record in the spirit of Checker’s earlier singles, “The Twist,” “The Hucklebuck” and “Pony Time,” “The Fly” had peaked a week earlier at No. 7. I’ve known the top two records for years, of course, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard “The Fly” until this morning.

Four years later, in the Hot 100 for November 20, 1965, the top two singles are again familiar records: Sitting at No. 1 was “I Hear A Symphony” by the Supremes while Len Barry’s “1-2-3” was at its peak position of No. 2. This was, as I noted above, the chart in which I came across “You’re the One.” The video I found at YouTube is notable for the inclusion every few seconds of young ladies’ graduation pictures from the mid-1960s. I didn’t know those girls, but I knew girls with clothing and hair styles just like theirs.

Unsurprisingly, as I look at the Hot 100 from November 20, 1971, I see a lot of familiar titles. Topping the chart during that week was Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft” and sitting just behind it was Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” which had been No. 1 the week before. I knew both of those, loving Hayes’ single and not totally disliking Cher’s. I was, however, pretty dismissive of the single sitting at No. 10 that week: “Yo-Yo” by the Osmonds. My scorn was likely a product of my slow shift away from Top 40 toward album rock, which accelerated that autumn. Now, listening forty years later without that purity/snobbery filter in place, “Yo-Yo” – which had already peaked at No. 3 by November 20 – is a pretty good single.

Another five years went by before a Hot 100 came out on November 20, and the top two records on that date in 1976 were “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” by Rod Stewart at No. 1 and “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot at No. 2. The Stewart single has made me cringe since the first time I heard it, and the Lightfoot single, which went no higher, still has my admiration. At No. 10 that week was “Do You Feel Like We Do,” the third hit – if I read my Joel Whitburn books accurately – from the massively popular Frampton Comes Alive album that spent ten weeks at No. 1. The label for the 45 of “Do You Feel Like We Do” says the record clocks in at 7:19 (which may or may not be accurate). The link here is to the full track, which runs more than fourteen minutes.

By the time we hit our fifth and last November 20 chart, we’re into 1982 and into a time when I wasn’t hearing everything that hit the charts. I knew the top two records of the week: “Up Where We Belong,” the duet between Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, was at No. 1, and Lionel Richie’s “Truly,” which would go to No. 1, was sitting at No. 2. Those two were inescapable that late autumn, but I’m not sure I’ve ever before heard the record that was at its peak position of No. 10: “Muscles” by Diana Ross. Listening this morning, I don’t know that I really missed anything.

Saturday Single No. 203

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

We haven’t played “Jump” here for a while, looking at a Top 40 chart and seeing which records moved the most since the previous week’s chart. So I thought I’d tap into a chart from right around the time my first year college began: Fall quarter began – according to the notes from Dad’s photo files – on September 20, 1971. That late start felt odd after eighteen years of starting school right just after Labor Day.

So by the time the following Saturday came around and the new Billboard Top 40 came out, I’d experienced a number of first: Having signed up for a one-credit media experience course, I walked into the studios at KVSC for the first time; I met for the first time the young woman who would provide my first college romance; I entered for the first time classrooms – for physics and African history – where sliding along without much effort would not be enough, and I would fail both classes. But along with those firsts – and there were likely others, if I were to think for a while longer – there were things that remained constant. One of them was the radio.

Here’s the Top Ten from the Billboard chart of September 25, 1971, thirty-nine years ago today:

“Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
“Maggie May/Reason to Believe” by Rod Stewart
“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by Joan Baez
“Spanish Harlem” by Aretha Franklin
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” by Paul and Linda McCartney
“Smiling Faces Sometimes” by the Undisputed Truth
“Superstar/Bless the Beasts and Children” by the Carpenters
“Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” by the Dramatics
“I Just Want To Celebrate” by Rare Earth

From this distance, that’s a pretty good Top Ten. I have quibbles with only three. The Donny Osmond record was just too saccharine, and it just didn’t ring true to me. And Donny was only thirteen; calling the object of the song a little girl made the record either ludicrous or unseemly. (I know Steve Lawrence had a No. 1 hit with the song in 1963, but I never liked that one, either, and for the same three reasons.)

The other two records from that Top Ten that give me pause are Joan Baez’ take on “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and the Paul and Linda McCartney tune. I’ve written about the butchered lyrics in the Baez single before, and all I really want to say about the McCartney tune is that I don’t think it’s aged well.

Other than those three, that’s a pretty good Top Ten, and it was a stable one, as well. Only one record was new to the Top Ten – the Carpenters’ double-sided single – and none of the records had moved more than four places from the week before.

Elsewhere in the Top 40, there was some movement: Eleven songs had shifted six or more places from the previous week’s chart, starting with “If You Really Loved Me” by Stevie Wonder, which had moved exactly six places, rising from No. 20 to No. 14.

One record moved seven places: Denise LaSalle’s “Trapped By A Thing Called Love” went from No. 42 to No. 35.

Shifts of eight places were common that week. They included Tommy Roe’s “Stagger Lee” (a record I’m not sure I’ve ever heard), which went from No. 45 to No. 37. Others with eight-place shifts were George Harrison’s “Bangla Desh/DeepBlue” (from No. 23 down to No. 31), the Persuaders’ “Thin Line Between Love And Hate” (from No. 35 up to No. 27), and the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” (from No. 9 down to No. 17).

The Free Movement’s “I Found Someone Of My Own” moved up nine spots, from No. 39 to No. 30, as did Freddie Hart’s country tune, “Easy Loving,” which jumped from No. 49 to No. 40.

Three Dog Night saw “Liar” drop twelve spots, going from No. 17 to No. 29, and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” fell thirteen spots, dropping from No. 13 to No. 26.

And the winner of the week was a record that moved up twenty-one places, from No. 40 to No. 19. It’s a record I wasn’t particularly fond of at the time, although when I listened to it this morning, it was much better than I remembered. Perspective is a good thing, and from the distance of thirty-nine years, the Osmond’s “Yo-Yo” is a pretty well-crafted piece of pop, and it’s today’s Saturday Single: