One Chart Dig, April 1973

There’s a minor tale sitting on the shelves that hold my memories of the spring of 1973, but it needs to be levered out of its niche and then dusted and polished a little. There should be plenty of time to do that, if the weather forecasts are correct: A late winter storm is heading our way, and some forecasts say we could get as much as twelve inches of snow by Thursday evening.

So I’ll keep tugging at the corners of my tale this week, and along the way, we’ll consider the tunes that were in the air during the second week of April forty years ago. Here are the top five singles in that week’s Billboard Hot 100, released April 14, 1973:

“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence
“Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)”
by Gladys Knight & The Pips
“Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree”
by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
“Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Got)” by the Four Tops
“Sing” by the Carpenters

And just fun, here are the top five albums in Billboard that same week:

Lady Sings the Blues soundtrack by Diana Ross
Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper
Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player by Elton John
Prelude by Deodato
The World Is A Ghetto by War

Boy, I can live quite nicely without ever hearing three of those top five singles again; the two I’d welcome to a playlist would be the Gladys Knight and Four Tops singles. On the album list, I’d pass on the Deodato; without even listening to it, I think it would be badly dated. The Alice Cooper album never meant much to me, but I don’t hate it. I heard the title track on the radio yesterday, and it sounded good coming out of the speaker. And I’d be happy with the other three on the list.

But for a tune for the morning, we’re going to drop down to No. 35 in that Hot 100, where we find Judy Collins’ single “Cook With Honey,” a Valerie Carter tune that Collins recorded for her True Stories & Other Dreams album. (Carter’s group Howdy Moon covered the song on its self-titled album released in 1974.) By the middle of April of 1973, Collin’s version had peaked at No. 32 and was beginning to head back down the chart. The album itself peaked at No. 27.


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