Posts Tagged ‘Tin Tin’

Saturday Single No. 379

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

We kind of punted Valentine’s Day here at the Echoes In The Wind studios yesterday. It’s not like we forgot about it, but neither the Texas Gal nor I have ever made a big deal about February 14, and last week, we agreed to more or less let the day go by without any hoopla. But that’s difficult to do. I sent her an email Valentine yesterday, and during a trip to the drug store yesterday afternoon, I added a small box of chocolates.

She, in turn, was going to take me out for dinner last evening, but when we pulled up into the parking lot of the seafood place about 5:45, we noticed lots of folks leaving the building with resigned looks on their faces. I rolled down the car window and asked a young couple, “Are they busy?”

The young lady nodded. “About a two-hour wait,” she said.

I thanked her and we headed back to the East Side. Along the way, we stopped at a noodle place and grabbed dinner: Steak Stroganoff on whole grain noodles for me, and spaghetti and meatballs for her, with the thought of heading to the seafood place for lunch today.

But you know about the “best-laid plans” thing, right? The Texas Gal began to feel a little off-kilter last night, a little achy, with some head congestion and a sore throat setting in. And she woke up this morning feeling the way I felt Monday, evidently the recipient of an inadvertent and not very pleasant Valentine’s Day gift from me. So after I finish up here, I’ll run some leftover errands from yesterday and then spend the day puttering in the study, shoveling some snow that’s drifted onto the sidewalks in the past few windy days and making sure the Texas Gal gets enough fluids and rest.

And I thought I’d get to some music by checking out some radio station surveys from a February 15 in the past. One of those I found was released on February 15, 1971, by Twin Cities station KDWB, so we’ll dig around in that for a bit and see what I was listening to on Valentine’s Day 1971 as I no doubt pined for a young lady whose attentions were directed elsewhere.

The top five records that week in KDWB’s “6+30” were:

“One Bad Apple” by the Osmonds
“D.O.A.” by Bloodrock
“If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot
“I Hear You Knockin’” by Dave Edmunds
“Mr. Bojangles” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The only one of those I don’t care for is the Bloodrock single, the post-mortem first-person tale of a plane crash victim. I don’t recall hearing it a lot, and that was fine with me. The gruesome single creeped me out, and remembering it this morning gave me a little chill.

So I looked further down in the survey: Elton John, Andy Williams, Bobby Goldsboro, Dawn, Bee Gees, Bread, Tom Jones, Liz Damon’s Orient Express and more. And right near the bottom of the survey, sitting at No. 35, was Tin Tin with “Toast & Marmalade For Tea.”

Tin Tin was an Australian duo, and “Toast & Marmalade . . .” would go to No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring. I loved that record in 1971, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the way Tin Tin sounded like the Bee Gees. I remember thinking it was a not unsurprising sound considering the two groups’ Aussie origins, and that might have been a naïve conclusion. This morning, looking at the single’s label, that similar sound makes more sense yet but for a different reason, as I note that the record was produced by Maurice Gibb.

Do I love the record today? That’s a hard question to answer, and it’s one that goes to the heart of some of the things this blog is about. I love the memory of the record, the memory of hearing it on the radio, maybe in the car driving around with Rick, or maybe coming from the old RCA radio in my room, possibly even on Valentine’s Day evening, a Sunday in 1971. (Did it make me think of my Dulcinea? It might have, but there were other records at the time that did that more potently.)

So I love the memory now and I loved the record then. Is there a way to separate those two things? Well, yes, and looked at with a critical and unsentimental eye, “Toast & Marmalade For Tea” is a self-consciously winsome and lyrically illogical record with a quavery and metallic sound that seems as if it might have been mastered at the wrong speed.

All of that would matter if the record were not an artifact of my youth. But it is, and that means that memory and music entwine. It also means that “Toast & Marmalade For Tea” by Tin Tin is this week’s Saturday Single.