What’s At No. 100? (December 1975)

So what do we get when we look at the (no doubt) familiar records that make up the Billboard Top Ten for this week in December 1975?

Well, we get a set of records that I heard while driving around the Twin Cities during my television internship and also, no doubt, heard while enjoying two weeks of holiday break from that internship.

Here’s the Billboard Top Ten from the week ending December 27, 1975:

“Let’s Do It Again” by the Staple Singers
“Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers
“That’s The Way (I Like It)” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band
“Love Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players
“Theme From ‘Mahogany’ (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” by Diana Ross
“I Write The Songs” by Barry Manilow
“Convoy” by C.W. McCall
“Fox On The Run” by the Sweet
“Fly, Robin, Fly” by Silver Convention
“I Love Music (Part 1)” by the O’Jays

I never much cared for the records by the Sweet and the Bay City Rollers. But then, at 22, I was not in the target demographic. The rest of those ten are fine, though I imagine that as “Convoy” rose in the chart – it was up seven spots from No. 14 the week before – folks were getting a little tired of it. And I know there was derision for the Manilow single. The singles from Ross and Silver Convention are fondly remembered artifacts from a fondly remembered season and year.

Before I look, I’m going to guess that no more than four of those singles matter today, as measured by inclusion among the 2,900-some tracks in my iTunes files. That would track with my general thought about the Top 40 as 1975 eased to its ending. The music wasn’t speaking to me the way it had two or three years earlier, and the music then hadn’t seemed as essential as the music from two or three years before that. I was approaching, I now know, the end of my sweet spot.

After checking, I’m a little startled to find that the only two tracks from that Top Ten that are in iTunes – and thus in my day-to-day listening – are the Ross and Silver Convention singles. I would have thought the Staple Singers and perhaps K.C. & The Sunshine Band would have been there. And they likely will by the end of the day. And so, probably, will be “Convoy.”

But what of our other business today, checking out the record at the bottom of that forty-six year old chart?

Well, it turns out to be the very last chart gasp for one of the significant voices of the 1960s who wasn’t all that concerned about the charts anyway: “Breakfast For Two” by Country Joe McDonald wasn’t about anyone like Sweet Martha Lorraine. Nor was it about protesting foreign policy, as McDonald had with his group, the Fish, not that many years before.

We went out to dinner
Boy, what an appetite
We just couldn’t stop eating
We stayed up most of the night

And after three or four hours
Our stomachs began to hurt
But everything tasted so good
We didn’t stop until after dessert

Ooh la la, breakfast for two
Ooh la la, you got me and I got you

I’ve eaten in Italy
Yes, I’ve eaten in Spain
I must admit I’d be licking my lips
If I ever was to eat there again

But last night at dinner
You really, really blew my mind
The way we supped just filled me up
I think about food all of the time

Ooh la la, breakfast for two
Ooh la la, you got me and I got you

People always come up to me
They say, hey, man, how about a little smile
Don’t take life so seriously
Lighten up for a little while

I say that a man’s a fool
If he don’t know how to cry
When I get down, I sure get down
But when I’m up, I know how to fly

Ooh la la, breakfast for two
Ooh la la, you got me and I got you


My first thought is, “That’s got to be a joke.” But I wouldn’t be able to know for sure, I imagine, unless I listen to the rest of the album, Paradise With An Ocean View. Which I might try to do. Anyway, the single was at No. 100 during the last week of 1975 after peaking at No. 92. Three earlier singles with the Fish had bounced around in the same territory; “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” went to No. 95 and the other two – “Who Am I” and “Here I Go Again” bubbled under.

“Breakfast For Two” ended Country Joe McDonald’s tale on the singles chart. The album was the next-to-last of his to chart, reaching No. 124 on the Billboard 200. Love Is A Fire bubbled under at No. 202 a year later.

(McDonald’s early albums with the Fish were, of course, a major part of the music scene of the late 1960s; the best selling of those was 1968’s Together, which went to No. 23. The most important, most likely, was 1967’s Electric Music For The Mind And Body, which went to No. 39.)

Anyway, here’s “Breakfast For Two.”

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