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Craig Allen’s ‘Biggest Hits Of Summer’ by decade

Sand, surf, sun...and the STONES! (Craig Allen photo).
Sand, surf, sun…and the STONES! (Craig Allen photo).

It’s back by popular demand!

The New Jersey 101.5 “Biggest Hits Of Summer Weekend!”

As we play “Jersey’s Favorite Hits” from the greatest summers…I thought it would be fun to highlight the story behind a hit from each decade…the 1960’s thru the 1990’s!

That's a LOT of HITS! (Craig Allen photo).
That’s a LOT of HITS!  I’m…satisfied! (Craig Allen photo).

Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”   (#1/1965)

First and foremost…the phrase “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” is grammatically incorrect. As written, it is a double negative, meaning “I can get satisfaction.”

But…this is rock & roll.

It was May 6, 1965, and the Stones had just played in Clearwater, Florida. This was their first US tour. There was some trouble between some fans and the police, and the band got through just four songs, as the chaos escalated. That night, Keith Richards woke up in his hotel room, with the guitar riff, and the line “can’t get no satisfaction”  stuck in his head. He recorded it on a portable tape recorder, and went back to sleep.

The next day, Richards played back the tape in the recording studio: it was the now-famous guitar riff…followed by the sounds of snoring!

Mick Jagger wrote all the lyrics, except for “can’t get no satisfaction.”

His lyrics address what Jagger saw as the two sides of America…the real and the phony. He sings about a man looking for authenticity, and not finding it.

GREAT poster! How much did it cost? (Craig Allen photo).
GREAT poster! How much did it cost? (Craig Allen photo).

The band learned of American commercialism…and then learned how to use it (the Rolling Stones continue to make tons of money through sponsorship and merchandising…like above).

In a 1968 interview, Mick would say: “It sounded like a folk song when we first started working on it and Keith didn’t like it much, he didn’t want it to be a single…I think Keith thought it was a bit basic.”

The final take of the song was recorded just three weeks after Keith Richards woke up with the idea…three weeks later, the single was released here in the US…and it was an instant hit!

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When the Rolling Stones performed on the Ed Sullivan Show…

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…the line “trying to make some girl” was bleeped out (over the air) by the censors!

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction spent 4 weeks at #1 before getting knocked off by Herman’s Hermits “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am.”

In Britain, it was #1 for 2 weeks before being dethroned by the Walker Brothers “Make It Easy On Yourself.”

(Craig Allen photo).
(Craig Allen photo).

Jim Croce “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”  (#1/1973)

The late Jim Croce joined the National Guard in 1966, hoping that it would keep him from being sent to Vietnam. He also married Ingrid later in the year, in hopes of continuing his education and launching a music career.

Two weeks after tying the knot, Croce was sent to basic training. He had no desire to be a soldier, and in fact, had to repeat basic training.

About our highlight song…Leroy Brown is a real person.

Croce would introduce his hit record by saying that there were two people in the military who inspired the song. Leroy Brown (in name only) was a sergeant at Fort Jackson…

And, here is a Jersey connection: 

…and a guy who went AWOL at Fort Dix!

The private who went AWOL was a guy that Croce really liked…and could relate to. He liked to hang out and sing with the guy. Further, Croce thought it was funny that his AWOL friend came back to get his paycheck, and got caught…

Ingrid Croce confirms: “There really was a Leroy Brown, and sometimes having a name helps you build a song around it.” She adds that, to this day, “there’s so many Leroy Browns who have come up to me and said ‘I’m sure that I’m the one he was talking about.”

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“Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” would be Croce’s first #1 song (“Time In A Bottle” would be the last).

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It topped the Hot 100 chart just 10 weeks before Jim Croce died in a plane crash.

(Craig Allen photo).
(Craig Allen photo).

Kool & The Gang “Fresh”  (#9/1985)

Kool And The Gang formed in Jersey City in 1964!

The band has changed with the times…and the lineup has changed many times over the years…

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This mid-1980’s chart-topper may have been a “fresh” hit for the band…but in actuality, it had been around…in parts…for a while!

Lead singer James “J.T.” Taylor “borrowed” the tune from the band that he was a part of, before joining Kool & The Gang. But: “it was a totally different groove.” Taylor adds “when I played it for (drummer) George Brown, he changed it.”

Album Producer Jim Bonnefond brought in songwriter Sandy Linzer to help with the lyrics.

Linzer says that the guys had a title and “they wanted a lyric about all the fresh things that were going on…I just changed it to ‘She’s fresh,’ wrote the lyrics to the verses, and submitted it.” 

(Craig Allen photo).
(Craig Allen photo).

EMF “Unbelievable”  (#1/1991)

This huge hit song is about a girl who is…unbelievable…

In the sense that she is very demanding, and offers nothing in return.

And, the singer feels that he can do nothing right when he is around her.

OUCH.

EMF was led by guitarist Ian Dench. He was in a band named “Apple Mosaic.” The band had a contract with Virgin Records, that went nowhere.

Dench hooked up with various other “spirited” British musicians, to form EMF.

The name stands for the name of “New Order” groupies called the “Epson Mad Funkers.”

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“Unbelievable” peaked at #3 on the British Pop Chart in November 1990…

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It hit #`1 in New Jersey, six months later, in the summer of 1991!

Sadly, this funky band’s chart success would be short-lived, as they did little promotion here in the states. Ian Dench, the band’s lead singer, did not even bother to join the band as they toured the U.S.

While touring, EMF would perform “Unbelievable” several times during each show…as it was the only song most concert-goers knew!

Oh…one more thing:

The “OH” that you hear “sampled” throughout this song is Andrew “Dice” Clay.

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ENJOY all the great summer hits this weekend on New Jersey 1015, listen via the FREE New Jersey 101.5 app…and here on nj1015.com!

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