Don’s Top 10 For April 29, 1973
Back…back…back into time, with the Jersey survey from Sunday, April 29, 1973. Hear the songs on New Jersey 101.5 starting just after midnight late Saturday night.
“The Cisco Kid” by War
(#4 last week) A song with such widespread appeal that artists as different as Willie Nelson & Method Man have recorded cover versions. Cisco is the nickname for Francisco in Spanish. I think the best part of this catchy record is the 'galloping” sound effect at the end.
“The Twelfth Of Never” by Donny Osmond
(#9 last week) I LOVED Donny's first solo hit, “Sweet & Innocent”, but thought the rest of hist charted singles were, um, to put it kindly, really corny. This is a remake of Johnny Mathis's original.
“Reelin’ In The Years” by Steely Dan
(#12 last week) Jersey boy Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, et al, with their second hit. They stopped touring after July, 1974 to concentrate on their albums, but the hits kept coming even without live appearances. did you know they performed backup for Jay Black & The Americans in the late 60s? And their first songwriting success was a Barbra Streisand album cut in 1971?
“Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group
(#21 last week) About as hard rock a hit single as there has ever been on top 40 radio. God bless the memory of guitarist Ronnie Montrose, who we lost recently at the age of 64, way too young. Rick Derringer (The McCoys) also plays guitar on the record. The title refers to its “monster-like, lumbering beat”, according to Winter.
“Pillow Talk” by Sylvia
(#13 last week) 16 years. That's how long Sylvia Robinson had to wait between her first hit, 1957's “Love Is Strange”, & this steamy classic. But she DID write the 1970 smash “Love On A Two-Way Street”.
“Little Willy” by Sweet
(#7 last week) While the bubblegummy “Little Willy” became Sweet's first American hit, the band had already been stars worldwide for over two years & were transitioning to a harder-edged sound. Their hit “Blockbuster”, similar in sound to “Ballroom Blitz”, was #1 in the U.K. months before “Willy”'s U.S. success.
“Stuck In The Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel
(#6 last week) Some call this tune Dylanesque, some Beatleesque. I just call Gerry Rafferty & Co.'s tune insanely catchy.
“Sing” by Carpenters
(#5 last week) Two hits in 1970 (3 if you count “Merry Christmas Darling”), three hits in 1971, three in 1972 & now the first of three in 1973. You'll enjoy seeing Karen charm a Japanese audience by singing in Japanese.
“The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence
(#2 last week) At first glance, about as unlikely an artist for a hit song with a country-tinge as you could find. But Vicki Lawrence was already famous from her 6 years on “The Carol Burnett Show”, & she was married to the songwriter, Bobby Russell! Nepotism. Actually, Vicki, who sang the demo as a lark & told hubby Russell that it was a hit, wasn't producer Snuff Garrett's first choice to sing it. Many artists turned it down, including Sonny Bono, who never gave Cher the chance to do it or even told her about it, thinking it was too similar to her other similarly spooky sounding 70s hits. So Vicki herself did it, which actually caused a strain in her marriage & helped it break up. The recording of it brought Lawrence such unpleasant vibes that she abandoned a music career after that, even though the single was a million-seller.
“Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” by Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando
(#1 last week; 3rd week at #1) Based on a true story. Produced by former member of the Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) Hank Medress. When this was recorded, “Dawn”, Telma Hopkins & Joyce Vincent, had only been on the group's records since 1972. On Dawn's first two huge hits, “Candida” (1970) & “Knock Three Times” (1971), the backup vocalists to Tony Orlando were Sharon Greane, Linda November, Toni Wine (Archies member who co-wrote “Candida”) & a man, former Tokens lead singer Jay Siegel! Another Token, Phil Margo, played drums.