Don’s Top 10 for January 29, 1976
Back…back…back into time again, as Don Tandler The Record Handler's trip in “The Time Machine” lands on Thursday, January 29, 1976. You can hear the songs played on New Jersey 101.5 just after midnight late Saturday night.
“Fox On The Run” by Sweet
(#5 last week) The British band Sweet hit big in '73 with the insanely catchy bubblegum hit “Little Willy”, & toughened up their sound with “Ballroom Blitz” in late '75, & this even bigger followup. Produced by Mike Chapman & Nicky Chinn.
“Love To Love You Baby” by Donna Summer
(#11 last week) Ever heard the full 17 minute album version of this raunchy disco classic, Donna's first hit? Here it is. There were actually two different single mixes, one under 4 minutes meant for top 40 radio play & the other just under 5 minutes long. But, if memory serves me correctly, WABC played the almost 5 minute one (which was the one in stores).
“Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” by Diana Ross
(#6 last week) The music biz was shocked in January '76 when this was NOT nominated for an Oscar as Best Song. In fact, the outrage was so loud that the Academy took the unprecedented step of changing their rules, & literally forcing it to be nominated. Diana sang it on the Oscar show live via satellite from her concert tour in Europe. It lost to “I'm Easy”, from the movie “Nashville”.
“Sing A Song” by Earth, Wind & Fire
(#9 last week) “Sing A Song” wasn't intended as a gospel song, but it's been covered by the gospel groups Point Of Grace & Take 6. Group leader Maurice White was a grade school classmate of, & played drums with (at 11!), Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & The MG's) in Memphis, before his family moved to Chicago when he was 16.
“Love Machine, Part 1″ by The Miracles
(#10 last week) Smokey who? A pulsating soul-disco hit with one of the great intros of all time. What DJ could resist talking up to the hoooo-YEAH! & then the main vocal? Not me!
“Walk Away From Love” by David Ruffin
(#8 last week) Temptations co-lead singer Ruffin “walked away” from the group at the height of their success in 1968 for a solo career & quickly scored a top 10 hit, “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)”, in early 1969. Yet it took almost 7 years for that elusive second pop solo hit. Here it is, a song that probably sounds more like a 1969 hit than a 1976 one. It's one of my all-time favorites.
“I Love Music, Part 1″ by The O’Jays
(#4 last week) Man, I love my soul music, & there were a bunch of soul classics this week in '76, including this killer jam from Philly giants the O'Jays. The great solo bongo-drum intro was allegedly performed by none other than Bill Cosby! I hope that's true. AND that's supposedly actor Cleavon Little (“Blazing Saddles”) in the “get it on-get it on” chorus.
“Convoy” by C.W. McCall
(#3 last week) Some songs, there is nothing to say about. THIS one: oh my. LOL. How many other hits reference the Jersey shore & not wanting to pay no tolls? “C.W. McCall” was a character created by an ad exec named Bill Fries for a series of TV commericals for a midwest bakery. Fries decided to play McCall himself in the ads, which were so hugely popular he BECAME McCall. A recording contract & several country hits followed, including this song, taking advantage of the CB-Radio craze then sweeping the country. BTW, Fries kept his advertising gig, a good move considering he only had one more minor chart appearance after this million-seller.
“Love Rollercoaster” by The Ohio Players
(#2 last week) The Players were known for their sexy album covers, & “Honey”, their current album featuring this funky smash, didn't disappoint, featuring a gorgeous nude model slathered in……you guessed it.
“I Write The Songs” by Barry Manilow
(#1 last week; 4th week at #1) OK, all together: HE DIDN'T WRITE THIS SONG! Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys wrote it for David Cassidy, but it was Barry who had the hit & made everyone THINK he wrote it. Cute skit on the clip here introing the song, & at the 3:31 mark.