Don’s Top 10 for March 25, 1977
Frequent flier miles on “The Time Machine” as it stops on Friday, March 25, 1977. Hear the songs in order with me starting just after midnight late Saturday night on New Jersey 101.5. And now, on to the countdown…..
“Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary MacGregor
(#7 last week) Co-written by Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary). Oh, the irony. Mary MacGregor HATES her only hit. Why? It broke up her marriage. When this unexpectedly hit big, her career became her “other lover”, & her husband couldn't stand Mary suddenly being away all the time. If he had just waited a year or two…… Hey, what was in the water in 1977? Another big hit just a few months later: “Tryin' to love two….sure ain't easy to do”.
“I Like Dreamin'” by Kenny Nolan
(#6 last week) Kenny likes dreamin', all right. His eyes adored you, Ms. marmalade. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Yes, the man wrote or co-wrote all three hits. Nolan also is the falsetto-voiced lead singer on “Get Dancin” by Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes!
“The Things We Do For Love” by 10cc
(#11 last week) This is one insanely catchy song! But not a surprise. The members of 10cc have a long, complicated history in pop music. Leader Graham Gouldman was a hugely successful songwriter first, penning hits like “For Your Love” (The Yardbirds) & “Bus Stop” (The Hollies). An early version of 10cc without Gouldman called Hotlegs scored a big international hit with “Neanderthal Man” in 1971. Two years earlier, while on vacation (!), they cut a GREAT tune called “Sausalito” that somehow was released under the name Ohio Express (who had previously hit with “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” & Chewy Chewy”) & was a minor hit. Eric Stewart was lead singer on the Mindbenders 1966 classic “A Groovy Kind Of Love”. All this is just scratching the surface. Two other members, Godley & Creme, left after “I'm Not In Love” in 1975. They had a hit as a duo with “Cry” in 1985.
“Night Moves” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
(#4 last week) Did any song evoke a time & place as well as this one? Seger said “Jungleland” by the Boss inspired it. Recorded in Toronto on the fly with several studio musicians sitting in for missing Silver Bullet Band members who had gone home (Seger wrote the song at the last second).
“Fly Like An Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band
(#2 last week) Third single from the album of the same name, it came close to being a back-to-back #1 single with “Rock 'N Me”. The main guitar hook in the song was borrowed by Steve from his own earlier track, 1969's “My Dark Hour”, which featured Paul McCartney. To hear the album version, buy the “Fly Like An Eagle” CD. To hear the top 40 radio single edit, buy the “Greatest Hits 1974-1978″ CD.
“Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston
(#9 last week) This may be a “disco” song, but, dang, the lady could SING! Listen to her live here. It truly is live, but sounds really close to the recording. Not too many performers could pull that off. She should have had more than one big pop chart hit. Houston was discovered by the manager of the 5th Dimension, Marc Gordon, & none other than Jimmy Webb wrote & produced her entire debut album. Her chart debut was Laura Nyro's “Save The Country”, but the 5th had the bigger hit version. This time, it was her volcanic remake of a Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes album track that finally put her on the hit track. It's one of the most enduring songs of the “disco era”.
“Don’t Give Up On Us” by David Soul
(#8 last week) Who was that “Masked Man”? Literally. Soul, who started in show biz as a singer, eventually opening for acts such as the Byrds & the Doors, had grown frustrated atv the lack of success & decided to market himself with a ski mask! it worked. He got booked numerous times on “The Merv Griffin Show”. Eventually, success came, but first as an actor, then, after he found stardom as “Hutch” on ABC's “Starsky & Hutch”, turning once again to singing. David was only a one-hit wonder in the states, but he had a half-dozen hits in the U.K.
“Dancing Queen” by Abba
(#5 last week) Abba wasn't a group name that thrilled the members of the band (it was chosen by their manager, mixing up their name initials). Turns out, it's very similar to the name of a well-known brand of pickled herring in Sweden.
Love Theme From “A Star Is Born” (Evergreen) by Barbra Streisand
(#1 last week) After 3 weeks as the champ, Babs is dethroned. First song she ever wrote, along with Paul Williams, & it won the Oscar. In fact, it was the only Academy Award nomination for the movie, a box office hit that took a critical drubbing. Not the song, though.
“Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
(#3 last week; 1st week at #1) Turns out, this song was about a rich BOY (his then-girlfriend Sara's ex-boyfriend), but Daryl Hall changed it to girl so as not to offend her. This was the second single from the album “Bigger Than Both Of Us”; everyone with the duo thought the biggest hit would be the first single, “Do What You Want, Be What You Are”, but it bombed out at #39.