The Time Machine pilot has very big hair this week, as he lands on Monday, May 13, 1974, with the local hit music survey. I'll play the songs on New Jersey 101.5 starting just after midnight late Saturday night.
“Come & Get Your love” by Redbone
(#5 last week) After nighttime DJ George Michael moved from WFIL to WABC in 1974, every Friday night as his third song, about 6:07pm, for 5+ years, he'd play this, & call it “the weekend national anthem!” For me, it still is. And I will always remember the way King George said the name of the group: “Redboonnnnnnnnne!”
“Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede
(#6 last week) Wait till you see Don Kirshner intro the band. He makes Ed Sullivan seem comfortable! Wow, the lead singer really wails live…..BTW, the “ooga chaka”? Blue Swede didn't come up with that. It was first done by British singer Jonathan King in 1972.
“You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics
(#21 last week) This Philly soul group's biggest all-time hit. Written by the classic songwriting team of Thom Bell & Linda Creed. The song's been remade many times, including by Simply Red, Boyz II Men & Babyface.
“The Streak” by Ray Stevens
(#27 last week) Wait until you see the kids at “Top Of The Pops” attempt to DANCE to “The Streak”! Ray made a long career out of novelties, but he had two “serious” hits: 1968's “Mr. Businessman” & “Everything Is Beautiful” in 1970.
“Bennie & The Jets” by Elton John
(#1 last week) Elton is knocked out of the top spot after two weeks at the summit. You couldn't find anyone hotter in music in 1974, & appearing on “Soul Train” was, hard to believe, considered daring, as I believe he was the first white headliner to do so.
“TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia”) by MFSB
(#4 last week) Written by the great team of Gamble-Huff, this is the first disco song to make it to #1. It's also the second of four different themes the TV series “Soul Train” used, & certainly trhe one people associate with the show, but host/creator Don Cornelius would not allow Gamble-Huff to call the song “Soul Train Theme”, strangely. My guess is, they wouldn't give him a cut of the royalties? I don't know.
“The Show Must Go On” by Three Dog Night
(#7 last week) The last in Three Dog Night's long, five year string of smash hits, & arguably their least played. Oh, I don't know, would the circus music have something to do with that? Otherwise, it's typical TDN boogie rock.
“The Entertainer” by Marvin Hamlisch
(#8 last week) Well, who saw THIS coming? A piece of Scott Joplin ragtime music becoming a hit in 1974? Of course, if you saw the Oscar-winning movie “The Sting”, you understand. If you've never seen it, prepare to be hugely “entertained”.
“The Loco-Motion” by Grand Funk
(#3 last week) Carole King & Gerry Goffin became the first songwriters to have one of their songs hit #1 twice by two different artists when “Go Away Little Girl” made it to the top in 1971, & they repeated the feat with this cover of Little Eva's 1962 original. Speaking of, the rumors STILL won't go away that the vocals on that classic were really done by Carole (something she has always vehemently denied). A well-known singer who knows many of the artists from that era recently speculated privately to me that possibility.
“Dancing Machine” by The Jackson 5
(#2 last week) Well, LOCALLY, this is the first disco song to ever be #1! (See “TSOP” above). The song peaked at #2 nationally. Check out MJ doing “the robot” on “The Carol Burnett Show” here.
Countdown extras: “Rock The Boat”–Hues Corporation (#15); “Help Me”–Joni Mitchell (#31); “Just Don't Want To Be Lonely”–Main Ingredient (#12); “Midnight At The Oasis”–Maria Muldaur (#14)……….This week's #1 album: “The Sting”–Soundtrack (3rd week at #1)…….Next week”: Don's Top 10 from May 19, 1985 & May 20, 1977.
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