Don’s Top 10 From April 27, 1972
Early 70s “Time Machine” trip this time, to Thursday, April 27, 1972. These were the local top 10 singles:amazon.com
“Look What You Done For Me” by Al Green
(#15 last week) Al Greene (original spelling) was born in Arkansas but grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Al began performing gospel music with his brothers when he was 10. Brought up in a very religious family, Al’s dad kicked him out of the house when he caught him listening to Jackie Wilson’s music. “Look What you Done For Me” was in the middle of an incredible streak: it was the third of seven straight certified-gold million-selling singles for Green.
“A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done” by Sonny & Cher
(#9 last week) Their last big hit as a duo came just a few months into their hit CBS variety series. Strange sounding tune, with the horns and wah-wah guitar. Sonny wrote it & Snuff Garrett produced (as usual).
“I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers
(#19 last week) One of my all-time favorite hits. I simply never get tired of this incredibly soulful jam! The intro is especially exciting. A secret: the family did not perform any of the music: it was done by the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.
“Oh Girl” by The Chi-Lites
(#27 last week) That’s not a harmonica on this soulful hit (6 of the top 10 this week are soul songs), that’s a melodica, which has a musical keyboard on top, & is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument.
“A Horse With No Name” by America
(#3 last week) A song with mysterious lyrics that had people guessing, “A Horse with No Name” was originally called “Desert Song” and was written while the band was staying at the home studio of Arthur Brown, who’d had a hit called “Fire” in 1968.
“Day Dreaming” by Aretha Franklin
(#7 last week) Haunting, etheral hit from Lady Soul. Donny Hathaway, Aretha’s frequent partner, plays electric piano on the single. Hubert Laws plays the flute on the single. The single version omits the jazzy daydreaming like music, heard in the beginning and the ending of the song, where even the vocals sounded too psychedelic for most radio airplay. But it was a smash.
“Betcha By Golly, Wow” by The Stylistics
(#4 last week) When “they” say music ain’t what it used to be, they usually refer to songs such as this, when soul & pop met in classic after classic. The Philly music scene was pumping out hit after hit. EVERYONE can slow dance to this. Written by the legendary Thom Bell & Linda Creed. Strange but true: Connie Stevens recorded this first, in 1970!
“I Gotcha” by Joe Tex
(#6 last week) In hindsight, the lyrics of this smash are unsettling at least & creepy at most, but what did we know back in ’72? This was VERY easy to dance to, as you can see from “Soul Train”. That lady dancing with Tex is…um…elastic!
“Rockin’ Robin” by Michael Jackson
(#2 last week) 5th big week in a row at #2! 5 out of 6.This could be a hit today: while finding the video for this article, my 6th grader-son came up & started dancing to it! I told him Michael was 13 & a half when this was a hit, & he said, “huh? When did his voice change, dad?” I guess late……
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) You may know this was recorded by Flack back in 1969, & didn’t become a hit until Clint Eastwood chose it for his movie “Play Misty For Me”. But did you know the song was written way back in 1957, & was widely recorded by many folk music artists through the 1960s? The songwriter, Ewan MacCall, was known to hate all of the cover versions, feeling they lacked the subtlety of his original. I’m sure he didn’t complain about the royalty checks.