Don’s Top 10 From August 3, 1979
Takin’ a musical trip to Friday, August 3, 1979. Baseball fans were mourning the loss of Thurman Munson, killed in a plane crash the day before. These were the top 10 local singles:amazon.com
“My Sharona” by The Knack
(#21 last week) On the way up to a six week run at #1, this rock anthem rockets to 10. For the record, that IS the real Sharona (Alperin) on the cover of the single. She had been the girlfriend of Knack lead singer Doug Fieger. Does the song remind of of any 60s classics? Say, “Gimme Some Lovin”, “My Generation” & “Going To A Go-Go”? Yes, the various riffs from those tunes were “inspiration”.
“Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer
(#5 last week) “Hot Stuff” won Summer the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her not only the first African-American artist to achieve that feat, but also the first woman to ever win a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance. It is ranked #104 on the updated Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. The song is at #67 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of all time. The blistering guitar on the song is by ex-Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.
“The Main Event/Fight” by Barbra Streisand
(#14 last week) In 1978 & ’79, it seemed like every major artist was “going disco”, & here was one of the more unlikely ones to do it. But remember when Barbra “went rock” in the early 70s with “Stoney End”.
“What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'” by Stephanie Mills
(Debuts at 7) The star of Broadway’s “The Wiz” debuts on the charts, bigger locally than nationally, which made sense. Stephanie was already a show business veteran by the time she made it on Broadway. Mills began her career appearing in her first play at the age of nine. Two years later, Mills won Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater a record six times. The victory led to her being cast in her first B’way role, the orphaned child of a runaway slave in the show “Maggie Flynn”.
“WEhen You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman” by Dr. Hook
(#8 last week) A band that just screamed “southern” actually was formed in Union City, New Jersey! “Dr. Hook” with the eye patch was really Ray Sawyer.
“I Want You To Want Me” by Cheap Trick
(#3 last week) Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen actually had Abba in mind when he wrote this hit! Bass player Tom Petersson said in an interview, “”My recollection is that [songwriter Rick Nielsen] did that song as a bit of a joke, because at the time when we had done that song there was a lot of pop music on the radio–Abba, and all sorts of things, disco. Rick said, ‘I’m just going to do an over-the-top pop song. I just want to do one that’s so silly – total pop – and then we’ll do a heavy version of it.’ He didn’t know what was going to happen with it. The idea was to have it like a heavy metal pop song. Cheap Trick doing Abba – except a very heavy version.”
“Makin’ It” by David Naughton
(#7 last week) David Naughton was a one-hit wonder in three areas of show biz: TV commercials, where he was only known for his singing Dr. Pepper spots (“I’m a Pepper! You’re a Pepper!”); movies, where he had one hit, “An American Werewolf In London”, & music, with this, his only hit. Very catchy. Written by Freddie Perren & Dino Fekaris, who were on a very hot streak in 1979, also writing “I Will Survive”, “Reunited” & “Shake Your Groove Thing”. One of the few hits to be both the title song of a (short-lived) TV series and on a movie soundtrack (“Meatballs”) at virtually the same time.
“Good Times” by Chic
(#4 last week)One of the great disco songs of all time, so it’s hard to believe it only peaked at #3 on the (then) disco chart! It DID make it to 1 on the pop & R&B charts. It has endured very nicely, becoming one of the most sampled songs in history.
“Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward
(#2 last week) Derided as a novelty, this has surprisingly endured over the years. Originally offered to Stacy Lattisaw, who’s parents thought it too risque for such a young (13) girl. This smash has been featured in at least nine movies & three TV ads.
“Bad Girls” by Donna Summer
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) When Donna first co-wrote this song (with Brooklyn Dreams), Casablanca Records chief Neil Bogart wanted her to give it to Cher! Summer refused. Good move. The inspiration for her to write the song came after one of her assistants was offended by a policeman who thought she was a streetwalker.