Don’s Top 10 From December 1, 1976
One more “Don’s Top 10″ until the holiday hits come out to play. Let’s go back to Wednesday, December 1, 1976 with the local hit singles survey.
"Whispering/Cherchez La Femme/Se Si Bon" by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
(#7 last week) How many other hit songs name check future Hall & Oates manager/Mariah Carey hubby Tommy Mottola? Only this one! "Dr. Buzzard" was August Darnell, who formed Kid Creole & the Coconuts in the 80s.
"Just To Be Close To You" by The Commodores
(#4 last week) Second top 10 hit for the boys from Alabama, following "Sweet Love". For some reason, I'm obsessed with the way Lionel Richie says the word "purpose" in the track, which has a weird sound effect immediately following it. "Pur-posssssssse:".
"More Than A Feeling" by Boston
(#13 last week) Named the #39 hard rock song of all time on one of those VH1 specials, this was an immediate smash single & album. It took Boston mastermind Tom Scholz over five years to complete.
"The Wreck Of The Edmund fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot
(#10 last week) Back when I hosted the 70s show, this came in #1 most requested of the year several times. Rarely gets heard today, mainly due to the length, & the "story song" nature. Based on a true incident from Nov. 1975.
"You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show)" by Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
(#11 last week) The first of two duet hits for the married couple formerly in the 5th Dimension. Oh, did I have a crush on the luminous Marilyn McCoo. Still do, actually. :-)
"The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners
(#6 last week) One night in the fall of 1976, I was answering the request lines at 99X, the former New York top 40 station, as Steve "Smokin" Weed hosted. He couldn't find a good call for a request, so I pretended to be one. I asked for "The Rubberband Man" & Weed said, in his best pukey fake voice, "ya got a nice speaking voice, Don!" A highlight of my radio career. LOL.
"Love So Right" by The Bee Gees
(#3 last week) The first Bee Gees single to feature Barry's falsetto exclusively as the lead vocal. The "B" side was "You Stepped Into My Life", but in Canada, that was the "A" side, with "Love So Right" the flip.
"Muskrat Love" by The Captain & Tennille
(#5 last week) Here it is, folks, the absolute worst hit of the 70s, not for Toni Tennille's pretty vocals, but for the lyrics. Really??? Muskrat whoopee! Are they kidding?? You would have thought the hate for this would be universal, but, no, it was a big hit!
"Disco Duck, Part 1" by Rick Dees & His Cast Of Idiots
(#1 last week) After SIX big weeks at the top locally, this slips to #2. Wow, muskrats & ducks, back to back. We loved animals in the 70s, I guess. Dees was a radio DJ in Memphis when this started to click, but Dees's station would not let him play his own song, citing a conflict of interest. Dees did anyway, causing his firing. Talk about the highs & lows at the same time! Not to worry, Dees quickly got a gig in Los Angeles, where he's been mega-successful as a DJ ever since.
"Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)" by Rod Stewart
(#2 last week; 1st week at #1) Aah yes, this is the hit where "Rod the mod" became "Rod the bod". Pretty racy stuff. So racy, in fact, a big radio chain ordered their stations to censor the line "spread your wings & let me come inside". The song still went to #1, proving the record-buying public was more relaxed than nervous radio execs.