Don’s Top 10 From January 19, 1976
Let's take a trip back to Monday, January 19, 1976! Here's the local top 10:
(#15 last week) The British band Sweet hit big in '73 with the insanely catchy bubblegum hit "Little Willy", & toughened up their sound with "Ballroom Blitz" in late '75, & this even bigger followup. Produced by Mike Chapman & Nicky Chinn.
(#5 last week) Unstoppable dance classic. KC had been recording funky soul-dance tunse for years ("Sound Your Funky Horn", 1973, for example), but in 1975, success happened suddenly, with back-to-back #1 hits.
(#12 last week) "Sing A Song" wasn't intended as a gospel song, but it's been covered by the gospel groups Point Of Grace & Take 6. Group leader Maurice White was a grade school classmate of, & played drums with (at 11!), Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & The MG's) in Memphis, before his family moved to Chicago when he was 16.
(#13 last week) Temptations co-lead singer Ruffin "walked away" from the group at the height of their success in 1968 for a solo career & quickly scored a top 10 hit, "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)", in early 1969. Yet it took almost 7 years for that elusive second pop solo hit. Here it is, a song that probably sounds more like a 1969 hit than a 1976 one. It's one of my all-time favorites.
(#6 last week) Some songs, there is nothing to say about. THIS one: oh my. LOL. How many other hits reference the Jersey shore & not wanting to pay no tolls? "C.W. McCall" was a character created by an ad exec named Bill Fries for a series of TV commericals for a midwest bakery. Fries decided to play McCall himself in the ads, which were so hugely popular he BECAME McCall. A recording contract & several country hits followed, including this song, taking advantage of the CB-Radio craze then sweeping the country. BTW, Fries kept his advertising gig, a good move considering he only had one more minor chart appearance after this million-seller.
(#2 last week) For a short time, "Rollermania" surpassed "Beatlemania" in the U.K. But by the beginning of 1978, it was all over for the Scottish tartan-clad boys. Remember when Howard Cosell, starting an Ed Sullivan-like variety show in the U.S., signed the Rollers, thinking they would duplicate the Beatles?
(#7 last week) The music biz was shocked in January '76 when this was NOT nominated for an Oscar as Best Song. In fact, the outrage was so loud that the Academy took the unprecedented step of changing their rules, & literally forcing it to be nominated. Diana sang it on the Oscar show live via satellite from her concert tour in Europe. It lost to "I'm Easy", from the movie "Nashville".
(#4 last week) Man, I love my soul music, & there were a bunch of soul classics this week in '76, including this killer jam from Philly giants the O'Jays. The great solo bongo-drum intro was allegedly performed by none other than Bill Cosby! I hope that's true. AND that's supposedly actor Cleavon Little ("Blazing Saddles") in the "get it on-get it on" chorus.
(#3 last week)This song has one of the most exciting "intros" EVER. The Players were known for their sexy album covers, & "Honey", their current album featuring this funky smash, didn't disappoint, featuring a gorgeous nude model slathered in......you guessed it.
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) OK, all together: HE DIDN'T WRITE THIS SONG! Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys wrote it for David Cassidy, but it was Barry who had the hit & made everyone THINK he wrote it. Even now, people STILL think Barry wrote it. The power of a song.