Don’s Top 10 From January 26, 1975
Takin’ a trip into time once again, this time to Sunday, January 26, 1975. Here’s the local top 10 songs:amazon.com
“One Man Woman/One Woman Man” by Paul Anka with Odia Coates
(#17 last week) After his surprise comeback with “(You’re) Having My Baby” a few months ago, Anka makes it two for two with this bouncy number along with Odia Coates. Why didn’t she ever have any solo hits? Should have.
:Get Dancin” by Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes (Sir Monti Rock III)
(#8 last week) One of the more unlikely people to ever have a hit record, celebrity hairdresser Sir Monti Rock III was somehow recruited to be “Disco Tex” (get it?) in the rollicking novelty hit, which also helped kickstart the then-gathering-steam disco era. “My wig is wet, darling, my wig is wet!”
“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything”
(#4 last week) Hard to imagine, but song co-writer Peter Radcliffe originally wrote “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything” as a country song with the title “You’re My First, You’re My Last, My In-Between”, & went unrecorded for over 20 years. Barry White recorded it as a disco song, keeping most of the structure and 2/3 of the title, but he rewrote the lyrics.
“Fire” by The Ohio Players
(#15 last week) There were three unrelated songs all called “Fire” that were all big hits–this was the biggest of them. Can you name the other two artists? Well, there was 1968’s “Fire” by one-hit wonders The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown (remember how that wild record started? “I am the God of hellfire! And I give you-FIRE!”). And in 1979, a cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” by The Pointer Sisters became the record that reignited their careers. The Ohio Players weren’t newbies when their “Fire” hit the top–they had been together since the early 60s. They provided backing help on “I Found A Girl” by the Falcons with Wilson Pickett in 1962.
“Doctor’s Orders” by Carol Douglas
(#6 last week) Contrary to popular belief, Carol Douglas was not married to CARL Douglas of “Kung Fu Fighting” fame at #5. This was originally a hit in the U.K. for a woman named “Sunny” formerly of the Brotherhood Of Man (1970’s “United We Stand”). Douglas’s version was produced by Meco (“Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band”), but because of legal reasons his name was not on the record. It went on to sell 900,000 singles; 300,000 in the New York/New Jersey area alone.
“Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas
(#2 last week) Perfectly timed to hit the then-budding disco craze & the then-peaking martial arts craze, the song was originally meant to be a B-side to “I Want to Give You My Everything”.The producer Biddu originally hiredCarl Douglas to sing “I Want to Give You My Everything” but needed something to record for the B-side,& asked Douglas if he had any lyrics they could use. Douglas showed several, out of which Biddu chose the one that would later be called “Kung Fu Fighting” and worked out a melody for it without taking it too seriously. After having spent over two hours recording the A-side and then taking a break, “Kung Fu Fighting” was recorded quickly in the last ten minutes of studio time, in only two takes, due to a three-hour time constraint for the entire session. According to Biddu, “Kung Fu Fighting was the B-side so I went over the top on the ‘huhs’ & the ‘hahs’ and the chopping sounds. It was a B-side: who was going to listen?” After hearing both songs, Pye Records insisted that “Kung Fu Fighting” should be the A-side instead. Good ears!
“Please Mr. Postman” by The Carpenters
(#11 last week) After almost a year off the charts (other than the #19 peaking “I Won’t Last A Day Without You”), Karen & Richard return with this Motown remake. Unfortunate choice of venue for the video, I’m afraid. It just reinforced their goody-two-shoes image.
“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by Elton John
(#1 last week) The only Beatles cover song to reach #1 on the Billboard Chart, Elton almost never plays this live in concert. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is a song that I never do in a set at a concert simply because it reminds me too much of John Lennon. This is the same with Empty Garden”. Recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Colorado, it featured backing vocals and guitar by Lennon under the pseudonym Dr. Winston O’Boogie (Winston being Lennon’s middle name).
“Laughter In The Rain” by Neil Sedaka
(#5 last week) Sedaka-Tandler connection, sort of: Neil & my mom, Joan, both attended Lincoln High School in Brooklyn (Neil was two years younger). Mom said Neil was VERY into his music, as you could imagine. He was part of the Tokens then, who would later go on to record “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Among the many stellar musicians on Neil’s comeback hit were Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel & David Foster.
“Mandy” by Barry Manilow
(#3 last week) This was first called “Brandy” (originally performed by Scott English) but because of confusion with the Looking Glass hit of the same name, it was changed. It was also uptempo, but Clive Davis, in his genius, heard it as a ballad. Barry’s debut hit.