Don’s Top 10 From January 6, 1972
Back….back….back into time with “The Time Machine” as I flash back to Thursday, January 6, 1972, with the local hit survvey. Here's the top 10:singles:
“An Old-Fashioned Love Song” by Three Dog Night
(#7 last week) You couldn't get much hotter than these three guys in 1971. Ditto songwriter Paul Williams (the short blond, aviator-glasses-wearing Paul Williams). Put 'em together & you have this enduring smash.
“Cherish” by David Cassidy
(#9 last week) Honestly, a pointless remake. Give Cassidy some kudos for even attempting to redo a perfect pop song by The Association, but c'mon. And yet…this was a hit, just 5 years after The Association went to #1, when it was still fresh in listener's minds.
“You Are Everything” by The Stylistics
(#21 last week) Killer sweet soul written by the legendary Thom Bell & Linda Creed, this was certified gold just a few days ago, Jan. 3, 1972. Did not know Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye remade this & had a #5 hit with it in the U.K. in 1974.
“Scorpio” by Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band
(#5 last week) Dennis Coffey was a member of the legendary Motown backup band The Funk Brothers. That's his rock guitar toughening up the Motown sound on all those great Temptations hits of the era, as well as “War” by Edwin Starr, “Band Of Gold” from Freda Payne, etc. BTW, that's fellow Funk Brother Bob Babbitt on bass. RIP Mr. Babbitt, who died in 2012. Coffey became the very first white performer on “Soul Train”.
“Clean-Up Woman” by Betty Wright
(#14 last week) Hard to believe, because this is such a sensual, mature sounding song & lyric, but Betty Wright had just turned 18 when this was certified a gold million-selling single. Even before this, she had charted at 14 with the ironically titled “Girls Can't Do What The Boys Do”. She's also credited with discovering fellow Miami-area artists, the husband & wife George & Gwen McCrae.
“Got To Be There” by Michael Jackson
(#2 last week) Historic, because this was the first single to bear the name “Michael Jackson”. It sure SOUNDED like a full Jackson 5 recording, though.
“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
(#12 last week) Smooth soul king Green's all-time biggest, this has been covered by Tina turner & President Obama. Al was born in Arkansas & moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan when he was 9. Most of Al's early & mid 70s hits were co-written & produced by Willie Mitchell, who charted as an artist with “20-75″ in 1964 & “Soul Serenade” in 1968.
“Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone
(#4 last week) In the where-are-they-now-department, sadly, Sly Stone is homeless, living out of his van. He apparently does so voluntarily. Not sure if this is related to his 40+ years of drug abuse. But man, he & the Family Stone made some killer music from 1968-1973!
“Brand New Key” by Melanie
(#1 last week) This folkie's biggest hit, one she probably regrets, because it killed off Ms. Safka's budding stardom in the folk field by labeling her a top 40 novelty act. Born in NYC but made her name playing Jersey clubs.
“American Pie (Parts I & II)” by Don McLean
(#3 last week; 1st week at #1) Another folk-music-raised artist from the New York area. Probably the most-talked-about song of the 70s. Everyone spent hours trying to figure out who McLean was referring to in the lyrics.