Don’s Top 10 From July 13, 1970
It’s another “Time Machine” trip, this time to Monday, July 13, 1970. I was on a teen bus tour across America (& listening to all those out-of-town radio stations with my transistor radio). These were the local top 10 singles.amazon.com
“United We Stand” by Brotherhood Of Man
(#15 last week)Tony Burrows is a legend among music trivia buffs for being a one hit wonder five times with five British studio groups, mainly with his buddy Roger Greenaway: Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, The Pipkins, First Class & this one, Brotherhood Of Man (although the Brotherhood did hit it big in Europe in 1976 under a different lineup with the song “Save Your Kisses For Me”). However, in his native England, he did have several big solo hits. Not here.
“Hitchin’ A Ride” by Vanity Fare
(#8 last week) These British popsters were two-hit wonders, this following their top 10-grazer “Early In The Morning”. Just an insanely catchy pop song, helped immeasurably by the two recorders. Hey, I can play recorder! Learned in first grade. And how about that electric piano in the middle! My ears are tingling.
“Make It With You” by Bread
(#13 last week) We didn’t realize it at the time, but this single holds some significance for being about the frirst of the wave of so-called “soft rock” hits of the early 70s, which sort of defined the short era. David Gates, the lead singer of Bread, had some success as a songwriter prior to hitting it big, most notably writing the 1964 hit “Popsicles & Icicles” for the MurmaIds.
“Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” by Three Dog Night
(#4 last week) From the summer of 1969 to the summer of 1974, the trio Three Dog Night were unstoppable at top 40 radio, with every hit cracking the top 20 nationally, including this blues-rock stomper written by a then-unknown Randy Newman. It was written for Eric Burdon & The Animals in 1966 & scheduled as a single, but withdrawn & instead put on Burdon’s first solo LP in ’67.
“Get Ready” by Rare Earth
(# 7 last week) One of the rare times I prefer a remake to the original. Hey, I LIKED the 1966 song by The Temptations, but this rermake kicked butt! If you wondered why a then-unknown band would have their new record label named after them, believe me, the group was just as surprised. They had jokingtly suggested that parent company Motown name it Rare Earth Records, & were shocked when the label said OK.
“Ride CaptaIn Ride” by Blues Image
(#5 last week) A fantastic one hit wonder from the Tampa area. The song was inspired by the number of keys on lead singer/guitarist Mike Pinera’s Rhodes piano. In an interview, Pinera said, “Okay, I need a first word. And what came into my head was ’73.’ I liked the rhythm, and I went, ’73 men sailed up, from the San Francisco Bay.’ … The song sort of just wrote itself from there”.
“Ooh Child” by The 5 Stairsteps
(#9 last week) On the radio, this sure reminds me a bit of the Jackson 5. I’m sure many were mistaken as well. The lyrics were perfectly timed with aso much violence going on in 1970, the lyrics telling the listener that “things are gonna get easier” in times of strife. The song’s uplifting message helped the song to become popular, selling over a million copies. The songwriter, Stan Vincent, also wrote Lou Christie’s fall of 1969 smash “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”.
“Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)” by The Temptations
(#3 last week) Just the opposite of “Ooh Child” in term of message, this was a huge downer of a record, wasn’t it? And yet The Tempts’ explosive vocals carried this to immortality. A stone-cold soul classic, co-written by the legandary team of Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong (among their dozens of other classics, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”).
“The Love You Save” by The Jackson 5
(#1 last week; was #1 for 1 week) What an amazing streak the J5 were on at the beginning of their career on Motown, with this being the third of four straight #1 singles. They then had two more peak at #2!!
“Band Of Gold” by Freda Payne
(#2 last week; 1st week at #1) This also benefited from sounding just like a Motown song. It was a Holland-Dozier-Holland production, but on their new label, Invictus. The backup singers were Telma Hopkins & Joyce Vincent, who would go on to form 2/3 of Tony Orlando & Dawn. Wow, was Ms. Payne a stunningly beautiful woman.