Don’s Top 10 From June 2, 1974
Back into time with “The Time Machine” hits from Sunday, June 2, 1974. Here’s the local top 10 singles:amazon.com
“Billy Don’t Be A Hero” by Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods
(#21 last week) This may be the worst synching job I have ever seen on youtube. Anyway, this was a hit in England for Paper Lace & was actually about the American Civil War, not Vietnam, as many people assumed. If Paper Lace was upset that Bo & the Heywoods rush-American-cover beat them to the charts here, they probably weren’t too freaked out, since “The Night Chicago Died” hit #1 here just weeks later.
“Rock The Boat” by The Hues Corporation
(#8 last week) This would soon hit #1 & become the local #1 hit of the year. Arguably the first disco #1, but I think this is more pop-soul than typical disco. The lead singer on this, Fleming Williams, left the group right after it was recorded & never appeared in public to sing it! I assume his replacement is in this video.
“The Show Must Go On” by Three Dog Night
(#5 last week) The last in Three Dog Night’s long, five year string of smash hits, & arguably their least played. Oh, I don’t know, would the circus music have something to do with that? Otherwise, it’s typical TDN boogie rock.
“Midnight At The Oasis” by Maria Muldaur
(#7 last week) Maria has had a long & distingushed career in folk music & has been unfairly tagged as a novelty artist because of this salacious smash.
“The Loco-Motion” by Grand Funk
(#4 last week) Carole King & Gerry Goffin became the first songwriters to have one of their songs hit #1 twice by two different artists when “Go Away Little Girl” made it to the top in 1971, & they repeated the feat with this cover of Little Eva’s 1962 original. Speaking of, the rumors STILL won’t go away that the vocals on that classic were really done by Carole (something she has always vehemently denied). A well-known singer who knows many of the artists from that era recently speculated privately to me that possibility.
“Dancing Machine” by The Jackson 5
(#3 last week) Locally, this is the first disco song to ever be #1! . The song peaked at #2 nationally. Check out MJ doing “the robot” on “The Carol Burnett Show” here.
“Band On The Run” by Paul McCartney & Wings
(#9 last week) Third & final single from the album of the same name. The heavy airplay finally pushed the LP to #1 in June. Paul’s most critically acclaimed post-Beatles album.
“You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics
(#6 last week) This Philly soul group’s biggest all-time hit. Written by the classic songwriting team of Thom Bell & Linda Creed. The song’s been remade many times, including by Simply Red, Boyz II Men & Babyface. The appearance here on “Soul Train” was surprisingly the group’s first, even though they’d been on the soul chart for over three years.
“The Entertainer” by Marvin Hamlisch
(#2 last week) Well, who saw THIS coming? A piece of Scott Joplin ragtime music becoming a hit in 1974? Of course, if you saw the Oscar-winning movie “The Sting”, you understand. If you’ve never seen it, prepare to be hugely “entertained”. RIP Marvin, who we lost way too young this past year.
“The Streak” by Ray Stevens
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) The biggest fad of the 70s, brought to life by the king of 60s & 70s novelty hits, Ray Stevens. Ray made a long career out of novelties, but he had two “serious” hits: 1968’s “Mr. Businessman” & “Everything Is Beautiful” in 1970. The former made you think & the second put a lump in your throat.