Don’s Top 10 From June 29, 1974
This weekend musical trip takes us to Saturday, June 29, 1974. Here’s what the local top 10 singles looked like:
“Haven’t Got Time For The Pain” by Carly Simon
(#13 last week) You can’t find much in the way of video from Carly’s early career. I assume this was due to her legendary stage fright, which I’m happy to say she seems to have overcome.
“Annie’s Song” by John Denver
(#23 last week) One of the ultimate love songs from one partner to another. How could they divorce & ruin the fantasy for us? BTW, Denver was a one-hit wonder in England, & this was the hit.
“Be Thankful For What You Got” by William DeVaughn
(#8 last week) Recorded with key members of the Philly music scene, people like Earl Young Jr. & Vincent Montana. While the song has a nice groove, it’s the words that made it stand out from the crowd.
“Band On The Run” by Paul McCartney & Wings
(#7 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. Iconic album cover, too. How many celebs on it can you name?
“The Streak” by Ray Stevens
(#4 last week) 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.
“Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot
(#6 last week) Love gone wrong. There are rumours that “Sundown” was inspired by Lightfoot’s then girlfriend, Cathy Smith, who years later achieved the wrong kind of fame: she was infamously known for her involvement in the 1982 drug-related death of actor John Belushi.
“Rock Your Baby” by George McCrae
(#5 last week) Co-written by K.C. of Sunshine Band fame, before he was famous here in the states! In fact, it was intended to be a KC & The Sunshine Band song, but McCrae just happened to pop into the studio that day, spur-of-the-moment laid down some vocals, & the rest was history.
“Billy Don’t Be A Hero” by Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods
(#3 last week) 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.
“You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics
(#1 last week; was #1 for 1 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.
“Rock The Boat” by The Hues Corporation
(#2 last week; 1st week at #1) I’ll never forget working at 99X in New York as a request line person for my first radio job. One day, I walked past a room where the weekly music meeting was being held to decide what new songs to add. The room was unanimous on this song! Not only would it hit #1 & become the local #1 hit of the year, it was 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.