Don’s Top 10 from March 16, 1977
Back into time to Wednesday, March 16, 1977. Here’s the local top 10 singles:amazon.com
“I’ve Got Love On My Mind” by Natalie Cole
(Debut on survey) 5 weeks at #1 on the R&B chart for this one, Natalie’s second top 10 pop charter. Ms. Cole has had too many career highlights to list, but two cool ones are a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame & singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
“Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
(#12 last week) Turns out, this song was about a rich BOY (his then-girlfriend Sara’s ex-boyfriend), but Daryl Hall changed it to girl so as not to offend her. This was the second single from the album “Bigger Than Both Of Us”; everyone with the duo thought the biggest hit would be the first single, “Do What You Want, Be What You Are”, but it bombed out at #39.
“Night Moves” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
(#11 last week) Did any song evoke a time & place as well as this one? Seger said “Jungleland” by the Boss inspired it. Recorded in Toronto on the fly with several studio musicians sitting in for missing Silver Bullet Band members who had gone home (Seger wrote the song at the last second).
“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney & Wings
(#9 last week) The original studio version of this classic, on Paul’s debut solo album “McCartney”, was never released as a single, but this version, from the “Wings Over America” live LP, was. McCartney wrote the song in 1969, just before the Beatles breakup. He dedicated it to his new wife Linda, crediting her for helping through a difficult time professionally.
“Blinded By The Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
(#5 last week) Very hard to believe, but this is Bruce Springsteen’s only national #1 single as a songwriter! (“Dancing In The Dark” made it to #1 locally, #2 nationally). Manfred Mann’s recording of the song features several changed lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen’s “cut loose like a deuce” is replaced with “revved up like a deuce”.
“Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston
(#7 last week) This may be a “disco” song, but, wow, Ms. Houston could SING! Listen to her live here. It truly is live, but sounds really close to the recording. Not too many performers could pull that off. She should have had more than one big pop chart hit. Houston was discovered by the manager of the 5th Dimension, Marc Gordon, & none other than Jimmy Webb wrote & produced her entire debut album. Her chart debut was Laura Nyro’s “Save The Country”, but the 5th had the bigger hit version. This time, it was her volcanic remake of a Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes album track that finally put her on the hit track. It’s one of the most enduring songs of the “disco era”.
“Dancing Queen” by Abba
(#4 last week) Check out the ladies outfits on this live lipsynched appearance! Abba wasn’t a group name that thrilled the members of the band (it was chosen by their manager, mixing up their name initials). Turns out, it’s very similar to the name of a well-known brand of pickled herring in Sweden!
“I Like Dreamin'” by Kenny Nolan
(#2 last week) Kenny likes dreamin’, all right. His eyes adored you, Ms. Marmalade. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Yes, the man wrote or co-wrote all three hits. Nolan also is the falsetto-voiced lead singer on “Get Dancin” by Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes!
“Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary MacGregor
(#1 last week) Co-written by Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary). Oh, the irony. Mary MacGregor HATES her only hit. Why? It broke up her marriage. When this unexpectedly hit big, her career became her “other lover”, & her husband couldn’t stand Mary suddenly being away all the time. If he had just waited a year or two…… Hey, what was in the water in 1977? Another big hit just a few months later: “Tryin’ to love two….sure ain’t easy to do”.
Love Theme From “A Star Is Born” (Evergreen) by Barbra Streisand
(#3 last week; 1st week at #1) Babs wrote the music, Paul Williams (the short blond Paul Williams) the words, & it won the Oscar. In fact, it was the only Academy Award nomination for the movie, a box office hit that took a critical drubbing. Not the song, though.