Don’s Top 10 From March 31, 1975
Back into time once again, with the local hit music survey from Monday, March 31, 1975! Let’s do it:
“Lady” by Styx
(#9 last week) Broken by WLS/Chicago legend Dick Biondi, who played it every night, determined to make this a hit. It worked. On Wooden Nickel Records, which Styx had recently left for A&M. Postscript: in 1995, Styx had to rerecord “Lady” for the hits CD, due to a dispute with Wooden Nickel.
“No No Song” by Ringo Starr
(#14 last week) We didn’t know it at the time, but this goofy novelty would be Ringo’s last top 10 tune. Written by country man Hoyt Axton, who also wrote the huge hit “Joy To The World” (Three Dog Night), as well as “The Pusher” (Steppenwolf) & “Greenback Dollar” (The Kingston Trio). Writing hit songs ran in his family: Hoyt’s mom Mae Axton co-wrote Elvis’s classic “Heartbreak Hotel”.
“What Am I Gonna Do With You” by Barry White
(#13 last week) Did not know that Barry’s real last name was Carter. His success came very early, as pianist on the 50s classic “Goodnight My Love” (Jesse Belvin). He arranged the 1964 hit “Harlen Shuffle” for Bob & Earl.
“Shame, Shame, Shame” by Shirley & Company
(#6 last week) Speaking of 50s success, Shirley here was Shirley Goodman, one half of the duo Shirley & Lee, who had the early rock classic “Let The Good Times Roll”. 19 years between hits! Wow. This was written by Sylvia Robinson, who as Sylvia hit big in 1973 with “Pillow Talk”, & in 1957 with “Love Is Strange”. “& Company” was a man named Jesus Alvarez. I’ve always loved this propulsive disco song.
“Once You Get Started” by Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan
(#8 last week) Hard to imagine, but Rufus came together by evolving from the late 60s pop band The American Breed, whose big hit was “Bend Me, Shape Me” in 1968. Rufus’s first hit, “Tell Me Something Good”, was written by Stevie Wonder. Their second, “You Got The Love”, by Ray Parker Jr. This one was written by Gavin Christopher.
“Black Water” by The Doobie Brothers
(#5 last week) Another one of those hits that started as a “B” side, in this case, to “Another Park, Another Sunday”. It was never intended to be a hit, but radio discovered it (what a concept!) & forced the band to release it.
“Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle
(#1 last week) One of two songs in this week’s top 10 written by Bob Crewe & Kenny Nolan. Crewe is one of the greatest producers & writers in pop music history, most notably with the 4 Seasons (“Rag Doll”, “Let’s Hang On”, etc.), but many other enduring classics as well. Nolan would make the top 10 as an artist two years later with “I Like Dreamin”.
“My Eyes Adored You” by Frankie Valli
(#3 last week) “My Eyes Adored You” was actually a 4 Seasons song at first, but when Motown refused to release it, Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio & Valli bought the master back for $4000 & sold it to new label Private Stock, so sure were they of it’s success. They were right. One of the biggest comebacks ever was on the way.
“Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton
(#2 last week) “Lovin’ You” was only the third #1 song of the rock era to not feature a percussion instrument, following “Yesterday” in 1965 & “Time In A Bottle” in 1974. You’ve probably heard that Minnie’s daughter went into show biz, too: Maya Rudolph of “SNL” & “Bridesmaids” fame.
“Have You Never Been Mellow” by Olivia Newton-John
(#4 last week; 1st week at #1) Livvy was on a hot streak here. This was her second straight #1 hit & her fourth in a row to be certified gold for sales of at least one million copies. It not only went to #1 pop, it was #1 AC & #3 country.