Don’s Top 10 From March 9, 1981
Back...back...back into time in "The Time Machine" landing on Monday, March 9, 1981. Here's your local top 10 singles.
(#12 last week) Second single from the album of the same name, produced by Barry Gibb. Even though The Bee Gees run on the charts was just about over, their writing & production help was still being heavily courted in the 80s.
(#5 last week) The Jersey cowboy! By way of Brooklyn, where Eddie was born. He grew up in East Orange & cut his teeth performing at a bar in Newark in the 60s. Eddie first hit the country chart in 1976, but his earliest taste of success came in 1970 when Elvis Presley recorded his song "Kentucky Rain" & made it a classic.
(#6 last week) Many people consider this the most nakedly emotional song ever written by a man for the woman he loves. A PERFECT slow dancer.
(#9 last week) I appreciate this craftsmanship of this smash more now than when it was on the charts. Truly a catchy little pop-rock gem. REO Speedwagon (took their name from a 1911 fire truck) were signed to Epic Records way back in 1971, & were not instant superstars, but steadily toured year after year, & gradually built up their fan base, so by 1981, they exploded with this first single friom "Hi Infidelty". For me personally, though, their best is 1978's "Time For Me To Fly". For some reason, that didn't cross over from album rock radio to top 40 radio in most cities. Should have.
(#13 last week) Music from the soundtrack of the remake of "The Jazz Singer", which starred Neil in the Al Jolson role. Both the movie & Neil's acting were both critically roasted, but the film was a box office hit & the album & three singles were all smashes.
(#7 last week) Here's another single bigger locally than nationally. Remake of a 60s Philly soul stirrer by the Intruders, written by the great team of Gamble/Huff. Tierra was a 7-man Latin band from L.A. 3 of the group used to be in El Chicano ("Viva Tirado", "Tell Her She's Lovely"). Sadly, bass player Steve Carlos Falomir passed away on January 21, 2012.
(#4 last week) It didn't take long for rap music to hit the 'mainstream", just two years removed from "Rapper's Delight". "Rapture" was the first rap song many people had ever heard. It really cemented Blondie's status as an adventurous act, not afraid to try (& succeed) with different sounding records. Strangely, though, this would be their last big hit. I'm kinda surprised there's never been a Blondie resurgence on the charts, given how fresh their hits still sound.
(#3 last week) In the I-did-not-know-that-department, Dolly's uncle was Buck Owens, the co-host of "Hee Haw". This was Dolly's biggest pop crossover hit as a singer, but not as a songwriter. That would be "I Will Always Love You". That song alone generates her a six-figure yearly income.
(#2 last week) You would have thought this party anthem by Jersey boys J.T. Taylor & company would be a surefire #1 hit, & you'd be right--but nationally, where it hit the top for two weeks. Shockingly, this did NOT get to #1 locally, peaking here at #2 for four weeks. What did the American hostages hear as they got off the plane from Iran after 444 days in captivity? This song, played over loudspeakers. What a moment.
(#1 last week; 5th week at #1) Nationally, this stayed at #1 for one week. Locally? SIX weeks! Not only did Blondie bring new wave, reggae & rap to the masses, Debbie Harry also was influential in the fashion world, almost singlehandedly bringing the minidress back into style. Thanks Debbie! :-) Even though she's associated with New York City, Debbie currently lives in Monmouth County.