Don’s Top 10 From May 11, 1981
Back…back…back into time, as my “Time Machine” flies to Monday, May 11, 1981. Here’s the local top 10 singles:amazon.com
“How ‘Bout Us” by Champaign
(#16 last week) Always loved this one. R&B at its creamiest. Champaign was more successful locally than nationally. “Try Again” was a nice-sized hit for them here.
“Magic Man” by Robert Winters & Fall
(#9 last week) Not the song by Heart. Honestly, I have zero memory of this one, because I was in Scranton, & we didn’t play this strictly local hit (it peaked at #101 nationally). Hearing it for the first time right here. Not a bad little soul song.
“Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes
(#11 last week) One of the biggest hits of the decade, this was co-written by 60s star Jackie DeShannon & first recorded by her in 1974. Bette Davis herself was said to have been thrilled to be name-checked in a popular song & approached Carnes & DeShannon to thank them for “making her a part of modern times”. BTW, go check a recent photo of Kim. She’s barely aged in 32 years!
“Shaddap You Face” by Joe Dolce
(“Extra” last week) I am so looking forward to playing this on my show! Total earworm. This is so catchy, it could be a hit today. It wasn’t played much in the states in 1981, but it was a smash for everyone who did. A worldwide hit. Dolce (pronounced “Dol-chay”) was an American who moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1978.
“Angel Of The Morning” by Juice Newton
(#5 last week) The answer to a cool trivia question: Name a hit song written by Angelina Jolie’s uncle! That would be Chip Taylor, brother of Jon Voight. Not only did he write this one, he wrote “Wild Thing”, a #1 song for the Troggs. Juice (real first name: Judy) was born in New Jersey! Lakehurst, but went to high school in Virginia Beach, which leads me to think she grew up in a military family.
“Being With You” by Smokey Robinson
(#6 last week) Not many artists have had the longevity of Smokey Robinson. He first hit the charts in 1959! Smokey’s managed to stay relevant for three generations of music fans. This was the followup to “Cruisin'”, & an even bigger hit.
“Kiss On My List” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
(#3 last week) Wow, I thought “The Midnight Special” didn’t allow lipsynching. Guess I was wrong! Even though the previous single from the album “Voices”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”, did well enough to return Daryl & John to the charts after a three-year absence, this single REALLY cemented them as top 40 radio regulars, the start of an incredible 7 year run.
“Just The Two Of Us” by Grover Washington Jr. & Bill Withers
(#4 last week) From Washington’s album “Winelight”, this song brought smooth jazz & R&B closer together. It won the Grammy for Best R&B Song for writers Withers, Ralph MacDonald & William Salter. If I were picking a, um…seduction mix tape, this’d be on it…..
“Sukiyaki” by A Taste Of Honey
(#2 last week) “Sukiyaki” was an unlikely hit in 1963 by Kyu Sakamoto, the only Japanese-language hit EVER here, & an equally-unlikely remake, in English. Actually, just the melody was used, with new lyrics. It took the duo A Taste Of Honey from one-hit wonders to two-hit wonders. Sadly, Kyu Sakamoto died in a horrific plane crash in 1985, as the Japan Air Lines jet he was on slammed into a mountain, killing 520 people.
“Morning Train (Nine To Five)” by Sheena Easton
(#1 last week; 4th week at #1) Everywhere in the world except North America, this record is titled simply “Nine To Five”. But after Dolly Parton’s #1 success just a few months earlier here in the states, the decision was made to retitle the song for our market. It was actually a bigger hit here than in the u.k., where it peaked at #3.