Don’s Top 10 From May 12, 1972
“The Time Machine” is in for a landing on Friday, May 12. 1972. Here are the local top 10 singles. amazon
“A Cowboy’s Work Is Never Done” by Sonny & Cher
(#13 last week) Their last big hit as a duo came just a few months into their hit CBS variety series. Strange sounding tune. Sonny wrote it & Snuff Garrett produced (as usual).
“Look What You Done For Me” by Al Green
(#7 last week) Al Greene (original spelling) was born in Arkansas but grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Al began performing gospel music with his brothers when he was 10. Brought up in a very religious family, Al’s dad kicked him out of the house when he caught him listening to Jackie Wilson’s music. “Look What you Done For Me” was in the middle of an incredible streak: it was the third of seven straight certified-gold million-selling singles for Green.
“I Gotcha” by Joe Tex
(#4 last week) In hindsight, the lyrics of this smash are unsettling at least & creepy at most, but what did we know back in ’72? This was VERY easy to dance to, as you can see from “Soul Train”.
“Betcha By Golly, Wow” by The Stylistics
(#3 last week) When “they” say music ain’t what it used to be, they usually refer to songs such as this, when soul & pop met in classic after classic. The Philly music scene was pumping out hit after hit. EVERYONE can slow dance to this. Written by the legendary Thom Bell & Linda Creed. Strange but true: Connie Stevens recorded this first, in 1970!
“Rockin’ Robin” by Michael Jackson
(#2 last week) This could be a hit today: while finding the video for this article, my 5th grader-son came up & started dancing to it! I told him Michael was 13 & a half when this was a hit, & he said, “huh? When did his voice change, dad?” I guess late……
“I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers
(#10 last week) One of my all-time favorite hits, I simply never get tired of this incredibly soulful jam! The intro is especially exciting. A secret: the family did not perform any of the music: it was done by the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.
“Vincent” by Don McLean
(#6 last week) Not many people refer to this beautiful ballad by its real name, “Vincent”. They call it “Starry, Starry Night”, which refers to Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night”. It was the followup to “American Pie”, & about as different a song as you could get.
“Oh Girl” by The Chi-Lites
(#8 last week) That’s not a harmonica on this soulful hit (6 of the top 10 this week are soul songs), that’s a melodica, which has a musical keyboard on top, & is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument.
“Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard” by Paul Simon
(#9 last week) Do songs come any catchier than this? No! Amazingly, it only got to #24 nationally, but you made this a local #2 hit, & it’s certainly grown in popularity as an oldie nationwide since 1972. Speaking of unusual musical instruments, hhe unique percussion sound in the song was created with a Cuica, a Brazilian friction drum instrument often used in Samba music. The video here was made in 1988 for a Simon hits collection. Very cool to see Mickey Mantle.
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack
(#1 last week; 4th week at #1) You may know this was recorded by Flack back in 1969, & didn’t become a hit until Clint Eastwood chose it for his movie “Play Misty For Me”. But did you know the song was written way back in 1957, & was widely recorded by many folk music artists through the 1960s? The songwriter, Ewan MacCall, was known to hate all of the cover versions, feeling they lacked the subtlety of his original. I’m sure he didn’t complain about the royalty checks.