Don’s Top 10 From May 25, 1975
amazon.com Into “The Time Machine” we go once again, stopping on Sunday, May 25, 1975. These were the local top 10 singles.
“How Long” by Ace
(#13 last week) Paul Carrack, with the first of his several chart appearances fronting different bands. He also had a few solo hits, notably, “Don’t Shed A Tear”, 14 years after this was a hit.
“Shining Star” by Earth, Wind & Fire
(#10 last week) After YEARS of bubbling under the top 40 on the pop side, this soul big band broke through with an impossible-to-resist jam “Shining Star”. I HAVE to sing along with this every time!
“Jackie Blue” by The Ozark Mountain Daredevils
(#9 last week) How many times did the great DJ Dan Ingram allude to something salacious here? A lot. And we loved it, because it was Big Dan, kemosabe.
“Walking In Rhythm” by The Blackbyrds
(#3 last week) The only big pop chart hit for the jazzy soul band from D.C. Leader Donald Byrd went to high school with……Casey Kasem, which gave the “American Top 40″ host something to mention as part of his trivia.
“Ease On Down The Road” by Consumer Rapport
(#5 last week) One of the rare local hits to not even make the national top 40. Why a hit here? Besides the easy-to-dance-to groove, it’s the big tune from the Broadway musical hit “The Wiz”.
“Bad Luck, Part 1″ by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
(#4 last week) Combine smooth disco with the gritty vocals of Teddy Pendergrass & you get this classic, bigger locally than nationally. I couldn’t find it, but maybe you can find the intro to this video, with “Soul Train” guest host, a clearly stoned Richard Pryor, interviewing the band.
“Before The Next Teardrop Falls” by Freddy Fender
(#8 last week) A great story of redemption! Fender spent years in jail in the 60s for smoking pot. Maybe he grew his hair to awesome Afro proportions to hide the weed?
“He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)” by Tony Orlando & Dawn
(#2 last week) There were lots of 50s & 60s remakes in the mid 70s, but how many also changed their titles? This was originally titled “He Will Break Your Heart” in 1960 for the Iceman, Jerry Butler (what a cool nickname). If I recall, this song actually brought Orlando a bit a coolness to add to his then massive popularity. It was perceived as a bit less corny than his ragtime-style hits he had had in the last few years.
“Philadelphia Freedom” by The Elton John Band
(#1 last week; was #1 for 4 weeks) Why, out of all the many Elton John singles, was this one labeled by “The Elton John Band”? Very cool video of Elton on “Soul Train”. It was the first time the teen dancers had heard the song, & you can tell by their reaction that the song would be a smash. You couldn’t be any hotter than John in 1975: this wasn’t on any album (yet), but he still HAS the #1 album, & another song from a movie soundtrack (“Tommy”) was being played on top 40, even though it wasn’t a single.
“The Hustle” by Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
(#7 last week; 1st week at #1) McCoy, mainly known as a writer-producer, ascends to the top spot with a big jump, and the biggest dance craze since “The Twist” 13 years earlier. Among Van’s classics are “Baby I’m Yours (Barbara Lewis, 1965) & “5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love)” (The Presidents, 1970). Van died way too young, at 39, in 1979.