Don’s Top 10 From May 4, 1979
Back I go in the Time Machine to the last months of disco dominance of the pop charts. It’s Friday, May 4, 1979, & these are the local top 10 singles.amazon.com
“I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)” by Instant Funk
(#4 last week) South Jersey band, who achieved much success as session musicians in Philadelphia before their one hit as artists. Got to #1 on the disco & R&B chart. Bigger pop locally than nationally.
“Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)” by GQ
(#11 last week) From the Bronx. Co-lead vocalist Keith Crier’s dad was a one-hit wonder with the doo-wop band The Halos (“Nag”, 1961), & his nephew is Keith Sweat (“I Want You”, 1987).
“Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead
(#7 last week) This anthem was the duo’s “declaration of independence” from another famous duo, their label head Gamble & Huff. Sold over two million singles.
“Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” by The Jackson
(#14 last week) Listen to the “Bandstand” crowd’s reaction to Michael Jackson. You could hear the freight train coming. Hard to imagine now, but he was a sex symbol for awhile! Another two-million selling single.
“Music Box Dancer” by Frank Mills
(#8 last week) Mills was a Canadian pianist who was in the one-hit wonder band The Bells, but left before their only hit, 1971’s “Stay Awhile”. “Music Box Dancer” was an unlikely hit amongst all the disco, an easy listening piano instrumental. It was recorded back in 1974, put out as a throwaway B side in ’79, & the label & Mills got surprised when the B side became the hit.
“What A Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers
(#3 last week) Record Of The Year, & Song Of The Year (songwriters: Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins). I didn’t know this: Michael Jackson claimed to have contributed at least one backing track to the original Doobie Brothers recording, but was not credited for having done so.
“In The Navy”/”Manhattan Woman” by The Village People
(#5 last week) The B side of “In The Navy”, “Manhattan Woman”, got no airplay outside of our area, but it should have. Great record. It’s so obscure nationally it’s not even on youtube.
“Knock On Wood” by Amii Stewart
(#1 last week; was #1 for 3 weeks) Disco remake of the 1966 soul classic written by Eddie Floyd (who sang it) & guitarist Steve Cropper (“play it, Steve”, in “Soul Man”). This is one of the most exciting disco hits of all time. At the very least spelling her first name with two I’s instead of a Y insured Ms. Stewart immortality.
“Heart Of Glass” by Blondie
(#2 last week) I’ve always been a “leg man”, probably because skirts couldn’t get any shorter when I came of age. So, much of the 70s disappointed me, with unisex fashions being most popular. And then along came the lovely Debbie Harry, who almost singlehandedly revived minidresses. Thanks, Debbie! Oh yeah, their music also was insanely catchy.
“Reunited” by Peaches & Herb
(#9 last week; 1st week at #1) THE slow dance jam of 1979. Big nationally, even bigger locally. Herb Fame (actual last name: Feemster) has several times over his life left show biz to change careers, first as a Washington police officer, then later in government security.