Don’s Top 10 From November 23, 1969
It's a Miracle Mets/Apollo 11/Woodstock/Microminiskirts/Laugh-In edition of "Don's Top 10", the local list from Sunday, November 23, 1969. Sock it to me!
(#26 last week) It's been a pleasure recently to make the aquaintance of Gary DeCarlo, the man who co-wrote & sang lead on this unexpected smash, which has endured partly because of it's multpurpose use in sending someone off, sports teams beating the hated enemy, etc.And of course, because it's so amazingly catchy. Great job, Gary!
(#7 last week) The King Swings! So...what about the strange early fadeout--then abrupt-fadein? According to oldiesboard.com moderator Mike Riccio, "Some say it was done to point out the in and out drama of a trapped relationship. others insist it was done to replicate the Elvis performed it on stage, leaving and then returning to finish the song. But the most interesting theory is that Felton Jarvis, Elvis's longtime producer, did it to protest Elvis recording it at American Recording Studios. A big-time control freak,Jarvis hated the studio facilities and many feel he did it just to mess with people's minds intentionally".
(#5 last week) You probably know the lead singer is Ron Dante, & the backup voices, Toni Wine & Andy Kim (who had his own hit just weeks earlier with "Baby I Love You"). But did you know that handclaps (!) were credited to Ray Stevens? Yes, the "Everything Is Beautiful" singer, who also had a 1969 hit with "Guitarzan".
(#12 last week) When no less than Frank Sinatra called this song, George Harrison first A-sided single, "the greatest love song ever written", well that is praise of the highest order. The Beatles second-most covered song, witgh over 150 versions recorded, inlcluding Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, James Brown, Shirley Basset, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker & Isaac Hayes. Harrison's favorite was the James Brown, which he kept in his personal jukebox.
(#9 last week) Sam Cooke's nephew, Greaves grew up on an Indian reservation & then moved to England. This ode to infidelity was produced by no less than Atlantic Records legend Ahmet Ertegun. It sounded like nothing else on top 40 radio in 1969, with it's Latin horn flavor.
(#8 last week) First recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary in 1966, this was BS&T's third straight million-selling single in just six months, & the third straight to peak at #2. I'm waiting for a movie of the life of Laura Nyro, who wrote this classic. Nyro should have been a superstar artist, but wasn't for a variety of reasons. However, she wrote dozens of all-time classics, like "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Stoney End" & two of the other songs on this survey, "Wedding Bell Blues & "Eli's Coming". In 1997, Nyro died of overian cancer at 49, just like her mother had at the same age.
(#3 last week)This blues-rock L.A. band was discovered by the great Del Shannon, who arranged this killer rework of Burt Bacharach's classic Shirelles hit. Never had another hit, but should have, Lead singer Gayle McCormick did have a medium-sized 1971 solo hit called "It's A Cryan' Shame"..
(#4 last week) Are you shy in certain situations? Even the greats like Paul McCartney are.Paul sings backup here, but he didn't do it live with John. He said, "on Abbey Road we don't do harmonies like we used to. I think it's sad. On "Come Together" I would have liked to sing harmony with John and I think he would have liked me to but I was too embarrassed to ask him and I don't work to the best of my abilities in that situation". The song only peaked at #4 in the U.K., probably due to the BBC originally banning it due to the Coca-Cola mention in the lyrics.
(#2 last week) Yes, James Taylor first recorded with a group called The Flying Machine, and yes, it was in 1969, but NO, it is not THIS Flying Machine! They were from England, but this was not a hit there. Was here: sold a million. Co-writer Tony Macaulay wrote a TON of big hits, including "Build Me Up, Buttercup", "Love Grows" & "Don't Give Up On Us".
(#1 last week; 4th week at #1) Even though Laura Nyro wrote this in 1966, it sure seemed like it was writen for the 5th, where group members Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. were already engaged but had not set a wedding date. The group made TV appearance in wedding outfits, leading to much amusement. The was the beginning of Miss McCoo stepping out more as lead singer, as opposed to 5-member harmony.By the way, in 2014, the happy couple is still the happy couple, with one of show biz'z longest marriages, 45 years and counting.