Don’s Top 10 From September 22, 1977
The Time Machine flies to Thursday, September 22, 1977, with the local singles survey. Let’s go!
“Strawberry Letter 23″ by The Brothers Johnson
(#8 last week) Remake of a tune first written & recorded by funk pioneer Shuggie Otis (the son of Johnny “Willie & The Hand Jive” Otis). Lee Ritenour plays the lead guitar here.
“Handy Man” by James Taylor
(#7 last week) Remake of a hit in 1960 by Jimmy Jones (written by Jones & Otis Blackwell) & in 1964 by Del Shannon. Taylor’s Grammy-winning version had Leah Kunkel singing backup.
“Telephone Line” by Electric Light Orchestra
(#11 last week) One of the spookier hit songs ever, but it wasn’t designed for Halloween. Final single from their LP “A New World Record”, & their first gold single in the U.K.
“Best Of My Love” by The Emotions
(#4 last week) Same title as the Eagles ’75 smash, but a different song. Co-written by Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. Supposedly sampled without permission by Mariah Carey on her 90s hit “Emotions” (ironically titled).
“Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac
(#6 last week) “Don’t Stop” reflects Christine McVie’s feelings after her separation from Fleetwood Mac’s bass guitarist, John McVie, after eight years of marriage. “‘Don’t Stop’ was just a feeling. It just seemed to be a pleasant revelation to have that ‘yesterday’s gone’,” she remembers.
“Float On” by The Floaters
(#3 last week) A song instantly made fun of & parodied, by Cheech & Chong (“Bloat On”). Hard to remember a day when singles would ask each other what’s your sign?”
“Keep It Comin’ Love” by KC & The Sunshine Band
(#9 last week) The group was formed in 1973 by Harry Wayne Casey (KC), a record store employee & part-timer at TK Records in Miami. See, you CAN move up! This may be the group with the most-ever members: dozens, past & present, at last count.
“Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” by Meco
(#5 last week) No, this wasn’t IN the movie “Star Wars”, it was “inspired” by it, & far outsold the actual soundtrack. The biggest-selling instrumental hit of the 70s, certified a platinum single by the RIAA, when that meant 2 million units sold. At the age of 17, Meco Monardo won a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, which provided him with a solid classical and jazz music education. There, together with his two friends Chuck Mangione and Ron Carter, he started the Eastman School of Music.
“(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher & Higher” by Rita Coolidge
(#2 last week) Remake of the 1967 smash from Jackie Wilson. Of course, Rita was married to Kris Kristofferson, but I didn’t know her sister Priscilla was also married to another famous musician, Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & The MG’s). It’s his arrangement here.
“I Just Want To Be Your Everything” by Andy Gibb
(#1 last week; 9th week at #1) He was called “the baby Bee Gee”, but Andy was never officially a member of the group. Although this is credited as written by brother Barry, it’s known that he wrote it with Andy as a tribute to Andy’s new marriage.