top 50 "lost" US hits of the early '70s

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Poll Closing Date: Thursday, 21 January 2021 00:00 (in 3 days)

one more of these for now -- supposedly a late '90s installment will come eventually. this time it's 1970 thru 1974.

as before, the bigger a song was upon release (per the year-end charts) and the less it gets played on the radio now, the higher on the ranking it appears. a song on this list is not necessarily forgotten but has generally been abandoned by your classic hits and adult contemporary fms.

1. Wayne Newton - Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast
2. Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling
3. Melanie & The Edwin Hawkins Singers - Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)
4. Murray Head And The Trinidad Singers - Superstar
5. Paul Anka - (You're) Having My Baby
6. Donny Osmond - Sweet And Innocent
7. The Osmonds - Down By The Lazy River
8. Kenny Rogers & The First Edition - Something's Burning
9. Mel And Tim - Starting All Over Again
10. Bobby "Boris" Pickett And The Crypt-Kickers - Monster Mash
11. Charles Wright And The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Love Land
12. Helen Reddy - I Don't Know How To Love Him
13. The Osmonds - Yo-Yo
14. The Chakachas - Jungle Fever
15. The Partridge Family Starring Shirley Jones Featuring David Cassidy - Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted
16. Donny Osmond - Go Away Little Girl
17. Mac Davis - One Hell Of A Woman
18. Clint Holmes - Playground In My Mind
19. The Bells - Stay Awhile
20. Jim Stafford - Spiders & Snakes
21. Michael Jackson - Ben
22. Cher - Dark Lady
23. Daddy Dewdrop - Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)
24. Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando - Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose
25. The O'Jays - Put Your Hands Together
26. Sammy Davis, Jr. & The Mike Curb Congregation - The Candy Man
27. Sonny & Cher - A Cowboys Work Is Never Done
28. Mac And Katie Kissoon - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
29. Helen Reddy - Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)
30. Andy Williams - (Where Do I Begin) Love Story
31. Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band - Scorpio
32. Ronnie Dyson - (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?
33. The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau (Part I)
34. The Osmonds - One Bad Apple
35. Ray Stevens - The Streak
36. Bobby Goldsboro - Watching Scotty Grow
37. Ike & Tina Turner And The Ikettes - I Want To Take You Higher
38. Hurricane Smith - Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?
39. Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
40. Helen Reddy - Delta Dawn
41. Judy Collins - Amazing Grace
42. The Jimmy Castor Bunch - Troglodyte (Cave Man)
43. The Temptations - Masterpiece
44. Frijid Pink - House Of The Rising Sun
45. Helen Reddy - Peaceful
46. Bo Donaldson And The Heywoods - Billy, Don't Be A Hero
47. Donny & Marie Osmond - I'm Leaving It (All) Up To You
48. Joe Tex - I Gotcha
49. The 8th Day - She's Not Just Another Woman
50. Hot Butter - Popcorn


dyl, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 07:16 (four days ago) link

once again for me personally, the ones i am most familiar with are instrumentals ("popcorn", "jungle fever", "tubular bells", etc.). i spot-checked some of the others that i wasn't sure if i'd heard but nonetheless i'm not sure i'll be voting in this one!

dyl, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 07:16 (four days ago) link

bonus, below the top 50:

51. Freda Payne - Bring The Boys Home
52. Joe Simon - Power Of Love
53. Donny Osmond - Puppy Love
54. Gilbert O'Sullivan - Get Down
55. Clarence Carter - Patches
56. The Pipkins - Gimme Dat Ding
57. The Jackson 5 - Mama's Pearl
58. The Blue Ridge Rangers - Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
59. Sister Janet Mead - The Lord's Prayer
60. Robin McNamara - Lay A Little Lovin' On Me
61. The Buoys - Timothy
62. Bobby Vinton - Sealed With A Kiss
63. Lobo - Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend
64. Lamont Dozier - Trying To Hold On To My Woman
65. Ringo Starr - Oh My My
66. Marvin Hamlisch - The Entertainer
67. The Supremes - Up The Ladder To The Roof
68. The Partridge Family Starring Shirley Jones Featuring David Cassidy - I Woke Up In Love This Morning
69. The Poppy Family Featuring Susan Jacks - Which Way You Goin' Billy?
70. Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show - Sylvia's Mother
71. Carpenters - Hurting Each Other
72. Sailcat - Motorcycle Mama
73. Jud Strunk - Daisy A Day
74. Marmalade - Reflections Of My Life
75. Jermaine Jackson - Daddy's Home
76. Billy Preston - Outa-Space
77. Bobby Sherman - Easy Come, Easy Go
78. Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were
79. Godspell - Day By Day
80. New York City - I'm Doin' Fine Now
81. Jim Stafford - My Girl Bill
82. John Denver - Sunshine On My Shoulders
83. Cher - Half-Breed
84. Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
85. Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
86. Eddie Kendricks - Boogie Down
87. Sylvia - Pillow Talk
88. Gladys Knight And The Pips - I've Got To Use My Imagination
89. Bobby Womack - Lookin' For A Love
90. The Free Movement - I've Found Someone Of My Own
91. Carly Simon & James Taylor - Mockingbird
92. Pacific Gas & Electric - Are You Ready?
93. Wilson Pickett - Don't Knock My Love
94. Robert John - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
95. Jim Stafford - Wildwood Weed
96. Anne Murray - You Won't See Me
97. Carpenters - Top Of The World
98. Mouth & MacNeal - How Do You Do?
99. Ocean - Put Your Hand In The Hand
100. Michael Jackson - Rockin' Robin

bonus-bonus, top 10 "least lost" year-end charting hits from these years:

1. The Doors - Riders On The Storm
2. David Bowie - Space Oddity
3. Pink Floyd - Money
4. The Edgar Winter Group - Free Ride
5. The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
6. The Doors - Love Her Madly
7. Steve Miller Band - The Joker
8. The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
9. Elton John - Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time)
10. Wings - Live And Let Die

(of these, the author of the feature sean ross notes that "papa was a rollin' stone" and "won't get fooled again" placed not because they're broadly played nowadays but because their year-end rankings were fairly soft. "stone" was a #1 hit in 1972, but ended up at the bottom of the 1973 year-end chart (and missing the 1972 year-end), probably because its charting weeks were split in a fairly unlucky manner between the two survey periods.)

dyl, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 07:24 (four days ago) link

"live and let die" is a horrible song and every time i hear it on the radio today i'm shocked that it was ever a hit

dyl, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 07:24 (four days ago) link

I hate it so much, I cannot believe anyone could ever like it. Just garbage

Pere Legume (the table is the table), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 12:52 (four days ago) link

My, uh, wheelhouse...Both lists every bit as horrifyingly junky as you would expect, K-Tel writ large. I'm sure "Jungle Fever" will win the first--not my pick, but it's great in Boogie Nights (the scene where Jack Horner sends Roller Girl in search of Eddie). I actually love both Osmonds songs, "One Bad Apple" (shameless imitation though it is) a little more than "Down by the Lazy River." The Osmonds and the Partridge Family and solo Osmonds are all over both lists--radio has evidently come down hard on them.

From the second, I'm glad to say "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" is finally getting some acknowledgement (someone linked to Pitchfork review the other day). It's been one of my favourite records from the early '70s since I was kid; again, used brilliantly in Mad Men (Don after he sells his apartment, one of the last few episodes). Other favourites: "Sylvia's Mother" (bizarre), "Hurting Each Other," and "How Do You Do?" (which I hated at the time, and came around on the last few years because of an insane video on YouTube). Elton from the third list.

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 13:08 (four days ago) link

Missed Melanie from the first list--that's great too.

Most horrific: Wayne Newton, Chuck Berry, Paul Anka, Bobby "Boris" Pickett (a seasonal perennial, I know--had to listen to it over the P.A. every Halloween), Clint Holmes, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Stevens. From the second list: Sister Janet Mead (probably...can't really remember how it goes), Ringo Starr.

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 13:56 (four days ago) link

Impulsively voted for "Jungle Fever" but yes, the instrumentals as a group once again stand out.

17. Mac Davis - One Hell Of A Woman

This is nice but I prefer Vikki Carr's version which changes the song from third to first person and thus adds more pathos.

Also, Helen Reddy's "Delta Dawn" is great, but so is Tanya Tucker's one-year-earlier version which Reddy's was apparently modeled on.

Josefa, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 13:56 (four days ago) link

Would've thought Gilbert O'Sullivan's pick would be "Clair."

i'm so into fping right now (Eric H.), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 14:19 (four days ago) link

Such a weird era for American top 40, with adult MOR (Wayne Newton, Andy Williams) and a lot of novelty hits mingling with rock and soul. Some absolute dreck on this list (looking at you, Bobby Goldsboro) but I like "Love Land" and "Funky Nassau," neither of which I remember from that time, I discovered them later. "Popcorn" was a fave as a kid, still like it, novelty though it may be. Voted "I Gotcha," also maybe a bit of a novelty, but funky as hell.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 14:54 (four days ago) link

(xpost) Didn't notice that--that is a surprise, "Get Down"'s much better.

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:05 (four days ago) link

Popcorn, by a mile.

enochroot, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:07 (four days ago) link

When ranking top 40 hits, I keep thinking the Osmonds and Paul Anka will shock me anew with greatness.

Such a weird era for American top 40

Agreed, schizy as all get out.

i'm so into fping right now (Eric H.), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:08 (four days ago) link

Well, except for the unity of there being six Osmond tracks in the top 50 here.

i'm so into fping right now (Eric H.), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:09 (four days ago) link

"Monster Mash" was #1 US hit in 1962. I guess it charted internationally in 1973? Hardly lost imo

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:17 (four days ago) link

I consider this era through early '76 as the lit-Winstons-and-thick-curtains variety show era of pop: the '60s reified as Dean Martin letting his sideburns go unruly.

if that Paul Anka song gets a single vote, I will eat all of ILX

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:21 (four days ago) link

"live and let die" is a horrible song and every time i hear it on the radio today i'm shocked that it was ever a hit

― dyl, Wednesday, January 13, 2021 2:24 AM bookmarkflaglink

I hate it so much, I cannot believe anyone could ever like it. Just garbage

― Pere Legume (the table is the table), Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:52 AM bookmarkflaglink

RONG

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:21 (four days ago) link

voted Ben, sweet song, sweet melody, nice arrangement.

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:23 (four days ago) link

I consider this era through early '76 as the lit-Winstons-and-thick-curtains variety show era of pop: the '60s reified as Dean Martin letting his sideburns go unruly.

This ... with the addition of peak Stevie Wonder.

i'm so into fping right now (Eric H.), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:23 (four days ago) link

Donny and Marie, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and Mac Davis all had their own TV variety shows.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:28 (four days ago) link

Weirdest--good-weird, awful-weird, but songs that probably wouldn't have been hits at any other time ever (except maybe the post-Elvis/pre-Beatles lull that was swamped with novelties too): "Jungle Fever," "Chick-a-Boom," "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" "Troglodyte," "I Gotcha," "Popcorn," "Timothy" (for subject matter more than the song itself), "Sylvia's Mother," the first two Jim Stafford songs, "How Do You Do?" Plus others.

Stevie Wonder, yes, but more generally black pop was brilliant during these years (not on these lists, happily--it all still gets played).

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:28 (four days ago) link

Left off Sonny and Cher obv. xp

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:30 (four days ago) link

I discovered Joe Simon just a few days ago. The Black crossover singles slap.

"Ain't Gonna Bump No More" is so, so delightfully mean.

i'm so into fping right now (Eric H.), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:32 (four days ago) link

I love The Temptations' Masterpiece as an album, but that's another song I don't think made my local top 40 at all.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:32 (four days ago) link

this list feels less "forgotten" to me because i have a ton of these songs in my personal playlist, but probably yeah all are completely vanished from the radio landscape etc. hard to believe "The Streak" is in that category, but probably so. lotta good or good-ish bubblegum margin stuff here - "chick-a-boom," "get down," "motorcycle mama" ...

"spiders and snakes" has a cool sound but a stupid sexist novelty theme. quietly, "don't expect me to be your friend" is incredibly unpleasant and ugly. my partner has a lifelong hatred of "Delta Dawn" owing to her mom singing it constantly and off-key. in turn, "sylvia's mother" was a minor running joke in my household after my dad kept pushing it as a totally incorrect Trivial Pursuit answer one time. i was about to say that "Timothy" is the "Him" of this list, but then i remembered that Rupert Holmes actually wrote and sang "Timothy!"

of the songs i know, "lay down (candles in the rain)" and "troglodyte" are probably the most impressive or substantial. voting "Lay Down" for the overwhelming sound of it --- a potentially good trip that feels like it could turn bad any second. truly bizarre as a hit song.

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:38 (four days ago) link

I appreciate “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” for the way Neneh Cherry sampled it in "Kisses on the Wind" but I can't listen to it.

"My Girl Stafford" is hilarious in its awfulness -- this shit worried straight guys in the early '70s, eh?

lol "My Girl Bill"

ok, it's blowing my mind that Murray Head, who I know from "One Night in Bangkok" also had a hit with a song from Jesus Christ Superstar.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:51 (four days ago) link

I've linked to it before, but "Lay Down" has a sort-of video, too, also bizarre (Edwin Hawkins singers invisible).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlp3wmE4bbI

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:55 (four days ago) link

Comment #2 for slocki's sad YouTube thread:

"It was 1971, I was 31 years old, a low almost suicidal point in my life after I got out of the service. I drove up to Topanga Canyon above Malibu and stopped at the Corral. A young lady asked me to play this song on the jukebox. We chatted and in the end she changed my life. Strange but true. Joanne McDonald...here's to you where ever you are!"

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:57 (four days ago) link

These 70s lists have been kind of intriguing because I often feel like I know a lot of 70s music but I hardly know anything on these, although there are a lot of names and titles that I know from reading, while virtually everything on the "least lost" lists is as familiar as any music could be. (Even "Ben" - I know it was MJ's first solo #1, recorded when he was 13, and I've probably listened to it at some point, but I can't call it to mind now. "Rockin' Robin", otoh, was still ubiquitous when I was a kid, it seemed, although I'm not even sure it was because of his version.) The 80s lists were not nearly this stark, on either side. "Tubular Bells" is definitely my favourite of the ones I know, and probably of the ones I don't know, but I'll listen more before voting.

Sharp! Distance! (Sund4r), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:06 (four days ago) link

ok, it's blowing my mind that Murray Head, who I know from "One Night in Bangkok" also had a hit with a song from Jesus Christ Superstar.

― that's not my post, Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:51 AM bookmarkflaglink

He was Judas on the original concept album recording

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:21 (four days ago) link

why the hell is Monster Mash on this list?

real muthaphuckkin jeez (crüt), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:43 (four days ago) link

like, clearly it's a Halloween single and wasn't released in the 70s, it hasn't been "forgotten" even in terms of radio play. terrible example.

real muthaphuckkin jeez (crüt), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:44 (four days ago) link

I appreciate “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” for the way Neneh Cherry sampled it in "Kisses on the Wind" but I can't listen to it.

― meticulously crafted, socially responsible, morally upsta (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:41 AM bookmarkflaglink

100% fair. it hasn't even aged well for me even between when i first discovered it circa 2006, and today.

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:16 (four days ago) link

I don't know how many know "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" but it's not the easiest thing to describe. "I think it's supposed to sound like Rudy Vallee"--except I'm not even sure how many people knew who Rudy Vallee was in 1972.

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:39 (four days ago) link

genuinely tough choice between charles wright and dennis coffey.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:00 (four days ago) link

why the hell is Monster Mash on this list?

It hit the Top 10 a second time in 1973. I wonder if there's some glitch in the methodology in which it doesn't get properly counted because it's never played in the context of being a '70s record, iow radio stations that play "The '70s" don't play it.

Josefa, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:15 (four days ago) link

Robert De Niro: "Are you talking to me." (Only makes sense if you're watching right now.)

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:16 (four days ago) link

I will never tire of Troglodyte.

Popcorn, Masterpiece, Jungle Fever and Monster Mash are all all time but it's Scorpio with a bullet.

stirmonster, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:17 (four days ago) link

(xpost)...Wrong thread!

clemenza, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 18:19 (four days ago) link

I don't know a lot of these, and I few of them ("Having My Baby," "Watching Scotty Grow," "Delta Dawn") I only really know by reputation, but I like "I Gotcha."

Langdon Alger Stole the Highlights (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 22:30 (four days ago) link

I apparently enjoy suffering by listening to all of the tunes in these threads I don't recognize by name, hoping to become the Proust of AM radio; "Peaceful" by Helen Reddy was the only one I had heard, and it's OK at least.
This era is just before my time, and the aura of most of this stuff probably already felt dusty to me as a kid. Tubular Bells was the first album I loved, but I would never listen to the single edit, so it's the Temptations (I've only heard the single edit of "Masterpiece").

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 14 January 2021 00:03 (three days ago) link

We once went to a really bad wedding, in a shitty place, with shitty food and many shitty people, and certainly shitty music. No one was dancing or wanted to dance until at some point the DJ put on "Dancing Queen." Finally, people started dancing ... and then they stopped it and switched to the "Monster Mash," apparently the couple's "song."

I know maybe 8 of the songs at the top by title.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 January 2021 00:09 (three days ago) link

If that's their song, i am really curious what they listen to when fucking

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Thursday, 14 January 2021 00:10 (three days ago) link

Did the BBC play any rock and roll in 1962?

Inside there's a box and that box has another box within (Sund4r), Thursday, 14 January 2021 03:46 (three days ago) link

they played field recordings of kids playing football in the alley

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Thursday, 14 January 2021 03:51 (three days ago) link

kicking a ball in the street iirc

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 14 January 2021 13:00 (three days ago) link

Most "lost hits" just got kicked onto someone's roof and were torn apart by hawks

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 14 January 2021 14:43 (three days ago) link

voting "Lay Down" for the overwhelming sound of it --- a potentially good trip that feels like it could turn bad any second. truly bizarre as a hit song.

Same, this is one of my favorite songs of all time. "We were so close there was no room/We bled inside each other's wounds" = chills down the spine

"Popcorn" and "Ben" also wonderful.

J. Sam, Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:37 (three days ago) link

The Jimmy Castor Bunch - Troglodyte (Cave Man)
Frijid Pink - House Of The Rising Sun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNS42Na2mpc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t40INnb6DnY

These are both quite good. Going with "Troglodyte" because it's an original song rather than a cover and, you know, Bertha Butt.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Thursday, 14 January 2021 16:19 (three days ago) link

voting "Lay Down" for the overwhelming sound of it --- a potentially good trip that feels like it could turn bad any second. truly bizarre as a hit song.

― Doctor Casino, Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:38 AM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

I ended up voting for Joe Tex, but "Lay Down" was a close second. I love how/that the drummer speeds way the fuck up throughout the song; it adds to the massiveness of the sound/song/sentiment. Drummers, sadly, don't do that anymore.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 14 January 2021 16:38 (three days ago) link

You can see the outline in the two lists of one of the stories from that moment, the big Richard Nader/American Graffiti/Happy Days/Sha Na Na nostalgia boom: Chuck Berry, Paul Anka (yes, it pains me to list them back-to-back), Bobby Vinton, "Monster Mash," "Chick-a-Boom" (somebody's idea of a Coasters imitation, I think), "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" (most but not all of the nostalgia was centered around rock and roll), "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" (ditto), " I'm Leaving It (All) Up To You," "Puppy Love," "Daddy's Home," "Mockingbird," "Rockin' Robin"...more than an outline, actually--it was everywhere, a lot of it terrible. Glam was the best manifestation.

clemenza, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:02 (three days ago) link

totally. The Cruisin' compilations began in 1970 as well, and probably played a part.

Showaddywaddy were also huge on that bandwagon but never really made it in the US, I think.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:06 (three days ago) link

I loved those comps. My dad had em

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:11 (three days ago) link

Showaddywaddy only sold any significant amount of records in the UK and Ireland. A very peculiar to the British Isles thing going on with them Darts and a handful of other ultra watered down rock n'roll acts. I embraced them wholeheartedly as a ten year old.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:22 (three days ago) link

(xpost) Huge disconnect--they didn't chart a single Top 100 hit in the States or Canada (now and again, we took cues from the British charts). I think a have a song or two on compilations.

clemenza, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:22 (three days ago) link

"Lay Down" is quite a track - never heard of it before today. I guess modern classic rock programmers think it's too hippie? Or her voice is too shrill? Wrong, but it's definitely less digestible than the Janis Joplin songs they play over and over.

Helen Reddy is an interesting case - she had a parade of hits but nowadays if the average person knows her at all it's for a single song, or more specifically the title of a single song.

The Wayne Newton #1 song is a snoozer.

skip, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:36 (three days ago) link

xpost I'm guessing Sha Na Na, who you already mentioned, had already sort of saturated the market with a version that played better here.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:37 (three days ago) link

Helen Reddy (RIP) almost perfectly epitomizes the kind of "variety show entertainer" category who belongs to this period, and who survived for a while on soft-rock/adult-contemporary/dentist's-office formats until just too much time had gone by. People who missed their biggest hits in later years could buy a Time-Life variety comp, and people who'd actually bought some of their albums, and missed them, could clean up on 10 or 12-track artist comps at Walmart or Target. Reddy was probably big enough to sustain the latter, whereas your Jim Staffords would have depended on the former. I think.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:41 (three days ago) link

I had forgotten even Sha Na Na had a (syndicated) TV show that ran for four seasons.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:46 (three days ago) link

After 20 years of telling students to never trust Wikipedia, that's always my first stop when checking something...Showaddywaddy's singles discography suggests their records weren't even released in North America; no column for North American releases. God, they were huge in the UK--although their heyday was actually the second half of the '70s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showaddywaddy#Discography

Tony Orlando & Dawn were maybe the definitive example of DC's variety-show entertainer.

clemenza, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:48 (three days ago) link

Or as I thought of them as a kid overhearing the radio back-announcements, the trio of Tony, Orlando, and Don.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:53 (three days ago) link

There is, of course, also “the Continent”.

Darts (who are late 70s) were very popular in the Netherlands as well, simultaneously with their UK chart success.
Showaddywaddy less consistently so, but they were big in Germany. “Under The Moon Of Love” was their (only) big continental hit (in 1976-77, most of their big hits are in the second half of the decade).
Mud, who were huge in the mid-70s, straddle glam and retro rock-n-roll, I guess.

Discogs backs up the fact Showaddywaddy never got released in North America. Nobody's loss.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:57 (three days ago) link

Sorry for the derail, but I'm now obsessed with Showaddywaddy.

First charted single (hit #2): "Hey Rock and Roll."
Second charted single (only made it to #15): "Rock 'n Roll Lady."

(Band takes a time out and tries to figure out what went wrong.)

Third charted single: "Hey Mr. Christmas."

clemenza, Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:59 (three days ago) link

Helen Reddy was way smarter than that, though, Dr. C. I spent time with her comp a few years ago; the sharpness of the songcraft and performance impressed me. "Angie Baby" and "I Am Woman" may be Hollywood's idea of feminism, but it's Reddy's too, and she sold the idea to millions of Winston-smoking TV watchers..

x post. They were blundering about until 1976.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 20:07 (three days ago) link

I had NO idea who the hell Showaddywaddy were until I ranked Brit hits a few months ago, my god.

Helen Reddy's commercial descent was oddly abrupt. Her greatest hits LP (which is killer) stayed on the chart for almost the entirety of 1976 and went double platinum; but then after 1977 she never charted another album, though she kept producing them for a while.

Josefa, Thursday, 14 January 2021 20:23 (three days ago) link

more ILM threads than [enter your favourite artist]:

Showaddywaddy C/D

Say Something Interesting About Showaddywaddy

Best Songs On Showaddywaddy's Greatest Hits!

Option Votes
Hey Rock'n'roll 8
Under The Moon Of Love 5
Three Steps To heaven 3
Chain Gang 2
Trocadero 1
Heartbeat 1
Heavenly 1
Rock'n'roll Lady 1
Hey Mr Christmas 1
King Of The Jive 0
Sweet Music 0
Johnny Remember me 0

prize content!

Interesting to me to see Showaddywaddy's approximation of 50s garb (updated drape coat and brothel creepers) vs. Sha Na Na's Brylcreem and black leather jackets a la Fonzie.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 14 January 2021 20:28 (three days ago) link

and then there was the time Showaddywaddy supported Einsturzende Neubauten.....

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 20:33 (three days ago) link

There's a YouTube clip of Mud doing "Tiger Feet" on TOTP that's just wild.

clemenza, Thursday, 14 January 2021 20:35 (three days ago) link

By far the most fascinating Mud-related fact is of course that guitarist Rob Davis (the glammest of the bunch) would end up co-writing Kylie’s “Can't Get You Out of My Head” and “Come into My World” with Cathy Dennis. He also had a hand in Fragma’s “Toca's Miracle” and Spiller’s “Groovejet”!

waht

Yes! I've been reminded of this truth many times over the years, but it never ceases to amaze me. Low-key one of the most miraculous pop careers of all.

i had long thought Rob Davis had had a hand in the early KLF releases but am becoming increasingly convinced i have completely imagined this.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:07 (three days ago) link

He did however definitely write several Saint Etienne songs.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:08 (three days ago) link

and then there was the time Showaddywaddy supported Einsturzende Neubauten.....

I went into this thinking it would be some elaborate hoax, but apparently it's true.
There it is, 7 September 1987: http://www.fromthearchives.com/en/chronology1.html

I only know Showadaddy from one of those Hipgnosis album cover books, one of their records has an epic gatefold street scene thing going on

brimstead, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:13 (three days ago) link

Showaddywaddy, whatever

brimstead, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:13 (three days ago) link

x post Indeed! Stevo who ran their label at the time, Some Bizzare, was famed for coming up with mad ideas guaranteed to generate lots of press and all the music papers of the time of course lapped it up.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:14 (three days ago) link

@ Alfred - No diss intended on Reddy! I also spent some time with her best-of a couple years back after my brother got obsessed with her for a minute. US #8 "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady" is her stealth best earworm, I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoaRbhlWji4

But she's absolutely perfect for this thread insofar as, post-"I Am Woman," she had five top ten hits, including two number ones, and I suspect none of them have been heard outside of Sirius specialty stations since, I don't know, the early 90s? She should be at least as well known as Captain & Tennille.

Wiki indicates that she transitioned more into a stage acting career, and she unsurprisingly did a ton of TV guest spots. There were abortive plans for her to have a sitcom in 1981, where she would star as a single mother living on Lake Tahoe. Maybe if Pete's Dragon had been better, or a bigger hit, she might have been more familiar to later generations as an on-screen presence... I bet should could have hosted a beloved 80s kids' musical program or something.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:18 (three days ago) link

Rob Davis here at age 71 in the 2018 Xmas Celebrities edition of the BBC quiz show Pointless, along with other UK pop luminaries like Sonia and two-thirds of Bananarama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXYzbbOx82Y

(his segment starts at 17:50)

Great clip. He's very humble. Who is the Larry David lookalike behind him?

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:32 (three days ago) link

Roger McGough of The Scaffold, who had the 1968 UK Xmas number one with "Lily the Pink" (which is the reason he's on there).

Thanks. i sense i will get sucked into watching the whole thing.

stirmonster, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:48 (three days ago) link

Interesting to me to see Showaddywaddy's approximation of 50s garb (updated drape coat and brothel creepers) vs. Sha Na Na's Brylcreem and black leather jackets a la Fonzie.

There was a Teddy Boy revival in the 70s

visiting, Thursday, 14 January 2021 22:03 (three days ago) link

Yeah, I love Crazy Cavan. That white suit above looks like disco Teddy Boy though.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 14 January 2021 23:05 (three days ago) link

Seven of the top 50 and four of the next 50 held prominent places in my heart when I was aged 3-7 playing my parents singles on their aging Technics turntable. Billy Don't Be a Hero, Chick-a-Boom, Playground In My Mind, Spiders and Snakes, Cowboy's Work, Monster Mash (which shouldn't count, but does), and The Streak, plus Which Way You Goin' Billy, The Way We Were, My Girl Bill, and that version of The Lord's Prayer were all in their collection. So were The Joker, Won't Get Fooled Again, and Rocket Man, but they didn't make the impact of the Sonny & Cher tune, for example, which got my vote because I didn't think anyone else would care for it.

Iannis Xenakis double fisting Cutty Sark (Tom Violence), Friday, 15 January 2021 03:29 (two days ago) link

re: "monster mash," the spin counts used for this feature were collected over a seven-day period, so obviously the fact that the table on the link shows zero spins for the song reflects that the data collection was done over a non-halloween week

weirdly, in addition to being reissued in 1973 and becoming a big hit again, it had apparently seen a reissue in 1970, but that time only went to #91

dyl, Friday, 15 January 2021 06:04 (two days ago) link


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