Saturday, April 5, 2014

In The 1970s April 1973

Here are the BBC charts for April 1973.

April 7th 1973        No. 1 Gilbert O'Sullivan

April 14th 1973      No. 1 Gilbert O'Sullivan

April 21st 1973      No.1 Dawn

April 28th 1973     No.1  Dawn

Monday, March 31, 2014

In The 1970s White Plains

Formed from the Flowerpot men of the 1960s and featuring the legendary Tony Burrows.

Nothing more than a great pop band with their first hit being in 1970 with My Baby Loves Lovin written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway getting as high as No. 9 in the UK charts. This was followed by I've Got You On My Mind and other 1970 top twenty hit.The last hit of 1970 was Julie Do Ya Love Me (covered by Bobby Sherman in the States).


 There last top twenty hit of the 1970s came in 1971 with When You Are A King.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In The 1970s April 1972

More from the BBC charts for the month of April 1972.

April 8th 1972      No.1 Royal Dragoon Guards

April 15th 1972    No.1 Royal Dragoon Guards

April 22nd 1972   No.1 Royal Dragoon Guards

April 29th 1972    No.1 Royal Dragoon Guards

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

In The 1970s April 1970

Now we take a look at the BBC charts from April 1970.

April 4th 1970    No. 1   Simon And Garfunkel

April 11th 1970  No. 1 Simon And Garfunkel

April 18th 1970  No. 1 Dana

April 25th 1970  No. 1 Dana

Friday, March 7, 2014

In The 1970s Michael Jackson

We are looking here at the 1970s solo success for the king of pop Michael Jackson. The legend was born in 1958 and after becoming a star with his brother in the Jackson 5 it was inevitable that Michael would become the front man of the group. Although it caused friction at the time within the family, everybody could see it was for the greater good.

But Michael was not just a group singer, he quickly established himself as a colossal solo artist too. He also was a film star in the 1978 musical The Wiz based on the Wizard Of Oz. Not a great film, but it kept Michael in the minds of his adoring public.

1971 saw Michael break into the top five on both sides of the Atlantic with Got To Be There and was written by Elliot Willen who used to be a research scientist. He died in 2010. The strength of that success gave Tamla Motown the courage to release his next single in 1972, again a top five hit on both sides of the pond with Rocking Robin form the album Got To Be There. It was a copy of a 1958 hit by Bobby Day in 1958.

But Michael was so popular a bad record did not seem to matter now. He was a solo singer; he was also singing with his brothers and was on TV all around the world with the cartoon series. So the next single was going to be a success whatever it was.  In the U.S. it was I Want To Be Where You Are and in the UK it was the cover of Aint No Sunshine.

But now it was the turn of a Rat to make Michael even more popular.  No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 7 in the UK with Ben. What was Ben? Ben was a rat from the film of the same name. The song was written by Don Black who also wrote the lyrics for Thunderball and Diamonds Are Forever.

The song won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award and was originally offered to Donny Osmond who did not have time to do the recording. So by default Michael got it. Michael was alleged to have been fourteen at the time of recording and he is one of only a few people to have chart success at such a young age.

1973, 74 and 1975 were non single hit years for Michael. It was not until 1979 that Michael came back with a huge disco type hit called Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, which got to No. 1 in the U.S. (No. 3 UK). Michael was no longer on Tampa but on now on Epic Records and this hit came from his acclaimed album Off The Wall. This song went Gold in the U.S. and won Michael another Grammy too. The album went on to sell over twenty million copies and made even a bigger star of the producer Quincy Jones.
Also that year from the same album came Rock With You written by Jackson and Rod Temperton. Rod went on to write Thriller in the 1980s and he was also working with the pop group Heatwave in the 1970s. A busy man indeed.

The single Off The Wall was the last hit of 1979 and again came from the same album.  Again Rod Temperton wrote this song and again it charted worldwide. In the 1980s Michaela would have eighteen top twenty hits in the UK and a host of albums making Michael the King of pop. Michael died of a heart attack in 2009. In his time he sold millions and mad billions. It is estimated a year after his death he earned another billion dollars.

Friday, February 21, 2014

In The 1970s Neil Diamond

Forty eight million records sold in the U.S. makes Neil Diamond the third most successful Billboard adult contemporary artist. Worldwide he has sold over 120 million. Not bad for a guy from New York and who was born in 1941. By the time he had got to the 1960s he had been in bands and was writing great songs like I’m A Believer, A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, The Boat I Rowed Ashore and of course his own Sweet Caroline.

In 1970 Neil signed up with MCA and had five top twenty hits with Shilo, Until It’s Time For You To Go, Soolaimon, Solitary Man and He Ain't Heavy He’s My Brother. But one record was a hit in the UK and the USA that year which was Cracklin’ Rose from the album Tap Root Manuscript. The song is about a sparkling wine from Canada. The single was mono, but the sound was great.

More singles in 1971, and the biggest being I Am..I Said for which Neil got a Grammy nomination. The song was in fact about Neil being torn in many directions, including where he wanted to live. LA or New York?
1972 several U.S. hits including Play Me and Walk On Water. But the big hit in UK and U.S. was  Song Sung Blue and gave Neil two more Grammy nominations, although he did not win. This was inspired by Mozart's "Piano Concerto no. 21."

1973 several singles but none made the top thirty, and in 1974 only one did and that was Longfellow Serenade that got to No. 5 in the U.S. and No.29 in the UK. The title of the song is a reference to the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

1975 no UK, but 1976 he came back with If You Know What I Mean from the album Beautiful Noise which became a single hit itself later in the same year. The title came from the fact that Neil’s daughter was listening to a parade outside the window and turned to her dad and said "What a beautiful noise daddy”. And it was truly a beautiful noise.

1977 and Desiree was the biggest single hit for Neal.
It was the third of June
On that summer's day
When I became a man
At the hands of a girl
Almost twice my age

1978 he had a worldwide hit with a duet with Barbra Streisand and You Don’t Bring Me Flowers a Platinum selling single. The song was in fact supposed to be a theme to a TV show called All That Glitter, but the show failed. Neil had the song on a 1977 album and the next year Barbra had it on one of her albums. The reason the song was made was because of a divorce by a radio jock. He spliced the two songs together to make one recording and gave it to his wife. The song got airplay, and an official single was made. The power of the people!

1979 and still the singles followed on. Forever In Blue Jeans. The song came out of a radio commercial for jeans by a man pretending to be Neil Young. He was so good at it, that Neil did it himself and had a worldwide hit.

The very last single of the 70s for Neil was September Morn from the album I’m A Believer. The song was out about the same time Neil collapsed on stage and had to have an emergency operation on his back. It was a tumor, but they managed to remove it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In The 1970s Elvis Presley

The King is dead, long live the king. In fact Elvis died professionally in the 1960s, but made a spectacular come back in a 1968 with a global broadcast that brought him back in time for the 1970s. Elvis Arron Presley was born in 1935 and had sold countless millions of records pre 1970. Six bestselling albums, and numerous single hits in the 1970s and a fantastic career as a Las Vegas showroom with huge sell out concerts. Elvis was back.

The Wonder Of You was the very first proper UK hit for 1970, which was written by Baker Knight back in 1959. Elvis sang his version live in Las Vegas in February 1970, and that is the version that is heard on the single.

Later in March Elvis had a hit with Don’tCry Daddy written by Scott Davis in 1969. The song was about a man who lost his wife and his sadness for him and his kids. Later this year he would perform in-front of President Nixon. Around this time of the big stage cabarets Elvis was getting constant death threats. One threat was taken so seriously that the FBI had to get involved. In fact the threat was so real Elvis was performing the shows on stage with a gun in his costume. Nothing happened and nobody was arrested.

Whilst with Nixon, Elvis made derogatory comments about the Beatles and their drug use. Paul McCartney was not impressed and when Elvis was found taking drugs must have thought who is calling who what here?
Elvis had so many awards in his 70s career, including in 1971 being voted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of the Most Outstanding Young Men of the Nation. Surprisingly for a man in his forties. He had a UK hit this year with I've Lost You along with You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.

Elvis had been a big film star in the 1960s. So in the 70s he became a film star again, but this time it was in the form of musical documentaries that saw raw footage of Elvis behind the scenes, and of course that would all be interlaced with great music too.  Elvis On Tour from 1972 was one such film that in itself won the Golden Globe Award and had a UK hit with I Just Can't Help Believing.

Elvis was touring the big venues, including Madison Square Gardens. He was releasing singles and albums at the same time; he also won a Grammy for a gospel album called He Touched Me. The professional Elvis was doing very well, the Elvis at home was not doing so good, as his marriage to Priscilla was now in name only, and he was having affairs with other women.

In 1973 Elvis did a live global broadcast from Hawaii and went out to over one and a half billion people. Elvis did the concert for a charity. The album of the concert went to No.1 straight away with sales of five million. That year Elvis did over 150 concerts, got his divorce from Priscilla and started taking pain killing drugs and went into hospital a few times. He was burning out his life to fast.

By 1974 Elvis was performing on stage with the drugs affecting his performance and his speech.
Here are just some of the single hits from Elvis during the 1970s. Burning Love was written by Dennis Linde and was not written for Elvis. My Boy, Always On My Mind and the single Promised Land came from the album called Promised Land. Promised Land was written by 50s rocker Chuck Berry and released by him in 1965. Always On My Mind was originally a hit by Brenda Lee a few years before.
My Way the Elvis version charted twice in the 1970s, and was written for Frank Sinatra by Paul Anka. The Elvis version is a much more powerful version. Suspicious Minds entered the charts twice too, the last being in 1977 a few months before his death. This was followed by a great 70s single called Moody Blue which was recorded in a studio in Graceland, and was written by the same person who wrote Suspicious Minds. He was Mark James.

Elvis had twelve billboard top twenty hits during the 1970s, and the albums produced are so hard to count. But it went into dozens. The whole world was producing different compilations. Some high quality some low quality like the Pickwick collections.

By 1977 Elvis was fat. He was on drugs and in pain. He started cutting the length of time he was on stage and cancelled concerts. His speech was becoming very slurred. He had enlarged liver and colon problems.
Elvis was going downhill fast and in August 1977 Elvis slumped on to his bathroom floor and a few hours later was pronounced dead. For those of us in the UK was watching ITN News At Ten where the newscaster announced that Elvis was dead it was a huge shock. There was no 24 hour news stations then, and most people tuned in to Tony Prince on 208 Radio Luxembourg who played Elvis hits for the hours after. It was a “where were you” event for sure.


Elvis had a single in the charts at the time of his death called Way Down written by Layng Martine Jr. The song ends with such a low note that it appeared in the Guinness Book of Records.  The songs from Elvis filled up the 70s charts, from brand new material to classics from his back catalogue. Thirty years later Elvis would be No. 1 again.  Elvis had more single hits in the Billboard charts than any other performer ever. Elvis had SEVEN No.1 albums in 1977.  In the UK alone in his whole career Elvis had over TWENTY No.1s, with making the top of the charts after he died.

Thanks to TV and his films and the never ending sound of Elvis coming from your music collection and the radio, it is unlikely that Elvis will ever lose his appeal. In 2012 a hologram of Elvis will be used for a concert show. If that works well, there will be generations and generations of new admirers who will follow the King. Long live the King. Amazing.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

In The 1970s March

Now we take a look at the BBC charts from March 1970.

March 7th 1970 No. 1  Lee Marvin

March 14th 1970 No. 1 Lee Marvin

March 21st 1970 No. 1 Lee Marvin

March 28th 1970 No. 1 Simon And Garfunkel

Monday, January 27, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

In The 1970s Gilbert O'Sullivan

It was back in December 1946 that this Irishman was born. Move forward to 1967 and Gilbert’s passion for music was not being reflected in any chart success. But luckily he met up with Engelbert Humperdinck’s manager who really liked his talent.

It was Gilbert himself who dressed up in the Northern cap and shorts which did not go down that well with his new manager Gordon Mills. As a form of compromise Gilbert slightly changed it to the college boy look, and things took off big time.

1970 Gilbert scored a massive top ten hit across the world with Nothing Rhymed and was released on the MAM label. The record seems to be about nothing really making sense in the world.
“This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose”

Whatever it was really about there is no doubt everybody was wanting more from this writer singer with the perfect diction. The 1970 follow up was not a big hit in the UK called Underneath The Blanket Go, but it did get to No. 1 in the Netherlands. But he did have a top forty hit the same year with We Will. The song got to No. 16 and was a similar song to Nothing Rhymed and did not disappoint his fans.

1971 also saw the top ten hit No Matter How I Try. But despite hits all over the world Gilbert had not broken into the American market. Until the next single.

1972 Gilbert released Alone Again (Naturally) which gave him a U.S. No. 1. The song was talking about suicide, being left at the alter and the death of parents. The song therefore hit a nerve with just about everyone, so everyone could relate to it.

The song was so huge in America that h had three Grammy nominations and it was the N0. 2 bestselling single of that year. But the follow up Ooh –Wakka-Doo-Wakka- Day which was a top ten single. But the song did nothing in the U.S., perhaps which was down to the title?

Later that year Gilbert managed to get the USA back on board with another U.S. No. 1 with Claire. There is an uncle Ray mentioned in the song, and that person is Gilbert himself as his real name is Raymond O’Sullivan. It was all about the fondness Gilbert felt for his manager’s daughter Clair.

The relationship between Gilbert and his manager Gordon Mills went very bad years later, when Gilbert won court cases against Gordon on restrictive practices. This gave Gilbert control of his back catalogue and monies owed. Gordon went bankrupt, his wife left him and he died in 1986.

But back in 1972 everything was roses for the team. In March 1973 he had another top ten transatlantic hit with Get Down. The very catchy song is all about Gilbert training and controlling his dog. Get Down was therefore an instruction that became a huge hit.

The hits just continued throughout the 1970s. These were just some of his top forty UK singles that followed;-
Ohh Baby
Why, Oh Why Oh Why
Happiness Is Me And You
Christmas Song
I Don’t Love You But I Think I Like You

Gilbert also provided the grateful public with five top ten albums in the 1970s, including his greatest hits in 1976. Gilbert married in 1980.

Friday, January 24, 2014

In The 1970s Osmonds

This was the original “boy” group that took over the pop charts globally in the 1970s. Although the group had individual talent and individual performances from the siblings, the groups still survived as an entity. Donny and Jimmy had their own solo hits (although Jimmy was a sort of occasional member to the group). Sister Marie had solo success too, and with Donny had a huge TV following with the Donny and Marie Show.

For Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond see separate articles.

The Osmonds were all born into the Mormon faith and became world ambassadors for the church. Clean cut and virginal, well in theory anyway. The boys were hired by chance to sing in the Disney parks, which led them to being seen by singer and TV star Andy Williams.

It was not long before the young Osmonds were regularly appearing in the And Williams Show doing dancing and mainly barbershop routines. They guys were also regular performers on the Jerry Lewis show too.  In 1971 the brothers signed to MGM records and had huge success with their first single One Bad Apple getting to the U.S. No. 1(not charting in the UK). The song is known so well to a certain age of baby boomers as it was also the theme to their own cartoon series. The song was originally intended for Michael Jackson who had to turn it down.

The U.S. charts had two more hits that year with Yoyo and Double Lovin, but nothing in the UK. However 1972 gave the brothers a minor UK hit with Down By The Lazy River followed by a classic No. 2 UK hit called Crazy Horses.

This song is about the pollution cars made on the world’s environment and was a real rock tune compared to their normal sweet melodic material. The song is looked on now as a classic song. The song was written by Alan, Merrill and Wayne.

Alan Osmond was born in Utah in 1949 and has acute hearing problems. Despite the hearing issue he had great taste in women as he use to date Karen Carpenter.

1973 and the group had bigger hits than they did in the U.S. In the UK they were now huge pop stars and when they visited the UK they were mobbed and followed everywhere. The boys had to witness one time when the crowd was too big and the wall at Heathrow airport collapsed causing injuries but no fatalities. The 1973 hits were Goin’ Home and Let Me In both coming from The Plan album.

1974 the single I Can’t Stop got to No. 12 in the UK.


The big hit getting to No. 10 in the U.S. and No. 1 UK was Love Me For A Reason from the album of the same name. It was Johnny Bristol who wrote this single, he also had a big hit in the 1970s singing Hang On In There Baby. Johnny died in 2004.

Merrill   Osmond was born in 1943 and married in 1973 and now has four sons. Wayne Osmond born in 1951 is the second eldest of the brothers and suffered a brain tumor in the late 90s but was successfully treated.

1975 they had a UK single called Having A PARTY, but the follow up was much more successful called The Proud One getting to No. 1UK (No. 10 U.S.). The song was written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe who wrote and sometimes performed in the Four Seasons. In fact The Proud One was originally a hit in the 1960s for several groups including the Four Seasons.

The Proud One was the last top twenty hit for the group in the 1970s. Of course Donny, Jimmy and Marie had their solo work and the fans followed the Osmonds everywhere they went, but for pop single hits there time was over.

The Donny and Marie Show aired until 1979 on its first run, and the group has been honoured with the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2003.

In The 1970s Hollies

The Hollies formed in the 196os with Graham Nash and Alaan Clarke and swamped the global charts with hits like Just One Look, Here I Go Again, I cant Let Go, Bus Stop and Carrie Ann. The group had in the UK charts in the 1960s twenty top twenty singles.

Moving into the 1970s the group were still on a crest of the wave. The band members changed throughout the 1970s but in the main Allan Clarke, Terry Sylvester and Tony Hicks stayed at the helm.

In 1970 the No. 7 hit was I Cant Tell The Bottom From The Top with Elton John on piano, followed by the Gasoline Alley Bred. 1971 saw a No. 22 hit with Hey Willy.

In 1972 they had no top twenty hits in the UK and in 1973 they had a No.24 hit with The Day That Curly Brown Shot Down Crazy Sam McGee.

There biggest 70s hit came in 1974 with the No. 2 single The Air That I Breathe which went silver in the UK.. The song was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood and was on Albert's album It Never Rains In California.

Then the hits stopped. Although they would have a No. 1 in the 1980s.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

In The 1970s Frank Sinatra

Old Blue Eyes himself with a few hits in the 1970s. Of course Frank was the huge star in the 1940s, 1950s and the 1960s. With hits like Stardust and Me And My Shadow. The man was a living legend in song and in film and in his dealings with the ladies and the mob.

The 1970s Frank Sinatra some memorable singles too.  His single from 1969 called My Way re-entered the charts in 1970, in fact it spent nearly a hundred weeks in the top forty. Most artists would be happy with five or six weeks!  The song was written by Paul Anka who had it translated from an original French song in 1967.

The song has a simple premise as it is about a man looking back on his life. The good and the bad, but through it all he did things his way. The song came back several times in the 1970s with big chart hit versions from Elvis and the Sex Pistols.

Frank was born in 1915 and died in 1998. In that time in the U.S. he had over 53 top thirty albums and countless singles. He was the man who gave us the original Brat Pack with his friends and fellow singers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr.

Franks had another single hit in 1970 called Something which was a Beatles cover. Frank has been to the UK many times performing his concerts including in 1975 at the Royal Albert Hall where he performed twenty songs in one and a half hours.

In 1971 Frank had another UK chart hit with I Drink The Wine.

In The 1970s Carly Simon

It was not until 1994 that she was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, but Carly really was at her prime in the 1970s. She was born in New York in 1945 and went on to produce great songs and one of pops biggest mysteries. But more on that later.

Carly Simon started her solo career in 1971 on Elektra records with an album just called Carly Simon. She won a Grammy that year for best new artist and released a single from the album called That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be, which was followed by Anticipation and both were U.S. top ten hits. Anticipation was about her going out on a date with Cat Stevens.

1972 gave her two minor U.S. hits and a worldwide hit You’re So Vain No. 3 in the UK (No. 1 U.S.). The song was a bout a lover of Carly’s who perhaps thought more of himself than of her. For decades the world has tried to guess who the song was about. And for decades Carly refused to answer the question.
Some of the top contenders were Mick Jagger as he appeared on the backing vocals of the song. Or was it Nick Nolte, James Taylor who she married, Cat Stevens David Bowie or even David Cassidy?  Was it Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson? Nope it was David Geffen who was a gay record producer. He was also the billionaire owner of Elektra records.

1973 saw one single, The Right Thing To Do. Also 1973 saw her team up with her husband James Taylor for Mockingbird. The song was based on Hush Little Baby folk song, and became a song written by Inez and Charlie Foxx, who were brother and sister. Charlie died in 1998.

The release by the Foxx family did very well in 1963. Taylor wanted to sing the song with Carly on her hot cakes album in 1973. The song went in the top ten in the U.S. but just stayed out of the top thirty in the UK.
Another U.S. top twenty hits that year was Haven’t Got Time For The Pain.  But it was not until 1977 when Carly had her next big international top ten hit with the theme to a James Bond film called The Spy Who Loved Me starring Roger Moore. The song was called Nobody Does It Better and was composed by Marvin Hamlish and written by Carol Bager Sayer. The song won an Academy award that year.
Carol Bayer Sager was also known in the 1970s for the novelty hit You’re Moving Out Today and the 60s classic A Groovy Kind Of Love which was a hit for the Mindbenders.

For Carly that was her last UK chart single. In the States she had had one more top ten hit with You Belong To Me. But Carly would return with chart singles in the 1980s including the 1986 hit Coming Around Again. In the U.S. during the 1970s she had seven top twenty hit albums which include two gold, and five platinum.

In The 1970s Bread

This group seems to have been the pioneer of soft rock. Coming from Los Angeles and formed in 1969 by David Gates. The group is in the vocal group hall of fame and achieved six gold and platinum albums in the American charts.

David Gates was born in 1940 and during the 1960s had worked with people like Elvis, Duane Eddy, and Brian Wilson and even produced records for Captain Beefheart too. He formed the group and signed up to Elektra records and released their very first album Called Bread in 1969.

The second album was released in 1970 called On The Waters which had the classic Make It With You, which was written by David Gates. The song topped the U.S. charts and get to No. 5 in the U.S.
Band member Jimmy Griffin was a founder member of the group too. He won an academy award in 1970 under a false name of Arthur James. The award was for the Carpenters song For All We Know. He died in 2005 from cancer.

The group had two single hits in the U.S. called It Don’t Matter To Me and Let Your Love Go. In March 1971 they had a U.S. top five hit with If. The song was No. 1 in the UK but NOT by Bread. The film and TV star Telly Savalas had a speaking version of the song. Telly was on the TV in Kojak at the time.

Band member Robb Royer was with the band up to 1971 and was replaced by Larry Knetchel who use to work with the Monkees, Simon and Garfunkel (he won a Grammy award for his piano playing on the track) and the Partridge family. Larry died in 2009 of a heart attack aged only 69.

Mother Freedom was a U.S. hit only in 1971, and then in October that year another hit on both sides of the pond with BabyIm-A Want You, which was a U.S. No. 1 gold single and No. 14 in the UK. Mike Botts was the drummer who was again with the band right from the start. Later in the 1970s he worked with Andrew Gold and was playing on his big hit Lonely Boy. Mike died of Colon Cancer in 2005.

1972 saw a massive hit with Everything I Own getting to No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 36 in the UK. The reason it was not  massive in the UK? Because it went to No 1 in the 1970s for Ken Boothe in a reggae style, and again in the 80s for Culture Club’s Boy George. The song was written as a tribute to David Gates dad.

Diary was a beautiful 1972 U.S. hit and that was followed by Guitar Man in July from the album called Guitar Man. Both U.S. and UK chart hits in the top twenty. This was followed in the U.S. by Sweet Surrender and Aubrey both getting to No. 15 in the charts. Aubrey was written by David after watch Breakfast At Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn.

1976 saw the last British single with Lost Without Your Love, which was an excellent single to go out on. In 1973 Bread split up because David and Griffin were not getting on. The last Bread concert was in Utah that year. They reunited for a year in 1976.

David had many solo projects and a few modest single hits after Bread, but without the vehicle Bread he did not achieve those dizzy heights again. The albums the Best of Bread can be found in most homes of us baby boomers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

In The 1970s Chicago

Not surprisingly the Group Chicago came from Chicago and was formed in the late 1960s. To say they were successful is an understatement as in the U.S. alone they sold over 38 million records giving them twenty two gold albums. The best-selling band all started at the De Paul University.

The original five members were Terry Kath who had over twenty guitars at one point. Apart from being an excellent guitarist Terry also was a drunk and a drug taker too. He died at the age of 32 in what may have been a freak accident or suicide. He kept firing a gun without bullets to his head. In front of a friend he picked up another gun and said it was not loaded. He pulled the trigger and a live round left then chamber. He died instantly in 1978.

Danny Seraphine was the drummer who played with the band from 1967 all the way through to 1990.  According to the Rolling Stones magazine Danny is ranked in the top 100 drummers I the whole world.
James Pankov was on trombone and Lee Loughnane was on trumpet. In fact around nineteen members have come and gone from the Chicago band. The group have almost had fifty albums out over their entire recording career.

They are only behind the Beach Boys in terms of record sales in the U.S. Billboard charts.
Single wise the group had far more success than in the UK. In 1970 the single Make Me Smile was No.9 in the U.S. and came from the album Chicago II. It was the next single that was an international hit with vocals by Peter Cetera called 25 Or 6 To 4. The single was from Chicago II also, and was written by band member Robert Lamm. The song appears to be about the time on a clock, as simple as that.
Several singles followed in the U.S. only including Beginnings which got to No. 1. That was 1971, and that was also the year of their next cross Atlantic hit called I’m A Man which was a cover of the 1967 British group The Spencer Davis Group and was written by Steve Windwood.

Chicago were pumping out the albums like there was no tomorrow, and Chicago VII scored two U.S. No.1s with Call On Me and Wishing You Were Here. The second hit had vocals from the Beach Boys on it. In fact Chicago had ten top thirty U.S. hits during July 1972 to 1976. 

A number one all over the world for the classic If You Leave Me Now from the album  Chicago X. This beautiful song was written by Cetera and sung by him. The song won two Grammy’s and sold millions in the States alone and launched even more sales of their albums. The beautiful ballad was lucky to be released at all. It only appeared on the album at the very last moment, and was not initially planned for single release.

As far as the UK was concerned that was the last single to chart in the top thirty in the 1970s. But America kept them well and truly in the charts with another three top thirty singles. But it would not be until 1982 when Hard To Say I’m Sorry made the top ten in most charts

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In The1970s Kiki Dee

I always loved the name, but sorry guys she was never born with that name. She was in fact born Pauline Matthews in 1947 and during the 1960s was a backing singer for the wonderful Dusty Springfield. With her name changed to Kiki in 1970 she was the first white woman to be signed up by Tamla Motown and singing backing vocals on various BBC TV shows (What an honour).

It was Elton John that made her star when he signed Kiki to his Rocket label and released her 1973 beautiful song Amoureuse, which was a French composition by Veronique Sanson who sang it in 1972. Veronique’s version was sung without the word appearing. Gary Osborne gave Kiki the English lyrics and was also responsible for the Pepsi jingle of the early 1970s. Remember “lipsmackingthirtsquenching…?”
The song was called Emotion when released by Helen Reddy in 1975 a state side hit.

Kiki was a glamorous singer to appear on Top Of The Pops and my dad pretended to be a fan of her music.  But my dad did not like her 1974 big hit called I Got The Music In Me, which was  a much more rocky style song which was written by her keyboard player Boris Boshell.  But it was 1976 when Kiki had her first UK No. 1, but this was as a duet with none other than Elton John himself on the classic Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Amazingly this was to be Elton’s first UK No. 1 too. The song was a bubblegum pop hit but it was the summer of 1976 and that meant everybody was enjoying a fantastic summer with the radios on nonstop in the gardens and parks of the British Isles.

The song was written by Elton and Bernie but they called themselves Ann Orson and Carte Blanche. The famous video was supposed to be a one off “show” for a TV programme, but when the song became such a hit it was shown all the time. Elton has never looked so great in his silly suit. Not.

The same year Kiki had an EP out that got to No. 13 and had two minor hits the following year. But Kiki will always be remembered for her famous duet with Elton.

Monday, January 6, 2014

In The 1970s Showaddywaddy

Showaddywaddy formed from other groups in 1973 and took up the Teddy Boys persona with bright costumes.In 1973 they appeared on the ITV talent show New Faces and went right through to the final where they came second.

This launched their career and their first single was in 1974 and written by the band themselves called Hey Rock And Roll a No. 2 hit. Followed by Rock And Roll Lady getting to No. 15. The last hit of 1974 was Hey Mr Christmas.

1975 Sweet Music was a No. 15 chart but the biggest hit that year was the cover of  Eddie Cochran's 1960s hit Three Steps To Heaven which was followed by another Cochran classic called Heartbeat.

Dave Batram was the lead singer right through to 2011. Dave sang on the 1976 single called Under The Moon Of Love that reached No. 1 and was a cover of  a 1961 single by Curtis Lee.

1977 and the boys were still having hits. This time a cover of the 1958 song by The Kalin Twins called When. Another cover came next with the 1959 Marv Johnson single called You Got What It Takes. Finally that year we had Dancing Party. All 1976 singles getting in the top five.

1978 and the cover of Dion's I wonder Why reached No. 2.  The Jarmels 1950s hit A Little Bit Of Soap was another hit for Showaddywaddy getting to No. 5, and Pretty Little Angel Eyes got to No. 5 also.

1979 Remember Then a cover of the Earls song reached No. 17 and their very last hit of the 1970s was Sweet Little Rock N Roller a No. 15 UK hit.

Showaddywaddy 1970s TV Interviews

The Mill   

Multi-Coloured Swap

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In The 1970s Barry White

When I first heard Barry speak on a TV interview in the 1970s the TV actually shook as his voice was so low. The guy had the voice that every man would have loved to have as we all knew the ladies would love it. Add to that he could write and produce and sing and perform. Gosh this man was a love god.

Barry White was a five time Grammy award winner and Barry Eugene White was born in 1944 and died in 2003 from renal failure, plus other complications because of his weight.

Barry had been responsible in the 70s music for the Love Unlimited Orchestra who had a big hit with It My Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring) and Loves Theme, he also wrote the huge hit "Walking In The Rain, With The One I Love", later Barry went solo and became the "The Walrus of Love" to his fans.

But as a solo performer Barry had everything. But it was not always going to be this way as Barry became involved in gangs in Texas and was actually sent to jail at the age of seventeen.  After jail he turned to music and is the man responsible for Bob and Earl’s Harlem Shuffle.

Barry has his first UK single with the1973 No. 23 hit called I’m Gonna Give You Just A Little More Love Baby which had the Ghostbuster Ray Park Jnr on piano. The next single flopped but the third single that year was the great Never, Never Gonna Give You Up from the Stone Gon’ album, this song made Barry a huge star in the UK and now his albums were selling heavily as women just could not get enough of that sexy voice.

Moving on to 1974 and Barry gave us  the top ten hit Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe which seemed to reinforce Barry as a sex god as all his singles had that feeling of pure between the sheets sex. Not a bad thing to hear when you are a teenage boy or girl.

That same year Barry had his very first UK No. 1 with You’re The First The Last My Everything which was co-written by Peter Radcliffe who wrote it twenty one years before as a country song and never released it.

1975 and Barry was a mega star now with three top twenty hits that were What AM I Going To Do With You, I’ll Do Anything You Want Me To and the disco song Let The Music Play. 1972 gave him a No. 2 hit with You See The Trouble With Me which again had Ray Parker Jnr on the track and came from the best-selling album Let The ,Music Play. Two more singles that year followed with Baby, We Better Try And Get It Together and Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long.

I loved Barry White I thought the man just wrote and produced great songs, but surprisingly at school I was a minority Barry White fan. But Barry still gave my school mates a well-deserved slap around the face in 1976 with the No. 2 hit You See The Trouble With Me and followed by TWO more top twenty singles that year. In 1977 he had no top twenty hits at all.
In 1978 he had only one chart hit with Just The Way You Are which was written and a hit for Billy Joel. Barry’s version was the better version as far as I was concerned and was a fitting single to leave the charts in the 1970s.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In The 1970s Hello

This song was originally a hit in 1960 under the title "Tell Her", and a bigger hit in the UK for Billie Davis as "Tell Him" in 1963. The group Hello were a boy group from London, and had already tried to get  TV fame by appearing on the teen show "Lift Off" with the beautiful Aneysha who went on to star in the Gerry Anderson series UFO. I bet you did not know that?

The teen group started off in 1969 and were called The Age.  Tell Him on Bell records was there very first single chart success getting as high as No. 6 in 1974. I actually still have this single!
They later had a minor hit with their version of Bend Me Shape Me, but it was in 1975 they had there next and last big chart hit. It was a good one too. New York Groove was written by Russ Ballard from Argent and gave the group a top ten single hit in the UK and Germany, from the album Keep Us Off The Streets. The single did chart in the U.S. but it was in 1978 and sang by Ace Frehly who also performed in Kiss.

Monday, December 30, 2013

In The 1970s Billy Swan

I loved the song I Can Help. I loved the fact that it would catch out the lazy DJs who never realised it had a force ending. It faded out and came back again.  Fantastic! As far as the UK was concerned it was a one hit wonder. Mr. Billy Lance Swan was born in 1942 in Missouri and in the 1960s played on the road with the likes of Kris Krisstofferson and Conway Twitty.

The song was recorded in two takes only and the applause on some versions at the end of the track is supposed to be down to the fact the fact that a dog was pulling at Billy’s trousers during the recording. Nice story for a song that went to No. 1 in many countries and went gold in the U.S. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

70s Music Christmas 1972

The 70s music Christmas charts were so important in the 1970s, with not only the prestige of getting a Christmas hit, but a NUMBER One Christmas hit was the icing on the cake, the Christmas Cake.

 During this 70s music Christmas Season we look at the music of Christmas Day 1972 and highlight those Christmas records to stir the memory of the 70s music. Having to use a bit of editorial control here to decide what was a Christmas hit, so if it does not match your criteria, apologies.

This chart comes from the 23rd December 1972.

A Christmas classic
And the only Christmas style record in the whole of the Top Twenty.

John and Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem  Community Choir

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Lyrics  to "Happy Christmas (War Is Over), also released as Merry Christmas ( War Is Over)

The band was formed in 1969, and this record  was recorded in New York City with the help of Phil Spector, and is actually a protest record about the ongoing war in Vietnam at the time. The record was a hit in 1971 in the US but was delayed until 1972 in the UK.

The No.1 that week belonged to
Long Haired Lover From Liverpool by Little Jimmy Osmond

Saturday, December 21, 2013

In The 1970s Kate Bush

Kate Bush was born Catherine Bush in 1958. She was a prolific writer and was turned down by many record companies. At the age of 16 Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd was introduced to her recordings and in 1978 she released her first successful single which got to No. 1 in the UK charts. It was Wuthering Heights.

From the Album A Kick Inside . The single was written by Kate and followed the story of the book of the same name. The single was not to be released by the record company but Kate insisted and fought her place. She won and musical history was made.
Not only did she write the song, sing the song but she also danced to the song in the promotional videos. Remember she was only 19.

This was the start of a mega career for Kate. The Man With A Child In His Eyes was the next top ten single in 1978 and written by Kate when she was 13 and recorded when she was only 16. The last hit of 1978 was a No. 44 hit called Hammer Horror.

1979 and Kate was in big demand and in the charts too. Wow was her last hit of that decade and came from the album Lionheart..

In The 1970s Sham 69

Founder and front man Jimmy Pursey named the group after some graffiti on a wall written about a football team. The group were renowned for violent concerts and stopped performing at live venues in 1979 because of national front violence.

The group also split in 1979 when Pursey joined the Sex Pistols.

It was in 1978 that the group had their first top twenty single with Angels With Dirty Faces.

Angels with dirty faces
Angels from nowhere places
Kids like me and you
Running fighting down the street
Ain't got no money but I don't cry
We're the people you don't wanna know
We come from places you don't wanna go

Read more: Sham 69 - Angels With Dirty Faces Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

The follow up went to No. 9 in the UK charts and was  called If The Kids Are United.

One more hit followed in 1978 called Hurry Up Harry. 1979 saw the group suffer the break up and the violence but they still produced two top selling singles. The first being Questions and Answers, the second was Hersham Boys. Hersham being the place Jimmy was born in 1955.

Friday, December 20, 2013

70s Music Christmas 1973

The 70s music Christmas charts were so important in the 1970s, with not only the prestige of getting a Christmas hit, but a NUMBER One Christmas hit was the icing on the cake, the Christmas Cake.

During this 70s music Christmas Season we look at the music of Christmas Day 1971 and highlight those Christmas records to stir the memory of the 70s music.

Having to use a bit of editorial control here to decide what was a Christmas hit, so if it does not match your criteria, apologies.

This chart comes from the 22nd December 1973.

Wizzard and I wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

Roy Wood from the 1960s group The Move , was the glam rock front man of this Christmas Classic record, a long way from his time with the ELO too.
The song was in a battle with Slade to see who would get to the highest position of that year, and this then became the start of the battle for No.1 at Christmas. Wizzard lost the battle, but this record remains a huge favourite at festive time for British audiences.

Wizzard were not alone , as they were joined on this record by by backing group called The Suedettes and The Stockland Green Bilateral School (First Year), and it works well, just listen.

The record that got to No.1 is the daddy of them all really, it is played EVERY year and heralds Christmas time in the UK.
 Slade and Merry Xmas Everybody

More Glam rock now with the fun group Slade from Wolverhampton, who in the 70s were the original FUN band that it was great to like, despite being eight or eighty, they were led by Noddy Holder, who's pension is huge because of this record.

The single was written by Noddy and another band member Jim Lea, and was loosely based on some old writings from many years before they originally discarded.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

70s Music Christmas 1974

The 70s music Christmas charts were so important in the 1970s, with not only the prestige of getting a Christmas hit, but a NUMBER One Christmas hit was the icing on the cake, the Christmas Cake.

During this 70s music Christmas Season we look at the music of Christmas Day 1970 and highlight those Christmas records to stir the memory of the 70s music.

Having to use a bit of editorial control here to decide what was a Christmas hit, so if it does not match your criteria, apologies.

This chart comes from the 21st December 1974.

Gilbert O'Sullivan and The Christmas Song

This is a beautiful festive song from Gilbert O'Sullivan, who was voted the No.1 male in the UK in 1972, Gilbert is still writing and performing today. He was also nominated fro a Grammy in 1972.

See article The Goodies 
with a double A side The Inbetweenies
AND Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me

Here we have Tim Brook_Taylor,Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden performing a Christmas comedy record.

The Wombles and A Wombling  Merry Christmas

Now for those of you who do not know the Wombles are strange furry creatures who live in Wimbledon Common and help clear rubbish, we know that because of the book and the worldwide TV series.

The Wombles had many hits, and even charted with the LPs, they were a phenomenal surprise.
The creator of the Wombles was Elisabeth Beresford, and the man behind the music of the Wombles was Mike Batt, who also discovered Katie Melula and  wrote "Bright Eyes" theme for the rabbit film  "Watership Down", which got to No.1 in the single charts by Art Garfunkel.
Mud and Lonley This Christmas

Mud was another very successful family Glam Rock group fronted by  Les Gray who sang some of this song in an Elvis way, unfortunately Les died in 2004 from a heart attack and throat cancer.

Lyrics to "Lonley This Christmas"

The group were to have the best selling record of 1974 too, with the single "Tigerfeet".