Tuesday, February 21, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Our Day Will Come” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

Haven’t had one this close in a while… The results of “Battle ‘Our Day Will Come’: Amy Winehouse vs. Doris Day”:

Amy Winehouse: 6
Doris Day: 7

I must say that Ms. Winehouse did an outstanding job with this song. Were I to give myself a vote, she would get it, and the score would be tied. Both ladies deserved to win this one. So, congratulations to both of them for a well-fought battle. And thank you, those of you who voted in this battle.

Be back on March 1 for our next Battle of the Bands!




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Two for Tuesday: America

America only had one song that made the Billboard Top Singles of the Year (“A Horse With No Name” reached #27 in 1972) but I remember they had a whole lot more hits than just that one. They had six singles in the Top Ten in the years between 1970 and 1974, a couple of which went to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Another song, “Muskrat Love,” was a hit for The Captain and Tennille in 1976; it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart that year.

America was Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and, until 1977, Dan Peek. They were famous for their tight vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar sound. An example is “Ventura Highway,” their third single from 1972, which reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was the first single from the group’s second album, Homecoming.

The band’s fourth studio album, Holiday, was recorded in England in 1974 and was their first album produced by Sir George Martin, who worked with them for the rest of the decade. The first single from that album was “Tin Man,” which went to #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary chart.

Dan Peek left America to concentrate on his solo career as a Contemporary Christian musician. He died from fibrinous pericarditis at home in 2011. Beckley and Bunnell have continued as a duo. Most recently, I saw a commercial on TV for a “’70s Cruise” on which they’ll be performing, and are most likely on the “oldies” circuit, although they continue to record, most recently 2015’s Lost & Found.

America, your Two for Tuesday, February 21, 2017.




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Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crunching The Numbers

No, it’s not about math…

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My latest series on Two for Tuesday, “High School Days,” features artists and songs that were popular when I was in high school. Naturally, I had to find some way to figure out which songs and artists were popular, so I went to Wikipedia and got the data on all the songs that reached the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 weekly survey for each year I was in high school (started in 1970, graduated in 1974). I then limited the list to just the songs that entered the top ten from the time I graduated from grammar school (June 6, 1970) to when I started college (September 16, 1974).

I finally finished it this past Thursday and started to analyze the data, figuring out which artists had the most Top Ten Singles and the greatest number of weeks in the Top Ten. Here are the top five Top Ten artists by total number of weeks in the Top Ten for the period from 6/6/70 to 9/16/74.

#5: Tony Orlando & Dawn I originally thought Chicago, with 34 weeks in the Top Ten, was #5, then I realized that Tony Orlando & Dawn were credited both as “Dawn” and “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando.” Adding those two together gave them 36 weeks in the Top Ten, making them #5. “Knock Three Times” entered the Top Ten just before Christmas 1970 and spent eleven weeks there, eventually reaching #1.

#4: The Jackson 5 With six hits in the Top Ten totaling 43 weeks, Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon come in at #4. Eleven of those weeks represent “I’ll Be There,” which reached the Top Ten in October 1970, peaking at #1.

#2 (tie): Elton John We have a tie for #2, one of them being Elton John, with eight songs totaling 47 weeks in the Top Ten. “Crocodile Rock” entered the Top Ten in January 1973 and was there for nine weeks, peaking at #1.

#2 (tie): Three Dog Night I don’t have to tell you that Three Dog Night, for me, represented my high school years. Eight Top Ten hits in that period for a total of 47 weeks. Eleven of those weeks were for “Joy To The World,” which reached the Top Ten in April 1971 and reached #1.

#1: The Carpenters By far the leader in the Top Ten Derby, Karen and Richard far outpaced everyone, spending 71 weeks in the Top Ten. Their ten songs over the period are tied with Chicago. Interestingly, only two songs reached #1, “We’ve Only Just Begun” in 1970 and “Top Of The World” in 1973. My favorite of their ten songs is “Superstar,” which hit the Top Ten in September 1971 and spent eight weeks there, peaking at #2.

Just a couple more things: Paul McCartney, as himself, Paul and Linda McCartney, and Paul McCartney and Wings, had eight songs in the Top Ten totaling 40 weeks, so he would be #5 on this list, but I kept his work with Wings (six songs, 28 weeks) separate. If you combined the solo work of the four Beatles, you’d end up with seventeen songs (eight by Paul, five by Ringo, three by George, and one by John) and 90 weeks (40 by Paul, 18 by George, six by John, and 26 by Ringo). So The Fab Four were still a force the first four years after their breakup.

Be sure to join me on Two for Tuesday each week for the artists that provided the soundtrack of my high school years. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 20, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Winter Break Week That Was

We’ll be right back after this word from Save-On Foods and Drugs.

Had no idea the Mob had infiltrated the grocery business in Toronto. The things you learn in this job.

The Week That Was

My knee is doing better, thanks to nine Aleve a day and an isometric exercise I found on the Internet. Still not great, but it could be worse. Anyway, here’s the summary; don’t forget you can click on the badge to go to the original post.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

You still have time to vote in my latest Battle of the Bands, “‘Our Day Will Come’: Amy Winehouse vs. Doris Day.” I’ll announce the winner Tuesday, so get your vote in soon. This has been a pretty close battle, so be sure and make your voice be heard.

Songs about trains and railroads were the subject of this week’s post. The choices I came up with seem to have gone over well. I’m getting the hang of this.

Anne Murray was the subject of this week’s look at music from June 1970-September 1974. I tend to forget that there were musical acts from that period that were very popular because, at the time, I didn’t especially like them. Listening to Anne now, I understand why she was so popular then, and I’m finding that with many more of those acts.

I also realized that there were many artists that I was missing by using the lists of the Hot Singles of the Year, and found lists of all the songs that reached the Top Ten over those years on Wikipedia. Through some manipulations of the data (including finding a site that does conversions from tables on web pages to spreadsheets), I have a much more complete picture of who was and wasn’t popular then. I tell ya, I’m dangerous when I put my mind to it. You’ll see some of the results tomorrow.

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This week’s one-liner was one I use frequently, and I tell the story of how I came up with it. I can have a mordant sense of humor when I put my mind to it.

I told the story of how my parents met, and in doing so learned that there are alternate versions of the legend. My brother Kip said that when Bill’s friends found out that he and Bunny were getting serious, they beat him up. I sometimes get the sense that Mom told each of us different versions of the same story, not thinking we’d ever compare notes. But it was a good story, even if Dad got his ass kicked.

Speaking of pain, as I was in pain when I wrote it, I came up with five songs with “pain” in the title. If you think of any others, let me know. And thanks to everyone who suggested different treatments. Not sure if it’s the bones or the muscles, or both, but Aleve seems to have it under control, though I’ll be looking for a more permanent solution.

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Our prompt yesterday was “ham,” and I saw that there were many other participants who chose to write about the meat of the same name, so I just improvised, and came up with a pretty good post, if I say so myself.

Thnks to all y’all who commented!

Tomorrow I’ll share some of the analysis of music I’ve done, America will be the Two for Tuesday artist, I’ll have another One-Liner… after that, I have to wait on input from others.

That’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned!




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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hamilton, Joe, Frank Reynolds And The Entire Eyewitness News Team #socs

The title of this post refers to a running joke by former DJ Dan Ingram at WABC-AM (770 kHz) in New York, used whenever he’d play a song by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, who had two big hits, “Don’t Pull Your Love” in 1971 and “Fallin’ In Love” in 1975.


Mary grew up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago, the “Yards” referring to the Union Stock Yards, as described in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. I think her grandmother and uncle worked there.

I Will 133C Entrance to Stock Yards Chicago F

Once when I was out of work I applied at the Dubuque Packing Company, famous for their canned hams. The guy I interviewed with wore a bloodstained white coat, I think to see if I’d recoil in horror. I didn’t, but I didn’t get the job, either. Not that I was that disappointed.


Guess they no longer come in cans. Source: KrakusFoods.com

Speaking of canned hams, occasionally we would buy a canned Polish ham and have the butcher slice it for sandwiches. It was usually a Krakus ham, imported from Poland. Evidently Krakus is sponsoring the Chicago Air & Water Show this year. Chicago is second only to Warsaw in residents of Polish ancestry. You could look it up.

There had been talk of replacing Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with Sojourner Truth, abolitionist and human rights advocate who escaped from slavery and later recruited black soldiers for the Union Army during the Civil War. Then the musical Hamilton hit Broadway and reminded everyone the significance of Hamilton as a Founder of this nation, and they decided to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill instead. Someone made the comment that a white male Southern Democrat was being replaced by a black female Northern Republican who carried a gun and was an evangelical Christian. The irony is wonderful.

Hamilton is most famous for being killed by Aaron Burr in a duel in 1804. I don’t think Aaron Burr is any direct relation to Raymond Burr, who played Perry Mason on TV. Perry Mason’s nemesis was district attorney Hamilton Burger, and you all know about that. Amazing how these things work out, isn’t it?


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This twisted snake of a post is a Stream of Consciousness Saturday entry. SoCS is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and is sponsored this week by The Keg restaurant.




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Friday, February 17, 2017

The Friday Five: Songs With “Pain” In The Title

My knee is killing me. I get this terrible shooting pain when I walk on it. I’m hoping with enough Aleve that it’ll go away on its own, but if it still feels this bad on Monday I’m calling the doctor. But, it gives me an excuse to give you five songs with “pain” in the title.

The Police, “King of Pain” From 1983’s Synchronicity, it reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and #3 on the Hot 100.

Carly Simon, “Haven’t Got Time For The Pain” From 1974’s Hotcakes, it reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US and #1 on its Canadian Counterpart.

Robert Cray, “The Forecast Calls For Pain” From 1990’s LP and EP Midnight Stroll, this wasn’t released as a single.

Eurythmics, “No Fear, No Hate, No Pain (No Broken Hearts)” This was an album track on 1983’s Touch, and wasn’t released as a single.

Alice Cooper, “Pain” Another album track, this one from 1980’s Flush The Fashion.

Can you think of other songs with “pain” in the title? Leave me a comment and I’ll get to them next week.

That’s your Friday Five for February 17, 2017.




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Thursday, February 16, 2017

How Mom And Dad Met (Writer’s Workshop)


Me with Mom and Dad, circa 1961 (photo: Fabulous Auntie Jill)

This week, Kat wants to know “How [my] parents met.” It’s actually a pretty interesting story, at least the way Mom told it to me. Or at least the way I remember she told me.

Some time in the late 1940’s, when they were in high school, Bunny (that’s Mom) went on a blind date with Bill (that’s Dad). At the end of the evening, Bill asked Bunny, “Hey, can I have your phone number?” and she told him, “It’s in the phone book.” She never heard from him again.

Fast forward maybe four years. Bunny’s in college, and is “lavaliered” (kind of like engaged to be engaged) to Pat. One night, they were together, and he kept complaining of a sore back, and no amount of her massaging it made it feel any better. He woke up the next morning unable to move. He had contracted a severe case of polio that left him wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. He and Bunny were supposed to go to a dance that weekend, and Pat asked his best friend, who just happened to be Bill, if he’d take her.

Bill calls Bunny, whose first question is, “Why didn’t you ever call me?” He said, “I couldn’t find it in the book.” Mom’s maiden name (and my middle name) is Connelly, which can also be spelled Connolly, Connally, Conley, and a bunch of other ways. He never figured out the right spelling.

I knew Pat, by the way: he was the assistant principal at St. Ignatius College Prep, where I went to high school my freshman year. He married someone else and they had a bunch of kids. He and his wife and Mom and Dad remained friends.

Just as a side note: yesterday would have been Dad’s 85th birthday.




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