With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Bob Dylan Finally Gets A Number One Single On A US Billboard Chart! April 9, 2020

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 2:59 pm
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Bob Dylan has just had his first-ever Billboard number-one single of any kind with his recent surprise release “Murder Most Foul”. He is currently at the top of the Rock Digital Song Sales chart. Hard to believe that it has taken 55 years for it to happen. His first appearance on the Billboard chart was in 1965 with “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35” made it to number 2 in 1965 and 1966 respectively. The former did reach the top of the Cashbox chart in 1965, but that chart was never as popular, important or influential as Billboard. It is the first Bob Dylan single to reach the top 100 of any Billboard chart since 1993. Congratulations Robert Zimmerman.

Click here to read our earlier review of “Murder Most Foul” written by Tom Ray.

Dylan celebrates with a cup of tea 😉

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“My daddy is sleepin’ and mama ain’t around” January 13, 2014


chubbychecker_1960Songs returning to the top of the UK singles charts on separate chart runs is not an uncommon occurrence. Often after a death; “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “My Sweet Lord“. However in the USA it has only happened once to my knowledge. That was a feat achieved in 1960 and 1962. The song was originally by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, although their version only made it to number 28 in the US chart in 1959 and even that was as a B-Side to “Teardrops On Your Letter”

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“If a day could last forever you might like your ivory tower” December 22, 2011


We’re easing down that Christmas road pretty fast now, it’s December 22nd and we’re at the letter V on my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar. I have a confession to make before I tell you what the song is. It doesn’t begin with V, it was so difficult to find a V song. So for today I have opted for an artist whose surname starts with a V. It is the one and only Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with the Northern Soul classic, “The Night”

In 1970 the group signed to Motown subsidiary label Mowest and the single was originally released in 1971 in the UK with no success it was never issued in the US. When it was re-released in the UK in 1975 following a lot of interest in Northern Soul clubs it reached number 7 in the UK charts.

When the band left Motown in 1974 Frankie Valli wanted to buy the master tapes of everything they had recorded for the label. However when he heard the price he decided to buy just one song for $4,000. That song was “My Eyes Adored You” which Valli took to Private Stock records who wanted to release it as a Frankie Valli solo single. They did and it became a massive hit reaching number one on the US Billboard charts and number 5 in the UK.

I also found a couple of strange covers while looking for this song; firstly Pulp (sorry Jarvis it really isn’t very good mate) then Lene Lovich (a little weird) and finally Soft Cell (a faithful rendition). I prefer the original to all of these though. How about you?

 

“For my wrongs I’ve no excuses, I couldn’t blame you if you refused me” December 20, 2011


Please allow me to paraphrase from an Elton John song for just a moment; ‘ho ho ho grab a beer, the bearded weirdy’s nearly here’. Yes folks in just a few days Old Saint Nick will be giving your chimney a good clean with his beard. Don’t worry if you don’t have a chimney, in that case he’ll just break into your house. Of course he is the only person who illegally enters your property and leaves stuff rather than taking anything, well not counting the odd tipple or mince-pie of course. Anyway it’s now December 20th and therefore day 20 of my ABC of Motown Advent calendar. Which brings us to the letter T. For me this was an easy choice. It’s “Take Me Girl I’m Ready” from the stellar band that was Junior Walker and the All Stars.

Surprisingly for me Junior Walker wasn’t his real name. When he was born in June 1931 in Blytheville, Arkansas he was called Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. He played in a number of bands from the age of 14 including the Jumping Jacks and the Rhythm Rockers before settling on the All Stars. The band was spotted by Johnny Bristol who was friendly with Harvey Fuqua who had is own Harvey label. Fuqua signed the band in 1961 but they didn’t have much success until the Harvey label was bought by Berry Gordy to become part of his Motown empire.

Their first Motown hit was the timeless classic “Shotgun” which was written by Junior Walker and produced by Berry Gordy himself. It also featured Funk Brother James Jamerson on bass. That song reached number 4 in the US Billboard chart and was an US R & B number one in 1965. They had plenty more hits but the only one that equalled “Shotgun” in the charts was “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” in 1969, that song also hit number 13 in the UK. Sadly Junior died from cancer aged just 64 back in 1995.

“Take Me Girl I’m Ready” was originally an US hit in 1971 reaching number 50 in the Billboard chart. It was written by Pamela Sawyer, Gloria Jones and Johnny Bristol. Bristol produced the song which was arranged by Dave Van DePitte. It was a record I could never get hold of in my early teenage years, but then it was finally reissued in the UK in 1977. Obviously I bought it as soon as it came out. I no longer have the vinyl copy but I have it on CD and MP3.

I have blogged about this song before with regards to its appearance on a pub jukebox. Myself and a bunch of friends used to be regulars at the Windmill pub in Ruislip Manor back in 1977/ 78 and “Take Me Girl I’m Ready” was selection number 77A on the pub jukebox. Usually it was myself or my good friend Glen Voisey who were first at the jukebox and without looking we would always select 77A. However on one occasion I approached the jukebox as usual and fed my coins into it and then hit the buttons for 77A. I then started looking for what other tracks I would choose. After a few seconds of that scratchy stylus hitting plastic sound a familiar refrain started. However it wasn’t Junior Walker, much to my dismay and embarrassment it was “Save All Your Kisses For Me” by Brotherhood Of Man. My friends just started laughing and muttered about disowning me, but I was able to prove that I had indeed chosen 77A. The landlord stepped in to support me when he said that all the records on the jukebox had been replaced and the old tenant of 77A no longer lived on the machine. It was a devastatingly disappointing moment for me, but as they say, ‘what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger’!

So without further ado please enjoy the former occupant of 77A on the Windmill pub jukebox in the late 70s; “Take Me Girl I’m Ready” from Junior Walker and the All Stars. This one goes out to Glen Voisey, Keith Plant, Chris Skinner, Neil Payne, Phil Isaacs and Jonesy (aka Bryan Jones)!

RIP the Windmill Pub in Ruislip Manor. It was built in the 1930s and closed down in 2006. Like many of my old haunts it has been knocked down or put to use other than as a pub.

 

“They started going steady and bless my soul he out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole” December 18, 2011


It’s just a week to go to the big day folks, we’ve arrived at the 18th December and therefore day 18 on my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar. Seeing as yesterday was the letter Q by my calculations that must meant that today is the letter R. I have chosen a rather fun song for today. It’s “Rockin’ Robin which was a solo hit for a young Michael Jackson back in 1972.

The song was written by Leon Rene using the pseudonym of Jimmie Thomas and was originally a hit for Bobby Day in 1958. It was his only hit and it reached number two on the US Billboard charts. Jackson’s version was taken from his first solo album ‘Got To Be There‘ and also reached number two on the Billboard charts. The song went to number three in the UK.

The song has been occasionally included on a Christmas compilation album, which is a little strange to me as it was a hit in February 1972. I suppose it must be the Robin reference that makes it a Christmas related song to some people. The B Side of the single contained a cracking version of one of my favourite Supremes songs and another Holland Dozier Holland classic; “Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone“.

 

“The things that we two could plan would make my dreams come true” February 17, 2011


Gaga tells Her Maj that she has had way more number ones than Queen

So was the Lady G in the right place at the right time? Was it luck or was it a marketing ploy? Personally as the release date for “Born This Way” was announced so long ago I think it was pure fluke. What the hell am I going on about I can hear you say. Well obviously that Lady Gaga has made more history by having the 1,000th US Billboard charts number one with her new single. It now sits at the top of the Hot 100 pile, that particular chart started in 1958. Read about her achievement at the BBC site.

Elvis had really wanted Hound Dog to be the 1000th number one

Elvis celebrated his achievement by simply horsing around

That particular feat was achieved just over six years ago in the UK, but then our charts started back in 1952. So who made it to the top for the 1,000th UK number one? Well in my opinion it was largely planned as part of a massive reissue campaign. It was Elvis Presley’s 20th UK number one, coming 27 years after his death with a reissue of “One Night” Read about that feat here, again at the BBC.

 

 
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