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  1. #1

    Billboard American Top 40 Fifty Years Ago (1971) / Sundays Radio Countdown - Listen:

    This thread is dedicated to forum member Marv2. Rest In Peace friend.

    Playing now ! I thought I'd share for those interested:

    Every Sunday Bob counts them down in order 11:30 to 2 PST.

    hear it here:


    Jan 3, 1971

    It's a new year and the music of American radio keeps shifting and shaping and redefining itself. Established acts persevere, but as they drop off an eager pack of newcomers eagerly jump into the fray.
    In the thick of it all forges Motown, they themselves diversified with the tried and true and the never befores. Coming off a very successful year in 1970, they have strong Top 40 representation (17%) with seven songs in the countdown as 1971 begins :

    Motown has two songs in the Top 10, both of which have now reached their peaks :
    TEARS OF A CLOWN by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles ,a former Number One song for two weeks, slides just a bit from number 3 to 4.
    STONED LOVE by The Supremes has topped out at a respectable #7 and this week is down one to #8.
    Competing against themselves, they are also at #16 , up one , this week along with the Four Tops with a cover of Phil Spector's RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH.

    Also up one: Gladys Knight & The Pips are at #23 with IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN .

    {{{ At #29 is one of Motown's most significant singles in their entire history:
    I'LL BE THERE by The Jackson Five has become the label's biggest selling single surpassing the former champ, Marvin Gaye's I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, and it will hold that distinction as their biggest single for ten years until it is replaced by the Lionel Richie penned ENDLESS LOVE.
    The song was #1 for five weeks and Michael Jackson said I'LL BE THERE established their legitimacy beyond a teen fave.
    I'LL BE THERE spent the entirety of its four month run on the Hot 100 in the Top 40, and it won't settle for less. It'll finish its last week on it as well, at #29 before it disappears altogether and won't be there . }}}

    That leads us to Motown's debut offerings to the Top 40 in this new year:

    Entering as the highest debuting single of the week's chart is Edwin Starr's STOP THE WAR NOW at #32.
    A year ago this group was unknown , now they are back into the Top 40 with their third successful Top 40 release in a row : Rare Earth and their first original , non -Motown cover hit: BORN TO WANDER finds its way in at #36.

    So that's how the year 1971 starts for Motown , amongst a fabulously diverse assortment of musical styles charting , all competing for chart space, Motown has no trouble staying relevant. Fantastic times.

    Any projections for 1971 in terms of music ? Will it be , for instance, the year of the woman? There are nine performances on the chart that I count, as best I can, that have official female members singing.
    But also "woman" seems to be a trending word in song titles:
    #5- BLACK MAGIC WOMAN- Santana
    #10- GYPSY WOMAN- Brian Hyland
    #23 -IF I WERE YOU'RE WOMAN -Gladys Knight
    #32 -WE GOTTA GET YOU A WOMAN - Runt

    below the Top 40:

    #77 -ARE YOU MY WOMAN The Chi-lites
    #99 -NOW I'M A WOMAN - Nancy Wilson

    also The Bee Gees are at #21 with LONELY DAYS with the prominent line, "where would I be without my woman ...."

    if not the year , certainly a strong week for the "woman" theme

    WE GOTTA GET YOU A WOMAN was Todd Rundgren's first hit , it'll peak at #20:

    the Four Tops will cheech and chong it in 1972:

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 01-04-2021 at 01:08 AM.

  2. #2

    Playing now ! I thought I'd share for those interested:

    Every Sunday Bob counts them down in order 11:30 to 2 PST.

    hear it here:


    Week 2
    JAN 9 1971

    Typical week , with the major songs holding steady at the top , shifting just a bit , up if able or down if forced , while several up-and-comers salivate for their turn at chart victory .
    Motown will continue with seven songs in the Top 40, with one leaving but replaced by another.

    Two new songs enter-
    Bee Gees- LONELY DAYS #9,
    Barbra Streisand - STONEY END #10:

    Phil Spector has resurrected, and is having a sweet moment , his production of George Harrison's solo work, MY SWEET LORD /ISN'T IT A PITY is at #1 again this week, and thanks to Ashford and Simpson, his oddly rejected Ike and Tina Turner composition of RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH ( peaking at #88) is in the Top 15 as presented by two Motown stalwarts. Also at number 27 this week, after being in the Top 10 (#9), is Andy Kim's version of The Ronettes BE MY BABY.

    The Bee Gees are having one of their periodic bursts of inspired music making, missing for three lonely years from the Top Forty, they return and bullet into the Top Ten from #21 to #9 with what will be their biggest hit so far: LONELY DAYS.

    Motown still holds two Top Ten spots with THE TEARS OF A CLOWN now at #6 down just two , and The Supremes are gripping tightly to the #8 position again this week with STONED LOVE .

    THE TOP 40:
    Kind of a country/ folkish tinge found within the five new entries :
    MOST OF ALL - BJ Thomas #40
    WATCHING SCOTTY GROW - Bobby Goldsboro #39
    AMAZING GRACE - Judy Collins #37
    AMOS MOSES - Jerry Reed #36
    and one more, from Motown, coming up!

    As mentioned The Supremes and The Four Tops share the #14 position (up 2) with RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH.
    Gladys Knight continues to try to find traction with IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN with a three place advancement to #20.
    We have a trinity of Motown songs being heard in a row on the Top Forty broadcast this week :
    #33 (again) STOP THE WAR Edwin Starr, a surprising stall considering it was last weeks biggest debut.
    #32 (from #36) BORN TO WONDER Rare Earth
    and at #31 is the charts highest debuting song:
    Perhaps noticing that the Supremes are procuring two Top 40 positions , Diana Ross bursts onto the chart with a song declaring REMEMBER ME.

    From Motown: I'LL BE THERE -The J5
    From new LA label: Sussex :
    The Presidents , this is their last week, at number #35, after peaking earlier at #11 : 5 10 15 20 25 30 YEARS OF LOVE

    this will be the only visit to the Top 40 by this Washington DC vocal group. Produced by Van McCoy who will also become a one hit wonder under his own name:

    Scouring the Hot 100 for Motown related charters,
    at #69, now slipping after reaching #60, a cover of The Temptations I CANT GET NEXT TO YOU by some hopeful new hotshot singer by the name of Al Green:

    (will this attempt relegate him into a non-top 40, one hit wonder .... we'll see!)
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 01-11-2021 at 12:44 PM.

  3. #3
    It's been pointed out to me that Marvin Gaye (with The Andantes?) under the guidance of Hal Davis did a cover version of 5-10-15 -20 ( 25 -30 YEARS OF LOVE) not released at the time :

    aren't we happy shu-gar
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 01-15-2021 at 02:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Playing now ! I thought I'd share for those interested:

    Every Sunday Bob counts them down in order 11:30 to 2 PST.

    hear it here:

    *** Phil Spector passed away today Jan 17, 2021, exactly 50 years after this chart in which he has the #1 song produced by him:
    MY SWEET LORD/ ISN'T IT A PITY-George Harrison
    and a song written by him (along with Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich):
    as well as their BE MY BABY @ #39
    (see last week's review for more)
    RIP Phil Spector ***

    Chart #3
    January 16, 1971

    We have mild chart movement on the Top 40 this week. Just two new songs enter , neither from Motown , the label's presence holds at seven singles on board. The biggest new record, in at #31, is Englisher Dave Edmund's cover of Smiley Lewis' (deceased by '71) I HEAR YOU KNOCKING, Dave's one record to make the Billboard Top 40. (At #2 is Dawn's KNOCK THREE TIMES and at #3 is The Fifth Dimension's ONE LESS BELL TO ANSWER).... providing an open and shut case for this week's chart theme.

    The Top Ten:

    The Top Five songs remain wedged in their same order as last week. One new Top 10 song enters at #7 (up from #11), King Floyd's southern hit GROOVE ME , that space is created by Chicago's DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS ten notch drop to clock in at #17. Motown is represented in the Top Ten again this week by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles stubborn THE TEARS OF A CLOWN , now at #10 and the equally stubborn Supremes are again at #8 with STONED LOVE.

    The Top 40:

    The Supremes and Four Tops climb no further with RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH , it is treading steady at #14 for a second week. Also struggling, Gladys Knight and the Pips' IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN manages a shift of just one space from #20 to #19.
    That makes Rare Earth's BORN TO WANDER Motown's strongest single this week, moving up eight notches from #32 to #24. Diana Ross is nearby on the chart at #26 with REMEMBER ME , up five from #31.. Just below that at #27, up six, Edwin Starr increases his fight for higher positioning of his STOP THE WAR NOW.

    Besides I HEAR YOU KNOCKING, the other new song this week is perennial charter James Brown's GET UP GET INTO IT GET INVOLVED this being his 28th release to get into it. (The Top 40).

    Leaving the Top 40:
    Nothing from Motown

    This chart Brian Hyland will spend his last week on the Top 40 at #37 with GYPSY WOMAN which peaked at #3. This is Hyland's 8th Top 40 song in his ten year singing career, and this will be his last appearance.

    GYPSY WOMAN is a Curtis Mayfield song which was on the charts in 1961 with The Impressions (post Jerry Butler) peaking at #20. Brian Hyland was 17 years old at the time. But even so, Brian was charting then too: His ITSY BITSY TEENY WEENIE YELLOW POLKA DOT BIKINI hit #1 when he was sixteen.

    Curtis Mayfield is having a good spell. Besides the resurgence of GYPSY WOMAN , he's also for the first time on the chart with a record under his own name : (DON'T WORRY) IF THERE'S A HELL DOWN BELOW WERE ALL GOING TO GO rising up from the lower depths of the chart from #30 to #29 .

    More gypsy action on the Hot 100:
    At #62, up one, is Gypsy ( the house band at Hollywood's WHISKY A GO GO ) with their song GYPSY QUEEN PT 1:

    Parts I and II
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 01-19-2021 at 02:01 AM.

  5. #5
    This is a post in progress:

    Playing now ! I thought I'd share for those interested:

    Every Sunday Bob counts them down in order 11:30 to 2 PST
    January 23, 2021

    The chart gets a bit of a shake up this week: four new songs in the Top 40 , three new songs in the Top Ten, and after five weeks of MY SWEET LORD at the top, there's a new number one. All this action is absent Motown, though they maintain a strong Top 40 presence with the same seven songs as before. For the first time in a long time, Motown has no records in the Top Ten . Both THE TEARS OF A CLOWN and STONED LOVE release their grips and drop out, The Supremes are now at #12 (from #8), and Smokey Robinson and The Miracle are at #17 (from #10).

    The Top 10:

    After three times of knocking at #1 from the #2 position, Tony Orlando and Dawn , are admitted into the top spot , yielded by George Harrison , with KNOCK THREE TIMES . A new artist by the name of Elton John breaks into the Top 10 (#7 from #11) for the first time thanks to radio DJs playing the 'B' side (YOUR SONG) of his intended single TAKE ME TO THE PILOT.
    Perry Como used to hang out regularly in the Top 10 back in the forties and fifties ; and between 1944 and 1958, Perry had 48 hits on Billboard's charts. So its not at all impossible for him to do it again , as he indeed has with ITS IMPOSSIBLE (#10). Probably more unlikely is Lynn Anderson's #1 country rendition of ROSE GARDEN entering at #9 from #15 and will peak at #3.

    The Top 40:
    Three Motown songs are heard in a row on this week's countdown:

    #12) The Supremes STONED LOVE
    #13) Motowns highest upward moving single is Gladys Knight And The Pips IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN at #13, a hearty five place jump.
    #14) Rather flat is RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH, The Four Tops and The Supremes , level at #14 for the third straight week.

    Smokey Robinson and the Miracles long-running THE TEARS OF A CLOWN dips to #17 (from #10).
    Diana Ross still in the countdown's bottom half but up a solid five points to #21 with REMEMBER ME.
    by Rare Earth doesn't stray far from last week's charting, one notch up to #23 from #24.
    Edwin Starr's STOP THE WAR NOW almost stops now at last week's #27, it's up one to #26.

    Dropping off the Top 40:
    Nothing from Motown

    The new entries:
    Nothing from Motown

    Highest entry:
    #34- ONE BAD APPLE - The Osmonds
    #36 - IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND Gordon Lightfoot
    #39 - PRECIOUS PRECIOUS - Jackie Moore
    #40 - DO THE PUSH AND PULL - Rufus Thomas

    ROSE GARDEN was a 1967 Joe South song ( GAMES PEOPLE PLAY, WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES, DOWN IN THE BOON DOCKS) covered two years later by Lynn Anderson , who had to push for the song's recording as it was thought by her producer as unfitting from a female prospective ( with lines like I could promise you things like big diamond rings). Not intended as a single, Clive Davis heard it and said, "Release that." It became an international success (16 countries), Grammy winner, and the #1 country song of the year.

    The first person to release South's ROSE GARDEN as a single was Dobie Gray:

    Joe South was a key player in the music business by the second half of the sixties.
    That guitar in the intro and throughout Aretha's CHAIN OF FOOLS, that 's him.
    South's brother Tommy who played drums for Joe when performing and recording, committed suicide in 1972. From that and drug use, Joe South never rebounded.

    The other remake to make the Top 10 this week is 49 year old Perry Como's IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. Born in 1912 , Como spent his entire forty four year recording career exclusively with RCA. English is Como's second language . He grew up speaking Italian at home near Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania with his Italian born parents. His smooth , calm vocal style is said to epitomize the term "easy listening" and his sweater oriented styling ,helped establish casual clothing. Como had high moral standards and did not let his television programs or concerts stray. When his wife of 65 years , Estelle Como died suddenly in 1994, he was devastated.
    IT'S IMPOSSIBLE (as SOMOS NOVIOS) was originally written and recorded in 1968 by Mexican songwriter Armando Manzanero, who passed in December 2020.

    Last edited by Boogiedown; Today at 08:18 PM.


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