(Above: Tammi Terrell, gone too soon.)
March 14, 1970
Today’s the day that actress Meredith Salenger is born. She’s also the wife of comedian Patton Oswalt. Three days earlier we lost Erle Stanley Gardner, writer of the Perry Mason series and – at one time – the top-selling American author. He was 80.
Monday the 16th marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Tammi Terrell. The Motown singer, who paired so beautifully with Marvin Gaye as well as releasing her own records, succumbed to a brain tumor at the age of only 24. I admit to being partial to her version of “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You),” which charted a year before on January 18.
The following Wednesday Dana Owens is born in New Jersey. You likely know her as rapper and/or actress Queen Latifah. That same day the author of this blog turned one in Chicago and has yet to release a record.
On the charts: the run at the top for Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” continues through its third week. There’s a short list of new songs this week, but it’s a pretty solid one.
“ABC” – Jackson Five (debut at #41). We’ve come close to having another single debut in the Top 40 shortly after “Let It Be.” The second single for the J5 will go on to top the charts for two weeks later this year, and that’s not even the biggest record they’ll have before the calendar changes. Nowadays the melody is more likely heard in an ad pushing a prescription med that rhymes with it.
“Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” – Led Zeppelin (#87). We usually don’t hear this one without “Heartbreaker” before it, at least not on Rock radio (which I covered here). This is the B-side of “Whole Lotta Love,” which first charted on November 22 of last year, so maybe it was meant to be heard by itself. (If you have the 8-track of Led Zeppelin 2, the songs are separated to fit better on the tape.) This charts for five weeks and stops at #65.
“Come Into My Life” – Jimmy Cliff (#90). The follow-up to December 6th‘s “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” is peaking, and this one just makes the list. It’ll only move one more place and disappear after three weeks. We don’t see Cliff on the charts again until 1993, when his version of “I Can See Clearly Now” makes it to #18 and becomes his biggest hit.
“Get Ready” – Rare Earth (#91). We’re talking about the single version, of course. If you are a disk jockey that needs time for #2, an oil change, and to chat up a lady on the request line, you’ll want the LP version – all 21-plus minutes of it. The single will go on to hit #4, or 25 places higher than the Temptations’ original from 1966.
“My Woman, My Woman, My Wife” – Marty Robbins (#92). We get a little Country in the chart this week as well. This one stops short of the Top 40, landing at #42, but that’s not a bad crossover for a record that won the Grammy for Best Country Song and spent a week atop that chart.
“For the Love of Him” – Bobbi Martin (#93). I can’t recall the last time I heard this one on the radio. In fact, it’s probably only played anymore on my iPod when going through the F’s. (I don’t shuffle.) You’d think some retro station would throw it in; it was a #13 record that spent two weeks at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart as well.
“Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone” – Charley Pride (#94). How about another Country crossover? This one topped the Country chart for two weeks in 1970, but only got as high as #70 on the Pop side. It’s a chart-topper on KSND in Seattle.
“Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade (#96). I wrote about this one here when Dean Ford of the band passed away last year. This remains a song I will always stop on when I hear it. It will go on to hit #10 and remain the only Top 40 song that the band has in the U.S.
“You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” – Lou Rawls (#99). Oh, you thought a short list meant no “oh wow” this week? I submit this one, which will cause you to never, ever hear Blood, Sweat and Tears the same way again. This is fantastic. It only spends three weeks here and stops at #95. It doesn’t even turn up in a significant way on local charts. Perhaps everyone missed one.
“Laughin’ and Clownin’” – Ray Charles (#100). I have to admit – I didn’t know this one. It spends two weeks on the list – one here, one at #98, and then gone. Ray’s in the middle of a dry spell – the last Top 40 was his cover of “Eleanor Rigby” in 1968 (which is worth hearing) and he won’t cross the line again until 1971.