(Above: a beautiful night for baseball.)
July 18, 1970
It’s a slow period in the headlines, with only a couple of stories to share.
On July 16, the Elks Club voted near-unanimously to remain an all-white organization. The official rules for membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, as it is formally called were that you be a) white, b) over 21, c) believe in God, and d) have never been a member of “a subversive organization.” The vote was 1550-22 to keep the rules, which didn’t change to integrate until 1973.
That same day Three Rivers Stadium opened in Pittsburgh as the Pirates lost to the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. Clay Carroll notched the win, defeating Dock Ellis. Both teams remain in first place in their respective divisions, with the Pirates leading the New York Mets by a game and a half and the Reds holding a comfortable ten game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The facility was imploded in 2001 after serving as home to both the Pirates and the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
On the charts: it’s the second and final week at #1 for “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)” by Three Dog Night. Watch for yet another biggest hit in the nation next week.
Also making their first appearances on the chart on this day fifty years ago:
“Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1)” – James Brown (debut at #72). Of course you know this record, as it’s been sampled all over the place. But don’t forget that James borrowed “shake your moneymaker” from Elmore James, only to have the Black Crowes borrow it from both of them. And don’t even get me started on the Flying Lizards. Anyway, this makes it up to #15.
“Everybody’s Got the Right To Love” – The Supremes (#74). The hits keep happening for the post-Diana Ross Supremes. This follow-up to “Up the Ladder to the Roof” doesn’t hit the top 10 like that one did, but it does peak at #21.
“Snowbird” – Anne Murray (#86). OK, a confession is needed. I like this song. There’s just something about it that causes me to turn it up a few notches when it comes on in the car (and it’s on my iPod, so that’s a possibility). Maybe it’s an innate desire to meet CanCon standards while driving? Either way, this is Murray’s first charting record in the US and it’s a big one, going all the way to #8. By the end of the decade she’ll have four top tens (including a #1 record) and nine total in the Top 40. But when’s the last time you heard her on the radio? This makes it to #1 on WIL in St. Louis and also on WLCX in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
“Hand Me Down World” – The Guess Who (#89). More CanCon. This is one that I drew on my list at several stations, and for me it falls into that same category as “China Grove” does: we play it, no one asks us to, but it’s not the sort of thing I’d get up to turn off. It’s not that I dislike the record, it’s just that there are other tunes by this band I enjoy a lot more. It’ll work its way up to #17, making #1 in Rochester, New York. (KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii bumps this to #2, making up for some of their choices last week.)
“Patches” – Clarence Carter (#90). This was the biggest hit that Carter ever had. It’s the sort of record you could put on at the end of the night to get people to leave the party; then again, if it was a good party with many drinks served, a sing-along may ensue. It’ll peak at #4 and claim a Grammy award.
“Baby Is There Something On Your Mind” – McKinley Travis (#93). A halfway decent soul shot here, it’s the only record that Travis ever put into the Hot 100. It’ll move to #91 next week and then disappear. KDKO in Littleton, Colorado bumps this all the way to #6.
“Down By the River” – Buddy Miles (#94). I’ve shared the shorter, six and a half minute version here: the full thing goes over 13 minutes if you are so inclined. Despite the length, it still makes it to #68 and charts for two months.
“The Lights of Tucson” – Jim Campbell (#97). I’m chalking this up as the “oh wow,” largely because I had never heard this record before. It hits #93 next week and then vanishes, and then so does Campbell, who charts nothing else on the pop list. It should come as no surprise that KTKT in Tucson, AZ charts this record at #1, but it’s also a successful #16 on KFRC in San Francisco.
“Yellow River” – Christie (#98). Flashbacks to the summer of 1990 at WCFL-FM in Morris, Illinois, where we rotated the tar out of anything on the Rhino Have a Nice Day series. (I’ve been threatening to dig those out, and I sense an unpacking of the CDs in the near future.) This peaked at #23 in the US, but spent a week as the #1 record in the UK. It also spends time as the #1 record at WRIG in Wausau, Wisconsin and at KCPX in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“I Can’t Be You (You Can’t Be Me)” – The Glass House (#99). An interesting soul shot that I thought would have been bigger; instead, it stops at #90 and ends up the second and final record for the band in the Hot 100.
“Long Lonely Nights” – The Dells (#100). Now here’s a remake I can get behind: while it remains true to the original, it just feels current (in a 1970 sense). There’s a freshness to it that makes it worth the revisit. It only ends up making it to #74, though.
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