Mike McKay's Blog
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 22, 2015: By the summer of 1976 the biggest guessing game in the record business was trying to figure out when today’s featured artist would release his next album. When it finally happened, it produced today’s 101 number one song of the day.
It had been two years since his previous album and promise dates had come and gone. He even took to wearing t-shirts that read “we’re almost finished.” When he finally was, critics said the double album was his finest, most mature work. And by January 22nd, 1977 its first single was number one in America. The album itself debuted at number one because the anticipation was so high. The album was entitled, “Songs in the Key of Life.” It’s Stevie Wonder and the 101 number one song of the day: “I Wish.”
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 21, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was produced by Quincy Jones who said of the performer “He behaves like an adolescent and, at the same time, like a wise old philosopher.”
He went on to say, “I feel kind of responsible for him. I’m totally involved in his life, but at times, it’s him who plays the role of father. The performer’s actual father played a very influential role in his music, especially in the beginning, but by the time today’s single was number one on January 20, 1980, he was putting some distance between himself and his dad, as well as the rest of his family, with whom he had made music for much of the previous decade. And that brings us to today’s 101 number one song of the day from Michael Jackson – “Rock with You.”
Monday, January 19th, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 20, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was supposed to be the “B” side of a single. The “A” side was “Queen of the Jungle.” The public made a different choice.
Both songs were sung by a guy who decided on a singing career while in the Navy. Growing up in Meridian, Miss. He sang in his church choir, and formed a quartet to sing spirituals and Country and Western, as well. After the service, he worked as a dishwasher, mail carrier and janitor while picking up music gigs here and there. His first big break came in 1966 when he met Marc Gordon, manager of the Fifth Dimension. But success was still several years away. In the early 70s, Gordon formed his own label, Carousel Records and on January 20, 1974 the label had its one and only number one hit – today’s 101 number one song of the day: for Al Wilson and “Show and Tell”
Friday, January 16th, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 16, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was not only the biggest hit of the year it completely shattered the image of the person who recorded it.
She had that “girl next door” kind of thing going for her but that changed with the release of today’s song loaded with innuendo and double entendre. Some program directors thought it went too far especially with the line “there’s nothing left to talk about unless it’s horizontally.” Most people thought the song was just fine thank you and it stayed at number one for ten solid weeks. It was at the top on January 16, 1982 for Olivia Newton John (Physical)
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 14, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was an ode to the writer’s idol and was so successful that it would eclipse everything else the writer did subsequently.
When he wrote it, he had no idea that it was the least bit commercial but he was pretty sure it was a masterpiece. The song’s creator was working delivering papers, which by the way, was the only job outside of music he ever had which he started pursuing at the age of 15. Something happened on February 3, 1959 that changed his life and it inspired the song that arrived at number one this week in January, 1972 and would remain on top for 4 weeks. Here’s Don McLean with the 101 number one song of the day (American Pie)
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 by Mike McKay
Today a song written by two collaborators who never really collaborated. They usually worked separately but they came together for today’s 101 number one song of the day.
In a 1980 Playboy interview, one was quoted as saying the other “provided the optimism while I contributed the sadness.” While the first brought lightness to the work, “I was impatient.” The song you’re about to hear had each of those elements within. The middle eight, as it were, written by the man just quoted (and whose name always came first on the credits) declared, “Life is very short and there’s no time.” But the song’s title, and the thrust of the song, reflected the hopefulness of the partner. Together they produced an unrivaled body of work. Lennon and McCartney did work together on the song that was number one in America on January 13, 1966 for the Beatles: “We Can Work It Out”
Monday, January 12th, 2015 by Mike McKay
The 101 number one song of the day was the rarest of rare hits in that it wasn’t the kids that were buying the single; it was their parents. As far as the kids were concerned it was a case of been there, done that.
It was a dance song that had been popular about a year and a half before. This time around it had become popular with the jet set. When a columnist mentioned that Prince Serge Obolensky was seen doing the dance at New York’s Peppermint Lounge, Ed Sullivan invited the singer to appear on his show. That prompted the re-release of the single and this time it caught on in the adult world. It rocketed to the top – for a second time and on January 12th, 1962 it was number one all over again – for Chubby Checker (The Twist)
Friday, January 9th, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 9, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day came from a guy who most observers thought his best work was behind him even though he never had a hit. And it didn’t happen until after he recorded eighth album.
He was the son of a Milwaukee, Wisconsin pathologist. While in college he and Boz Scaggs fronted a band that was the rage of frat row. Later, he drifted down to Chicago to play the blues and eventually headed west to San Francisco and became an immediate local favorite in the days of psychedelia. He developed an enthusiastic following but remained a relative unknown. Determined to come up with something that would get airplay he came up with something that was two and a half minute long and would play on top 40 radio. What resulted became the title cut of album number eight and he achieved his goal: it was played on the radio and audiences loved it. It arrived at number one in January, 1974 – It the Steve Miller Band (The Joker)
Thursday, January 8th, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 8, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day brought today’s featured artist her greatest hit and ultimately her biggest headache.
She was a New York City born folksinger who cut her musical teeth as a teenager performing in Greenwich Village coffee shops. What happened one day is the stuff of legend when she went to a wrong address looking for an audition. She wound up, quite by accident at the offices of Buddah Records where label president Neil Bogart took an immediate liking to her and signed her on the spot. He then introduced her to her future producer who would later become her husband. The song which would be number one on this day in 1972 was written in 15 minutes intended to be an uptempo interlude she could slip into concerts when she got tired of singing about the trials of mankind. But, in addition to it becoming a number one song, eventually it would be the only song people would want to hear from her and she became so frustrated she quit the music business outright. At least for a few years and when she did return to recording none of them became hits. But this one stayed at number one for 3 weeks for Melanie (Brand New Key)
Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 by Mike McKay
January 7, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was pure kid-stuff…because it resulted in a huge charitable contribution to kids all over the world.
The group that did the song described themselves as “not very political” but one cause they were interested in was children. As one of the members of the group said, “children in need are the most defenseless people on Earth.” So when they were asked to participate in a music project sponsored by the United Nations organization UNICEF they immediately agreed. In fact, they promised to donate the royalties from their next single. That single entered the Hot 100 in November 1978 and by January 7th, 1979 it was the number one song in America – The BeeGees and “Too Much Heaven.”