Mike McKay's Blog
Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 19, 2014: When Motown songwriting legend Lamont Dozier first heard today’s 101 number one song of the day he thought he was hearing a cover version of one of his hits from the 60s. He was wrong but he would be hearing a cover of that same song within a month.
Dozier thought he was hearing “You Can’t Hurry Love” which, in fact, was released as a single a few short weeks later by Phil Collins. But today’s featured record was written and produced by a duo who were about to score their fifth chart-topper. It started out as a chorus written to a reggae beat that one half of the pair had been playing with a while and never finished so the other half sat down at the piano and changed the beat a little and before long the song was complete and on its way to number one. It was there on December 19th, 1982 for Hall and Oates. (Maneater)
The 101 #1 Song of the Day is sponsored by Harmony Adornments – local jewelry designer PJ’s unique one-of-a-kind, handmade items feature genuine gemstones, silver and gold. They’re sold exclusively at My Rich Sister’s Closet in Old Mesilla behind the church. Win a $25 gift certificate all this week with the 101 #1 Song of the Day replay on 101 Gold!
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 18, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day had its origins in South Africa and wound up in Brooklyn where a group originally calling themselves “Those Guys” were embarrassed by their recording.
Phil Margo – one of the group members, said he tried to convince the producers not to release their version of a song that previously was sung in Zulu by Miriam Makeba. Although new lyrics were written for this record, group members were unhappy with the results. The record company thought otherwise and they were right. It was released on October 17 and by December 18, 1961 it was at number one where it would stay for three weeks. The label wouldn’t let the group use “Those Guys” as a name so one of the group members thought back to their high school days when he was in a singing group with Neil Sedaka. The name used back then was being used at the time so they decided to use it for themselves and that’s how they became “The Tokens” (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 17, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was a “third” which made it a “first.” It was the third number one from the same album and that was the first time it ever happened.
The song was actually released as a single earlier than was planned. It was learned that Scepter Records was about to release a cover version of the same song by a singer named Nella Dodds. So even though the group you’re about to hear was already atop the charts with their second number one song from the album, the label decided to move up the release date to compete with the other version. It was no contest. Nella peaked at number 84 and during this week in December, 1964, this single…arrived at number one (Supremes – Come See About Me)
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 16, 2014: The 101 # 1 Song of the Day comes from the most successful duo in the rock era. Even so it took them a long time to make it the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Billboard Magazine placed them at number 15 on their list of their list of the greatest artists of all time and they charted 34 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. They were inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2003 but did not make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until earlier this year. But on December 16th, 1984 they had just scored their 6th number one song – “Out of Touch” by Hall & Oates.
Monday, December 15th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 15, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day took only three weeks to get to the top where it stayed for over 7 weeks which was the longest duration for a Motown song to date. Plus, the same song had gotten to number two just a fairly short time before.
In fact, a number of insiders were surprised that it was released as a single so soon after Gladys Knight and the Pips took it to the penultimate chart position the previous December. Interestingly enough, today’s featured artist had recorded his version before Gladys Knight but before that it was recorded by Smokey Robinson. In fact the song was covered by lots of others as well including the Isley Bros., Elton John, Ike and Tina Turner and Creedence Clearwater Revival to name just a few. But the version that rose all the way to number one this week in December, 1968 belonged to Marvin Gaye – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”
Friday, December 12th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 12, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day took the roundabout way to the top of the charts. It was part of an album released in 1967. It didn’t get to number one until more than three years later.
Stevie Wonder wrote the original version with Henry Cosby but both were unhappy with the lyrics they wrote for it so they asked William Robinson if he could come up with a new set of lyrics. He did and it was included as one of the tracks on an album entitled “Make it Happen.” Later, in 1970 British Motown executive John Marshall was looking for a single to be released in England and came across this cut you’re about to hear. To everyone’s amazement it went to number one. It was decided then to release it in the states and it became the first number one hit for a group that had been together since 1954. It was there December 12, 1970 for William Robinson who was better known to the world as “Smokey” (The Tears of a Clown)
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 by Mike McKay
The 101 number one song of the day was never intended to be taken seriously, something slapped together in 10 minutes as a B side for a song no one will remember. People loved the wrong song but love wasn’t the subject – instead, it was physical conflict.
The one that people were supposed to cater to was called, “I Want to Give You My Everything.” Executives at the record company thought it was okay but they weren’t too excited by it so the asked the producer what was on the flip side. He was almost embarrassed to tell them saying, “it’s just a fun thing, but it won’t really sell.” The executives thought it had some potential because of the unusual subject matter which was gaining a lot of interest in the 70s because of Bruce Lee action movies. They were right and on December 11, 1974 it was the number one song in America for Carl Douglas.
(Kung Fu Fighting)
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 10, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was the most expensive, elaborate single ever produced when it reached the top of the music world on December 10, 1966. And many have called it a masterpiece.
It was recorded in 17 sessions over a period of six months, at four different recording studios. It has lots of texture on it because so many overdubs were done. Its creators would double or triple or even quadruple the exact same part so it would sound like twenty voices. It was recorded at multiple studios because each had it own marked sound according to the driving force behind today’s 101 number one song of the day – that was Brian Wilson – Here are the Beach Boys (Good Vibrations)
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 9th, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day reached the top of the charts twice and the original version – sung by a group calling themselves the Casinyets is today’s featured single. The name, by the way, stood for something that most struggling artists would not want you to know.
It stood for Can’t Sing Yet. That’s what the four girls from Michigan thought of themselves when they formed the group in High School. They performed in a local talent show and that led to an audition in front of the head of a fledgling record label in Detroit. He thought they sang pretty good but he wanted to hear some original material. One of the members asked a songwriter friend if he had anything that might work for them and he offered the song you’re about to hear. Actually not, because the group member stayed up all night and totally rewrote the song keeping only the title. The head of the record company agreed to sign them to a contract and it would lead to his label’s first number one song. His name is Berry Gordy, Jr. and Motown was on its way. The song reached the top on December 11, 1961. And since everyone involved agreed that by this time the girls could sing – and pretty well – they came up with a new name: the Marvelettes. (Please Mr. Postman)—That song was also recorded by the Beatles and later on, the Carpenters who also took it to number one.
Monday, December 8th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 8, 2014: A sensitive ballad written by a musician to his wife expressing his feelings of separation is the sole number one single for one of America’s most popular heartland rock bands and it’s today’s 101 Number One Song of the Day.
Today’s featured group began in 1963 as the Tradewinds in Chicago and worked for years building up a following but it wasn’t until the middle 70s that the group began making the charts. By then they had renamed themselves after the river, which according to Greek mythology, dead souls are ferried across to read Hades – the underworld. The inspiration for the song was the weeks and months on the road touring and how much the band’s lead singer, Dennis DeYoung missed his wife while on tour. It reached number one on December 8, 1979 and it’s today’s 101 Number One Song of the Day for the band Styx. It’s “Babe.”