Mike McKay's Blog
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 4, 2015: The 101 Number one song of the day was written for a specific scene in a movie but it wasn’t at all what the producer had requested. The writers refused to change the song so the producer changed the movie.
The movie producer wanted the song to last eight minutes to fit the scene he had in mind. He also wanted a nice dance tempo, then a romantic interlude, then “all hell would break loose at the end.” He also wanted the same phrase repeated over and over. The songwriters ignored the instructions and came up with something entirely different and refused to use the requested phrase because they thought it was 1) “corny” and 2) other songs had the same or similar title. The songwriters prevailed and went onto record their song the way they wanted it and even so it was used in the movie trailer. And that was enough to launch it to number one where it landed on February 4th, 1978. And the phrase they refused to use over and over was – Saturday Night, Saturday Night. Instead the BeeGees came up with “Stayin’ Alive” (Saturday Night Fever did fine anyway)
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 3rd, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day, originally entitled the “Dying Man” was supposed to a Beach Boys song – but when they took a pass, the man who suggested it scored his biggest hit ever.
He was working with the Beach Boys on a session when he came across a song by French composer Jacques Brel entitled “Le Moribond.” After recording it, they decided not to release it. Then the session player – who had previously recorded as a member of the Poppy Family – decided to record it instead after a friend of his suddenly passed away. It sat on a shelf in his basement for over a year until his paper boy heard it and thought it was great. That gave him the confidence to release it and on March 3, 1974 it was the number one song in America and went on to sell over 6 million copies worldwide – it’s today’s 101 number one song of the day for Terry Jacks (Seasons in the Sun)
Monday, February 2nd, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 2, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day comes from a man whose best years seemed to be behind him in 1962 when he reached number one. It took Elton John to get him back to the top.
He had lots of in the late 50s and early 60s but then things pretty much dried up from this kid from Brooklyn. By the 70s he moved to London where he lived for a while with his family. There he met Elton John who had just started a new American label, Rocket Records. Elton decided to sign him and a new album was recorded. A cover version of the song they intended to release as the first single suddenly popped up on the American charts and they rushed to get their single on radio stations. When it started to get airplay it raced to the top where it sat on February 2, 1975 and the second half of his career was off and running – Neil Sedaka and Laughter in the Rain.
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)