Mike McKay's Blog
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 13, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day did what most people considered impossible. It was the first record ever to enter the British singles chart at number one.
It was written by the great songwriting duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller who met today’s featured artist for the first time at the recording session for this song. They were very impressed with his talent and work ethic. He would do a great take and then insist on another and another. To unwind, he’d sit down at the piano and sing a hymn. He never looked at the clock. Today’s 101 number one song of the day was a title song to a movie and it was number one on November 13, 1957 for a workaholic Elvis Presley – “Jailhouse Rock”
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 12, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day almost didn’t get to be a hit at all because program directors at radio stations across the country were too nervous to play it until the felt they felt they no longer had a choice.
The public demanded it. Even though this was during the seventies, the content still seemed to racy for airplay. But stations were inundated by listener requests and eventually, the song found its way onto the air in more and more places. As a result, it quickly rose to the top of Billboard’s Top 100. It would become today’s featured artist’s second number one hit when it landed on top this week in 1976 where it stayed for 8 full weeks. Here’s Rod Stewart with “Tonight’s the Night”
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 11, 2014: The 101 Number One Song of the day was the fifth and final number one song for a 70’s super group who kept their vow to quit while they were on top.
Well they kept that promise for a while, anyway. One of the founding members was quoted as saying that he knew the band was over halfway through the recording of the album which produced today’s featured single. He went on to say, “I started the band, I got tired of it and I quit.” No wonder he and his other bandmates grew tired. They began recording the album in 1977 and it wasn’t completed until two years later but once it was, today’s song moved faster than any of their previous singles up the charts and on November 11th, 1979 it was number one – for the Eagles – “Heartache Tonight.”
Monday, November 10th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 10, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was intended for an audience of one. The songwriter never wanted the public to hear the song he had composed especially for his brother.
He had a speech impediment. He stuttered. So the writer and lead singer deliberately stuttered on the song and planned on sending it to his brother who’d then have the only copy in the world. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way. The band was working on their third album when the head of the label said he didn’t hear the “magic” and asked if they had anything else to offer. The only thing that available was the song you’re about to hear and it was offered up with great reluctance because of the personal nature of it. The executive said it was better than everything else so the writer agreed to include it on the LP only if he could re-record it without the stutter. He tried but he said he sounded like Frank Sinatra. So the original was used and the rest is history as it wound up at number one on November 10, 1974 for Randy Bachman and Bachman Turner Overdrive. (You ain’t Seen Nothing Yet)
Friday, November 7th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 7, 2014: The 101 Number One Song of the Day comes from a duo which thought making music was a kind of therapy. One of them once said, “Some people go to a psychiatrist, we write songs.”
They would often use double entendres, innuendo and hidden meanings. The other half of the pair once said, “if you want to understand what we’re talking about read between the lines.” Today’s featured single was the title cut to an album released in 1981 and it rose to number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 on November 7th of that year for – Hall and Oates. It’s Private Eyes.
Thursday, November 6th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 6, 2014: The 101 # 1 song of the day is about an idyllic but fictional place and it set the record for the longest time span between number one songs by any band ever.
It was co-written by John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Doris Day’s son, Terry Melcher and one other person whose name is coming up. It was part of the sound track for a Tom Cruise movie that took place in the Florida Keys. The song reached number one during this week in November in 1988 and it was the band’s first number one song since 1966 – the fourth co-writer was Mike Love of the Beach Boys – it’s “Kokomo”
The only Beach Boys’ # 1 song that was not written or produced by Brian Wilson.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 5, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was never supposed to be released as a single; in fact, it was recorded as a joke while the group was putting together an album.
That joke turned into a huge hit. Two of the group members were engaged to one another and because of the subject matter, the female half of the couple did a cover of a song written and recorded by Laura Nyro. Because she was not an experienced lead singer, the producer had to make 22 splices to come up with a final version which was eventually included on the album. The head of the record company charged with distribution refused to release it as a single until more and more radio stations started playing it. And it kept climbing and climbing the charts until it landed on top this week in November, 1969 – It’s today’s 101 number one song of the day for the Fifth Dimension – Wedding Bell Blues – lead singer: Marilyn McCoo – engaged, at the time to Billy Davis, Jr.
Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 4, 2014: The 101 # 1 Song of the Day was the fourth song to reach number one with a title that bore the name of an American city.
The distinction between R-E-E-L life and R-E-A-L was blurred because this made-for-TV group was competing in the marketplace with non fictional groups like the Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones. They spent 12 hours a day on a soundstage filming their series, leaving little time for recording. That, and the producers’ doubts about their musical talent, led to studio musicians such as Glen Campbell and Leon Russell to work on their material. Today’s featured song was released a mere 3 weeks before their series debuted and a few weeks after it became a television hit, they had their first hit record – and this week in 1966 it was number one in America – The Monkees and Last Train to Clarksville.
—that song was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and Bobby picked his favorite town in Arizona as his inspiration thus making clarksville the fourth American city to be mentioned in the title of a number one song (Kansas city, New Orleans, El Paso)
Monday, November 3rd, 2014 by Mike McKay
November 3rd, 2014: When Today’s 101 Number One Song of the Day reached the top it replaced Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka. What made it more interesting is that Sedaka was replaced at the top by his boss.
He happened to be the owner of Rocket records and the year 1975 he had the Midas touch. Not only was Neil Sedaka turning out gold but so was the man responsible for today’s featured single which was his third single of that year to get to number one. He was happy with his success but his “celebrity” was making him, in his words, “pretty cheesed off” because he could go nowhere without be accosted by fans. Success can have its downside but on November 3rd, 1975 it was Elton John who got to number one with “Island Girl.”
Friday, October 31st, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 31st, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was the fourth single released by today’s featured group and each of those singles reached the top. Nobody had ever done that before. And it was also to be their last number one.
Although one member of the group would go on to reach the top a number of times as a solo act. At the time it was considered a pretty big risk because each of the previous singles were uptempo dance songs. This one, however, was a ballad and after some initial reluctance – and because of the encouragement of their label boss – the song was recorded and it went on to be the biggest hit of their illustrious career. But after this one there would be no more singles to go to the top for them as a group but their lead singer – and little brother – would go on to record a bunch by himself. It was number one on October 31st, 1970 and stay there for five weeks for the Jackson Five “I’ll Be There.”