101 #1 Song of The Day
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.”
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 30, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was the 12th number one song to pose a question. The first was “Why?” by Frankie Avalon but by the time today’s featured song reached number one another important question might have been, “Are you from Australia?”
In the early 80s being from “down under” seemed to get you a lot of attention. Mel Gibson was starring in Mad Max. Air Supply and the Little River Band had each achieved top ten singles in the states and a group which had been making around $10 a week per man got a contract from Columbia Records. They released an album called Business as Usual and, while it took 17 weeks to get to number one, their debut single arrived at the top of the charts on October 30, 1982. The question in the title was “Who can it be now?” Here’s Men at Work.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 29, 2014: The identity of the lead singer in today’s 101 number one number one song of the day was kept a secret from his fans and for many years afterward but now the secret can be told.
Rudy Martinez was born in Mexico and raised in Michigan’s Saginaw Valley. The song, which is now acknowledged as a forerunner of punk rock was recorded in the living room of the band’s manager which provided some unusual acoustics. It rose to number one on October 29, 1966 for a guy who never took off his sunglasses and actually had his name legally changed to – ? as in ? and the Mysterians – 96 Tears
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 28, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written and performed by a one hit wonder from London whose inspiration about the wasted life of a streetwise Lolita from the grittiness of Hollywood Boulevard.
When he was 10, his family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1971, he and others teamed up to form a band called Sweeney Todd and they struggled in obscurity until legal battles forced him out on his own. He tried to team up with Beatles producer George Martin but that didn’t work out so he wound up with producer Mike Chapman who frankly didn’t think today’s featured single was strong enough to make it. He was wrong but it took 20 long weeks to reach the top where it landed on October 28, 1978 for Nick Gilder – The song: Hot Child in the City
Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 27th, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was recorded by today’s feature group and quickly forgotten, literally. When the head of their label told them it would be their biggest hit, at first they couldn’t remember ever recording it.
It was finished in a couple of takes and quickly relegated to album cut status. Soon after, Berry Gordy called them into his office at Motown and told them to be prepared for the biggest hit of their career, one of the members of the quartet, Duke Fakir, remembers trying to figure out what song had the title to which Gordy referred. The group assumed it was a pep talk and didn’t place too much faith in their boss’s prediction. Two weeks later when almost every radio station in America was playing the song they realized he was right. And not just in the U.S. – In Britain, where they had failed to crack the top 20, they were suddenly number one. And on October 27th 1966, it was number one right here in New Mexico – for the Four Tops – Reach Out, I’ll Be There
Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 23, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was a solo but a group got the credit. It was written by one person but two got credit for that. It is the first of over 2500 cover versions which is a Guiness record.
The writer said “I just fell out of bed and it was there.” He thought he must have heard it somewhere and he spent about three weeks asking all the music people he knew if they’d heard it before. No one had. At the time, it was just a tune with no words and he called it scrambled egg. He was the only member of his group in the studio when it was recorded. He sang it and played acoustic guitar and was backed by a string quartet. But the label said it was the Beatles and the writers credited – as always – Lennon/McCartney. But it was all Paul. And it was number one in America on October 24, 1965 – “Yesterday”
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Mike McKay
October 23, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written in a schoolyard, the instruments used to back up the writing process were cardboard boxes and it went on to be the biggest hit of one rock’s early icons.
His career got its start when he and members of his neighborhood gang (the Fordham Baldies) recorded for songs as a Valentine’s present for his mother. His proud mom played the songs for friends and one of them knew someone who worked for a small label called Mohawk Records. Although they never got together, the experience led to interest in him elsewhere and when he and friends formed a group and named themselves after a street near their homes, it led to a string of hits. Fast forward now to 1961 – by this time today’s featured singer had ventured out on his own but hadn’t left his neighborhood in the Bronx. It was there, while banging on cardboard boxes, that today’s 101 number one song of the day was born. It arrived at the top on October 23rd, 1961 for the former Belmont – Dion “Runaround Sue”