101 #1 Song of The Day
Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 30, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was the final number one song of the 60s decade and appropriately enough, it was recorded by the decade’s most successful American group.
The song was actually written as the decade was young and it wasn’t until nine year later that it became a hit. Although it was credited to a trio, in reality the only member of the group in the studio was its lead singer who was about to embark upon a solo career. Her back up vocalists were sisters Maxine and Julia Water and by December 30, 1969 it was the number one song in America. It would be the last number one song by the Supremes as Diana Ross went off on her own – (Someday We’ll Be Together)
Monday, December 29th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 29, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was part of today’s featured artist’s first album but it was never intended to be a single.
In fact, it wasn’t released as one until his follow up album came out and produced a number one hit of its own. A couple of film producers were working on a made- for-TV movie about a young woman dying of cancer. They were searching for an appropriate contemporary song to use as a theme in the film. They purchased a stack of albums from a nearby record store and sat down listen to all of them. When they came across the song you’re about to hear they knew they had found exactly what they were looking for. Eight days after the movie aired, its writer/performer was killed in a plane crash after a concert. He was scheduled to perform in Las Cruces within a few days. The song became number one on December 29, 1973 for Jim Croce (Time in a Bottle)
Friday, December 26th, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 26, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written and sung by a man without a recording contract but David Geffen volunteered to release a whole album of his songs without ever hearing a single note.
The artist was coming off a five year hiatus during which he spent his time as a househusband. But while on a trip to Bermuda, he started writing again and when he returned to New York, he booked a studio and resumed his recording career. Some record companies asked to hear the LP before offering a deal, but Geffen was willing to give it a go based on reputation alone. After all, he had an impressive resume and on December 26, 1980 the first single from the album was the number one song in America – just about one month after it’s release. Tragically, it was less than three weeks after his death – John Lennon (Just Like) Starting Over
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 23, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was recorded by a quintet that appeared to have toppled the Fab Four from their perch as the world’s supergroup.
They rode to American shores on the crest of the wave that brought the Beatles crashing onto our charts. Their timing was impeccable. One of their songs toppled “I Want to Hold Your Hand” from number one in England and they were quickly hailed as the new British Supergroup. The song you’re about to hear didn’t fare as well over there – it peaked at number 45 but over here it was number one on December 23rd, 1965 and it became the only number one song in the states for the Dave Clark Five – “Over and Over”
Monday, December 22nd, 2014 by Mike McKay
December 22, 2014: The 101 number one song of the day was written and performed by rock’s master storyteller who called his compositions “stories of ordinary people and cosmic moments of their non-cosmic lives.”
He was the son of a jazz drummer who worked with Tommy Dorsey’s Band. He studied trumpet growing up and later formed a folk group with his brothers Tom and Stephen. He supported himself by working as a New York City cabdriver and in 1969 he produced a documentary about boxing, “The Legendary Champions” which was nominated for an academy award. After his musical career took off he performed about 200 concerts a year, half of them for charity. His biggest hit was suggested by his wife Sandy when he was touring and away from home when his youngest son was born. He remembered his own dad being on the road much of the time when he was growing up and that led to the song which was number one on December 22, 1974 for Harry Chapin – “Cat’s in the Cradle”
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)
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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.”