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Long-forgotten Top 40 Songs


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Tom, You are certainly welcome to disagree. I also like Loggins and Messina, but I think that Kenny's first solo album really made him a star.

This thread is designed to get the site talking about music, so I'm happy to see people contributing to it.

If I can help bring a Tommy Tunes and a Marvin Matthews even a little closer together, then my job is done!

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After "Full Sail" they released the live "On Stage", followed by "Mother Lode", and then the covers album, "So Fine" - another personal fave.

Mother Lode is the one I was referring to. If "So Fine" is the album I'm thinking of I strongly disagree. It was horrible. All covers by a band of 2 so gifted song writers. UCHH! If it was their last album together then I am sure it was just put together to fulfill their record contract. That was like all 50's songs done in their countryrock way. UCHH!
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What I liked about "So Fine" was once again the musical performances. For the most part they stayed true to the original recordings, but still managed to make it sound like an L&M record. I loved it. They did release one more studio recording after "So Fine", "Native Sons."

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When it came to 'Pop / Soul', the songs didn’t get much better than what Honey Cone produced. That really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since they were masterminded by Motown magicians Holland-Dozier-Holland. H-D-H wrote and produced most of the songs, including the first big hit, the #1 smash "Want Ads."

The song I’ve chosen wasn’t as successful on the Pop charts (it hit #15) as "Want Ads", but it did make it to #1 on the R&B charts. I’ve always loved the melody, and that gentle beat is to die for.

Enjoy Honey Cone with "One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show":


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As he often does, Marvin inspired me for today's choice based off his selection of a Holland/Dozier/Holland tune.

I just read a fantastic interview done by them in the current issue of Songwriter magazine where they tell many tales including how the Marvelettes rejected their song, "Where Did Our Love Go" and Dozier was so upset at them turning down the tune, he gave it to the newest artist at Motown, a group of young ladies no one ever heard of called "the Supremes" instead! The first of, can you believe this, thirteen straight number one songs they wrote for the Supremes!

The songwriting trio penned over 200 songs between 1962-67 and had countless hits before they broke up the trio at the age of TWENTY SIX!

The song I have picked for today is a fantastic tune written only by Lamont Dozier and it was his first attempt as an artist after all that songwriting success. (He and Brian Holland stayed together after Eddie left for a few years.)

It went to number fifteen in 1973 and this is the long version (album version from "Out Here On My Own"). Man, just listen to the biting sax that intros the vocal about two minutes into this and tell me (I'm talking in my Barry White voice now) how hard it is not to want to hold onto your baby when you hear that! This just ooooooozes "want"!

A great song and spectacular vocal from a guy who never got enough credit as a performer. I played this 45 endlessly! Turn the music up and the lights down low!

Here's Lamont Dozier (the artist) with "Tryin' To Hold On To My Woman":


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Pat I checked the charts and I see that this song made #15 in the U.S. Unfortunately I think it's another one of those songs that didn't make it past Canadian / U.S. Customs. I've never heard it before!

By the way, Lamont has had success right into the 1980's with songs that he's co-written: "Two Hearts" (Phil Collins), "Invisible (Alison Moyet), and "Infidelity" (Simply Red).

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Today's top forty song is an homage to the greatest powerpop band of all time, known for their incredible vocals and fantastic musicianship.

This band comes from Ohio and put out three albums with their original lineup in the early 70's and a fourth with some switches in members in 1974, that was critcially acclaimed and suggested by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top albums of the year.

The song I am choosing was their third top forty hit (they would eventually have one more) and went to number 35 in 1973. It is one of the great mysteries of music why this band didn't have dozens of hit records.

The lead singer and keyboard player went on to great solo success and had eight top forty records in the 70's and 80's, including songs that hit #2, #3, and #4. He has had many songs covered by other artists, inclduing records that became hits for movies.

The guitar player joined a new band that was like a super group, pulling in members of other well known groups, and had a fantastic debut album. He recently released an album that was accompanied by his talented son on it.

The bass player also put out a recent wonderful solo album and the drummer, thought by many to be on of the greatest rock and roll drummers of all time, actually stopped playing for many years, had also played in a variety of bands.

All four original members reunited for an all too short tour in 2004 and 2005 that was very well received and loved by all.

The band put out a long awaited double CD/DVD live record in 2007 with awesome reviews!

Tonight, they will play at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, in what hopefully, becomes the first true step of their long overdue recognition and entry into it.

Here's Raspberries with "Let's Pretend":


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Today's tune was a song recorded by a guy that was almost "too good looking" to be taken seriously as a musical artist.

Columbia Records signed him to a recording contract based on his looks, but the guy really had an incredible voice, too. (Imagine their surprise!)

After two album flops, but some serious noteriety in 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat, our hero did a made for tv movie in 1979 entitled "Sooner Or Later", which also was the title of his outstanding third album, one that ended up going platinum! The movie was a huge ratings success and retailers couldn't stock the album fast enough after that.

His first single off the album, today's song, went to number ten that year.

His followup record, called "Forever" was a very solid album, but alas, his "fifteen minutes" were already done.

He went into stage acting and was a big hit on Broadway, as the character of Frederic in "The Pirates of Penzeance". (I was fortunate enough to see it.)

This fine actor did many cameos on tv shows and also took over for Andy Gibb as the host of the music show "Solid Gold" in 1982.

He also did some soap opera acting, as the character of Darryl Crawford for three years (90-92) on the CBS soap "As The World Turns".

After some mild success with a re-release of a greatest hits package in 2006, he is currently working on a new CD, expected to be released at the end of 2009.

Here's Rex Smith with "You Take My Breath Away":


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My choice for today is song taken from an off-Broadway play that opened on 05/17/71 and had well over 2000 performances. The song, an incredible vocal performance went to #13 in 1972 and unbelievably was the only record ever recorded by the lead singer.

When "Godspell" first opened up, it was a small production written by John Michael Tebelak and a vibe started going around New York. Suddenly, it was brought to the attention of the great songwriter, Stephan Schwartz ("Pippin", "Wicked", "Pocahontas", Hunchback Of Notre Dame", "Enchanted"). Schwartz changed some of the lyrics, most of which were originally taken from the gospel according to Matthew.

Schwartz brought the play to producer Edgar Lansbury (brother of Angela) and they decided to make a screenplay out of it, too in 1973. The show eventually hit Broadway in 1976.

One of the many productions of it that really helped the play take off, was the one in Toronto in 1972. A young producer named Lorne Michaels flipped over it when he saw it. That production, which ran for over a year, starred (if you can believe it) Victor Garber (who also did the movie)in the lead role of Jesus, AND Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, Andrea martin, Dave Thomas and Martin Short as some of the side characters. The musical director was a young man named Paul Shaffer. The rest, shall we see, is history.

It amazes me that such a moving vocal performance was a one shot deal for young Robin Lamont. She currently is a criminal prosecuter for the Westchester County District in White Plains, NY.

Sadly, three of the original ten actors in the play have already left us, but there is talk of a 2009 revival starring Diana DeGarmo, a runner up on American Idol in 2004. It was actually all set, but a major investor had to pull out, due to economic hardship.

This song recently returned to the big screen in a hysterical scene in the movie, "Meet The Parents" when Ben Stiller's character is asked to say grace by his potential in-laws, and he recites the words to the song.

I was fortunate enough to see the orignal cast as a youngster when it came to Chicago and it made a major impact on me.

On another personal note, when I was in college, I was in a class where everyone had to perform a song from a stage play and this was the one I chose. I was playing and singing this song and when it came to the fast part, everyone in the class stood up and clapped and sang along, as if it was scripted. It was very moving to me and something I will never forget. The teacher was stunned. Just a magical moment for me.

Here's The Cast of Godspell with "Day By Day":


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