Response to Monday’s list of destination songs was remarkable. I got a ton of selections from you. My brother Kip, who doesn’t blog but can be found on Twitter, came up with a playlist of ten songs of his own, and it’s a good one, so I’m going to feature it this week. As I said recently, I might just rename this the Friday Five Times Two.
- Roger Miller, “England Swings” This was a hit for the King of the Road in late 1965, reaching #8 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Country chart, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
- James Taylor, “Mexico” Sweet Baby James recorded this one on his 1975 Gorilla album. As a single, it was a hit on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US (#5) and Canada (#8).
- Johnny Horton, “North To Alaska” There’s something I like about Johnny Horton, chief thing being his name is easy to spell. He did a lot of historical songs, including “Sink The Bismarck,” “The Battle of New Orleans,” and “Johnny Reb.” This was played over the opening credits of the 1960 movie of the same name, which starred John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian and Capucine. Johnny died in a car accident shortly after this song was released.
- Pablo Cruise, “I Go To Rio” Pablo Cruise only had a couple of hits, 1977’s “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (US #6, Canada #1) and 1978’s “Love Will Find A Way” (US #6, Canada #5). Kind of a shame, because they were a pretty good band. This came out as a single in 1979, and reached #46 in the US and #39 in Canada. A bit surprising, because I remember it being much more popular. Probably because 1978’s Worlds Away, the album it’s from, did so well (Gold in Canada and Australia, Platinum in the US, where it reached #6 on the Albums chart).
- Glen Campbell, “By The Time I get To Phoenix” Glen’s followup single to “Gentle On My Mind,” this reached #2 on the Country chart, #26 on the Hot 100, #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #1 on the Canadian Country chart.
- Albert Hammond, “It Never Rains In Southern California” Albert wrote a lot of hit records, including One Moment In Time” for Whitney Houston, “The Air That I Breathe” for The Hollies, “When I Need You” for Leo Sayer, and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for Starship. He also wrote this for himself, which was the title track for his 1972 album. It reached #5 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Easy Listening and Cash Box 100 charts, and #2 in Canada.
- Marty Robbins, “El Paso” From his 1959 Platinum album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album, this is the full version. The shortened version, which runs under three minutes because radio stations would explode if they played a song longer than that, reached #1 on the Country and Hot 100 charts and #19 in the UK. This is part of the “El Paso Trilogy,” the other two songs being “Feleena (From El Paso)” and “El Paso City”.
- Lefty Frizzell, “Saginaw, Michigan” The title track from his 1964 album, it reached #1 on the US Country chart that year. It was his last #1 single there. And, I checked, he’s actually from Corsicana, Texas.
- Johnny Cash, “Folsom Prison Blues” From 1968’s At Folsom Prison, this is one of Johnny’s signature songs. The album reached #1 on the Country Albums chart and went three times Platinum. He wrote it in 1953 and recorded it in 1955, and it reached #4 on the Country & Western chart then. The live version was released in 1968 and likewise went to #1, and won him the Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance, Male in 1969.
- Xavier Cugat, “Brazil” Recorded in 1943 with his Waldorf-Astoria orchestra and the Cugat Choir on vocals.
Thanks, Kip! And that’s your Friday Five (Times Two) for June 23, 2017.