The Friday 5×2: 1974 One-Hit Wonders

1974 was a significant year in my life (I graduated high school and started college) and there was a lot of great music that came out that year. A lot of the songs on the list for that year were songs I hadn’t heard, and Cathy already did many of the ones I had heard in her post, so I only have ten to share this time.

  1. Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room” The pride of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Brownsville Station got considerable airplay on FM, but had just the one Top 40 hit, which reached #3. It was later covered by Motley Crüe.
  2. David Essex, “Rock On” Actor and singer Sir David Essex, OBE has had considerable success in the UK (19 Top 40 singles and 16 albums), so it’s a little surprising that this was his only US hit, which reached #5 in March.
  3. Rick Derringer, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” Rickie Dean Zehringer, a/k/a Rick Derringer, sang “Hang On Sloopy” for The McCoys in the ’60s and has worked with both Winter brothers, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Steely Dan, and Todd Rundgren. This was from his first solo album, 1973’s All-American Boy, and it peaked at #19.
  4. Sister Janet Mead, “The Lord’s Prayer” Sister Janet was an Australian Sister of Mercy from Adelaide who directed the Rock Masses at Adelaide Cathedral. She had a three-octave voice and perfect pitch, but was very shy and reserved, saying that the year she had her hit record (#3 in Australia, #4 in the US) was one of the hardest of her life.
  5. Sami Jo, “Tell Me A Lie” Country singer Jane Annette Jobe, a/k/a Sami Jo, reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the Easy Listening chart with this sing. Her next single, “It Could Have Been Me,” the title track from her 1974 album, reached #46 on the Hot 100 and #31 on the Easy Listening chart. She never had another hit record.
  6. Bobby Womack, “I’m Looking For A Love” A remake of The Valentinos’ hit from the early ’60s, which Bobby sang as lead singer for them. It’s a secular remake of the gospel song “Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray.” He’s had a long and varied musical career, as you can see here. The J. Geils Band had their first hit with the song in 1972.
  7. Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells” Oldfield’s 1973 album of the same name was essentially two album-side instrumental compositions, edits of which were played on the radio. This particular edit was used as the theme for the movie The Exorcist, and peaked at #11. The full album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Cash Box Albums chart.
  8. Dave Loggins, “Please Come To Boston” The second cousin of Kenny Loggins, Dave was a musician and composer who wrote the song “Pieces of April” for Three Dog Night. His one hit reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
  9. The First Class, “Beach Baby” The First Class was a British studio-based group assembled by producer and composer John Carter. It was sung by session singers Tony Burrows (who I discussed in the 1970 post) and Chas Mills, and peaked at #4 in the US and #13 in the UK.
  10. Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” Scott Joplin wrote “The Entertainer” in 1902, and it was used as the theme song for the 1974 movie The Sting. Hamlisch, of course, is only one of two people to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, a Tony Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in his career (Richard Rodgers is the other). Despite all that, this was his only hit single, reaching #2.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for December 1, 2017.


Monday’s Music Move Me: Grammy Winners from 1974

The theme for this week, “tunes from the Grammys the year you turned 18,” confused me. I turned 18 in 1974; did the person who gave the prompt want songs from the Grammy Awards ceremony held in 1974 (which honored the best records from 1973), or the songs from 1974 that were honored at the Grammy Awards ceremony in 1975? I decided the answer was “yes,” so here are three songs each from both years

From the 1974 Grammy Awards ceremony:

Roberta Flack, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” This won Record of the Year for Roberta Flack and producer Joel Dorn and Song of the Year for Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, who wrote it.

Charlie Rich, “Behind Closed Doors” The Silver Fox took the Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male.

Eumir Deodato, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” Deodato took home the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

And from 1975:

Olivia Newton-John, “I Honestly Love You” The lovely Olivia and her producer, John Farrar, took the Grammy for Record of the Year, and this song also won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells (Theme From The Exorcist)” Mike Oldfield won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition. This is only a portion of the full Tubular Bells, which itself is a pretty outstanding record.

Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer” Hamlisch was the big winner in 1975, winning with this for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. He also won, with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Song of the Year for “The Way We Were,” again with the Bergmans for Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special for The Way We Were, and took home the trophy for Best New Artist. Way to go, Marvin!

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for April 10, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


Top Ten from the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest


One of the things I heard more than once when I did last Friday’s playlist (featuring the top five songs from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest) was that ABBA rose to international fame by winning the contest with their 1974 hit “Waterloo.” I thought it might be fun to revisit the 1974 contest, held in Brighton, England on April 6, 1974, and see who the top ten winners were that year.

Source: Wikipedia, uploaded by AxG, under fair use

The BBC agreed to host the contest in 1974 because Luxembourg, who had won the contest the two previous years, didn’t have the money to host the contest a second year. Seventeen nations participated in the contest, including Greece for the first time (their entry, “Krasi, thálassa, ke t’ agóri mou” (“Wine, Sea, and My Boyfriend”) by Marinella, finished eleventh, just out of the money). France withdrew from the contest, as French President Georges Pompidou had just died and the contest was held the same day as his funeral.

The musical conductor for the broadcast was Ronnie Hazlehurst, who composed the theme songs for many BBC sitcoms (including Are You Being Served? and The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin). Sandie Shaw, a recent contestant in one of my Battles of the Bands, who had won in 1967 with “Puppet on a String,” was in the audience for the contest, as was Dani, who was to have sung the French entry (“La vie à vingt-cinq ans”) before France’s withdrawal.

Anyway, on to the tunes…

Place Song Performer Country Language
9 (tie) Fleur de Liberté
(Flower of Liberty)
Jacques Hustin Belgium French
9 (tie) Canta y sé Feliz
(Sing and Be Happy)
Peret Spain Spanish
7 (tie) Cross Your Heart Tina Reynolds Ireland English
7 (tie) Natali La Khayay
(I Gave Her My Heart)
Kaveret as “Poogy” Israel Hebrew
4 (tie) Celui qui Reste et Celui qui S’en Va
(The One Who Stays and The One Who Goes)
Romuald Monaco French
4 (tie) Bye Bye, I Love You Ireen Sheer Luxembourg French
4 (tie) Long Live Love Olivia Newton-John UK English
3 I See A Star Mouth and MacNeal Netherlands English
2 Si
Gigliola Cinquetti Italy Italian
1 Waterloo ABBA Sweden English

A couple more points of interest:

  • Olivia Newton-John apparently wasn’t all that fond of “Long Live Love” and wanted to do something else, but it was chosen by a public postal vote, so she was kind of stuck with it. She might have done better with a song she liked better. Just sayin’.
  • Mouth and MacNeal’s first hit, “How Do You Do?”, reached #8 on the Hot 100 and was a #1 hit throughout much of Europe in 1972. I knew I had heard of them before…

So there’s your Thursday Ten for November 19, 2015.