We’re All Gonna Go

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(Pictured: Black Sabbath. Not your standard AM radio fare.)

I recently wrote about the AT40 show for the week of December 5, 1970. Here’s some stuff from the rest of the Billboard chart that week, not just the Bottom 60 but a 20-position Bubbling Under chart too.

41. “Pay to the Piper”/Chairmen of the Board
45. “River Deep Mountain High”/Supremes and Four Tops
46. “Groove Me”/King Floyd
48. “Border Song”/Aretha Franklin
59. “If I Were Your Woman”/Gladys Knight and the Pips
63. “If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going to Go”/Curtis Mayfield
This is but a fraction of the soul superstars and notable songs on this chart. Also appearing: B. B. King, Ray Charles, Clarence Carter, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby “Blue” Bland, David and Jimmy Ruffin, O. V. Wright, the Moments, the Intruders, and Al Green.

44. “Immigrant Song”/Led Zeppelin
69. “Mr. Bojangles”/Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

70. “Amos Moses”/Jerry Reed
71. “Your Song'”/Elton John

81. “Lonely Days”/Bee Gees
In my earlier post about the 12/5/70 AT40 show, I wrote that I loved the way the music sounded on WLS. These songs sounded great in that environment, too. “Immigrant Song” was amazing in that environment.

67. “Rose Garden”/Lynn Anderson. “Rose Garden” was a modern-day extra provided to AT40 affiliates with the 12/5/70 show. The extras are often songs that the oldies, classic hits, and AC stations that typically carry AT40 repeats might otherwise be playing, but “Rose Garden,” despite eventually making #3, seems like an exception.

76. “Paranoid”/Black Sabbath. I love that this was a hit in the same week as “I Think I Love You” and “Knock Three Times” by Dawn. It was actually #1 at WCOL in Columbus, Ohio, at the end of November, sharing the Top 10 with the Partridge Family, Smokey Robinson, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and Elvis—and also “Fresh Air” by Quicksilver Messenger Service. “Paranoid” made the Top 10 in Denver, Winnipeg, and Norfolk, Virginia. And in Erie, Pennsylvania, too, but not until March 1971.

68. “Morning”/Jim Ed Brown
91. “Coal Miner’s Daughter”/Loretta Lynn
93. “Where Have All the Heroes Gone”/Bill Anderson
101. “Fifteen Years Ago”/Conway Twitty
102. “I Can’t Believe That You’ve Stopped Loving Me”/Charley Pride
111. “I Wouldn’t Live in New York City (If They Gave Me the Whole Dang Town)”/Buck Owens
112. “I’m Alright”/Lynn Anderson
115. “Flesh and Blood”/Johnny Cash
116. “The Wonders You Perform”/Tammy Wynette
Country crossovers to the Hot 100 were a thing in 1970 just as they are now. (Fun fact: “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which would hit #1 on the Billboard country chart on December 19, peaked at #83 a week later.) “I Wouldn’t Live in New York City”  is a 1970 version of the 2022 conservative trope about cities being dangerous hellholes no decent person would live in or visit. It likely didn’t offend anybody who actually lived in NYC, however, because the only country radio stations in the metro area in 1970 were in Hackensack, New Jersey, and Mineola, New York. The city didn’t get one of its own until WHN started playing country in 1973.

95. “Lady Love”/The Klowns. After the success of made-for-TV acts like the Monkees and the Archies, Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus tried to manufacture a similar act. They called upon bubblegum god Jeff Barry, who dug a few songs out of his closet, hired some studio musicians, and birthed the Klowns. The Klowns who appeared on the album cover were not the people who performed on the album; they were actors, among them Barry Bostwick, later of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame. Those actors appeared in a Klowns TV special in November 1970, which guest-starred Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis. Nothing came of either the TV show or the album, although “Lady Love” lasted two weeks at #95.

120. “Down to the Wire”/Yellow Hand. This band, whoever they were, had friends in high places. Six of the 10 songs on their lone album were by Stephen Stills and/or Neil Young, apparently written for the Buffalo Springfield but never officially released by them. This is the only week on the Bubbling Under chart for “Down to the Wire.” It has 12 listings at ARSA, ten from KIMN in Denver.

The same Norfolk station that charted “Paranoid” in the Top 10, WNOR, had also charted Yellow Hand, on a list that included other oddball singles such as Procol Harum’s “Whiskey Train,” “What Now America” by Lee Michaels, and “Catch the Man on the Rise” by the Sir Douglas Quintet, as well as “Up and Down” by Two Monsters, which is from The Sesame Street Book and Record, the 1970 original cast album that also inflicted “Rubber Duckie” on the world.

I don’t know if WNOR was a good radio station in 1970, but it had to be an interesting one.

12 thoughts on “We’re All Gonna Go

  1. Doesn’t seem quite fair to the Four Tops that The Temptations got a duets album with Diana Ross & The Supremes and they got to do one with the post Diana Ross Supremes. I guess it’s another case of the squeaky wheel getting all of the grease.

  2. TimMoore

    76. # 1 at WCOL . my hometown. I can picture myself with my blue AM transistor radio, under my pillow at night listening to WCOL..I just turned 10 , the youngest of 5.Oldest in college, there s always great music playing in the house… thanks for more great memories..

  3. mikehagerty

    I will forever love Gladys & the Pips’ “If I Were Your Woman”.

    At 14, I liked the Chairmen of the Board’s “Pay to the Piper” (not as much as “Give Me Just a Little More Time”, but still). Hearing it years later, after becoming the father of a girl, well let’s just say “I bought you dinner, now put out. And if you don’t believe me…ask your mama” makes “Wives and Lovers” look like it was written by Betty Friedan.

  4. Wesley

    I’m assuming that Rose Garden appears as an extra on the AT40 show because it may remind viewers of its sampling in the 1989 dance hit I Beg Your Pardon by Kon Kan that hit number 15 on the Hot 100. Of course, that song really hasn’t hung around that much either, so I could very well be wrong on this one.

    Your description of the Klowns TV special intrigued me, so I investigated a little more and found out these facts. The group of two girls and four men were supposedly picked from 300 applicants by executive producers Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith. The most famous of the six on the show was Allan Hunt, previously a regular on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as Stuart Riley from 1965-66. Joining them along with Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis was singer/dancer Juliet Prowse, who had the group back her on a rendition of Be a Clown. And Sammy closed the show by doing Feelin’ Groovy solo and then with the group to do Put a Little Love in Your Heart. Yeah, they don’t make them like this anymore, that’s for sure.

    1. porky

      I found a Barnum/Bailey circus program at a rummage sale and picked it up for the awesome CIRCA 1971 Mattel ads (a sponsor). The program also featured advertising for the album of another B/B pop group, the Rock Flowers. They were helmed by Wes Farrell and existed alongside the Partridge Family, using the Wrecking Crew and many of the same songwriters. And of course, Mattel had Rock Flower dolls one could purchase that came with a plastic record that would twirl the doll on your record player when attached. And to complete all of this, Casey voiced the commercial for the dolls (easily found on YouTube).

  5. Guy K

    As someone who was not at all averse to the Bee Gees’ absolute siege of the pop charts with their disco output from 1976-’79, I still stand by my contention that “Lonely Days (Lonely Nights)” was the best thing the Brothers Gibb ever did (and “Winds of Change,” the B side to “Jive Talkin’,” isn’t far behind).

    1. JP

      Can’t call it a “knockoff,” per se. Doug Sahm (Sir Douglas Quintet) had the same rootsy influences as John Fogerty (Creedence). If Creedence weren’t around, the SDQ would have sounded like that anyway. The totality of Doug Sahm’s output (with and without the Quintet) backs this up…

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