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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Time Machine co-cordinates VIXLI47421675

Today, we leave the fields of 2018 and drift down to February 16th, 1975- the day BEFORE AC/DC released High Voltage for us old timers, and the day that South African PM BJ Vorster told fellow apartheid boss, Rhodesian PM Ian Smith, that he was no longer going to send him South African troops to help him stay afloat, as he had concluded, according to Wiki, "white rule would be untenable in a country where blacks outnumbered whites 22:1."   Unlike his OWN country, where the odds are only 10:1.  Unless you count the people in country illegally right now from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), escaping their wonderful majority rule government, a number approaching 3 million.  Nice improvement, Zimbabwe!


And having had my fill of politics for the day now, welcome to the music end of the story here, where we will have:  Ringo Starr on the Panel picks; a trip through commercial jingles thanks to the #75 in '75; the bizarre story of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel; the all-star team on the lp I put in the category of "Stupidest names for #1 albums"; and a new #1 on the M10!   No, we're not bringing the Young brothers in for a visit, so leave your copies of Highway To Hell WAAAAAY outside, and let's go!


One debut this week, and you know this lady- at #8, Shilpa Ray:


Let's welcome in Ringo Starr!

Hello, Sir Richard, and... uh, you know this isn't a Thomas the Tank Engine thing...

Say wat?  But Elvis told me...

Well, you know how, on Doctor Who, the first rule is, "The Doctor lies"?  Well, on TM, the first rule is, "Elvis lies".

Oh, faddle.  Then this is music, after all?

Yep.  I'm going to give you the Panel picks- songs that were getting #1 votes around the country this week in 1975- and you'll read 'em off for the listening audience.

Well, thank God!  I am quite fed with Sir Toppem Hat and all that rubbish.  Fancy a blast? (Pulls out a flask)

Uh, well, I would, but I've gotta fly this thing.  Laurie's off to work, and Scrappy...

...well, he don't fly, so...

Quite all right.  You have the list?

Right here.  13 candidates from 27 stations.

Very good.  In alphabetical order, as well!  First off we have the "weekly song from Lorenzo Marquez."  Where exactly IS Lorenzo Marquez, anyway?

Well, apparently I have been spelling it wrong for forever, because it's Lourenco Marques, and it isn't an island like I thought, because it is the capital city of Mozambique in Africa, and it isn't even Lourenco Marques anymore, because when the Portuguese left it got renamed Maputo.

Maputo.  Wonder what that means?

I don't know, but don't ask a Spanish speaker!

Why- oh.  OH.  Anyway, the #1 song there was the Rolling Stones' cover of Ain't Too Proud To Beg, which had peaked in the States last December.

Then we have the Eagles with Best Of My Love, which was #4 on Cashbox.

And The Doobie Brothers and Black Water at #5.

Carol Douglas, a young woman with a one-hit wonder called Doctor's Orders, was at #18.

The Ohio Players held the second spot on the survey with Fire.

Olivia Newton-John- speaking of loverly ladies- is at #9 with Have You Never Been Mellow.  

Then comes one of the most influential acts of Australian music- the Skyhooks.  Their song was called Horror Movie, and it was the first of two #1s they had Down Under- and to show how big a career they had, the second one didn't come until 1990!

Labelle and Lady Marmalade was at #17.

Barry Manilow had the first of four contestants that were on the current British chart.  Mandy was at #13 in the states, and debuting at #41 back home.

And another was Frankie Valli with the uncredited Four Seasons and My Eyes Adored You- #8 here in the states and #12 back home.  Good heaven, what is with all the red squiggles?

I don't know, the Google/Blogger dictionary took stupid pills today.  It wants me to spell Manilow "Mani-low", it wants me to spell Lourenco the old, wrong way, and wants me to spell Valli "Villa".  I'm good and close to turning it off.

Perhaps I shouldn't 'ave spilled my my drink on the keyboard, wat?  Anyway, next we have AWB, the Average White Band from up in Glasgow, with their song Pick Up The Pieces at #3, as well as debuting at #32 back home.

The Carpenters are at #19 on their way down with Please Mr Postman- which is all the way up at #3 in the UK.

And finally, another loverly lady- Linda Ronstadt, at #1 with You're No Good.  How's that?

Excellent, my friend, excellent.  So with a short list of stations that gives us an average of 2 votes per song, needless to say the vote totals were awful low- 5-4-3 was the tally at the top.  But to keep you good and confused, let me give you five choices.  Pick yer winner from Mani-low, Ohio Players, AWB (or as the squiggle prefers, AWN, whatever THAT is), the Eagles, and Linda.


So this week's 6D victim was Stevie Wonder's Boogie On Reggae Woman at #6.  What struck me about this tune's album- the bizarrely-titled Fulfillingness's First Finale- was the sheer amount of current and future star power it had.  Among the names you'll know (?) on the credits are:

Michael Sembello, the "Maniac" guy;

Jim Gilstrap, whose claims to fame are two- he's the voice on the first two lines of You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, and he sang the theme to the TV show Good Times;

Denise Williams, the "Too Much Too Little Too Late" girl;

Paul Anka- yes, Paul Anka;

Sneaky Pete Kleinow of the Flying Burrito Brothers;

Funk Brothers bassist James Jameson;

a capella stars the Persuasions;

The Jackson Five on You Haven't Done Nothin';

Minnie Ripperton of Loving You fame (which the squiggle thinks I should spell "Coppertone");

And even Sergio Mendes dropped in to do some Portuguese lyrics.

With a list like that, who NEEDS a 6 degrees?


The UK #1 this week is a tune called Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) by an outfit called Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.  But it wasn't actually "THE" Cockney Rebel.  Allow me to explain.

You see, this band had a couple hits over there, but friction developed, as it often does.  It seems that ol' Steve let things get to his head- and before the height of their fame, the band said adios muchacho and quit.  Steve went on with session players, but kept the name.  And Make Me Smile- supposedly written about his "traitorous" bandmates- became "their" biggest hit.

You've done it all, you've broken every code
And pulled the rebel to the floor

You spoiled the game, no matter what you say
For only metal, what a bore

(Ooh la la la)
Blue eyes, blue eyes
(Ooh la la la)
How can you tell so many lies?
(Ooh ah)


A second Stat Pack story this week involves our #75 at '75- A tune called Isn't It Lonely Together by (Fred) Stark and (Rod) McBrien.  Fred Stark, was apparently known for his commercial jingles- including the McDonalds "you deserve a break today", the WindSong perfume "stays on my mind", the Mountain Dew "Hello sunshine, hello Mountain Dew", GE "we bring good things to life", and "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet".  With McBrien, another ad exec and music engineer who I found little else about, he charted with this:


Since I've pretty much done most of the Stat pack, I should mention that I knew 47 of the hot 100, but only one of the bubbling unders- Jose Feliciano's Theme from Chico And The Man.  I always loved that show but my favorite scene involved Charo coming up to Jack Albertson and saying in her inimitable accent, "I've got something to get off my chest."

Albertson turns to the camera with slightly bugging eyes and says, "This is a job for Superman!"

Our #101 this week was the pre-fame Atlanta Rhythm Section with Angel (What In  The World Has Come Over Us).  I listened to this, because the AllMusic reviewer said:  "and "Angel (What in the World's Come Over Us)" even adds harmonies almost worthy of Crosby, Stills & Nash. "

If anyone sang on that song but Buddie Buie, I sure didn't hear 'em.

And I just realized I never figured up the week's big mover.  Ringo, could you turn that dial right there... no, that one...

Why certainly... well!  The winner is, Ringo Starr, the No No Song, 26 notches to #50!

You realize that no one is going to believe that I forgot this until now, and it just happened to be you...

Pfaugh!  Let 'em doubt!  We know it's true!


The M10:

It was a tremendous battle, with new songs clawing to get in, but the Tracks hang on with, er, Hanging On at #10 for a second week.

BORNS, however, erodes still further, dropping 2 more to #9.

Moon Taxi gets a chance at last to move up, but can only move up one to #7 with Let The Record Play, because Dent May lobbied his way into dropping just 2 to #6 with recent #1 Take Me To Heaven.

A much bigger drop for illuminati hotties, as (You're Better) Than Ever drops from its second turn at the top to #5 this week.

Which means the Shacks nestle back into that #4 slot with Follow Me- and there they stick because the top three have the seeming of another "1a, 1b, 1c" ordeal.

At #6, up 3- Voodoo Children and Tangerines And Daffodils.

At #2, up a spot- Decemberists and Severed.

And the new #1- and their third-

Lucius, with Neighbors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel pick, capturing that whopping 18.5% of the vote and narrowly missing a third straight OT:

...Barry Manilow with what was, in '75, my favorite song (and still in my top 5)- Mandy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next up, 1976! Be there!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


I am sure you have heard by now, we had another school shooting.  And we who are Christians pray for the victims, and atheists say, don't waste your time.  Tough tooties, atheists, I prayed anyway.  For the families, for the victims, and for the shooter and those like him.  I asked hard questions about the whys, and got hard answers.  Some might say cold answers and cold comfort, but bear with me.

First thing I want to point out, is Jesus our Savior has been there.  On both sides perhaps.  I am going to go into speculation here, because we don't know this kid's motivation.  We know he was "a former student", 18-years old.  So let's make a speculation he was a loner, bullied/ignored by the popular, the mainstream.  And he felt a need to "pay them back for what they did."

Now think of Jesus on the Cross.  At a certain level, He is the victim.  We don't know the motivations of the crowd, jeering at Him, spitting on Him.  Maybe He was for some of them just a generic victim, representing in their hateful minds someone who told them what to do at some point.

At another level, He is the shooter.  Bullied, attacked by "popular opinion", suffering like no one else could have- and He more than anyone had the ability to stop the pain, and declare, "Vengeance is mine."  He could have blown them all away with a thought.

But the conclusion of either angle is, He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

He made a choice not to hurt back.  He made a choice to forgive.

Second thing, He HAS spoken about such things to us, IN THE BIBLE.  Here is His take on what happened today- and what might happen tomorrow:

Luke 13 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

See, the Heavenly perspective is that there isn't a lot of difference in how you live OR die on this earth, if you haven't been saved by grace.  If I may "go Pence" again tonight, it was explained to me, "There is no difference between his sin and yours.  You shut Me out and did what you wanted.  SO DID HE."

People keep getting lost in the whole good deeds, good life" thing, and it just isn't so.  Will Hitler and Stalin end up in hell?  By the way their lives ended, I'd bet heavy on it.  What about a good guy like, say, John Denver?

John Denver?

From an article by Bill Fay, Baptist Press, from 2010:

One day in a frequent flyer room, I looked over and saw John Denver. It was pretty obvious with his distinct features and signature guitar that it was him.

I went over and said, "John!"

He jumped up, stuck out his hand and said, "I haven't seen you in a while."

I said, "No sir, we've never met. But I am a man who's prayed for you for over five years, and I have a message for you from your dead father, Dutch."

You see, years earlier, in the height of my pagan lifestyle, John Denver's father was the co-pilot on the Learjet that used to fly me around the country to do my illegal mob business.

His father -- whose hand I held when he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ -- made me promise that one day I would share with his son. I said, "Dutch, if God provides the moment, the privilege is mine."

Now it looked like the moment was going to come.

I met with John in a private room in the Denver airport for the better part of two hours. I took him line by line through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There wasn't a single verse of Scripture he did not understand -- nor was there a single verse of Scripture that he would accept.

Finally, I said, "John, when did you make up your mind Jesus Christ would never become your Lord and your Savior?"

He could remember the date, the time and the place. A godly Sunday School teacher, like some of you, said to him Jesus Christ was The Way, The Truth and The Life.

I left with a saddened heart, tears in my eyes.

And that is the cold, hard way of things.  Perhaps John had a change of heart after that meeting; we can't know.  But without it, he'll be right there with Adolph and Joe.  Maybe on a different level?  Who knows.  And why would it matter?  Hell is eternal, and it is awful.  And you wouldn't wish your worst enemy there.

Even if he was an 18-year old who let anger control him, and destroy a lot of innocents with him.  So let's pray for the victims and their families.  And include in that the prayer that they will be able to forgive.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What you chose...

So eminent spiritualist Joy Behar tells us that Mike Pence is mentally disturbed for communing with his Savior.  Well guess what?  So am I.   But you knew that.

"See?  We agree on something!"

Tonight was a prayer time in which I learned several things.  But the one most important involved a prayer for her- and others like her- whose all-inclusive, tolerant hearts have nothing but hate for those she disagrees with- especially those who love the Lord.  "Lord," I said, paraphrasing myself, "You can open the hardest heart, and replace it with a "heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26 for your benefit, He already knew).  Why can't you do it for (insert your favorite committed unbeliever) ?"

Because they made their choices long ago.  I cannot do anything for them if they choose not to let Me.  They will one day ask why, and I will have to say, "This is what you chose."

"This is what you chose."

We will all hear this one day beyond this world.  But which way will we be facing when we hear it?

"As for I and my house, we shall serve the Lord. " (Joshua 24:15)

But what about the Joy Behars you know?  What about you?

The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will YOU do in the end?
(Jeremiah 5:31)

Monday, February 12, 2018


Debbie the Dog-Lady has started yet another getting to know you questionaire.  Well, she didn't start it:  I think I am actually a fourth generation participant.  But it looked fun so I thought I would play along.  Plus it gets me out of really having to work on the blog tonight!

1.  Do you like blue cheese?  Good God, no!  As hard as it is for me to believe cheese can be disgusting, that stuff is disgusting.

2.  Have you ever smoked cigarettes?  I have a friend who used to get me to smoke a half of one every now and again, but I never got much out of it and never picked it up on my own.

3.  Do you own a gun?  No, only because I know how useless it would be for someone who's just happy to hit most urinals to have one.  Of course, I don't quite live in the "Wild Wild West" of south Ft Wayne, and the need is not near so great.  Yet.

4.  What flavour Kool-Aid?  Well, since being diagnosed with too high of an A1C for my own good, I have tended to cut back on things which you have to mix 50/50 with sugar to make it worthwhile, so Kool-Aid is "Oh NOOooooooo..."

5.  Do you get nervous before a Dr.’s appointment?  Nah.  The worst than can happen is that "bend over and drop 'em" exam, and that's been done enough by now.

6.  What do you think of hot dogs?  I think most brands were getting to a point that they tasted more like compacted bologna.  With the other health stuff, I've been buying uncured to cut the sodium, and they are better than regular.  But you can't top Tony Packos!

7.  What is your favourite movie?  For my entertainment "dollar," I'll take John Wayne any day- dibs on Rio Bravo or The Sons Of Katie Elder!

8.  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?  Right now my go-to is MIO Energy Blueberry.  Affectionately known as "the blue stuff".

9.   Can you do a push-up?  Sure.  It's the sit-ups I struggle with.

10. What’s your favourite piece of jewellery?  Depending on whether you have an extreme definition of jewelry, I'd say I'm "n/a" on this one.

11.  Do you have a favourite hobby?  Again, you'd have to stretch the definition a bit, but I'd say right now blogging is about the length and breadth of it.

12. Do you have A.D.D.?  Are you boring?

13. Do you wear glasses?  Yes, and they lend me a distinguished-ness my personality sorely lacks.

14. Who was your childhood idol?  Daniel Boone, played by Fess Parker.

15. Name three thoughts you have right now.  Getting into arguments with people blinded by hate was always a waste of my time;  will I get to the end of this before I starve; and will I ever take my other shoe off?

16. Name three drinks you consume regularly.  Water, milk, and nowadays Pepsi zero sugar.

18. Current hates?  I am trying these days to turn hates in to "Into God's hands you go."

19: Favourite place to be?  A beach.  Not fussy where.  Not right now, though...

20. How did you bring in the New Year?  At home, wishing Dick Clark was still around.

21. Where would you like to go?  Pretty much anyplace Debbie's been!

22. Name three people who will do this.  I don't tend to get a huge response on these things, so I'll have to take an "n/a" on that one as well.

23. Do you own slippers?  Damn straight.

24. What colour is your shirt? Currently black with "Grumpy Old Man:  My level of sarcasm depends on your level of stupidity" emblazoned on it.

25. Do you like sleeping in satin sheets?  Ha!  You mistake me for Yul Brynner.

26. Can you whistle?  Maybe... but I don't wanna get accused of anything.

27. Where are you now? Command Central, Martin Estate, FT Wayne IN.

28. Would you be a pirate?  Not for very long, I'd wager.

29. Favourite candy?  Something chocolate, preferably dark.

30, Least favourite chore?  Dusting.  I think dust should be outlawed.

31. Favourite food?  On a go-to basis, burgers.  On a treat basis, Mignon or crab legs.

32. What’s in your pocket?  My hand, why?  JK.  Handkerchief, fidget spinner, change for vending machine.

33. Last thing that made you laugh?  Watching a co-worker knock over two small bins of little bitty screws today.

34. What’s your favourite animal?

35. What’s your worst injury?  Just prior to starting this blog, my right calf tried to turn itself into a blood-balloon for about three months.

36. How many TVs in your house?  One currently manning the living room post, one in Laurie's bedroom, and one cowering in shame under the living room table.

37. Worst pain?  Well, it WAS kidney stones, until I had a tooth that suddenly demanded it had to be pulled NOW.  That was pushing my BP over 200 for short periods.

38. Do you like to dance?  I wouldn't mind it, but my chosen partner is insanely self-conscious, so this is pretty much another "n/a".

39. Are your parents living?  Yes, but not on earth.

40. Do you enjoy camping?  I'm guessing no- unless we're talking RV.

And that's your TMI for today...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday message: Rule #5, or Obama rides again

Last week, I told the story of Dr Martin's Rule #4, and seeing through the "ignorance" that Satan feeds us.  And as Paul Harvey used to say, this week, the rest of the story.  And that involves rule #5- Prepare for victory's aftermath, or, the bigger they come...

Just moments ago (AKA 5AM Sunday morning) I started listening to a repeat of a message by Robert Jeffress, which he began in part with: "It was the day after the busiest day recorded in the Scriptures of Jesus' ministry.  And it began with Him 'rising early and going to a lonely spot to pray.'  If ever anybody had an excuse to take a day off, to lay in bed, Jesus did.  And if the Perfect Son Of God felt the need to rise up early to pray..."

And it struck me that Jesus grasped Rule # 5 (which, since He is truly the author of "Dr Martin's Rules", should be no surprise).  After all the great things He had accomplished, He did not wait for the (humanly) inevitable fall- He prayed over it, that He not lose the ground He covered.

And He, as we see on reflection, is unique.  Certainly I am not.

Because, you see, the evening after my story from last week- giving my ignorance to God over tithing- I followed up by consulting oh-so-wonderful kronos and getting my gross earnings from the two-week period just past, tacking on the gross from the bonus, and selecting a ministry to tithe it to.  And then it happened.

The ministry I selected is one of a handful I give to which, when trying to donate on Google Chrome, you can try to type in virtually anything and it will just stare blankly at you.  You have to switch to Internet Explorer to input any data.  Frustration #1.  Which, since I was just discovering Rule #5, I let get to me.

So I brought up IE, and every time I tried to do something there, something strange would kick up a screen on Chrome refusing me entry.  Slowly- VERY slowly- I realized this was because I had left the original screen open, and it was sucking up my IE attempts to itself.  So, I closed Chrome, and then the third frustration came.  I am one of those lazy people who takes advantage of Google settings to be able to bring up my financial info by typing in just the first number of my card- thus I only have memorized the first number and the last four.  And on IE, on such sites as this one, hitting that first number does jack.  And my wallet was upstairs, and despite all the times I had told myself to save the darn number somewhere around my keyboard, I still hadn't done so.

And I got MAD.  Ranting, raving, stupid, disobedient mad.  Kinda defeating the whole purpose.

Calming down much later, I knew I had to go to God to make things right.  In my heart and soul, I imagined Jesus sitting at the other end of my bed, and poured out my self-recriminations, my frustrations, the whole ugly thing.  And I began to realize that one word had kept trying to work its way in during the length of my tantrum.


See, Elijah had a great moment of victory, embarrassing the false god Baal and destroying the priests thereof.  But immediately later Jezebel came at him with everything she had (thereby showing who wore the pants in the Royal Family of Ahab), and he fled, despaired, and asked God to take his life, as he "was all alone."  The greater the victory, the harder the fall.  And despite the warnings, it was just what I had done.

I may have mentioned I had been hearing a lot of talk about Abraham at the time.  So as I poured all these things out to Jesus, and He listened, I began to reflect on ol' Abe.  And I realized that he and I had something in common.  He had just received the great Promise of descendants from God- and then set out making those descendents in HIS way, in HIS time, by sleeping with the maid at Sarah's request, and only realizing later- when Sarah was demanding he drive Hagar and Ishmael away- what a mess he had made by listening to her in the first place instead of going to God with it.

And I smiled and said, "Perhaps it wouldn't be such a good thing to be like Abraham after all."

And Jesus replied, "No?  Perhaps you'd rather David (queue mental image of the whole Bathsheba mess).  Or Peter (queue the denial).  Or Paul (queue the murder of Stephen)."

Point being that we ALL had the same thing in common- a great victory that, through not preparing for what comes next, we all managed to follow up by making great asses of ourselves.  And this realization has two important points to it.

First being, God doesn't want us claiming victory.  Pride is anathema to Him; and He certainly doesn't want us to apply it to ourselves over victories HE won.  And if you really stop and think about it, what actually hand do we have in these "victories"?  God had given Abraham the Promise; He had preserved David in the kingdom; Jesus TOLD Peter (I expect more than once) "You did not learn this from man, but from God."  Me?  All I did was come out of one stupid streak and barrel headlong into the next.

Second, DON'T FEEL ALONE.  Your sin, your failure, is not unique.  If God was not only forgiving but USING adulterers, murders, betrayers- how DARE we think our puny sin is so much greater that He can't still use us IF WE CONFESS IT.  His sacrifice trumps our sin.  Every time.

So many times we go into these messes and do exactly the opposite.  We claim a victory of sorts, thus denying God's Glory in bringing us to it; and then falling and thinking we can never recover from it, thus denying the Power of the Cross.  In a way, our "victories" are the one time that we should recall the words of former President Barack Obama:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. 

Of course, he prolly wasn't thinking about God at the time, but you know what God says about that...

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (I Cor. 1:27).

Friday, February 9, 2018

Time Machine co-ordinates VIXL4732974

Today we go to February 9th of 1974- a day fairly bereft of notable happenings.  Google tried to fool me with a story about the "Great Southeastern Snowstorm"- but sharp eyes noted that the storm happened in nineteen seventy-THREE, not '74 like I asked for.  I wish my eyes had been so sharp last week when I gave you the five picks to choose the Panel winner from and left out THE WINNER, Elton John!

Yes, and we're going to be discussing THAT in a bit...

Yes we are, because Sir Elton is the POTM this week, and he and I will be doing the Panel picks and HOPEfully I won't forget anybody this time!  Also this week, there's a "shadow" cast across the 6D; ANOTHER OT on the Panel picks; a topsy-turvy M10 that gave me all sorts of unexpected headaches; and the top half of the biggest acts in M10 history!  So grab a shovel, just in case, and hang on!


I have two debuts by two bands so new that I barely have anything to tell you about them!  The first, we know a little more about:  they are from East LA, and call themselves The Tracks.  They are led by 25-year old hard-life survivor Venancio Bermudez, whose story includes watching his father literally drop dead from cancer right in front of him as a high schooler,  and working for 4 years in a tortilla factory to support the family- where he, as a legal resident, was harassed by the illegals that made up most of the workforce.  But life is better now, and his band comes in at #10:


So today, as you know, we welcome in Elton John after his exciting OT win last week, to preside over another OT slugfest!  Nice to have you here, sir!

Oh, yes, suck up now.  After HOW long you've been embarrassing me with THIS picture...

I'm not sure why that picture would bother you;  It's not near as bad as SOME I could use...

Oh, good heavens!  How many times, though, have you called me "Sir Elton Duck" while using that picture?  Borderline libellous, I might say...

Did I mention that I have been doing a new feature featuring the stats of US-UK music aggregator MusicVF to show their biggest act of the year, and John Denver beat you this year of 1974, in the second closest contest ever?

John Denver?  Well, the close score tells you THAT was a fluke.

Except he rolled you over in 1975 as well- two years in a row...

AHEM, maybe we should just do this thing...

My thoughts exactly.  So this week we have 11 candidates from 37 stations, including another shot for you!

Well, that's only proper... hmm, I see John Denver is NOT on the list, so I guess we'll have a go.

First up is the spoken word open letter Americans by Byron MacGregor, at #2 on the Cashbox survey.

Next up is a delightful English actor, Max Bygraves, with a tune that was #1 in Australia called Any Dream Will Do.  Imagine it was a bit too classical for North American tastes...

I thought it was nice.

Next is... oh, good grief!  Benny And The Jets???  I hated that one more than Crocodile Rock!  You people have no taste.

And HOW much money did you pocket off those two songs?

Well, er... it was an early vote, as it hadn't charted and wouldn't get the top until April.  How on earth does that happen?

Well, some cities don't "get the memo"... some peek at it before they should...

Yes, quite.  Anyway, the #3 song on CB was Love's Theme by the Love Unlimited Orchestra.  Isn't that the one they use on golf matches here in the colonies?

Yeah, they used to anyway.

Another Aussie station has a vote for... Really?  Alvin Stardust?  The man is SO tacky.

Yeah, I know- he's made a couple of stop-ins here on TM.

This tune that the Antipodes liked was My Coo Ca Choo.  You lot never charted him, did you?


Good thing, that.  Next is... Oh, the Lorenzo Marquez song this week is my good friend Sir Rod Stewart, with the Faces, and Pool Hall Richard.  The Faces never really gave it a go here, did they?

No, and this one didn't chart here, though it was at #24 in the UK, on it's way to a peak of #8.

Terry Jacks was at #10 with Seasons In The Sun.  Sad song.  You know, he actually had another in the top ten in the UK as well.

I do now...

Jim Stafford was at #9 with Spiders And Snakes.  Nice silly bit to balance out the last one.

The CB #1 was Barbara Streisand with The Way We Were.  Delightful woman.

I'll just say this was a great song and leave it at that.

Hm.  Harry Chapin was next, at #53, with WOLD.

And lastly was another good friend, Ringo Starr, with You're Sixteen, which was at #4.  And, if I may, the UK chart, in addition to Pool Hall Richard, had My Coo Ca Choo at #16, and Love's Theme at #20.

Thanks, Sir Elton.  Despite the rocky start, we had some fun.

I suppose so...

ANYhow, you all already know you had a tie at the top, so let me gather up the appropriate ringers...

...And the winner...

...AND the winner, and give you your choices.  Choose from Ringo, Barbara, Jim Stafford, Terry Jacks, and the LUO.

Oh, thank heavens you didn't say, "and Elton John."  Bad enough to get elected for Crocodile Rock.


And now, how about the top ten acts of M10 history, fully updated for this week's chart!

10- The Jayhawks, with 105 points on three songs, most of them on the former Biggest M10 hit of all time, Quiet Corners And Empty Spaces.

9- A couple of weeks ago when I first made the list, this was the #8 act, but got passed last week.  With four songs including the #1 Beat Of My Drum, POWERS with 121 points.

8- And the act that passed them- Lucius with 2 #1s already and 135 points.

7- No surprise for Bobby G, as he correctly guessed Mo Kenney would have a spot.  She's piled up 148 points with three hits, 2 #1s.

6- With a big #1, followed by a #2, followed by a #3, Agnes Obel rolled up 154 points, just 2 less than...

5- Melody's Echo Chamber, with three #1s and 156 points.

4- There are just 4 acts with 5 or more M10 hits, and they are all at the top!  The "or more", with six hits and a #1, Alvvays.

3- Despite two songs still in the top ten this week, the Shacks hold out at #3 with five hits and 2 #1s, for 214 points.

2- Last week's man at the top, Dent May, with 226 points.

1- And even though I thought by now somebody might have caught them they still had enough juice to clear the field by 15 points- a total Dent has a chance of passing in the next few weeks.  But for now, still the M10's top act...

...with three #1s and 241 points, Beach House!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our next act is so new, the virtual only thing I know about them is that it is a "indie supergroup" fronted by one JT Daly, who is a writer/producer for a big new act on the alt charts called K-Flay (which to this point has been interesting but just a bit dark for me), and has his own main band called Paper Route (which I have not yet dug into).  He has a female partner, an artist by trade named Nikki Barber (and that I found out just minutes ago), and together the call themselves the Voodoo Children.  And they debut clear up at #6 with their song...


So I am going to start our 6D story with one Adrian Gurvitz.  His father was tour manager for Cliff Richard and the Shadows, so not surprisingly he is a musician.  His musicianship really isn't part of the story, save for that time period where he was asked to be vocalist and guitarist for a new band formed by former Moody Blues founder Grahame Edge.  Now Grahame was the writer of Late Lament, the poem read by fellow founder Mike Pinder on Nights In White Satin.  Pinder and a third founding Moody, Ray Thomas, were among a group of background singers on the Beatles hit I Am The Walrus.  Also appearing on that record, doing much of the deep-voiced "ooh ooh ooh eee eee ees" and other assorted parts, was an outfit called the Mike Samms Singers.  And Mike Samms was the deep background vocal on our 6D song- a song written by another Shadows' alum, John Rostill (yeah, the whole Shadows thing was a real stretch, but it worked).  That song, sitting at #5 this week without a Panel vote, is Olivia Newton-John's Let Me Be There.

I couldn't find the poster I used to have on my wall, but it looked a lot like this.  Thrown away after Physical came out.


Stat Pack time!

I knew 42 0f the 100 this week.  One that I didn't was Johnny Mathis with the #74 in '74, Life Is A Song Worth Singing.  It would be his last to crack the 100 until Too Much Too Little Too Late in 1978.

The tune at 101 this week was the last time this act made it this high- Bobby Goldsboro's Marlena- not the same song that the Four Seasons had a hit with years before.

The UK was all about glam- Alvin Stardust was on the chart, the #1 was a glam band called Mud with a tune called Tiger Feet; and one of Gary Glitter's deals was #2.

Oh, and the OT pair?  If you didn't pick Ringo or Terry Jacks, you are out- although you should give yourself a pat on the back for Streisand, as she came up a loser in a 9-9-8 contest.


And now, the remaining M10:

As I mentioned the Shacks were on twice in a topsy-turvy week that had NOBODY end up where I thought they would when I started figuring it up.  One of those tunes was Audrey, spending its 8th week on the chart at #9, falling two spots;  while Follow Me got caught in the squeeze and also dropped a spot to #5.

Also a victim of the capricious nature of this week's chart was BORNS, who I thought might be climbing but instead dropped 2 to #7 with We Don't Care.

Also dropping, though not AS surprisingly, was Dent May and Take Me To Heaven, getting squeezed out of a one-week stay at the top to #4.

Moving up 3 to the #3 spot, and a main instigator of all the turmoil, was the Decemberists and Severed.

The top was a virtual tie- thought I might have to flip a coin.  But I made a decision, and Lucius moves up but one to #2 with Neighbors this week.

And for the third time, (ironically, Dent May did it once), a song RETURNS to the top after a week or so absence; and this time it belongs to...

... the illuminati hottie, Sarah Tudzin, with (You're Better) Than Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  And the OT winner?  why that would be...

...Ringo Starr, as he rolled up a 4-1 win in the overtime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(But don't be too proud; had Barbara gotten that one more vote to go into the OT, she would have whipped them both in the OT... and so would the Love Unlimited Orchestra!)

Be here next time for- 1975, and Ringo!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The logo on the right

Do me a favor- look to the right hand side of this blog.  "Project IS."  Anybody remember what that is?  It was God calling to me, saying, "If you want to make a difference against the radical Islamic violence in the world, PRAY FOR THEM. "  I invited you all to join me, and we soon saw stories how God has reached not only into the hearts of Muslims- even terrorists- but into people who might otherwise join the ever-growing parade of those who decide to mark their passing into the next life by taking as many as they can with them.

And then, we lost interest.  The stories faded; the deaths continued.  Even I stopped thinking about it.

Tonight, and last night as well, I have been reading Franklin Graham's Decision magazine.  And I realized it is the time again.  IS stands for, "I Stand."  What do I stand for?  I stand for bringing to God in prayer the people who desperately need Him- whether they think so or not. 

I read the story by Joan Mack, about how, just weeks before his groundbreaking LA crusade, Billy Graham had hit a low point in a crusade in Altoona.  "In his memoirs, he considered his 1949 Campaign in Altoona his biggest flop, a time of testing.  But for my family, it was a great success.  It was at this campaign parents went forward and trusted Jesus Christ as Savior."

Her parents went on to found several ministries- amongst businessmen, the prisons, foster care.  The led her uncle to Jesus, and he started a foster care ministry.  Every one of her five siblings, along with her husband and herself- and many of the next generation- have done the same.

PRAY FOR PEOPLE.  It doesn't take much to make a difference.

I read Frank Hinklemann's article about the state of faith in Europe.  "While the % of evangelical Christians remains low, we see that many people today long for some sort of spirituality.  Especially the younger generation...are very open to an authentic and relevant expression of faith.

"Let me close by briefly touching on the recent inflow of refugees... while many are from Muslim backgrounds, many of them are totally disillusioned with Islam, and they are reaching out to Christians to hear about their God."

PRAY FOR PEOPLE.  You never know what need, what spark, might be flickering under that hijab, or that jean jacket.

I read Bob Paulson's article on Norway, the supposed "happiest nation on earth.  "Ali Yosefi, originally from Iran, has lived in Norway for 17 years... 'People need God here,' he said.  'Many work five days a week, party 3 nights a week, and on Monday they are miserable again... he also sees people sleeping in the streets... even though the government provides them with money and a place to live, they would rather sleep in the streets, where it is easier to continue their hopeless routine of drug abuse.'

"Henriette Wroldsen... put it succinctly: 'We've been rated as the happiest country, but there are lots of people who are lonely as well.' "

PRAY FOR PEOPLE.  You never know what hides behind the polite smile... or what demon has led to their condition.

I read elsewhere about a pastor of a church in India.  After months of death threats, intimidation, and other attacks against him, his family, and his congregation, he was found hung in his own living room.  Not long ago, it struck me that I had been very mouthy about the violence, the disrespect for life, in India, but I had never really brought THEM to God in prayer.  PRAY FOR PEOPLE.  If you have a group you harbor anger against, because of their evil, or their different ways, odds are pretty good they NEED your prayers.

I read many other stories, and I am just overwhelmed how some people are so sold-out to Christ that they can move the world in amazing ways.  And sometimes, it makes me look at my "filthy rags."  I ask what I have done.  And yes, I have made some changes, and I am not going to brag on them here because I know very well that they are from God, and God is doing them in me and through me.  And I know very well Doc Martin's Rule #5- The greater the victory, the easier the fall.  More on that one Sunday.

I used to think of myself as a prayer warrior.  Even against what I am doing right now, I find myself ashamed for ever thinking that.  And the ultimate sign of that shame is the dust up there on top of that Project IS logo.

So I am asking you to join me.  Have a concern on your heart?  Write it down, pray on it every day.  A group you would really just like to beat about the head until they get common sense?  Write it down, pray for them every day.  A place in the world where the suffering is so bad you'd just rather push it out of your mind?  Write it down, pray on it every day.  Neighbor's pissing you off, boss is impossible, paper didn't get delivered?  Pray for them every day.

Someone you love with all your heart?  Pray for them every day.

And I tell you what.  Place the prayers to God with a cc to Project IS.  I will add "Project IS prayers" to my daily list, and join you in those prayers.  I don't need to know what they are, God knows.

Let's make a difference again.