American Top 40 PastBlast, 4/21/73: Focus, “Hocus Pocus”

The second K-Tel album Dad brought home for us was Fantastic, featuring 22 songs (hits and otherwise) from around this time period. In fact, 10 of its tunes are on this week’s Hot 100: they’re at positions #1, 2, 7, 10, 39, 41, 43, 53, 68, and 72.

Unlike 20 Power Hits, Volume 2, I must have listened to the whole thing, because there are songs scattered through both sides I remember and  like. The mess that is “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” along with “Little Willy,” were both well-known from the radio. On the other end of the success spectrum, Cliff Richard’s “Power to All Our Friends,” which never charted, was a definite favorite. The one I enjoyed the most, however, was Gunhill Road’s “Back When My Hair Was Short”—that’s a fantastic track, no pun intended.

Today I’m going with the offering on Fantastic from the Dutch band Focus. “Hocus Pocus” was at #39, climbing toward #9. I’m sure I caught it over the airwaves at the time (who could forget that yodeling?), but Wikipedia has scratched the surface of a long-buried memory for me:

The Cincinnati Reds used a sample of the song
as the opening television credits 
during the 1973
season which displayed clips of the 1972 National
League Championship 
Series in which Johnny
Bench hit a game-tying home run in the 
bottom
of the ninth inning of the fifth and final game
as well as George Foster
scoring the pennant-
winning run 
on a wild pitch.

We watched the home nine on TV quite a bit during the heyday of the Big Red Machine. I don’t doubt a bit that’s what I really associated with this song back in the day.

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