American Top 40 PastBlast, 10/8/83: Taco, “Puttin’ On the Ritz”

In my edition of Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles (the one that stops in 2002), the first entry in the ‘T’ section belongs to a Dutch one-hit wonder. Taco (last name Ockerse) stormed charts around the world with his version of Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On the Ritz,” going Top 10 in nine countries, including #1 in Sweden and New Zealand (and in the U.S. on the Cash Box charts). It reached just #4 in Billboard; it’s on the way down here, stopping off at #18. While it’s plenty novelty-ish (that probably goes a long way to explaining why he didn’t hit again), I’ve always liked it. It appears that, like so many artists from way back when, Taco has kept active as a performer through the years.

Someone paying close attention to my musings over the last year or so might notice I’ve written very little substantive about stuff that happened during 1983. I don’t think it’s an accident. In particular, that fall is not a favorite season. My first dating relationship was right at the one-year point on the weekend of this countdown, but things weren’t going especially well; looking back, it’s not hard to tell that was on me. I was also in the process of botching a situation with a very good friend. At 19, I clearly had a long way to go.

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