American Top 40 PastBlast, 4/20/74: Maria Muldaur, “Midnight at the Oasis”

During the throes of my deep obsession with AT40 in the late 70s, I could spout (useless) trivia about songs, artists, peak positions, chart runs, etc. etc. to the point of boring and annoying those around me. Much/most of it came via Casey himself, but I imagine I was responsible for noticing an odd fact or two as well.  Perhaps in that spirit, here are a few mostly pointless pieces of information about stuff on the 4/20/74 show.

Song with longest Top 40 run: “Come and Get Your Love,” Redbone, 18 weeks

Song with shortest Top 40 run: “Star Baby,” Guess Who, 1 week

Artist with greatest # of Top 40 hits as of chart date: James Brown, “The Payback (Part 1).” This was his 41st.

Artist with greatest # of Top 40 hits over whole career: Elton John, “Bennie and the Jets.” Depending on how you count duets, he had around 60 appearances. (Adding: I’m counting McCartney’s Wings/solo work as separate from that with the Beatles.)

One hit-wonders:
Marvin Hamlisch, “The Entertainer”
Mocedades, “Eres Tu”
Sami Jo, “Tell Me a Lie”
Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells”
Terry Jacks, “Seasons in the Sun”
Sister Janet Mead, “The Lord’s Prayer”
MFSB w/ The Three Degrees, “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)”

Artists who hit the Top 40 exactly twice:
Billy Paul, “Thanks for Saving My Life”^
Bloodstone, “Outside Woman”^
Albert Hammond, “I’m a Train”^
Maria Muldaur, “Midnight at the Oasis”
Marvin Gaye/Diana Ross, “My Mistake (Was to Love You)”^*
Carly Simon/James Taylor, “Mockingbird”*
Redbone, “Come and Get Your Love”^
Blue Swede, “Hooked on a Feeling”

^ This was the second of their two.
* I guess?

 

Two things I’ve started giving a little attention in recent years of chart study are acts’ first and final weeks of appearing on AT40. The former is known in real time, of course, but the latter becomes apparent only in retrospect. This isn’t especially compelling info when it comes to one-hit wonders, but that’s all we’ve got this time.

Artist spending their first week ever on the show: Marvin Hamlisch

Artist spending their last week ever on the show: None, but Mocedades had just one more week to go.

Artist with more than two hits making their last trip to the Top 40: Bobby Womack, on for the fourth and final time, with “Lookin’ for a Love”

 

Songs at their peak position:
“Star Baby”  (#39)
“Touch a Hand Make a Friend,” Staple Singers (#23)
“Come and Get Your Love” (#5)
“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) (#1)

 

And in the more boutique (read: arbitrary) realm:

Artists enjoying their sixth Top 40 hit:
Helen Reddy, “Keep on Singing”
Charlie Rich, “A Very Special Love Song”
Grand Funk, “The Loco-Motion”

I suppose you could make a case that acts with more than five hits made the big time, though in Rich’s case, his first two had occurred in 60 and 65.

Songs that spent exactly eleven weeks on the show:
“Oh Very Young,” Cat Stevens
“Help Me,” Joni Mitchell
“Eres Tu”
“Lookin’ for a Love”
“I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” Jim Croce
“The Lord’s Prayer”
“Oh My My,” Ringo Starr

My unresearched intuition is that eleven weeks is a decent proxy for whether or not a song had a good shot to make the year-end Top 100 countdown.  This show has quite a number of songs on it with staying power: nineteen others hung around longer than these seven did.

 

Out of all this, I’m plucking “Midnight at the Oasis,” the #28 song, for playing today. I was just 10, but I’m sure I spotted it as one long extended metaphor (even if I didn’t know what a metaphor was at the time). I’ll file this eventual #6 hit away as a guilty pleasure, both then and now.

 

Chart information courtesy of two of Joel Whitburn’s books: The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 4thedition, and Top Pop Singles 1955-2002.

4 thoughts on “American Top 40 PastBlast, 4/20/74: Maria Muldaur, “Midnight at the Oasis””

  1. LOVED all the info about this show!! Seven one hit wonders is insane!! This was an awesome show for sure. Love reading your stuff.

    Like

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