This show came right at the time I was beginning 8th grade. WSAI, 1360 AM, was about a year away from flipping formats from Top 40 to country, so I wasn’t yet taking time to explore what Cincinnati had to offer on the FM side of things. Not that I likely would have known more than a couple of these six tunes that fell short of AT40 glory had I been doing so, anyway…
#97: Dr. Hook, “Walk Right In”
I suspect Dr. Hook was trying to duplicate the formula that had resulted in “Only Sixteen” reaching #6 the previous year. However, this cover of The Rooftop Singers’ #1 hit of early 63 is uninspiring at best. Nonetheless, it somehow managed to reach #46.
#88: Brownsville Station, “The Martian Boogie”
Now we are talking. I didn’t encounter “The Martian Boogie” until my sophomore year in college, when WTLX began broadcasting Dr. Demento. Warren was previously familiar with it, though, and made sure that James and I got to know it well enough to randomly insert “Eat’s!” and “And I freaked…’cause the guy sitting next to me…was a MARTIAN!” into casual conversation. It’s honestly a bit of a mystery how this gained enough traction to eventually climb to #59, but there are solid jams a-plenty going on.
#87: Ramones, “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”
There’s not much I could say about this classic that hasn’t been said multiple times. The Ramones never got especially close to a hit single, making the Hot 100 only three times (“Rockaway Beach” was the most successful, hitting #66 in early 78). “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” spent 13 weeks on the chart but clawed its way just six positions higher than this.
#85: Marshall Tucker Band, “Can’t You See”
Isn’t this the most played of their songs now? Seems like it should have gone higher than #75. I’m inserting the album version here, since I know that’s what you want to listen to today.
#78: 10cc, “Good Morning Judge”
Okay, I actually did hear this a couple of times back in the day (it’s the “so happy I don’t wanna be free” and possibly that wicked guitar riff that got lodged in my head). This third single from Deceptive Bends was a legitimately funny and solid track, with a decidedly ahead-of-its time video. Definitely deserving of better than a #69 peak. I’ll be humming it the rest of the week now.
#64: Celi Bee and the Buzzy Bunch, “Superman”
Herbie Mann re-tooled this song’s lyrics to leverage Superman‘s early 79 domination at the box office and in popular culture. On Mann’s single, the female vocalist is encouraging the Man of Steel to “do it to them,” presumably meaning capturing bad guys. Eighteen months earlier, though, Ms. Bee was perhaps dreaming on some disco hunk and not Christopher Reeve’s character, as the objective pronoun in her cooing of that phrase is first-person singular, not third-person plural (which is what I thought was sung in Mann’s version, to be honest–give me a break, I was fifteen in the spring of 79). The Buzzy Bunch included Bee’s husband (who was also the song’s writer).
“Superman” is on its way down from #41. While Bee and company had some Dance Chart success, this was their only flight on the Hot 100.