This go-round on SCNP I went casting for tunes I don’t think I’ve ever heard, by artists previously unknown to me. Turns out there were some absolute gems I missed out on forty-two years ago.
#92. The McCrarys, “You”
Wowza. I’m definitely picking up a Staples vibe here. They’re four siblings originally from Youngstown who started out as a gospel group. And yes, that’s Stevie on harmonica. It’s a real shame this had topped out at #45 the week before.
#88. Judy Cheeks, “Mellow Lovin'”
An interesting slice of Eurodisco. Cheeks tried the Donna Summer route by looking to launch her career in Germany. “Mellow Lovin'” did reach #10 on the U.S. Dance chart, but only made #65 on the Hot 100. She did have a couple of #1 Dance hits in the 90s.
#87. ZWOL, “New York City”
This is the first of two minor hits Canadian Walter Zwolinsky had in the late 70s. The other, “Call Out My Name,” is considerably more smooth. “New York City” reached #76 in a two-month run.
#81. Gabriel, “Martha (Your Lovers Come and Go)”
Growing up nominally in the Midwest in the late 70s/early 80s, I have fond memories of hearing songs on the radio by regional bands trying to break nationally, such as Head East, 707, and Shooting Star. I suspect there are guys roughly my age from the Pacific Northwest who dig “Martha (Your Lovers Come and Go)” the way I do “Last Chance” and “Never Been Any Reason.” Based on just a few listens, if I had grown up in Seattle, I totally believe I’d be one of them. Even though this was the highest debuting song of the week (ahead of “Hold the Line,” even), “Martha” stalled out at just #73.
#69. Clout, “Substitute”
This was a #1 hit all over Europe, as well as in New Zealand and South Africa (the homeland of these five women), but it could only reach #67 here. Even though I’m not convinced they’re really playing their instruments, I’m smitten. Originally recorded by the Righteous Brothers during their 70s revival.
#67. Don Ray, “Got To Have Loving”
If like me you’re picking up a hint of “Love in C Minor” from the opening of this one, it might be because Jean-Marc Cerrone co-wrote and co-produced it. Raymond Donnez elected to anglicize his name for recording purposes. Wikipedia says Ray produced Santa Esmeralda’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” “Got To Have Loving” failed by only four spots in making Casey-land.