Let’s wrap up the 70s portion of this series with the last seven singles from that decade. For some now unknowable reason, my father pretty much stopped buying 45s around the end of 1971 (though there are a few from later–“Crocodile Rock,” “Annie’s Song,” “Back Home Again,” and “I Can Help”–that wound up in the kids’ stash). I’m surprised to see a couple of these here.
Johnny Cash, “What Is Truth” (#19, May 1970)
Next-to-last Top 40 hit for the Man in Black. Honestly, I was unfamiliar with this one, but I can see why Dad might have liked it.
Ray Stevens, “Everything Is Beautiful” (#1, May/June 1970)
This one stirs old, old memories–it had to have gotten decent play in the house. I know that Stevens and I don’t remotely see eye to eye on any number of things, but I’ll admit to being a fan of both of his #1 hits.
Ray Price, “For the Good Times” (#11, January 1971)
Very nice song; it’s another one, though, that just doesn’t match what I’d consider the Platonic ideal of an IRH fave. Fifty years ago this week, it was already on the way down, at #16.
Elton John, “Your Song” (#8, January/February 1971)
Another one that was charting half-a-century ago, sitting at #11. Dad liked quite a bit of Reg’s catalog, so I can’t be shocked that he got on board from the very start.
Janis Joplin, “Me and Bobby McGee” (#1, March 1971)
Our second Kristofferson-penned piece. It would debut on the Hot 100 at the end of January. A true, pure classic; glad to find it here.
Lou Rawls, “A Natural Man” (#17, December 1971)
I love Rawls’s voice, but I did not expect this at all. Kudos, Dad.
Don McLean, “American Pie” (#1, January/February 1972)
Part II is on the flip side, of course. I remember one morning a few years later hearing an interpretation of “American Pie”‘s lyrics on WLW’s James Francis Patrick O’Neill show, while eating breakfast–whatever ‘expert’ was in the studio with JFPO simply talked over the record as it played. I presume the commentary was at least semi-accurate–I’m pretty sure that’s when I learned that Bob Dylan was the Jester.
I’d say there are maybe four installments to go; hope you’re ready for lots of 60s action.