Songs Casey Never Played, 12/20/75

This chart went up about two months before I learned about Casey Kasem, so one could make the case it’s too early in time for me to be playing this game. There’s never a bad era from which to learn something about pop music, is what I say in response. Here are half-a-dozen tracks from the nether regions of the Hot 100 of 47 years ago; this time out, it’s rock and pop from all-male acts, some much more well-known than others.

97. Justin Hayward & John Lodge, “Blue Guitar”
The Moodies were on a self-imposed break through much of the mid-70s. Hayward & Lodge continued working together, though, and this single had followed the release of an LP earlier in the year. “Blue Guitar” is new to me today but lovely; my crack research team tells me that Godley, Creme, and Stewart of 10cc backed Hayward in the recording, with Lodge’s bass part added later. It would top out at only #94.

87. 10cc, “Art for Art’s Sake”
Speak of the devil… Godley & Creme were just about to decamp for what they hoped were greener pastures, but not before recording How Dare You! I had not realized what monsters 10cc were on the British charts: eleven top 10 hits over a six-year period, which sounds like a signal I should be checking some things out. On the other hand…I am just not hearing what made “Art for Art’s Sake” a #5 smash in the U.K. (and I say this as someone who loves their two big U.S. hits as much as anyone). It would make only #83 on this side of the pond.

76. Head East, “Never Been Any Reason”
One of those presumably now-extinct creatures, the band with a regional following that could never break nationally. They’re credited as a “midwest” act, but I guess that Cincinnati and Louisville were close enough to that for them to receive airplay. I’ve loved this song for a long time and bought Flat As a Pancake sometime while I was in college. Deserved better than the #68 peak it had enjoyed the week prior to this chart.

70. Batdorf & Rodney, “Somewhere in the Night”
Helen Reddy’s version hit the Hot 100 one week before this did–Reddy is at #45 and already streaking toward a #19 peak. (Note: this is not the only song that appears twice on this chart–of all things, David Geddes has “Last Game of the Season (Blind Man in the Bleachers)” at #18, while Kenny Starr uses just the parenthetical for the title of his take, at #61.) This would climb one spot higher the following week and then drop off.

John Batdorf soon moved on to form Silver, who hit with “Wham-Bam” in the late summer of 1976.

57. The Hudson Brothers, “Lonely School Year”
I remember watching a decent amount of the Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show the year it was broadcast on Saturday mornings. (“No thanks, we’re trying to cut down” became a part of my lexicon for years afterward.) I didn’t know until the last decade that they’d actually had two Top 40 hits–the pitch-perfect Beatles pastiche “So You Are a Star” and the Beach Boys homage (co-penned by Bruce Johnston, even) “Rendevous.” The former made #21 soon after their show debuted in the fall of 1974, and the latter reached #26 just about the time it was taken off the air, less than a year later. “Lonely School Year,” which is at its peak, sounds to these ears like a Tiger Beat version of the Raspberries; alas, it’s too slight lyrically to have had much hit potential.

(As an aside, I sure enjoyed finding and watching an episode of the HBRDS earlier today.)

51. America, “Woman Tonight”
This is one of those songs that I have a devil of a time finding the beat during the verses–I’m attempting to train myself through repeated listening right now. It was the follow-up to “Daisy Jane,” the third single off Hearts, and soon to peak at #44.

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