Friday, August 5, 2016

AT40, June 26, 1976: Of TV Shows & Beach Boys

So I'm listening to the American Top 40 episode from June 26, 1976 and the following two themes emerge:

#37: "Baretta's Theme (Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow)" by Rhythm Heritage. The cop show Baretta premiered in January 1975 with a theme written by Dave Grusin and performed by El Chicano, but this cover of the show's theme hit the Top 40 over a year later. This single was in the Top 40 for 8 weeks starting May 8, peaking at #20.  Later seasons of the show had a version of the theme sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.

#32: "Happy Days" by Pratt and McClain. This retro sitcom premeired in January 1974, but originally used a re-recorded version of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" as its theme music. This single was released after it replaced the Haley classic in the show's opening credits. This single had been in the Top 40 since April 24 and peaked at #5 earlier in the month.

#28: "Making Our Dreams Come True" by Cyndi Grecco. This theme to the Happy Days spin-off Laverne & Shirley spent five weeks on AT40, peaking at #25. It was written by the same duo as the Happy Days theme above. Checkout Charles Fox's wikipedia page to see all the show themes he wrote - it's an impressive list that includes The Love Boat theme. Grecco would later dye her hair, change her last name to Lauper and have a long career in the recording industry (just kidding).

#26: "Let Her In" by John Travolta. Not a TV show theme, but there's no way this single gets released except for Travolta becoming a teen idol via the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter. Travolta's performance is stiffer than a mannequin, yet this single would spend 10 weeks on AT40, peaking at #10 on July 24.

#38: "Good Vibrations" by Todd Rundgren. An uneventful cover that would peak at #34 in its three weeks in the Top 40. Given Rundgren's reputation, he probably just made this recording to amuse himself and see if he could recreate Wilson's masterpiece. Then some record executive heard it and released it without Todd's permission. But I'm just speculating about all of that. Read more about this cover version here.

#21: "Shannon" by Henry Gross. Supposedly written as a tribute to Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish setter. Gross does hit on some Wilsonesque harmonies in the chorus behind his Frankie Valli-ish vocals. This single had debuted on AT40 back on April 3, and had peaked at #6 earlier in June. It would spend a total of 13 weeks in the Top 40.

#19: "Rock and Roll Music" by The Beach Boys. A lethargic cover, but one that peaked would eventually peak at #5 in 13 weeks on AT40. It was the group's biggest single of the 1970's.

#5: "Shop Around" by Captain & Tennille. C&T were members of the Beach Boys' touring band before recording their own albums. This cover of a Smokey Robinson hit would peak at #4 (The Miracles hit #2 back in 1961), giving the duo their fourth consecutive top ten single.

Above are 8 singles, 20% of that week's AT40, but we barely scratched the Top Ten, so here's what that looked like (and if this list doesn't send you scrambling to listen to some of these tunes, you're at the wrong blog):

1 comment :

  1. This was just a few months after I started buying two 45s a week thanks to my $2 a week allowance (an incredible $8.49 in 2016 dollars!) so let's see how many of these I still have in the Archives:
    #35 Mamma Mia
    #32 Happy Days
    #22 Get Closer
    #21 Shannon
    #20 The Boys Are Back In Town
    #06 More, More, More
    #01 Silly Love Songs

    Seven of the Top 40! Slightly better than I thought.