Originally written December 18, 2013.
G’day, mates! It’s time for a Top 10 flashback, and time to fulfill a request.
A couple of weeks ago, someone asked for a flashback from overseas. So, as my Christmas gift to you, we will take an excruciatingly long flight to a place where Christmas comes in the summertime; a place where someone might smile and give you a vegemite sandwich, then drive off in his Holden ute. Yes, we’re tuning in to 3XY in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Most of these songs are by British artists and will be unfamiliar to us in the States, so I’m learning right along with you.
So tie me kangaroo down, sport! Survey dated December 21, 1973.
Mungo Jerry – Alright, Alright, Alright
We only knew Mungo Jerry stateside for “In The Summertime,” but they had several more hits in the UK and Oz. They went glam rock for this one – I think I like it.
Rolling Stones – Angie
You don’t hear this one a lot these days. If you go by classic rock playlists, you’d think the Stones only did five songs. Nice to hear this again, isn’t it?
Max Bygraves – Any Dream Will Do
From Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Max Bygraves was a British television & radio personality, actor, and singer for decades; he died in 2012.
Des O’Connor – Remember
Like Max Bygraves above, Des O’Connor is a comedian, TV personality, and singer, and appeared regularly on British TV until 2008. This song didn’t even chart in the UK, but did well in Oz. This kind of music wouldn’t fly in the States.
Suzi Quatro – 48 Crash
Suzi Quatro left her hometown of Detroit to find fame and fortune in the UK. I dunno – her voice is awfully shrill in this one. She sounds better in her lone U.S. hit, “Stumblin’ In” from 1979. You may remember her as Leather Tuscadero, Pinky’s little sister, in “Happy Days.”
Tom T. Hall – Old Dogs, Children And Watermelon Wine
Country legend Tom T. Hall was at his peak around this time. It never occurred to me that he was so popular in Australia.
Matt Taylor – I Remember When I Was Young
Wow, our first actual Aussie! And our only one. Matt Taylor brought the blues Down Under, and has been with the group Chain since the 60’s. Certainly a unique style of blues.
Perry Como – For The Good Times
This song was made famous in 1971 by Ray Price, who died in December 2013. This version did well in the UK as well as Australia.
Vicki Lawrence – He Did With Me
This was her followup to “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia,” and it obviously did quite well here; it had been #1 in November. Vicki Lawrence is also known as Mama in “Mama’s Family,” a show that milked a popular bit from Carol Burnett’s show for too many seasons.
You just ain’t gonna believe what the #1 song was on 3XY in Melbourne forty years ago this week. No, really, you won’t believe it:
FUCK YEAH! We didn’t get this as a single in the States until 1975. A real asskicker of a classic.
Well, that was interesting. Always good to try out new old songs, even if some of them fall flat.
I’m really going to work on the kitchen this weekend, I promise! My sister’s dog died last Saturday, on my birthday no less, and it put a damper on the whole weekend. I loved that little shit.
Have a merry Christmas, if you’re so inclined!