Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976 (pt. 2)

Link to PART ONE = Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976

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It’s a Gas” by The Hombres

peaked at #113 on January 13, 1968 [Verve Forecast]

  • Text of news item “Singleton Issues Hombres Videotapes” published in Billboard‘s December 30, 1967 edition:  “Shelby Singleton Productions last week made available for bandstand TV shows two color videotapes of The Hombres performing ‘It’s a Gas’ and ‘Am I High’ — the two tunes on their latest Verve Forecast single.  Both records were produced by Huey Meaux for Shelby Singleton Productions.”


Captain of Your Ship” by Reparata and the Delrons

peaked at #127 on February 3, 1968 [Mala]

  • “Captain of Your Ship” was a much bigger success in Europe (#13 in the UK Singles Chart), where the group toured and performed on German TV’s “Beat Club.”
  • International distribution of this single included Rhodesia and India.

45 – Sweden


I Cannot Stop You” by The Cherry Slush

peaked at #119 on February 24, 1968 [U.S.A.]

  • Written, produced, and arranged by Dick Wagner, who later gained fame for his collaborations with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed & Kiss.
  • Billboard‘s January 6, 1968 edition included this 45 in a “Special Merit Highlight” (“new singles deserving special attention of programmers and dealers”) with this concise assessment — “The label that started the Buckinghams on the road to fame has another group with a hot rock item that could easily establish them in the same way.”
  • Program director/disk jockey Bobby Holland of Hazlehurst GA’s WVOH singled out “I Cannot Stop You” as the “Biggest Leftfield Happening” — as reported to Billboard in its March 30, 1968 edition.
  • #43 on Record World‘s “Singles Coming Up” Chart in their Feb. 17, 1968 issue.
  • Gary Johnson’s biographical profile of this Michigan Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame band notes that “Saginaw’s Cherry Slush was one of mid-Michigan’s most popular bands during the 60’s” who were “also one of the few garage bands from that era to place a single on the charts of the three major trade papers in the 60’s, Billboard, Record World, and Cash Box.”


Bear Mash” by Ramsey Lewis

peaked at #123 on February 24, 1968

  • Ramsey Lewis Trio:  Ramsey Lewis (piano), Cleveland Eaton (bass) and future Earth, Wind & Fire bandleader, Maurice White (drums).
  • Billboard‘s February 3, 1968 edition included this 45 in a “Special Merit Highlight”  with these words of praise — “Discotheque and jukebox must in this infectious number played for all it’s worth by the piano wizard.”

Future Shocktypeface on 1967 LP


Do Drop Inn” by The Fifth Estate

peaked at #122 on March 16, 1968 [Jubilee]

45 – Germany


African Boo-Ga-Loo” by Jackie Lee

peaked at #121 on March 23, 1968 [Keymen]

  • When’s the last time you heard harmonica on a driving soul tune?
  • #49 in Cash Box‘s R&B Top 50 Chart in the March 16, 1968 edition.
  • “African Boo-Ga-Loo” would be issued in the UK four years later in 1972 — though it turns out that Britain had been enjoying the ‘import’ version “for years.”

Review = 19 Jan 1973 edition of Blues and Soul (UK)


If You Didn’t Hear Me the First Time (I’ll Say It Again)” by The Sandpebbles

peaked at #122 on April 6, 1968 [Calla]

  • The descending chords of the main riff – combined with the chiming church bell – sounds suspiciously close to what Elton John used six years later for his arrangement ofLucy in the Sky” that hit the radio airwaves in 1974.
  • Reached #42 on Billboard‘s R&B Chart on April 20, 1968.


Look at What I Almost Missed” by The Parliaments

peaked at #104 on April 13, 1968 [Revilot]

  • “Look At What I Almost Missed” — co-written by George Clinton & Tamala Lewis — reached no. 5 on CKLW, Windsor, according to 45Cat .
  • Cash Box‘s review in the March 6, 1968 edition — “Terrific pace of the newest outing from the Parliaments should set the team back on the winning road to pop action while maintaining solid blues area action.  Lively mid-speed outing that is tailored for dancing from the ‘Testify‘ group.  Should be well received.”


What a Day” by The Contrasts Featuring Bob Morrison

peaked at #120 on April 13, 1968 [Monument]

  • According to Plankton, “What a Day” reached no. 20 on CHUM, Toronto.
  • Johnnie Charles, program director/disk jockey at Bluefield WV’s WKOY, declared “What a Day” to be “Best Pick,” of the week (April 13, 1968), while Dean Tyler at Philadelphia’s WIBG chose the same song as the week’s “Best Leftfield Pick” (April 5, 1968).


Billy Sunshine” by Evie Sands

peaked at #133 on April 27, 1968 [Cameo]

  • Billboard‘s review reveals that even the best-laid plans don’t always guarantee commercial success — “The writing team of Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni has a hot sales item in this pulsating rocker with strong vocal workout that should bring Miss Sands back to the Hot 100 rapidly.”
  • Program director/disk jockey Rick Scarry of Ventura, CA’s KUDU pegged “Billy Sunshine” as the week’s “Biggest Leftfield Happening,” as reported in Billboard‘s April 13, 1968 edition.


Alone Again Or” by Love

peaked at #123 on May 4, 1968 [Elektra]

  • In a news item entitled, “Elektra to Pitch Product to UK’s College Cities,” Billboard‘s February 3, 1968 edition reports that “The new LP [Forever Changes] is getting the biggest ever Elektra UK promotion.  Publicity includes advertisements on buses in key cities, including London, Manchester, and Birmingham.  A single featuring two tracks from the LP “Alone Again Or” and “Bummer in the Summer” has just been issued.  If the record enters the charts, the group has agreed to visit England for personal appearances, says [Elektra’s Clive] Selwood.”
  • Selected by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of March 9, 1968 — “This pulsating folk-rocker should fast break the strong LP sellers onto the Hot 100 chart once again.  Good material, strong performance with driving dance beat in support featuring a mariachi flavored arrangement.”
  • Best Leftfield Pick” for the week of March 30, 1968 according to an unnamed program director/disk jockey at Flint, MI’s WTAC, as reported in Billboard.
  • This 45 helped usher in improved sound, as reported in Cash Box — “Almost all of Elektra Records’ singles will be released in compatible stereo, beginning with the new Love single, ‘Alone Again Or, it was announced last week by Jac Holzman, president of Elektra.  Singles will be released in the compatible stereo format.  Holzman said that this move was in keeping with the change-over in the U.S. to an all-stereo record industry.  He maintains that the continued release of mono singles was inconsistent with the superior sound of today’s stereo LP’s and might be one reason for the rapid drop in singles sales in the past year.”


Backwards and Forwards” by December’s Children

peaked at #123 on May 18, 1968 [World Pacific]

  • Time for everyone to sing along, even if you think you don’t want to —

  • Note:  In teeny-tiny print at the end of the lyric sheet above, it reads “I wrote this song.  I can’t figure it out, maybe you can … Ray Whitley” (i.e., the other person, besides Jimi Hendrix, who wrote a song in 1968 entitled “1983!)

45 — Germany


Days of Pearly Spencer” by David McWilliams

peaked at #134 on June 1, 1968


When Do We Go” by Billy Vera & Judy Clay

peaked at #107 on June 8, 1968 [Atlantic]

  • “When Do We Go” was selected by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of May 25, 1968 — “The strong duo hit it big with ‘Storybook Children‘ and [“Country Girl-City Man‘]  and this blues ballad, well performed, will put them even higher on the charts with stronger sales.  Soulful and meaningful material.”
  • Billy Vera’s recording career includes a #1 pop hit — “At This Moment” (by Billy Vera and the Beaters) that initially charted at #79 when released in 1981 before going all the way to the top when reissued in 1987 — as well as two other songs that “bubbled under” the Hot 100:  “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (which peaked at #121 on September 28, 1968 and “The Bible Salesman” (which peaked at #112 on May 17, 1969).  Judy Clay would also enjoy a Hot 100 hit in 1968 with William Bell on “Private Number” [which hit #75 Pop, #17 R&B, and #8 on the UK Singles Chart], as well as two other recordings that “bubbled under”:  “My Baby Specializes” (with William Bell – #104 on Dec. 28, 1968) and “Greatest Love” (#122 on April 18, 1970).

45 — Italy


Soul Clappin’” by The Buena Vistas

peaked at #126 on September 7, 1968

  • 45Cat contributor Mr. Lobbers notes — “Although the labels state that the two sides are from the LP Here Comes Da Judge, the album does not appear to have been released.”
  • Picked by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of August 10, 1968 — “Their version of ‘Here Comes Da Judge’ took them into the Hot 100 and now this funky beat blues rocker has all the sales potential to take them high on both pop and r&b charts.  Powerful dance item.”
  • Somehow the single made its way over to France.

45 — France


Mission Impossible Theme/Norwegian Wood” by Alan Copeland

peaked at #120 on September 21, 1968 [ABC]


I Couldn’t Spell !!*@!” by Sam the Sham

peaked at #120 on October 5, 1968 [MGM]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Dallas-Fort Worth, as reported in Billboard.
  • #15 on Record World‘s “Singles Coming Up” Chart in their Nov. 2, 1968 edition.


Paul’s Midnight Ride” [B-side] by The Delights Orchestra

peaked at #128 on October 26, 1968 [Atco]

  • Title and groove appear to be a reference to 1968’s “Horse” by Cliff Nobles & Co.
  • 45Cat’s davie gordon has the story behind the 45 — “An independent production from Philadelphia bought up by Atlantic.  The instrumental B-side started picking up airplay in St. Louis in September making the local top 20 on station KATZ.  This was enough for Billboard to register it on their bubbling under chart in late October peaking after two weeks at no. 128.  The Sweet Delights never recorded again but the Delights Orchestra did have a follow-up single.
  • 45Cat’s Felonious also chimes in — “I’m sure some of The Delights Orchestra became members of MFSB.  According to Funky 16 Corners and Classic Urban Harmony, The Sweet Delights were Geri Edgehill, Betty Allen, Valerie Brown, Grace Montgomery Allison, and Albert Byrd.


Fifty Two Per Cent” by Max Frost and the Troopers

peaked at #123 on December 14, 1968 [Tower]

  • Max Frost & the Troopers, as it turns out, is a fictional band created for the (Mike Curb-produced) exploitation flick Wild in the Streets.
  • 52% of the population in 1968 was under 25, you know.

45 — France


Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass” by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos

peaked at #106 on February 8, 1969 [Capitol]

  • “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass” was also a #1 hit on the Billboard Country Chart.
  • Song covered by Sue Thompson that same year.

45 — Norway


Lovey Dovey” by Johnny Nash

peaked at #130 on February 15, 1969 [JAD]

  • From the same artist whose previous year’s “Hold Me Tight” got major radio play [#1 Canada and #5 in US & UK Singles Chart], another rare moment of Jamaican rocksteady on US radio — backing band almost certainly Lyn Taitt & the Jets.

45 — Belgium


Is There Anything Better Than Making Love” by The Fantastic Johnny C

peaked at #130 on March 22, 1969 [Phil-L.A. of Soul]

  • Record World designated this a “Sleeper Hit of the Week” in their Feb. 22, 1969 edition with this ringing endorsement:  “The Fantastic Johnny C wonders ‘Is There Anything Better Than Making Love?’ and the answer is listening to this cut.”


Me and Mr. Hohner” by Bobby Darin

peaked at #123 on May 10, 1969 [Direction]

  • Spoiler alert:  Reference to “Hohner” in the song title is exactly what you think it is.
  • Billboard‘s review — “Following up ‘Long Line Rider,’ Darin comes up with another stronger message lyric set to an infectious beat.  Top arrangement and vocal workout offers much for play and sales.”


If I Had a Reason” by Bubble Puppy

peaked at #128 on May 31, 1969 [International Artists]

  • Selected by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of May 24, 1969
  • — “A different sound from the ‘Hot Smoke and Sassafrass‘ group, this pulsating rocker should bring them back to the charts with impact, and prove an important follow-up to their initial hit.”


Stomp” by NRBQ

peaked at #122 on June 28, 1969 [Columbia]


South Carolina” by The Flirtations

peaked at #111 on July 26, 1969 [Deram]

45 — Japan


Harlan County” by Jim Ford

peaked at #106 on September 13, 1969 [Sundown]

  • Vancouver Signature Sounds‘ Ray McGinnis wrote a short essay about Jim Ford in which “Harlan County” served as the focus — “While the song got enough traction in Vancouver to climb to #10 on the charts, it missed the Billboard Hot 100.  DJ’s in Vancouver may have decided to play list the song, as it was rising to #15 on KHJ in Los Angeles, the week before it became Hitbound on CKLG.  However, LA was one of just a couple of radio markets that gave the song a try.  “Harlan County” also happened to climb into the Top 20 across the Georgia Strait in Victoria.”
  • McGinnis also notes — “His friends included Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone who referred to Jim Ford on a 1971 Dick Cavett Show as his “honky-tonk man.”


Mommy and Daddy” [B-side] by The Monkees

peaked at #109 on September 20, 1969 [Colgems]

  • Cleaned-up” version of Micky Dolenz’s “social protest” song — original version with the heavyweight lyrics for comparison.
  • According to 45Cat contributors, “Mommy and Daddy” was a Top Ten hit in Albany, NY and also Kansas City.
  • Adds 45Cat’s porcupine — “[lyrical reference] ‘the “Kings of EMI’ was a two-fer for Mickey who also used [this phrase] in ‘Randy Scouse Git,’ a document of the Monkees’ visit to England.  The ‘four Kings of EMI (are) sitting stately on the floor’ referred to The Beatles, whom they met at a party.”


Never in Public” by Candi Staton

peaked at #124 on September 20, 1969 [Fame]

  • Billboard reported in its September 13, 1969 edition that WDIA’s Bill Thomas (Memphis) singled out “Never in Public” as that week’s “Biggest Happening” in Rhythm & Blues.
  • Record World designated this a “Sleeper Hit of the Week” in their Aug. 30, 1969 edition — “Candi Staton souls out ‘Never in Public’ and it’s another winner from funky Muscle Shoals.”


Comment” [B-side] by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

peaked at #109 on October 11, 1969 [Warner Bros.]

  • B-side when released in the US, but an A-side when issued in France.


Baby You Come Rolling ‘Cross My Mind” by John Beland

peaked at #110 on November 8, 1969 [Ranwood]


Ballad of Paul” by The Mystery Tour

peaked at #104 on November 29, 1969


Cow Pie” by The Masked Marauders

peaked at #123 on November 29, 1969

  • The Masked Marauders were not an actual band but an elaborate hoax orchestrated by Rolling Stone to fool folks into thinking a “super session” with leading rock artists (Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon) had taken place in great secrecy but then “leaked” to the public.
  • “Cow Pie” — fabricated to sound like a “Bob Dylan” song — was the A-side of a single that also saw release in Germany and France.


Hello Sunshine” by Rev. Maceo Woods & Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir

peaked at #121 on December 20, 1969 [Volt]

  • Oh Happy Day” by The Edwin Hawkins Singers was a #4 Pop hit that same year.
  • 45Cat’s davie gordon notes — “The song [co-written by King Curtis & Ron Miller] had been recorded the previous year by Aretha Franklin on her Aretha Now album and a few months later by Wilson Pickett for his I’m In Love album.


Freight Train” by Duane Eddy

peaked at #110 on January 3, 1970 [Congress]


Demonstration” by Otis Redding

peaked at #105 on April 4, 1970 [Atco]

  • “Demonstration” is the lead-off track on Tell the Truth, Redding’s fourth posthumous studio album.


Boogie Woogie Country Girl” by Southwind

peaked at #105 on May 2, 1970 [Blue Thumb]

45 — France


Feeling Bad” by Mel and Tim

peaked at #106 on May 9, 1970 [Bamboo]

  • “Feeling Bad” — produced by Gene Chandler.


What Do You Say to a Naked Lady” by Errol Sober

peaked at #106 on May 30, 1970 [Abnak]

  • Surprisingly ‘wholesome’ for a song whose title includes the phrase “naked lady.”
  • The Holy Modal Rounders, incredibly, came within inches of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart (#103) on February 2, 1974 with their unapologetic paean “Boobs a Lot.”
  • Music in Advertising Alert:  Cash Box item in the February 28, 1970 edition,  “Karman Growing in TV Commercial Field” — “As the television medium grows, so does the value of commercials, and so do the successes of various composer-lyricists working in the field.  One of the most popular has been Steve Karmen who, over the past three years, wrote music and lyrics for the commercials:  “You Can Take Salem Out Of The Country . . . ,” “Breakaway With Pontiac,” “Call The Man From Nationwide” (insurance).  In addition, he is currently writing all the music and lyrics for Halo Shampoo, Budweiser Beer, Beneficial Finance and Chrysler.  And, working with film music, he wrote the score for the United Artists [Allen Funt] film, What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? which opened last week in New York.”


Maybe Baby-Daddy’s Maybe” by Swamp Dogg

peaked at #113 on May 30, 1970 [Canyon]

  • You might be surprised to learn that the lyrics include the phrase “PTA meeting.”
  • Billboard‘s review of Swamp Dogg’s Total Destruction to Your Mind “Swamp Dogg is a hip soul man who not only can bring ‘Total Destruction to Your Mind’ with some potent funk, but some creative social commentary as well in the ballads of a new breed blues artist.  His no-jive soul makes a star out of producer-arranger-songwriter Jerry Williams Jr., who through Swamp Dogg, comunicates a new cool in soul music.  ‘Synthetic World,’ ‘Mama’s Baby-Daddy’s Maybe’ set the pace.”


Birds of All Nations” by George McCannon III

peaked at #111 on June 3, 1970 [Amos]

  • Produced by Jimmy Bowen and includes the Jimmy Bowen Orchestra & Chorus.


Handsome Johnny” by Richie Havens

peaked at #115 on June 20, 1970 [MGM]

  • Co-written by Richie Havens with actor Lou Gossett, Jr.
  • Havens performs “Handsome Johnny” in the Woodstock film.


Wash Mama Wash” by Dr. John The Night Tripper

peaked at #108 on June 20, 1970 [Atco]

  • 45-only track when initially released — included on 1972 “non-US” compilation LP The Age of Atlantic and later Dr. John anthologies.
  • “Wash Mama Wash” awarded a “Special Merit Spotlight” by Billboard with these words of praise — “Strong vocal workout on funky beat blues material that could easily come from left field and prove an out and out smash – pop and soul.”


Passport to the Future” by Jean Jacques Perrey

peaked at #106 on June 27, 1970 [Vanguard]

  • “Passport to the Future” reached the #29 position on Billboard‘s “Easy Listening” Top 40 Chart, as reported in the June 29, 1970 edition.
  • Record World‘s June 13, 1970 edition reports — “Top tip of the week ‘Passport To The Future,’ Jean Jacque Perrey, Vanguard.  It is over 10,000 in Chicago.”


Eleanor Rigby” by El Chicano

peaked at #115 on June 15, 1970 [Kapp]

  • Earned a “Special Merit Spotlight” from Billboard, who informed the world — “Following up his ‘Viva Tirado’ hit, El Chicano comes up with a Latin rhythm treatment of the Beatles winner that should keep him active on the charts.”

45 — Italy


Simple Song of Freedom” by Spirit of Us

peaked at #106 on August 15, 1970 [Viva]

  • Song written by “Bob” Darin.
  • Record World‘s “Singles Review” in their July 11, 1970 edition:  “The Bob Darin-Tim Hardin song lives again with a Salvation Army/folk/Dixieland sound.”


Had Any Lately” by Sylvia Robinson

peaked at #102 on August 22, 1970 [Stang]

  • Deceptively powerful peace lyric embedded in a seductive pop soul groove — says Billboard in its August 1, 1970 edition:  “A lyric message about today’s world situation is set to an infectious rhythm setting and blockbuster vocal workout by Sylvia … formerly of Micky and Sylvia.  Watch this one, it could prove a left-field smash.”
  • Record World‘s “Singles Review” — “Very effective anti-war song is directed right to the seat of power.  Sylvia wrote and produced.”


Two Little Rooms” by Trella Hart

peaked at #120 on September 5, 1970 [Capitol]

  • 45Cat’s borninthe50s provides the history — “This was the only single released by Trella Hart, who was known as ” The Queen Of The Jingles.”  She forged a very successful career in the music business by working prolifically as a “jingle” singer, recording advertising and promotion “jingles” for, in particular, P.A.M.S. (Production Advertising Merchandising Service), one of the most famous “jingle” production companies in American broadcasting, based in Dallas, Texas.  When “Two Little Rooms” was released in 1970, it was played on many radio stations, and in the event it reached the Top 30 in several regions including Dallas and Chicago.”


We All Sung Together” by Grin

peaked at #108 on October 10, 1970 [Thunder]

  • Grin’s debut LP – produced by David Briggs – was dedicated to Roy Buchanan.
  • If I’m not mistaken, the October 24, 1970 issue of Cash Box begins with this ad for Grin:  “You’ve been listening to Nils Lofgren longer than you know.  Up until now, you’ve been listening to his music.  Not his name.  Possibly you know that Nils Lofgren is the founder of the new group, Grin.  And that their new single, “We All Sung Together,” is getting airplay around the country.  But this isn’t the first song he’s composed and arranged.  In fact, among musicians he’s become a recognized talent.  Even Neil Young used him.  On his new Gold Rush album, Nils played and sang.  Of course, you might have missed that fact.  But now, with his new group and new single, his name will be hard to forget.  Grin.  All Sung Together.”
  • According to Billboard‘s August 15, 1970 edition, Columbia recently wrapped up two new labels deals, one of them being Thunder, formed by David Briggs and Art Linson.  “Thunder’s initial product will be an album and single from the much sought-after band, Grin, discovered in Maryland by Neil Young and Steve Stills.  Grin features composer Nils Lofgren and is the first group to be signed by the label.  Their first single, ‘We All Sung Together,’ was presented at the recent Columbia Convention and will be released shortly.  Grin’s debut album, with a guest appearance from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, will be released in early fall.”

Bob Gordon, Nils Lofgren, Bob Berberich


Poquito Soul” by One G Plus Three

peaked at #122 on October 24, 1970 [Gordo]

  • Funky 16 Corners suggests that “If you give ‘Poquito Soul’ a couple of listens, another languid groover might start to come to mind, that being El Chicano’s version of Gerald Wilson’s ‘Viva Tirado’, which was a substantial hit in the Spring of 1970, all over the country, but especially in SoCal.”  One G Plus Three — Randy Thomas (the ‘Gringo’) on organ, Rudy Salas on guitar, Max Garduno on percussion and Manny Mosqueda on drums — “recorded only this one 45, released first on Eddie Davis’s Gordo label, then picked up for national distribution by Paramount.”
  • Check out Paramount’s full-page ad for this 45 in the October 31, 1970 edition of Billboard.
  • “Poquito Soul” reached the #39 position on Billboard‘s “Easy Listening” Top 40 Chart, as reported in the November 7, 1970 edition.


Back to the River” by The Damnation of Adam Blessing

peaked at #102 on November 21, 1970 [United Artists]

  • Cleveland’s Damnation of Adam Blessing played at the Cincinnati Pop Festival in 1970.
  • Would you be surprised to learn that “Back to the River” was a “Regional Breakout Single” in Cleveland?
  • Record World‘s review notes that the group — Bill Schwark, Bob Kalamasz, Jim Quinn & Ray Benich — are, “as folks already know, into very hard rock.”  Further, the new album “should turn into a potent item to stir up underground trade.”

That’s right, the same event where Iggy threw the peanut butter


Down to the Wire” by Yellow Hand

peaked at #120 on December 5, 1970 [Capitol]

  • Uptempo “pop” arrangement of “lost” Neil Young-penned Buffalo Springfield track (included on the box set) that was also released on Neil Young’s 3-LP Decade.
  • Billboard, who predicted this 45 to reach the Top 60, wrote in its review — “The driving rock ballad penned by Neil Young is a strong singles debut for the group, culled from their current LP.  Should prove a big Hot 100 item.”
  • Cash Box offered up this review — “Fine pick of material from the Neil Young songbook makes the most of Yellow Hand’s premiere single.  Could blossom.”
  • 45Cat’s Gary E informs — “This band includes Jerry Tawney on lead voc, formerly with The Portraits (Sidewalk), early solo 45 on Liberty & later solo on Bell.”


Never Marry a Railroad Man” by The Shocking Blue

peaked at #102 on December 26, 1970 [Colossus]

  • 45Cat’s Problem Child theorizes — “I think after the mighty ‘Venus’, this may have been a very good album track, but the early longer than usual instrumental break and the lack of more engaging lyrics may have worked against it being a commercial success, just sayin’?  Shame.”
  • And yet, a Top Ten hit for this Netherlands group in Holland, West Germany & Norway plus Switzerland and France (Spain, too).

45 — Yugoslavia


Love Vibrations” by David T. Walker

peaked at #117 on January 9, 1971 [Zea]

  • Billboard‘s Ed Ochs designated “Love Vibrations” as a “Soul Sauce” ‘pick and play‘ for the week of December 12, 1970.
  • Peaked at #35 on Billboard‘s “Soul Singles” Chart on December 19, 1970.


Too Many Lovers” by Shack

peaked at #118 on February 13, 1971 [Volt]

  • Oddball intro that sounds like something out of LeeScratchPerry‘s audio lab.
  • Peaked at #23 on Billboard‘s “Soul Singles” chart on February 20, 1971.


Nothing Rhymed” by Gilbert O’Sullivan

peaked at #114 on March 6, 1971 [MAM]

  • A Top 10 hit in the UK., as reported in Billboard‘s January 16, 1971 edition.
  • #150 position in Record World‘s “Singles Chart – 101 to 150” for the week of March 6, 1971.

45 — Yugoslavia


California Blues” by Redwing

peaked at #108 on April 17, 1971 [Fantasy]

  • Billboard had high hopes for this release, as indicated by its selection as a “Top 20 Pop Spotlight” in the April 3, 1971 edition — “The legendary Jimmie Rodgers classic is updated and serves as dynamite material for this powerful new group, their debut for the label.  Will hit hard and fast.”
  • University of Houson’s KUHF gave this 45 strong radio play, as reported in Billboard‘s May 29, 1971 edition.


Singing in Viet Nam Talking Blues” by Johnny Cash

peaked at #124 on June 19, 1971 [Columbia]

  • Selected by Billboard for its “Top 60 Pop Spotlight” the week of June 5, 1971 — “Cash entertained in Vietnam and wrote about it.  This moving story and performance will prove a strong entry … pop and country” [such “cross-over” disks would provoke a “title strip display debate” for jukebox programmers, as discussed in the September 4, 1971 edition of Billboard].
  • In a July 17, 1971 Billboard news item entitled “Release Jam Hurts Artists ” — “Perhaps a more dramatic example is Johnny Cash’s ‘Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues.’  [Acme One Stop’s Larry] Rugemer said:  “I believe Cash is an example of an artist in danger of being burned out by too many releases.  The jukebox programmers are just passing this one up.”
  • Reached #18 on the “Hot Country Singles” Chart in Billboard‘s July 31, 1971 edition.

 Promo 45 — Germany

Tip of the hat to DC’s Karl Eiholzer for translation services:

“A new Johnny Cash song is always an event because his songs always make a strong statement [or possibly: always have a special message].  Johnny Cash’s newest song – by the way written and produced by himself – deals with one of our time’s focal points:  Vietnam.  Rhythmically and musically an impressive [or perhaps smashing, if you’re reading this in the UK] production.”


Ten and Two (Take This Woman Off the Corner)” by Gene and Jerry

peaked at #126 on July 3, 1971 [Mercury]

  •  Billboard‘s Ed Ochs as a “Soul Sauce” ‘pick and play‘ for the week of March 6, 1970.
  • Designated by Billboard as one of the Special Merit singles “deserving special attention of programmers and dealers” in the May 8, 1971 edition “Gene Chandler and Jerry Butler team up once again with a powerful rock item that should carry them straight to both the Hot 100 and Soul charts.  First rate performances.”
  • #44 position on Billboard‘s “Soul Singles” chart for the week of June 26, 1971, and #42 spot on Cash Box‘s Top 60 R&B chart for the week ending July 3, 1971.


Funky L.A.” by Paul Humphrey and His Cool-Aid Chemists

peaked at #109 on August 14, 1971 [Lizard]

  • A “Top 60 Pop Spotlight” designee for the week of June 26, 1971 — “Humphrey’s ‘Cool Aid‘ took him high on the Hot 100 and into the teens on the soul chart.  This driving discotheque winner offers that same sales potency.”
  • #45 spot on Billboard‘s Soul chart on August 28, 1971.
  • #97 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles for the week ending July 31, 1971.


1-2-3-4” by Lucky Peterson Blues Band

peaked at #102 on August 21, 1971 [Today]

  • According to 45Cat’s jukebox george — “HitBound on the chart of WOL Washington DC — July 21 1971.”
  • Peaked at #40 on Billboard‘s Soul chart and #41 on Cash Box‘s R&B chart.


Gotta Get Over the Hump” by Simtec & Wylie

peaked at #101 on September 11, 1971 [Mister Chand]

  • Walter “Simtec” Simmons + Wylie Dixon from Chicago.
  • Says one 45Cat contributor, “According to the data we have, this was the most popular release from Gene Chandler’s Mister Chand label.  It did not do particularly well.  The A-side went to #4 in Jackson, MS.; #5 in Dayton, OH.; and #10 in Chicago (WGRT) and XEPRS [AM] in Rosario, Baja California, Mexico.  It hung out a lot on [NYC’s] WWRL’s charts, but ultimately only rose to #14.”
  • “Gotta Get Over That Hump” also peaked at #29 on Billboard‘s Soul chart for the week ending August 28, 1971.
  • #36 on Cash Box‘s R&B Top 60 for the week ending August 14, 1971.


Hey Ruby (Shut Your Mouth)” by Ruby and the Party Gang

peaked at #105 on December 25, 1971 [Law-Ton]

  • Record World‘s November 13, 1971 edition informs us that “Clarence Lawton, President of Law-Ton Records, dropped by Record World last week to discuss his label’s two latest hits, ‘Let One Hurt Do‘ by L.J. Reynolds & Chocolate Syrup and ‘Hey Ruby (Shut Your Mouth)’ by Ruby & the Party Gang.  Lawton, who started his Avco-distributed company in August, is also working closely with the label’s Stylistics, whose current hit is ‘You Are Everything.'”


That’s Alright (I Don’t Mind It)” by Alzo

peaked at #116 on February 12, 1972 [Ampex]

  • Supporting musicians include Bob Dorough (keyboards) & Eric Weissberg (banjo).
  • Part of Billboard‘s “Top 60 Pop Spotlight” for the week ending December 11, 1971 — “A cut from his debut LP, this folk rock newcomer has it to hit with impact first time out via top 40.”
  • Album review in the December 25, 1971 issue of Cash Box:  “Title [Looking for You] tells of a search which should come to a happy end once the sounds therein get out into the open to freshen the air for all of us.  Bob Dorough who is a cult in the jazz world of piano-vocalists has produced the artist in a bright and varied manner, so that each cut can take the now ragged picture of a contemporary singer/songwriter and restore it to its original brilliance.  Single of ‘That’s Alright (I Don’t Mind It)’ is the best introduction we can suggest.  Afterwards, the audience should be on a first-name only basis with him for some time to come.”
  • Album initially released on Ampex, then reissued the following year on Bell.


Love the Life You Live (Pt. 1)” by Kool and the Gang

peaked at #107 on February 26, 1972 [De-Lite]

  • #40 on Billboard‘s Soul Singles chart for the week ending February 26, 1972.



Free Your Mind” by The Politicians

peaked at #110 on April 29, 1972 [Hot Wax]

  • “Free Your Mind” written by Hot Wax label owners Holland-Dozier-Holland.
  • Funk My Soul provides the history lesson in his album review for The Polticians Featuring McKinley Jackson:   “Jackson was a long standing member of Motown’s sessions band, playing trombone on dozens (if not hundreds) of Holland-Dozier-Holland recording sessions for the label.   That would certainly explain how Jackson and company ended up releasing one of the first album’s on the trio’s post-Motown Hot Wax imprint.  Musically the album featured a collection of ten largely-original instrumentals ranging from hardcore funk (‘Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic‘ and ‘Funky Toes‘) to a radio friendly ballad (‘A Song for You’).  Technically these guys were pretty amazing, easily measuring up top Motown’s Funk brothers, Hi Records’ Hodges Brothers, or The Memphis Horns … The best track (and the sole hit for the group), ‘Free Your Mind’ stands out for its indescribably catchy guitar leit motif, a wah-wah’d lick that may well be the funkiest ever waxed.  Labelmates 8th Day used the backing track for their B-side ‘Freedom Is Instrumental.’”


It’s Too Late” by Bill Deal and the Rhondels

peaked at #108 on August 19, 1972 [Buddah]

  • Portsmouth, Virginia’s Bill Deal and the Rhondels helped fuse blue-eyed soul and “beach music” on such classic tracks as (the somewhat ska-like) “May I.”
  • “It’s Too Late” hit the #100 position on Cash Box‘s Top 100 singles for the week ending August 19, 1972.

“It’s Too Late” = final track on this 1973 EP from Thailand


I Ain’t Never Seen a White Man” by Wolfman Jack

peaked at #106 on September 23, 1972 [Wooden Nickel]

  • 45Cat’s greekgrove tells us — “Dick Monda who wrote ‘I Ain’t Never Seen A White Man’, wanted to release this as a ‘Daddy Dewdrop’ single, but head honcho of MGM/Sunflower (Mike Curb) was against it, so the song was passed to Wolfman Jack.  Meanwhile Dick Monda did finally release his original version of the song in 1973 as ‘Monda’ for Buddah Records where the song was re-titled ‘Everyman‘.”
  • 45Cat’s davie gordon adds — “Written and produced by the guys behind Daddy Dewdrop’s ‘Chick A Boom‘.”
  • #102 position in Record World‘s “Singles Chart – 101 to 150” for the week of October 14, 1972.

Another sing-along = c’mon, it’s good for you


Supersonic Rocket Ship” by The Kinks

peaked at #111 on October 14, 1972 [RCA Victor]

  • 45-only track (featuring steelpan drums) when originally released.
  • Kinks first “bubbled under” in 1965 with “See My Friends” (which reached #111).


Bang!” by Washrag

peaked at #112 on October 21, 1972 [TMI]

  • Musical trio featuring [Booker T & the MGs guitarist] Steve Cropper who released one album in 1973.


Africa” by Thundermug

peaked at #110 on December 16, 1972 [Big Tree]

  • Recorded at Toronto Sound Studios.
  • Billboard‘s July 29, 1972 edition includes a news item “From the Music Capitals of the World – Toronto:   “Thundermug now breaking nationally with both ‘Thundermug’ and ‘Africa’ from the Thundermug Strikes album.  Group is on London-distributed Axe label.”
  • Billboard‘s December 9, 1972 edition, in its “From the Music Capitals of the World – Toronto” column, reports that “CKLW Windsor/Detroit has charted two new Canadian singles, ‘Daytime, Night-time’ by Keith Hampshire and Thundermug’s ‘Africa,’ both of which are now available in the US on A&M and Bell, respectively.  Both singles have done exceedingly well on Canadian charts and look set for wide action in the US market.”
  • “Africa” was a “Regional Breakout Single” in Detroit.


Trying to Live My Life Without You” by Otis Clay

peaked at #102 on January 6, 1973 [Hi]


Gimme That Beat (Pt. 1)” by Jr. Walker & the All Stars

peaked at #101 on February 24, 1973 [Soul]

  • Billboard‘s January 27, 1973 edition includes this recommendation — “A funky, strictly-for-dancing shouter with infectious drive.  Powerful new entry from long-time soul titan.”

45 — France


Loose Booty” by Funkadelic

peaked at #118 on March 17, 1973 [Westbound]

  • “Loose Booty” (from the double album America Eats Its Young (which reached #22 on R&B and #122 on the Pop charts) also reached #49 on Billboard‘s Soul singles chart.
  • Sly and the Family Stone’s 1974 album Small Talk, coincidentally or not, includes a song called “Loose Booty.”


We’ll Make Love” by Al Anderson

peaked at #101 on March 24, 1973 [Vanguard]

  • “Well Make Love,” which came extremely close to making the Hot 100 chart, is from Al Anderson’s debut album — released prior to Anderson joining NRBQ.
  • #116 on Cash Box‘s “Singles — Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending February 24, 1973.
  • #112 position in Record World‘s “Singles Chart – 101 to 150” for the week of March 10, 1973.


Part of the Union” by The Strawbs

peaked at #111 on April 21, 1973 [A&M]

  • “Part of the Union” — previously celebrated by Zero to 180.
  • #106 on Record World‘s “Singles Chart – 101 to 150” for the week of April 6, 1973.
  • “Part of the Union” also peaked at #5 on Australia’s pop chart, says Cash Box.


Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed

peaked at #119 on June 9, 1973

  • Composed by Lou Reed, produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and arranged by the three of the them.
  • Record World selected “Satellite of Love” as one of its “Hits of the Week” in the May 26, 1973 edition.
  • Billboard did not designate “Satellite of Love” as one of its “Top Single Picks” for the week of May 26, 1973 — but they did tag the song as “also recommended.”
  • #118 on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending June 23, 1973.
  • “Satellite of Love” was the B-side when released “overseas” in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal & New Zealand (but not Australia, apparently).

45 — Netherlands


Bra” by Cymande

peaked at #102 on June 30, 1973 [Janus]

  • Cymande paid tribute by Zero to 180 in 2013.
  • As with “Satellite of Love,” this song was not picked by Billboard as a Top Single, but rather as one of the “also recommended” for the week ending April 7, 1973.
  • “Bra” went from #113 (week ending May 26, 1973) to #93 on Cash Box‘s Too 100 Singles chart for the week ending June 9, 1973.
  • Record World‘s review of Cymande’s second album Second Time Around in the June 9, 1973 edition begins with this observation — “Rarely can a group appear on jazz, r&b, and pop charts at the same time, but these dynamic musicians made all three with their very first album.”
  • Somewhat related news item (“Schwaid Signs Independents”) in the July 7, 1973 edition of Cash Box:   “Bob Schwaid today announced that he has just signed one of the hottest new groups, the Independents, to his Thruppence Ltd. management firm.  Schwaid, who has managed such top artists as Van Morrison and Miriam Makeba, is presently personal manager for superstar vocalist Al Green, Cymande, a West Indian rock band, and comic Lonnie Shorr.  The Independents are Chuck Johnson, Maurice Jackson, Eric Thomas and Helen Curry.”


Old Betsy Goes Boing, Boing, Boing” by The Hummers

peaked at #104 on August 25, 1973 [Capitol]

  • One of Record World‘s “Single Picks” for the week of June 23, 1970 — “The ditty that’s used for the rotary engine Mazda commercials gets new lyrics for top 40 radio and should see lotsa spins everywhere.  Cutesy production will rev up plenty of action.”
  • Love Marie Ratliff’s enthusiasm in her “County Hot Line” column in Record World‘s July 14, 1973 edition — “‘Open Up Your Heart‘ is an open-and-shut case for Roger Miller!  The verdict is — it’s a hit.  So says KBUY, WCMS, WIRE, WXCL (they picked it); as well as WMC, KCKN, and WEET!  Ditto for The Hummers’ first happening, ‘Old Betsy Goes Boing, Boing, Boing.’  Popular opinion sentencing it to a long chart run!”


Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean by The Creep

peaked at #116 on September 1, 1973 [Mr. G]

  • Released in the US and Canada — same recording on both sides of the 45.
  • Tagged by Record World not as “Single Picks” but rather “Spins and Sales” in the August 11, 1973 edition.


“Back in the Hills” by The Blue Ridge Rangers

peaked at #107 on October 13, 1973 [Fantasy]

  • The Blue Ridge Rangers turns out to be Creedence Clearwater’s John Fogerty playing all instruments on a handful of 45s and one full-length album released 1972-1973 — “Back in the Hills” is a non-LP B-side.

45 — Japan


Take Life a Little Easier” by Rodney Alan Rippy

peaked at #112 on October 20, 1973 [Bell]

  • Included in Billboard‘s “First Time Around Picks” (new artists deserving airplay and sales consideration) in their October 6, 1973 edition:  “Everyone by now has heard this charming child singing the Jack-in-the-Box commerical.  Here’s the commercial music version of the melody by this five-year old on the way to commercial exploitation.”
  • Burbank’s Kendum Recorders cut the masters for this Rodney Allen Rippy recording, on which Thomas “Snuff” Garrett was ostensibly involved — check out this cheeky ad from the December 15, 1973 edition of Billboard.
  • “Take Life a Little Easier” went from #103 (week ending October 6, 1973) to #76 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles chart (week ending October 27, 1973).


Your Funny Moods” by Skip McHoney and the Casuals

peaked at #113 on March 13, 1974 [DC International]


The Credit Card Song” by Dick Feller

peaked at #105 on October 23, 1974 [United Artists]

  • Top Ten hit on Billboard‘s County chart, peaking at #10 on November 23, 1974.


Pick Up the Pieces One by One” by A.A.B.B.

peaked at #108 on April 12, 1975 [I Dentify]

  • A.A.B.B. is actually, Fred Wesley and the JB’s (with James Brown on Clavinet) in playful response to Average White Band [AWB]’s big hit.
  • Dave Thompson explains in his Funk essential listening companion:  “Atlantic opted not to pull a second single from [1974’s Average White Band album], insisting instead that the band cut something else in the spirit of the hit.  They emerged with another James Brown-type jam, “Cut the Cake,” which effortlessly returned AWB to the Top Ten in April 1975.  Utterly unflattered by such tributes, Brown himself responded by remixing and overdubbing a 1971 JB’s rhythm track, “Hot Pants Road,” and releasing it (on the specially formed Identify label as “Pick Up the Pieces One by One,” under the name AABB (the Above Average Black Band).”


Right From The Shark’s Jaws (The Jaws Interview)” by Byron McNaughton & His All News Orchestra

peaked at #106 on September 13, 1975 [Jamie]


Southern Lady” by Timi Yuro

peaked at #108 on October 18, 1975 [Playboy]

  • In a brief news item with accompanying photo — “Playboy Adds Timi Yuro” — the September 6, 1975 edition of Record World reported that “Timi Yuro has been signed to an exclusive recording contract with Playboy Records, announced Tom Takayoshi, executive VP for the label.  Playboy plans to release the first single resulting from the agreement on or around September 12.”
  • “Southern Lady” was a “Pick of the Week,” as reported in the October 11, 1975 edition of Cash Box:  “This country ballad shows strong evidence of crossing over to MOR [i.e., “Middle-of-the-Road”] stations.  Fine arrangement, influenced with strings, horns, and great backup vocal tracks.  Timi really performs on this down-home tune produced by Andi Di Martino.  Go with it, MOR’s!”
  • Discogs tells us that Playboy Records was “originally distributed independently, [though] near the end of its existence it used CBS Records Distribution.”


Born to Get Down (Born to Mess Around)” by Muscle Shoals Horns

peaked at #105 on March 20, 1976 [Bang]

  • “Born to Get Down” spent a total of 16 weeks on Billboard‘s R&B chart, peaking at the #8 position.
  • #19 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 R&B singles for the week ending June 12, 1976.
  • #98 on Record World‘s Top 100 Singles chart for the week May 29, 1976.


Theme From One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by The Jack Nitzsche Orchestra

peaked at #109 on May 15, 1976 [Fantasy]

  • Album review from Cash Box‘s January 3, 1976 edition:  “With a movie such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest it takes a highly creative soundtrack to fully capture the compendium of emotions involved.  This Jack Nitzsche does as his music seems to fit into every furrow and wrinkle of the movie’s theme.  Top listens include ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ‘Aloha Los Pescadores,’ ‘Bus Ride To Paradise’ and ‘Play The Game.’  One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is movie music that can stand on its own.”
  • In 1976, the soundtrack album was nominated for “Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a TV Special” (though Car Wash would win).



Town Cryer” by Scott Key

peaked at #110 on July 4, 1976 [Pyramid]

  • Bicentennial-themed break-in record.
  • Boston’s WBZ (unsurprisingly, perhaps) gave this 45 some radio play, as reported in Billboard.
  • #103 on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart (May 29, 1976).
  • #115 on Record World‘s “Singles Chart – 101 to 150” (June 26, 1976).


Psychoticbumpschool” by Bootsy’s Rubber Band

peaked at #104 on December 25, 1976 [Warner Bros.]

  • “Psychoticbumpschool” (from Bootsy’s debut album for Warner Brothers) was written by Bootsy Collins, Phelps Collins, Bernie Worrell, and George Clinton.
  • Recommended by Billboard in its December 4, 1976 edition.
  • “Psychoticbumpschool” was one of Record World‘s “Single Picks” in their December 4, 1976 edition:  “The Parliamentfunkadelicrubberband strikes again with their left field approach to funk.  ‘Casper‘ and company offer a complete education in three minutes.”
  • When this 45 was released in the UK, according to 45Cat’s My Friend Jack — “Five weeks on the Breakers list from 30 Jul 1977, peaking in 1st place.”  By way of clarification, UK publication Record Mirror began publishing their own “Bubbling Under” list in 1966 to augment their Top 50 chart that soon became known as “The Breakers” (i.e., 10 to 15 records for the singles chart which had not made the top 50 that week, but were poised to reach the big chart the next week ranked in sales order i.e. as if they occupied positions 51 to 64).


“Bubbling Under” Trivia

According to Joel Whitburn —

American soul singer Ray Charles holds the record for having the most “bubblers” ever under a consistent artist credit, charting 14 of them from 1963 to 1993.  [source]

One quirky bit of chart synchronicity:  same song, consecutive listings

02/19/1966 | 134 | Ray Charles Singers –•– One Of Those Songs (Command 4079)
02/19/1966 | 135 | Jimmy Durante –•– One Of Those Songs (Warner 5686)


Primary source for Billboard “Bubbling Under” chart info:   Top40Weekly.com

US Hot 100 Bubbling Under

Friendly Reminder:  Zero to 180 best viewed on a big screen – not smart phone

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