BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, FEBUARY 11th 2018
2:00 PM HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, MARCH 11th, 2018 THE SECOND SUNDAY
THIS MONTH’S MEETING.
We will be having a special guest with us at the February meeting. Singer, songwriter, poet, author, inventor and philosopher, Lathan Hudson will be telling us about his life in the music business. Lathan spent 18 years in Nashville composing songs. He has had over 100 of his recorded songs put on major labels by some of C/W’s biggest names. Lathan is an inductee in the Alabama Songwriters Hall of Fame. I am sure he will have some amazing stories to tell. Be there and bring a friend.
RADIO SURVEY SHEETS
Remember going to the local record shop, 7/11 store, department stores, and many other places around town and picking up the latest radio survey sheet? Each week the stations would come out with their own Top 20 or 40 or how ever many they may have listed. For the most part I am sure many of the songs listed matched the national charts put out by Billboard or similar groups. But also every town probably had some differences due to a local group having a local hit or maybe your town was like the one I grew up in. Birmingham, Alabama seemed to have been chosen as a town where some labels sampled songs or would release certain records that a label felt would work there but maybe not somewhere else. I really don’t know what the reasoning was but I was sure glad to be in such a town. Many 45’s were played around here that didn’t get played or at least didn’t get the amount of airplay that they did somewhere else.
Thinking about this recently I decided to compare a few random local survey sheets with the national charts of the same week. I will be using Billboard’s listing as they were the one so many people went to. Cashbox was another chart but for the sake of time I’ll stick with Billboard. Thanks to BRC member and former DJ, Rockin’ Ray for supplying me with some vintage local charts. And the WSGN had some good photos of the DJ’s such as BRC HOF inductee, Joey Roberts. You haven’t changed a bit, Joey.
Let’s look at April 5, 1969: The # 1 song here was ‘Time of the Season’ by the Zombies. On Billboard it was at # 3 which was to be as high as it would go. Some notable songs we had listed locally here that were quite different on Billboard were: A local band, The Wild Vybrations had the # 2 hit that week – ‘A Place in the Sun’. Bubble Puppy’s ‘Hot Smoke and Sassafras’ was at # 6. Nationally it would only go to # 14 and for the same week it isn’t even listed. Betty Swan’s ‘Don’t Touch Me’ locally was at # 9. It isn’t listed on Billboard the same week and it only made it to # 38 anyway. Alabama’s own Clarence Carter was at # 19 here but the same song, ‘Snatching It Back’ would only make it to # 31. Hometown cooking I guess.
Looking at a local chart from Oct 11, 1961 there are plenty of songs that stands out. Prince La La’s ‘She Put The Hurt On Me’ was at # 8 (according to the sheet, for the second straight week at # 8) where as it never charted on the Hot 100 and only made it to # 28 on the R&B chart. Another R&B on this same chart is Slim and Ann’s, ‘It’s A Sin’. I don’t find any info that that song charted on the Hot 100 or the R&B chart. On our chart it was # 15 having been at # 11 the week prior. Other songs on this chart that didn’t make it nationally include Betty James, ‘I’m Just A Little Mixed Up’ and Joe & Ann’s ‘Runnin’ and Foolin’. Birmingham did like the R&b and New Orleans style music back then.
The local May 16, 1962 had a very interesting twist with Harlon Howard’s ‘She Called Me Baby’. On that date that song was at # 2 here. Nationally it didn’t chart at all. Reggie Hall was at # 12, dropping from # 9 the prior week, with ‘The Joke’. That song didn’t chart on either Hot 100 or R&B nationally. Continuing with the R&B side, here we had Benny Spellman’s ‘Lipstick Traces at # 13, dropping from # 6 two weeks prior, where nationally it only peaked at # 80!
And how about Johnny Jenkins’, ‘Love Twist’. On April 11, 1962 that song was at # 10 locally. It doesn’t show up anywhere nationally. And on the same date we had another Joe & Ann song, ‘Can’t Help It’ at # 18 and again, no where nationally. And if you go way back to a December 1957 chart we had ‘Say Boss Man’ by Bo Diddley at # 5 and it is not to be found on the others.
On November 18, 1967 the Candymen debuted on the charts with their cover of ‘Georgia Pines’. But it was on the December 10, 1965 chart that the song was # 1 locally with the James Gang (not the Joe Walsh group) doing the honors. Two years before and their version never saw the light of day on the national charts.
And by the way, on some of the charts Ray sent me was an advertisement for an upcoming concert where the tickets were $3-5. It was for the Monkees. Another ad was for a concert that included the Turtles, Sopwith Camel, 5th Estate, B. J. Thomas, The Electric Prunes, The Triumps and The Lovin’ Spoonful. The Cost? $2.50, $3.25, or $3.50. What great bargains, if you had the money. Anyway, what I guess intrigues me is how local music was not the same as somewhere else and quite often didn’t match what was going on nationally at all. I know those of you from other towns had the same experiences in your areas.
UPCOMING RECORD SHOWS
Bessemer, AL – The Alabama Record Collectors present their 37th annual Record and CD Show. March 2-3, 2018. Friday 4 PM-9 PM with earlybird at 1:00 PM @$10. Saturday 9AM-5PM. $5 admission. Bessemer Civic Center, Bessemer, AL. 1130 9th Ave SW 35022. Exit 108 off I-59.
Atlanta, GA – Sunday, March 4, 2018. 10 AM-4 PM (eastern time). Marriott Century Center Hotel. 2000 Century Blvd NE Atlanta, Ga 30345. 1-770-463-2727. $3 admission.
After a year off, BRC Radio is back on our website. Three new shows are currently up for your listening pleasure. Send us your requests. Check out the music and fun on BRC Radio! http://www.birminghamrecord.com/brc/category/radio/
HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
‘You’re The One For Me’
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THIS HIT?
‘My Heart Is An Open Book’
Carl Dobins, Jr.
(# 3 on Hot 100 – 1959)