Sunday, June 02, 2013
Ten Great Songs From One Great Week
The songs the radio played this week in history
June 2-8, 1974
10-Cent Beer Night - This was a promotion held by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Stadium on June 4, 1974. The idea behind the promotion was to attract more fans to the game by offering 12oz. cups beer for just 10 cents each (regular price was 65 cents) with a limit of six per purchase. During the game, fans became heavily intoxicated, culminating in a riot in the ninth inning which caused the game to be forfeited due to the crowd's uncontrollable rowdiness and because the game could not be resumed in a timely manner.
Although the Indians had previously held such promotions without incident, beginning with Nickel Beer Day in 1971, a bench-clearing brawl in the teams' last meeting one week earlier at Arlington Stadium in Texas left some Indians fans harboring a grudge against the Rangers. In Texas, the trouble had started in the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk to the Rangers' Tom Grieve, followed by a Lenny Randle single. The next batter hit a double play ball to Indians third baseman John Lowenstein; he stepped on the third base bag to retire Grieve and threw the ball to second base, but Randle disrupted the play with a hard slide into second baseman Jack Brohamer.
The Indians retaliated in the bottom of the eighth when pitcher Milt Wilcox threw behind Randle's legs. Randle eventually laid down a bunt. When Wilcox attempted to field it and tag Randle out (which he did successfully), Randle hit him with a forearm. Indians first baseman John Ellis responded by punching Randle, and both benches emptied for a brawl. After the brawl was broken up, as Indians players and coaches returned to the dugout, they were struck by food and beer hurled by Rangers fans; catcher Dave Duncan had to be restrained from going into the stands to brawl with fans. The game was not suspended or forfeited, no players from either team were ejected, and the Rangers won 3-0.
Six days later, Cleveland's Ten Cent Beer Night promotion drew 25,134 fans to Cleveland Stadium for the Indians/Rangers game, twice the number expected. Many attendees arrived at the game drunk and/or stoned. The Rangers quickly took a 5-1 lead. Meanwhile, throughout the game, the inebriated crowd grew more and more unruly. Early in the game, Cleveland's Leron Lee hit a line drive into the stomach of Rangers pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, after which Jenkins dropped to the ground. Fans in the upper deck of the stadium cheered, then chanted "Hit 'em again! Hit 'em again! Harder! Harder!" A woman ran out to the Indians' on-deck circle and flashed her breasts, and a naked man sprinted to second base as Grieve hit his second home run of the game. A father and son pair ran onto the outfield and mooned the fans in the bleachers one inning later.
As the game progressed, more fans ran onto the field and caused problems. Ranger Mike Hargrove, who would later manage the Indians and lead them to the World Series twice in 1995 and 1997, was pelted with hot dogs and spit, and at one point was nearly struck with an empty gallon jug of Thunderbird. The Rangers later argued a call in which Lee was called safe in a close play at third base, spiking Jenkins with his cleats in the process and forcing him to leave the game. The Rangers' angry response to this call enraged Cleveland fans, who again began throwing objects onto the field. Someone tossed lit firecrackers into the Rangers' bullpen. In the bottom of the ninth, the Indians managed to rally, tying the game 5-5, and had Rusty Torres on second base representing the potential winning run. However, with a crowd that had been consuming as much beer as it could for nine innings, the situation finally came to a head.
After the Indians had managed to tie the game, a fan ran onto the field and attempted to steal Texas outfielder Jeff Burroughs' cap. Confronting the fan, Burroughs tripped. Texas manager Billy Martin, thinking that Burroughs had been attacked, charged onto the field, his players right behind, some wielding bats. A large number of intoxicated fans—some armed with knives, chains, and portions of stadium seats that they had torn apart—surged onto the field, and others hurled bottles from the stands. Hundreds of fans surrounded the outnumbered Rangers. Realizing that the Rangers' lives might be in danger, Ken Aspromonte, the Indians' manager, ordered his players to grab bats and help the Rangers, attacking the team's own fans in the process. Rioters began throwing steel folding chairs, and Cleveland relief pitcher Tom Hilgendorf was hit in the head by one of them. Hargrove, involved in a fistfight with a rioter, had to fight another on his way back to the Texas dugout. The two teams retreated off the field through the dugouts in groups, with players protecting each other.
The bases were pulled up and stolen (never to be returned) and many rioters threw a vast array of objects including cups, rocks, bottles, batteries from radios, hot dogs, popcorn containers, and folding chairs. As a result, umpire crew chief Nestor Chylak, realizing that order would not be restored in a timely fashion, forfeited the game to Texas. He too was a victim of the rioters as one struck him with part of a stadium seat, cutting his head. His hand was also cut by a thrown rock. He later called the fans "uncontrollable beasts" and stated that he'd never seen anything like what had happened, "except in a zoo"
#1 Single -- "The Streak" by Ray Stevens
#1 Album -- "The Sting" Original Soundtrack
1812 – The Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory.
1876 – An express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City.
1919 – The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment, which guarantees suffrage to women.
1939 – The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.
1986 – Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty for selling top secret US military intelligence to Israel.
1989 – The Tiananmen Square protests are violently ended by the People's Liberation Army.
1998 – Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Please Come To Boston -- Dave Loggins
An accomplished singer and songwriter, and the first cousin of singer Kenny Loggins, Dave Loggins was best known for this song, which peaked at #5 on Billboard's Hot 100. In addition the song also topped the Billboard Easy Listening survey. Loggins also wrote "Pieces of April" for Three Dog Night, which became a top-20 hit in 1973. He has written material for Restless Heart, Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire, Gary Morris, Alabama, Toby Keith, Don Williams, and the #1 hit "Morning Desire" by Kenny Rogers. He recorded a #1 country song with Anne Murray in 1984 called "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" which won a CMA Award.
Sideshow -- Blue Magic
A visit into an antique museum was the inspiration to write a romance metaphor, which took about four months to finish. Composed by Vinnie Barrett and Bobby Eli (both collaborated on another Philly soul ballad "Love Won't Let Me Wait" by former Delfonics member Major Harris.), when record producer and guitarist Norman Harris heard "Sideshow", he said that should be recorded by Blue Magic. It was released on the album Blue Magic, became one of pop music's most affecting ballads and sold over a million copies, going to number one R/B and #8 pop in the summer of 1974. The song is noted for the introduction, featuring a repeat of the first 10 notes of a slow version of the "Gladiator's March", featuring one of the members from Blue Magic, acting like the Master of Ceremonies" declaring: "Hurry!! Hurry!!! Step right up and See the Sideshow for only 50 Cents". The follow-up was the similarly themed "Three Ring Circus". Some radio edits fade the song out several seconds earlier before the repeat of the Introduction in the Coda section, which also features a repeat of the chorus, due to the length of the song.
Rock the Boat -- Hues Corporation
The Hues Corporation was a Los Angeles band formed in 1969. They were a black vocal group comprised of Hubert Ann Kelly, St. Clair Lee and Fleming Williams and their name was a pun on billionaire Howard Hughes' corporation. This was arguably the first Disco song to hit #1 in the US. In an interview with Classicbands.com, Hues Corporation member St. Clair Lee said, "It was a song that you could do anything on. You could cuddle or you could get crazy if you wanted to. It was a love song without being a love song. But, it was a Disco hit and it happened because of the discos."
Annie's Song -- John Denver
Denver wrote this for his then-wife Ann Martell after their first separation and near break up of their marriage in 1974. He said that it was one of the fastest songs he ever wrote, composing it in about 10 minutes while he was riding on a ski lift in Aspen, Colorado. Denver was reflecting on all the joy he found in his marriage and his relief that they were back together. Wrote Denver: "Suddenly, I'm hypersensitive to how beautiful everything is. All of these things filled up my senses, and when I said this to myself unbidden images came one after the other. All of the pictures merged and I was left with Annie. That song was the embodiment of the love I felt at that time."
The Air that I Breathe -- The Hollies
This was written by the songwriting team of Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood shortly after they moved to Los Angeles. Before Hazlewood's death in 2001, they wrote songs for many artists, including Johnny Cash and Olivia Newton-John. In a 1992 interview on BBC radio, Hammond said: "When you listen to the song, you'd think this is a show stopper, and lyrically, you'd think I wrote it probably for the most beautiful woman that ever existed in the world. And in fact, "The Air That I Breathe" was written for quite an ugly person actually, I mean ugly outside, physically outside. She wasn't a great looking girl, but she was a terrific person inside. She was warm and kind and... This person was the person who gave me shelter in Los Angeles, when I didn't have any place to stay. I had no money, I had no Green Card, I couldn't work, I could have been a homeless. I sat down with Mike Hazlewood, and I said "Mike, this is what's happened to me, and this is the person." And I think Mike came up with [the line] "the air that I breathe." More than my story, it was because we lived in LA, and for the first time in our lives, we were introduced by smog. And every time we woke up, we'd look at the Hollywood Hills, and there was like a yellow monster up there. And I think that was his reason for coming up with [the line] "the air that I breathe". My reason was a love story, his was ecology or whatever you want to call it, you know. But it worked."
Already Gone -- The Eagles
This is one of the few Eagles songs not written by the band. It was written by songwriters Jack Tempchin and Bob Strandlund, who were friends of the band. Tempchin also helped write "Peaceful Easy Feeling," as well as co-writing numerous Glenn Frey solo records. Tempchin sent this to Frey, who had just come off of a relationship, so the lyrics about getting over a breakup were probably meaningful to him.
Billy, Don't Be a Hero -- Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods
This song is about a guy who goes off to war, and despite his fiancé's pleas to stay safe, volunteers for a dangerous mission and is killed. The girl receives a letter telling her that Billy died a hero, which is specifically what she asked him not to do. This song sold more than 3 million copies and earned a gold record. Four more Top 40 singles followed for Bo Donaldson and the The Heywoods: "Who Do You Think You Are," "The Heartbreak Kid," "House on Telegraph Hill" and "Our Last Song Together." Peter Callender and Mitch Murray wrote both this and "The Night Chicago Died," for Paper Lace. Among the other songs the duo wrote together were Vanity Fare's hit "Hitchin' a Ride" and Georgie Fame's UK chart-topper "The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde."
(I've Been) Searchin' So Long -- Chicago
From 1969 to 1978, Chicago was a remarkably consistent band, putting out an album every year, as well as placing numerous singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Of course, after a 3 year hiatus from the charts, the band returned to the tremendous success they had enjoyed in he '70s with a string of big hits in the '80's. This song, written by James Pankow, and sung by Peter Cetera, was their 13th consecutive top 40 track.
Sundown -- Gordon Lightfoot
A lot of people thought Lightfoot wrote this about his wife. In an April 1975 Crawdaddy magazine article, he explained: "All it is, is a thought about a situation where someone is wondering what his live one is doing at the moment. He doesn't quite know where she is. He's not ready to give up on her, either, and that's about all I got to say about that." Lightfoot is rumored to have written this about the stormy relationship with his one time girlfriend Cathy Smith, who was later sentenced for delivering a lethal dose of heroin to John Belushi.
Band on the Run -- Paul McCartney and Wings
McCartney wrote this song in response to drug laws that criminalized him and his friends (including fellow "bands on the run" The Eagles and The Byrds). "We're not criminals," he explained. "We just would rather do this than hit the booze - which had been a traditional way to do it. We felt that this was a better move." Shortly after the Band On The Run album was released, McCartney told Melody Maker: "The basic idea about the band on the run is a kind of prison escape. At the beginning of the album the guy is stuck inside four walls, and eventually breaks out. There is a thread, but it's not a concept album." Asked if this was a reference to Wings escaping from The Beatles, he replied: "Sort of – yeah. I think most bands on tour are on the run."
The Entertainer -- Marvin Hamlisch
One of the classics of ragtime, it returned to top international prominence as part of the ragtime revival in the 1970s, when it was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting. Composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch's adaptation reached number three on the Billboard pop chart and spent a week at number one on the easy listening chart in 1974. The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime's mainstream popularity, thus giving the mistaken impression that ragtime music was popular at that time. The Recording Industry Association of America ranked it #10 on its "Songs of the Century" list.