Special Sub-Topic: Billboard Number One Songs of 1979
|The Bee Gees began 1979 like they began 1978, at the top of the charts. Which song did they take to number one on January 6, 1979, and knock "Le Freak" off the top spot with?|
Too Much heaven. In a 1978 "Crawdaddy" interview the Bee Gees related that they intended to donate the proceeds from their next single to UNICEF as part of the January, 1979, concert for UNICEF. Under pressure to follow up with a success like the "Saturday Night fever" album they cloistered themselves in a Miami studio for 10 months and produced the "Spirits Having Flown" LP. "Too Much Heaven" was a cut from the LP and originally had a more soulful arrangement. They went back to their early seventies sound and redid the song with lush strings. The proceeds from the sale of the single were indeed donated to UNICEF and the song appropriately became number one the same day as "A Gift of Music-The Concert for UNICEF" was telecast. "Love You Inside Out" went number one for the Bee Gees in June of 1979. "Tragedy" took them to the top in March, 1979, and number seven "Nights on Broadway" was from the "Main Course" album in 1975.
|Rod Stewart went to number one on February 10, 1979, with a song he co-wrote with his drummer. What was the title of the song? |
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?. In a "Rolling Stone" interview Rod said that he was not the domestic type and enjoyed the club circuit. His lifestyle inspired his third number one song "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" causing some fans to believe that he had sold out to disco. As a matter of fact the LP extended version of the song has the reputed distinction of being the first 48-track disco mix. A few months after the song was released Rod married George Hamilton's ex-wife Alana. Carmine Appice was Rod's drummer at the time and also co-wrote "Young Turks". He was the drummer for Vanilla Fudge and has also recorded with Stanley Clarke, Ted Nugent, and Pink Floyd. Appice and Vanilla Fudge bassist Tim Bogert went on to found the power trio of Beck, Bogert and Appice. "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)" was a 1976 hit for Rod. "Blondes Have More Fun" was the title of his 1978 LP.
|Which disco diva crowned "Queen of the Discos" by The National Association of Discotheque Disc Jockeys in 1975 had a number one hit with "I Will Survive" on March 10, 1979?|
Gloria Gaynor. Gloria will forever be associated with this defiant song about emancipation. She had been enjoying moderate success with various disco style songs, including a cover of the Jackson Five song "Never Can Say Goodbye" and was performing in Europe when she fell and required back surgery. Upon recovery she was paired with producers Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris who produced her album titled "Love Tracks". The single release from the album was a song called "Substitute" but Gloria was drawn to the "B" side, the Perren and Fekaris composition "I Will Survive". Apparently radio station deejays concurred and gave "I Will Survive" the airplay. The song took 12 weeks to reach number one, but Gloria wasn't able to follow up with an equally dynamic song and soon faded from the music charts. Alicia Bridges had number five success with "I Love the Night Life" in January, 1979. Anita Ward saw number one success in June, 1979, with "Ring My Bell". Evelyn "Champagne" King had a disco era hit with "Shame". (Her original nickname was actually "bubbles").
|Flamboyant singer Amii Stewart was riding the disco wave and had a number one hit on April 21, 1979. What song did she cover and take to the top?|
Knock on Wood. Amy Stewart's uncle was the principal at her high school and arranged for her to schedule classes so she could attend dance in the afternoons. After high school she changed her name from Amy to Amii, joined the company of Bubble Brown Sugar and went on tour with them which brought her to London. She caught the attention of producer Barry Leng who was impressed with her vocal abilities. He produced a version of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" which had gone to number 28 in 1966 for Eddie. It went to number one 12 weeks after it was released. She went on to record covers of "My Guy", "Light my Fire" "My Girl" and "Someday We'll Be Together" but fell from the scene when disco faded. In a 1985 interview with Record Mirror, Amii confessed she wasn't actually a fan of disco music and preferred to listen to artists like Donald Fagan and Phil Collins. "Heaven Knows" was a top five for Donna Summer and the Brooklyn Dreams in March, 1979. "Fire" was a Pointer Sisters 1979 top five hit and "A Little More Love" was done by Olivia Newton-John in early 1979.
|Andy Warhol threw a party for Blondie at Studio 54 when the band had their first number one record in April of 1979. What song were they celebrating?|
Heart of Glass. "Heart of Glass" is from the band's "Parallel Lines" album. The band related in an interview with "Creme Magazine" that they were surprised at the song's success. It had been put on the album as a filler to include a more diverse song than they were used to doing. The band deliberately shunned commercial success and some members believed that the appeal of the song had compromised the band's vision. Debbie Harry composed the song with guitarist Chris Stein and admitted the concept of the song had come very easily. They had been performing a more punk-styled version of the song for years before recording it. "Parallel Lines" was produced by Mike Chapman, who had already had success producing hits for such bands as Exile and Nick Gilder. He pushed the band to do take after take until he considered the result technically perfect. "Picture This" and "Hanging on the Telephone" were other cuts from "Parallel Lines". "Call Me" was later produced by Georgio Moroder for Blondie and was part of the "American Gigolo" movie soundtrack.
|Who hit top of the chart success with his "Sad Eyes" on October 6, 1979?|
Robert John. Robert John Pedrick, Jr., was born in Brooklyn and started his singing career hanging out on street corners performing doo-wop songs with friends and neighbors. As the singer for Bobby and the Consoles he enjoyed regional success with a song called "My Jelly Bean". Robert then recorded for the Big Top and Verve labels without producing any nationally charted songs. He then turned his attention to writing songs and came to the attention of Columbia Records. With songwriter Mike Gately he composed songs recorded by Lou Rawls, Bobby Vinton, Blood, Sweat and Tears and other artists. Robert composed "Sad Eyes" and eventually got a deal with EMI to record an album with the single release on it. The song dethroned The Knack's "My Sharona" from number one. Randy Vanwarmer tasted top five chart success in June, 1979, with "Just When I Needed You Most". Gino was 1n the top five in late December, 1978, with "I Just Wanna Stop" and Herb Feemster paired up with with Linda Green, dubbed her Peaches and had a number one with "Reunited" in May, 1979.
|The song "Pop Muzik" reached number one on November 3, 1979. The singer went by an initial. Which initial was it?|
M. "M" was the recording name for British artist Robin Scott. When he was in Paris he observed that there was a large M everywhere designating where the metro Line was. He was searching for a name that would generate interest and realized that M might be appropriate for that purpose. "Pop Muzik" reached number two in Britain before coming stateside. In describing the song in an interview Scott said he was trying to summarize the previous 25 years of pop music using a style that reflected a variety of genres. Scott began his music career as a manager which brought him to Paris. While in Paris he arranged "Pop Muzik" in a variety of styles including funk, rhythm and blues and electronic synth until he found the sound he wanted. After his debut album which included "Pop Muzik" three other albums were released under the pseudonym M, but none achieved commercial success. In 1985 Scott recorded an album titled "The Kiss of Life".
|Styx had a number one hit on December 8, 1979, with "Babe". Which city did they originate in?|
Chicago. Keyboard player Dennis DeYoung composed "Babe" as a way to express his feelings to his wife of 15 years about having to be apart frequently while touring. It became the only number one for the heartland band from Chicago and knocked "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" from the top spot. The band derived their name from the Greek mythical river that flowed through Hades. Originally signed with Chicago's Wooden Nickel label the band had a top ten in 1975 with "Lady". The following year they changed to the A&M label and Montgomery, Alabama, guitarist Tommy Shaw joined the group. They enjoyed sold-out tours and recorded albums including "Crystal Ball", "Pieces of Eight" and "Grand Illusion". The 1979 LP "Cornerstone" contained the single release "Babe". Given their reputation as a hard rocking band they had reservations about releasing a ballad. They went on to have a string of top ten hits such as "The Best of Times" and "Too Much Time on my Hands" from their "Paradise Theater" album.
|An instrumental song topped the charts on October 20, 1979. Who took "Rise" to number one?|
Herb Alpert. Herb had a five-year hiatus from the charts before "Rise" hit number one. After a string of hits with the Tijuana Brass and his 1968 number one vocal "This Guy's In Love With You", Herb's cousin Randy suggested he return to his Tijuana Brass sound. Initially Herb resisted, but when his A&M Records got a 32-track recorder he reconsidered. Randy had composed "Rise" with his friend Andy Armer. Herb slowed it down a bit and recorded his own arrangement. After the third take in studio D Herb realized the song had serious potential. The song became part of the daytime soap "General Hospital" soundtrack so it was heard frequently in households. The exposure helped Herb knock Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough" from the top spot. Frank Mills recorded the instrumental "Music Box Dancer" which was in the top five in April, 1979. Chris Norman teamed up with Suzi Quatro for the top five "Stumblin' In" in May, 1979. A Taste of Honey had a 1978 hit with "Boogie Oogie Oogie".
|The last number one of 1979 was "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)". Who was the artist that wrote and sang the hit?|
Rupert Holmes. Rupert's "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" was the last number one song of the seventies. Holmes was born in England the son of an American serviceman and began his recording career stateside with Epic records in 1974. He recorded three LPs for that label. Other artists appreciated and recorded his material but as a singer success eluded him. He produced Barbra Streisand's "Lazy Afternoon" album and composed material for the soundtrack of "A Star is Born". Disappointed by his lack of commercial success as a solo artist, Rupert returned to Britain and produced albums for John Miles and other recording artists. He finally convinced Infinity records to record "Escape" but the label folded right after the song was released. MCA Records assumed the song while it raced up the charts. Rupert followed up with "Him" and "Answering Machine" then signed with Elektra in 1981 but didn't produce any hits for that label. Bertie Higgins recorded "Key Largo" and Buffet had a string of tropical genre hits.
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