April 3, 1976: Keith Emerson, Atlanta Disco Band, Mel Blanc, Chubby Checker, Mutter Slater

New Spins

KEITH EMERSON: ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’ (Manticore K 13513)
ELP’s Keith turns to his “other” piano as he knocks out a great swinging version of Meade Lux Lewis’s 1930s boogie-woogie raver. Authentic in every way, Benny Goodman-type backing and all!

ATLANTA DISCO BAND: ‘Bad Luck’ (AriolaAmerica AA 102) (Billboard chart debut 10/4/75)
A disco smash since last year on import, this ultra-rhythmic bumpy bass and jiggly guitar instrumental is an established classic already. Drummer Earl Young was never busier!

MEL BLANC: ‘I Taut I Taw A Puddy-Tat’ (Capitol CL 15866)
Probably best if used only in part, as a surprise insert, this vintage silliness is indeed Tweetie-Pie and friend of cartoon fame. Lotsa laffs, while the flip’s ‘That’s All Folks’. 

CHUBBY CHECKER: ‘Dancin’ Party’ (London HLU 10524)
If only Decca had heeded the advice that this just had to be the follow-up to ‘Let’s Twist Again’, they’d have given Chubby another hit. Now, great though this hand clapper is, it’s probably missed the boat. ‘Limbo Rock‘ as alternative A-side has its uses too.

MUTTER SLATER: ‘Dancing On Air’ (Rocket ROKN 510)
Although brand new, Mr. Slater’s coolly crooned frothy little ditty sounds like an authentic early Thirties fox trot with vocal refrain. Lovely MoR.

ELLA FITZGERALD: ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ (Verve 2009017)
One of several evocative slowies that make a great end to the evening, Ella’s dreamy reading of the “how strange the change from major to minor” tune is of course an ace smoocher at any time.

PASADENA ROOF ORCHESTRA: ‘Top Hat, White Tie And Tails’ (Transatlantic BIG 589)
Jaunty Thirties recreation of the famous Fred Astaire-sung number.

ARMADA ORCHESTRA: ‘Band Of Gold’ (Contempo CS 2063) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
Starting as a UK LP track, exported to and remixed in New York, and now back on 45 in all its thunking bouncing backing-track glory! A hit!

CHARLIE RASP: ‘Randy Rooster’ (EMI 2429)
Extremely effective disco instrumental, full of funky bounce.

MIKE MORAN BAND: ‘Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy’ (Power Exchange PX 203)
Powerfully pounding semi-heavy treatment, miles better than the much-touted ‘Autumn Leaves’ plug side.

THE TEMPREES: ‘I Found Love On A Disco Floor’ (Epic EPC 4097) (mentioned in Billboard column 2/28/76)
In the rapidly churning Trammps style, the Temprees find friends among the happy people. Effectively abrupt clavinet break should help.

BOBBY WOMACK: ‘Daylight’ (UA UP 36068)
Tense lead-in to a gorgeous mellow medium thudding swayer of great beauty.

The original pipe version on the flip is no way a dancer but could be good if you’re into creating evocative sound pictures.

CHAMPS BOYS: ‘Tubular Bells’ (Philips 6006519) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76, Billboard chart debut 4/24/76)
Chris Hill’s little secret, this French plodder puts the main theme from Mike Oldfield’s modern classic to the Donna Summer bass line (which doesn’t need much juggling).

THE MIRACLES: ‘Night Life’ (Tamla Motown TMG 1023)
Staccato fast thwacker, probably too fast and too insubstantial.  At least the hustling instrumental ‘Overture‘ flip is a proven US disco hit, but again it’s a bit empty.

HELEN DAY AND CATCH: ‘You Can Do It Better With Me’ (Philips 6006503)
Catchy ditty with some baion added to the hustle for wider MoR appeal.  ‘I Got The Catch’ on the flip is getting disco action too.

HIDDEN STRENGTH: ‘Hustle On Up (Do The Bump)’ (UA UP 36085) (Billboard chart debut 1/31/76)
The champion hustlers at NY’s Disco ’76 did their thing to Hidden Strength playing live until things got serious, at which stage they asked for the Softones on record!  Useful if unspectacular disco fodder.

JACKEY BEAVERS: ‘Trying To Get Back To You, Girl’ (Jay Boy BOY 102)
Subtle cymbal schlurper with bubbling bass and soulful singing, unusual enough to click.

MAXINE NIGHTINGALE: ‘Gotta Be The One’ (UA UP 36086)
Bit of a grower, catchily taken at half speed, with a main melody hook that’s naggingly reminiscent of something else.

DON SEBESKY: ‘Skyliner’ (CTI CTSP 003)
Charlie Barnet’s famous wartime theme goes subduedly disco.

UK Disco Top 20 – April 3, 1976

01 01 Tina Charles – I Love To Love – CBS
02 02 Billy Ocean – Love Really Hurts Without You – GTO
03 05 Barry White – You See The Trouble With Me – 20th Century
04 03 Fatback Band – Spanish Hustle – Polydor
05 04 Four Seasons – December 1963 – Warner Bros.
06 NE 10cc – I’m Mandy, Fly Me – Mercury
07 11 Stylistics – Funky Weekend – Avco
08 15 Beatles – Yesterday – EMI
09 06 Gallagher & Lyle – I Wanna Stay With You – A&M
10 20 Sailor – Girls, Girls, Girls – Epic
11 12 Brass Construction – Movin’ / Changin’ – UA
12 08 Eddie Drennon & B.B.S. Unlimited – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle – Pye
13 10 20th Century Steel Band – We’ve Got To Work To Stay Together – UA
14 RE Sassafras – Wheelin’ ‘N Dealin’ – Chrysalis
15 09 Glitter Band – People Like You / Makes You Blind – Bell
16 NE Brotherhood Of Man – Save Your Kisses For Me – Pye
17 NE Cate Brothers – Union Man – Asylum
18 19 Trammps – Where The Happy People Go – Atlantic
19 14 O’Jays – I Love Music – Philadelphia Int’l
20 07 M. & O. Band – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle – Creole
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#2 (Billboard chart debut 4/3/76)
#3 (Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#4 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/20/75, Billboard chart debut 12/27/75)
#11 (mentioned in Billboard column 1/17/76, Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)
#12 (Billboard chart debut 9/20/75)
#13 (mentioned in Billboard column 8/28/76)
#15 (Billboard chart debut 8/21/76)
#17 (Billboard chart debut 1/3/76)
#18 (mentioned in Billboard column 11/8/75, Billboard chart debut 2/14/76)
#19 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/11/75, Billboard chart debut 10/25/75)

No “DJ Hot Line” this week.

Next week: Somebody must have been sleeping on the job, because there’s no Top 20!

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