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Every RPM Canadian Content #1 single discussion thread 1964-2000

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bunglejerry, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #80 the week of August 10, 1974 (for the first of two weeks), "Don't You Worry" b/w "(Give It Just) One More Chance) by Randy Bishop. It reached #23 for two weeks on RPM's Pop Music Playlist and was #65 on Montreal's CKGM year-end chart for 1974. I'm surprised it charted this low, considering the countless times I heard it on the radio. The A-side was co-written with Montreal disk jockey Doug Pringle.



    [​IMG]

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    Randy Bishop on the left

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    Randy Bishop was a former member of the Wackers who remained in Montreal after the band broke up. The record came out on André Perry's Good Noise label, founded in September of 1973. It was Bishop's first solo single, but he had recorded a solo album, I Sing A Soft Song, in 1969 in his hometown of Portland OR prior to moving to L.A. and joining Bob Segarini's Roxy.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Apparently around 100 copies were made, they go for over $1,000 these days.
    Bishop, Randy - I Sing A Soft Song
     
  2. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    153. (YOU'RE) HAVING MY BABY
    by PAUL ANKA
    UNITED ARTISTS UAXW 454-W
    Highest ranking for 5 weeks: August 17 (6), 24 (2) and 31 (1), September 7 (2) and 14 (2), 1974




    [​IMG]

    I overlooked the fact that in early 1974, RPM celebrated its tenth anniversary. Cheers to RPM. We now have looked at over ten years of these charts, and this is the 153rd "number one" I've covered. There have been plenty of excellent songs and a good amount of rather mediocre entries. Looking back over these ten years though, I have to say: "Seasons in the Sun" isn't even in the running for me. "Stay Awhile" and "Love Me Love Me Love" were both pretty sickly songs, but still... realistically, Caesar and the Consuls' 1966 novelty "You Laugh Too Much" is the only song we've looked at since August that can even approach Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" for the RPM 100 number one hit that I hate most (so far).

    I can take comfort in the fact that I'm not alone here: the CNN poll for "worst song ever" that I mentioned when we spoke about "Seasons in the Sun" ranked this ditty number one, namely the worst song ever. A few quotes from that article:
    • "How can a person not be annoyed by lyrics like, 'You're a woman in love and I love what it's doin' to ya'?"
    • "'What a lovely way of sayin' how much you love me' -- If that isn't the most egocentric solipsistic revolting line of all time..."
    • "I don't know a woman alive who doesn't cringe when it comes on the radio. I'm sure it's banned in most countries around the world."
    In brief, "(You're) Having My Baby" is a love song of sorts, to a pregnant woman from the foetus's father. In truth, I can find nothing bad to say about the mellow soft-rock instrumental (beyond deploring its hooks stolen from Elton John's "Daniel"). Really, it all comes down to the lyrics (and to Anka's vocal overselling of those lyrics). The same criticisms that have been levelled against this song down the decades are all accurate and need be referenced only briefly here: the narcissism of "my baby" (as opposed to our baby) and the idea that pregnancy is an expression of a woman's love for a man, the objectification of the mother as the vessel for his "seed", the use of the profoundly unsexy word "seed" in the first place.

    With Roe v. Wade only a year and a half old (and equivalent legislation still fifteen years in the future in Anka's home country), this was apparently the first charting pop hit to allude to abortion, with the following verse: "Didn't have to keep it / Wouldn't put you through it / You could have swept it from your life / But you wouldn't do it / No, you wouldn't do it / And you're having my baby." Similar to "Papa Don't Preach" a decade later, this song earned scorn from both sides of the heated abortion debate, and down the years Anka has played both sides rather skilfully. I have no interest in weighing in on this particular issue except to say that even the glimmer of agency implied in that verse still gets snuffed out in the end by the suggestion that she's keeping the baby for his benefit.

    Although it's not credited as such on the label, "(You're) Having My Baby" is a duet with American pastor's daughter Odia Coates. It's suggested that the United Artists executives suggested transforming the song into a duet precisely to blunt accusations of sexism. I'm not convinced it works, though: like everything else about this song, Coates's contributions are minor and tangential. Her lines merely parrot Anka's with pronouns switched, an echo of the male perspective. The absence of a female perspective is mirrored on the packaging of this single (in countries where it got a picture sleeve): only Anka's face and name are shown. It's all about him, after all.

    It's fascinating that Anka chose to make this single conceptual by approaching fatherhood from a different angle on its b-side, "Papa". Written from the perspective of an adult contemplating his widowed elderly father and their life together, "Papa" is a bit cheesy itself, but it's also moving and a much better listen than the a-side.

    Paul Anka was the first Canadian to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, doing so in 1959 with "Lonely Boy". Fifteen years later (almost half his life), he became the first Canadian to hit number one twice (the second one would do so just a few months later). "(You're) Having My Baby" spent three weeks atop the Billboard 100, the third Canadian song of five to hit number one on Billboard in 1974. And while it spent five weeks as the highest-charting Canadian song on the RPM 100, for only one of those weeks was it actually at number one in the country. One week to three weeks. I'm no nationalist, but that's something I'll wave my flag about.

    As I'm sure you could guess, "(You're) Having My Baby" got released in a wide range of countries, including fully seven Latin American countries, which must be a record so far. The list, United Artists all, is as follows: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the UK, the USA, Uruguay and Venezuela. Wonderfully, the Japanese picture sleeve contains lyrics that were clearly transcribed off the record by someone with limited knowledge of English. The controversial verse I reprinted above has been transformed into "You put a sweated thought of your life / What you would do it though you wouldn't do it", which is poetry as far as I can tell.

    BRAZIL (A FOUR-TRACK EP):

    [​IMG]

    FRANCE:

    [​IMG]

    GERMANY:

    [​IMG]

    GERMANY (1979 REISSUE):

    [​IMG]
     
    bekayne and gabbleratchet7 like this.
  3. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    ITALY:

    [​IMG]

    JAPAN:

    [​IMG]

    THE NETHERLANDS:

    [​IMG]

    PORTUGAL:

    [​IMG]
     
    bekayne likes this.
  4. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Second-best Canadian to rock a tam o'shanter ever!
     
    bekayne and gabbleratchet7 like this.
  5. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And first-pressings of the U.S. release:
    [​IMG]
    Later pressings with this type variant have an ® to the bottom right of the logo, directly below the 'S' in 'RECORDS'.

    Even later copies futzed with the label copy thus:
    [​IMG]
    It should be noted that by this time, Paul Anka as songwriter was basically an employee of Gordon Mills and two of his key clients, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. That's because in 1971, Anka sold both Spanka Music and its ASCAP counterpart, Flanka Music, to Mills' Management Agency & Music (MAM) firm (in which both Jones and Humperdinck had a stake at the time). Around this same period, another Mills client, Gilbert O'Sullivan (of "Alone Again (Naturally)" fame), got into some controversy in England with a record called "A Woman's Place." O'Sullivan also made some comments regarding women that were regarded as outright antediluvian and, in a way, would be worse than the message in Anka's song.
     
  6. bare trees

    bare trees Senior Member

    Takin' Care Of Business : Yeah, radio ran this one into the ground but it is a classic. Randy Bachman had a knack for writing anthemic radio hits that rocked without sacrificing commercial appeal.

    You're Having My Baby : The less said about this song, the better.
     
    bunglejerry likes this.
  7. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    I like "(You're) Having My Baby"; having said that, though, it's fortunate that it's only 2:32. One of many songs of '74 I grew up listening to.
     
    bunglejerry likes this.
  8. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The two pressings credit a different 'string arranger'. I don't know which one is correct.

    Anka is sometimes given kudos for recording this 'duet' with an African-American woman (Anka had met Odia Coates through Edwin Hawkins), but I think the idea that the woman who is carrying his baby as a 'way of saying' how much she loves him is African-American makes the whole subservient concept of the song even more troublesome.

    Anka's comments in 1975 to Los Angeles Times writer Paul Rosenfield:
    We tested the song before its release and knew there would be flak. But it's nothing compared to the acceptance. I wasn't putting women in a subservient position, for God's sake. Motherhood is a fact of life...It's a personal statement of a man caught up in the affection and joy of childbirth."
     
    bunglejerry likes this.
  9. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Apparently the second string credit would be correct . . .

    But here's the O'Sullivan song. Which of those two (this and Anka's) would, in your opinion, be worse?
     
  10. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Well, Anka is a person of colour as well, though I don't think society viewed him as such.

    It's interesting. That particular thought didn't occur to me while I was watching videos of them performing the song.

    We will, of course, hear from Coates several more times in the near future.
     
    gabbleratchet7 likes this.
  11. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Holy crap, that's offensive. That's one of the worst songs I've ever heard. I understand why it was so natural that he would be alone again.

    The concert that Stompin' Tom filmed for the Live at the Horseshoe album had a really regressive song sung by a woman. But I can't find it just yet.
     
  12. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Ah, here it is. 25:20 into this:



    Edit: written by Jerry Gillespie and Joseph Ronald Ricci.
     
  13. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Live on The Midnight Special



    Video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3y0zh-3VJg

    [​IMG]
    HAVIN' MY SON | Maclean's | FEBRUARY 1975
    The album it was from, Anka, was his only Billboard top twenty LP (#9)

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    [​IMG]

    Anka produced and co-wrote the debut single for Odia Coates, "Make It Up To Me Baby" b/w "The World's Such A Happy Place" on Buddah back in 1973
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJbsySED9LU

    [​IMG]

    Coates recorded "(I'm) Having Your Baby" on her debut album in 1975 but it's not on youtube. But Sunday Sharpe's "I'm Having Your Baby" (#11 Billboard Country, #40 RPM Country) is:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLtBuelxR7w
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  14. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Incidentally, Paul Anka's first wife Anna de Zogheb had five of Anka's babies, all female and all alliteratively named (Alexandra, Amanda, Alicia, Anthea and Amelia), but not in 1974. The last two were born in 1971 and 1977, respectively. Amanda Anka would grow up and have two babies with why-do-I-think-he's-Canadian-when-he-isn't actor Jason Bateman. She has a daughter two years younger than her half-brother Ethan Anka, who was born in 2004 when Paul Anka was 63. Something that apparently Syrian/Lebanese-Canadian singer-songwriters are famous for.

    EDIT: Oh gosh, look at that synchronicitous timing!
     
    bekayne likes this.
  15. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Anna Anka - Wikipedia
     
  16. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Listen at your own peril:


    I bought a beat up copy of the album years ago only for the two chart hits that are on it. I didn't even realize until I read your post that this thing is on it as well.
     
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  17. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It was while the version of "You're Having My Baby" by the Hallelujah Tabernacle Choir was playing that WKRP changed its format to rock 'n roll:

     
  18. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #75 for the first of two weeks the week of August 17, a cover of Stevie Wonder's "I Believe" by Vancouver's Songbird, the second release on the newly formed Mushroom Records. It reached #25 at their hometown CKLG.



    The B-side "Bonus"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQgF0pHPkTI

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The story begins with a group of five Los Angeles teenagers called the Zoo, three of them being Mike Flicker, Howard Leese and Terry Gottleib. They released the album The Zoo Presents Chocolate Moose on Sunburst in 1968.

    [​IMG]

    After the band broke up, the Zoo trio would end up doing session work. One was in L.A. for a singer named Jay Caress: a cover of "As Tears Go By".
    Mike Flicker
    Albert Embankment - As Tears Go By
    "As Tears Go By" b/w "Natural Man" was the Canadian release. In the U.K. the artist was credited as Albert Embankment and the B-side was different, "Cover Me". Leese and Gottleib would follow Flicker up to Vancouver.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Jay Caress would move to Vancouver as well, and perform with a backing band as Jay Caress & Songbird. They would open for Frank Zappa when he came to Vancouver (September 19, 1970).

    [​IMG]

    The lineup would be filled out with Brian Siegel. Charles Gray Jr., son of one of the Ink Spots, would replace Caress as lead singer and the single "Sweet Elaine" b/w "Spread The Word" would be released on GRT in the Spring of 1971.



    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Italian picture sleeve

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    Germany

    [​IMG]
     
    Paul C likes this.
  20. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Songbird would wind down: Gray became an actor in Canada (as Charles Woods Gray), Flicker would be kept busy working at Can-Base Studios, and Leese and Gottleib would form a new band in Vancouver, Christian. Other members of the group were lead singer John Christian, Michael Gerow on drums and J.J. Velker (49th Parallel) on keyboards. They released a self titled album released in Canada and the U.S. on Can-Base Records in 1972, produced by Flicker.
    Christian - ST

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Christian wouldn't last long. The next chapter of the Songbird story begins when Flicker (producer) and Leese (musical director) would help Tom Middleton to a smash hit "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference". Leese would join Middleton's touring band, which would have three Victoria musicians: Steven Moyer (guitar), Rob Deans (keyboards) and Don Hardy (drums)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    When it came time for Songbird to make their own recordings, Flicker would drum on the records while Hardy would play live. Their next single will also chart.
     
  21. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #85 for the first of two weeks the week of August 17, Ian Thomas with "Long Long Way" (#39 on the Pop Music Playlist). This is the album track, the 45 edit was 3:37. Another one that charted a lot higher regionally than nationally, it peaked at #10 at CHUM, #17 at Vancouver's CKLG



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The B-side "Count Your Blessings"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJNgv_8YdYY

    Long Long Way was the title of his second album. It would chart for one week at #99 (week of September 28, 1974)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Long Long Way by Ian Thomas - Hit Song - Vancouver Pop Music Signature Sounds
     
  22. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    A band called Christian would have two strikes against it from the giddy up.
     
  23. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #33 for the first of two weeks the week of August 24, "Summer Girl" by Craig Ruhnke (#2 on the Pop Music Playlist). It was #11 at Ottawa's CFGO, #14 at CHUM and #24 at Windsor's CKLW, though not in Vancouver (I seem to remember hearing this one in Kelowna).



    B-side "Turn The Lights Down Low"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue-jqPa0rkw

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    French picture sleeve

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #46 for the first of three weeks the week of August 24, "Walk On" by Neil Young (#69 in Billboard, #54 Cash Box, #66 Record World). It was #7 in Ottawa (CFGO), #12 at Vancouver's CKLG and #23 at Windsor's CKLW. In the U.S. it was #14 in Cleveland, and #22 in Dallas



    B-side "For The Turnstiles"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z34HMyOmljQ

    Italian picture sleeve

    [​IMG]

    France

    [​IMG]

    Spain

    [​IMG]

    Japan

    [​IMG]

    Germany

    [​IMG]

    Walk On by Neil Young - 1974 Hit Song - Vancouver Pop Music Signature Sounds

    Both sides were from the album On The Beach which peaked at #13 during a 15 week stay on RPM's charts. Elsewhere it was #16 in Billboard and Record World, #8 in Cash Box, #3 in France and #5 in Holland.
     
  25. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Glued to "Walk On" one place behind at #47 for the same three weeks, "Forever And Ever (Baby I'm Gonna Be Yours)" by Keith Hampshire. It was #14 in Ottawa (CFGO) and #28 in Windsor (CKLW).



    B-side "Jeraboah"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GECj60yJJ84

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Forever And Ever" was a cover of a song by Cymbal And Clinger from 1972
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohwyiJJkZbs

    [​IMG]

    Cymbal was Johnny "Mr. Bass Man" Cymbal (who was mainly raised in Ontario) and Clinger was Peggy Clinger (Clinger Sisters). She would die of a drug overdose about a year later in August of 1975.
    The Clinger Sisters
     

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