Saturday, April 8, 2017

#AtoZChallenge 1970's Billboard Hits - G is for...




Wow. It’s hard to believe, but we have completed the first full week of #AtoZChallenge! Are you enjoying the theme so far?  Today is day eight and that brings us to the letter G.


1970 - Get Ready - Rare Earth


"Get Ready" is a Motown song written by Smokey Robinson, which resulted in two hit records for the label: a U.S. #29 version by The Temptations in 1966, and a U.S. #4 version by Rare Earth in 1970. It is significant for being the last song Robinson wrote and produced for the Temptations, due to a deal Berry Gordy made with Norman Whitfield, that if "Get Ready" did not meet with the expected degree of success, then Whitfield's song, "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", would get the next release, which resulted in Whitfield more or less replacing Robinson as the group's producer.

In 1970, Motown's rock band Rare Earth released a cover version of the song as a single. Rare Earth's version of "Get Ready" was the band's first recording for Motown, and was based upon a version of the song it performed as the closing numbers to their live performances.

Their 45 RPM single version sold in excess of a million U.S. copies, earning a Gold certification from the RIAA. In the live show, each member of the band performed a solo, resulting in a twenty-one-minute rendition of the song. It has been debated on whether the actual recording for the album was really recorded at a concert. It has been noted that the audience sounds throughout the song are repetitive and canned. This has been done before with The Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie" released on an album with party crowd noise dubbed in.

The band wanted to release "Get Ready" as a single, but Motown declined at first, issuing the unsuccessful "Generation, Light Up the Sky" as the band's first single. Finally deferring to the band's wishes in February 1970, Motown released a three-minute edit of the song as a single, which became a hit. "Get Ready" hit #2 on the Cash Box Top 100 and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, a far better performance than the original. It took up the entire second side of their Platinum-selling Motown album, also titled Get Ready. The Rare Earth version of the song also peaked at number twenty on the R&B chart. Today, "Get Ready" is among the most familiar of both the Temptations' and Rare Earth's recordings.




1971 -  Go Away Little Girl - Donny Osmond

"Go Away Little Girl" is a popular song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was first recorded by Bobby Vee for Liberty Records on March 28, 1962. The lyrics consist of a young man asking a young attractive woman to stay away from him, so that he will not be tempted to betray his steady girlfriend by kissing her. The song is notable for making the American Top 20 three times: for Steve Lawrence in 1962 (US number 1), for The Happenings in 1966 (US number 12), and for Donny Osmond in 1971 (US number 1). It is also the first song, and one of only nine, to reach US number 1 by two different artists.





1978 - Grease - Frankie Valli

"Grease" is a song written by Barry Gibb and performed by Frankie Valli. "Grease" is the title song for the 1978 musical motion picture Grease, which was based on the stage play of the same name. It was featured twice on the film's soundtrack, as the first track and reprised as the final track.

Barry Gibb wrote a title song to order for the Robert Stigwood film of the stage musical Grease. The song was recorded shortly after filming of the 1978 musical film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was when Gibb invited Peter Frampton to the session. Frampton plays guitar on the recording, while Gibb himself provides backing vocals. The other musicians were some of those from the Andy Gibb album that was being made around the same time.

Valli is known for his powerful falsetto voice, but on this track he does not sing in his upper range. The film's director Randal Kleiser did not like "Grease" and the new song "You're The One That I Want" because they did not fit the 1950s style musically or lyrically. It became a No. 1 single in the United States in 1978 (it would turn out to be Valli's final No. 1 single), and also reached No. 40 on the R&B charts in the same year. The song landed on the US Billboard Hot 100 Year-end Charts for 1978 at #11.





Be sure to follow the 2017 AtoZ Challenge playlist for all of the songs featured in this years challenge.




Did you listen to any of these tunes in the 70's?  Would you like to know more about these artists in future posts? Let me know in the comments.

What does tomorrow bring?
Tomorrow brings us the letter 'H'. 
Any guesses as to which 1970 Billboard Hits will be showcased?






30 comments:

  1. Hi Mary Well let me say right up front in my 45<s you will find nothing by any Osmond male or female as a group I do have the other two I like Get Ready the best of this list and I think hands down Rare Earth best single was Big John Is My Name if you have not heard it look it up. My last thought a year before my wife passed we went too a oldies show too see you guessed it Rare Earth when they started playing her face light up like a kid in a candy store she loved that band
    Roger

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    1. Hey Roger

      Let me guess... The Osmonds were too pure for you to enjoy? I always thought them to be a bit cheesy, but I did watch the Donny & Marie show growing up, and remember laughing at their little sketches.

      I'm glad that you were able to take your wife to a great concert before she passed. That must be a wonderful memory for you.

      ~Mary

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  2. Oh my those Donny years. I saw him in concert in 2006 and he sang Go Away Little Girl which sounded even better than back then. I was 13 again that day. Get Ready and Grease are awesome songs. This post brought back many memories. I am enjoying your series.

    Suzy at Someday Somewhere - Great minds

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    1. I was just a little girl back in 1971, but I shared a room with my teenage sister. I remember waking up every morning to either Donny Osmond or The Carpenters. Now that I think back on it, it felt a lot like Groundhogs Day :)

      ~Mary

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  3. Except for Grease, had not heard the others.. some lovely numbers that era had.

    Godyears.net

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    1. Grease was made popular by the movie, and it practically became a cult favorite among many people.

      ~Mary

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  4. These are new to me. Nice selection :D

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  5. I remember watching the Donnie and Marie Show. ~grin~ This is fun. Thank you for sharing.

    http://darlamsands.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hey Darla!

      I remember watching the show as well. And when Marie was dating Andy Gibb, you could practically see the sparks fly when they sang together.

      ~Mary

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  6. Grease! One of my all time favorite musicals. Also I played Rizzo in our high school production of it! :)

    26 Things To Hate About Writing: G is for Grammar

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    1. Very Cool! I always liked her.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

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  7. Interesting back stories on these songs, Mary. I enjoyed one and three but Donny Osmond - not so much. Now that tune is stuck in my head. Gee, thanks! LOL
    Debbie @ THE DOGLADY'S DEN

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    1. LOL Debbie

      I'm sorry I don't have a post for tomorrow to replace the stuck tune. You'll have to wait until Monday. The first thing I noticed were the jumpsuits and thought they were trying to mimic Elvis. I learned about a week or so ago (I watched an old interview of Donny Osmond) that they actually shared the same tailor.

      ~Mary

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  8. Hi Mary. Thanks for giving us some Rare Earth today! I LOVE Get Ready. The song definitely has an interesting backstory. I featured the song in a recent battle and included the 21 minute version. Great musicians there.

    Ah, Donny Osmond. I remember pictures of him plastered all over Tiger Beat and the other teen magazines at the time. Along with Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy. Lol.

    I hadn't heard Grease in quite some time. This post brought back a lot of memories...which for me is one of music's greatest power.

    Have a good weekend,
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hey there 'One L' (I stole that from Tom)

      I think musical memories are the absolute best thing in the world, right up there next to soft-serve ice cream (double dipped in chocolate, of course!)

      It's so good to see you out and about again. I can't tell you how much I have missed seeing you here. Welcome back!

      ~Mary

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  9. MARY! MARY!...
    I absolutely love the long version of Rare Earth's 'GET READY'. That album it came from was the second I ever owned in my life. (The Monkees' debut being the first.)

    Until very recently, I had that Rare Earth album (CD) playing in my truck for about 6 weeks straight.

    It's funny though that they added the fake audience hootin' 'n' hollerin' 'n' clappin'. As if they thought that might make an already A-List exciting track more exciting.

    And that MOST DEFINITELY was fake audience sounds tacked on. The song was NOT recorded live. I know because I found an online interview with Pete Rivera, the lead singer, and in the article he even stated that his vocals were actually recorded NOT on a stage nor in a studio but in one of the offices at Motown. That's peculiar why they would have recorded his singing in one of the offices rather than in one of the Motown studios, but I guess they liked the sound of it better for some reason. (And, dang, that guy could sing!)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. Hey Stephen!

      That's very interesting about the recording. I wonder if he just sounded better singing in the office rather than the studio, much like when Dave Grohl recorded his album in a garage on analog tape. The sound is very different from the the other recordings.

      6 weeks of Rare Earth, huh? I'm dying to know what you replaced them with...

      ~MMQC

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    2. Well, since your inquiring mind wants to know, I'll tell you:

      I replaced Rare Earth with the compact disc 'FRENCH KISS' by Bob Welch. But that only remained in the player for 7 to 10 days because those songs are so catchy, so earwormy that they were playing in my mind and keeping me awake at night.

      So it was out with Bob Welch, and in with a PAT METHENY GROUP album, which is still in my player as I type.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    3. I think I could listen to Bob Welch for a few days, but from what I just listened to of Pat Metheny, I dont think he would last long in my player, unless his music is like fungus, and it just has to grow on you.

      ~Mary

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    4. That's exactly it. You don't "get" the Pat Metheny Group right away. It's very deceptive music. At first, it all kind of sounds alike, and then one day, suddenly, it seems like you know every melody and you're humming or whistling along. (Start with the album 'LETTER FROM HOME' and just give it time. Assuming you like Jazz instrumentals. If not, fuhgeddaboudit.)

      Since about 1987, the music I've played while driving has been the Pat Metheny Group around 98.5% of the time.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    5. okay.. I'll give them another chance - but only because it comes with your endorsement ;)

      ~M

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  10. Mary, I had a huge crush on Donnie Osmond and "Go Away Little Girl" always made me so sad but I loved it. "Get Ready" is a great dance song from the 70s and still is. Franki Valli might be the only male artist other than the Bee Gees that I can tolerant singing falsetto style but in this tune he does a fabulous job and I really like the song. Good mewsic choices! Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend a2zing!

    Whenever you have time this weekend, join Curious as a Cathy for today’s alpha prompt, “G”, Art Sketching Through the Alphabet with little GIRLS!

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    1. Hey there Cathy!

      I had always thought that Donny Osmond or his brothers had written that song, so it was a bit of surprise to learn it was not only written by someone else, but previously performed.

      I think you are right about Franki Valli and the Bee Gees. I've heard a few others attempt the falsetto, but no one will ever really compare to them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Mary

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  11. I am enjoying the back stories you give. Both Grease and Osmonds were big in my 70's world - though I can't remember this particular one of Donny's. The twelfth of never, paper roses, crazy horses... there was a song by Jimmy too, I was particularly nuts about can't remember the title just now. They feel cheesy now, but at the time I was a fan :)

    Your theme is super, it's a great nostalgia fix!

    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Thank you, Nilanjana!

      I agree, while they do seem a bit cheesy now, they were all the rage during their time of popularity. You might be thinking of the song 'Puppy Love' by Donny Osmond.

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad I could help with the nostalgia.

      ~Mary

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  12. I can't hear Grease without wanting to rewatch the movie!
    Debbie

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    1. Grease does make you want to hear the rest of the songs, doesn't it?

      ~Mary

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  13. Mary, not really my type of music in the 70s but I find now I listen to these old songs and enjoy them.

    A to Z Theme: Sharing Family History via #GenealogyPhotoADay
    Thanks for making nice memories with music
    Regards Fran from TravelGenee Blog

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    1. Fran,
      I think as we get older, we tend to look back upon our younger years and try our darndest to just hang on.

      ~Mary

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