Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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


Today the #AtoZChallenge  brings us to the letter V. These three songs were the top ‘V’ songs according to the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End lists.



1970 - Venus - Shocking Blue

"Venus" is a 1969 song written by Robbie van Leeuwen. In 1970, the Dutch rock band Shocking Blue took the song to number one in nine countries. In 1981 it was sampled as part of the Stars on 45 medley. In 1986, the British female pop group Bananarama returned the song to number one in seven countries. The composition has been featured in numerous films, television shows and commercials, and covered dozens of times by artists around the world.





1970 -  Vehicle - The Ides Of March

"Vehicle" is the one-hit wonder success for the Chicago-based band The Ides of March. It rose to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of May 23, 1970. It is purported to be the fastest selling single in Warner Bros. Records history.

Written and sung by Jim Peterik, the song features a distinctive horn section riff that is still popular today. The song is often mistaken for the horn driven sound of Blood, Sweat and Tears which was popular in the same time range. Peterik wrote "Vehicle" as a joke.

    "I got the idea from one of these anti-drug pamphlets they distributed in a school. It was very tongue-in-cheek."

Peterik has also said that:

    In high school, I co-founded a band called The Ides of March. We did it because we loved music, not because we thought we’d be successful. At the time, I was madly in love with this girl named Karen. I had a souped-up 1964 Plymouth Valiant, and she was always asking for rides. I drove her to modeling school every week. I was hoping flames would ignite—but they didn’t. I came home one day, dejected, and thought: all I am is her vehicle. And I thought: Wow! Vehicle! I came up with this song, taught it to the band, and the next thing I knew, we were recording in a CBS studio. The song—called “Vehicle”—became a world-wide hit in 1970. “I’m your vehicle baby/I’ll take you anywhere you wanna go!”

Peterik had an on again off again relationship with Karen after the song came out. Eventually they married and have been together for years. Fourteen seconds of the completed "Vehicle" master tape (primarily the guitar solo) was accidentally erased in the recording studio. The missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take.

    "I remember that kind of feeling of experimentation. I also remember 14 seconds of the master of Vehicle being erased! We were doing background vocals and suddenly 14 seconds were gone from the master. No way to retrieve it. The second engineer had hit the wrong button. We spent two hours thinking our career is over, because at this time we knew we had something. Luckily, there was a Take One. They inserted 14 seconds of Take One and I redid the vocals. And now I hear it every time. From the second 'Great God in heaven' all the way up to the guitar solo--when you hear how abrupt that first note of the solo sounds, that's an edit."

Jim Peterik later went on to be the founder of the group, Survivor





1974 - A Very Special Love Song - Charlie Rich

"A Very Special Love Song" is the title of a 1974 song by country music singer Charlie Rich. The song was written by Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson, songwriters who had also written Rich's 1973 hit, "The Most Beautiful Girl". The song is included on Rich's 1974 album, Very Special Love Songs.

"A Very Special Love Song" nearly reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974, peaking at #11. The song was able to top two other Billboard charts that year, as it spent three weeks atop the country music chart and two weeks at the summit on the adult contemporary chart. This was the second of four chart-toppers Rich achieved on the Billboard AC chart.

Songwriters Sherrill and Wilson won a Grammy Award for "A Very Special Love Song" in the category Best Country Song at the 1975 ceremony.






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 'W'. 
Any guesses as to which Billboard Hits from the 70s will be showcased?






28 comments:

  1. Love it, Mary! Venus and Vehicle are two of my favourite songs. I used Venus as well. What a good year for music 1970 was! Charlie Rich; one of the few country artists I like from that period. Fabulous voice and the hair was cool. ;) The other is Freddy Fender.

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    1. I wasn't sure if I had heard Vehicle before, but as soon as the music started playing, I knew I had. When I much younger, I used to walk around singing Charlie Rich's 'The Most Beautiful Girl', and I really liked Freddy Fender's 'Wasted Days and Wasted Nights'. I'll be around to visit soon.. but first, Sleep.

      ~Mary

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    2. Two awesome country songs, for sure and that's saying a lot, as I'm not a huge fan of that genre. Charlie and Freddy both had such unique voices.

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  2. I second Debbie on this. Both Venus and Vehicle rev me up! Great songs that most people don't recognize by the titles.

    Good stuffs brought to you by the letter V.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    [Link:) Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      I think my favorite band member of Shocking Blue is the INVISIBLE KEYBOARDIST. Ha!-Ha!

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Stephen

      They are definitely songs to remember. I always tend to forget the name of the group for 'Venus' and I always forget both the name of the song and band for 'Vehicle'.

      BTW - I received the book yesterday (I'm assuming it's from you) Thank you! I've got my highlighter ready to give it a good read.

      ~Mary

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  3. And nowwwww I am thinking about the RAZOR commercial! LOL!

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    1. LOL Memories and Music go hand in hand

      ~Mary

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  4. Great tunes! I really enjoyed the Venus video. Watching the drummer smile so sweetly made my day. And knowing the story behind "Vehicle" is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    Oh, and you have heard the song you liked on my blog if you watched every episode of "Hell on Wheels". ~grin~ Remember when Cullen returned to the mining camp and Elam told him he was going to need a gun? The song starts there and plays all the way through while Cullen walks through the camp. We saved that episode on our DVR just for that scene. Be well!

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    1. I had to look up the episode. ~grin~ It's episode two of season two, "Durant, Nebraska".

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    2. I'm going to watch that show again. Mostly because I could watch Cullen all day long, and never tire of him!

      ~Mary

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  5. I never knew the group's name who originally sang Venus. Thank you for that! I wasn't sure if I knew all these songs, but I do. The Charlie Rich video wouldn't play for me. It appears it's copyrighted in my country so I'm unsure if I did know that song as well.

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    1. Oh No! I use a site that tells me if certain videos have restrictions in the various countries, but it must have failed me this time. It's a good country music song (but in my opinion 'The Most Beautiful Girl' is even better)

      ~Mary

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    1. Charlie Rich has a beautiful voice.

      ~Mary

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  7. The Ides (from beautiful Berwyn, Illinois) had another song, "LA Goodbye," that was a hit in Chicago the next year. They're still around, and Jim Peterik is still playing as a solo act as well.

    I remember being transfixed by Mariska Veres (Shocking Blue's singer) the first time I saw them on TV. Guess she passed away a couple of years ago.

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    1. Mariska Veres passed away in December 2006. She had cancer.

      Jim Peterik has quite the talent. I recall reading that he has written a number of songs for some very well known bands. And, according to wikipedia, in 2009, he was 'guest security' on The Jerry Springer Show.

      ~Mary

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  8. Every time I visit your blog, I end up finding a new gem of a song. Today, I listened to "A Very Special Love Song" for the very first time and loved it. Thank you Mary.
    V is for Ventriloquist

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    1. Thank you, Arti!

      I hope to bring you more gems each day!

      ~Mary

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  9. Count me in as another fan of "Venus" and "Vehicle". I remember Charlie Rich, but don't know this song very well. I'm sure I've heard it, but probably not in 40 years or so.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Don't feel bad. I didn't remember this particular Charlie Rich song, either. As we near the end of the alphabet, the obscurity of the songs become a bit more prominent.

      ~Mary

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  10. Very interesting selection of songs for today's entry. Don't think I ever heard any of these tunes....

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    1. That happens from time to time, even though they were billboard hits, sometimes they just aren't that memorable for some of us.

      ~Mary

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  11. Venus was a popular song back then. It's a good one. 2 blogs in a row has Venus - must mean something.

    Suzy at Someday Somewhere - Variety of thoughts

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    1. LOL It does mean something - it means V was not as easy as some of the other letters ;)

      ~Mary

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  12. Mary,

    "Venus" to "A Very Special Love Song" - remember them all but you know what I had forgotten that Shocking Blue is the original artist of "Venus" with Bananarama covering this oldie hit which took a new rise on the charts in the 1986. Loved the factoids about Isles of March lead coming up with the lyrics to their One Hit Wonder, "Vehicle". :)

    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet "V" (Violin & Victorian Women)

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