Got To Keep My Irons In The Fire


We’re now up to the twenty-ninth chart week of the year. So let’s review The Other Sixty from 1980 to 1982.

July 19th, 1980

81. Paul Davis – Cry Just A Little

Singer/songwriter/keyboardist Paul Davis follows up his gospel-tinged Top 40 hit, Do Right with this track, which is one of my favorites of his. This easily should have been another smash but only moved up three more spots. Blame that on the fact that Bang Records was on their last legs and probably didn’t have any promotional dollars left. That’s also what killed Brick and Nigel Olssen’s career, the other two artists left on the label. Paul would switch to Arista for his next and final album, Cool Night, which spawned two of his biggest hits, the title track, and 65 Love Affair.

Fun fact: Paul McCartney owns most of Paul Davis’ songs.

86. Poco – Under The Gun

Poco finally broke through with the album Legend, and the 1979 hits Cool Love and Heart Of The Night. But ABC Records became MCA Records, and so in many ways, they had to start over. They released the title track to their new LP, but it didn’t distinguish itself on radio and peaked at #48. It took them another decade to have a Top 40 hit again.

88. Gerry Rafferty – The Royal Mile (Sweet Darlin’)

Gerry tallied five solo Top 40 records between 1978 and 1979, but he started off the 80s very differently. The only single from his 1980 Snake And Ladders release would only climb the rungs to #54 and will be his last US chart entry. As his manager once said, ” You used to think that it was so easy.”

90. Rockie Robbins – You And Me

Here’s an R&B singer from Minneapolis who scored his only Hot 100 entry from his Bobby Martin-produced second album. This one populated a lot of Quiet Storm formats back then and hit the Soul Top 10. On the Pop charts, let’s see here—nothing up on my sleeve. And…Presto! A #80 zenith.

96. Frankie Valli Introducing Chris Forde – Where Did We Go Wrong

Good question, Frankie. Let me count the ways. Two Summers ago, Frankie was letting everyone know what the word was. Now he’s singing a duet that can’t find its way out of the 90s, chart position, that is. 1980 was a rough year personally for Frankie, and after this release, he took a lot of time off. This will be his last chart hit when it hits #90. No one knows whatever happened to Chris Forde.

July 25th, 1981

82. Teena Marie – Square Biz

The vanilla child, known as Lady T, who likes Sarah Vaughn and hot water cornbread drops a serious funk bomb on us from her It Must Be Magic LP. Even though she was now producing herself, her former svengali Rick James shows up like a weirdo staring from the shadows to let everyone know to call him Slick Rick, wherein Teena tells him not to get too slick. Burn. This jam will only make it to #50 because Motown was pushing the veterans like The Commodores and Diana Ross. T would leave Motown and have her biggest hit four years later with Lovergirl.

85. Don Felder – Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride)

There’s a part in the Eagles documentary, History of the Eagles, where Glenn Frey talks about their manager taking Don Felder out to dinner to let him know he won’t be singing on The Long Run. As Glenn explains, why would you have a weak vocalist on a song when you can have Don Henley instead? Felder is a great guitarist, but his vocals aren’t as bad as Glenn makes them out to be. Don’s only chart hit, the theme from the movie Heavy Metal, will just miss the Top 40 reaching #43. Glenn Frey, still an asshole.

86. Pure Prairie League – You’re Mine Tonight

It’s funny to think that by adding Vince Gill to this country-rock group that they became less country. This one is leaving the marina dock for an evening sail in the Santa Monica sunset. Their final chart hit will reverse their debut numbers, and the band will split soon after.

90. The Cantina Band (Featuring Lou Christie) – Summer 81 

After the success of Stars of 45, folks searched for the next oldies act to shove down our throats. And behold, it’s Meco (and yes the cantina band is a Star Wars reference) with a medley of Beach Boys hits and a lame disco beat that sounds like it came from a Nelson Varon organ. Somehow Capitol Records heard about this and rushed out their own Beach Boys medley, which ended up debuting on the same week up at #76. Folks preferred hearing Brian, Carl and Mike sing the hits rather than Lou “Lightning Strikes” Christie, although he does a much job than some session singer in Holland. It will surf up to #81 before daddy takes the T-bird away.

July 24th, 1982

81. Roberta Flack – I’m The One

This funky little number was Miss Roberta’s follow-up to her Top 20 hit, Making Love, and in my opinion, it’s far superior. It just missed getting the Casey call when it gets caught in a Hot 100 logjam and stopped at #42.

85. Jerry Reed – She Got The Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)

The Snowman is back for one more round on the Hot 100, his first new entry in eight years. This rollicking divorce ditty ends up with Jerry eating bologna sandwiches and crying to a judge just like his 1971 smash When You’re Hot, You’re Hot. It will be his last chart hit getting the shaft at #57, but his third #1 Country hit.

87. Dayton – Hot Fun In The Summertime

Here’s a laid back boogie cover of a Sly & the Family Stone 1969 smash from a funk sextet from Ohio. It was released from their third album, Hot Fun, and will become a Top 20 R&B hit. But Fall comes around for this tune at #58.

90. Axe – Now Or Never

With a name like Axe, you may be expecting something that sounds like Iron Maiden. But this quintet from Gainesville, FL, which started life called Babyface before changing names, comes off like a bar band version of Blackfoot instead.  This will be the first of two chart entries for these guys when this hits #64. So, never.

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