Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The 70's: Guilty Pleasures Part I

The 70's was (in it's way) quite a diverse decade in music. hard rock came into fashion with groups such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and AC/DC. Classic rock hit huge with Boston, Styx and Fleetwood Mac. Punk, glam rock, country, disco, pop, adult contemporary and singer-songwriters all soared to the top of the charts in the 70's.

This series focuses on the (somewhat) guilty pleasures of the 1970's. I say "somewhat" because each person's idea of a "guilty pleasure" is different.

These are a few of my guilty pleasures...

Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting (1974)

Release Date: August 1974
Record Label: Pye Records
Chart Positions: U.S. #1, UK #1, Canada #1, Holland #1, France #1, Germany #1, Austria #1, Australia #1, Switzerland #2, South Africa #2
Certifications: U.S. - Gold
Sales: Worldwide 11 million
Trivia: "Kung Fu Fighting" was originally recorded to be a b-side to "I Want to Give You My Everything". They spent two hours recording the a-side and only ten minutes on the b-side. When both songs were played for the executives at Pye Records, it was suggested that Kung Fu Fighting should be released as the a-side.

Carol Douglas - Doctor's Orders (1974)

Release Date: October 1974
Record Label: Midland International (distributed by RCA)
Chart Positions: U.S. #11, Canada #1, France #4, Italy #8, New Zealand #6, Spain #2
Sales: Worldwide 2 million
Trivia: "Doctor's Orders" was produced by Meco, the American producer/musician who is best known for his 1977 space disco version of the Star Wars Theme. Although due to contractual complication Midland International VicePresident, Ed O'Loughlin is credited as the song's producer. 

David Dundas - Jeans On (1976)

David Dundas - Jeans On (1976)
Release Date: August 1976
Record Label: Chrysalis
Chart Positions: Germany #1, UK 33, South Africa #3, U.S. #17
Sales: Worldwide 1 million
Trivia: "Jeans On" originally appeared as a television advertising jingle for Brutus Jeans (the words used in the jingle - "I pull my Brutus jeans on" - were replaced with "I pull my old blue jeans on" for the single release).

Michael Franks - Popsicle Toes (1976)

Michael Franks - Popsicle Toes (1976)
Release Date: July 1976
Record Label: Reprise
Chart Positions: U.S. #43
Trivia: "Popsicle Toes" is one of the greatest innuendo songs ever recorded. The song was recorded with some of the finest jazz musicians of the 70's (and of all-time). Including Wilton Felder on bass, Larry Carlton on guitar and Joe Sample on keyboards.

 Steve Martin - King Tut (1978)

Steve Martin - King Tut (1978)
Release Date: April 28, 1978
Record Label: Warner Brothers
Chart Positions: U.S. #17
Certifications: U.S. - Gold
Sales: U.S. 1.3 million
Trivia: The "backup group" Martin used for "King Tut" was credited as The Toot Uncommons (Tutankhamen), but was really The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The NGDB is best remembered for their hits "Mr. Bojangles" (1970), "An American Dream" (1979) and "Make A Little Magic (1980).

Meco - Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band (1977)

Meco - Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band (1977)
Release Date: July 1977
Record Label: Millenium (distributed by RCA)
Chart Positions: U.S. #1, UK #7
Certifications: U.S. - Platinum
Sales: Worldwide 5 million
Trivia: To date Meco's "Star Wars/Cantina Band" is the biggest selling instrumental single in the history of recorded music. It is the only single to be certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than two million copies.

The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin' Billy? (1970)

The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin' Billy? (1970)
Release Date: December 1969
Record Label: London
Chart Positions: U.S. #2, Canada #9
Certifications: U.S.  Gold
Sales: Worldwide 11 million
Trivia: The Poppy Family was a duo comprised of Terry and Susan Jacks (a husband and wife duo).Terry and Susan divorced in 1973 and a few months later Terry released his first solo single "Seasons In The Sun" which reached #1 in the U.S., UK and Canada and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Meri Wilson - Telephone Man

Meri Wilson - Telephone Man (1977)
Release Date: April 1977
Record Label: GRT Records, PYE Records
Chart Positions: U.S. #18, UK #6
Certifications: U.S.  Gold
Sales: Worldwide 3 million
Trivia: Meri Wilson earned a masters degree in music theory from Georgia State University. for a short while she worked as a model before becoming a singer specializing in double entendre novelty songs. In the 1990's she worked as the director of elementary education in Georgia. She also recorded other novelty songs including "Dick the DJ", "Peter The Meter Reader" and her last release in 2001"The Internet Man" (an update of "Telephone Man". Sadly, Meri Wilson died on December 28, 2002 in a car accident on Georgia State Route 377.


  1. ahhhhhhhh tooooo many guilty pleasures, better put on Dinosaur Junior Pronto :)
    Really good post

  2. Hi Frank... thanks for the comment... dinosaur Junior was a rock band that recorded during the 1980's and 90's so they would not fit into a blog post about 70's music.

    But maybe when I do one on the 80's.



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