Saturday, January 9, 2010

Two for the show

You don't have to be a star to be in my show. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Wait -- somebody already used that line. Remember the song by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.? It was the wife-husband duet's only No. 1 hit, and only for a week at this time in 1977. The following week Leo Sayer would take over with "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing."

Weird time. Fun time. But the pop music scene was getting pretty strange. It was possible, if you had your radio tuned to the wrong station, to hear a somber ballad like Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald" sandwiched between "Disco Duck" and "Car Wash." And Maureen McGovern's "Torn Between Two Lovers" was lurking around the corner.

Tough goings. And into this maelstrom flew McCoo and Davis, who had fled the successful Fifth Dimension where they helped score two No. 1s: "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" and "Wedding Bell Blues." (That's McCoo opening with "Bill, I love you so, I always will...")

Duets can be tricky. Just ask Simon and Garfunkel, or Sonny and Cher. I'm thinking that McCoo and Davis could have improved their chances of stardom with a simple name change. Something closer to Captain & Tennille, who were also out there at the time.

But you can't argue too much with a No. 1 song. "You Don't Have to Be a Star (to Be in My Show)" gave McCoo and Davis just as many chart-toppers as Sonny and Cher managed before their breakup.

Some of us were just thankful for the Eagles at the time.

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