Friday, July 30, 2010
You've come a long way, baby
This clearly was the latter.
(Say, did you know that Anka, Buddy Guy, David Sanborn and Marc Bolan of T-Rex are all birthday boys today? Even more incredible: It's also the birthday of feminist activist Eleanor Smeal. What sweet irony.)
We can't blame Anka for occasionally re-inventing himself through the years, which allowed him to score hits in three different decades. He has had three chart-toppers, and we're on board for the first two: "Diana" in 1957 and "Lonely Boy" in 1959. But by the time "(You're) Having My Baby'' came along in 1974 -- giving Anka the record for the longest gap between No. 1s -- we were on to other things.
A glance at the top songs of 1974 confirms our suspicions: It was a crappy year for music. Here is the Billboard Top 10:
1. The Way We Were, Barbra Streisand
2. Seasons In The Sun, Terry Jacks
3. Love's Theme, Love Unlimited Orchestra
4. Come and Get Your Love, Redbone
5. Dancing Machine, Jackson 5
6. The Loco-Motion, Grand Funk Railroad
7. T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia), MFSB
8. The Streak, Ray Stevens
9. Bennie and the Jets, Elton John
10. One Hell of a Woman, Mac Davis
"(You're) Having My Baby" finished No. 28 for the year, but spent three weeks at No. 1 beginning on Aug. 24. When you add it all up -- and we need to mention Anka wrote Johnny Carson's Tonight Show theme song -- you have to give the man his props. And so we do, on his 69th birthday.