The Rubberband Man Is Out Of Sight

by Kevin Burton    A song that producer Thom Bell wrote for his overweight son is by far my favorite Spinners tune and has always been a guilty pleasure.    Now I’m trying to get to the bottom of it.    The song is “The Rubberband Man.” Bell wrote the song to help improve his …

Steely Dan’s Link To WKRP In Cincinnati

by Kevin Burton    It was 1978 when FM radio overtook AM. But the song that marked the occasion was sort of a medium-sized hit.      We’re talking “FM” by Steely Dan.     So what’s your definition of a hit song?     Is it based on how much it sells? How high it gets on …

The Sounds They Were A-Changin’

by Kevin Burton    Musical eras, like chocolate bars or ice cubes, are fluid before they are solid, shaped by the temperature of the times.    We can’t always distinguish them day to day. Historians declare them later, according to their differing standards.   But for me there is something momentous about looking at the …

Blue-Eyed Soul Shook Up South Africa

by Kevin Burton     Growing up she was known as a tomboy, earning the nickname “Dusty” by playing soccer in the streets with boys.      She grew up to be anything but.    “During her 1960s peak she ranked among the most successful British female performers on both sides of the Atlantic,” reads her Wikipedia …

Huge Hit “Maggie May” Almost Discarded

by Kevin Burton     The smash hit that was number one on the American pop chart fifty years ago today was almost tossed aside.    It was included on Rod Stewart’s “Every Picture Tells A Story” LP at the last minute, according to the entry in the Billboard Book of Number One Hits.     One …

This Artist Socked It To Us Twice In 1968

by Kevin Burton    In 1981 Dolly Parton hit number one on both the country and pop charts with the song “9 to 5.”     But which female solo artist was the first to hit those two heights, 13 years before that?    Hint: It’s her birthday today.    The song in question was country …

Pondering Tribalism, Donny And Marie

by Kevin Burton    Today I am thinking of a song it appears not many others have pondered deeply.    Stay with me now.    The song is “Morning Side Of The Mountain,” which I remember as a number 8 hit in 1974 for Donny and Marie Osmond. The song actually was written by Larry …

A 1972 One-Hit, One-Rhyme Wonder

by Kevin Burton    Because mine is a songwriter’s household we have “what rhymes with’ as one of our buzzwords.   Buzzphrases I guess that should be.    Example: My granddaughter Willow is spoiled.  So it’s “Oh my goodness can’t believe how spoiled she is…what rhymes with spoiled?”    “Coiled, boiled, foiled..” and so on.  Got …

Fifty Years On, Wings Has Mixed Legacy

by Kevin Burton    Fifty years ago today Paul McCartney announced the formation of Paul McCartney and Wings.     The move was a guaranteed winner and a guaranteed loser.    A winner because any piece of music with McCartney’s name on it was going to get a listen. It was going to sell at least …