Past Music Hits Resurface in my Mind – and in Tunica

 Past Music Hits Resurface in my Mind – and in Tunica

For many, when I say the words “Village People” it conjures up images of a policeman, an Indian chief or maybe even a construction worker. However, while that band makes me want to use my arms to spell out “YMCA,” they also remind me of other successful bands and singers in that era — some of which are returning to the stage in Tunica over the next few months. Keep reading to find out what three songs spent the “Village People” decade on top of the charts.

1. The Four Seasons: ‘December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)’ (1975)
This song was written by original Four Seasons keyboard player Bob Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker. It was released in December 1975 and hit number one on the UK Singles Chart on February 21, 1976. It repeated the feat on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in March 1976, remaining in the top spot for three weeks. At first, the band wrote the song to rescind prohibition with the title of “December 5th, 1933,” but the lyrics were changed at the suggestion of Valli and lyricist Parker. The band, then, changed the lyrics so the song would be about a man’s “first time” with a woman. In 1994, the record was re-released and spent 27 weeks on the Hot 100 —matching the chart life of the original single. Adding together the two 27-week chart runs from 1976 and 1994 gives the song the longest tenure ever on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. While that is impressive, it still reminds me of my first pair of “old-school” roller skates.

2. The Bee Gees: ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ (1977)
While several contemporary bands cover this song, it was originally written in 1977 for Yvonne Elliman. However, it was ultimately used as part of the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever, which increased its popularity quickly. It became a number three hit in the UK. In the U.S., it topped the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed in the Top 10 for a then-record 17 weeks. In 1983, a Chicago songwriter, Ronald Selle, who claimed that the Gibb brothers stole melodic material from one of his songs, sued The Bee Gees. At first, The Bee Gees lost the case; one juror said that a factor in the jury’s decision was the Gibbs’ failure to introduce expert testimony rebutting the plaintiff’s expert testimony that it was “impossible” for the two songs to have been written independently. However, the verdict was overturned a few months later. The fight was well worth it — the Bee Gees can still claim the record-breaking song as their own, and I can still wish I could learn Tavolta’s dance moves.

3. Carly Simon: ‘You’re So Vain’ (1972)
Released in December 1972, this song, written and performed by Carly Simon, is a critical profile of a self-absorbed lover. ‘You’re So Vain’ isn’t about her former husband James Taylor, or any one of her famous relationships, yet today people still question who exactly the song is about (if it is anyone in particular). I still would like to know. It’s likely that all the speculation drove some of the success of the song. It did, after all, top the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in early 1973, and also spent two weeks at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart, her first #1 song on either chart. Still wondering…was it Mick Jagger? Warren Beatty?

Even though my top picks are based on research (and some opinion), I would love to hear what you think are the top three songs from the 1970’s.

Check out Claire Pittman for Travel Tunica’s latest blog post or visit www.tunicatravel.com to see if any of your favorite 70’s bands are coming to Tunica.

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