Saturday, March 19, 2005

It's fantasy Idol time

Tuesday is Billboard #1 Hits theme night, and the kids will have a long list of songs, artists and genres to choose from, as long as the song made it to the top of the Billboard chart for at least one week.

The top listings began in the 1950s, so the available songs are from that era forward. It is important to remember, though, that Idol does not have license to allow every song to be available. For instance, unless things have changed since last season, the Idol contestants are prohibited from performing any song recorded by the Beatles, as the owner of the Beatles catalog (last I knew it was Michael Jackson) refuses to give clearance.

So, of course, there are likely other songs on the "do not sing" list, but, I have my own wish list of #1 hits I'd like to hear. And since I am most familiar with music from 1980 and before, I'm sticking to only those three decades.

Anthony seems to be most comfortable with the slower-tempo numbers, so, as long as he promises not to destroy them, my wish is for Anthony to sing one of the following three songs.

Time In a Bottle, a #1 hit for Jim Croce in 1973. Croce is sacred to me, though, so I'm a little iffy about this. If he were to butcher it, I would not only not vote his number, but I'd shoot him. So, Anthony, you might want to take a safer route and select My Eyes Adored You, which reached #1 in 1975 by Frankie Valli, but might be considered too safe by the judges. Make it With You, a #1 hit in 1976 for Bread, is a thought, though another chancy selection.

Anwar needs to take a break from the ballads eventually, but he's one of the safest contestants, so he can wait until disco night to let loose. This is my fantasy, so I get to call the shots.

I want Anwar to sing The Platters' Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, a chart topper in 1959. I will have extra panties on hand.

But if he doesn't choose that, my wish is to hear him perform Soul and Inspiration by the Righteous Brothers, which reached #1 in 1966, or he can select You Send Me, by Sam Cooke,a #1 hit in 1957. No one does the classic songs like this man, and this theme allows him to reach back into the heart of beautiful music.

I had the most difficult time narrowing my list to three for Bo. He could sing the Alphabet Song, and I would be happy. There are so many selections for him, but because I'm trying to keep it at three, it was tough, but here are my choices:
Black Water by the Doobie Brothers, a #1 hit in 1975. If you thought he rocked before, just wait. Or there's You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, a top hit for Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1974, and Three Dog Night is always good. How about Mama Told Me (Not to Come), which topped the Billboard chart in 1970.

Note to self: buy extra panties.

Since Carrie seems to be lost in the country, I tried to find three songs that might serve as a sort of crossover. And since she needs to show a bit more personality, I would like to hear her sing I Want to Be Wanted, one of, if not my favorite Brenda Lee tune from 1960. But she might do well sticking with Linda Rondstadt's You're No Good, a 1975 hit.

And there is always Delta Dawn, which Tanya Tucker recorded on the country charts, but hit #1 on Billboard by Helen Reddy in 1973. But I hope not.

And for Constantine, who made such a good showing last week with a less-rock-y selection, I am choosing American Woman, a 1970 chart topper by The Guess Who.

But, he could also get hearts pounding with a cover of Rod Stewart's Maggie May, which hit #1 in 1971. And there's never anything wrong with going to Chicago. How about If You Leave Me Now, a 1976 #1 hit. Lots of money notes there, and he's proven he can hit them with the best.

Jessica, find some attractive clothes that actually fit you, and keep yourself out of the bottom three this week.

How about The Supremes? Love Child was a #1 Billboard hit for them in 1968. No? Reach back to 1957 and surprise people with The Crickets' That'll Be The Day. (Everybody loves Buddy Holly!)

No again? Then choose Will It Go Round in Circles?, a chart topper in 1973 by Billy Preston. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Oh dear, Mikalah. You have a target the size of Connecticut on your back. You are the most likely to sing solo on Wednesday, so, the only way I can assure you of NOT leaving is to choose something unique, which will highlight your voice.

Hmm. This took some thought. And it is my fantasy, after all. So I select Rise, by Herb Alpert in 1979. Or, how about The Hustle, a 1975 #1 hit by Van McCoy. Or A Fifth of Beethoven, which hit #1 in 1976 by Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band. I cannot imagine even you screwing those songs up.

No? (Or for those of you who just didn't get that brilliant advice.) Okay. I'll be serious. How can anyone seriously choose a song for this girl? Please, please do not choose The Way We Were or Evergreen, even though both are eligible. Why not try He's a Rebel, a Crystals' #1 hit in 1962. Or Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made For Walking, which hit #1 in 1966. Or play it for fun with Winchester Cathedral, a chart topper by the New Vaudeville Band in 1966. Okay, that's a corny song, but it's also fun. And it is my fantasy.

Oh Nadia. The world is your oyster. So many songs. And only one can be chosen. But I get to pick three.

You made it pretty clear last week that you're not planning to get stuck in ballad-land. Good for you. Rock on girl. How about a little Janis Joplin (for real, this time! No cheap imitations.) Me and Bobby McGee was a #1 hit in 1971!

But you could rock the house with a little Sly and the Family Stone. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf) hit the top of the chart in 1970. And Billy Preston is always good. Nothing From Nothing is a great song, and it made it to the top in 1974.

You go girl.

Nikko, Nikko, Nikko. You got raves for your Marvin Gaye and you got boos for your Jackson 5. Back to the ballads for you.

Me and Mrs. Jones has your name on it. And it qualifies because it was a #1 hit in 1972 by Billy Paul. (I would also suggest you listen to George Huff's version too.)

Don't like that one? There's always Johnny Nash, and his recording of I Can See Clearly Now hit the top in 1972. And if you want to jazz it up more, how about the Bellamy Brothers' Let Your Love Flow, a 1976 chart topper.

I am a proud UnderDawg! So Scott, no dancing and no going into the audience, until you're sure that it won't wind you. You're not the panties-thrown-at-the-television kind of singer, but you can be the jump-up-and-cheer-at-the-television kind if you rely more on your voice than on performing.

The song for you is Oh, Pretty Woman, a #1 by Roy Orbison in 1964. You are an Orbison kind of guy and the song is the tale of longing for what you think you can't get. Perfect for you!!

Okay, you don't like that one? How about Tears of a Clown, by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, a #1 in 1970? Or even Lean On Me, a 1972 hit by Bill Withers. Whatever you choose, you need to store up a string of memorable performances for use in the next month or so.

Vonzell, because I'm a fan of self-deprication, in my fantasy I want to watch you sing Please Mr. Postman, dressed in your mail carrier uniform. That would be a hoot. You could do either the 1961 version by The Marvelettes or the Carpenters one in 1975. Both hit the top of the Billboard chart.

But I don't think you'll go for that idea. So, why not try Touch Me In TheMorning, a 1973 #1 hit forDiana Ross. You can do Diana! Want to bring it up a notch? Stay with Diana Ross. Upside Down hit #1 in 1980. No? Reach back and nudge the memories of the older folks. Try I Will Follow Him, a #1 by Little Peggy March in 1963. (Yeah, Little Peggy.)

Remember it's my fantasy. So, in my fantasy, along with the songs I've chosen for the contestants, I would like to see a Thursday special, with each of them singing a novelty song that hit #1 on the Billboard chart. My selections:

Anthony: Witch Doctor by Dave Seville in 1958.
Anwar: The Streak by Ray Stevens in 1974. (Please wear appropriate attire. Yowzer!)
Bo: Kung Fu Fighting, by Carl Douglas in 1974.
Carrie: Harper Valley PTA, by Jeannie C. Riley in 1968.
Constantine: Convoy, by C.W. McCall in 1976. (10-4 good buddy.)
Jessica: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, by Bryan Hyland in 1968. (Wear normal attire.)
Mikalah: Disco Duck, by Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots.
Nadia: The Chipmunk Song, by (who else?) The Chipmunks in 1958.
Nikko: Purple People Eater, by Sheb Wooley in 1958.
Scott: (can't help this...) My Ding-a-Ling, by Chuck Berry in 1972.
Vonzell: Please Vonzell -- Please Mr. Postman!!!

Want to have your own fantasy episode?
Here's the list of Billboard #1 hits.



Blogger Dave said...

Love your blog, Jennifer. Thanks for linking me; I'll be sure to reciprocate.

I'll be sure to stopy by Wednesday morning to compare notes.

2:25 PM, March 21, 2005  
Blogger Toni said...

Funny thing is that, instead of Anthony singing Time in a Bottle, Bo sang it.

12:50 AM, March 23, 2005  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!