Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rant #1,304: Shill, Rattle and Roll

Every once in a while I find that it is the right time to shill for something that I want all of you to see.

I can shill with the best of them, and I don't cloud it over by saying that I am doing this for some other, more godly, reason.

No, I shill to shill, to try to sell you on something that I think you might enjoy.

With the untimely passing of Paul Revere over the weekend, which I chronicled yesterday, I thought it might be nice to shill for something else that I do, once a week, that people seem to have enjoyed for the past more than 10 years or so.

I run a Yahoo Group site called "Alternative Top 40," which showcases music that was pretty much ignored, to a certain degree, way back when, from the 1950s to the 1990s, with a focus on what I consider to be the prime years for rock and roll, 1964-1971, when that genre really came of age.

I usually put up between 12 and 18 different songs--album tracks, B sides, forgotten singles, bubbling under songs--and I let my members vote on the songs.

Those songs that get the most amount of votes stay on the poll, those that don't get removed. A song can stay on the poll for a maximum five weeks.

Sure, I put up music from some very popular acts on the site, including the Beatles.

But how about George Maharis?

The "Route 66" TV actor is virtually forgotten today, but he was as hot as a pistol back in the early 1960s, and he actually had a substantial recording career, having a few hits along the way.

He is on this week's poll, as are the likes of James Stewart--yes, that James Stewart--Peggy Lipton, from "The Mod Squad," Don Grady, from "My Three Sons," and several others that even boggle my own mind.

This month, I am doing my annual Halloween-themed poll, "Hollywood Masquerade," where people who really weren't singers stepped up to the mike and warbled as good as they could, trying to capitalize on their often fleeting fame any way they knew how.

Thus, tunes by Stewart--whose fame wasn't fleeting, of course--Lipton and Grady are the likes of the list of songs that are up there this week, and there are plenty of other surprises.

And yes, the Beatles are there too, to keep the sanity from not being too overwhelming, I guess.

So why don't you saunter over to https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AlternativeTop40/info and see what I have put up on the poll this week?

You can join up if you have a Yahoo account. Just do it, it is a lot of fun for me and the members, which number in the few hundred and come from all over the world.

And as an aside, the number one song all-time on this site, the one that has received the most votes, is the Beatles "I'm Down."

Here is the complete Top 10 list, and as you can see, there are a few oddities here, mixed in with some songs I am sure you know. Ties are noted by songs placed without a number next to them and the acts that performed these songs.

1) Beatles - I'm Down
2) Hollies - I'm Alive
3) Beatles - Rain
4) Beatles - Not a Second Time
5) Beatles - Doctor Robert
6) Nick Lowe - So It Goes
7) Who - Overture From Tommy
Monkees - Sometime In the Morning
Beatles - Another Girl
8) Tremeloes - Here Comes My Baby (LP Version)
Searchers - When You Walk In the Room
George Harrison - Isn't It a Pity
9) George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
10) Neon Philharmonic - Morning Girl
Gerry and the Pacemakers - It's Gonna Be Alright
Beatles - Long Tall Sally

So like Bob Barker used to say, "Come On Down!" and join the site. You won't be sorry that you did.

End of shill ... for now.

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