GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
Like Chart Beat reader Darrell Roberts, I also fondly remember “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” With the “big game” coming up this Sunday, I thought you might like this list of other football-related hits through the years.
From the pop chart:
“What It Was, Was Football” by Andy Griffith (No. 9 in 1954)
“Backfield in Motion” by Mel & Tim (No. 10 in 1969)
“The Last Game of the Season (The Blind Man in the Bleachers)” by David Geddes (No. 18 in 1975)
“The Football Card” by Don Sutton (No. 46 in 1979)
“Merry Christmas in the NFL” by Willis
“The Guard” and Vigorish (No. 82 in 1980). They were actually Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, who would have an even bigger impact with “Pac-Man Fever” in 1982.
From the country chart:
“The Blind Man in the Bleachers” by Kenny Starr (No. 2 in 1976)
“Dropkick Me, Jesus” by Bobby Bare (No. 17 in 1976)
“Another Football Year” by Jeannie C. Riley (No. 57 in 1973)
“Touchdown Tennessee” by Kenny Chesney (No. 64 in 1998)
“Dallas Cowboys” by Charley Pride (No. 89 in 1979)
From the R&B chart:
“Wide Receiver” by Michael Henderson (No. 4 in 1980)
“Monday Night Football” by Hurt ‘Em Bad & the S.C. Band (No. 87 in 1982)
And let’s not forget the pro players who also hit the Billboard charts: Terry Bradshaw, Roosevelt Grier, Mike Reid, Deion Sanders and Danny White.
Also, some members of the San Francisco 49ers (including Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott) supplied backing vocals on “Hip to Be Square” and “I Know What I Like” by Huey Lewis & the News.
And finally, Hank Williams Jr.’s re-working of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” has been a Monday night tradition for years.
Menomonee Falls, WI
Thanks for this timely trivia. Funny you should mention Huey Lewis & the News, because all I know about sports is that it was the name of one of the group’s albums.
A local radio station has been playing a parody of Paper Lace’s 1974 hit, “The Night Chicago Died.” I can’t recall all the lyrics, but the chorus is something like, “I heard Lovie cry, even heard him pray the night Chicago died,” etc. I’m guessing this won’t make the Hot 100, but if it does, writer Darrell Roberts’ prediction of some sort of divine correlation between the Super Bowl and the Hot 100 will have come true.
… And with your e-mail, we close the topic until next year’s Super Bowl.
BACK IN THE ‘ARMS’ AGAIN
If Fall Out Boy’s “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” advances to No. 1, it will be the second chart-topping act in recent months with a name inspired by a cartoon character. Fallout Boy, an occasional character on “The Simpsons,” is the source of the hot band’s name.
The other animated connection is Snoop Dogg, who traces his name to the enduring beagle from Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts.” Who else falls in this category?
P.S.: Would the type of “Arms” suggested here qualify for the list of human body parts mentioned in a No. 1, right alongside “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” and “With Arms Wide Open”?
Fall Out Boy is No. 2 for the second week with “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,” so we’ll have to wait and see if this is the song that will end Beyoncé’s reign with “Irreplaceable.” If “Scene” does achieve pole position, then Fall Out Boy and Snoop Dogg will be the two most recent acts with No. 1 hits to have names inspired by cartoon characters (although the members of Fall Out Boy were unaware when they asked audience members to shout out what they should call themselves that the person who yelled “Fallout Boy” was referring to a character on “The Simpsons”).
Working backward in time, the most recent artist named after a cartoon character to have a No. 1 hit before Snoop Dogg was Orville Burrell, whose name was inspired by a character from “Scooby-Doo.” You know Orville better as Shaggy, who topped the Hot 100 with “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel,” both in 2001.
The question you raised about the Fall Out Boy single having a body part in the title or not is something I just had to resolve for myself. Since I have just turned in the fourth edition of “Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits,” I had to consider if “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” would qualify for the list about songs with titles mentioning body parts. Clearly, the “arms” in the title refers to weapons, but calling weapons “arms” comes from holding those weapons on one’s arms. Ultimately, I didn’t have to make a decision yet, because the Fall Out Boy song didn’t have enough points to qualify for the body parts chart. That decision will have to be postponed for the fifth edition. “Scene” did have enough points after its first week to make one chart in the book, but I’ll leave that as a surprise when the fourth edition is published this fall.