That ’70s song, Vol. 23

As junior high school let out in June 1970, I had a sore throat.

It hadn’t come from singing along to some of the tunes in the Top 40.

Sitting at No. 1 that week at WLS, the Big 89 in Chicago, was “Hitchin’ A Ride” by Vanity Fare. (Which does, admittedly, have a cool keyboard bit halfway through.)

Also getting heavy airplay that week (for no apparent reason): “Gimme Dat Ding” by the Pipkins, “Which Way You Going, Billy” by the Poppy Family and “Hey Mr. Sun” by Bobby Sherman.

No, my enduring memory of that week is getting my tonsils out when all my friends were getting their summer on.

The only cool part about it was that my aunt was the director of nursing at the hospital, so she made sure I got whatever passed for VIP treatment for kids. Even so, it was 1970, and I don’t think I was allowed to have a radio at my bedside.

What I vividly remember is that my parents bought me a couple of packs of baseball cards — which they never did. I always had to buy my own with paper route money.

So it was me and Maury Wills, having quiet time at the hospital. Why I remember this card out of all the others, I can’t say. Seeing that it was June, and this is card No. 595, it might have been that — hey, Series 6 is finally out!

That also was the week that “Vehicle” by the Ides of March finally faded from earshot after three months in the charts. Given my situation, I didn’t hear “Vehicle” on its way out that week.

Nor did I hear, until Emmett posted it over at Art Decade three years ago, Shirley Bassey’s cover of “Vehicle.” The fine Welsh singer recorded this in early 1971 but it wasn’t released until 1994. Enjoy.

“Vehicle,” Shirley Bassey, from “Something Else.” It’s one of two bonus tracks on a 1999 CD re-release of the original LP from 1971. It’s out of print but is available digitally.

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Filed under June 2010, Sounds

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