#1 This Week: Kim Carnes ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ [VIDEO]
May 30, 1981
#5 REO Speedwagon-’Take It On The Run’
These Champaign, Illinois natives got there name from a 1911 firetruck. They formed in 1972, but never had any success on the charts until 1980 when lightning-striked and they hit number one with ‘Keep On Loving You.‘ This came off their album ‘Hi Infidelity,’ which some critics claimed that the album’s title was a reference to marijuana. Needless to say, the critics were completely wrong about that. The album garnered many top forty staples, including; ‘Don’t Let Him Go,’ ‘In Your Letter‘ and the number five song this week, ‘Take It On The Run.‘
#4 A Taste of Honey-’Sukiyaki’
In 1978, this disco group scored a Grammy as ‘Best New Artist,’ for their number one hit, ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie.’ It would take the ladies of Los Angeles another three years before they returned to the top five on the charts with a song that was originally recorded by Kyu Sakamoto in 1963. They would take this song, ‘Sukiyaki‘ all the way to number three for three weeks. It was quite a departure from the disco-laiden ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie.’ In ’78 the group was a quintet, but by the time of ‘Sukiyaki‘ the group was paired down to just a duo of Janice Johnson and Hazel Payne.
#3 Stars On 45-’Stars on Medley’
This group of Dutch session singers have the distinction of the longest song title in history. The official title of the song is: ‘Intro Venus/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want To Know A Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You’re Gonna Lose That Girl/Stars On 45.‘ With the exception of ‘Venus’ and ‘Sugar, Sugar’ this was primarily a Beatles Medley. Radio shortened the title to ‘Stars On (Medley).’ The impeccable sound-a-like voices of the Beatles’ were provided by Bas Muys (John Lennon), Okkie Huysdens (Paul McCartney) and Hans Vermeulen (George Harrison).
#2 Smokey Robinson-’Being With You’
William ‘Smokey’ Robinson has been making music with his group, the Miracles, since 1959. He broke off solo in 1973, but never had the Miracles’ success until 1979, when he entered the top five with Crusin‘. This song would later be redone by Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow in 2000. Two years later Robinson would return with his biggest solo hit, ‘Being With You‘ (#2 for 3 weeks). Some of the awards Smokey has won over the years include: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1987), Grammy’s Legend in 1990 and a Lifetime Achievement in 1999.
#1 Kim Carnes-’Bette Davis Eyes’
Los Angeles born Kim Carnes started her career in the late sixties as a member of the New Christy Minstrels along with her husband and Kenny Rogers. The professional relationship with Kenny would pay off years later in 1980 when they teamed up for a duet that would peak on the charts at number 4 with ‘Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer.’ With her raspy-Rod Stewart-type voice, Carnes would have a place in the pop world, but nothing would prepare her of the world for this number one track. According to Billboard Magazine, ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ would find it’s place in the history books as the second biggest song of 1980, right behind Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Physical.’ It would hold down the number one spot for an almost unheard of, at the time, nine weeks. (‘Physical’ would stay at number one for ten weeks earlier that year).