Sunday, July 13, 2008

What? Where?

I tuned into the American Top Forty from July 17, 1976, this morning in the middle of a song that I didn't immediately recognize. It was a generic string-laden pop ballad, but the singer sounded awful: a wimpy male voice that wandered on- and off-pitch, without any sense of tempo in his singing either. I wondered what this could possibly be, since the timing of the show meant that it was near the top of the countdown.

Then the singer turned a corner into the song's chorus, and I suddenly knew what I had wandered into:

Gonna let her in
Gonna let her in
Gonna let her in my life

Yes, it was John Travolta's first smash hit, "Let Her In," at Number Eleven, on its way to peaking at Number Ten the following week. I can remember back around 2000 a lot of people complaining about boy bands and teen pop dominating the charts, but folks, that kind of thing has been going on a long time.

By the time he got around to Grease, Travolta had clearly obtained some voice training, since he could at least stay on key. Singing with Olivia Newton-John would help anyone, of course. But I still don't know what "I got shoes, they're multiplyin'" is supposed to mean.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

My preferred version of that lyric is "I got shoes / They're made of plywood."