Two Song Mysteries Down, One To Go
Of the three outstanding song mysteries featured in last week’s Ross On Radio column, I had thought that two of them might remain unanswered forever. Instead, the first song was figured out within minutes; the next one within a day. (A fourth mystery in the column was presented to you already solved.) That leaves just one, from a Ross On Radio reader, that I hope we’ll figure out this week.
If you scroll down to the comments in last week’s column, you can see the two correct guesses. But here’s a summation of the two songs we’ve figured out, and the one we’re still waiting on.
Mystery No. 1: The Illusion, “Together”
This was the one I didn’t expect to get. I was open to the possibility that it might not have been an actual song. Instead, this mystery was solved almost immediately.
These were the clues:
- Late-‘60s style sunshine pop with an ethereal feel
- Heard in summer 1976 on automated Top 40 WAQY (Wacky 102) Springfield, Mass.
- The repeated word (and seeming title) “together.”
- So unlike the other hit music of the time that I was expecting to find out that it was a TM custom song jingle.
WOFX (the Fox) Cincinnati PD Marty Bender thought it might be “Lorelei” by Styx, with its refrain of “Lorelei, let’s live together.” I didn’t know that song in 1976, but I’ve heard it many times since, and would have had to really mis-remember the song I was looking for.
WAKS Cleveland APD Java Joel did a search for “together, together” and “sunshine pop” and came up with “What A Day” by Euphoria. It was certainly the right feel and tempo, and if I didn’t already have a winner, I would have thought that might be it.
Two different people raised the possibility that it might have been the Fifth Dimension’s 1972 “Living Together, Growing Together,” a decent sized hit at the time that might have still been in a gold library four years later.
But it was the Illusion, the progressive rock band with bubble-gummy underpinnings from producer Jeff Barry, a year after their better-known “Did You See Her Eyes.” Once I knew my mystery song was their 1970 #80 charter “Together,” I found out that it had been top 5 in Hartford and at least top 20 in Springfield. So it was an odd thing to hear on the radio in 1976, but not an entirely random one.
Rich Appel, who made an appearance in my first column on song mysteries, chimed in within minutes. Rich knows a lot of songs, but in this case, it was because Connecticut radio veteran Bob Radil had played it on his Friday night online oldies show. Another personal friend, Dan O’Neil, chimed in with the same answer a few minutes later.
I recognized “Together” as the correct song immediately. And here’s the weird part. I didn’t know “Did You See Her Eyes” as a current, but once I discovered it—at least a few years after 1976—I bought a bunch of other singles by the Illusion, none of which made as much of an impression. I can picture the label of the “Together” single. So did I see it repeatedly in the collectors’ bins and not buy it? Did I buy it and never get around to listening? The mysteries of half-remembered songs are the mysteries of the brain. And I must have come close to solving this one many years ago.
Mystery No. 2, “The Psychoanalyst” by Ace Diamond
These were the clues:
- A late ‘60s/early ‘70s novelty song (and Irish jig) about psychiatry
- On a plain orange label with no mention of a record company
- I remembered one side as “The Analyst” and the other as “The Psychotherapist” (or the psycho-something)
- By Ace somebody, and there was a joke within the name somehow
The first response from a reader was “good luck finding that one.” But I went back to the comments the next day and Radioinsight board member “Rickb” had written, “Tell your friend that the record was ‘The Psychoanalyst’ b/w ‘The Patient’ by Ace Diamond.” (Because I was asking about “The Psychoanalyst” for, you know, a friend.)
The commenter linked to a year-old discussion at 45cat.com, where I had unsuccessfully searched for “The Analyst” before. That person had found the song in a D.C. thrift store many years earlier; he knew what it was, he was just equally mystified. I thought I had found the song in New York, but having grown up in D.C., I’m now guessing that I discovered it there. Perhaps some record store or distributor had dispersed an unwanted box of them throughout the area.
I’d thought that as an adult, I might finally get the jokes in “The Psychoanalyst,” but it’s largely incomprehensible at any age. Even once I made out most of the lyrics after a few listens, it was literally psychobabble. (Although, technically this, is literally “Psychobabble.”) But it did make me smile (briefly) to hear it again.
Mystery No. 3: Still Up For Grabs
This one came to me from New York radio veteran Anita Bonita, who heard it in February 2015, while on the job for MediaMonitors and listening to Urban AC WSRB (Soul 106.3) Chicago, which was unable to identify it either. (Of course, compared to how long some people have been carrying their mystery songs around, 2-1/2 years is nothing.)
The clues were:
- The hook, “make my day”
- But not the 1980s R&B hit with that title by Lakeside. (Or the 1970s UK hit by Labi Siffre)
- Quirky, midtempo, male R&B which could have been from the mid-to-late ‘80s or, as easily, retro-soul from anytime in the last decade
- Sounded a little like Ray Parker, Jr.
- It talks about listening to the radio in the morning, making me wonder (again) if it’s a personality’s custom jingle or show intro—one reason there would be no footprint in Mediabase or any of the music recognition apps
There haven’t been a lot guesses on this one. That may be in part because I didn’t make it apparent enough that Bonita had posted a link to the audio. So here it is.