Song: “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers
Reached #1: January 3, 1976 (their first, one week)
I commented yesterday about Ke$ha being a bit of a manufactured pop icon… well, I guess this is kind of the opposite. The Bay City Rollers started as old friends who started a group in Scotland in 1966 that eventually, due to the landing of a random dart, was named for Bay City, Michigan. However, one of the friends became disillusioned early on and left the group – 3 years before this single became the fuel for the brief flame of “Rollermania”. That’s kind of important, actually…
“Saturday Night” was one of the first songs I got into as a pre-teenager – and how could you help it? Any radio station that played pop music played this incessantly… drumming the hook into your head over and over… but you never quite got sick of it. I didn’t, at least. It was kind of fun, actually. A song that you could just chant at and everyone around would probably join in (if they weren’t rolling their eyes). Actually, I even used the hook as a sweeper on my weekend shows on Richmond radio for a while in the aughts… if I can, I’ll try to find and upload it.
Unfortunately, the Rollers went through quite a few lineup changes over the years… and those lineup changes have left the group split and fighting a multiple-front court battle for what they claim were misappropriated royalties. The 1976 core of the group sued Arista Records in 2007 – and then that disillusioned early departer (Nobby Clark) sued the rest of the Rollers because he wasn’t part of the suit against Arista. Other early Rollers joined Clark’s suit… so you have two sets of Rollers suing each other and both trying to sue Arista for what could be tens of millions of dollars.
Well, at least we still have the music. S-A-T-… got you doing it, didn’t I?
Of course, if you’re a solo artist, you don’t have to share so much – either cash or glory – and we go back one year from Rollermania to meet one of the most flamboyant solo arists ever… tomorrow.
Almost forgot… here’s a link to that sweeper… 🙂
Other songs that reached #1 on January 3:
1976 – “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”, B.J. Thomas (his first, 4 weeks)