Will this rain never go away? We’ve had so much more rain this season that normal. Of course, the lower half of Alberta has had to deal with much worse – major flooding. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who lost their homes and the few that sadly, lost their lives.
Over the decades, rain has inspired many a songwriter to sit right down and write himself a rain song. This column’s title, “Raining In My Heart” was a minor hit for Buddy Holly (#88 in 1959) and a medium hit in 1978 for Leo Sayer (# 49).
But there are so many more ‘rain’ songs that made the charts. The Beatles had one simply called “Rain” in 1966 (it was the flip side of “Penny Lane” which went # 1).
Let’s see how well you do naming the ‘rain’ song. I’ll give you the year (and occasionally the name of the artist), you supply the ‘rain’ name. Just to make it even easier, all of these ‘rain’ songs were Top Ten hits. No bottom of the charts, obscure titles here. So now that we’ve gotten the ground rules established, let’s get this ‘rain’ dance started.
1. The year was 1971 and the Carpenters, Karen and Richard, had a ‘rain’ song go all the way to # 2 on Billboards’ Hot 100. A snippet of the lyrics are: “Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old. Sometimes I’d like to quit. Nothin’ ever seems to fit...” Can you name that ‘rain’ song?
2. 1986 was the year...the artist was Oran ‘Juice’ Jones. If you don’t get the name of the ‘rain’ song that the ‘Juice’ had, you should stop taking these quizzes. Think for a second and you’ll get it.
3. This 1970 Academy Award winning ‘rain’ song was featured in the movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. The singer was Billy Joe Thomas, but you may know him better as B.J. Thomas. This should be very easy. What’s the name of this ‘rain’ song?
4. This pop singer was born Benjamin Franklin Peay in 1931. His ‘50’s and ‘60’s hits included eight that made Billboards’ Top Ten. Some of those song titles are: “Hotel Happiness” (# 3 1963), “The Boll Weevil Song” (# 2 in 1961) and “It’s Just A Matter of Time” (# 3 in 1959). His ‘rain’ hit happened in 1970. If you’ve never heard of Benjamin Franklin Peay, that’s because he changed his name to Brook Benton. What’s the name of Brooks’ ‘rainy’ hit?
5. This ‘rain’ song was a Top 5 hit and the Boston born singer who wrote and sang it (and who now lives on Martha’s Vineyard) had his first chart hit with it in 1970. He later had several Top 5 hits re-creating classic hits in his own inimitable style. His only # 1 was the Carole King written song, “You’ve Got A Friend” in 1971. First, name the artist, then his 1970 ‘rain’ hit.
1. “Rainy Days And Mondays” peaked at # 2 for the Carpenters in June of 1971. It had been written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, the songwriting team who also wrote the Carpenters’ # 2 hit in 1970, “We’ve Only Just Begun”.
2. This should have been very easy IF you knew your ‘80’s music. Oran ‘Juice’ Jones took his song “The Rain” to # 9 during the week of November 15, 1986. It dropped out of the Top Ten the next week, never to return.
3. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” was B. J. Thomas’ first # 1 hit. The song was featured in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. The song had been written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and was # 1 for the first four weeks of January, 1970. In April of ’70, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” won the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song In a Motion Picture’.
4. C’mon, you know it’s “Rainy Night In Georgia”. Brook Benton took the Tony Joe White written song to # 4 in 1970. The # 1 song that stopped it from going any higher was Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Tony Joe White had a Top Ten hit the previous year (1969) with “Polk Salad Annie”. Brook Benton passed away in April of 1988.
5. “Fire And Rain” was the James Taylor song in question and came from his second album “Sweet Baby James”, produced by Peter Asher of Peter & Gordon fame. “Fire And Rain” climbed as high as # 3 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart and remained there for three weeks in late October and early November 1970.