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Bracie Smathers

1971 NEXT 100 songs Number one with a bullet/hammer - Layla · Derek & The Dominos

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On 5/30/2020 at 5:15 AM, Bracie Smathers said:

Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

Released June 25, 1971

My list will have a bit more R&B/soul and the former member of the Impressions was blowing up the charts in 71 with this tune.

Seems too low for this one - should have made Tim's (or anybody's) list.

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15 hours ago, DocHolliday said:

Will happily follow along but assume that many of these songs will be unknown to me.  

how old are you?  

even if you were born well after '71, you may be surprised how many you know

drop some comments/reactions - this is good stuff

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4 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

Seems too low for this one - should have made Tim's (or anybody's) list.

Their is soo much R&B/Soul/Gospel/Funk/etc. from that era that its a bit overwhelming IMHO.  I'm going to go deeper on my list but left off tons of great tunes and you are right.  It is too low after thinking it over but I'll plow forward.

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I was going to go with Yes 'Starship Trooper' but it lacks a certain Wakeman feel on the Hammond which would play right into timschochet's hands as he abhors Rick Wakeman, just kidding. 

I went with a song that isn't very deep and a group that was a manufactured creation by a writing/producing team that wrote songs and got the rights to the name 'The Grass Roots' then they went out and found unknown rock groups and recruited them to sing their songs as they collected most of the royalties. 

This was the third incarnation of 'The Grass Roots' with a fun pop song, great vocalist and the Wrecking Crew playing backing instruments.  I think that is why the opening is so tight with a catchy hook that grabs ya.

Released May 1971

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12 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Want to get one more posted before the boards shut down for maintenance and what better tune than the number-one song of 1971.

#89 Joy To The World · Three Dog Night

The song is different from other Three Dog Night tunes as all 7 members of the group join in harmony.  The group never thought it was their best song but it was their most popular and became their signature song.

Interesting tidbit, the song is written by Hoyt Axton.  His mother, Mae Boren Axton wrote the Elvis Presley song 'Heartbreak Hotel' making them the only mother and son family members to write number-one hits in modern rock history.  I was blown away by that for some reason.

If Joy to the World falls into 1971, then IMO it needs to be near the top of the list. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

If Joy to the World falls into 1971, then IMO it needs to be near the top of the list. 

It is the top song on Billboards hot-100 for 71 but this isn't a re-listing of BB-100 as that had two Donny Osmond songs in the top-7 and his song 'One Bad Apple' curiously made it to #30 on the Billboard R & B Hot 100 list that year.  

The original lyrics were 'Jeremiah was a PROPHET'.  The group asked Hoyt to change the lyrics and tempo.  It came together but they didn't like the song and were shocked by its success.  I think it had to do with many things coming together.  I think the Christmas Carol of the same name subconsciously had an effect, the entire group singing harmony gave an 'every man' appeal since everyone seemed to sing along to the song, and their are other small things like one of the band members providing a very-deep repeating vocal bass at the end, just lots of stuff made it happen.  I loved the song a lot as a kid and understand why people would want it higher but I also understand why Tim didn't place it on his list.  

Edited by Bracie Smathers

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Billy Joel is one of those solo artists you might think is shallow but this is from his first album at age 22 after he was in two rock bands and moved on.  One thing I found poignant is he had something similar to James Taylor who had checked himself into a mental institution where James used that as grist for his hit 'Fire and Rain' which is about that experience.

Joel checked himself into a hospital to get treatment for depression and you can see and feel the depth of that experience in this song.   Its a really beautiful tune.

Released November 1, 1971

"She's got a light around her, And everywhere she goes, A million dreams of love surround her, everywhere."

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22 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Janis died in October 1970.  Two posthumous albums came out after her passing.  Pearl which is a classic and a Live album. 

Really good tune, not overplayed holds up well.

Released January 11, 1971

Janis loved to cover the Bert Berns songbook. "Cry Baby" was originally done by the late great Garnet Mimms, and was written by Bert Berns & Jerry Ragovoy -- the same guys who also wrote "Piece Of My Heart".

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4 hours ago, Binky The Doormat said:

how old are you?  

even if you were born well after '71, you may be surprised how many you know

drop some comments/reactions - this is good stuff

Didn’t mean to imply that this wouldn’t be good.   I assume that there isn’t going to a lot of familiar songs after Tim already listed his 100.   

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14 minutes ago, DocHolliday said:

Didn’t mean to imply that this wouldn’t be good.   I assume that there isn’t going to a lot of familiar songs after Tim already listed his 100.   

yeah, sorry ...didn't mean to imply

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Going back to September 1970, you pick up Black Sabbath's best stuff on their Paronoid album.  

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The debut album by the Stylistics has been called "a sweet soul landmark".  

For the kids who don't know the acronym TSOP its a subset of soul from the city of brotherly love and the birthplace of the Constitution.  The Stylistics debut album scored big on the Billboard R&B charts helping to keep TSOP a force in the early 70s especially with this hit.

Released November 6, 1971

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1 hour ago, Bracie Smathers said:

The debut album by the Stylistics has been called "a sweet soul landmark".  

For the kids who don't know the acronym TSOP its a subset of soul from the city of brotherly love and the birthplace of the Constitution.  The Stylistics debut album scored big on the Billboard R&B charts helping to keep TSOP a force in the early 70s especially with this hit.

Released November 6, 1971

can't toss enough love on this 

🖤

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7 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

If Joy to the World falls into 1971, then IMO it needs to be near the top of the list. 

Discussed in the other thread. Agree.

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4 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Every top-100 needs room for a little ukulele.

Released 22 February 1971 

Great one.  I have two songs from Ram definitely above this and four more possibly...  :popcorn: 

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Posted (edited)

From ukuleles to Greek folk. 

Used to play this song a lot as a DJ back in the late 80s.  I love the polyglot lyrics and it is obvious that 71 was the year of the mandolin.

#83  Ruby Love - Cat Stevens

Released 1 October 1971

EDIT:  CORRECTION.  Cat wasn't playing a mandolin he was playing a Greek bouzouki which is a long-necked lute type of instrument.  The sound is very similar to the mandolin so I'll forgive myself.  

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The bouzouki (/buːˈzuːki, bʊˈ-/,[1][2] also US: /bəˈ-/;[3] Greek: μπουζούκι [buˈzuci]; alt. pl. bouzoukia, from Greek μπουζούκια), also spelled buzuki or buzuci, is a musical instrument popular in Greece. It is a member of the long-necked lute family, with a round body with a flat top and a long neck with a fretted fingerboard. It has steel strings and is played with a plectrum producing a sharp metallic sound, reminiscent of a mandolin but pitched lower.

Edited by Bracie Smathers
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One hit wonder of a song that almost never happened.

Released November 1971

The story behind this song is amazing because it was a last minute throw-in after the producer screwed up and erased a track that was supposed to be on Jon's debut album.  In a panic he churned out this hit.  He never charted in the top-100 the rest of his career.

This horror story is similar to Billy Joel's debut album where the producer of Joel's first album 'Cold Spring Harbor' screwed up the master by running it too fast which made Joel's voice sound a semitone too high.  Joel had a fit when he first heard it and saying he sounded like Alvin of the Chipmonks and smashed the record the first time he heard it. 

Joel went back a decade later to fix the production error by re-recording every song to the right speed and 'She's Got A Way' charted in 1982 over a decade after its original release.  

Jonathan Edwards one-hit wonder where the producer's error made him famous and another producer error that delayed and 'probably' lit a fire under Billy Joel.  Serendipitous producer errors made lemonade out of a 'lemon' situation.   

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1 hour ago, Bracie Smathers said:

One hit wonder of a song that almost never happened.

Released November 1971

The story behind this song is amazing because it was a last minute throw-in after the producer screwed up and erased a track that was supposed to be on Jon's debut album.  In a panic he churned out this hit.  He never charted in the top-100 the rest of his career.

This horror story is similar to Billy Joel's debut album where the producer of Joel's first album 'Cold Spring Harbor' screwed up the master by running it too fast which made Joel's voice sound a semitone too high.  Joel had a fit when he first heard it and saying he sounded like Alvin of the Chipmonks and smashed the record the first time he heard it. 

Joel went back a decade later to fix the production error by re-recording every song to the right speed and 'She's Got A Way' charted in 1982 over a decade after its original release.  

Jonathan Edwards one-hit wonder where the producer's error made him famous and another producer error that delayed and 'probably' lit a fire under Billy Joel.  Serendipitous producer errors made lemonade out of a 'lemon' situation.   

Good song, thanks for the story. This one would make my top 100 I think.

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The amazing Laurel Canyon story has to get told sometime in this forum as King went their for inspiration producing Tapestry with a few Laurel Canyonites joining her on the backing vocals (James Taylor and Joni Mitchell) on this song that she originally wrote for the girl-group the Shirelles.  

Funny tidbit about the Shirelles version of the song that came out in 1960.  It was banned by many stations for being 'too sexually suggestive'.   King slowed down the tempo to produce a masterpiece.  

Released February 10, 1971

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20 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

The amazing Laurel Canyon story has to get told sometime in this forum as King went their for inspiration producing Tapestry with a few Laurel Canyonites joining her on the backing vocals (James Taylor and Joni Mitchell) on this song that she originally wrote for the girl-group the Shirelles.  

Funny tidbit about the Shirelles version of the song that came out in 1960.  It was banned by many stations for being 'too sexually suggestive'.   King slowed down the tempo to produce a masterpiece.  

Released February 10, 1971

If you've ever seen the musical Beautiful, it's a magical moment when this is performed.

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3 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

The amazing Laurel Canyon story has to get told sometime in this forum as King went their for inspiration producing Tapestry with a few Laurel Canyonites joining her on the backing vocals (James Taylor and Joni Mitchell) on this song that she originally wrote for the girl-group the Shirelles.  

Funny tidbit about the Shirelles version of the song that came out in 1960.  It was banned by many stations for being 'too sexually suggestive'.   King slowed down the tempo to produce a masterpiece.  

Released February 10, 1971

Because it was seen as a variation of "Will you still love me in the morning?"

I also liked a sped up danceable version by Len Barry from 1965 (of The Dovells) who had a hit earlier with 1-2-3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0iBGoU8H_c

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Daltry was not a part in this song as it was originally to be on a Pete Townshend project that was never finished.  Simple story.  It was about Pete traveling around in a mobile home which he acquired not long before writing the song.

Released 6 November 1971

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30 minutes ago, squistion said:
4 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

It was banned by many stations for being 'too sexually suggestive'.   King slowed down the tempo to produce a masterpiece.  

Released February 10, 1971

Because it was seen as a variation of "Will you still love me in the morning?"

It was originally released in 1960.  A time of segregation and the Shirelles were an all-black girl group. 

This was the first single that an all-black girl group had ever reached number one so their may have been racial overtones that were the real cause for it being banned.

The Wikipedia page says it was banned due to 'sexually suggestive' lyrics.  

Will You Love Me Tomorrow 

Quote

... some radio stations had banned the record because they had felt the lyrics were too sexually charged...

 

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@Bracie Smathers Thanks for this! '71 was definitely a great year for music. Definitely room for 2 lists. Love the addition of more funk, R&B, soul and gospel.

I'm ranking the songs with the like button.

'thank you' handshake= don't remember ever hearing this, but it rocks.

heart = man, I haven't heard this in forever, but it's really good!

like = yeah, good song.

 

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1 hour ago, Bracie Smathers said:

It was originally released in 1960.  A time of segregation and the Shirelles were an all-black girl group. 

This was the first single that an all-black girl group had ever reached number one so their may have been racial overtones that were the real cause for it being banned.

The Wikipedia page says it was banned due to 'sexually suggestive' lyrics.  

Will You Love Me Tomorrow 

Perhaps but I doubt that. If the lily white Chordettes had recorded it, there would have been similar censorship issues in 1960. 

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1 hour ago, Bracie Smathers said:

I was in 4th grade when this came out so it was right in my wheelhouse. Along with Chuck Berry’s My Ding-a-Ling.

TBH my tastes hadn’t become all that much more sophisticated by the time my senior year rolled around 8 years later.

Boom Boom (out go the lights)

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34 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

My pappy said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin' If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincon.

Released November 1971

This song has an interesting history.

The original inspiration is "Hot Rod Race" by a country act called Arkie Shibley and his Mountain Dew Boys (1950). It hit #5 on the country charts, but failed to make a dent on the pop chart because it contained a controversial line ("We were ripping along like white folks might") which resulted in an airplay ban in several markets. Tiny Hill filled the void with a watered-down version that reached #29 on the pop chart the following year. Shibley ended up releasing several sequel songs over the next couple of years which expanded on the plot -- "Hot Rod Race No. 2""Arkie Meets The Judge (Hot Rod Race No. 3)""Hot Rod Race No. 4 (The Guy In The Mercury)" and "Hot Rod Race No. 5 (The Kid In The Model A)".

The country was probably sick of hot rod story songs by 1952, but by 1955 they might have been ready to open up their hearts and ears again. And, so, Charley Ryan and The Livingston Bros released "Hot Rod Lincoln". This was what was known as an "Answer Song", where the lyrics (and sometimes the melody) of one song are specifically written to refer to events or questions or themes from a previous song.

Side note: the most (in)famous Answer Song might be "Bear Cat" by Rufus 'Hound Dog' Thomas (1953), which was released by Sun Records as an answer to Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog". Thornton's record label ended up filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sam Phillips (owner of Sun Records), which Phillips lost. In order to pay for the lawsuit, Phillips was forced to sell the contract of one of his budding young singers. To add insult to injury, that budding young singer ended up having a worldwide #1 hit with the very song that caused him to leave Sun in the first place.

Ryan's 1955 version did not chart, and neither did a remake from 1959, but in 1960 the song was revived by Johnny Bond, whose version reached #26 on the Billboard chart.

The song is widely credited with jumpstarting the "hot rod" music genre. When Chuck Berry was first signed to Chess Records, they showed little interest in his attempts at the blues.....but they did see some potential in a song he had presented under the title "Ida May", which was an obvious revival of the 1930s country song "Ida Red". Chess wasn't really interested in a country revival, so they suggested that the song would have more appeal to the youth market if Berry could re-write the lyrics around a theme that involved automobiles. Berry quickly scribbled some lyrics which were obviously inspired by "Hot Rod Race".....and the world was never the same.

 

Anyway, now you know why Commander Cody asked "Have you heard the story of the Hot Rod Race?"

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They just don't write lyrics like this anymore.

Now the boys all thought that I'd lost my sense
Those telephone poles were like a picket fence
They said "Slow down, I see spots!"
The lines on the road just looked like dots

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9 hours ago, [scooter] said:

Anyway, now you know why Commander Cody asked "Have you heard the story of the Hot Rod Race?"

I could not find much on the song so that was excellent.  The only thing I discovered was the name Commander Cody came from a B-Movie serial character as did the Lost Planet Airmen.

5 hours ago, Leroy Hoard said:

They just don't write lyrics like this anymore.

If you read and clicked the links in Scooter's post the entire song was lifted from 1955 when Charley Ryan and The Livingston Bros originally did the song so you are right their is nothing like that being written today.  I can see how the original Rockabilly song got buried with the poor production values and weak vocals.  I like Commander Cody's (George Frayne) version as they updated the sound and improved the quality also Frayne's vocals are a great fit with the lyrics which is raw and gravely like he had been smoking Camel non-filters for thirty years. 

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This was a big hit with the Jackson Five but Micheal's 9 year old vocals don't quite fit the tune.  This cover by Black Moses hit the groove.  

Released November 1971

Ike who did Shaft put out his follow-up album Black Moses and the album folded out to show this pic.  >>> Isaachayes-blackmoses-unfolded

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1 hour ago, Bracie Smathers said:

This was a big hit with the Jackson Five but Micheal's 9 year old vocals don't quite fit the tune.  This cover by Black Moses hit the groove.  

Released November 1971

Ike who did Shaft put out his follow-up album Black Moses and the album folded out to show this pic.  >>> Isaachayes-blackmoses-unfolded

Written by actor Clifton Davis.

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1 minute ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Written by actor Clifton Davis.

Forgot to mention that Issac Hayes wrote Sam and Dave's huge hit 'Hold On I'm Comn' with Ike's writing partner David Porter.  So Hayes was not the over night success that some may assume.  He was known and a pretty big wheel in the music industry leading up to Shaft.

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13 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

My pappy said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin' If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincon.

Released November 1971

Wife and kids look at me like some sorta freak as I know every word to this song and can keep up with it when i sing it.

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2 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

I re-discovered this song when making the list. 

Soo mellow and soothing, I love it.

Released 29 November 1971

Great song, although if you're going with only one Floyd tune, I would have expected the mighty "Echoes".

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1 hour ago, zamboni said:

Great song, although if you're going with only one Floyd tune, I would have expected the mighty "Echoes".

This is one of my all-time favorite deep cuts by any artist. Love the pace of the melody and the guitar work is beautiful imo. 

Clapclapclap

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20 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Decades later Rod released a live version of this song in 1993 on the album Unplugged...and Seated.  Between the two releases the two versions of "Reason to Believe" logged a total of 41 weeks on the Hot 100, more than any other Rod Stewart song.

Released July 1971

Love this so much 

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27 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Decades later Rod released a live version of this song in 1993 on the album Unplugged...and Seated.  Between the two releases the two versions of "Reason to Believe" logged a total of 41 weeks on the Hot 100, more than any other Rod Stewart song.

Released July 1971

Sadly this song was overshadowed and has been mostly forgotten due to the success of the flip side Maggie May.

Written by the late great Tim Hardin who penned and had the original version of If I Were A Carpenter

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37 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Decades later Rod released a live version of this song in 1993 on the album Unplugged...and Seated.  Between the two releases the two versions of "Reason to Believe" logged a total of 41 weeks on the Hot 100, more than any other Rod Stewart song.

Released July 1971

thought this or a pop song - which i'll highlight when you (hopefully) pick it, it actually was the top pop song of the year - might have been mr timmy's original #1 and whatsisname gave him an out with Levee not to take #### for it

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Posted (edited)

From the soundtrack of the move 'Harold and Maude'.  The movie was a critical and commercial failure when it came out.  This song was not released on any album until 1983 after 'Harold and Maude' (ranked 45 on the AFI's list of funniest movies of all-time) became a cult classic and earned a profit.  

Release date December 20, 1971

Harold and Maude

Quote

Harold and Maude is a 1971 American coming-of-age dark comedy drama film directed by Hal Ashby and released by Paramount Pictures. It incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama. The plot revolves around the exploits of a young man named Harold Chasen (Bud Cort) who is intrigued with death. Harold drifts away from the life that his detached mother (Vivian Pickles) prescribes for him, and slowly develops a strong friendship, and eventually a romantic relationship, with a 79-year-old woman named Maude (Ruth Gordon) who teaches Harold about living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all...

Have to give a special shout out to the actress who played Harold's emotionally distant mother (Vivian Pickles) plays her role to perfection.  Absolutely hysterical.  

Edited by Bracie Smathers

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1 hour ago, squistion said:

Sadly this song was overshadowed and has been mostly forgotten due to the success of the flip side Maggie May.

Written by the late great Tim Hardin who penned and had the original version of If I Were A Carpenter

I much prefer Reason to Believe over Maggie May.

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Posted (edited)

Congas and bass brewing a slow groove into rock poetry as War's first hit without Eric Burden.

Released November 1971

Interesting tidbit.  Slippin' directly influenced Bob Marley's Get Up, Stand Up.'

War drummer and founding member Harold Brown:  

You can hear similarities between this song and Bob Marley's 1973 release, "Get Up, Stand Up." Says Brown: "Me and Bob Marley and B.B. Dickerson were in Atlanta, that was the last time we were together. We were walking to the radio station. Bob Marley looks at me, and he punches me on the arm, and he said, 'Boo. I do song for you guys. I do song for you guys.' Song was "Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights.' He took that from 'Slippin' Into Darkness,' that motif. He told me, 'Your band, you're like us, you're street musicians.' That's when I knew we connected. 

Edited by Bracie Smathers
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Great job so far by the thread starter. Even with the first 100 picks off the board some solid sleepers that might have snuck by most of us.

 

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