“Family Affair” is a 1971 number-one hit single recorded by Sly and the Family Stone for the Epic Records label. Their first new material since the double a-sided single “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”/ “Everybody Is a Star” nearly two years prior, “Family Affair” became the third and final number-one pop single for the band. Rolling Stone magazine later ranked the song #138 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song version by John Legend, Joss Stone, and Van Hunt, won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at 49th Annual Grammy Awards.
“Theme from Shaft”, written and recorded by Isaac Hayes in 1971, is the soul and funk-styled theme song to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, Shaft. The theme was released as a single (shortened and edited from the longer album version) two months after the movie’s soundtrack by Stax Records’ Enterprise label. “Theme from Shaft” went to number two on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in November 1971. The song was also well received by adult audiences, reaching number six on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart.
The following year, “Theme from Shaft” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, with Hayes becoming the first African American to win that honor (or any Academy Award in a non-acting category), as well as the first recipient of the award to both write and perform the winning song. Since then, the song has appeared in numerous television shows, commercials, and other movies, including the 2000 sequel Shaft, for which Hayes re-recorded the song. In 2004 the original finished at #38 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
“Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” was a #1 single in 1971 by American singer-actress Cher from the album of the same name, her seventh solo album. It was her first chart-topper as a solo artist in the United States. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for its sales of over 1 million copies.
“Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” was the first single from Cher’s 1971 eponymous album Cher with instrumental backing by L.A session musicians from the Wrecking Crew. The album was subsequently renamed and re-released as Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves after the success of the single. The song was written by songwriter Bob Stone as a story-song called “Gypsys, Tramps and White Trash”. Producer Snuff Garrett advised that the title be changed and Stone then changed it to “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”. The album of the same name got very positive reviews.
Released four years after her last top ten hit “You Better Sit Down Kids”, this song was a comeback single for Cher—it was her first single in four years to chart higher than #84—not only returning her to the top ten of the charts but also giving her two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1971. It knocked off “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart which had spent the previous month at number one. The single also reached #1 in Canada and #4 in the United Kingdom. It became Cher’s best-selling single at that point, selling more than 3 million copies worldwide. As of November 2011, Billboard reported the digital sales of “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves” to be 212,000 in the US.
The song describes the life of a girl, the narrator of the song, who was “born in the wagon of a traveling show”. Her mother “used to dance for the money they’d throw”, while her father would do “whatever he could; preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of Doctor Good”. Although the people of the town insulted them with such terms suggested in the title of the song, the men paid them well “every night” for their services.
When a young man is picked up in Mobile, the narrator is 16, while he is 21. Her family took care of him for a while and allowed him to travel with them to Memphis, although her father “would have shot him if he knew what he’d done” when he has sex with the narrator. Three months later, the narrator describes herself as a “gal in trouble”, and her young man has disappeared.
Echoing the beginning of the song, the narrator’s own daughter was “born in the wagon of a traveling show”, while the narrator now dances “for the money they throw” and “Grandpa” — the narrator’s own father — supported them in just the same way as before.
The title of this song has also been shown with the alternative spelling “Gypsies”, this being a correct spelling of this word.
“Reason to Believe” is a song written, composed, and first recorded by American folk singer Tim Hardin in 1965. It has since been recorded by artists including the Carpenters in 1970 and Rod Stewart in 1971 and 1993.
After having had his recording contract terminated by Columbia Records, Tim Hardin achieved some success in the 1960s as a songwriter based in Greenwich Village. The original recording of “Reason to Believe” comes from Hardin’s debut album, Tim Hardin 1, recorded in 1965 and released on the Verve Records label in 1966 when he was 25.
Tim Hardin’s original recording of the song is also on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Wonder Boys.
The Carpenters recorded “Reason to Believe” for their second LP, Close to You, in 1970. On television, they performed it on the The 5th Dimension Travelling Sunshine Show on August 18, 1971 and Make Your Own Kind of Music on September 7, 1971.  Richard Carpenter remixed the song for the release of the 1995 compilation, Interpretations: A 25th Anniversary Celebration.
“Maggie May” is a song written by singer Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton and recorded by Stewart in 1971 for his album Every Picture Tells a Story.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the song #131 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
“Maggie May” expresses the ambivalence and contradictory emotions of a 16-year-old boy involved in a relationship with an older woman, and was written from Stewart’s own experience. In the January, 2007 issue of Q magazine, Stewart recalled: “Maggie May was more or less a true story, about the first woman I had sex with, at the 1961 Beaulieu Jazz Festival.” The woman’s name was not “Maggie May”; Stewart claimed that the name was taken from “… an old Liverpudlian song about a prostitute.”
The song was recorded in just two takes in one session. Drummer Micky Waller often arrived at recording sessions with the expectation that a drum kit would be provided and, for “Maggie May”, it was – except that no cymbals could be found. The cymbal crashes had to be overdubbed separately some days later.
It was initially released as the B-side of the single “Reason to Believe,” but DJs in the United States (reportedly in Cleveland, Ohio, and at WMEX in Boston) became fonder of the B-side and the song was reclassified, with “Maggie May” becoming the A-side. However, the single continued to be pressed with “Maggie May” as the B-side. The song was Stewart’s first substantial hit as a solo performer and launched his solo career. It remains one of his best-known songs. A live performance of the song on Top of the Pops saw the Faces joined onstage by DJ John Peel, who pretended to play the mandolin (the mandolin player on the recording was Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne).
Most versions of “Maggie May” (especially on some Stewart compilations) incorporate a 30-second solo guitar intro, “Henry”, composed by Martin Quittenton. The original recording has appeared on almost all his compilations, and even appeared on the Ronnie Wood retrospective, Ronnie Wood Anthology: The Essential Crossexion, complete with “Henry” intro. A version by the Faces recorded for BBC Radio appeared on the four-disc box set Five Guys Walk Into A Bar…. A live version recorded in 1993 by Stewart joined by Wood for a session of MTV Unplugged is included on the album Unplugged…and Seated. During concerts, in her introduction, Suzanne Vega refers to “Maggie May” before playing her feminist response, “I’ll Never Be Your Maggie May”.
“Go Away Little Girl” is a popular song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was first recorded by Bobby Vee for Liberty Records on March 28, 1962. The lyrics consist of a young man asking a young woman to stay away from him, so that he will not be tempted to betray his steady girlfriend by kissing her. The song is notable for making the American Top 20 three times: for Steve Lawrence in 1962 (US number 1), for The Happenings in 1966 (US number 12), and for Donny Osmond in 1971 (US number 1). It is also the first song, and one of only nine, to reach US number 1 by two different artists.
In late 1962, Steve Lawrence released the second recording of this song (Bobby Vee recorded it first in March 1962). The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1963 and remained in the top position for two weeks. This recording also spent six weeks atop the U.S. Easy Listening chart. It also went to number 1 on the New Zealand Lever chart and number 18 in Canada.
Mark Wynter’s 1962 cover of the song on the Pye Records label also made the UK Singles Chart, reaching number six in Britain.
Donny Osmond’s cover version of “Go Away Little Girl” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 11, 1971. It remained in the top position for three weeks. Osmond’s version also went to number 36 on the Australian Go-Set chart. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on October 13, 1971.
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album Ram. Released in the United States as a single on 2 August 1971, but premiering on WLS the previous week (as a “Hit Parade Bound” (HPB)), it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 September 1971, making it the first of a string of post-Beatles, McCartney-penned singles to top the US pop chart during the 1970s and 1980s. Billboard ranked it number 22 on its Top Pop Singles of 1971 year-end chart. It became McCartney’s first gold record as a solo artist.
“How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” is a song released by the Bee Gees in 1971. It was written mainly by Barry and Robin Gibb. It was the lead and first single on the group’s 1971 LP Trafalgar. The B-side, a Maurice Gibb composition “Country Woman”. It was their first US No. 1 single. The song also reached #1 in Cashbox magazine in two weeks. The song is also in American Hustle and on its soundtrack.
In the US, Atco Records issued both mono and stereo versions of the song on each side as a promo single.
“You’ve Got a Friend” is a 1971 song written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King, and included in her album Tapestry. Another well-known version is by James Taylor from his album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. His was released as a single in 1971 reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The two versions were recorded simultaneously in 1971 with shared musicians.
“You’ve Got a Friend” won Grammy Awards both for Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year). Dozens of other artists have recorded the song over the years, including Dusty Springfield, Michael Jackson, Anne Murray and Donny Hathaway.
“Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” is a song written by John D. Loudermilk. The song was first recorded by Marvin Rainwater in 1959 and released on MGM as “The Pale Faced Indian”, but that release stayed unnoticed. The first hit version was a 1968 cover by Don Fardon, a former member of The Sorrows, that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 1971 Paul Revere & the Raiders recorded the song on the Columbia Records label, and it topped the Hot 100 on July 24. The RIAA gold certification followed on 30 June 1971 for selling over a million copies. It was later certified platinum for selling an additional million copies. The song was the group’s only #1 US Billboard hit, and their final Top Twenty song.