American Top 40 PastBlast Redux, 7/8/72: Mouth and MacNeal, “How Do You Do”

Before I started this blog, I posted about songs from old AT40s on Facebook, January-July 2017. I’ll be moving them here over time. This entry has been edited a little from the original.

I remember singing along to the chorus of this one with my sister back when it was popular, though it’s safe to say that at ages 8 and 6 we had no idea what they meant by “na-na, na-na.”

Flash forward over 30 years: my family spent the 2004-05 academic year in Ithaca, NY—I was at Cornell University on a half-time teaching appointment while on sabbatical from my small liberal arts school. In April, Martha and Ben flew to KY for a week; on the way back from dropping them off at the Syracuse airport, I happened across an AM station playing early 70s stuff (perhaps it had never stopped doing so?). I was in the beginning days of my renewed interest in the music of my youth/adolescence and the quest for it that would result. Whatever song was playing when I first tuned in must have sufficiently caught my fancy and I stuck with the station for the duration of the trip. About the time I got back to Ithaca, the Dutch duo Mouth and MacNeal came on. I don’t think I quite realized what it was until they got to that chorus, but when that happened, it was instant transportation back in time. Had I heard it in since the mid 70s? I doubt it.

My recollection is that I listened to that Syracuse station for a few more days before my attention strayed elsewhere. Even though the 70-72 period is to some extent “a little before my time,” there’s an awful lot of catchy pop from then that’s mighty fun to hear, even now—examples that come to mind include “Tighter, Tighter” by Alive and Kicking, “Don’t Pull Your Love” by Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes” by Edison Lighthouse, “Sooner or Later” by the Grass Roots, and “Sweet Mary” by Wadsworth Mansion.

“How Do You Do” is at #13 here, and got to #8.

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