One of the highlights of track season during my high school years was the Bellevue Invitational, an all-day affair, with qualifying on Saturday afternoon and the finals at night. Bellevue is a small town on the Ohio River; I think their high school was somewhat bigger than W-V, but it was still pretty small. Their effervescent coach, Pep Stidham, ran a great meet. 78 was the first one I attended. As an eighth-grader, it’s no surprise that I didn’t qualify (I’m not even sure I ran in anything that year), but I imagine Amy did. Regardless, I remember walking around that night with transistor radio to my ear, straining to listen to AT40 on WLAP-AM. I’m wanting to believe that this was the show I was tuning in: my brain says I heard the Kiss, Tavares, Styx, and ELO songs that night, so it was either this or the week previous (my money’s on this one, though).
The song at the top of this Harris Top 50 wound up being the longest-running #1 in its 2.75 year history. This is the first of seven consecutive weeks the Climax Blues Band held the top spot. REO had #2 for the first three weeks, and Franke and the Knockouts were runner-up the last four. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” is the only former #1 listed; “Rapture” had stalled out at #2. “Bette Davis Eyes” did claim the top for one week after “I Love You” abdicated. “Hold on Loosely” peaked at #3. “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” is pretty much the only Mellencamp song I think I actively liked prior to Scarecrow.
My predictions on the chart below for the following week’s top 10 were pretty good; I nailed eight of them. The only misses were #1 and #5. I had no clue that “Bette Davis Eyes” was going to be such a ginormous hit.
The following week began a period with a number of long-running #1 songs. Over the next 68 countdowns, 54 of them had one of seven songs appearing at the top: “Bette Davis Eyes” (9), “Endless Love” (9), “Physical” (10), “Centerfold” (6), “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” (7), “Ebony and Ivory” (7), and “Eye of the Tiger” (6). The remaining 14 weeks were split among seven others.
I lasted one more week writing out all the songs in the Stars on 45 track.