American Top 40 PastBlast, 12/20/75: Marshall Tucker Band, “Fire on the Mountain”

This is the only time Casey got to play “Fire on the Mountain.” It debuted at #39, inched up to #38 the following week while they played the first half of the 75 year-ender, and then dropped off. It’s a strong story song, every bit as good as “Heard It in a Love Song” (which is pretty darn good). Yet, I never hear it on retro stations (okay, to be honest, I don’t think I heard it back in late 75, either). What gives? Surely they could spin it on SiriusXM’s 70s on 7 once a week instead of some Bee Gees track…


But I didn’t choose to put this one up today just because it’s a cool tune. I can’t think of the phrase “Fire on the Mountain” without being taken back to the WTLX studios. Kevin, our manager, spent the fall of 83 identifying and implementing ways to make us a legit operation (even if we had only a one-block broadcasting radius). He installed a weekly interview show with various administration types called Transy Talks, arranged for us to broadcast Dr. Demento on Sunday nights (that might be the subject of a future post), and strongly encouraged jocks to play PSAs he received in the mail. The one that James and I latched onto was for the Forest Service, courtesy of Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead.

This is what those four words trigger in my head, Every. Single. Time. If I didn’t play it weekly for a good while, well, I imagine I came close. James tells me that the disk it’s on just might have, er, “accidentally” gotten mixed in with his stuff when he packed up after graduation.


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