AT40’s switch to a four-hour show at the beginning of October 78 causes problems these days for the stations that rebroadcast shows from the 70s—naturally, almost all of them are allocating only three hours for the program. On those occasions when a countdown from the last fifteen months of the decade is offered, stations have a choice: play just the Top 30/32/33 (depending on the week), or go with an alternate show from an earlier year provided by Premiere. I’ve found maybe four or five stations nationally that will start an hour early to play the first hour of a four-hour show, but my schedule doesn’t always allow me to hear it (it’s a challenge this weekend). I understand why stations don’t want to make allowances for this variance, but it’s hard on the purists out there…
A significant downside to this matter of timing is some nice but now-obscure songs that struggled to make it the lower 30s never or rarely get heard as a part of the series. Case in point: this week’s #38 tune from one-hit wonders Alton McClain and Destiny, “It Must Be Love,” a disco number whose groove reminds me a bit of Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real.” It spent just four weeks on the show and topped out at #32 on 6/9. That’s high enough to have made the second hour of the show, but unfortunately, that one was guest-hosted; it won’t ever be offered by Premiere. This means your one shot to hear “It Must Be Love” on a truncated three-hour show will be the next time they feature 6/2, as it leads off Hour #2 at #33.
A bit about McClain: she’s from Baltimore and moved to LA in the mid 70s to try to break into the music biz. She and the two women in Destiny recorded three albums for Polydor but had just the one hit (one of her group-mates, D’Marie Warren, was killed in an auto accident in early 85, a few years after they split). McClain married Skip Scarborough, the producer of their third album. (Scarborough co-wrote “Giving You the Best That I Got” with Anita Baker and one other person, “Lovely Day” with Bill Withers, and has solo credit for “Love Ballad,” a hit for both LTD and George Benson. Not bad.) She’s recorded a couple of gospel albums over the years, runs a foundation in the name of her late husband, and still performs occasionally. I found a two-part story, published this past February, on Electronic Urban Report (a link to Part 1 can be found if you click through), in case you’re interested in learning even more.