American Top 40 PastBlast, 8/1/70: Freda Payne, “Band of Gold”

We’re getting the fourth show of AT40’s illustrious history as the primary 70s rebroadcast this weekend. Fourteen of the songs Casey played on the first show are already gone, including greats such as “Everything Is Beautiful,” “The Long and Winding Road,” “Love on a Two Way Street,” and “My Baby Loves Lovin’.” (On the plus side, they’ve added “War,” “In the Summertime,” and “25 or 6 to 4.”) When I was listening regularly in the latter half of the 70s, the turning over of the chart from week to week sometimes felt noticeable only over moderate stretches of time (of course, other times it took only a couple of weeks). I wonder how many folks there were out there in those initial months of the show who were like me, keeping records slavishly, and how they experienced the ebb and flow of chart action (though on average, it appears to me that songs rose and fell much more quickly those first 2-3 years).

Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold” was #5 on that first show—in the weeks since, it’s gone 4-3-4. It’s one of those songs that, as far as I’m concerned, has always been part of the soundscape. A total classic, but it’s been good to learn about her other two Top 40 hits these last few years. One thing I didn’t know until this week, courtesy of Wikipedia: Payne was married for three years in the late 70s to Gregory “Shake You Down” Abbott.

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