AT40’s Top 100 of 1976, Part 1

…or should I say, the Top 80?

Toward the end of 76, WSAI–1360 on your AM dial in Cincinnati back then, as I’ve noted before–was broadcasting American Top 40 at 8pm on Sunday evenings. Let me take you back to the day after Christmas of that almost-concluded bicentennial year. I’m fairly pumped, as Casey has been teasing AT40‘s year-end countdown of the Top 100 Songs of 1976 for a few weeks. I’ve even taken a few moments to prep two full pages, front and back, for the recording of history as it happens. As I often do, I’ve commandeered the kitchen table; perhaps I’ve got my charts on hand, just in case they can provide anything useful. And maybe I’m a little antsy, so I tune into WSAI a little after 7:30. Playing is “Getaway,” from Earth, Wind and Fire; as it fades out, Casey informs me that the #12 hit from October is checking in at #80 for the year. A mix of confusion and irritation quickly sets in. Apparently I’ve missed the announcements that the folks at WSAI have given over the last week or so saying they’ll be starting the four-hour special show at 6pm?

Anyway, here’s what I heard and wrote down that night, now just over forty-three years in the past. You can be sure I didn’t miss the start of the show the following weekend.

It’s quite possible this night was the first time I really paid attention to both “Wake Up Everybody” and “I Love Music.”

As you can see, I stapled the two pages together, likely very soon after the second half of the show played. Obviously I was really into record label info, even filling in some I didn’t know in real time after the fact. Since I’d only started listening in late winter and charting in June, peak position wasn’t always known to me.

If you want to know the first twenty songs of the show, you can check out the cue sheets here. It would be over thirty years before I’d learn what they were.

The Top 50 will appear next Saturday.

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