Charting Out Marches and Aprils of Yesteryear

Premiere went heavy on March shows from the Charting Years (TM pending), light on April. Like last time, there’s a one-of-a-kind chart amongst what I have to share, and it leads things off.

3/5/77
The basement at our house in Walton was divided into two. The “finished” half (on the left as you faced the house) wasn’t carpeted, but it got plenty of use over the years. On the back wall, to the left of a sliding glass door that led to the back yard, was a bed for company (primarily my Great Aunt Birdie). Along the front wall was Dad’s stereo system (turntable/receiver/reel-to-reel/speakers) as well as a couple of cabinets that housed his LPs; a couch faced the stereo, and we had a giant spiral woven rug on the floor in between (that rug is now in my office at school). My father kept an office area of sorts on the side wall, primarily a desk and a small, metal rolling table with drop leaves on which he kept an electric typewriter, a Smith-Corona with a dark green base. While I wouldn’t learn to type until the beginning of 1981, there were a couple of notable encounters with the machine prior to that. One was pulling an all-nighter on a research paper about Greek mathematicians for my geometry class in the spring of 1980; the other, as you can see, was the time I labored over an AT40.

Quirks galore, particularly going ALL CAPS sporadically (the misspelling of the last word in the title of Kansas’s hit, though, was a persistent error through more than half its chart run). I was fascinated by the typewriter back then; however, I suspect the amount of time I spent hunting-and-pecking on this one chart ensured the result was a one-off.

Hello/Goodbye: Enchantment and Deniece Williams each make their first appearance.

3/13/82
I believe it was the Saturday before this that I’d been crowned “Mr. FBLA” at our regional conference, which earned me the right to compete at the state level later in the spring (spoiler: it was a fait accompli that the state President would win there). Random memory: during the talent show at the regional, a couple of girls from another high school did a dance routine to #26 on this chart (which may have been the only time back then I heard it other than on the show).

Hello/Goodbye: First go-round for Prism. Last go-round for Chilliwack and Skyy.

Here are my thoughts at the time:

If one were to rank one’s favorite Air Supply songs, “Sweet Dreams” would be a strong contender for the top slot on my list. “Abacab” and “Love Is Alright Tonite” are long gone from the show, but I’ve got no issue whatsoever with them still hanging around.

3/21/81
We’re seeing more of the wave of tunes that rocked the spring of my junior year coming ashore: #34, #32, #15, and (my favorite now) #14; there’d be several more on the show within three weeks.

This is not the only time this month we’re going to see mention of Chris Montez.

Hello/Goodbye: “Lover Boy” bows in, while it’s sayonara to Tierra, Leo Sayer, and Delbert McClinton.

And you don’t get 1981 without having my tastes at the time foist upon you.

Cougar, April Wine, and Winwood are at #41, #40, and #26, respectively. They’d all be in the top 10 by early May.

3/25/78
When I heard #40 playing during the rebroadcast a few weeks ago, I immediately remembered that I’d misheard its title 43 years prior. I even saw this chart in my head, including the subsequent correction of “Imagine Every Lover.”

Hello/Goodbye: Nobody new; I’m not going to say this is it for Garfunkel, since he and Simon made the show with “Wake Up Little Susie” four years hence.

4/28/79
How did you spell Voudouris upon first hearing it? I didn’t get the second word of the Iron Horse song right in any of its three weeks on the show (it’s “Lui”).

The LDDs were touching and ridiculous, respectively, both from teenage males. The Manilow dedication was to a friend of the writer who’d been in a bad auto accident, had temporarily lost her sight, and was now shutting herself away from the world to prevent something similar from happening again. The other writer was angling to get Ladd to go to the prom with him.

Hello/Goodbye: Saying howdy to the first three acts on the show (put an asterisk on the three former Byrds if you wish). Waving bye-bye to Bell and James.

I don’t have a late April 1979 sheet from WKRQ, so something from earlier in the month will have to do. It does end a several-month gap in my collection; the previous one is from late November of 1978. This is one of the few I have that lists forty songs. It’s interesting to see a few songs that didn’t make AT40 here (Toto, Thorogood, Ronstadt, Clifford), but I have to wonder why they relegated the Village People, Sister Sledge, and the Jacksons to the Extras list.

That’s quite a mix of acts in town that month.

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