Before we take a look at some of the songs on this Hot 100 that topped out below #40, here are three nuggets from what was going on in the upper two-fifths of the chart.
–What was to become the #1 song of the year, “My Sharona,” is debuting on this week’s show, at #34. The expansion of AT40 to four hours the previous October was still giving the staff time to spare, so they played the (superior) LP version with the longer guitar solo. I’m wondering now how often that happened during its run;
–“One Way or Another” bounced back into the Top 40 after dipping to #41 the previous week, all the way up at #29. Had their been a reporting or calculation error? My experience over the past three years with songs re-appearing (“Ariel,” “Way Down,” and “As”) had all involved a two-chart hiatus from the 40, so the single week out broke a pattern of sorts;
–Maxine Nightengale and the Bellamy Brothers, both in this show, each had two Top 40 hits (the Bellamys are in their last week on). It’s quite the coincidence that their other hits also rode the charts simultaneously, back in the spring of 1976. Both times, the two acts debuted in consecutive weeks (the Bellamys came on first in 3/76, while Maxine beat them to the punch this time).
And now, as they used to say, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
91. Waylon Jennings, “Amanda”
Waylon’s Greatest Hits was the one cassette all my high school buds and I had for our cars’ tape decks in the early 80s. It had come to market in April 1979, and the then-five-year-old, gentle “Amanda” had been updated a bit and released as a single. This was its last week on the chart, having peaked at #54 the week before.
89. Helen Reddy, “Make Love to Me”
Mom always had the radio in the kitchen tuned to WLW-AM when my sister and I showed up for breakfast. I’m virtually certain that would have been when I occasionally heard this result of Reddy going disco. It’s also about to fall off, having reached #60.
81. Lazy Racer, “Keep on Running Away”
There’s almost nothing on the internet about this band; according to this blog post from seven years ago, they were a five-man, one-woman studio British outfit assembled by producer Glyn Johns. They put out two albums; this is the lead track from the first, the only thing that ever charted over here. It’s not bad at all, though I think I can understand why it didn’t climb any higher than this.
65. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “You Angel You”
Having covered Springsteen to great success, Mann and company elected to turn their attention to Dylan for Angel Station. I didn’t hear this one back then, but I’m pretty sure I would have dug it if I had–I know I’ll spin it at least a couple of times today. It’s heading down from a #58 high.
58. Peaches and Herb, “We’ve Got Love”
Third single from 2 Hot, on its way up to #44. It’s no “Shake Your Groove Thing,” but it should have climbed a few spots higher than it did.
54. The Who, “Long Live Rock”
The release of the ‘rockumentary’ The Kids Are Alright spawned renewed interest in “Long Live Rock,” which was played toward the end of the film. A promo copy of this single was hanging around the WTLX studios when we got back on the air in the spring of 1983; perhaps I gave it a spin a time or two over the years. This was its peak position. (I noticed that songs 53-41 on this chart all had or eventually did hit the Top 40. No idea if that’s unusual or not, but it feels like it might be.)
This is my blog’s 4th birthday. I don’t know if I’m surprised or not at having kept at it this long. It’s turned out to be a great way to reconnect with old friends and make a number of new ones. I truly appreciate the time any and all of you are taking when you choose to visit here; I hope I can continue to make it worth your while.
In the past I’ve embedded the video that appeared in the original Song of the Day post on each July 20, but this year, I’ll just link to the first time it appeared. Thanks again for your support.