AT40’s Top 100 of 1980

The AT40 rite I held on to the longest was checking out and writing down Casey’s countdown of the Top 100 of the year just ended, something I did between 1976 and 1985 (almost three years after I’d stopped listening to the show on any kind of regular basis). I’ve been posting my charts for those surveys over the past five years, as Premiere cycles through them. This year they’re replaying 1980, one of just two from that ten-year span they’ve not spun since 2017. (The other is 1982, and I actually have only a fragmentary record for that one–so this may be the final entry in the series?)

About the notation: the three numbers to the left of each entry are 1) weeks on AT40 during what I thought was the chart year, 11/3/79-10/25/80; 2) peak position; 3) predicted position on the year-end survey. As was ever the case, the biggest forecasting errors came from misunderstanding the chart year, on both sides. The staff clearly reached back further into October of ’79 (e.g., “Pop Muzik” and “Still”) and later into November of ’80 (e.g., “Woman in Love” and “He’s So Shy”) than I expected. It’s hard to draw those lines, and I think over time AT40 did better in adding flexibility, allowing them to give some big hits that happened to chart at “the wrong time” a more just ranking.

I apparently have not held on to the records of my points computations, though I have an idea of the outline of the system I used. There is this oddly-ordered list of my predicted Top 100–it looks like it’s arranged chronologically by peak position?

I plan to be back tomorrow with another list, one that I could have tallied forty years ago but didn’t until this past week.

2 thoughts on “AT40’s Top 100 of 1980”

  1. In 1980 John Lennon was killed. Casey Kasem did a top 40 countdown in December of that year a tribute to John Lennon. My brother worked at a radio station in West Virginia. It was one of the main stations that carried the Casey Kasem countdown and distributed it to other radio stations on the East Coast. He saved one of those record set for me, I was 10 years old at the time and he knew I like to collect stuff. It was supposed to be broken and thrown away. I still have that original Casey Kasem countdown tribute to John Lennon from the radio station. If I remember correctly there was only around 40 of those sets made and distributed to certain radio stations across the country.


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