AT40’s 40 Top Rock and Roll Acts of the 1950s

This past weekend I listened to Premiere’s rebroadcast of the 9/27/75 AT40. In those days, the crack AT40 staff would often assemble special countdowns to play on the first weekend of each quarter; on this show, Casey reminded us each hour that the following week he would be traveling back to the beginning of the rock era to reveal the 40 Top Rock and Roll Acts of the 1950s. Perhaps it’s obvious why Premiere hasn’t to date offered up this special in the AT40: The 70s series–the audience for 50s music, even by artists whose names still resonate a bit, is small and dwindling with each passing year. Nonetheless, it’s dawned on me over these past few days that I had once heard that show (and had handwritten notes about it), even though it was played before I knew of AT40‘s existence. How could that be?

I went ferreting through my pile of miscellaneous chart-related materials and found what I was looking for in the small, blue, wire-bound memo book that contains other treasures (including notes on a few 1976 episodes of the National Album Countdown). I only noted the artists (not always accurately, as you can see), not the songs Casey spun.

It’s the jarring transition between #11 and #10 on the second page that’s the vital clue to unwind what must have happened.

WSAI originally began playing AT40 in October 1975 (Casey had welcomed it aboard on 10/18) but pulled the plug after the 9/4/76 show. Sufficient was the hue and cry that they brought it back six weeks later, starting with the 10/16 countdown. It’s here that informed speculation starts: they almost assuredly announced the return in advance and decided to kick things off the week before by dusting off and playing the disks from the 10/4/75 50s special–there’s no doubt I would have tuned in, regardless of what Casey had queued up. Why am I saying the weekend of 10/9? That’s the week that “She’s Gone” and “Shake Your Booty” were #10 and #9, respectively. The rest of that week’s Top 10 is on the next page of the pad, courtesy of the Sunday Cincinnati Enquirer. I likely had been hoping to hear the regular offering.

This was a show my father would have loved, and I can only hope that he was in the room with me as it played. I have distinct recollections of hearing “Honky Tonk” at #40 and “Come Softly to Me” at #37, and it may have been that evening that I learned of Dad’s fondness for Jim Lowe’s “The Green Door.” It was a gift to have the chance to hear it, a gift to still have an artifact to remind me.

I did write down the top 10 acts several pages later in the memo book, along with a few of the songs there were featured (several acts got two songs). You can also see one of the pen-and-paper games my sister and I liked to play at the time; it appears I emerged victorious that time.

(For those curious about all the tunes on the show, here’s a link to the cue sheet posted on the Charis Music Group website.)

American Top 40 PastBlast, 7/12/80: Ali Thomson, “Take a Little Rhythm”

Evidence I listened to this show 42 years ago.

How about a helping or two of trivia related to songs and acts on the 80s countdown that both Premiere and SiriusXM are featuring this weekend?

–There are five covers of songs that first hit the Top 40 in the 60s. Mickey Gilley is taking on “Stand By Me,” the Blues Brothers are updating “Gimme Some Lovin’,” Kim Carnes gives us “More Love,” Carole King re-does her own composition, “One Fine Day,” and the Spinners include “Cupid” in a medley. Only Carnes and the Spinners made the Top 10, both also peaking higher than the Miracles and Cooke originals, respectively.

(A couple of side notes here: 1) Spyder Turner’s version of “Stand By Me,” which hit #12 in early 1967, is more than interesting, due to his imitations of various R&B singers; 2) there were two songs in 2007 with ‘Cupid’ in the title that charted, but I know the #66-peaking “Cupid Shufflemuch better than the #4 hit “Cupid’s Chokehold.” While my son was in HS, the former would play over the PA at home football games during halftime, usually immediately after the band had performed, and many band members–surprisingly, my son was one of them–would sprint to the sidelines to line dance when it came on.)

–Meanwhile, as best as I can tell, only “Funky Town” would chart as a remake, although there were different songs that hit later in the 80s with the titles “Call Me,” “All Night Long” (be a stickler if you want over Lionel Richie’s parenthetical), “I’m Alive,” and “Magic.”

–Movie songs were all the rage. I count eight, from American Gigolo, Urban Cowboy (three), The Blues Brothers, Xanadu (two), and The Rose. Additionally, Meco was doing his thing with music from The Empire Strikes Back. And soundtrack fever wasn’t soon to abate: not only were more hits from the mechanical bronc-busting and roller disco films soon to chart, but tunes from Fame, Caddyshack, and Roadie were also on the way.

–“Call Me” had already outlasted Blondie’s next single–“Atomic,” from Eat to the Beat, fell off after topping out at #39 the previous week.

–Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes appear on the countdown both individually and in a duet with each other. I have no clue how common that sort of feat was back then, but I will point out it happened again just a few weeks later with Olivia Newton-John and ELO.

–The first six songs are also those that debut this week; none would reach the Top 10. This was one of two times in the 80s (at least through 8/6/88, Casey’s last show at the helm of AT40) when six or more songs came on the show without any getting higher than #11 (the other set being the seven that debuted on 9/11/82). I know of three times in the latter half of the 70s–6/26/76, 5/27/78, and 6/24/78–when this also occurred.

The highest of the new songs, at #35, is Ali Thomson’s only Top 40 hit, “Take a Little Rhythm.” I’m sure at some point during the song’s run Casey noted that Ali is the younger brother of Supertramp bassist Dougie Thomson, though he didn’t on this show (Mark Goodman did mention it). “Take a Little Rhythm” would climb to #15, the same position that his brother’s band would take their live version of “Dreamer” in the fall. On my own Top 50 chart, Ali spent the last two weeks of August at #5.

AT40’s Top 100 of 1979

As 1979 came to a close, the staff at American Top 40 assembled two special year-end shows. On 12/29/79, Casey told us all about the Top 50 of 1979, while on 1/5/80, he counted down the Top 50 Songs of the 1970s. I certainly understand the desire, maybe even the need, to survey the greatest hits of the decade, but I imagine I would have enjoyed hearing a whole Top 100 for 1979 to match what had been presented the previous three years..

Wishes sometimes come true. Last weekend Premiere Networks broadcast a fabricated show of songs #100-#51 from the year the disco backlash began. It was created by Ken Martin, programming director at WTOJ in Watertown, NY, who painstakingly pieced together bits of Kasem’s patter. Much of the time, he used stories Casey had told at some point during the chart year to introduce a tune; in other cases, Martin made him say things he had never actually verbalized (such as “the #98 song of 1979”). It was thoroughly enjoyable to listen in this past New Year’s Day.

But I didn’t stop there, intuiting an opportunity to make one more chart. Perhaps inspired by the Topps Heritage collections (which these days feature current players on cardboard in the style of the cards I collected in the 1970s), I wrote up last weekend’s show as if it really had been broadcast at the end of 1979. Fortunately, I was able to locate a small cache of unused, five-ring wide-ruled loose leaf paper–slightly yellowed, even–in my office to match what I’d used originally (just get in touch if you find yourself in need of supplies that might have been in vogue at some point over the past thirty years).

1979 was the year of cursive writing in making my charts, so I went back to refresh myself on 15-year-old WRH’s handwriting. Not surprisingly, it’s changed over the years–my style is more a hybrid cursive/print these days–but before long I could come close to making capital F, S, and T and lower-case r (plus 2, 4, and 5) like I used to. It’s far from a perfect match, but I’m pleased enough. Without further ado, two sheets of paper, drawn up forty-two years apart:

I looked back through the year’s charts to duplicate the slightly idiosyncratic capitalization rules I followed then. My assumption, not wholly correct, was that the chart year went from 11/4/78 to 10/27/79; I did not use the frozen chart of 12/30/78 for calculating stats or chart points when forming predictions. Alas, either the work used to generate predictions is buried somewhere separate from all of my other chart stuff or it got tossed out years ago. Whatever I did looks pretty solid, and makes me want to reverse-engineer and determine what I had predicted for #51-100 back then–no doubt it was very similar to the process I’d used for 1978 year-end predictions. That may be a summer project…

AT40’s Top 100 of 1981

As I mentioned last week, I applied a formula to calculate points earned by songs that hit AT40 over the 1981 chart year, and then used it come up with predictions for what Casey would count down on the weekends of 1/26/81 and 1/2/82. It was analogous to what I’d done for my own charts: here it was (41 – n) points, where n was the song’s position, plus 10 extra points for each week on the show, with bonuses for multiple weeks at #1 (so a week at #30 got 11 + 10 = 21, a week at #8 got 33 + 10 = 43, etc.). Here’s a sample of the painstaking labor involved:

The end result came out thusly:

Ah, but what did I use as the chart year? I’d remembered that back in 1976, Casey had said they used first week of November to last week of October, so I assumed that five years on that was still the case. This list is based on a 11/1/80-10/31/81 chart year. How did I do? Here’s the full countdown–the three numbers next to each song are: 1) # of weeks on the chart during my theorized chart year; 2) peak position in said chart year; 3) my prediction.

I think you can make a strong case that the 10-points-per-week-on-AT40 was a decent proxy for what the folks creating this list actually did, awarding (101-n) points for every week on the Hot 100 (along with bonuses for weeks at #1). There are several clumps of songs (#96-#90, #82-#78, #76-#71, for instance) that were grouped together in my predictions, albeit I had placed each group several positions higher on the countdown. My big failure was in not realizing that they were going to extend the chart year well into November of 1981, either two or three weeks (two weeks would get “Hard to Say” and “I’ve Done Everything for You” in about the right spots, but even three more weeks isn’t enough to explain the big misses on “Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You,” “Start Me Up,” “Arthur’s Theme,” and especially “Private Eyes”). It appears they also bestowed credit for some weeks in October of 1980, based on my low-balling of “Dreaming,” “Whip It,” “The Wanderer,” and “Lady,” among others. Alas, I just wasn’t going to get it right, but the effort was certainly fun.

1981: My Top 100 (At The Time)

As 1981 wound down, I began thinking about how to go about ranking the pop hits of the year, not only from the AT40s I’d been recording, but also based on my own charts. We’ll get to the real thing and my predictions for it in a few days; it’s all about personal opinion today.

My charts, which ostensibly reported how I felt about fifty songs each week, had just one hard-and-fast rule: all the songs in the previous week’s Top 40 had to be included. There tended to be a distinct rise-and-fall to any given song’s ride on the Harris Charts (TM pending)–no songs debuting in or falling off the chart from the top 10, and relatively few non-#1 songs spending fewer than two weeks at their peak position. I’d gone to school on years of listening to Casey.

I’d employed a points system back in 1978 (described here) to try and predict that year’s Top 100, and now, three years later, I circled back to refine it. The main change was giving 10 points’ credit for each week (so on my charts, the song at #50 got 1 + 10 = 11 points, #41 got 10 + 10 = 20 points, #3 got 48 + 10 = 58 points, etc.). I also awarded some bonus points for longevity at #1, distributed in a symmetric, stair-step fashion: for example, “I Love You,” which stayed at the top for seven straight weeks, received 60, 62, 64, 66, 64, 62, and 60 points over that period.

Anyway, on to the results. My chart year was the calendar year: 1/3 through 12/26. It appears that, in case of ties, the first tiebreaker was chart longevity, with peak position as the second tiebreaker.

It was pretty darn close at the top, with three songs running away from the rest. (Did I come up with the #1 bonus points just so the Climax Blues Band wound up first? I don’t think so, but who can say now?) It’s interesting to me that none of the four songs that finished between #5-#8 spent any time at #1. “Jessie’s Girl,” in fact, peaked at #6–the rule that kept it around as long as it stayed on the real Top 40 benefited it greatly.

Not surprisingly, favorites from the very beginning or very end of the year got hosed to a decent degree. “Suddenly” was at #5 to start the year and soon climbed to #1 for a couple of weeks, but missed out on 219 points from 1980 charts–those would have made it a contender for the year’s top 10. On the other end, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” #1 for two weeks in mid-December, didn’t get 197 points from its 1982 chart action; “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the year’s final #1 song, fell 25 points short of even appearing here.

This being pre-personal computer days, all the compilation was lovingly done by hand, with three more pages like this. The others include plenty of songs that didn’t make the cut–I did what I could to leave no plausible song unscored.

I do have a complete set of Harris Chart data for 1982, though I never tabulated a year-end summary for it. Maybe I can write a program to help me compute scores quickly? Regardless, I’m setting a goal right now to provide the results at this time next year.

Songs Casey Never Played, 9/13/80

Somehow in doing more than twenty of these SCNP posts, I’ve yet to include one from 1980. Let’s rectify that right here and right now, mostly featuring acts trying to followup on Top 40 hits from earlier in the year, with some personal faves tossed in.

96. Lipps Inc., “Rock It”
Minneapolis studio group tries to capitalize on the biggest dance hit of the year, but are unable to navigate the path from Funky Town back to AT40. They’d rocked it all the way to #64 with this jam, but are now about to fall off the chart, never to be seen again.

86. Ali Thomson, “Live Every Minute”
The younger brother of Supertramp’s bassist falls out of the 40 this week with the delightful “Take a Little Rhythm,” while debuting with his next single. “Live Every Minute” sounds a whole lot like brother Dougie’s band; I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the boys were playing on it, particularly Rick Davies on keyboards. It missed the show by a whisker, reaching #42.

79. Rossington Collins Band, “Don’t Misunderstand Me”
The group formed out of surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Lead singer Dale Krantz married Gary Rossington within a couple of years of this song’s charting. Coming down off a #55 high; I’ve always liked it a bunch.

65. The Kings, “Switchin’ to Glide/This Beat Goes On”
This is in the fourth of a twenty-three week ride that somehow ended only at #43. It sure seems I heard at least one band playing this at a state conference dance during my senior year (likely Beta Club, in December 1981).

61. Journey, “Good Morning Girl/Stay Awhile”
Our second double-sided single. Hot take: it’s better than “Open Arms” and “Faithfully.” Liked it enough to have it make my personal top 50 for a few weeks even without it getting to the 40; it’s another one that couldn’t make it past #55.

59. Ray, Goodman & Brown, “My Prayer”
“Special Lady” had been a #5 hit back in the spring for the trio formerly known as the Moments. This was the lead single from Ray, Goodman & Brown II, a faithful cover of the Platters’ #1 song from 1956. It was a couple of weeks away from topping out at #47.

Bonus content #1: A look at what WKRQ in Cincinnati was playing then. The back of this sheet promotes a contest to send a lucky listener and guest to see Elton do Honolulu in mid-November (including seven days’ accommodations and a grand in mad money).

Bonus content #2: My 10 faves from this week, the only one to feature the Stones at the top. It’s plenty soft-rockish, but collectively, IMO this is one of my better Top 10s of the year. If I had a do-over, though, I might swap “Give Me the Night” at #11 with either Eddie Rabbitt or Genesis.

American Top 40 PastBlast, 6/19/76: ‘Fin Lizzie’, “The Boys Are Back in Town”

The third weekend of June 1976 was the second time I wrote down the songs being played on AT40. As well-documented here many a time previously, my first chart is from the 6/5/76 show; the next week, I missed the first seven songs due to attendance at a Cincinnati Reds doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals. For some reason I elected not to make a formal record of that week’s top 33 (or if I did, it got lost along the way). In many ways, then, it’s really the 6/19 show that began the solidifying of the ritual/practice/obsession I’d carry with me for six-plus more years.

Rather than wait another couple of weeks to show you in a Charts post what I recorded on that Sunday evening from WSAI, here it is in all its battered, tattered glory:

The notation of circles for debuts, asterisks for risers, underscores for fallers, overscores for the songs staying put, and predictions for the following week had begun with the 6/5 chart–I guess I was ready for stats-keeping from the get-go, even if most of that disappeared by October. Note also that I’d fully internalized ‘notches’ already, as well.

What stands out to me now, though, are the errors wrought by a twelve-year-old listening to a possibly crackly AM signal.
–Well, the signal wasn’t responsible for getting the year wrong;
–Casey didn’t give the title for #40 before playing it. Apparently I made my best guess while Mike Love crooned and did my best to correct things on the outro;
–I believe the same thing happened with #37;
–This would have been the first time I heard “Turn the Beat Around.” Could not discern ‘Vicki Sue’ that day; you can see I ultimately settled on ‘Casey.’ I figured it out by the following week’s show;
–I considered myself a very good speller back in the day, but apparently ‘rhythm’ was befuddling;
–Apparently I hadn’t fully grasped the titles of the Eric Carmen and Doobie Brothers pieces, making the former into a semi-remake of the Bacharach/David classic and the latter sound even more like a call to action. ‘It’ got added on the 6/26 chart, while ‘Gonna’ had to wait until 7/10;
–And then there was the name of the band singing “The Boys Are Back in Town.” I’d gotten fooled by Casey’s pronunciation of ‘Thin’ two weeks earlier, and it’d be another month before it got corrected. Phil Lynott and company would climb as high as #12 before the end of July. It’s now one of my very favorites from those first months I was keeping close tabs on the ebb and flow of the chart performances of pop 45s, an almost perfect summer song. Who wants to head down with me to Dino’s?

(I covered some of this three years ago, when I posted pictures of my 6/26/76 chart.)

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.

Jan/Feb Charts, With A Twist

As usual, a number of AT40s from the charting era got played these last couple of months. Here they are; there’s a one-of-a-kind among them.

1/19/80:
I must have had a peek at this week’s Hot 100 at Recordland in the Florence Mall, since those two Picks led off the following show.

Hello/Goodbye: Tom Johnston’s solo Top 40 career was super-brief, just two weeks long.

1/27/79:
I learned about many a tune from years past via AT40 Extras and Archived #1s. Sometimes, the impact was long-lasting. For instance, there is a direct line between hearing the song played right after “Somewhere in the Night” on this show and then six years later putting it on one of the tapes that indirectly led to starting this blog.

Hello/Goodbye: Nigel Olsson, come on down…

1/30/82:
In early 2013, Martha and I spent plenty of time clearing out her parents’ house to prepare it for sale. By the end of January, our efforts were largely concentrated in the basement, which over the decades had turned into a repository for everything they hadn’t wanted to discard (leaving it to us to address, of course). My re-connection with AT40 had begun the previous June, and I had recently learned how the TuneIn app could be used to listen to shows on stations around the world. One of my first go-to stations was KZOY, in Sioux Falls, SD (I still check them out occasionally). This show was the one playing that Saturday eight years ago we whiled away in the basement, organizing and tossing stuff–Casey played up the suspense about the new #1 pretty well.

Hello/Goodbye: Why yes, it’s the first appearance for Buckner and Garcia.

As for my rankings…well, I hadn’t quite gotten burned out on “Centerfold” yet.

2/4/78:
Thirteen weeks after I fell and broke my left wrist, I badly sprained my right one (time has dimmed the memory of what I did this time). It being a Saturday and all, I was suddenly desperate for assistance in writing down that week’s countdown. In stepped my mother.

I’m sure I coached her up on #27 and #21, at the least (the error on #37 slipped past me, though).

I look back on my youth and can see now how often my parents were there for my sister and me, supporting our interests as best they could. I can only hope I appreciated it enough at the time, and have paid it forward sufficiently with my son.

(I recovered pretty quickly, as you can tell from the way I was able to fill out the other stuff a few days later.)

Hello/Goodbye: LeBlanc and Carr finally come on board, in their 17th week on the chart. Debby Boone’s done all she can to state her case for being the biggest one-timer ever in the Top 40.

2/14/81:
I’d turned 17 the day before I wrote this down; can’t say I remember much about that weekend now at all. There are songs I still like here, but we’re a month or so away from the scene really beginning to turn much more to my satisfaction–“Living in a Fantasy” and “Ah! Leah!” are on the leading edge of that.

Hello/Goodbye: Nada this time.

On the personal ranking front: even if Andy Gibb was in the last throes of his solo career, “Time Is Time” has always been one of my favorites of his, certainly the best thing since “Shadow Dancing.”

2/23/80:
Five weeks since the 1980 chart above, and Captain and Tennille are still holding on at #2. You wonder sometimes how real those heart-tugging LDDs are, but I’ll cop to being moved when I heard the first one on this show a few weeks ago: a teen in Vermont thanking her community for raising money for a surgery needed after being in an accident.

Hello/Goodbye: We’re seeing the last of both Bonnie Pointer and Isaac Hayes.

November/December Charts of Yore

I’m in a pattern of putting these up after every two months’ worth of shows; why stop now?

11/15/80
For a fine blow-by-blow of this chart, you’ll want to check out Neck Pickup here. Just for the record, the missing LDD was “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

Hello/Goodbye: The first three songs on the show were by newbies.

As for my rankings, it’s great to see old pal Al Stewart on top. I’m disappointed in myself for not letting Boz get any higher than #13, though.

11/19/77
This comes from my lazy period, a couple of weeks after I’d broken my left wrist. It’s one of three lists on a single 8.5″ by 11″ sheet (the last three weeks of November are on it).

Hello/Goodbye: Player, High Inergy, and Bob Welch all bow in for the first time.

Next, a couple more of WKRQ’s lists. The 1977 chart is the second one in my collection; this may be just about been the time I began listening to them. Overall it feels like they’re a little behind the times–a lot of songs in the bottom half of the chart had already faded nationally. I hated that Kenny Loggins song back then. As for 1980, I’m not surprised to see the Stones so high, nor the Kansas and Seger cuts present.

And here are the backs. Don’t remember Bruce Ryan, but I doubt I was listening in the mornings in late 1977, anyway. Regarding the $1 million prize: Cincinnati radio had a huge promotion war in the second half of 1980. An upstart Top 40 station started it by giving away $500,000 to a listener in the late summer, followed by a like prize to a school. As you can tell, Q102’s owner upped the ante; hope Mary used the money wisely.

Bonus 1977 coverage! I re-discovered this putting this post together. It’s on the back side of the sheet with the above 1977 chart. I believe the correct chronological order is left-bottom-right, but don’t ask what the * and @ symbols mean, ’cause I don’t remember. Sorta like Q102, certain songs were hanging around for a loooong time: for instance, “Easy,” “Give a Little Bit,” and “Whatcha Gonna Do?” had been gone from AT40 for over a month by this point (I had all three 45s, though, and I’ll bet I played them a bunch). I guess maybe I’ve always been a chart maker…

Four more below the fold…

Continue reading “November/December Charts of Yore”