Here’s an idea of what my 79 and 80 charts looked like. First up, this past weekend’s 3/10/79 show:
The names of artists who were new to the chart were known to befuddle me; I clearly didn’t always understand what Casey was saying. Here, I botched Giorgio Moroder, Sister Sledge, and Bell and James (looks like I ultimately decided James was a first, not a last name).
At the beginning of 79, I started at the bottom of page two, worked my way up and then to the front. As you can see, I inserted extras, LDDs, and archive #1 songs where they were played in the show. That regularly left blank lines at the top of the front page, as I couldn’t know how many extra songs would be played (this was especially true early in the year, before they started recapping the top three from the previous week). About halfway through the year, I began dedicating the top twenty lines of each side to the forty songs charting that week, leaving the other tunes played to live at the bottom. The only period in my chart-keeping that I consistently used cursive was March through December of 79.
And here’s 3/1/80 from the previous weekend’s 80s show:
This time I goofed up on Syreeta Wright. Ugh! (I did ace Christopher Cross, however–insert smiley emoji.) It appears I first wrote down Linda Ronstadt as singing “An American Dream.” (Did Casey mention she was doing back-up before he played it on this show? That might explain my carelessness.) I also first claimed that John Stewart sang “I’m Sorry.” Definitely was off my game…
80 was the year I used yellow legal paper (it’s more yellow in real life than it looks here). Stylistically it’s similar to the 78 charts, getting everything on one side of a sheet. I changed things up a bit at mid-year again, rearranging to allow the top 20 songs to each get their own line.
As far as predictions go, I was pretty bad in 79 and a little better in 80 (got all of the top 5 plus several others).
Here is my 2/25/78 AT40 chart. My 78 charts were written on sheets from a spiral notebook, two to a page (2/18 is on the front). In spite of my impression that I was in Cincinnati at night that weekend, I must have listened to the show, since I note both extras. My prediction success percentage for 3/4/78 was pretty lousy; I count about 5 correct, although my “picks” were #40 and #39 the following week. At the beginning of the year, I’d thought I was really going to trick out these charts, with stuff like “Song of the Week” and a “guess the mystery song” feature (that was supposed to go immediately below the top 10). I’m not sure I made it out of January with those items still running.
Here’s my personal Top 25 for 2/27/82:
A few notes:
–“Under Pressure,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and “My Girl” were all former #1 songs. “Shake It Up” was in its third and final week at the top. Other than “Touch and Go,” I had loved all of the Cars’ singles. Those first two LPs of theirs are so, so good.
–“Sweet Dreams” is the only future #1 listed here. “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” topped out at #3 for three weeks. “Do You Believe in Love” was down at #35 here, but would spring to #11 the next week and pretty soon thereafter ascend to the top for a five-week run.
–“Centerfold” had made #2 but I burned out on it even before its run was over. Still largely feel that way.
–I don’t know what “Open Arms” is doing here. It climbed to #2; there’s no way I’d have it go that high now.
–Kinda the same story, though to a lesser degree, with “Through the Years,” which got to #6. It’s not that bad; I like it much more than I do “Lady” and “I Don’t Need You,” but I definitely thought more highly of it then than I do today. It would have been a better song if they’d cut out that return to the chorus at the very end.
–On the other hand, I’m a bit surprised to see that “You Could Have Been with Me” made my top 10. Kudos to me!
–I like lots of Hall and Oates songs, but “I Can’t Go for That” didn’t crack my top 10 (it reached #13).
Finally, here is my 2/27/82 AT40 chart:
I kept this design through my final chart in October, with only the top 15 on the front. I put #1 at the top in 78, 79, 80, and 82, while #40 had that honor in 76 and 81. The 77 charts had both variations, mostly the former.
I must have listened to only the first half of this show, as the Sam Cooke extra from Hour #3 and the Irene Cara LDD from Hour #4 are missing. Making predictions had always been a somewhat hit-or-miss thing, but I was much less faithful about it toward the end of my chart-keeping days.
I’ve mentioned before that I kept rankings of my favorite pop songs between April 80 and December 82; the only catch was that I had to include the current Top 40 among them. I’m going to start posting (at least occasionally) snippets of my charts when a show from that period is rebroadcast. First up is this past weekend’s 2/7/81 show; here’s my top 25 from that week.
A few notes:
–I made my charts at the beginning of the week, so this was based on the songs on the 1/31 countdown.
–“Suddenly” was a former #1. Songs from the Xanadu soundtrack had featured prominently on the Harris Top 50 (TM pending) since June, the biggest of all being “Magic.”
–“Keep On Loving You” and “A Little in Love” were future #1s. I liked Cliff Richard just fine but this was by far his peak period with me.
–I was a pretty big Alan Parsons Project fan from start to end of their charting years. “Games People Play” would spend 4 weeks at #3.
–Some songs are as high as they are only because of their relative longevity on AT40. Big hits I didn’t dig all that much often wound up peaking between #11 and #20. Here, those include “Celebration” (#12 peak), “Passion” (#17), “Guilty (#13), and “9 to 5” (#14).
As a bonus, here’s my AT40 chart for that week.
The three numbers in the column on the edge are, in order: number of weeks on the Top 40 to date, position the previous week, and predicted position for the following week. I wasn’t listening every week at this point, but the LDDs and Archive #1s indicate I heard this show in real time. For the record, my predictions for 2/14 weren’t shabby at all, at least in the top half. I got the top 9 correct, had #10-11 switched, #12-14 permuted, and #15-17 as well as #20 correct. Much better than I normally did!