Songs Casey Never Played, 12/20/75

This chart went up about two months before I learned about Casey Kasem, so one could make the case it’s too early in time for me to be playing this game. There’s never a bad era from which to learn something about pop music, is what I say in response. Here are half-a-dozen tracks from the nether regions of the Hot 100 of 47 years ago; this time out, it’s rock and pop from all-male acts, some much more well-known than others.

97. Justin Hayward & John Lodge, “Blue Guitar”
The Moodies were on a self-imposed break through much of the mid-70s. Hayward & Lodge continued working together, though, and this single had followed the release of an LP earlier in the year. “Blue Guitar” is new to me today but lovely; my crack research team tells me that Godley, Creme, and Stewart of 10cc backed Hayward in the recording, with Lodge’s bass part added later. It would top out at only #94.

87. 10cc, “Art for Art’s Sake”
Speak of the devil… Godley & Creme were just about to decamp for what they hoped were greener pastures, but not before recording How Dare You! I had not realized what monsters 10cc were on the British charts: eleven top 10 hits over a six-year period, which sounds like a signal I should be checking some things out. On the other hand…I am just not hearing what made “Art for Art’s Sake” a #5 smash in the U.K. (and I say this as someone who loves their two big U.S. hits as much as anyone). It would make only #83 on this side of the pond.

76. Head East, “Never Been Any Reason”
One of those presumably now-extinct creatures, the band with a regional following that could never break nationally. They’re credited as a “midwest” act, but I guess that Cincinnati and Louisville were close enough to that for them to receive airplay. I’ve loved this song for a long time and bought Flat As a Pancake sometime while I was in college. Deserved better than the #68 peak it had enjoyed the week prior to this chart.

70. Batdorf & Rodney, “Somewhere in the Night”
Helen Reddy’s version hit the Hot 100 one week before this did–Reddy is at #45 and already streaking toward a #19 peak. (Note: this is not the only song that appears twice on this chart–of all things, David Geddes has “Last Game of the Season (Blind Man in the Bleachers)” at #18, while Kenny Starr uses just the parenthetical for the title of his take, at #61.) This would climb one spot higher the following week and then drop off.

John Batdorf soon moved on to form Silver, who hit with “Wham-Bam” in the late summer of 1976.

57. The Hudson Brothers, “Lonely School Year”
I remember watching a decent amount of the Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show the year it was broadcast on Saturday mornings. (“No thanks, we’re trying to cut down” became a part of my lexicon for years afterward.) I didn’t know until the last decade that they’d actually had two Top 40 hits–the pitch-perfect Beatles pastiche “So You Are a Star” and the Beach Boys homage (co-penned by Bruce Johnston, even) “Rendevous.” The former made #21 soon after their show debuted in the fall of 1974, and the latter reached #26 just about the time it was taken off the air, less than a year later. “Lonely School Year,” which is at its peak, sounds to these ears like a Tiger Beat version of the Raspberries; alas, it’s too slight lyrically to have had much hit potential.

(As an aside, I sure enjoyed finding and watching an episode of the HBRDS earlier today.)

51. America, “Woman Tonight”
This is one of those songs that I have a devil of a time finding the beat during the verses–I’m attempting to train myself through repeated listening right now. It was the follow-up to “Daisy Jane,” the third single off Hearts, and soon to peak at #44.

Songs Casey Never Played, 9/10/83

This was the first weekend back on campus for my sophomore year of college; classes would have started the previous Wednesday. James and I had picked a room on the top floor of our non-air conditioned dorm. The hot weather that lasted well into September that year may have made us question the wisdom of the choice…

As ever, there were songs being released then that would never grace American Top 40. Here are six, including some by acts who enjoyed great commercial success within a couple of years.

92. Tears for Fears, “Change”
As big a fan of Songs from the Big Chair as I became, you’d think I would’ve checked in on The Hurting before 1987, after I’d already been in Illinois for a year. Jim, one of my two roommates at the time, had it on one of those newfangled CD-things, which I quickly ripped onto a cassette.

I don’t believe “Change” (on its way down after reaching #73) made the Lexington radio scene at the time it was a single, and if someone played it in the dorm, well, that completely slipped by me. It and “Pale Shelter” are my personal faves from The Hurting.

86. Herbie Hancock, “Rockit”
This was around the time I became more invested in MTV (my parents were soon to move to a house that had cable so I could check it out over weekends at home). Thus, I got enough exposure to “Rockit” to believe it had some chance to become a bigger hit than its eventual #71 peak.

72. The S.O.S. Band, “Just Be Good to Me”
This and the next one did receive play on at least one Lexington station that fall. I have a feeling I didn’t connect “Just Be Good to Me” at the time as being by the band who’d given us “Take Your Time” three years earlier. It’s one of the first songs written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and deserved a better fate than a high of #55.

70. Midnight Star, “Freak-a-Zoid”
Talk about your jams. I’m sure Midnight Star derived some of its attention in my sphere due to their local connection (they formed in Frankfort, less than 30 miles away from Lexington), but they earned every bit of it. Somehow “Freak-a Zoid” reached just #66.

(Which is better? This one or “No Parking on the Dance Floor”? I lean toward the latter.)

62. Wham!, “Bad Boys”
The second U.K. band in this post who’d make it big with their second album. George (like Curt above) sure looks mighty young in the video. While “Bad Boys” was a huge hit in their homeland, it only made #60 here.

47. Heart, “How Can I Refuse”
IMO, this was the best single Heart had released since, oh, “Straight On” almost five years earlier. Passionworks was their first album not to produce a Top 40 single (this peaked three spots higher), though it was really just another stop on a continuing decline in sales and popularity. They were soon dropped by Epic; new label Capitol would make them use outside writers for what turned out to be all the singles from their 1985 smash comeback.

Bonus content! It’s one of the three sheets I picked up over the summer of 1983 that list the hot-and-happening tunes being played on Cincinnati’s then-AM pop hits station. I almost certainly got them at a record store in the Florence Mall, this one not long before heading back to Transy. Note that all six of the songs featured here are listed, plus several others I could have chosen.

I’m not sure what the Springfield/Kihn thing is about– says that both were in Tucson (though at different locations) that day. My guess is that the station broadcast a recording of recent concerts…

Songs Casey Never Played, 8/1/81

August 1, 1981 is likely now best known as the birth date of one Music Television. It’s almost a certainty that no one reading this blog watched MTV on that day, as it started out only on a few cable systems in New Jersey. I wouldn’t learn of its existence until late 1982, but like many people my age became hooked on it as soon as I gained regular access.

While by the early 80s music videos had been filmed for a good while, they still weren’t being recorded for every single released–without an outlet like MTV, they couldn’t serve as a potential driver of sales. Below might be six cases in point–at the least, there aren’t videos available today on YouTube for any of them. Another thing they all have in common is they’re by acts whose Top 40 days were unfortunately in the rear view mirror.

94. Spider, “It Didn’t Take Long”
Their one foray into Caseyland was the #39 “New Romance (It’s a Mystery),” one of my faves from late spring 1980. This ballad-y thing was a near miss, having topped out at #43 two weeks earlier. Members of Spider included drummer Anton Fig and future star songwriter Holly Knight (Between the Lines, from which “It Didn’t Take Long” came, also includes the original version of “Better Be Good to Me”).

93. The Brothers Johnson, “The Real Thing”
George and Louis had also last appeared in the Top 40 in the spring of 1980, with “Stomp.” I remember seeing 1981’s Winners in record stores at the time, but I don’t recall ever hearing “The Real Thing.” It’s a jam, well worthy of more than its #67 peak. This was their final week ever on the pop chart.

77. Pure Prairie League, “You’re Mine Tonight”
Their last Top 40 appearance, “Still Right Here in My Heart,” had been just two months earlier. This one’s a slow burner about a guy finally scoring with the woman of his dreams (who of course is seeing/married to someone else). It was soon to reach its #68 peak, and it wouldn’t be long before Vince Gill was moving on to his brighter future as a country superstar and eventually Mr. Amy Grant.

64. Randy VanWarmer, “Suzi”
I liked “Just When I Needed You Most” fairly well when it was a spring 1979 #4 hit, though I don’t really need to hear it any more these days. “Suzi” is quite a departure from that hit, cool and menacing; I’m sorry to be learning about it only now. Already falling from its #55 peak.

47. Blackfoot, “Fly Away”
This Southern rock band out of Jacksonville had two minor hits in the second half of 1979, “Highway Song” and “Train, Train.” They couldn’t quite get back to the Top 40 with nimble rocker “Fly Away,” falling two spots short of glory. Marauder is another album whose cover takes me back to those early 80s weekly visits to Recordland.

45. Gino Vanelli, “Nightwalker”
It’s a little surprising to me to realize that Vanelli never got back to the 40 after “Living Inside Myself” had bowed out a few weeks earlier. It sure wasn’t for a lack of effort throughout the rest of the 80s.

This is the second time in a row that Gino appears in a SCNP post–last time out we featured the #42 hit “Black Cars.” This time he’s experiencing an even narrower miss–next week he’ll ascend to the most heartbreaking position on the chart and stay there for two weeks. “Nightwalker” may have deserved a better fate–it’s plenty smooth and plenty enjoyable.

Songs Casey Never Played, 6/8/85

Assembled the songs for this a week ago, but just couldn’t get in the mood to finish it off. Summertime blues, maybe?

Regardless, here are six tunes from the 6/8/85 Hot 100 that couldn’t cross the Rubicon into Casey-land. I was definitely aware of all of them at the time, either via Lexington’s AOR station or album purchase. Let’s rock it out some.

89. Kim Mitchell, “Go for Soda”
Starting off today with a Canadian rocker who’s less than a month away from his 70th birthday. “Patio Lanterns” was the bigger hit in his native land, but south of the border we were much more into this song encouraging us to lay off the beer for a night. It almost made top 10 on the rock chart, but had stalled out at #86 here a week earlier.

85. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Make It Better (Forget About Me)”
At the time, new material from Petty qualified as must-buy, and I picked up Southern Accents not long after it was released in late March. “Don’t Come Around Here No More” was plenty good, and I liked “It Ain’t Nothin’ to Me” (even if it was an undisciplined mess). On the whole, though, I was disappointed, and I struggled to hear a second hit single on it. Turns out I was right: this follow-up, even with some swell horn action, limped only to #54, and a few months later “Rebels” (maybe the better song) peaked at #71.

71. Foreigner, “Reaction to Action”
Agent Provocateur had been in my collection since Christmas break, and it was another LP that wound up receiving limited play. The “Check-one-one-one” opening on what became its third single definitely caught my attention when I first heard it, but man, are the lyrics to “Reaction to Action” dumb. I guess they were trying to mine the “Hot Blooded” vein again, but clearly that had been tapped out in 1978. This also reached #54.

69. The Hooters, “All You Zombies”
I don’t care what you say–I like this song. While the biblical references are admittedly strained, Hyman, Bazilian, et. al. wind up making their point. It’s no “And We Danced,” but it’s always a welcome play in my house. Made it to #58.

53. John Fogerty, “Centerfield”
Maybe folks today are surprised that the title track from Fogerty’s comeback-of-the-year album didn’t crack the 40–it fell four slots short of Casey putting it into play.. Thirty-seven years on, it’s certainly the most well-known song of the six in this post; I’m guessing that album sales cut into the potential for a third big hit.

52. Gino Vannelli, “Black Cars”
I have the 45 for this, though I’m thinking I didn’t buy it in ’85. I was glad to hear Vannelli rock it out a little after the much more languid “Living Inside Myself” from four years earlier, even if I’m in the distinct minority based on chart peak (the engine died at #42 for “Black Cars”). It’s always fun to watch for dead technology in videos–look at all those Polaroid cameras…

Songs Casey Never Played, 5/10/80

Disco, alas, had been in retreat for several months by this time, with me nearing the end of my sophomore year in HS and in possession of a driver’s license for about a month. With softer rock largely ascending to take its place, perhaps it’s not too surprising there were several rockers that had the AT40 door slammed in their faces. Let’s take a quick tour through six of them.

96. The Cretones, “Real Love”
The first half of 1980 was this L.A. band’s moment in the sun, such as it was. Debut LP Thin Red Line came out, including their only charting single (it would soon reach #79), and Linda Ronstadt covered three of their songs on Mad Love. It’s feeling like I need to give this album a solid listen or two. Leader Mark Goldenberg went on to write or co-write 80s hits “Automatic,” “Along Comes a Woman,” and “Soul Kiss.”

83. The Knack, “Can’t Put a Price on Love”
Top 40 days for Doug Feiger and the boys had ended two months earlier, when “Baby Talks Dirty” stalled out at #38. This bluesy number from ...But the Little Girls Understand was a reasonable enough choice for second single, but we were already moving on. “Can’t Put a Price on Love” had already fallen from a #62 peak.

76. The Babys, “Midnight Rendezvous”
If “Midnight Rendezvous” had a bridge and a third verse, it might have been the Babys’ second-best song, behind only “Isn’t It Time.” As it is, I kinda get how it didn’t climb above #72.

74. The Little River Band, “It’s Not a Wonder”
I honestly can’t tell you why I know this song as well as I do–I’m certain I heard it more often in record stores (twice at most?) than I did on the radio. That chorus, that guitar lick toward the end, though…they just lodged in my brain instantly. This live version of a song originally on First Under the Wire would soon top out at #51.

61. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Here Comes My Girl”
I have nothing new to write about “Here Comes My Girl” that hasn’t already been put in print or pixels. Just a damn fine song that unjustifiably peaked only two spots higher; I suppose most folks who would have purchased a 45 already had the LP.

48. Red Rider, “White Hot”
Not sure how “White Hot” escaped my notice back then–“Lunatic Fringe” sure didn’t 18 months later. I guess this was a little before I veered more toward the AOR side of the dial. Pretty sure I could have identified the year it came out just by listening–sounds very much of its time. It wouldn’t climb any higher than this.

Songs Casey Never Played, 3/30/85

This series has made only one visit to 1985 to date, so let’s take another trip there. Many of these songs I knew pretty well back in the day, and one is a contender for my top ten of the year. Let’s roll it…

#93. Alphaville, “Forever Young”
Classic fear-of-nuclear-annihilation cut, not to be confused of course with songs of the same title by Dylan or Rod. I’m amazed now this didn’t climb any higher at the time, though it was one of those songs given a second chance in the late 80s, reaching #65 in December 1988.

#89. Maze, “Back in Stride”
Maze, led by Frankie Beverly, had been hitting the R&B charts regularly since 1977. This was the first of two #1 songs they had there, and it would turn out to be their fourth and final song to reach the Hot 100, getting just to #88. Nice jam.

#79. Los Lobos, “Will the Wolf Survive?”
Title-ish track from their well-received major label debut, on its way to a peak one position higher; I remember both it and “Don’t Worry Baby” getting play on MTV. I’m glad for the success they enjoyed a couple of years later with songs from the La Bamba soundtrack, but I absolutely adore their underappreciated early 90s albums The Neighborhood and Kiko.

#64. Alan Parsons Project, “Let’s Talk About Me”
The Top 40 days had ended for the APP the previous year with the #34-peaking “Prime Time.” The video for this first single from Vulture Culture is completely over the top, but I still find it, as well as the song itself, a little disquieting. The clip’s message about the cost of addiction to electronics rings true to this day. But I’ve always wondered about the song’s narrator: are his complaints justified, or is he just wallowing in self-pity?

I didn’t realize at the time that I’d heard David Paton, the vocalist on “Let’s Talk About Me,” singing the line “Leaning on my pillow in the morning light” ten years earlier.

#55. John Waite, “Change”
Another second-chance tune. “Change” was originally a single that stiffed from Waite’s 1982 solo album Ignition. The folks putting together the Vision Quest soundtrack thought it should get another try, but alas, it was soon to stall out at #54. This is right up there with “Isn’t It Time” for me in terms of Waite-sung songs; love the video, too.

#51. Go West, “We Close Our Eyes”
Given how much I saw this vid, on MTV, I’m a little surprised “We Close Our Eyes” topped out at #41. The British duo of Peter Cox and Richard Drummie got theirs a few years later, though, with the Top 10 “King of Wishful Thinking” and a high-performing AC cover of “What You Won’t Do for Love.”

Bubbling Under, 2/3/79

The Bubbling Under portion of the Billboard pop charts from the first weekend of February 1979 included three songs that would go on to make the Hot 100: “I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)” by Instant Funk, at #106 but headed for #20, “Dancin'” by Grey and Hanks, at #104 on its way to #83, and “Now That We Found Love” by Third World, a fun reggae cover of an O’Jays tune, coming on at #101 and destined to reach #47. Here’s a quick synopsis at the other seven Bubblers from that week.

#110. Slave, “Just Freak”
With “Le Freak” at #1, we get a bit of titular symmetry at the other end. This funk band out of Dayton had already experienced Top 40 success with 1977’s “Slide.” All six of their pop-charting singles started off Bubbling Under; just two others besides “Slide” would graduate. This is the only week on for “Just Freak.”

#109. The Greg Kihn Band, “Remember”
Kihn was more than two years from breaking through with “The Breakup Song” (a big favorite around here) when he got a little attention with “Remember,” a pensive, acoustic-oriented piece. It had four separate runs on the BU chart for a combined twelve weeks, never climbing higher than #105. This is the first week of the third of those four runs.

#108. Chuck Mangione, “Children of Sanchez”
Mangione also had multiple tours of duty a-Bubbling with “Children of Sanchez,” three of four weeks each (this is part of the final one), topping out overall at #104. I don’t know the movie from which this comes, but parts of the tune do sound familiar.

#107. Robert Johnson, “I’ll Be Waiting”
Sometimes a song comes at you from two directions at almost the same time. Just a month ago, my friend Warren sent me a YouTube link to this power-pop gem featuring some blistering guitar work; now, here it is again. Obviously not the legendary bluesman, this Robert Johnson is a well-regarded session musician out of Memphis. Close Personal Friend, his debut album, is a minor cult classic. “I’ll Be Waiting” came in at #106 last week and is about to disappear.

#105. Gregg Diamond, “Star Cruisin'”
Diamond’s biggest claim to fame came three years prior to this, when he wrote and produced “More, More, More” for Andrea True. “Star Cruisin'” was the one song under his own name to hit the pop charts, spending two weeks at #102 in mid-March. If you came here seeking unadulterated disco bliss, you’re in luck.

#103. Barry White, “Just the Way You Are”
I was this-weekend-years-old when I learned that White had covered Billy Joel. Things kick off with some typical BW pillow-ish talk, but otherwise he stays faithful to the original. Alas, it would climb only one position higher than this.

#102. The ADC Band, “Long Stroke”
More funk, this time out of Detroit. It’s got a distinct Parliament-Funkadelic feel, which of course is not a bad thing. “Long Stroke” had already peaked at #101.

Bubbling Under, 1/21/78

This weekend forty-four years ago, the top ten on Billboard‘s pop singles chart included hits by the Bee Gees (two of ’em, even), Paul Simon, Styx, and Queen; “Baby Come Back” was #1. Way on the other end, sitting just outside the Hot 100 in the Bubbling Under section, were songs almost exclusively by R & B and dance acts. Only one–Stargard’s “Which Way Is Up?”–went on to graduate from purgatory, and it eventually climbed to #21. I wasn’t aware of any of the others at the time, but I sure can work on appreciating them now. Let’s take a look:

#110. Grace Jones, “La Vie en rose”
This cover of Edith Piaf’s signature tune went Top 5 in Italy and the Netherlands, and made #10 on the U.S. Dance Chart. Taking a song like this on demonstrates that Jones was already plenty willing to go big or go home. Here, she won, even if it would climb only one spot higher.

#107. The Blackbyrds, “Soft and Easy”
These former Howard University students were already done with their Top 40 career, having hit twice with “Walking in Rhythm” in 1975 and “Happy Music” a year later. They would continue making on the Soul chart until 1981, one of which was this quiet storm number that climbed to #102 here.

#106. The Village People, “San Francisco (You’ve Got Me)”
I was about six months away from knowing about the Village People, but disco-goers all across the nation had already been grooving to them for a while. “San Francisco” spent an incredible twenty-four straight weeks from October ’77-April ’78 a-bubbling, never getting above #102. (It made a few one-week returns after that, as well.) It bears more than a little resemblance to “Macho Man” without being as immediately arresting.

#105. Dorothy Moore, “With Pen in Hand”
Vickie Carr had the most successful version of this Bobby Goldsboro-penned tearjerker, reaching #35 in 1969. It was also a hit to varying degrees by Billy Vera (in his pre-Beater days), Goldsboro, and country singer Johnny Darrell. Moore (who reached #101) really draws out the pathos at the end as she says goodbye to the daughter for whom she’s just lost custody.

#104. T-Connection, “On Fire”
We’ll wrap up on a higher note with a couple of funky funfests (or are they fun funkfests?). First up is a Bahamian group who had their greatest success in the spring of 1977 with the #46 hit “Do What You Wanna Do.” “On Fire” is another one that wandered in Bubbling Under territory for quite a while–fourteen weeks, never getting higher than #103.

#103. Parliament, “Bop Gun (Endangered Species)”
A few weeks after this, “Flash Light,” the second single from Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome (was there a better album title at the time?), would light up dance floors and climb to #16 on the pop charts. At this moment, though, “Bop Gun” was close to wrapping up a nine-week Bubble run, having already topped out at #102.

Exploring these tunes today makes me realize I was missing out on something at the time. Was I just too focused on Top 40 stations to go exploring around the radio dial? Too young to appreciate a wider variety of music? I dunno; I’ll just have to work on continuing my education…

Songs Casey Never Played, 10/20/84

The 10/20/84 countdown is plenty familiar to me, as it’s one I’d assembled for an iPod playlist in the mid-aughts. Instead of waxing eloquent about that show or one of its songs, though, we’ll look at some tunes that were lurking below. A quick count reveals that exactly half of the lower 60 tracks on the week’s Hot 100 didn’t get as high as #40 (you got me if that’s a typical number or not for the 80s); here’s a little bit about six of them.

#92. Ralph McDonald with Bill Withers, “In the Name of Love”
McDonald has co-writing credit for “Where Is the Love?” and “Just the Two of Us.” This song has more than a little of the latter’s vibe–Bill Withers’ voice will do that for you–but I sorta get why it couldn’t fight past a #58 peak.

#79. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “Two Tribes”
This video, featuring a battle royale between Reagan and Chernenko pseudo-lookalikes, could only have been created in 1984. Frankie say he’s disappointed “Two Tribes” would make it only to #43 in the states (it went #1 all over Europe, and was the #2 song for 1984 in the UK and Belgium). Maybe it paved the way for the decent success that “Relax” had when it was re-released a few months later, though.

True story: My wife was in Moscow on March 10, 1985, the day Konstantin Chernenko died. She spent her first year after college studying in Hamburg, and she and a couple of friends had flown to the Soviet Union on a tour over spring break. Letters sent home to her parents reported that the group’s trip to the Kremlin got moved up a day (it would be closed to the public when originally scheduled due to funeral preparations), and included an eyewitness account of standing along Gorky Street while dignitary-filled vehicles sped into Red Square on March 13, the day of the funeral.

#76. Roger Hodgson, “Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)”
Hodgson and Supertramp had gone Splitsville following …Famous Last Words…, and neither was the same afterwards. The group did manage a Top 40 hit with “Cannonball” in the late spring of 1985, but Hodgson could only muster a climb to #48 with this semi-sequel to “The Logical Song,” from In the Eye of the Storm.

#69. Scandal featuring Patty Smyth, “Hands Tied”
Smyth and company had tough luck following up “The Warrior.” Both the second and third singles from Warrior–“Hands Tied” and “Beat of a Heart”–flamed out at #41. Neither is as good as “Goodbye to You” or “Love’s Got a Line on You,” mind you, but that’s still a mighty fine quartet of songs that missed on making it to Casey-land.

#60. The Everly Brothers, “On the Wings of a Nightingale”
I was dimly aware of this attempted comeback at the time, though I’m doubting I heard it on the radio. Written by Paul McCartney, “On the Wings of a Nightingale” is a thorough delight. Listening now, it’s deeply disappointing it didn’t climb higher than #50.

#48. Maria Vidal, “Body Rock”
Vidal occupies a mildly interesting niche in 80s rock history, at least according to Wikipedia. She’d been a member of Desmond Child and Rouge, and somewhere along the way had acquired the nickname Gina, ostensibly based on a resemblance to Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida. When Child got to hanging with the members of Bon Jovi later on to bang out lyrics for some new tunes, he remembered what he’d called Maria and included that name as one of the primary characters in a huge hit.

As for this track, it’s the title song to a bad, bad movie. This is as high as it got, perhaps better than it deserved.

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.