Top 5: Respect Yourself

Here’s something we haven’t done for a while: Look at the top five songs on various charts 25, 30, 35, 41, and 50 years ago today.

WKCI, New Haven, Connecticut, week of March 13, 1987:
1. “Lean on Me”/Club Nouveau
2. “You Got It All”/The Jets
3. “Respect Yourself”/Bruce Willis
4. “Livin’ on a Prayer”/Bon Jovi
5. “Somewhere Out There”/Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram

Comment: Somebody should have talked Bruce Willis out of recording a song that would force comparisons between Mavis Staples and himself. As it is, he’s blown off his own record by duet partner June Pointer. Willis would be the single greatest example of somebody who made a record because he could and not because it was a good idea, if Shaquille O’Neal hadn’t made multiple rap albums.

KRLA, Los Angeles, week of March 12, 1982:
1. “Centerfold”/J. Geils Band
2. “Call Me”/Skyy
3. “That Girl”/Stevie Wonder
4. “Pac Man Fever”/Buckner & Garcia
5. “We Got the Beat”/Go Gos

Comment: “That Girl” was the best of four previously unreleased tracks on Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium, a double-disc compilation that collects the highlights of Wonder’s 70s output. Two of the others, “Front Line” and “Ribbon in the Sky,” are quite good; “Do I Do” could be too, if it didn’t stretch the boundaries of human endurance by running over 10 minutes.

WYSL, Buffalo, week of March 14, 1977:
1. “Evergreen”/Barbra Streisand
2. “Year of the Cat”/Al Stewart
3. “Carry on Wayward Son”/Kansas
4. “The  Things We Do For Love”/10cc
5. “Hotel California”/Eagles

Comment: I am pretty much completely irrational about the music in this season, even the stuff farther down the chart, like “Torn Between Two Lovers” and “I Like Dreamin’.” But “Year of the Cat” is legitimately great, and “The Things We Do For Love” should be heard on the radio today a lot more than it is. Plus, choosing this chart gives me an excuse to post this video of “Carry On Wayward Son,” which is filled with 70s awesomeness.

WARM, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, week of March 14, 1971:
1. “Love Story”/Henry Mancini, Francis Lai, Andy Williams
2. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”-“Hey Tonight”/Creedence Clearwater Revival
3. “Sweet Mary”/Wadsworth Mansion
4. “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted”/Partridge Family
5. “I Hear You Knocking”/Dave Edmunds

Comment: Since I’ve written about 1972 a couple of times in recent weeks, we’ll cheat here. With three versions of “Love Story” in the Hot 100 and another bubbling under in the spring of 1971, WARM’s decision to list all three as co-Number Ones is the only choice that makes sense. And on any list of great one-hit wonders of the 70s, Wadsworth Mansion has to be right near the top.

KEWB, San Francisco, week of March 10, 1962:
1. “Mashed Potato Time”/Dee Dee Sharp
2. “Midnight in Moscow”/Kenny Ball
3. “Tell Me”/Dick and Deedee
4. “Nut Rocker”/B. Bumble and the Stingers
5. “Hey Baby”/Bruce Channel

Comment: Another all-time classic, “Hey Baby,” turns 50. Its famous harmonica line was played by the young Delbert McClinton, whose career soon outstripped that of Channel. McClinton was a favorite of John Lennon’s, and so the Beatles must have been pleased to find themselves on a bill with Channel later in the spring of 1962. Check the photo of the actual survey to see if you can spot the not-yet-famous jock who was on KEWB 50 years ago.

5 thoughts on “Top 5: Respect Yourself

  1. gary

    Gotta be the “infamous” Casey Kasem! He sure has become such a big star and worked hard for his success. But so many others were so much better on the radio. I can think of 10 right off the bat who I never tire of listening to airchecks of. Just personal taste I guess. AT40 was all his though, might have not worked with anybody else hosting.

  2. Yah Shure

    Well, duh! Everybody knows the not-yet-famous KEWB jock was Don Bowman, who would later transfer to the St. Paul side of the Crowell-Collier broadcast empire and whose very same photo would appear on the KDWB Fabulous Forty Folder. I don’t believe he lasted more than a winter or two here.

    My mind was already following the Crowell-Collier train of thought when I initially thought you’d left the “91” off the ending of the sentence “…the young Delbert McClinton, whose career soon outstripped that of Channel.” Either interpretation would have been correct.

  3. John G.

    Just dubbed a mono 45 copy of the Partridge Family, as the mix is different than the stereo versions out there. 1971 was huge in my memory bank as it was the year I purchased my first 45’s.

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