(Pictured: Andy Gibb.)
After my class reunion last month, we spent the night at Mother and Dad’s house. They put us in the bedroom that I occupied from 1972 until I moved away in 1980. It’s not their regular guest room, and so it had been a few years since we slept up there. It’s been painted and recarpeted since 1980, and there’s none of my stuff left in it, but the upstairs hallway and bathroom look pretty much the same. (My brother’s room, on the north side of the house, hasn’t changed at all; it has the same paint from the 70s and the same posters on the walls.) My room has two windows and a screen door out to a porch. The view of the dooryard and farm fields to the south and southeast is still beautiful, especially in the morning.
When I project myself back in time, I tend to have some standard landing spots. When I return to the summer of 1977, it’s almost always to that room. I had a little stereo system I’d gotten a couple of years before, which sat on my dresser. I also had a portable radio which sat on a nightstand near my bed. A black-and-white TV on a rolling cart went back and forth between my room and my brother’s. An antique table pushed up against one wall, and on it sat my typewriter—actually Dad’s, vintage late 40s or early 50s, which is here in the house somewhere now—although I didn’t use it much. Letters to my girlfriend in Europe were handwritten, and so was anything else I may have felt like composing.
In an earlier post, I started listening to the American Top 40 show from the week of July 30, 1977. Let’s go back and pick up the rest of the notable songs on that show, and in that room.
13. “Easy”/Commodores. Either this or “Sweet Love” is my favorite thing by the Commodores. I love the line “easy like Sunday morning,” even though in the context of the song, I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean.
10. “Whatcha Gonna Do”/Pablo Cruise. “Whatcha Gonna Do” is one of the great summer records of any decade; put it on even in the dead of winter and I’m looking out my southern windows at sunny skies and 80 degrees.
9. “Higher and Higher”/Rita Coolidge. I will always fanboy hard for this record.
8. “Margaritaville”/Jimmy Buffett. As great as “Margaritaville” sounded on the radio in 1977, it’s another song I never need to hear again. Casey played an edit, however, which provided a little novelty value. As best I can tell, there are a couple of edited versions: both snip out the instrumental bit in the middle and shorten the ending, but one of them speeds the song up a half-step. I am pretty sure Casey played the speeded-up one.
2. “I’m in You”/Peter Frampton. Although “I’m in You” would spend three weeks at #2, I don’t recall hearing it much after it fell out of recurrents that fall. It’s not bad, really, just not as memorable as the hits from Frampton Comes Alive! had been. (Frampton’s followup single, a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered” is much, much better.)
1. “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”/Andy Gibb. Pffft. “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” is catchy enough, but there’s nothing to it. Nevertheless, it spent nine straight weeks as one of the three most popular songs in the land, including four non-consecutive weeks at #1. It would stay in the Top 40 until late October and spend 31 weeks on the Hot 100 in all, from April to November.
Billboard doesn’t list “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” as the #1 song for all of 1977, although at least nine radio stations did, according to ARSA. (Billboard‘s November-through-October chart year made Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night” #1 for all of 1977 when it more properly belonged in 1976.) There’s a case for Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” as the #1 song of 1977 as well, although it, too, got shorted by Billboard‘s chart rule. WLS in Chicago seems to have gotten it right, with Boone at #1 and Andy at #2 on the Big 89 of 1977.