(Pictured: Bo Derek in the movie 10.)
Here we go with the customary dive into the Bottom 60 of the Top 40 featured in a post last week, from February 9, 1980.
41. “Looks Like Love Again”/Dann Rogers
56. “Better Love Next Time”/Dr. Hook
62. “Three Times in Love”/Tommy James
65. “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again”/George Burns
85. “Where Does the Lovin’ Go”/David Gates
87. “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”/Willie Nelson
91. “Holdin’ on for Dear Love”/Lobo
Many of the songs popular during the winter of 1980 put me back into the studio at KDTH in Dubuque, Iowa, where I worked my first paying radio job. It was a fabulous place for a young broadcaster to start, with a lot of talented veterans to learn from. At the time, however, I am pretty sure I neither appreciated it enough nor learned all that I could have. (The latter is kind of disturbing, because as it was, the young idiot I was learned a lot.) The station’s music format was mostly country most of the time, although it played a lot of pop records too (Dann Rogers, Dr. Hook, Tommy James, David Gates, and Lobo among them, as well as Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, Dan Fogelberg, and Neil Diamond from the week’s Top 40). “I Wish I Was Eighteen Again,” which made the KDTH phones blow up, went to #15 on Billboard‘s country chart, and “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” would hit #1.
48. “Flirtin’ With Disaster”/Molly Hatchet
50. “When a Man Loves a Woman”/Bette Midler
51. “I Thank You”/ZZ Top
54. “Back on My Feet Again”/Babys
57. “Cool Change”/Little River Band
58. “Voices”/Cheap Trick
59. “You Know That I Love You”/Santana
61. “Can We Still Be Friends”/Robert Palmer
67. “Remember (Walking in the Sand)”/Aerosmith
70. “Rockin’ Into the Night”/.38 Special
71. “Come Back”/J. Geils Band
73. “Baby Talks Dirty”/The Knack
78. “Jane”/Jefferson Starship
80. “I Don’t Like Mondays”/Boomtown Rats
82. “Even It Up”/Heart
90. “I Like to Rock”/April Wine
97. “Dirty Water”/Inmates
99. “Head Games”/Foreigner
107. “You Won’t Be There”/Alan Parsons Project
But my weekend job was a sideshow to the one I cared about the most: being program director of the campus radio station. It had been a Top-40 station when I started on it a year earlier before an uncomfortable semester as an album rock/R&B/funk/jazz hybrid. It had gone to a full-blown album-rock format in the fall of 1979. When I took over, we expanded the library to something like 2,000 songs, going deep and wide on what we considered to be the best AOR artists, but at the same time making sure we frequently played the strongest AOR cuts: your Free Birds, Laylas, and Stairways to Heaven.
I was not especially interested in new music discovery, and I wasn’t alone. Most of us wanted to play the hits. I left the programming of current music to the station’s music director, at least at the beginning. We would eventually have our disagreements, as his taste was vastly different from mine. What I perceived as input he perceived as meddling—and vice versa. It occurs to me now that, like the KDTHers, he was somebody from whom I could have learned a great deal. But while I recognized that people at KDTH had a lot to teach me, I walked around the campus station as if I already knew it all.
As I have said before, it’s a wonder I have any friends left from that time.
(“I Like to Rock” borrows riffs from the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and the Stones’ “Satisfaction” just before the fade. I’m not sure I noticed that 41 years ago, but I did while writing this post.)
49. “Give It All You Got”/Chuck Mangione. When “Give It All You Got” hit the chart in January, we already knew that it would be ABC’s theme music for coverage of the 1980 Winter Olympics, which opened during the week of this chart.
81. “Lost in Love”/Air Supply. Someday I will assemble the entire list of songs I have claimed to be completely irrational about.
86. “Peanut Butter”/Twennynine Featuring Lenny White. After leaving the fusion band Return to Forever, White formed Twennynine to play R&B and funk music. “Peanut Butter” was a big R&B hit but would stall at #83 on the Hot 100.
101. “Ravel’s Bolero”/Henry Mancini. “Ravel’s Bolero” was famously used in the movie 10, which had been released the previous fall. I didn’t see it until I moved off campus and my TV-engineer roommates pirated an HBO subscription. I don’t recall that it left much of an impression on me. It would have taken more than Bo Derek to get me to stop thinking about radio.