There’s Your Letter

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(Pictured: Casey at the mike, 1998.)

(Note to Patrons: there’s an argument for not posting here today, given the miserable state of affairs in our country at the moment. There is an equally compelling argument that we need something to take our minds off said state, so here we go.)

In 1964, at KRLA in Los Angeles, Casey Kasem got a letter from a 12-year-old girl describing her experience hugging her favorite Beatle. Casey read it on the air and later turned it into “Letter From Elaina,” which reached #101 in Billboard. Listener letters and dedications became a regular feature of his radio and local TV shows after that, often under the title “Letters from the Sweetheart Tree.”

Casey did American Top 40 for eight years before resurrecting the dedications idea. On August 26, 1978, he played Neil Diamond’s “Desiree,” from a lonely soldier to Desiree, a woman he loved in Germany. When AT40 went from three hours to four, LDDs became a regular feature, which continued even after he surrendered the microphone to Shadoe Stevens in 1988.

The dedications, while generally popular with the audience, were not universally beloved, but Casey’s vote was the only one that mattered. In 1997 he told a reporter, “It brings closure to so many people who have lost relatives, and they write to me saying, ‘I wish I could have said “I loved you.” I wish I could have learned more about my father or mother. I wish I had talked to them; I would like to say goodbye.’ . . . Of all the things that I do on the show, that may be the most important one outside of playing the music.”

Former AT40 staffer Scott Paton told me recently that as soon as LDDs became a thing, hoax dedications began to flow in. Scott says that most of the fakes were easy to spot, but some required “a more nuanced bullshit detector.” At least one confirmed fake dedication got on the air, and there were probably others.

After Casey left AT40, he launched Casey’s Top 40. He kept doing dedications, although he couldn’t call them LDDs because that name stayed with the original show. Not long ago, I got an e-mail from Brian Carroll, who was a writer and researcher on the new show, circa 1990. Part of his job was to read listener letters for potential dedications. Here’s one he found. I have edited it some, and I adjusted the paragraph breaks for clarity.


My family and I came down to Tennessee to live. . . . My dad and mom bought a little meat shop in Manchester, Tennessee. Business was going great for us. . . .  My mom and dad asked me and my brother if we would like to spend their 12th anniversary with them. Me and my brother said yes. My mom and dad decided to spend it in Chattanooga, Tennessee. So we went and came back to find out that our place burned down. We lost everything we had. The fire marshal said my dad set the fire in our own place. My dad said, how could he do it when he was in Chattanooga overnight?

So my dad found another job, but he would be on the road all the time. The new business was doing great until our truck burned one night. One night, my dad and uncle just came off the road and pulled in our driveway. . . .  My dad and my uncle weren’t in the house five minutes and all of a sudden, our truck exploded sitting in our driveway. My dad tried to put the fire out. . . . The fire marshal gave us the same trouble as they did when our other place burned.

After that, my mom and dad got a divorce and she moved out and she got her a place. One night she went to work and about midnight the police called her at work and told her that her place had burned to the ground. Now my mom has her own place and is living fine. My dad and my brother and me are living in a good neighborhood. So Casey, will you play “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel?

Maybe it’s real and maybe it isn’t. And no, they didn’t use it on the show.

Brian also worked for Dick Clark Productions, including some time as a researcher and writer on the show Countdown America, and as a researcher for Fred Bronson, author of The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, and he has many other credits. I’m glad he found his way to this lightly traveled corner of the Internets. As Casey himself might have said, “There’s your letter, Brian. Thanks for writing in.”

Cult of Personality

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(Pictured: Paula Abdul, 1989.)

I have mentioned that for all the time I’ve spent listening to American Top 40 over many years, I’ve never heard a full show hosted by Shadoe Stevens, who became the host when Casey Kasem left in August 1988. Reader Adam kindly sent me links to several Shadoe shows, and here’s what I noticed from the one dated April 8, 1989.

39. “Straight Up”/Paula Abdul
27. “Forever Your Girl”/Paula Abdul

Before playing “Forever Your Girl,” Shadoe reports that a few weeks ago he’d said that “Straight Up” was Abdul’s first hit, but a listener wrote in to correct him that two other singles from the Forever Your Girl album had charted in 1988. “Straight Up” was her first Top-40 hit. I was tempted to call it an enormous howling error, but I think it’s more likely that Shadoe simply misread the script and nobody on the production staff caught it.

36. “Seventeen”/Winger
35. “One”/Metallica
33. “Paradise City”/Guns ‘n’ Roses
30. “Cult of Personality”/Living Colour
20. “Rocket”/Def Leppard

Bang your head, everybody.

28. “You’re Not Alone”/Chicago. Our friend Tom Nawrocki, who has a vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, suggested that Chicago’s 80s output hits caused the band to play itself out of the Hall. “You’re Not Alone” would have been enough all by itself.

25. “Orinoco Flow”/Enya. Shadoe asks whether Enya’s music is “pop, new age, classical, or what?” and says that some people even compare it to Gregorian chant. “Orinoco Flow” is the most unusual sound on the show this week by many miles.

24. “More Than You Know”/Martika
23. “Thinking of You”/Sa-Fire
Before playing “More Than You Know,” Shadoe plays a quick audio clip of Martika asking, “Hey Shadoe, where’s my song on this week’s Top 40?” Before playing “Thinking of You,” he does one of those who-cares time-filling special reports, listing the 10 most-popular gemstones. (Sapphire—get it?) Casey often did this kind of thing straight, but Shadoe delivers it with the wisecracking tone it deserves. And after he back-announces Sa-Fire, he says, “Martika is Cuban and Sa-Fire is Puerto Rican. I’m Shadoe Stevens, Norwegian.”

LDD: “Born to Be My Baby”/Bon Jovi. Casey’s gone but the LDDs continue. This one is from a 17-year-old girl from Barcelona, Spain, to the boy she fell in love with during an exchange-student visit in South Carolina last year. She gains points for not choosing a sappy love ballad, but gives them right back for choosing “Born to Be My Baby,” which had gone to #3 in February 1989, and which is not good.

19. “Room to Move”/Animotion. Shadoe profiles the new lead singer of Animotion, Cynthia Rhodes, who has already appeared in several big movies and is also Mrs. Richard Marx, which she would be until 2014.

18. “Second Chance”/.38 Special. Is “Second Chance” my favorite record on the show? Yes. Is Rock and Roll Strategy a really terrible album title? Also yes.

14. “The Living Years”/Mike and the Mechanics. Shadoe says that while each Beatle had #1 hits as a solo act in the 70s, three members of Genesis have done the same in the 80s: Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, and Mike Rutherford, who hit #1 two weeks previously with “The Living Years.”

12. “You Got It”/Roy Orbison. After Roy, Shadoe plays a montage featuring the top five hits from the same week in 1976 and I AM HERE FOR IT.

11. “Superwoman”/Karyn White
7. “Dreaming”/Vanessa Williams
These are both really good, but it seems to me like they aren’t on the radio as much as they should be today, while lesser 80s hits are getting more exposure.

10. “Funky Cold Medina”/Tone-Loc
9. “Walk the Dinosaur”/Was Not Was
5. “Like a Prayer”/Madonna
4. “She Drives Me Crazy”/Fine Young Cannibals
3. “Girl You Know It’s True”/Milli Vanilli
Any of these might be considered peak 1989.

2. “Eternal Flame”/Bangles
1. “The Look”/Roxette
Roxette knocks the Bangles out of the top spot this wek, becoming the third Swedish act to hit #1, joining Blue Swede and ABBA. Shadoe says that all three of them hit #1 on the same date. Not exactly, but they did hit during the same week: Blue Swede on April 6, 1974; ABBA on April 9, 1977; and Roxette on April 8, 1989. But even with that quibble, it’s quite an oddity.

Shadoe Stevens has a big boss-jock voice, but also a touch of Gary Owens—with a friendly sparkle that makes clear there’s a real human being behind the voice. (A lot of boss jocks have only the voice, without the humanity. ) I liked him a lot more than I expected to. And thanks to Adam, I’ve got a few more of his shows to listen to.

Let’s Go All the Way

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(Pictured: the Bangles.)

On the weekend of February 22, 1986, the radio station I worked for carried American Top 40, and here’s some of what was on the show.

39. “Manic Monday”/Bangles. If this isn’t one of the most beloved hits of the 80s, and I’m not sure that it is, it ought to be.

36. “Go Home”/Stevie Wonder
35. “Let’s Go All the Way”/Sly Fox
3. “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going”/Billy Ocean
During the 80s, Casey frequently filed “special reports.” Some of them were timely, as in the bit about the forthcoming opening of Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park that ran between Stevie Wonder and Sly Fox. But some of them aren’t worth the time, as in the lengthy bit about the longest river in the world before Billy Ocean’s song (which was from the soundtrack of the now-forgotten movie Jewel of the Nile).

38. “Night Moves”/Marilyn Martin
34. “Another Night”/Aretha Franklin
25. “He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)”/Freddie Jackson
21. “Digital Display”/Ready for the World
It’s possible that my station didn’t play Marilyn, Aretha, and Freddie—the syndicator providing our music didn’t add everything that made the Top 40, often omitting big R&B crossover hits. I remember “Digital Display” only because I’m still trying to understand the popularity of Ready for the World, who somehow got to #1 in 1985 with “Oh Sheila,” which is three minutes of quite literally nothing.

35. “(How to Be a) Millionaire”/ABC. Sweet mama “(How to Be a) Millionaire” is exhausting. You rarely hear people trying so hard to be whatever the hell they think they are. (And I hate those parentheses in the title, too.)

34. “Say You, Say Me”/Lionel Richie
20. “The Sun Always Shines on TV”/a-ha
19. “Russians”/Sting
Consider that these songs were all likely written on a piano or single guitar first, and only later turned into echo-drenched epics consumed by their own self-importance. Lionel gets away with it by being likeable, but as I listened to “The Sun Always Shines on TV,”  I found myself wondering how many radio stations added it solely because “Take on Me” had been a big hit and not because anybody actually liked it. I have already told you what I think of “Russians.”

30. “Spies Like Us”/Paul McCartney. The theme song from an extremely minor Chevy Chase/Dan Aykroyd film, this was Paul’s last Top-10 hit until “FourFive Seconds” with Rihanna and Kanye West in 2016.

Less than four weeks after the Challenger disaster, Casey noted that AT40 had received many letters suggesting Long Distance Dedications to the spacecraft and its crew. (I did a full-body dry heave on spec imagining the worst possibilities.) The letter he chose was from cadets at the Air Force Academy, who told him that the son of the shuttle commander was a fellow cadet, and that they all felt a personal loss. They suggested “Come Sail Away” by Styx, which Casey introduced by quoting a lyric line: “They climbed aboard their starship / They headed for the skies.” Which gets it right. (That he used the rarely-heard-anymore 45 edit of the song was a bonus.)

Among the other features on the show, Casey answered a listener question about “heavy metal acts with the most chart hits.” His definition of “heavy metal” is probably neither yours nor mine, but here are the top five: Deep Purple Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Aerosmith, and at #1, KISS (with 18, including eight in the Top 40).

13. “I’m Your Man”/Wham
6. “The Sweetest Taboo”/Sade
I don’t think either of these got much airplay after they dropped off the Top 40, although “The Sweetest Taboo” is pretty good.

9. “Burning Heart”/Survivor
8. “Silent Running”/Mike and the Mechanics
7. “Life in a Northern Town”/Dream Academy

Here are more records on which the echo chamber is the star. Despite that, “Life in a Northern Town” is probably the best thing on the show.

Two segments after “Burning Heart,” Survivor is back for a Long Distance Dedication of “The Search Is Over.” I was always taught to maintain approximately an hour of separation between records by the same artist, a rule that still holds in a lot of places today, but this represented approximately 15 minutes of real time. It’s a strange choice considering the LDD could have run anywhere in the show.

1 “How Will I Know”/Whitney Houston. This record still gets daily airplay on adult-contemporary radio stations, which means somebody must want to hear it again, but not me.

After three solid years in a row for Top 40 music, 1986 represents a definite drop-off, although any year in which Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Paul McCartney are still making hits, and in which superstars like George Michael and Whitney Houston are on the way up, has something going for it.

Hold Back the Night

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(Pictured: Donna Summer onstage in February 1976.)

I have written many times before about the warm and secure family feeling I get when I think back on the end of 1975 (always keeping in mind that it may have been different than I remember it). Regular readers of this pondwater know how I am about 1976; it’s my favorite year, and I’m pretty much irrational about all it represents to me. But there’s something about the winter of 1976 that’s different. As I listen to the hits from that season, one after another, there’s something dark there, something lurking at the edges. On the threshold of my 16th birthday, something had changed within the previous couple of months—and it would change again within the next couple of months. What it was I cannot remember, nor can I hazard an intelligent guess.

Here are some notes about the American Top 40 show from February 21, 1976, in which I will try not to repeat myself any more than one might when one gets back on one’s usual BS.

40. “Hold Back the Night”/Trammps. “Hold Back the Night” is really good, and it deserved better than to peak at #35.

39. “Renegade”/Michael Murphey. Casey mentions some of the stars appearing with Murphey on “Renegade”: Charlie Daniels, John McEuen and Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson, and John Denver. Kind of makes you wonder why the record isn’t better.

35. “Tangerine”/Salsoul Orchestra
29. “Convoy”/C. W. McCall
24. “The White Knight”/Cledus Maggard
23. “Junk Food Junkie”/Larry Groce
17. “Baby Face”/Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corps
That’s a lot of novelty records on one show. “Tangerine” and “Baby Face” qualify, as they were disco remakes of then-familiar songs from the big-band era, and they seem qualitatively different from the other covers on the show. And once again, I marvel at how profoundly awful “The White Knight” is. Its southern/rural/trucker/CB stereotyping is so meatheaded, and its attempts at humor so lame, that it holds its presumed audience in contempt.

EXTRA: “Mr. Tambourine Man”/Byrds
Snipped from the show and offered as an extra during the recent repeat, this allows Casey to tell the story of how producer Terry Melcher didn’t believe the Byrds’ musicianship was strong enough for them to play on their debut single, so he brought in the Wrecking Crew. Casey says Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, Leon Russell, and Glen Campbell played on the record, although the song’s ringing, iconic guitar riff was performed by Roger McGuinn.

31. “Bohemian Rhapsody”/Queen. Casey says that “This was #1 for nine weeks in England. It must have something going for it.” It’s up two spots here in its eighth week on the Hot 100.

19. “Somewhere in the Night”/Helen Reddy. If this song is at all familiar to you, it’s probably in a 1978 version by Barry Manilow. Reddy’s version is not good; it’s sung in a stiff, whitebread manner that makes Manilow’s version swing.

15. “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)”/Elton John. I like Elton’s Rock of the Westies album more than a lot of people do, but this song works better in the context of the album than it does standing alone.

7. “All By Myself”/Eric Carmen. Carmen famously plundered Rachmaninoff for this record, but Casey explains that he came by it legitimately. When other kids his age were playing baseball, he was studying classical music, although his tastes changed after he heard the Beatles.

5. “Love Machine”/Miracles. I appreciate 70s cheese more than most people do, but by the time I got to this point in the show, I’d had enough.

4. “Love to Love You Baby”/Donna Summer
3. “You Sexy Thing”/Hot Chocolate
Hearing Hot Chocolate’s playful, sexy groove alongside “Love to Love You Baby” made the latter sound exploitative and deeply wrong. I’m pretty sure that I hated it more in that moment than at any other time since I was 16.

Maybe the darkness is coming from inside the house.

Before playing #3, Casey reviews the tops of the other charts. They include “Sweet Thing” by Rufus on the soul chart, “Good Hearted Woman” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson on the country chart, and Desire by Bob Dylan on the album chart. There were giants walking the earth in those days.

2. “Theme From S.W.A.T“/Rhythm Heritage
1. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”/Paul Simon
These two songs will trade places the next week after Simon spent three weeks at #1. By the time its theme song hit #1, S.W.A.T. had already been cancelled, and its last first-run episode would air in early April.

Number Please

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(Pictured: the Sylvers.)

As 1977 drew to a close, the staff of American Top 40 got ready to put together its annual year-end countdown. Billboard‘s chart year ran from November to November, which created some of the anomalies I wrote about with the 1976 year-end show. In 1977, the staff faced an additional wrinkle. For reasons now lost to history, Billboard‘s year-end tabulation was delayed. Nevertheless, AT40‘s deadlines remained in place. So AT40 statistician Sandy Stert Benjamin was tasked with compiling the show’s own Top 100 based on the weekly Billboard charts from November 1976 to November 1977. That Top 100 aired on the weekends of December 24 and December 31, 1977. Some notes follow:

98. “Year of the Cat”/Al Stewart. This show doesn’t contain quite as many long versions as the 1976 show did, but I appreciated hearing this one—even though the 4:32 edit is one of the best edits I know of.

61. “Lucille”/Kenny Rogers
26. “Southern Nights”/Glen Campbell
17. “Car Wash”/Rose Royce
Casey notes that each of these is “jukebox record of the year” for 1977 in various formats: country, pop, and R&B.

53. “Da Doo Ron Ron”/Shaun Cassidy. Casey says that “Da Doo Ron Ron” made David and Shaun Cassidy the first set of brothers to hit #1 separately since Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey did it in the 40s, which is an excellent bit of trivia. David gets credit for “I Think I Love You,” which was officially credited to “the Partridge Family Starring Shirley Jones and Featuring David Cassidy.”

51. “You Light Up My Life”/Debby Boone. This record did 10 weeks at #1, from mid-October to Christmas week in 1977, the longest run at the top in 20 years. But the deadline for producing the 1977 year-end show fell relatively early in its #1 run, so Debby’s way down here.

35. “You Are the Woman”/Firefall. What AT40 staffer Scott Paton calls “chart creep,” when arbitrary deadlines distorted the rankings, was so egregious here that they had Casey explain it on the air. Even though this record first charted in September 1976, he says, it racked up enough points in 1977 to rank this high.

32. “Muskrat Love”/Captain and Tennille. Casey says that the Captain and Tennille performed this song for Queen Elizabeth II, and weeks later read a magazine article quoting one of the queen’s ladies in waiting, claiming to have been offended by their song about “animals making love.” Casey says the queen was fine with it, though.

28. “When I Need You”/Leo Sayer
11. “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”/Leo Sayer
Casey says that of the artists who scored more than one of the Top 100 in 1977, Sayer’s hits rank the highest. Other stars with more than one include Peter Frampton, the Commodores, the Steve Miller Band, KC and the Sunshine Band, Barry Manilow, Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, and ELO.

15. “Hot Line”/Sylvers. It’s doubtful that any of the Top 100 of 1977 have gone further down the memory hole than “Hot Line.” It went to #5 at the end of January and was a #1 hit at KHJ in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago, and in other cities including San Diego, Tampa, Tucson, and Fort Lauderdale. But as I remember it—which is not all that reliable a guide, I grant you—it didn’t get much airplay after it dropped off the charts.

2. “Tonight’s the Night”/Rod Stewart
1. “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”/Andy Gibb
Scott describes Sandy Stert Benjamin’s 1977 chart as “impeccable”—it differed hardly at all from the official and delayed Billboard Top 100. She ended up with 91 of Billboard‘s 100 on her list, and most of the positions were fairly close. One big difference was that Billboard named “Tonight’s the Night” as #1 for the year with Andy Gibb at #2. Scott says, “Billboard’s chart department chief, Bill Wardlow, was not happy about the discrepancy. I believe we may have had to strengthen a disclaimer that we had already stated in the show about the situation and the reasons behind it. Frankly, I’ve always believed that Sandy’s chart was a more accurate reflection of the popular music scene and radio airplay of 1977. ” Me too.

I got a copy of this show from the vast archive of Dr. Mark at My Favorite Decade. Thank you sir. But thanks most of all to Scott and Sandy for their e-mail contributions and memories. They both point out that in the moment, they were just doing a job, never dreaming that decades hence, they’d be answering questions about it from nerds such as I. But, Scott says, “the happy moments still resonate.” Indeed they do, for the people who worked on the show, and for those of us who enjoy it still.

That’s Right

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During several hours on the interstate last week, the second installment of American Top 40‘s Top 100 hits of 1976 made a pretty entertaining travel companion. Here’s some stuff about some of it:

41. “Love to Love You Baby”/Donna Summer
24. “Get Up and Boogie (That’s Right)”/Silver Convention
14. “Fly Robin Fly”/Silver Convention
Casey notes that Donna Summer took a five-word phrase, repeated it 28 times, and ended up with a hit. But Donna also had some verses to sing. Silver Convention’s entire lyric output over two songs is four phrases: “get up and boogie,” “that’s right,” “fly robin fly,” and “up up to the sky.”

For what it’s worth, I will ride to the end of the line with both Silver Convention records. Few records open in a more arresting fashion than “Get Up and Boogie,” and “Fly Robin Fly” is a terrific production. One criticism is that it’s too repetitive. Maybe for some people. In my library, I have a 10-minute remix that’s barely enough for me.

42. “Deep Purple”/Donny and Marie Osmond. This ranks above several songs that hit #1 (albeit #1 hits that skated the line between chart years), and that just seems wrong. It peaked at #14, although it did run 23 weeks on the Hot 100, and as we’ll see below, a long chart run counted for a lot.

38. “Turn the Beat Around”/Vicki Sue Robinson
30. “Love Rollercoaster”/Ohio Players
As he’d done in part 1, Casey used some extra-long versions to help fill time on the show.

34. “Moonlight Feels Right “/Starbuck. Casey tells the story of how band members went from radio station to radio station across the South in 1975 delivering copies of their song and trying to get airplay. One station said they’d play it, but not until summertime, since it sounded like a summer hit. Which it turned out to be.

EXTRA: “Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)”/Barry DeVorzon and Perry Botkin Jr.
EXTRA: “Happy Days”/Pratt and McClain
The repeat that aired around the country over the 2019 holidays included some extras that didn’t make the original year-end list. Most surprising among them was “Happy Days,” which ran to #5 in the summer. It lasted 14 weeks on the Hot 100, 10 in the Top 40, and five in the Top 10. (Something had to be #101, and I’m betting this was it.) Meanwhile, “Nadia’s Theme” made #8 during a 22-week Hot 100 run, although it peaked after the November 1976 cut-off. (It didn’t make the 1977 chart either.)

11. “Sara Smile”/Hall and Oates
10. “A Fifth of Beethoven”/Walter Murphy
9. “Love Is Alive”/Gary Wright
8. “Love Machine”/Miracles
6. “Kiss and Say Goodbye”/Manhattans
4. “December 1963″/Four Seasons
“Sara Smile,” “A Fifth of Beethoven,” and “Love Machine” tied for the longest chart run of the year: 28 weeks on the Hot 100. Casey notes that “Love Machine” set a chart record for the longest climb to reach #1. It hit #1 in its 13th week in the Top 40 and its 20th week on the Hot 100. “A Fifth of Beethoven” had the longest run in the Top 40: 22 weeks to 19 for “Love Machine.” “Love Is Alive” and “December 1963” did 27 weeks on the big chart; “Kiss and Say Goodbye” 26.

To score big, ride high and last long. And not just on the record charts, I’m told.

5. “Play That Funky Music”/Wild Cherry. Casey says this was the first record by a white group to make #1 on the R&B chart since Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs did it in 1963 with “Sugar Shack,” which is a pretty good piece of trivia.

The first part of this year-end special aired on the weekend of December 25, 1976, and as I noted (and linked to) in my earlier post, it included a montage of every song to hit #1 during the 1976 calendar year. This part of the year-end special aired on the weekend of January 1, 1977, and repeated the montage before the top three hits of the year. Casey teased the latter in spoiler-y fashion, mentioning the titles and then asking, “But in what order?”

3. “Disco Lady”/Johnnie Taylor
2. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”/Elton John and Kiki Dee
1. “Silly Love Songs”/Paul McCartney and Wings
There’s nothing to argue with here. The three songs did 13 weeks at #1 between them. “Silly Love Songs” did five all by itself, non-consecutive.

And as I said before I started the first part of this, the top three, and the other 97, all play in my head, all the time, with no need for a radio.