Take Me Home

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(Pictured: Freda Payne sings on Top of the Pops in 1970.)

After recapping an AT40 show, we usually explore the next 60 positions on the chart in search of records that are notable, interesting, historic, or weird. For this edition of the feature, I’m tempted to simply reproduce the entire Bottom 60 from June 5, 1971, and say, “See?”

47. “Don’t Pull Your Love”/Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds
58. “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again”/Fortunes
62. “Take Me Home Country Roads”/John Denver and Fat City
64. “Mr. Big Stuff”/Jean Knight
77. “Sooner or Later”/Grass Roots
80. “You’ve Got a Friend”/James Taylor
88. “Signs”/Five Man Electrical Band
See? All of these would eventually make the Top 10, and they stand 50 years later as the distilled essence of that AM-radio summer.

48. “High Time We Went”-“Black Eyed Blues”/Joe Cocker. I have dug “High Time We Went” forever, but until this morning I had no idea what the precise lyrics are.

49. “13 Questions”/Seatrain. This California band of constantly shifting membership contained, at one point or another, veterans of the Blues Project, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and Earth Opera. “13 Questions” is on their second album, titled Seatrain after their debut had been called Sea Train, and was produced by George Martin.

59. “Melting Pot”/Booker T and the MGs. This is the last week on the Hot 100 for the last hit single by Booker T and the MGs.

60. “Tarkio Road”/Brewer and Shipley
76. “Get It On”/Chase
84. “Never Ending Song of Love”/Delaney and Bonnie
I did not list these under “See?” because they feel like they’re a cut below that level for most people, although to me they’re as indelibly stamped.

66. “Bring the Boys Home”/Freda Payne. Although white singers did plenty of famous antiwar songs, the ones by Black performers, especially by 1970 or so, carry extra weight, considering that Black and poor communities were most heavily affected by the Vietnam-era draft. “Bring the Boys Home” is one of the strongest antiwar sentiments ever to make it big on AM radio.

72. “Hot Love”/T. Rex. I bought nothing but 45s from 1971 until the end of 1973, but why I bought what I bought is a mystery to me now. “Hot Love,” for example: WLS charted it for only three weeks and it peaked at #24, but I heard it enough and dug it enough to lay down my 95 cents. Later, I’d buy “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” too.

78. “Done Too Soon”-“I Am I Said”/Neil Diamond. Radio stations that turned over “I Am I Said” in favor of “Done Too Soon” got a “We Didn’t Start the Fire”-style list of prominent names, concluding with a slow verse that’s kinda moving:

And each one there had one thing to share
They had sweated beneath the same sun
Looked up in wonder at the same moon
And wept when it was all done
For bein’ done too soon

87. “Walk Away”/James Gang. In its day, on the singles chart, “Walk Away” would peak at #51. A decade later, it would be in the classic-rock radio canon.

89. “If Not for You”/Olivia Newton-John. The first hit of her career, in its second week on the chart.

91. “I Don’t Want to Do Wrong”/Gladys Knight and the Pips. With several arrangers and producers getting credit on the If I Were Your Woman album, it’s not easy to tell who’s responsible for the great sound of “I Don’t Want to Do Wrong,” but master arranger David Van De Pitte and underrated producer Clay McMurray are among those credited, so they’re a safe bet.

92. “Love Means (You Never Have to Say You’re Sorry)”/Sounds of Sunshine. Inspired by Jenny’s famous line from the movie Love Story but not otherwise related to the film, “Love Means” went to #5 on Billboard‘s Easy Listening chart, spent a single week (July 31, 1971) on the Hot 100, and was two weeks on the WLS chart. The Sounds of Sunshine, three closely harmonizing California brothers, were frequently mistaken for the Lettermen, who recorded their own version of “Love Means” in 1972 because of course they did.

95. “I’ve Found Someone of My Own”/Free Movement. This record was the longest-charting Hot 100 hit of 1971, 26 weeks—five of which came in May and June before it dropped out for a couple of weeks. It came back in July and eventually made it to #5.

96. “Mandrill”/Mandrill. Homework assignment for the readership: other songs that have the same name as the band that recorded them.

Fifty years ago this month, the fifth grade was over and summer had come—a summer that would sound different to me than any one before.

I Do My Swingin’ at Home

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(Pictured: This much cool will give you frostbite: Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Glen Campbell.)

You asked for it, now you have to read it.

I experienced the country music of the mid-70s somewhat directly. It was an era when WMAQ in Chicago became a sensation by programming country music with Top 40 formatics (and even employed Chicago legend Fred Winston for a while). Mother and Dad listened to it in the house, the barn, and the car, and I recall turning it on myself.

The country music of the years before is a different story. What I picked up I got by osmosis or heard in years after, including some songs from the Billboard country chart from May 16, 1970.

1. “My Love”/Sonny James. There is a long list of one-time country superstars who are absolutely forgotten today. “The Southern Gentleman” had 23 #1 hits, 16 of them in a row between 1967 and 1971. “My Love” is a cover of the 1966 Petula Clark hit, and although it hasn’t aged well, it was a big deal in its day.

2. “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone”/Charley Pride. “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” is Charley Pride’s biggest hit, but “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” is the Charley Pride-iest. It’s everything that made him great in a couple of minutes.

3. “I Do My Swingin’ at Home”/David Houston. Here’s another guy who, like Sonny James, was straight money for several years, with an eye-popping record of chart success. In 1966, “Almost Persuaded” had a run at #1 country not beaten until the download era, but today, it’s the only Houston hit people remember now, if any.

5. “What Is Truth”/Johnny Cash
9. “Hello Darlin'”/Conway Twitty
11. “Tennessee Birdwalk”/Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan
12. “My Woman My Woman My Wife”/Marty Robbins
60. “Everything Is Beautiful”/Ray Stevens
62. “Long Lonesome Highway”/Michael Parks
Crossovers from country to pop and back again have always been a thing. “Everything Is Beautiful” would top the Hot 100 as May turned to June. “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife” made #42. I wrote about it a few years ago. “Hello Darlin'” made #60 but was Twitty’s longest-running country #1. You don’t need to hear me bang on about “Tennessee Birdwalk” again.

10. “Rise and Shine”/Tommy Cash. Younger brother of Johnny, and with a modestly successful career of his own during the 70s.

26. “Oh Happy Day”/Glen Campbell
32. “All I Have to Do Is Dream”/Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell
America was at peak Glen Campbell in 1970; his TV show was a hit and his records were ubiquitous. Campbell and Gentry did two Everly Brothers covers, this one and “Let It Be Me,” both of which crossed over from country to pop, and theirs might be the first version of “All I Have to Do Is Dream” I ever knew. “Oh Happy Day” ran the country chart at about the same time the gospel version by the Edwin Hawkins Singers was climbing into the Top 10 of the Hot 100.

35. “Togetherness”/Buck Owens and Susan Raye
38. “Tomorrow’s Forever”/Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton
47. “Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries”/Kenny Vernon and Lawanda Lindsay
58. “I’m Leavin’ It Up to You”/Johnny and Jonie Mosby
67. “A Good Thing”/Bill Wilbourne and Kathy Morrison
Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell were established solo stars who got together. Owens and Wagoner were established stars who took on duet partners, while other duets came up as duets. Dolly’s solo career began while she was partnered with Wagoner. Raye and Lindsay, who appeared on Owens’ TV show Hee Haw, scored their own hits later on. Raye had five straight country Top-10 hits between 1970 and 1972, including “L.A. International Airport,” which went to #54 on the Hot 100.

(“Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries,” first recorded by R&B singers Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson and more famously by Twitty and Loretta Lynn in 1971, is not really about procuring fruit.)

50. “Down in New Orleans”/Buddy Alan. Buddy Alan was the son of Buck and Bonnie Owens and the stepson of Merle Haggard. After a handful of minor hits in the 70s, he gave up recording for a successful career in radio programming.

53. “Running Bare”/Jim Nesbitt. In 1960, Johnny Preston scored a #1 pop hit with “Running Bear,” about an Indian brave who “loved little White Dove with a love big as the sky.” Sonny James took it to #1 country in 1969. After that, Jim Nesbitt (whose name we have mentioned at this website before) did “Running Bare,” a parody that in retrospect seems inevitable.

Our pal Bean Baxter pointed out on Twitter the other day that a large amount of 70s country is out of print and/or missing from streaming services. That’s a great loss to history geeks such as we, but also to people who simply enjoy good tunes.

God’s Gonna Getcha for That

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(Pictured: Bill Anderson in the 70s.)

The other day on Twitter I threatened to start up a whole new blog devoted to 70s country, which I love, but which I have always suspected is of somewhat limited interest to the readership of this website (which itself is already of limited interest to the world at large). A handful of kind readers chimed in to say they’d read it, which is gratifying. So for today: the great Radio Rewinder Twitter feed posted the Billboard Top 75 country chart from May 17, 1975, earlier this week, and there’s lots of good stuff on it.

The first thing you notice is the number of pop crossovers: the top three songs were all significant pop hits, and two of them, by B. J. Thomas and John Denver, were #1 on the Hot 100. In all, 10 of 1975’s #1 country singles were significant pop hits, and six of them were Hot 100 #1s. Other crossover hits on the 5/17/75 chart include “I’m Not Lisa,” “Misty,” “When Will I Be Loved,” “Lizzie and the Rain Man,” “Reconsider Me,” “Rainy Day People,” and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E.” But beyond the pop crossovers, several songs at the top of this chart would be considered country classics for the next couple of decades: “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles),” “Too Late to Worry,” “Tryin’ to Beat the Morning Home,” “Roll on Big Mama.” Record charts from any genre and any bygone year can impress us with the number of legends appearing, and this one certainly does: George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Buck Owens, Brenda Lee, Don Williams (just starting his Hall of Fame career), Hank Williams Jr., Sonny James, Roy Clark, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Mel Tillis, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, Mac Davis.

Let’s dip into the chart and see what’s interesting.

10. “Misty”/Ray Stevens. Let me again praise this version of the Erroll Garner piano bar standard, which is done straight and is brilliantly produced by Stevens. It made #14 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1975.

44. “The Tip of My Fingers”/Jean Shepard. A now-forgotten pioneer of country music, one of the first women to headline country concerts in her own right, and a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 60 years until her death in 2016, Jean Shepard hit the country Top 40 31 times starting in 1953; “The Tip of My Fingers,” which had gone to #16, was her last Top 40 entry. It was written and first a made a hit by Bill Anderson (about whom there’s more below) in 1960; later versions by Roy Clark (1963)  and Eddy Arnold (1966)  are probably the best-known.

50. “Boilin’ Cabbage”/Bill Black’s Combo. Bill Black, Elvis Presley’s bassist and with a successful career in his own right, died in 1965. His widow sold his recording studio and the name “Bill Black’s Combo” to Bob Tucker and Larry Rogers. Tucker had taken over leading the combo when Black’s health failed in 1963. “Boilin’ Cabbage” was on the 1974 album Solid & Country, released on the Hi label (also home to Al Green), and it is quite the country stomper. Their next album, World’s Greatest Honky Tonk Band, was successful enough for Billboard to honor them as the top country instrumental group of 1976.

53. “Fireball Rolled a Seven”/Dave Dudley. Dudley is most famous for the 1963 hit “Six Days on the Road.” “Fireball Rolled a Seven” name-checks every major Southern stock car race and Richard Petty too, and is mentioned here entirely because the phrase “fireball rolled a seven” just sounds cool.

62. “Freda Comes, Freda Goes”/Bobby G. Rice. Fans of obscure pop tunes may remember “Freedom Comes, Freedom Goes” by the Fortunes. This is the same song except for the change from “freedom” to “Freda.”

73. “Country DJ”/Bill Anderson. I’d never heard “Country DJ” before I saw this chart, and I do not have sufficient words to describe how much I adore it. Anybody who ever worked in small-market radio will recognize practically everything in it as God’s Own Truth.

95. “God’s Gonna Get’cha (For That)”/George Jones and Tammy Wynette. While I don’t know it for sure, I have to think this record was inspired by Maude‘s TV catchphrase “God’ll get you for that, Walter.”  “God’s Gonna Get’cha (For That)” is a minor entry in the George and Tammy catalog (eventually making #25) , but it’s worth 2:41 of your time, and the harmonies are great.

Y’all better be serious about wanting to read more along this line, because there will be more of it next week.

Young, Beautiful, Talented, and Stoned

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(Pictured: Carly Simon and James Taylor, 1973.)

On Monday, I wrote about how pop music, at least as it was heard on the radio via the American Top 40 show from May 4, 1974, was retreating from the innovation and ferment of the previous decade, citing the incredible blandness of many of the most popular songs, and the fact that certain significant artists and styles of the earlier period were ceasing to be as popular. In this post, there’s evidence that the thesis in my earlier post could be completely full of it.

40. “Touch a Hand, Make a Friend”/Staple Singers
35. “Mighty Mighty”/Earth Wind and Fire
32. “For the Love of Money”/O’Jays
27. “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”/Stevie Wonder
19. “My Mistake”/Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye
17. “You Make Me Feel Brand New”/Stylistics
5. “Dancing Machine”/Jackson Five
4. “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”/Gladys Knight and the Pips
Sure, Aretha Franklin and James Brown were coming down from the peaks they had reached in the 60s and early 70s, but there was a whole raft of stars who were either 60s mainstays doing fine, emergent stars in the 70s at a peak, or future hitmakers on the way up. In defense of my original thesis, I will say that in 1974, some of these acts were not especially long for the charts. For example, Philly soul would cease to be as powerful a force as disco rose, and Michael Jackson would swallow his brothers whole not too long after.

38. “Thanks for Saving My Life”/Billy Paul
23. “Help Me”/Joni Mitchell
2. “T.S.O.P.”/MFSB

And there were still innovators at work in this period. Joni Mitchell hired jazz musicians for her band because they were the only ones capable of keeping up with her explorations. Billy Paul came up as a jazz singer, which explains the way he sings ahead of, behind, and all around the swingin’ band backing him on “Thanks for Saving My Life.” That band, MFSB, made up of Philadelphia session players, had jazz chops to burn. (Listen to the sax solo on “T.S.O.P.”) Outsiders and outside styles continued to influence pop just as they had in years before.

33. “Mockingbird”/Carly Simon and James Taylor
31. “A Very Special Love Song”/Charlie Rich
21. “I Won’t Last a Day Without You”/Carpenters
One might consider these to be emblematic of the bland, adult-contemporary direction of Top 40 music as 1974 unfolded. Charlie Rich had taken that same sensibility to the top of the country charts: Casey mentions that in a recent week, Rich held the top three positions on the country album chart. (Of all his hits in the 1973-1974 period, “A Very Special Love Song,” which had been to #11 on the Hot 100 in April, might be the best of the bunch.) I did not lump the Carpenters with the previous post’s examples of records dull enough to stop time, even as it sounds exactly right alongside of them. That’s because by 1974, the Carpenters’ record-making craft was so accomplished—seriously, they were approaching McCartney levels by this time—that I’m impressed by it even when it’s in the service of a song that’s not especially memorable.

As for Carly and James, leave it to nerds such as we to consider where  “Mockingbird” fits on a creative spectrum or within the course of history. In 1974, they had hit the quinella of being young, beautiful, talented, stoned (just JT), and in love, so good for them.

29. “Let It Ride”/Bachman-Turner Overdrive

22. “Band on the Run”/Paul McCartney and Wings
3. “Bennie and the Jets”/Elton John
1. “The Locomotion”/Grand Funk

Here are more stars who were either just starting a run of success (BTO) or in the middle of one. But they also represent the only real rock music on this chart. Does “Bennie and the Jets” even count? I am almost convinced that “The Locomotion” is more akin to the novelty cheese of “The Streak,” which would knock “The Locomotion” from the #1 position during the week of May 18, 1974, and stay in the Top Five until July.

While there are some specific exceptions, in general I find the radio pop from first half of 1974 hard to love. It gets better as the year goes along, but I can never be sure that doesn’t have as much to do with the pleasant associations I have with the music as it does with the music itself. If I’m onto anything here, it’s the idea that there was a degree of qualitative retreat going on in that year, moving in a direction that would necessitate new innovations—disco, new wave, MTV, take your pick—in not too many years after.

Tell Me a Lie

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(Pictured: John Denver, outdoors.)

Popular music runs in cycles, periods of innovation followed by retreat, which inspires new innovation. It’s always been true, as David Wondrich demonstrates in Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot, 1843-1924. Innovations bubble up into the mainstream and change the course of it, but after a while, the innovations (and the inventive spirit that inspired them) get co-opted to various degrees by the keepers of orthodoxy until the next new bubbling innovations come along. In Wondrich’s book, it happens to minstrel music, coon songs, and ragtime. Although eras don’t break cleanly and there are always individual exceptions, in later years it went generally like this: the Jazz Age and Swing Era (from the 20s to the start of World War II) was followed by an era of mostly sweet and unthreatening pop songs (to 1954), which was followed by the birth of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll, which was followed by another era of mostly sweet and unthreatening pop songs (late 50s/early 60s), which was followed by the British Invasion, the rise of soul, and the whole ferment of the 1960s. That latter period lasted longer than it seems. I believe that certain innovations and spirit of the 1960s persisted as late as 1973. It wasn’t until 1974 that pop music became truly quiescent, in need of new bubbling innovations.

It’s easy to say that the bland and escapist pop of 1974 was birthed by the psychological weight of outside historical forces coming down—Vietnam, Watergate, energy crisis, etc.—and that’s probably part of it. Wondrich notes how the outside force of Jim Crow in the 1890s changed the nature of racist coon songs. But the biggest historical force driving co-optation at any point is probably capitalism, in which somebody hopes to profit by making an outsider art form palatable for a broader, less sophisticated audience. Top 40 radio, the main means of music discovery for a generation, was transformed by that desire to profit. By 1974, some of the big stations increased their efforts to achieve truly mass audiences by bringing more soft rock/adult contemporary music into the Top 40 mainstream to attract the olds, while others went all-in on attracting teenagers, which kept bubblegum and teenybopper acts alive (and which drove young adults away from AM to FM rock stations, another historical force in motion).

All that explains something, but not everything, about the the American Top 40 show dated May 4, 1974 (a show I’m sure I heard on the weekend it first aired).

39. “My Girl Bill”/Jim Stafford
37. “I’m a Train”/Albert Hammond
28. “Seasons in the Sun”/Terry Jacks
26. “Keep on Singing”/Helen Reddy
25. “The Lord’s Prayer”/Sister Janet Mead
20. “Sunshine on My Shoulders”/John Denver
14. “Come and Get Your Love”/Redbone
7. “Hooked on a Feeling”/Blue Swede
6. “The Streak”/Ray Stevens
This right here is the reaction, or the co-optation, or whatever you want to call it, in response to the years since 1964. With these records, it didn’t feel like pop music had lost an edge as much as it had actively stopped trying to hone one. Even “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Come and Get Your Love,” catchy though they are, feel a little enervated. The very topical “The Streak” was on its way to #1 as one of the top hits of the year, but it generates a chuckle at most. In the aggregate, the blandness of these records is enough to stop time.

36. “I’m in Love”/Aretha Franklin
34. “Tell Me a Lie”/Sami Jo
30. “The Payback”/James Brown
And here are some casualties of the reaction, two stars and one style (deep Southern country-soul) that had been ascendant in years before but would never be quite so dominant again.

11. “The Entertainer”/Marvin Hamlisch
8. “Tubular Bells”/Mike Oldfield
The blandness was not all-consuming, however. Any era in which both The Sting and The Exorcist were playing in your town (and in which Chinatown was a coming attraction, to open in June) was a good one. The Sting drove the success of “The Entertainer,” originally a ragtime piece written in 1902, but as a retroactive argument for the blandness of radio pop in the spring of 1974, you can’t do better, even if “Tubular Bells” represents a dissenting view.

Cherry-picking the charts in search of support for a particular thesis is a dangerous occupation. You can prove anything by selectively interpreting your source material. And in fact, what I’ve suggested here is probably a gross oversimplification of what was happening back there in the spring of 1974. Coming in the next installment (and I desperately did not want this to require two posts but gasbags gotta gas and I’m sorry), I’ll suggest that my whole thesis could be wrong.

Something Going On

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(Pictured: Culture Club, 1983.)

Last February I asked if having three acts with two separate, non-double-A sided singles in the Top 40 at the same time was some kind of a record. A couple of readers quickly chimed in to say that it was not. On the chart dated May 7, 1983, there are seven acts with two hits in the 40:

—Michael Jackson with “Beat It” (#1) and “Billie Jean” (#14)
—Styx with “Mr. Roboto” (#8) and “Don’t Let It End” (#27)
—Duran Duran with “Rio” (#16) and “Hungry Like the Wolf” (#33)
—Lionel Richie with “My Love” (#17) and “You Are” (#38)
—Culture Club with “Time” (#19) and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” (#34)
—Journey with “Separate Ways” (#21) and “Faithfully” (#23)
—Hall and Oates with “One on One” (#31) and “Family Man” (#32)

If we dip below the Top 40, we can find other pairs:

—Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band with “Even Now” (#12) and “Shame on the Moon” (#91)
—Kenny Rogers with “We’ve Got Tonight” (#36) and “All My Life” (#67)
—Frida with “I Know There’s Something Going On” (#41) and “Here We’ll Stay” (#103)
—Golden Earring with “Twilight Zone” (#43) and “The Devil Made Me Do It” (#79)
—Pat Benatar with “Looking for a Stranger” (#51) and “Little Too Late” (#100)
—Christopher Cross with “No Time for Talk” (#59) and “All Right” (#96)
—Thompson Twins with “Love on Your Side” (#72) and “Lies” (#98)

That’s 14 acts with two records on the chart at the same time. It likely has something to do with the slow-moving charts of the period, which is something we’ve discussed before.

Beyond the number of acts doubling up, there’s an argument that, early in the decade though it is, the week of May 7, 1983, represents Peak 80s, with groundbreaking records and iconic hits thick on the ground. In the Top 40, there was “Let’s Dance” and “Come on Eileen,” “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Little Red Corvette” and “Flashdance,” “Always Something There to Remind Me” and “Whirly Girl,” Def Leppard’s “Photograph” and Bryan Adams’ “Straight From the Heart.” Below the Top 40, there was New Year’s Day” by U2, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue,” “I Eat Cannibals” by Total Coelo, “Our House” by Madness, Todd Rundgren’s “Bang the Drum All Day,” “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs, plus “Back on the Chain Gang,” “Too Shy,” “Reap the Wild Wind,” “Mexican Radio,” “I Melt With You,” and even the Cheers theme “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.”

Although I was hearing most of these songs plenty in the spring of 1983, I was playing only a few of them on the air myself. I was music director and afternoon jock at KDTH in Dubuque, a country station. As I wrote a while back, country hits that crossed to pop were the heart of our playlist. In this week, those included Ronnie Milsap’s “Stranger in My House,” “You Can’t Run From Love” by Eddie Rabbitt, “The Closer You Get” by Alabama, and “Swingin'” by John Anderson. “Swingin'” was a rage that spring, blowing out the phone lines at KDTH on its way to #1 country and #43 on the pop chart. Most of its pop-chart action came in smaller markets; apart from WZGC in Atlanta, which had it at #1 for three weeks in March, the most famous major-market station to chart it was WLS in Chicago. “Swingin'” went to #12 in a 14-week run on the WLS survey, although I never knew anybody who actually heard it on WLS; I never did.

Listening to this stuff, and revisiting the spring of 1983 for the first time in awhile, I found myself enjoying it a lot more than I expected. I actually felt the warm glow of nostalgia, which is elusive where the 1980s are concerned. During the week of May 7, 1983, The Mrs. and I had been Mr. and Mrs. for one month. We were 23 and 22 years old. We were getting ready to move out of my crappy one-bedroom bachelor pad to a new apartment in June, the bottom quarter of an old house that’s still my favorite of all the places we ever lived. She worked for the local newspaper, which also owned KDTH. And we were figuring out, together, what our life was supposed to be, together.

Next week at this website: return with me to the spring of 1974, and enjoy some half-assed historical theorizing thereon. 

Next week on the radio: I’ll be taking over the afternoon show on Magic 98 on a regular basis, Monday through Friday from 3 til 7 US Central, at least for a while, until they find somebody they like better. You can listen here, if you care.