Talking Loud and Saying Nothing

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(Pictured: James Brown on stage, 1972.)

OK, let’s do that thing where after we listen to an American Top 40 show, we look at the Bottom 60 of the same week’s chart to see and hear what there. This is from March 25, 1972.

42. “Talking Loud and Saying Nothing (Part 1)”/James Brown
44. “King Heroin”/James Brown
James Brown put 15 singles on American Top 40 between 1970 and 1974, but it was his enormous popularity in the R&B market that got him there. The people buying “King Heroin” weren’t the same ones buying “Puppy Love” and “Horse With No Name,” but they were buying it in numbers sufficient to make it competitive.

45. “I Can’t Help Myself”/Donnie Elbert. Elbert hit the Hot 100 four times in two years, but “Where Did Our Love Go” and “I Can’t Help Myself” made #15 and #22 respectively. Each one takes the Motown groove of the 60s and updates it in a uniquely 70s way. They don’t improve on the originals because how could they, but they’re pretty good on their own.

47. “Tiny Dancer”/Elton John. Surely “Tiny Dancer” was a big hit, as it is one of Elton’s more familiar songs. But it was not, peaking at #29 in Cash Box and #41 in Billboard. It made local Top 10s in Honolulu, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, and some smaller markets. There are no ARSA listings for it from any station in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

49. “Suavecito”/Malo. There is nothing about “Suavecito” that isn’t great, although I think it’s one of those cases where the single edit is superior to the long version. In either version, however, it sounds like the first bright, warm days of spring.

55. “Son of My Father”/Giorgio
91. “Son of My Father”/Chicory
That’s Giorgio Moroder, future pioneer of electronic and dance music, most famously with Donna Summer. His “Son of My Father” sounded unlike anything that had been on stateside Top 40 radio before. The Chicory version had been to #1 in the UK in February, about the time both versions first charted in the United States. Giorgio would get to #46 here, but Chicory (known as Chicory Tip in the UK before the tip was snipped for the American market) was done at #91.

58. “Iron Man”/Black Sabbath. What’s this doing here? It’s doing pretty well, actually. Down from a peak of #52 and in its ninth week on the Hot 100, “Iron Man” would go all the way to #1 at Seattle’s KSEA in San Diego in May, in a Top 10 that also featured “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Rockin’ Robin,” and Don McLean’s “Vincent.” It was #2 in San Diego, #4 in Louisville, and #8 in Minneapolis/St. Paul. But again, there’s no record of New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles Top 40 airplay at ARSA.

63. “Rock and Roll”/Led Zeppelin. “Black Dog” had been a #15 hit earlier in the year, and “Rock and Roll” seems more commercial, but it would stall out at #47. Its highest position at ARSA is #9 at WFRS, an AM station in Big Rapids, Michigan, which is up in the middle of nowhere but is also the home of Ferris State University, which might account for its wildly eclectic playlist.

78. “Baby Blue”/Badfinger
79. “The Family of Man”/Three Dog Night
Badfinger and Three Dog Night are debuts in this week, both great AM radio records that come out of the gate at full force and never let up. “Baby Blue” was remixed from the Straight Up album for American single release, and that’s the version you want. It punches you in the face, but in a good way.

82. “Nice to Be With You”/Gallery. This record will require 10 weeks just to crack the Top 40 but only four more to make the Top 10, finally peaking at #4 at the end of June. It’s one of the records that takes me most vividly back to the first days of that summer: school’s out and the swimming pool is in the dooryard, but for the first time, I am also expected to drive a tractor on the farm whether I want to or not. It’s my first experience with the world of work as it would be forever after.

A lot of books have been written about individual years in music, mainly from the 60s, and there’s a new one about 1984. But surely there’s material enough for a book about 1972: the ongoing crossfade between 60s and 70s styles, the rise of soft rock and prog rock, the underrated soul music of the time, and the historical forces that would, by 1974, transform the pop-music landscape into something entirely different. I’m not the person to write it, but I’d read it.

Joyride

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(Pictured: Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson of Roxette, 1991.)

After listening to the American Top 40 show from the weekend of March 9, 1991, here’s the usual look at what else was on that week’s Hot 100.

41. “Joyride”/Roxette. I was working at an adult-contemporary station as 1990 turned to 1991, and we played “Listen to Your Heart” and “It Must Have Been Love” past the point of all human endurance. We didn’t play “Joyride” at all, but now I think it’s the best thing Roxette ever did, by a lot.

46. “Play That Funky Music”/Vanilla Ice

69. “I’m Not in Love”/Will to Power
76. “Unchained Melody 1990″/Righteous Brothers
91. “The Shoop-Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)”/Cher
Lots of remakes are in the Hot 100 this week in addition to Tesla’s “Signs” at #16 and Robert Palmer’s “Mercy Mercy Me”/”I Want You” medley at #30. The original 1965 “Unchained Melody” became a hit again thanks to its inclusion in the movie Ghost, but the Righteous Brothers and their current label had no legal rights to that recording, so they recut it. The original 1965 “Melody” peaked at #13 in October 1990; the recut version peaked at #19 a month later.

(“It Never Rains in Southern California” by Tony! Toni! Tone! is at #66 in this week but it’s a different song, and not a remake of the 1972 Albert Hammond hit, although that might have been better.)

48. “Ride the Wind”/Poison
51. “Easy Come, Easy Go”/Winger
74. “Spend My Life”/Slaughter
79. “Call It Rock and Roll”/Great White
86. “Don’t Treat Me Bad”/Firehouse
96. “Miles Away”/Winger
The early 90s were the golden age of hair metal and bands that were hair-metal-adjacent. Besides these, Tesla and Warrant (“I Saw Red” at #27) are in the Top 40 this week.

54. “Give Peace a Chance”/Peace Choir. “Give Peace a Chance” is another artifact of the Gulf War era, a reboot of the the Plastic Ono Band chant from 1969, spearheaded by Lenny Kravitz and Sean Lennon, then 15 years old. Members of the Peace Choir included Tom Petty, Al Jarreau, Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt, MC Hammer, Cyndi Lauper, LL Cool J, Little Richard, Michael McDonald, Randy Newman, Peter Gabriel, and Yoko Ono, among others. It got more mileage on MTV than it did on the radio; #54 was its debut position on the Hot 100, and its peak. It spent the next three weeks slipping down and out.

59. “Moneytalks”/AC-DC
94. “Highwire”/Rolling Stones
99. “Give It Up”/ZZ Top
All of these records make history of a sort. “Moneytalks” is AC/DC’s most successful Hot 100 hit, having peaked earlier in 1991 at #23. They would make the Hot 100 only one more time to date. “Highwire” would get to #57. Although the Stones put many other singles onto Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock chart in the 90s, they have not gotten any higher on the Hot 100 since “Highwire.” “Give It Up” is the last Hot 100 single to date for ZZ Top.

71. “From a Distance”/Bette Midler
82. “Night and Day”/Bette Midler
In addition to the Peace Choir and Top 40 hits “The Star-Spangled Banner” (#32 in this week) and “Show Me the Way” (#5), “From a Distance” was also very much a Gulf War hit, about the hope for peace in a world at war. It spent nine weeks in the Top 10 from November 1990 into January 1991 and peaked at #2. Its extended popularity probably tamped down “Night and Day” (which is not the Cole Porter song). It had made #62 in February.

79. “I Touch Myself”/Divinyls. Your mileage may vary and I could be totally wrong, but it seems to me there are only a couple of records on this Hot 100 for which the word “iconic” fits, in the sense that everybody knew them then and they are still fondly remembered now. “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C + C Music Factory (#7) is one of them, and “I Touch Myself” is the other. This is its debut week; it would eventually get to #4.

80. “Don’t Hold Back Your Love”/Hall and Oates. H&O’s historic hot streak largely ended after 1986, apart from “Everything Your Heart Desires” (1988) and “So Close” (1990). “Don’t Hold Back Your Love” peaked at #41 despite being insanely great.

The musical 90s is not my decade; I didn’t experience it the way I did the 70s and 80s, and I can’t talk about it in the same way. All I can say for sure is that 1991 sounds a hell of a lot better to me than 1990 did.

Note to Patrons: I wrote a thing about the first anniversary of the pandemic for the Sidepiece and then decided not to send it because we’ve all had enough of the pandemic. May we always remember those who got sick and died, and those who got sick and didn’t. And never forget those working to make things better, or forgive those who made things worse. 

All This Time

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(Pictured: young Mariah Carey shows off.)

Last summer, by reader request, I wrote about an American Top 40 show from the Shadoe Stevens era. It didn’t go well. But I decided to risk another one, from the weekend of March 9, 1991. Notes follow.

39. “Chasin’ the Wind”/Chicago
20. “If You Needed Somebody”/Bad Company
The last Top 40 hit to date for both of these 70s superstars, but with power ballads this generic, does it matter whose name is on them?

36. “Cry for Help”/Rick Astley. After several dance records that wasted Astley’s incredible voice, here’s a song that finally does it justice. Why “Cry for Help” hasn’t been on the air continuously these last 30 years like other, lesser 90s hits, smarter people than I will have to explain.

33. “Baby Baby”/Amy Grant. Making its chart debut this week, this was one gigantic earworm in 1991, and now that I’ve heard it again, it still is.

32. “The Star-Spangled Banner”/Whitney Houston
LDD: “I’ll Be Loving You Forever”/New Kids on the Block
5. “Show Me the Way”/Styx
This show aired about a week after the Gulf War cease-fire, which ended a weird period in American psychohistory. Do you remember it? During those six weeks of war, we tried like hell to cleanse ourselves of Vietnam, not just the shame of having lost, but the fear that we hadn’t supported the Vietnam troops in a way they deserved. Even as jaded a liberal as I got caught up in it. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is Whitney’s famous Super Bowl XXV rendition, performed nine days after the war began, and it’s the record she was born to make. The LDD is from a girl on a stateside military base to her father in Saudi Arabia. And although Shadoe didn’t play it, there was a “Desert Storm mix” of “Show Me the Way,” which was sappy inspirational horseshit, but which also blew out the phones at radio stations like mine.

Observation: the imaging package AT40 was using at this time, jingles and music beds, is hideous.

28. “Deeper Shade of Soul”/Urban Dance Squad
25. “I’ll Do 4U”/Father MC
I’d never heard either of these before. “Deeper Shade of Soul” is really good, throwing back to the 60s with genuine respect. “I’ll Do 4U” is built on a sample of Cheryl Lynn’s 1979 disco hit “Got to Be Real,” and I liked it too.

23. “Sadeness Part 1″/Enigma. Shadoe reports on how “Sadeness Part 1,” which mixes religious chants with modern beats, has been condemned by churches across Europe. It’s a weird association, but it reminds me of “Jungle Fever,” the 1972 hit by the Chakachas: a mix of mostly unintelligible vocal sounds with an insistent rhythm track that’s on the cutting edge of the moment.

Shadoe plays a montage of the top five songs during this week in 1985: Madonna’s “Material Girl,” David Lee Roth’s “California Girls,” “The Heat Is On” by Glenn Frey, “Careless Whisper” by Wham, and the #1 song, “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon. So much 80s.

18. “I’ve Been Thinking About You”/Londonbeat
11. “Get Here”/Oleta Adams
10. “Wicked Game”/Chris Isaak
One of these is the best record on the show, unless it’s “Cry for Help” or “Deeper Shade of Soul.”

17. “Iesha”/Another Bad Creation. This, on the other hand, is the worst, badly rapped and/or sung over a beat constructed by somebody with no concept of Western rhythmic structures, but Shadoe introduces it by saying, “the hits just keep on comin’,” so I’ll allow it.

16. “Signs”/Tesla. A live remake of the Five Man Electrical Band hit, which Shadoe introduces with a medley of other live remakes that hit the Top 40: the Blues Brothers’ “Soul Man,” “I Do” by the J. Geils Band, the Hall and Oates 1986 Motown medley, George Benson’s “On Broadway,” Tom Petty’s “Needles and Pins” (extra points for digging up that one), Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony,” and “War” by Bruce Springsteen.

6. “All This Time”/Sting. Introduced with a long soundbite from Sting himself talking about why he didn’t package his new CD in a longbox. The “digipak” Sting touts in the clip had been around since the mid-80s, but record stores preferred the longbox because it fit in existing record racks.

1. “Someday”/Mariah Carey. Andy Gibb hit #1 with his first three singles in 1977 and 1978. With “Someday,” Mariah becomes the first woman to do it. Thirty years later, Mariah Carey has left Andy Gibb and everybody else in the dust with #1 hits in four different decades (thanks to the return of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” spilling into last January). No one has ever done that before.

Thanks to Adam, who sent me links to some Shadoe shows last summer. There are others, so we’ll do this again sometime. 

I Like to Rock

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(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
96. “Babe”/Styx
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.

Don’t Do It to Me Like That One More Time

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(Pictured: Tom Petty on stage in 1980.)

In memory, the winter of 1980 is weird. At the time, it seemed like one of the greatest seasons of my life. I had a hot girlfriend, I was the boy genius program director of the campus radio station, and I had a paying radio gig that showed the world my superior talent. But as I relive that season via the American Top 40 show from the weekend of February 9, 1980, I can’t say that I’m exactly enjoying it. The 2021 me, conscious of how the plans and dreams of 1980 worked out, wants his egotistical, headstrong, and exuberant young self to pump the brakes a little bit.

39. “99”/Toto
32. “Another Brick in the Wall”/Pink Floyd

26. “Why Me”/Styx
24. “Third Time Lucky”/Foghat
22. “Fool in the Rain”/Led Zeppelin
8. “The Long Run”/Eagles
5. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”/Queen

Lots of rock superstars were selling 45s in this week, and we’ll get to Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac in a bit.

38. “Send One Your Love”/Stevie Wonder
29. “Wonderland”/Commodores

4. “Cruisin'”/Smokey Robinson
Motown superstars too.

37. “Ladies Night”/Kool and the Gang
36. “Him”/Rupert Holmes
31. “Refugee”/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
27. “Too Hot”/Kool and the Gang
12. “Escape”/Rupert Holmes
10. “Don’t Do Me Like That”/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Somebody with a more searchable database or a better work ethic might be able to say if having three acts on the chart each with two separate, non-double-A-sided singles is some kind of record.

Casey answers a letter about whether any song has ever topped the pop, soul, and country charts. The answer is yes: Elvis in 1957 with “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” and the Everly Brothers in 1958 with “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” Before you go thinking this could never happen again, remember “Old Town Road,” which topped the Hot 100 (for 19 weeks, the longest run in chart history) and the R&B/Hip Hop chart in 2019. Had it not been disqualified from the Billboard country chart after it reached #19, it might have done the deed too.

Digression: I did not write about “Old Town Road” at this website, although I tried. It was a little absurd for Billboard to say it wasn’t country enough, given the proliferation of trap beats and faux R&B in the genre over in the last decade. Nevertheless, I remain unwilling to draw a straight line from country’s black pioneers, your DeFord Baileys and Charley Prides, to Lil Nas X, although other writers I respect are not.

LDD: “Rise”/Herb Alpert. In which Georgina tells about meeting Bill, a shy young rock musician. She wanted a relationship with him but it didn’t work out because (loose translation) he just wanted to bone. Bill ended up on drugs and she hasn’t seen him for 11 years and even though she’s married to someone else now, she still loves him and thinks about him, and “Rise” is the right song to get her feelings across. (Seems to me that Bill’s interest in rising was the problem, though.)

34. “Lost Her in the Sun”/John Stewart
17. “Daydream Believer”/Anne Murray
This week represents peak John Stewart, with his most beautiful single and his most famous song both in the Top 40.

20. “I Wanna Be Your Lover”/Prince. Casey tells the story of how “Roger Nelson” turned down four record labels before signing with Warner Brothers. That’s OK. Casey will have the next decade to get Prince Rogers Nelson’s name right.

16. “Romeo’s Tune”/Steve Forbert
7. “Sara”/Fleetwood Mac
One of these is my favorite song on the show, unless it’s “Don’t Do Me Like That.”

LDD: “Daniel”/Elton John. In which a girl, forbidden to see her older brother, a blind and legless veteran who hasn’t spoken a word in the six months since he was injured, bursts into his hospital room screaming his name. As the doctors and nurses drag her out, the brother speaks her name. The brother’s name is in fact Daniel, and Bernie Taupin has said the song is about a wounded veteran, but that doesn’t make the LDD any less horrific and tasteless.

3. “Coward of the County”/Kenny Rogers
2. “Do That to Me One More Time”/Captain and Tennille
1. “Rock With You”/Michael Jackson
There’s not much action at the top of the chart; the top five and eight of the top 10 are in the same positions as last week. Michael and the Captain and Tennille hold for a fourth straight week, and Kenny is at #3 for a third week. In 1975, the Dragons did four weeks at #1 with “Love Will Keep Us Together.” “Do That To Me One More Time” would be #1 for only a week, but its eventual two months in the top three makes it hard to argue that it wasn’t the bigger hit.

How Sweet the Sound

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(Pictured: Judy Collins performs on TV, 1969.)

We continue here with a look inside the American Top 40 show from January 30, 1971, in which we find some key differences between the show as it was heard back then and the version that is repeated today.

EXTRA: “Isn’t It a Pity”/George Harrison
EXTRA: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”/Shirelles
At the end of the first hour of the original 1971 broadcast, Casey played “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” as an extra, part of a feature on the #1 songs “10 years ago today.” On the repeat, it was snipped and offered as an extra at the end of the third hour. The extra included with the first hour of the repeat was “Isn’t It a Pity,” the flip side of “My Sweet Lord,” introduced as a track from the #1 album of the week, All Things Must Pass. But here’s something weird: “Isn’t It a Pity” wasn’t heard on the original 1/30/71 show at all. While on later shows extras are voiced by modern-day announcer Larry Morgan, extras from the earliest shows are often segments voiced by Casey and snipped from original shows. The 1/31/71 extra must have been taken from either January 23 or February 6, when All Things Must Pass was still #1, and when it looks from the cue sheets as if Casey played both sides of the single, albeit a shortened version of “Isn’t It a Pity.” (He had also played both sides on the December 26, 1970, show, including the whole seven minutes of “Isn’t It a Pity,” but that required him to drop a song from the top 40.)

26. “Amazing Grace”/Judy Collins. What does it mean for 50 years to pass? Imagine how unlikely it would be today for a hymn, recorded unironically by a singer with a pure, clear voice and backed by a choir, to be a vast pop success. “Amazing Grace” did three weeks at #1 at WHBQ in Memphis, and also hit #1 in San Bernardino, California, and Birmingham, Alabama. It was a top-10 hit in Dallas, Wichita, Portland, Oklahoma City, Orlando, St. Louis, Fresno, Tulsa, Columbus, Seattle, Kansas City, Phoenix, New Orleans, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and smaller cities including Madison, where it made #3. It would peak at #13 in Cash Box, #15 on the Hot 100, and #5 on Billboard‘s Easy Listening chart.

25. “Watching Scotty Grow”/Bobby Goldsboro. Me, 2018: “I’d rather listen to ‘Honey’ 100 times than ‘Watching Scotty Grow’ once.”

18. “Mr. Bojangles”/Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
17. “Born to Wander”/Rare Earth
16. “Immigrant Song”/Led Zeppelin
12. “Black Magic Woman”/Santana
11. “If I Were Your Woman”/Gladys Knight and the Pips
10. “Stoney End”/Barbra Streisand
7. “I Hear You Knockin'”/Dave Edmunds
5. “Rose Garden”/Lynn Anderson
4. “One Less Bell to Answer”/Fifth Dimension

Each of these had a particular sound on my green plastic Westinghouse radio. “Born to Wander,”  “Immigrant Song,” and “Black Magic Woman” came sizzling in like transmissions from another reality, which for 10-year-old-me, they were.

15. “I Think I Love You”/Partridge Family
EXTRA: “Theme From A Summer Place“/Percy Faith
14. “Love the One You’re With”/Stephen Stills
EXTRA: “We Can Work It Out”/Beatles
On the original 1/30/71 broadcast, Casey ends the second hour of the show as you see here. Percy Faith is on as part of a feature about the two acts that have had the #1 song for the entire year twice: the Beatles in 1964 and 1968 (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Hey Jude”) and Faith in 1953 and 1960 (“Song from Moulin Rouge” and this). After “Love the One You’re With,” he recaps the top five from “five years ago today” and plays “We Can Work It Out.” It’s all kind of awkward. (The Percy Faith record was snipped from the repeat and offered as an extra.)

13. “It’s Impossible”/Perry Como. Down from #10 the previous week, and his biggest hit since 1958. He would return to the Top 40 one more time, with the Don McLean song “And I Love You So” in 1973.

9. “One Bad Apple”/Osmonds
3. “Lonely Days”/Bee Gees
“One Bad Apple” vaults to this lofty position from #34 the week before, but Casey reports that it’s already #1 in Salt Lake City. He does something similar after “Lonely Days,” name-checking someone at an affiliate station “on the coast of Maine” who says the song is #1 there.

8. “Your Song”/Elton John. In the second of what would be four weeks at #8.

2. “My Sweet Lord”/George Harrison. On the green plastic Westinghouse, this sounded like God himself playing a 50-foot guitar.

1. “Knock Three Times”/Dawn. In its second week at #1. Casey introduces it in an oddly downbeat fashion, musing that most young American males have been in the position of falling in love with a woman they’ve never met or spoken to. “That’s what this song is about,” he says.

I hadn’t been there yet, but it wouldn’t be long.