Top 10 Flashback: March 15, 1972 – WGH Newport News, VA

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Originally written March 14, 2014.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I know, it’s not until Monday, but I thought I’d get a good head start.  I have nothing green to wear, and drinking green beer is lame, not to mention all the amateurs at the bars, so instead I thought I’d just post a Top 10 flashback!

Well, I did it!  There’s a new (OK, newly purchased) vehicle in the T10FB Guy driveway.  It’s a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, an old Roseville, MI unmarked car.  Navy blue, strippo cop interior in good condition except for the usual holes in the dash, both spotlights present and working.  It’s got a cop motor, a 4.6 liter plant.  It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks.  132,000 miles, got it for $2200 cash; talked him down from $3000.

Whaddya say, is it the new T10FB-mobile or what?

These posts are kind of like that old show “Quantum Leap” – every week we’re plopped into a different city in a different year.  This week finds us in Newport News, Virginia, in the middle of March 1972, tuned to 1310 WGH.  These days WGH is a black gospel station, but here’s a tribute site to the days when they pounded out the hits:

http://www.alohanews.com/wgh.htm

Plenty of airchecks, jingle packages, etc. – if you’re from the area, it’s a treasure trove of memories.  Let’s see what they were playing 42 years ago this week.

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark…and we’re wearing sunglasses.  Hit it!

#10:
Paul Simon – Mother And Child Reunion

The name of this song came from a dish Paul spotted on a restaurant menu – chicken and eggs.  That kind of bothers me.  The song is great, however – just the thing to hear in your car on a sunny afternoon.

#9:
Robert John – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Why bother covering a song if you’re just gonna make a clone of the original?  All right, it’s not EXACTLY the same as the Tokens’ classic 1961 version, but clearly he made no effort to put his own spin on it.  We would hear from Robert John again in the summer of ’79 with “Sad Eyes.”

#8:
Bread – Everything I Own

The song’s decent, but just on the wrong side of wimpy.  Many songs of the period dealt with getting a lover back who dumped you.  Why the hell would I want to do that?  Seems like that’d be a pretty shaky relationship.  Fuck it, move on.

(UPDATE:  I’ve since learned that I’m a complete fucking idiot.  The song is about his dead father.)

#7:
Joe Tex – I Gotcha

Turn this one up – it cooks!  Primarily known to our younger readers courtesy of this:

Quentin Tarantino always knew how to pick ’em.

#6:
America – A Horse With No Name

This one must have driven English teachers crazy.  Great classic nonetheless.

#5:
Nilsson – Without You

My mother loved this song.  Me, too.  I also really liked “Jump Into The Fire.”  Mom, not so much.  Harry Nilsson was only 52 when he died in 1994.  I’m 52 now.  Yow.

#4:
Donny Osmond – Puppy Love

Written and originally performed by Paul Anka.  He should have sued.

#3:
Osmonds – Down By The Lazy River

All right, ladies, explain the phenomenal popularity of the Osmonds, especially Donny, back then.  Please.  Look at an old pic of Donny – he looked just like Justin Bieber before he turned himself into a pathetic copy of a fake-ass thug.  Maybe that explains it.  I gotta say, though, this one’s kinda…fun.  Yeah, I said it.  They don’t play it on the radio these days, but if they did, I might leave it on.  Once.

#2:
Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Neil Young is a musical chameleon, but this is the kind of stuff most people associate with him.  Great song and deservedly a classic.

Now, let’s roll the “oh, wow” song of the week.  Our younger readers are welcome to bust this one out whenever their parents say that the music back then had actual melodies and lyrics that made sense, unlike that garbage of today.  Even though that’s mostly true.  At #17 this week is a song that many radio stations, including WKNR in Detroit (coincidentally at 1310), wouldn’t play.  The reason should be obvious when you hear it, but the single sold over a million copies in spite of the controversy.  Here are the Chakachas with “Jungle Fever.”

Fun fact:  This was a Belgian group.

So what did the folks of Newport News, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Hampton Roads really, really like this week in 1972?  If I didn’t tell you, it just wouldn’t be fair:

Yep, a mushy love song.  I like it, though.

So let’s talk about the nuanced stylings of the Osmonds.  Or we can talk about my Crown Vic.  It’s freaking awesome!

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