Top 10 Flashback: January 19, 1974 – WCFL Chicago


Originally written January 17, 2014.

All right, it’s Friday night!  You could go out to your favorite nightclub, enjoy several cocktails, meet two hot women with large breasts and no morals, spirit them away to a hotel room where you do coke together and proceed to perform every deviant sex act that comes to mind on each other, after which you all collapse into a sweaty, stinky heap, feeling fully satisfied.  You wake up hours later and find the ladies are gone, along with your wallet, keys, and clothes.  You could do that, or you could just stay home and chill with a Top 10 flashback!  I think we all know what your choice will be…

Anyhow, this week we’re returning to Chicago (that toddlin’ town!), but this time we will go back forty years and tune to their other Top 40 legend, the Voice of Labor, Big 10, Super CFL.  WCFL battled with WLS for many years, finally switching to elevator music (on AM?) in 1976.  Today they’re WMVP, providing Chicagoans with the ESPN sports they so desperately need.  Sadly, one of WCFL’s (and Chicago’s) biggest and best-known air personalities, Larry “Superjock” Lujack, passed away in December 2013 at the age of 73.  He also worked at WLS after the format change at ‘CFL.  A lot of his on-air mannerisms, such as pregnant pauses, rattling paper in front of the mic, and “duh-da-lut, duh-da-lut,” were copied by some guy from Missouri named Rush Limbaugh.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him.

There is a podcast this week!  This time I put it up on SoundCloud, and I enabled downloading in the unlikely event you want to keep it.  As in the last one, I’ve incorporated some vintage airchecks to make it sound more like a real station rather than just some tard screwing around with Audacity.  Most of the airchecks feature Lujack as a tribute, and there are even a few breaks from Wolfman Jack!  Listen to it here:

So dim all the lights, pour the wine, start the music, time to get ready for love!  Survey dated January 19, 1974.

Stevie Wonder – Living For The City

This is one of the greatest songs ever done by anybody.  Period.  There is no debating this.  Stevie Wonder in the mid-70’s was simply the best at what he did, and never did he get his point across as clearly as in this brilliant song.  As in most of his classic work, Stevie played all instruments here.  He sure came a long way from that little blind kid with the harmonica, didn’t he?

Al Wilson – Show And Tell

Fantastic piece of Philly soul that reached #1.  This song was first done by, of all people, Johnny Mathis.  Al Wilson, who also did “The Snake” in 1968, died in 2008.

Charlie Rich – The Most Beautiful Girl

My mother just loved Charlie Rich.  Had several of his 8-tracks.  Not something I’d normally reach for, but I understand.  His voice commanded your attention, and the songs are quite memorable.

Ringo Starr – You’re Sixteen

Who was the only Beatle to have back-to-back #1 singles as a solo act?  Yep, it was Ringo.  “Photograph” was the other one.

Jim Croce – Time In A Bottle

This beautiful, perfect ballad served to remind us what the music world lost when Croce’s plane went down the previous September.  The song is still in demand at wedding receptions, and understandably so.

Olivia Newton-John – Let Me Be There

Fuck.  Does she have to show up in EVERY countdown?

Brownsville Station – Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room

Now this, kids, is what rock and roll sounds like.  If you could play only one song to demonstrate rock and roll to someone who had never heard it, this would be a fine choice.  Oh, and fuck that Motley Crue cover version.  This is the real deal.

Coven – One Tin Soldier

This song was a hit three times; first by Original Caste in 1970, then the version recorded for “Billy Jack” by Coven’s lead singer Jinx Dawson in 1971 (it was #2 here: ), and this rerecording by the entire group.  Note the faster tempo this time.

Cheech & Chong – Sister Mary Elephant

I had pretty much everything Cheech & Chong did committed to memory, and I’ll bet you did, too.  Sure, their bits were funny, but they were also well-produced with great attention to detail.  Listen to this through a decent sound system with good stereo separation – it almost sounds like you’re right there in that chaotic classroom.  Imagine what they could have done if 5.1 Dolby surround had existed then.

Now it’s time to blow the dust off the “oh, wow” song of the week, a song outside the top ten that we exhume from radio’s graveyard and present to you one more time.  We’ll dip down to #27 for Ian Thomas’s “Painted Ladies.”

Enjoy the painted ladies in the video.  Best appreciated with a bottle of wine, mama.

All right, let’s roll out the top song in the Super CFL Survey from this week in 1974:

Not surprising.  Too bad it’s been burned to a crisp by oldies and classic rock radio, to the point where I never want to hear it again.  Buy the original album – it’s quite good.

Listen to this week’s podcast or I’m telling!

The kitchen project’s moving along after stalling during the holidays.  The countertop will finally be installed next week, then I get to play plumber.  I’m not a pro by any means; I gained my experience doing painting and repairs for a Detroit slumlord back in the 80’s and 90’s.  Oh, the stories I could tell…

So let’s discuss the music of early 1974!  Or we can talk about how worthless women are, or how everybody is Jewish.  Your call.

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