Originally written November 12, 2013.
Well, hey there! It’s the weekend, so you might as well come along for yet another Top 10 Flashback!
This week we will slip back to 1976 and dig the sounds of Musicradio 77, WABC New York. WABC was one of America’s great Top 40 stations, but they were beginning to slowly decline around this time, for the same reasons all the other AM music staions eventually died off.
WABC had a great signal; even here in Detroit with WJR’s 50,000 watts booming through the air next door at 760, I could still hear WABC at night if I turned the radio just right. They managed to keep it going until 1982 when they went to all talk, which they’re still doing today.
No podcast this week, I’ll get one out soon. Among other things, I’m giving my kitchen an extensive makeover which is taking up a lot of my time. I wouldn’t try to pretend to be WABC in any case; let’s hear the songs that were most popular there 37 years ago. Survey dated November 16, 1976.
So let’s motivate it!
Bee Gees – Love So Right
Just in case you thought the brothers Gibb had completely forsaken their roots as sappy balladeers.
Commodores – Just To Be Close To You
One of their better slow songs. For some reason, the album version of this, like a lot of R&B songs of the period, is over six minutes long. You’re not really missing anything with the single edit.
Spinners – Rubberband Man
Even the most hardcore rock & roll dudes I knew liked this one. It’s so much fun, how can you resist?
Rod Stewart – Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)
This song caused a bit of a stir then; many radio stations edited out the second verse, which ends with “spread your wings and let me come inside.” Nope, can’t think of what that could POSSIBLY mean…
Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band – Cherchez la Femme
When we said “disco sucks,” we meant stuff like this. Not really surprising to see this doing so well in NYC at the time. I really don’t remember hearing it here.
Steve Miller Band – Rock’n Me
All right, that’s better. As overplayed as this is today, I still like it. I just plain liked Steve Miller in the 70’s.
Gordon Lightfoot – The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
The first anniversary of the sinking of the freighter had just passed. I remember that day; the weather was bad enough down here to close the schools, and bad enough up there to sink a freighter. The song is burned into the brain of everyone in the Midwest, and is one of the greatest story songs ever.
ABBA – Fernando
ABBA was a group I never warmed up to. I’m listening to the song as I type this and I just can’t find anything about it to like, but I can’t really say it sucks. You dig?
Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
This song was EVERYWHERE in the fall of ’76, and was one of the biggest songs of the year. It doesn’t hold a candle to their early work, but I liked it OK for what it was.
And now, the “oh, wow” song of the week, this one from a surprising artist. We dredge the bottom of this week’s chart and give you #40. When was the last time you heard this one from Alice Cooper?
I honestly haven’t heard that on the radio in many years. They don’t play Alice’s ballads for some reason.
Well, if it was #1 on WABC, it was probably #1 nationwide, so here’s the biggest song in the land from 37 years ago this week:
Yes, THAT Rick Dees. Hard to believe I stayed glued to the radio waiting for this to come on. Even bought the 45. Hey, I was 14 and didn’t know any better. Pretty embarrassing now.
There we are, another Top 10 flashback faded into history. This is YOUR T10FB, so please contribute below.