So, loyal readers, how the hell are you? Give yourselves a big pat on the back for increasing the traffic here – keep it up and I’m gonna have to quit my day job! It was you who made it happen, so a round for everybody!
Now where to go this week? We haven’t done Dallas (unlike Debbie, ha ha ha) except for the special flashback for the JFK assassination. We haven’t visited 1976 in a while, so we’ll do that. The station we’ll tune in is one that didn’t survive long as a Top 40 outlet, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.
WFAA is one of the oldest sets of call letters in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and they had a weird timeshare arrangement with another station, WBAP, for decades. The 570 frequency was licensed to Dallas, while the desirable 50,000 watt clear channel 820 frequency was licensed to Fort Worth. WFAA broadcast at 820 in the morning and evening hours while WBAP was at 570, then WBAP took over 820 in the afternoon and overnight hours. This bizarre arrangement lasted until April 1970, when WBAP stayed at 820 and WFAA settled at 570. A couple of years later, WFAA tried Top 40. I’ve heard an aircheck of this station from roughly the time we’re featuring this week, and it was a professional, great-sounding effort that lost its ass – the station would drop Top 40 for news/talk less than three months later in November 1976. Today 570 is home to another famous set of call letters – KLIF, which is, you guessed it, news/talk, as is 820 WBAP. The WFAA calls survive on channel 8, DFW’s ABC affiliate.
Man, my head is swimming from all these changes and swaps and everything. Let’s just visit WFAA toward the end of its life as a Top 40 outlet this week in 1976. Their survey consisted of only 20 songs, so that must have been one hell of a repetitve station. Here are the ten songs they repeated the most.
So, yeah, we tease him a lot ’cause we got him on the spot! Survey dated August 27, 1976.
Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band – A Fifth Of Beethoven
Yeah, recording a version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with a disco beat was thought to be a good idea. But this pales in comparison to Robin Thicke’s debut single in 2002, which samples this song. Yes, IT SAMPLES THIS SONG. Click below if you dare:
Wow. That was excruciating. Way to further bastardize an actual classic. Oh, Walter Murphy is known today for the theme music and scores for “Family Guy.”
K.C. & The Sunshine Band – Shake Your Booty
Sure, K.C. & the Sunshine Band’s songs mostly sounded the same, but it was a good kind of sameness. If all disco had sounded like this, maybe Disco Demolition Night would never have happened.
Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight
THE song of the summer of ’76, and a classic one-hit wonder. CBS actually gave this group a summer variety show the following year, long after their expiration date. My 22-year-old daughter approves of this song – go figure.
Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
One of the go-to songs for wedding DJs to pick up the pace after a slow dance. This and “Brick House.” “Super Freak,” too. Why have we played these same songs at weddings for decades? Because they work. Oh, I’ve actually heard a version of this song with “white boy” censored. Seriously?
Manhattans – Kiss And Say Goodbye
One of the greatest of the Philly soul ballads. The Manhattans have been around for 50 years, and this was their biggest hit, reaching #1 on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts. It’s hard to imagine someone disliking this song.
England Dan & John Ford Coley – I’d Really Love To See You Tonight
Now this is how you make a booty call sound downright romantic. A soft rock classic for a good reason. England Dan was Dan Seals, younger brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts fame. He went country in the 80’s under his real name and died in 2009. John Ford Coley has remained active in the music business and still tours.
Lou Rawls – You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine
Lots of long titles this week. Man, could that Lou Rawls sing or what? Another #1 from Philly that I can’t fathom anyone not liking. Philly was to the 70’s what Motown was to the 60’s – great soul music anyone could enjoy.
Bee Gees – You Should Be Dancing
For my money, this is the Bee Gees’ best song from the disco years. Fun and funky, not run into the ground like “Staying Alive,” still fills the dance floor. Good stuff.
Wings – Let ‘Em In
People tend to bag on this song, and Paul’s solo efforts in general. Yes, he and John needed each other for balance, but Paul made some great stuff in the 70’s, and I don’t think this one’s so bad.
This week’s “oh, wow” song isn’t shown on the WFAA survey, but it was on the radio at this time. Check it out here.
So, you think I could stop myself from revealing this week’s #1 song on Dallas’s WFAA? I couldn’t if I tried:
I’ve mentioned this before, but if and when my daughter gets married, we’re doing this as a karaoke duet. I can’t hit the high notes and she can’t sing at all, so it should drive everyone away. It’ll be great!
All right, everyone, let’s all get some comments!