T10FB Redux: September 17, 1979 – WQAM Miami


Originally written September 11, 2013.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for that hallowed tradition, Top 10 Flashback!  There is one year in the 1970’s we haven’t looked at yet, so let’s look at it now.

Tonight we will go back to this week in 1979 and feature a station that had once been Florida’s premier Top 40 outlet, 560 WQAM in Miami.  AM music stations were dropping like flies at this time, and the once-mighty WQAM was a shell of its former self.  They were almost done with Top 40 at this point – they flipped their format to country the following February.

So let’s listen to the dying gasps of a once-great station and look at the top ten songs from one of their last surveys.  Survey dated September 17, 1979.

Here goes:

AFTER THE LOVE HAS GONE – Earth, Wind & Fire

I love Earth, Wind & Fire, and I love this song.  How did black popular music go from this to today’s wretched shit?

SAD EYES – Robert John

Somewhat cheesy ballad, but nice to hear.  The girls loved it!

YOU & I – Madleen Kane

God help me, I do not remember this at all.  Must have been too busy worshipping at the altar of Van Halen.  According to what someone wrote on Wikipedia, this is a wedding favorite in Canada.  I can see it.

FIRECRACKER – Mass Production

This was definitely a Miami thing.  A young man named Luther Campbell was listening – he turned it into 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny” a decade later.  Me love you long time!

DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Electric Light Orchestra

Tape-looped drums, double-tracked vocals, here come the 80’s!  And who didn’t sing “You’re looking good just like a snake in the grass, one of these days I’m gonna fuck your ass?”  Well, my mom didn’t, but everyone else did!

MY SHARONA – The Knack

The song that killed disco.  This was just starting to drop after staying at #1 for pretty much the entire summer.  Here is a picture of Sharona herself:

Run-DMC slowed this down to make “It’s Tricky.”  Just in case you give a shit.


Dionne Warwick was/is a phenomenal pop singer, a beautiful woman, and Whitney Houston’s cousin.  This pales in comparison to her 60’s work singing Bacharach/David compositions, but it’s still good to hear, and the Clive Davis (and, believe it or not, Barry Manilow) production really makes it stand out among the other ballads in this survey.  Then she did the Psychic Friends Network and fucked it all up.  At least she dropped the stupid “E” she added to her last name.

PLEASE DON’T GO – KC & the Sunshine Band

Florida’s biggest contribution to disco does a ballad.  Came out sounding pretty nice.


“Thriller” got all the attention and the sales, but “Off The Wall” was actually Michael’s best album.  For one thing, look at the video.  Note that he’s still black.  That matters.  The song is an energetic piece of Quincy Jones funk that can motivate even this old white boy to move his oversized booty.  If you like this, try “Working Day And Night” from the same album – it’s even better.

All right, ladies and gentlemen, here it is, the number one song this week in 1979 according to the legendary but moribund WQAM in Miami is:

Are you shitting me?  THIS?  If I had to play this every hour and a half, I’d change my format, too.

There we are, another Top 10 Flashback in the can.  (Huh huh huh, he said “in the can.”)  Have a great weekend!

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