The Friday 5×2: WSAY, Rochester, NY, 8/16/1969

I frequently do surveys from the late 1960’s, but occasionally I see a survey and, although it’s a Top 40 station, will not recognize some of the songs on it. Such was the case today.

WSAY (1370 kHz, Rochester New York) became NPR station WXXI (named after its counterpart PBS station, which brodcasst on channel 21, by authority of the FCC) in 1984, but tried a number of formats before then, including Top 40, progessive rock, and country. In ’69 they were doing Top 40, playing the latest “teen hits” (many of which appealed to preteens, what we now call “tweens”). Anyway, here’s their survey for this day in 1969.

  1. The Archies, “Sugar Sugar” You no doubt remember the Archie Saturday morning cartoon, where Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Betty and Veronica (the original “Ginger or Mary Ann” duo) and the rest of the gang jumped off the pages of the related comic book and walked and talked and, of course, sang. Obviously, the cartoon characters were lip-syncing while real studio musicians and singers provided the music and vocal. Ron Dante sang the lead vocals, with Toni Wine providing backup vocals.
  2. Bobby Sherman, “Little Woman” Bobby Sherman was immensely popular when he starred on the TV series Here Come The Brides, and became a singer of some note. He is now working as a paramedic, if he hasn’t retired.
  3. The Guess Who, “Laughing” The pride of Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Guess Who had already experienced considerable success in Canada before charting in the US. This was their second US Top 10 hit, reaching #10.
  4. Three Dog Night, “Easy To Be Hard” Hair: The Tribal Love-Rock Musical was on everyone’s mind in 1969, and covers of several of the songs hit the Top 40 that year. This is by far my favorite of them.
  5. Johnny Maeestro & The Brooklyn Bridge, “Your Husband, My Wife” I don’t think this song made the Top 40, let alone the Top 10, in Chicago. At least I don’t recall ever hearing it before today. Good song, anyway.
  6. The Who, “I’m Free” From The Who’s rock opera Tommy. Again, I don’t recall this having been on the surveys in Chicago.
  7. The Plastic Ono Band, “Give Peace A Chance” John and Yoko spent a week in bed for peace and recorded this while there. Another song I can’t recall ever hearing in Chicago.
  8. The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Women” The classic from The Stones. A few years ago I learned the trick to playing this on guitar: Keith Richards tuned to an open G and all the chords are built around that.
  9. The Lettermen, “Hurt So Bad” The description of this on YouTube tells us thatthis is the “longer album version.” It’s about 30 whole seconds longer, and it just changes the whole experience…
  10. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Green River/Commotion” A double A-side record, at least in Rochester, New York. I remember “Green River” getting airplay, but not “Commotion.” Whatever. I included both songs here, for your musical enjoyment.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for August 17, 2018.

6 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WSAY, Rochester, NY, 8/16/1969

  1. Great selection of some great music pieces. It makes me think how low the music is today for tweens since most sounds so repetitive and mousy(one erection….um, I mean, direction).

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    1. Most of all popular music is like that, actually. Search YouTube for “why music sucks” and you’ll get a lot of videos that explain why. I think the music business today are looking for pretty faces, whether or not they can sing or have any musical talent, figuring they can use electronic tricks to make them sound decent.

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