The Friday 5×2: WTMA, Charleston, SC, 8/31/74

I seem to have caught a 72-hour bug in my gastrointestinal tract (you don’t want to know the details), so this is a little late.

Like so many other AM (or mediumwave, if you prefer) radio stations in the US (and probably throughout the world), WTMA is now broadcasting a “news/talk” format, but in 1974 they were a Top 40 station. Here’s what they were listening to in the capital of the Palmetto State today in 1974.

  1. Elton John, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” From his 1974 album Caribou, named for James William Guercio’s recording studio in Colorado. Guercio is best known to most of us as the producer for the band Chicago.
  2. George McCrae, “Rock Your Baby” Yes, the age of disco was just starting in ’74. Despite that, it’s a pretty good song.
  3. John Denver, “Annie’s Song” While I’m not actually fond of John’s music, it was an integral part of the soundtrack of my life, and that counts for something.
  4. Commodores, “Machine Gun” This was their first single, and made it to #22 nationally. This means that, while it did well in the Top 40 in some cities, it didn’t even chart in others. I honestly didn’t hear it until today. Maybe if I had turned on one of the R&B stations in Chicago, such as WVON, WBMX, or WJPC, I would have had better luck, as the song reached #7 on the national R&B chart.
  5. Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good” I have discussed the connection Rufus had with another Chicago band, The American Breed, so I’m not gonna do it again.
  6. Dave Loggins, “Please Come To Boston” A one-hit wonder as a performer, Dave was a draftsman and an insurance salesman before getting into the music biz. Known better as a songwriter, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995. His second cousin is Kenny, who you might have heard of before.
  7. Roberta Flack, “Feel Like Makin’ Love” A lady with a gorgeous voice singing a great song written by Eugene McDaniels.
  8. Eric Clapton, “I Shot The Sheriff” Off his 1971 album 461 Ocean Blvd., which was his address while he was in Miami recording this album.
  9. Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died” Nothing more needs to be said about “the East side of Chicago,” which most Chicagoans call “Lake Michigan.”
  10. Paul Anka with Odia Coates, “(You’re) Havin’ My Baby” Of this song, Wikipedia tells us “Despite its commercial success, the song has been criticised for its maudlin sentimentality and perceived sexist undertones, and has appeared in ‘worst song’ lists. It was voted the #1 ‘Worst Song of All Time’ in a poll conducted by CNN.com in 2006.” In other words, an EBS Special. Odia Coates got her start singing with the Edwin Hawkins singers, and sadly died of breast cancer in 1991 at the age of 49.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for August 31, 2018.

6 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WTMA, Charleston, SC, 8/31/74

  1. Sorry to hear you are dealing with this flu. I have had this more than once and it is not a good way to lose weight. Some of these songs I haven’t heard of in years like the Roberta Flack song and the so g by Rufus. My favourite is The Night Chicago Died..love that song.

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    1. Actually, I could use the weight loss, but that’s not the point. I was miserable for a couple of days.

      I’m at a loss to explain how Roberta Flack fell off the radar. She was a great singer and chose good material. She’s still around, but you don’t hear much about her.

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  2. Great selection of songs, John! Roberta Flack – love her music! She’s 81 and had some health concerns in April 2018 and she had a stroke in 2016, perhaps the reason we don’t hear much about her. Here’s a bit of trivia – Flack remains the only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for two consecutive years, in 1973 and 1974. Btw, feel better!

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