The Friday 5×2: WSAY (1370 kHz, Rochester, NY), 1970

I first did WSAY a couple of months ago, and I remarked then that there were Top 40 stations that played songs that I had never heard before, and the same holds true for this survey, which is taken from October 25, 1970, because it’s Thursday as I write this. In many cases, there was a long version of the song, and I chose it

  1. Free, “All Right Now” This was their breakout record and peaked at #4. It was their only Top 40 hit in the US, though they had better luck in their native UK. They disbanded in 1973 and singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke formed Bad Company, who had more commercial success in the US. This is the slightly longer version than what played on Top 40 stations.
  2. Teegarden & Van Winkle, “God, Love & Rock ‘n’ Roll” One of those songs I don’t remember. Skip “Knape” Van Winkle (keyboards and vocals) and David Teegarden (drums) formed their duo in Tulsa, Oklahoma and took their act to Detroit. This was their only hit, and the first time I’ve heard it. Teegarden went on to play in the Silver Bullet Band, while Van Winkle formed his own band and played with Robbie Krieger.
  3. Three Dog Night, “Out In The Country” Written by Paul Williams and recorded for 3DN’s 1970 release It Ain’t Easy, this song only made it to #15 nationally, which is a shame, because it’s one of my favorite songs of theirs.
  4. Glen Campbell, “It’s Only Make Believe” Originally recorded by Conway Twitty in 1958, Glen recorded it for 1970’s The Glen Campbell Goodtime Album. He took it to #3 on the Country chart and #10 on the Hot 100, and I never heard Glen’s version before today.
  5. 100 Proof (Aged In Soul), “Somebody’s Been Sleeping” 100 Proof was signed to Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Hot Wax/Invictus label and had a hit on both the Pop (#8) and R&B (#6) chart. It was their only song that was successful on the Pop chart, although they had continued success on the R&B chart until they split in 1973.
  6. James Taylor, “Fire and Rain” A song that encapsulates all the disasters in his life up to then (the suicide of a friend, his battles with depression and drug abuse, and the failure of his first band), this was from his 1970 album Sweet Baby James. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #2 in Canada.
  7. Sugarloaf, “Green-Eyed Lady” Mark and I used to play this one, though I never quite mastered the octaves. This is the long version of the song, which reached #3 in the US and #1 for two weeks in Canada.
  8. Grand Funk Railroad, “Closer To Home” Or “I’m Your Captain”, “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home”, “Closer to Home/I’m Your Captain”, or “Closer to Home (I’m Your Captain)”. Another album version (the radio cut was about 4 minutes long), it was two songs, “I’m Your Captain” and “Closer To Home” that ran into each other. It was the title track of their 1970 Closer To Home LP.
  9. The Carpenters, “We’ve Only Just Begun” Very popular as a “first dance” song at weddings during the ’70’s (I know it was ours), it was written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams, who had written it for a commercial for Crocker National Bank. Richard Carpenter heard it and thought it would be a hit, and it was: #1 on the Cash Box chart and #2 on the Hot 100 (behind The Parridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” and the next song) and a million-seller. Rolling Stone ranks it at #405 on the 500 Greatest Songs list, and Karen and Richard considered it their signature song.
  10. The Jackson 5, “I’ll Be There” This was the Jacksons’ fourth straight #1 song, making them the first black male group to achieve that. Mariah Carey’s cover doesn’t quite hit the high notes like the then 12 year old Michael.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for October 26, 2018.

12 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WSAY (1370 kHz, Rochester, NY), 1970

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