We did WLS last week, so let’s look at their rivals down Wacker Drive in Marina City. WCFL didn’t start in the rock ‘n’ roll business until late 1965 and got out of it in March 1976, when they went to “beautiful music”. Currently they’re sports-talk station WMVP. The competition between the two stations was pretty fierce during my later grammar school and high school days, but the Chicago Federation of Labor (the CFL in WCFL) had had enough of the Top 40 format and took the station as far from it as they could. Anyway, here’s the “Super CFL Survey” from December 1, 1973.
- The DeFranco Family, “Heartbeat, It’s A Love Beat” Because there was always room for one more “family” band. The focus was all on 14-year-old Tony, who was a cover boy for Tiger Beat and other tweenybopper magazines. This was their only national hit.
- Billy Preston, “Space Race” The followup to “Will It Go Round In Circles” had Billy reprising his 1971 hit “Outa-Space.” This reached #4 nationally.
- Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Midnight Train To Georgia” This had topped WCFL’s survey the week before, so this was a good-sized dropoff. Nevertheless, this was still gold for Gladys & The Pips.
- Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” Making almost as impressive a climb as Gladys and the boys had a drop was the title track from Sir Elton’s 1973 megahit album, which had been at #12 the week prior.
- Gilbert O’Sullivan, “Ooh Baby” This is a rockin’ little number that I don’t recall ever hearing. I probably did and promptly forgot it.
- Chicago, “Just You ‘n’ Me” From Chicago VI, this followup to “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” did much better nationally than its predecessor, even with the somewhat free-form soprano sax solo by Walter Parazaider toward the end. Maybe because of it.
- Carpenters, “Top Of The World” As I think I said back when I profiled Karen and Richard for my Two For Tuesday Series “High School Days,” just about anything they did in the early ’70’s was magic. This was their first national #1 since “Close To You.”
- Todd Rundgren, “Hello It’s Me” From his 1972 album Something/Anything?, this is a remake of a song Todd did back in his Nazz days that was almost a hit. This reached #5 nationwide.
- Jim Croce, “I Got A Name” Title track from his fifth and final studio album (released the day after his death), this went to #10 nationally.
- Ringo Starr, “Photograph” Ringo and his Beatle buddy George Harrison wrote this for his 1973 self-titled album. It rose to #1 on the Hot 100 but only to #8 in the UK.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for November 30, 2018.