The Friday 5×2 (+5): WGRD, 1410 AM Grand Rapids, MI, 7/28/67

“What, fifteen?” I hear you say. Let me explain: WGRD was at 1410 on the AM dial, which, if you remember those days, was right near the 14 the dial. So, they called their weekly survey “The Fabulous 14.” So, I decided to push it to 14 songs this week, and when I saw that their #1 was a two-sided hit, I threw in both songs.

Wikipedia tells us that WGRD was a daytime-only station (the call letters mean “Grand Rapids Daytime”) and that it was a popular Top 40 station in the ’50’s and ’60’s, but by 1971 the ratings were slipping, so they moved the Top 40 operation to FM and simulcasted on 1410. They’re now playing alternative music, having switched in 1995.

Thanks to Craig over at PopBopRockTilUDrop for posting the survey.

  1. The Buckinghams, “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” The Buckinghams were, of course, from Chicago, and were Al Kooper’s inspiation for Blood Sweat & Tears (or so they tell me). This hit #5 on both the Billboard and Cash Box surveys. In Grand Rapids, it was down from #10 the previous week.
  2. Jon & Robin & The In Crowd, “Do It Again A Little Bit Slower” Jon Abdnor, Jr. and Javonne (Robin) Braga had just the one national hit, on Jon’s father’s record label, and had broken up by 1969. #5 the week before on ‘GRD.
  3. Tommy James & The Shondells, “I Like The Way” This only reached #25 nationally, and didn’t get any airplay in Chicago, so this was new to me. #14 the previous week.
  4. The Hollies, “Carrie Anne” Their followup to “On A Carousel,” this reached #9 nationally. Inched up from #12.
  5. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, “Jackson” Nancy’s partnership with Lee Hazlewood was brief, but it did produce this song, a cover of Johnny Cash and June Carter’s song. It reached #14 nationally.
  6. Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, “Out & About” I always think of these two as songwriters primarily, but they did enjoy some chart success later in 1967 with “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight.” This only reached #39 nationally. In Grand Rapids, it stalled at #9.
  7. Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit” I have fond memories of singing along with this at a Blue Man Group concert in Las Vegas. Down from #4 in Grand Rapids, it reached #8 nationally.
  8. The Beatles, “All You Need Is Love” The Fab Four took to the airwaves internationally to preach this to the world, and it went to #1 internationally. Whether it made a difference still remains to be seen, but the song is a good one.
  9. Herman’s Hermits, “Don’t Go Out In The Rain, You’re Going To Melt” Another one I don’t remember hearing in Chicago. It failed to reach the Top 10 nationally and was basically the end for Peter Noone and the boys.
  10. Scott McKenzie, “San Francisco” It was the Summer of Love, after all. Reached #4 nationally, his only hit.
  11. The Happenings, “My Mammy” The Happenings covered a lot of “music our parents liked,” and this cover of Al Jolson was a followup to their cover of the Gershwins’ “I Got Rhythm.” Did respectably well (#13), though I don’t remember it.
  12. The Young Rascals, “A Girl Like You” Released two weeks before “Groovin’,” this one didn’t stand much of a chance. Still, it went to #16, and this is the first I’ve heard it.
  13. The Doors, “Light My Fire” This is the version they did on The Ed Sullivan Show. Ed basically ordered them to come up with another line to replace “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” which Jim Morrison ignored, incurring Sullivan’s wrath. When informed that they’d never play The Ed Sullivan Show again, Morrison told them he didn’t care, he’d already done the show.
  14. The Monkees, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”/”Words” Jumped all the way from #17 and knocked The Doors out of the #1 slot. That’s how popular The Monkees were in 1967.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for July 26, 2019.

13 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2 (+5): WGRD, 1410 AM Grand Rapids, MI, 7/28/67

  1. I don’t know how it happened, but back in the day I heard Light My Fire so many times, I got sick of it. I’ve not recovered. But the other 13 are mighty fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I started looking elsewhere for surveys. There are lots of places to find them on the Internet, and even though I’ve been reading Craig’s blog for some time I never realized that his site was one of them. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. It used to be pretty common for radio stations to sign off at least once a week, usually overnight between Sunday and Monday, and there were a lot of “daytime only” stations that were on the air from sunrise to sunset. It’s not very common now, though many AM stations reduce their power overnight, particularly those that share a frequency with a clear-channel station (a station that broadcasts with 50 kW of power using a non-directional antenna 24 hours a day).

      This was a particularly good batch, which is why I didn’t figure people would mind if I stretched it out and did 15 songs rather than 1o…

      Liked by 1 person

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