It’s been several years since we visited KHJ in Los Angeles, so let’s see what was on top of their survey in 1971.
- Elvis Presley, “I’m Leavin'” I don’t really remember this one, probably because it only reached #36 nationally and WLS and WCFL probably said “nah…”
- John Denver, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” West Virginia’s license plates carry the motto “Almost Heaven” (or did, anyway) because of this song, which is now one of their anthems. One of Denver’s best-known and loved songs, it only reached #2 nationally. Wonder what kept it it of the top spot?
- Chicago, “Beginnings” A shortened version from their first album which eliminates the horn solos and two-minute Latin percussion jam at the end. I never liked this version because of that, but now I think I understand. Was released originally in 1969, but didn’t chart, and released again in 1971, when it reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the AC chart.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” From their oft-maligned 1972 album Mardi Gras, recorded after Tom Fogerty had had enough of his brother. Reached #6 on the Hot 100.
- Gladys Knight & The Pips, “I Don’t Want To Do Wrong” Title track from their 1972 album, it reached #17 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart.
- The Doors, “Riders On The Storm” Another song that was shortened from its album version to fit AM radio; the shortening here was a little more artfully done. Released just before Jim Morrison died in July 1971, it reached #17 nationally.
- Five Man Electrical Band, “Signs” I never understood the appeal of this song, but obviously I’m in the minority, as it reached #3 in the US and #4 in the 5MEB’s native Canada. Long live meaningfulness and relevance!
- Three Dog Night, “Liar” Written by Russ Ballard of Argent, it was 3DN’s first single, but failed to chart. They recorded it again for their album Naturally and released it again in 1971 and it reached #7.
- Marvin Gaye, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” Marvin’s “poignant anthem of sorrow over the environment” (per Wikipedia), it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
- Jean Knight, “Mister Big Stuff” Jean’s one and only hit, reaching #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart. Too bad, too.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for August 9, 2019.