The Friday 5×2: WGH (1310 AM, Hampton Roads, VA)

WGH-AM is now “1310 The Power,” broadcasting urban talk and oldies to the Virginia Beach/Newport News/Hampton Roads area of Virginia (their antenna is in Hampton Roads), but was a Top 40 station in 1963. Here’s their top ten on April 21 of that year.

  1. Paul & Paula, “Young Lovers” This was the follow-up to their earlier hit “Hey Paula,” and reached #6 on the Hot 100. Paul and Paula were actually Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson, who changed their stage names to match their hit song.
  2. Skeeter Davis, “End of The World” Skeeter, a country singer, had a few crossover hits, and this was especially successful for her, reaching #2 on the Hot 100 and the Country chart, #1 on the AC chart, and surprisingly #4 on the R&B chart, making her the first white female to reach the Top 10 there. Italso sold a million copies and was certified gold. By the way, the man on the left introducing her is Stringbean.
  3. Gene Pitney, “Mecca” Gene was still pretty popular in the US when this came out, and it reached #12 nationally. It was a #2 hit in Canada and a #7 in Australia.
  4. Bobby Vinton, “Over the Mountain Across the Sea” This song was like the “calm before the storm,” as it preceded his big hits “Blue Velvet” and “There, I’ve Said It Again.” This reached #8 on the AC chart and #21 on the Hot 100. Ironically, his Wikipedia entry starts with the statement “Not to be confused with Bobby Vee,” who’s also on this week’s chart.
  5. The Cookies, “Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby) The Cookies had an earlier hit with “Chains,” covered by The Beatles on their first album. This did even better, reaching #3 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Hot 100. Members of The Cookies later became The Raelettes, Ray Charles’s backup singers.
  6. Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff, The Magic Dragon” Their follow-up to “If I Had A Hammer,” it was immediately suspected of being a song about smoking dope. The lyrics were written by Leonard Lipton, who based his poem on Ogden Nash’s “Custard The Dragon.” Peter Yarrow found the poem and set it to music. This reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the AC chart.
  7. The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” The song at the center of a lawsuit against George Harrison, whose “My Sweet Lord” was found to be a direct ripoff of the tune. And yeah, it’s pretty much the same. The Chiffons spent four weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 with this.
  8. Richard Chamberlain, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” In the midst of his successful run as Dr. Kildare on the show of that name, Chamberlain recorded several hit records, including this cover of a Felice and Boudleaux Bryant/Everly Brothers hit. It reached #14 nationally.
  9. Little Peggy March, “I Will Follow Him” The song that kept “Puff, The Magic Dragon” out of the #1 slot nationally. If you’ve ever seen the movie Sister Act, you never hear this song the same way again.
  10. Bobby Vee, “Charms” Not to be confused with Bobby Vinton or contemporary singer Bobby V., Bobby Vee rose to fame after “The Day The Music Died,” replacing Buddy Holly in The Crickets. He had 38 Hot 100 singles, including ten Top 10 hits and six gold records. This only reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the AC chart (and obviously didn’t receive a gold record). It’s a good song nonetheless.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for September 27, 2019.

8 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WGH (1310 AM, Hampton Roads, VA)

  1. There are some songs I have not heard before and had no idea Richard Chamberlain had a hit record. I love Puff the Magic Dragon which was always sad for me

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  2. This isn’t a manly thing to say…I’ve said it once on Jim’s blog… But the truth is the truth…I can’t listen to Puff The Magic Dragon without my eyes watering…it represents childhood ending… to me anyway.

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    1. I remember a “Magic Drawing Board” episode on Captain Kangaroo where they illustrated the whole song, and that got to me a little, but mostly I remember one of my younger brothers singing it and annoying the hell out of me. (That’s what younger brothers are supposed to do, right?) When I heard the rumors that it was about smoking dope, I never quite heard the song the same way again.

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