The Friday 5×2: WPTR (1540 AM, Albany, NY), 1/2/72

The call letters WPTR now point to a now-defunct radio station in Schenectady, New York. It got them from the original WPTR, which has now also gone dark as of a couple of years ago. Back in the early ’70’s, they were a Top 40 station, so let’s see what they were playing during the first week of 1972.

  1. Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” A #1 hit in the US and Canada, as well as on the R&B chart, this song was a departure from their earlier, more upbeat music. Billy Preston plays electric piano and Bobby Womack plays rhythm guitar.
  2. Sonny & Cher, “All I Ever Need Is You” No doubt helped by the popular show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, this song rose to #7 in the US, #5 in Canada, #8 in the UK, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was eventually the title track for their 1972 album.
  3. Honey Cone, “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Part 1)” The followup to their #1 singles “Want Ads” and “Stick-Up,” this reached #15 on the Hot 100 but #5 on the R&B chart. As the name implies, there was a Part 2, which was on the flip side.
  4. The Stylistics, “You Are Everything” The Stylistics did some beautiful songs in the early ’70’s, and this is one of the more beautiful. It reached #8 on the Hot 100, #10 on the R&B chart, and was certified Gold by RIAA.
  5. The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” After the demise of The Seekers, guitarist and singer Keith Potger moved to England and formed The New Seekers, who would do the same sort of music as the original group. This was taken from a commercial for Coca-Cola (as most of us remember) and reached #7 in the US, #3 in Canada, and #1 in the UK.
  6. David Cassidy, “Cherish” A nice cover of The Association’s hit from several years earlier. David recorded this shortly after The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” became a hit, no doubt wanting to establish himself as more than Keith Partridge. It did well, rising to #9 in the US and #3 in Canada, as well as #1 on the AC chart and in Australia.
  7. Jonathan Edwards, “Sunshine” Jonathan’s only hit, it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was from his eponymous 1971 and was preceded by one of my favorite songs, “Shanty”.
  8. Dennis Coffey, “Scorpio” A member of the “Funk Brothers” (the session musicians who played on many of the Motown hits), he took this solo effort to #9 on the R&B chart and #6 on the Hot 100. He earned a Gold record in the process. A week after this (January 8, 1972), Coffey became the first white musician to play on Soul Train.
  9. Melanie, “Brand New Key” Melanie Safka, who went by just her first name in the late ’60’s and ’70’s, wrote and sang this cute little ditty and turned it into a #1 hit in the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, as well as #4 in the UK. Billboard ranked it at #9 for 1972.
  10. Don McLean, “American Pie” Not such a bad song once in a while, but this was probably the most-discussed song of 1971-72 and it seems it ended up on the air about once an hour, making it #1 on my list of “EBS Specials”. The full song was almost 9 minutes long; this is the single version. It spent four weeks at #1 in the US and was either #1 or #2 in most of the rest of the English-speaking world, was certified Gold in the US and Platinum in the UK.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 3, 2020.

13 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WPTR (1540 AM, Albany, NY), 1/2/72

  1. I still enjoy hearing “American Pie”–it’s a pretty great song and I can understand the temptation to “play it to death”. I wasn’t listening to much pop radio back then and I didn’t have the McLean album so the song has stayed pretty fresh to my ears. Not so much with “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”–the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear that one is Coca-Cola. I still like Coke, but never cared much for that insipid song.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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