The Friday 5×2: WKNR (Detroit, MI), On This Day in 1972

We visited WKMH in Detroit back in September 2018. During the ’60’sa and into the ’70’s it was WKNR, "Keener 13," and played Top 40 music. Here’s their Top 10 from this date in 1972.

  1. Don McLean, “American Pie” What more can be (or needs to be) said about this song?
  2. Denise LaSalle, “Now Run And Tell That” I don’t remember this being on Top 40 radio in Chicago, which is surprising, because she was a blues, R&B and soul singer who, after the death of Koko Taylor, was recognized as “Queen of the Blues.”
  3. Neil Young, “Heart of Gold” Neil’s only #1 in the United States and his first #1 in Canada, from the 1971 album Harvest.
  4. T. Rex, “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” T. Rex went from a “psychedelic folk” duo to a “glam rock” band when that genre became popular.
  5. Apollo 100, “Joy” Apollo 100 was made up of British session players who had a little fun with Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
  6. Lunar Funk, “Mr. Penguin (Part 1) Can’t find much about Lunar Funk, other than they recorded on the Bell label and that they also went by Bad Smoke, The Counts, and the Fabulous Counts.
  7. The Osmonds, “Down By The Lazy River” From their Phase III album, when they decided to write their own material and play their own instruments.
  8. The Dramatics, “In The Rain” Their second crossover hit, also from the album Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get. This reached #5 on the Hot 100 and was their only #1 on the R&B chart.
  9. Joe Tex, “I Gotcha” Joe scored a number ofr Top 10 hits on the R&B chart but only a couple on the Hot 100. This reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
  10. Harry Nilsson, “Without You” Harry’s first #1 on the Hot 100 was a #1 in most of the English-speaking world.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for February 21, 2020.

18 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WKNR (Detroit, MI), On This Day in 1972

  1. “Without You” came out when my high school sweetheart and first love was about to move 700 miles away. That song told my truth and Harry Nilsson understood. When I hear it now, I have to work to have compassion for the dramatic angst and not roll my eyes. But when I was 16, it was so real!

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  2. American Pie is epic. Not everyday that a song is analyzed by so many different mediums…college classes, books, and all over the internet. Plus…it is a great song without all of the meanings.

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    1. The overanalysis of the song killed it for me. It’s a good song, but if I never hear it again I won’t miss it. “American Pie” was also the song they played over and over in the natatorium when I was taking swimming in high school gym class. Since I still can’t swim, you can imagine how well that went…

      A while ago, I classified it as an EBS Special, where if the station you were listening to was running their weekly Emergency Broadcast System test, and you changed to another station and they were playing the song, you switched back and listened to the rest of the test. I should update that to an EAS Special, where if the song comes on the radio you hope the station runs its weekly EAS test in the middle of it.

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      1. I heard it when I was around 5 so I only paid attention to the catchy chorus. I have to say it’s one I haven’t tired of…becasue it takes me back to a kid.
        LOL that is a great classification. There are some songs I would insert there. Stairway To Heaven would be one for me…with Freebird following close.

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    1. I was (almost) 16 when this survey came out, so I remember all except Denise LaSalle and Lunar Funk, which didn’t make it to WLS or WCFL (or any of the FM stations). I think you’d have been in your 20’s and weaned off Top 40 by that time.

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  3. American Pie and Hear of Gold I remember but the other songs I don’t know off the top of my head. Nothing demonstrates how times change more clearly than looking back to old music and comparing it to today’s songs.

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