The Friday 5×2: WPTR (1540 AM, Albany NY), 3/30/58

The call letters WPTR now belong to a station in nearby Schenectady, New York, but from 1948 until 1985 they were licensed to broadcast from Albany, New York. They’re now WDCD, broadcasting news and talk 24 hours a day. They started playing Top 40 music in 1957. Here’s their Top 10 from March 30, 1958, courtesy of Oldiesloon. All the videos, incidentally, are provided by The45Prof, formerly known as MusicProf78 until YouTube shut down his channel. I’m glad to see him back!

  1. Perry Como, “Kewpie Doll” Kind of a cute song, which was a Top 10 hit in the US (#6) and the UK (#9).
  2. Huey (Piano) Smith & The Clowns, “Don’t You Just Know It” A song I didn’t recognize until I heard it; I never knew the title or artist until today. This was their second million-seller and peaked at #9 on the Pop chart and #4 on the R&B chart.
  3. Paul Anka, “Let The Bells Keep Ringing” This reached #16 on the Pop chart, as he hadn’t found a song that could do as well as “Diana” had the previous year.
  4. Link Wray & His Ray Men, “Rumble” A classic instrumental; it’s hard to believe that it’s over 60 years old. Reached #16 nationally.
  5. Ersel Hickey, “Bluebirds Over The Mountain” His best-known song, he wrote it after Phil Everly said he should write his own material. Reached #75 for him nationally; Ritchie Valens and The Beach Boys had luck with it as well.
  6. Laurie London, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” I seriously thought Laurie was a woman, but he was 14 when he recorded this. It reached #1 on the “Most Played By Jockeys” chart and spent 4 weeks there, but it was his only hit.
  7. George Hamilton IV, “Now And For Always” George (no relation to the actor) was a teen idol in the ’50’s who became a country artist in the early ’60’s. This song reached #25 naionally.
  8. Ricky Nelson, “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It” Ricky covered this Hank Williams tune and reached #10 on the Country chart, and reached #18 on the Pop chart.
  9. Kathy Linden, “Billy” This was Kathy’s first big hit, reaching #7.
  10. The Monotones, “Book Of Love” I was surprised to learn that this was their only Top 40 hit; it reached #5 nationally.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for March 27, 2020.

9 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WPTR (1540 AM, Albany NY), 3/30/58

  1. I didn’t know many of these songs–at least not well. I was living in Pittsburgh PA in 1958 and don’t recall listening to the radio much though my mother used to listen to her new stereo a lot. The music she listened to is what I remember and none of these songs were in her collection.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


      1. What I mostly remember are compilation LP’s of hits of the day. I recall hootenanny style folk artists, cha-cha and other latin dance music by artists like Perez Prado, Sinatra style crooners, Broadway musical soundtracks, and classical. My father liked “Circus Music” or anything that might provide him juggling inspiration.

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  2. I do like Ricky Nelson… I think he would have been remembered more if he wasn’t an actor…that is crazy to say but I wonder if people took him as serious back then as a musician?


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