The Friday 5×2: WLS (890 AM Chicago), 4/2/73

Since everyone is barricaded in their house, how about I spin some platters for ya? We visit the Stone Container Building at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive and the studios of WLS, the station I grew up listening to, to examine their survey from April 2, 1973. This week, we have a lot of soul, a lot of soft rock, and some jazz to share with you.

  1. Al Green, “Call Me (Come Back Home)” Al Green was successful as a crossover artist in the early- to mid-’70’s. During the summer of ’73 he appeared as a special guest on Chicago’s TV special, thus cementing his status. In the US, this reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart, earning a Gold record. It only climbed to #60 in Canada.
  2. Carpenters, “Sing” Joe Raposo wtote this for Sesame Street as its signature song. Karen and Richard and a bunch of kids covered it and it reached #3 on the Hot 100. As I’ve said before, The Carpenters were sure gold in the ’70’s.
  3. Stylistics, “Break Up To Make Up” The Stylistics were a big crossover success, as were most R&B acts during this period. From their 1972 album Round 2, This reached #5 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart and #20 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and was certified Gold as well.
  4. Edward Bear, “Last Song” Edward Bear was a band out of Toronto, not, as everyone thought, the name of a person. (It’s the actual name of Winnie the Pooh, according to Wikipedia.) It came out in late 1972 and reached #1 on both the Canadian Hot Singles chart and Adult Contemporary chart, was also #1 on the American Adult Contemporary chart, and #3 on the Hot 100. And it did earn a Gold record, as you might expect.
  5. Anne Murray, “Danny’s Song” a beautiful song by Kenny Loggins, who took a leter from his brother and turned it into a hit. Anne, who could sing the obituary column and make it sound beautiful, made it the title track from her 1972 album and took it to #1 on the Canadian Country, Pop, and AC charts, #10 on the US Country chart, #7 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the AC chart.
  6. Four Tops, “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Got” I had forgotten that The Four Tops had done this. It went to #4 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart, #11 in Canada, and was certified Gold.
  7. Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)” Another great song that reached #1 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Hot 100. This was the last single they recorded for Motown Records, moving to Buddah after this.
  8. O’Jays, “Love Train” A song that everyone desperately needed then (and probably now), they took this to #1 on the Hot 100 and R&B charts, earningthem a Gold record in the US,and #9 in the UK, where it earned a Silver record.
  9. Roberta Flack, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox wrote this with Lori Lieberman, who had seen Don McLean in concert and was really moved by the experience. It was the title track for Roberta’s 1972 album (as Killing Me Softly), and as with just about every song Roberta did, it reached #1 on the Hot 100, #2 on the R&B and AC charts, #1 in Canada and Australia, and #6 in the UK. It earned a Gold record in the US.
  10. Deodato, “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” Brazilian jazz artist Eumir Deodato took this Richard Strauss composition and turned it into jazz gold, selling 5 million copies of its album, Prelude, earning him the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1974. DJ’s liked this because it gave them time to run to the restroom.

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

13 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WLS (890 AM Chicago), 4/2/73

  1. Excellent song selection and bring back some great memories! I loved the O’Jays “Love Train”, a much-needed song now.

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    1. It certainly does for me: I had just turned 17 and was finishing my junior year of high school. An important period in just about everyone’s life…

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    1. He was one of the pioneers of what we now call “smooth jazz,” jazz that was more accessible than bebop. It was an interesting take on Strauss.

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