The Friday 5×2: KOIL (1290 AM Omaha, Nebraska), 5/13/72

Now a news/talker (surprise!) in Omaha, KOIL signed on in 1925 and was purchased in 1953 by Don Burden, who turned it into a Top 40 station. There were evidently improprieties that forced Burden to surrender his licenses (information on the improprieties can be found here), and the station went dark for several months in 1976. This survey came a few years earlier…

  1. Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Help Me Make It Through The Night” A 1970 song written by Kris Kristofferson and made famous by Sammi Smith, given the soul treatment by Gladys Knight & The Pips. Soul and Country are quite similar, sometimes almost interchangeable. This only made it to #33 on the Hot 100, but to #13 in the R&B chart and #11 in the UK.

  2. Todd Rundgren, “I Saw The Light” Todd played all the instruments and provided all the vocals on this, the first track on his 1972 album Something/Anything?. Reached #16 on the Hot 100 and #12 on the Easy Listening chart.

  3. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” Originally recorded by Charlie Ryan in 1955, Commander Cody had the most successful version, peaking at #9 on the Hot 100.

  4. Michael Jackson, “Rockin’ Robin” Originally recorded by Bobby Day in 1958, Michael’s cover reached #2 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart.

  5. The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There” Al Bell wrote this under his real name, Alvertis Isbell, and The Staple Singers recorded it, taking it to #1 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart. I think it struck a chord with everyone.

  6. Al Green, “Look What You Done For Me” Al took this to #4 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart. It was the hit before “I’m Still In Love With You.”

  7. Stylistics, “Betcha By Golly, Wow” Interesting: Thom Bell and Linda Creed wrote this as “Keep Growing Strong,” and it was recorded by Connie Stevens in 1970. Renamed “Betcha By Golly, Wow,” The Stylistics recorded it on their eponymous 1971 album and released it as a single in 1972. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart and earned a Gold record. Listen to Connie’s recording of it if you get a chance; it’s almost as pretty as she is.

  8. Ringo Starr, “Back Off Boogaloo” Written by Ringo with help from his buddy George Harrison, who plays slide guitar on the record. It was thought that the song was a dig at Paul McCartney, but it was inspired by something Marc Bolan of T. Rex said. It wasn’t included on an album until Ringo re-recorded it for 1981’s Stop And Smell The Roses. Only made it to #9 on the Hot 100, but reached #2 in Canada and the UK.

  9. Paul Simon, “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard” Simon’s second single off his eponymous 1972 album left people wanting to know what he and Julio did that got them arrested and who the “radical preach” was, but he says it was just a bunch of “inscrutable doggerel,” meaning it was all stream-of-consciousness (the radical preach was thought to be Daniel Berrigan, who appeared on the cover of Time magazine with his brother Phillip around the time Simon wrote the song). It only reached #22 on the Hot 100, which is a surprise (it was a #7 on Cash Box‘s survey).

  10. Dr. Hook, “Sylvia’s Mother” An autobiographical song by Shel Silverstein, it was a Top 10 hit in most of the world (#5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Cash Box survey) for Dr. Hook.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for May 8, 2020.

22 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: KOIL (1290 AM Omaha, Nebraska), 5/13/72

  1. I am going to share this with my mom as she was in her teens in the 70s. She is actually from Bellevue, Nebraska (which is below Omaha), and is a radio junkie. When we went camping in Maryland once, she could pick up a station from a small town in Iowa. She would know about KOIL then I would, she might even remember the 1976 incident.

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      1. My mom remembers the station very well. She said it was popular and remembered the “final” broadcast when it briefly closed down in 1976. It was popular until another Top 40 radio station came to be because they had Casey Kasem’s countdown show. Nothing can compete against Kasem’s show.

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    1. The FCC is pretty strict with radio station owners, which is why he was forced off the air, even though the infractions happened ten years before in a different city. As for Michael Jackson, he’s done a few good songs, but that’s about it…

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  2. Todd Rundgren…wow, there’s a forgotten talent. “Hot Rod Lincoln” still gets my attention if I hear it. I’d give this list an A if it wasn’t for “Sylvia’s Mother.” That dong was bad enough on its own, but my cousin Sylvia made it even worse – guilt by association.

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    1. I never understood the appeal of “Sylvia’s Mother.” I thought it was a joke. Well, maybe it was, but I guess I didn’t get it.

      Todd Rundgren is still at it, fifty years later. He does more producing now than performing, but he had an album come out a couple of years ago. Haven’t heard it…

      Asleep at the Wheel did a great cover of “Hot Rod Lincoln.” The guitar part is great, but murder on the player…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If you go down to the schoolyard with me and Julio, avoid Rosie. She’s the queen of corona …

    (Sadly, the Queens neighborhood named Corona, made famous by the song, seems to be a major hotspot for the coronavirus.)

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