Top Ten Tuesday: KGB (1360 kHz, San Diego, CA), 9/13/71

We’ve visited KGB in San Diego a couple of times already, both times featuring surveys from the 1960’s (here and here). Let’s step into the ’70’s today to see what they were playing in the early ’70’s, specifically 1971.

# Song / Artist Comments
10 Spanish Harlem
Aretha Franklin
Originally recorded by Ben E. King in 1960, Aretha’s cover outperformed the original, reaching #1 on the R&B chart and #2 on the Hot 100. Jerry Lieber and Phil Spector wrote the song along with Mike Stoller, who wasn’t credited.
9 Whatcha See Is Watcha Get
The Dramatics
Written and produced by Tony Hester, this song reached #3 on the R&B chart and #9 on the Hot 100.
8 Superstar
Carpenters
A song written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell, it was originally sung by Ms. Bramlett as the B side to Delaney and Bonnie’s “Coming Home.” Rita Coolidge sang it on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, but by far the most popular version is the one by Karen and Richard Carpenter, which reached #2 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Easy Listening chart, and earning a Gold record. Karen’s vocal is haunting here.
7 Chicago
Graham Nash
From Graham Nash’s debut solo album Songs For Beginners, this song was unusually popular in The Netherlands, where it peaked at #5. It got to #35 on the Hot 100 and #29 on the Cash Box chart, but got significant airplay on FM radio stations.
6 Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Paul & Linda McCartney
From their 1971 album Ram, this entered the chart in August and by September it had reached #1 nationally, the first in a string of #1 hits written and performed by Sir Paul after the breakup of The Beatles.
5 I Just Want To Celebrate
Rare Earth
From their 1971 album One World, it was Rare Earth’s fifth single and their last Top 10 single, peaking at #7.
4 Ain’t No Sunshine
Bill Withers
From his 1971 album Just As I Am, which was produced by Booker T. Jones, this was his breakthrough hit, reaching #5 on the Soul chart and #3 on the Hot 100.
3 Do You Know What I Mean
Lee Michaels
Lee played everything but the drums on this record, which appeared on his 1971 album 5th. The song reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box survey, and was #19 for the year.
2 Reason To Believe/Maggie May
Rod Stewart
These two songs were released as a double A sided single, with “Reason To Believe” reaching #1 in the UK but failing to reach the Top 40 in the US. “Maggie May” reached #1 in both the US and the UK. Tim Hardin wrote “Reason To Believe,” which was covered by Bobby Darin and The Carpenters as well.
1 Smiling Faces Sometimes
The Undisputed Truth
Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett strong, this was done by The Temptations a few months before The Undisputed Truth covered it. The Temptations’ version ran over 12 minutes on their 1971 album Sky’s The Limit, and they were working on a shorter version when Eddie Kendricks quit the group and went solo. The song went to The Undisputed Truth, who took it to #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Cash Box survey. It was #19 on the year-end Hot 100.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for September 15, 2020.

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: KGB (1360 kHz, San Diego, CA), 9/13/71

  1. Hi John – I remember most of those … but particularly like Spanish Harlem … and as you say above … ‘ah the memories’ – all the best – Hilary

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  2. John,

    I’m enjoying your Top Ten Tuesday playlist while I do a little biscuit making in the kitchen. Thanks for the enjoyable mewsic. “Whacha See Is Whacha Get”! Have tunetastic day, my friend!

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    1. The Undisputed Truth did a few good ones, most notably “Smiling Faces Sometimes” that I featured within the past month. They also did a few songs that The Temptations did. There’s a lot of talent in Detroit, Philly and Memphis that gets overlooked because there were so many big names, but those lesser-known groups made some great music.

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    1. AMC was indeed American Motors. They were owned by Renault for a while, then Chrysler bought them, mostly for the Jeep brand. Their most popular, I think, was the Gremlin, after the Rambler was retired.

      Radio was a lifeline. We spent a week or so in Delavan, Wisconsin every year, and it was close enough to Chicago that you could get most of the stations, some of them as clearly as in the city. Mom used to listen to a low-power (10,000 watts) daytime-only station, and it came in really clear. I grew up in a family of Cubs fans, so I’d be upstairs listening to the White Sox while they were watching the Cubs downstairs. Radio was amazing…

      Larry Lujack (an institution among Top 40 radio listeners in Chicago) once said that if you’re buying a car, check the radio: if all the buttons tuned to rock stations, the transmission’s probably shot.

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