Top Ten Tuesday: WJON (1240 AM St. Cloud MN), 2/9/76

WJON in St. Cloud, Minnesota was the AM sister station of WWJO (98.1 FM). WJON did Top 40, while WWJO did Country & Western. These days, WJON is a news-talk station, while WWJO is still country. The mid- to late-1970’s were a weird time for music, and this week’s survey shows that: both stations had the same #1.

# Song/Artist Comments
10 Winners and Losers
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
The follow-up to the band’s #1 hit “Fallin’ In Love,” didn’t reach the Top 20 in the US or Canada, topping out at #21, but it did reach #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Helen Reddy contributed background vocals, according to one commenter.
9 Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Neil Sedaka
A slow, soulful remake of his 1962 hit, this made it to #8 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, while reaching #1 on the Canadian singles and AC chart. The single started with about 20 seconds of the 1962 version, so don’t be fooled.
8 Fox On The Run
The Sweet
After their 1973 hit “The Ballroom Blitz,” The Sweet failed to chart in the US until this song, which came out in 1975 and peaked at #5 in 1976.
7 All By Myself
Eric Carmen
There is a much longer (and more depressing) version of this I could have used, but I figured this was long and depressing enough. It’s based on Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto #2 in C minor.” It nevertheless reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #3 in Canada.
6 Squeeze Box
The Who
Changing moods rather drastically, we have this little number from The Who By Numbers, whioch, depending on which member of the band you ask, is either not dirty at all or positively filthy. It reached #16 on the Hot 100.
5 Evil Woman
Electric Light Orchestra
ELO’s first worldwide hit, Jeff Lynne said he wrote it in half an hour and it was intended as “filler” on their album Face The Music.
4 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
Paul Simon
This was Rhymin’ Simon’s only #1 song in the US. He wrote it after his divorce from his first wife, and decided the event needed a humorous touch.
3 Saturday Night
Bay City Rollers
Ended up being the first #1 of the Bicentennial Year here in the US and the only #1 the Bay City Rollers had in the US.
2 I Write The Songs
Barry Manilow
Take a look at Barry Masnilow, then go back and look at Eric Carmen and tell me they don’t look like they could be close relatives. The song was written by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys, and it reached #1 in January 1976 nationally. It earned a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1977.
1 Convoy
C. W. McCall
Novelty songs do very well on the Hot 100, and this is but one example. Loaded with truckers’ slang, it touched off a (thankfully short-lived) boom in CB radio sales. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the Country & Western charts.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for February 2, 2021.

6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: WJON (1240 AM St. Cloud MN), 2/9/76

  1. Love your song choices and I am a big ELO fan. Manilow keeps himself going with his old songs. I wonder, Barry Manilow had many big hits but when someone is a “one hit wonder”, how much money do they make from that song. I heard that every time the song is played on the radio, they make money, but how much is that? I tried to find it out on google and couldn’t. I’m just curious.

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    1. The short answer: not much. Skip Caray (former Braves announcer) was in a movie called “The Slugger’s Wife,” and he said that once in a while he’d get a check for seven cents because some TV station ran the movie. It’s the same for songs, only there isn’t quite as much money per play involved. The longer answer: I’m not sure anyone outside of the music or film business thoroughly understands it. I know movie studios have accountants who figure it out, and ASCAP and BMI have something to do with figuring out who gets what in the music business. Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you. I think you’d probably need to talk to someone who knows how to do it…

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    1. With Manilow, it’s not that I’m a huge fan of his, but I have a lot of respect for him. He’s been at it for over 50 years now, some of it in relative obscurity, he hasn’t had any records on the charts in close to 30 years, yet he’s stayed active and people still go to see him. And he appreciates that.

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