#atozchallenge Top Ten: WABC (770 AM, New York, NY), 10/23/65

Welcome to the 2021 Blogging From A to Z April Challenge! This year, I’ll be choosing radio stations, mostly from the US and Canada, and sharing the Top Ten of a random survey for that station chosen either from The Airheads Radio Survey Archive or from Oldiesloon. For stations from the US and Canada, the second letter is the key letter.

WABC, at 770 on the AM dial, is one of the oldest radio stations in the US, and was for many years the flagship for the ABC (American Broadcasting Company) Radio Network (and before that, the Blue Network). They’re currently owned by Red Apple Media and broadcast a news/talk format, but from 1960 to 1982 they were a Top 40 station. Here’s their Top Ten from October 23, 1965.

  1. Fontella Bass, “Rescue Me”: Fontella, from St. Louis, recorded 11 singles, charting with 7 of them, but this was the only time a record reached the Top 10, either on the Hot 100 (where it reached #4) or the R&B chart (where it reached #1).
  2. The Castaways, “Liar Liar”: A one-hit wonder, this band from Minneapolis reached #12 on the Hot 100. They issued five more records, none of which charted.
  3. The Beatles, “Yesterday”: One of the most-covered songs in recording history, Paul recorded this with a string quartet, marking the first time a Beatle appeared by himself on a record. It was an international Top 10 hit and reached #1 in the US, Swden, Norway, The Netherlands, and Belgium.
  4. The Vogues, “You’re The One”: A vocal quartet from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Pittsburgh), this was the first of four Top 10 hits for them, peaking at #4.
  5. The Four Seasons, “Let’s Hang On”: This was released under the name “The Four Seasons Featuring The ‘Sound’ Of Frankie Valli” and reached #3 in the US asnd #4 in the UK.
  6. The Rolling Stones, “Get Off Of My Cloud”: Written as a follow-up to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” it was released in the US in September and the UK in October, and reached #1 in the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany.
  7. The Supremess, “I Hear A Symphony”: The title track from their 1965 album, it was released on October 6 and spent two weeks at #1 in November.
  8. The Gentrys, “Keep On Dancing”: Their one major hit, it sold a million copies and reached #4 on the Hot 100.
  9. Len Barry, “1-2-3”: Len Barry started his singing career after his time in the Coast Guard. He formed The Dovells in his hometown of Philadelphia and was on all their hit records, including “The Bristol Stomp” and “You Can’t Sit Down.” “1-2-3” was his biggest hit, reaching #2 in the US, #3 in Canada and the UK, and #7 in Australia.
  10. The Toys, “A Lover’s Concerto”: Songwriters Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell used the melody of J. S. Bach’s “Minuet In G” from Notebook For Anna Magdalena Bach as the basis for this song, but changed the time signature to 4/4 from 3/4. It peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 and reached #1 in Canada and #5 in the UK.

See you tomorrow with "B"!

54 thoughts on “#atozchallenge Top Ten: WABC (770 AM, New York, NY), 10/23/65

  1. You are my first visit on the Road Trip. We both got in there early. I’ve been waiting all day (Australia). I’m so loving your hit parade. Whatever happened to the music? I know, we got old.

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    1. I stopped listening to Top 40 music in the mid-1990’s because it sounded like yelling and noise. I actually listen to a lot of music friom the pre-rock 1950’s and the pre-British Invasion 1960’s. I started a series last Friday of Instrumentals, which were very popular in the ’50’;s and ’60’s. They’re part of my Five For Friday feature. Stay tuned!

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  2. I tracked down #1 and I recognise the original classical piece, but I am so familiar with that I don’t know if I know this version or not!

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  3. Boy does this take me back! I had turned 13 a couple weeks earlier and spent a lot of my time trying to convince my parents to let me listen to rock ‘n’ roll on our only radio. It was in the kitchen, so any deal I was able to make usually involved trading one of my chores with one of my brothers to get “loading dishwasher” duty. Which I performed as slowly as humanly possible to listen to Cousin Brucie as long as possible. I remember all but one of the songs on this list: Len Barry’s “1-2-3.” Had a copy of the “Bristol Stomp,” though. We’re in for a month of great music from you!

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  4. Can’t remember if I ever picked up WABC in my late night listening back then, but I sure remember this song and most of the others on the list. Looking forward to your other posts! 🙂

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  5. I turned 13 on October 23, 1965. Which would have been a great time for listening to this kind of music, if I was turning 13 years old. Alas, I was turning 13 months and recognize 1/2 of the songs. If the chart was from 9/23/77 when it was 13 years I would remember them all warmly.

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  6. Hi John, Thanks for co-hosting the AtoZ2021 – and with such a busy schedule. I forgot about the Stone’s Get Off My Cloud. Now I have to go listen to it on YouTube, no foolin’.

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  7. I recognize all of those songs, having been into classic rock and pop since 1993. I’ve always had dinosaur taste in music instead of preferring stuff from my own generation.

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  8. Oh, that was a good survey, and best of all, it came from the radio station I listened to for a lot of my youth, growing up in New York City. Every Tuesday night I would settle down with my transistor radio and listen to the countdown. I had a couple of these songs on 45, including “Keep on Dancing”. This is going to be fun!

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  9. Great start, John! I’ve decided that I’ll open your posts first and then listen to the music while I read and comment on the other blogs. Killing two birds with one stone, right? This morning it just about worked perfectly. I am typing this during the last song!

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  10. 1965 was the year when I really started following and buying music. These songs all bring back great memories of the days when I was intently listening to radio. It was WLS for me back then.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  11. John,

    This is an excellent playlist. I’m going to enjoy listening to your music every day throughout April. This morning, I got wrapped up in working ahead on my posts and doing a few other things while these songs played in the background.

    I guess there’s no BoTB for you today. That’s okay. I understand how busy you are but if I’ve overlooked it then please correct me.

    Come be apart of things at Curious as a Cathy when you can, my friend. Happy A2Zing!!

    BoTB: You Only Live Twice BoTB Showdown

    Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketches series: ACME Mail Order Catalog

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    1. I haven’t gotten around to the BotB or the Throwback Thursday post. I’ve been limping along without a steady Internet connection, although I’m using one of Comcast’s hot spots as if it were my own, since they’ve screwed up the connection I pay them for. Arrarrarrarrarr….

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  12. OK so I signed up for the AtoZ thing for the first time and correct me if I am wrong but we can pick ANY topic so long as it starts with the right letter, correct?

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  13. WABC 1965…and Bruce Morrow a/k/a Cousin Brucie was on the air every weeknight. The Cuz recently left Sirius XM and he’s back on WABC every Saturday night. It’s like having a piece of my childhood back.

    Great playlist, thanks for posting.

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    1. You had Cousin Brucie, we had the “Mad Itralian,” Dick Biondi (no, I didn’t misspell “Italian,” he actually pronounced it that way) and “Super Jock,” Larry Lujack…

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      1. Radio personalities were so important then. I’m sure your guys were fascinating.

        The classic WABC lineup was Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram and Cousin Brucie. Harry Harrison hadn’t joined WABC yet in 1965, he was still at rival WMCA. They were so important to us, but you probably wouldn’t know any of them outside of NY. Well, except for the Cousin, who was on Sirius XM for many years, and who was also a movie star — he’s the DJ in “Dirty Dancing”.

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        1. We had our own guys, naturally. Clark Weber, Gene Taylor, Bernie Allen, Dex Card, Ron Riley, Art Roberts, and Don Phillips. Gradually Dex Card was replaced by Larry Lujack, Riley and Weber ended up at WCFL (down the street)– you know, the usual radio station stuff…

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  14. Hi John – thanks for posting this … I’ll be enjoying your theme through April … wonderful – I will enjoy! All the best – Hilary

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