KFI in Los Angeles went on the air in 1922 and over the course of its life has increased its power to 50,000 watts. Like most AM stations, they switched to a news-talk format in the ’80’s as most listeners switched to FM for music. In 1981, they were broadcasting a hybrid format with comedian hosts (Hudson and Landry, Charlie Brill and Mitzy McCall from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Gary Owens etc.) introducing adult contemporary music. Here’s their Top Ten from July 6, 1981.
- Air Supply, “The One That You Love”: Title track from Air Supply’s (Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock) sixth studio album. It topped the Hot 100 in late July for one week, their only #1 hit so far.
- Santana, “Winning”: A cover of Russ Ballard’s 1976 song, it appeared on Santana’s 1981 album Zebop!. It reached #2 on the Mainstream Rock chart and #17 on the Hot 100.
- Joey Scarbury, “Believe It Or Not”: Subtitled “Theme from The Greatest American Hero,” it was written by Mike Post with lyrics by Stephen Geyer. The show only lasted a couple of seasons, but you still hear this on soft rock stations. It peaked at #2 behind Lionel Richie and Diana Ross with their “Endless Love,” reached the top position on the Cash Box survey, and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
- Kim Carnes, “Bette Davis Eyes”: Seems I’ve played this one a lot lately… anyway, it was written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon, who did the original recording. Kim Carnes, who sounds a lot like Jackie, had a #1 hit with this, spending five weeks at the top, interrupted for just one week by our next song…
- Stars On 45, “Stars On 45 Medley”: Stars on 45 were a group of Dutch studio musicians who got together under the direction of Jaap Eggermont and jammed on primarily Beatles songs for their first medley (which inexplicably started with The Archies’ “Sugar Sugar”), which made it to #1 for a week, sandwiched between Kim Carnes and “Bette Davis Eyes.”
- The Oak Ridge Boys, “Elvira”: A huge crossover hit for the Oak Ridge Boys, it reachedc #1 on the Country chart in the US and Canada and #5 on the Hot 100. There’s apprarently no truth to the story that it was dedicated to Cassandra Peterson, a/k/a “Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark,” who was also popular around the same time.
- Daryl Hall & John Oates, “You Make My Dreams”: From their ninth studio album, 1980’s Voices. It reached #5 on the Hot 100.
- Joe Dolce, “Shaddap You Face”: A novelty song, which are always popular, about a rebellious Italian boy. It did very well in Europe and Australia, where it reached the Top Ten. Didn’t do so well in the US, where it only reached #53, but was played frequently on the Dr. Demento radio show, which was based in Los Angeles, albeit not at KFI.
- Kenny Rogers, “I Don’t Need You”: A song written by Rick Christian, who recorded his own version in 1978. It was the lead single from Kenny Rogers’s 1981 album Share Your Love. It reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs and Adult Contemporary charts, #1 on the Canadian Country chart, #2 on the Canadian Top Singles and Adult Contemporary charts, and #3 on the Hot 100.
- George Harrison, “All Those Years Ago”: George had already written the melody with different lyrics for Ringo before John Lennon’s murder in 1980. He wrote new lyrics for it, making it a tribute to John, got Ringo to play drums and Paul (with wife Linda and Denny Laine) to sing backup. It reached #2 behind “Bette Davis Eyes.”
Back with an old favorite for G tomorrow!