#atozchallenge Top Ten: KIMN (950 AM, Denver, CO), 5/4/74

From 1954 to the mid ’80’s, KIMN was Denver’s #1 Top 40 station. It’s changed hands, formats, and call letter several times since then, and is now KKSE, running a sports-talk format. Craig over at the blog PopRockBopTilUDrop worked for KIMN for many years and talks about all sorts of popular music on his blog, so if you like music, you’ll love his blog.

On a personal note, this is music from the period right before my high school graduation in June 1974, so it has many memories associated with it (some of them good, too).

# Song & Artist Comments
10 Tubular Bells (Theme from The Exorcist)
Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield was 19 in 1973, when he released Tubular Bells, a 49-minute long song that took up both sides of an LP. Typically, radio stations only played a segment of it at a time, most frequently this portion that was used as the opening theme for the 1973 movie The Exorcist. Released as a single, that portion reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #3 in Canada.
9 Let It Ride
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
“Let It Ride” was recorded for BTO’s 1973 album Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. It was written by Randy Bachman and Fred Turner, who did vocals on the track. It peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 in the US and #3 in Canada.
8 T. S. O. P.
MFSB
“T. S. O. P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)” was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff as the theme song for the syndicated TV show Soul Train. It was recorded by MFSB (which stood for “Mother, Father, Sister, Brother”) with vocals by The Three Degrees (who later had a hit with “When Will I See You Again”). It is both the first television theme song to reach #1 on the Hot 100 as well as the first disco tune to do so. Creator,producer and host Don Cornelius refused to allow Gamble and Huff to name the song “Soul Train,” a move that he admitted he regretted later.
7 The Entertainer
Marvin Hamlisch
“The Entertainer” was a ragtime piece written by Scott Joplin and used as the theme song for the 1973 film The Sting starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Ragtime was already regaining an audience in the early ’70’s due to a series of unrelated events, and Marvin Hamlisch’s recording of rags for the soundtrack albums brought it to a head. The song reached #3 on the Hot 100.
6 Band On The Run
Paul McCartney & Wings
Title track from Paul McCartney & Wings’s third album (McCartney’s fifth since leaving The Beatles). The song was the second single from the album after “Jet,” and peaked at #1 in both the US and Canada.
5 I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
Jim Croce
The third posthumous release by Jim Croce, from his 1973 album I Got A Name, completed before Jim’s death in a plane crash in September 1973. The song peaked at #9 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #4 in Canada.
4 (I’ve Been) Searching So Long
Chicago
From Chicago’s recently-released seventh album, Chicago VII (they come up with such original titles), a song written by Jim Pankow. In a foreshadowing of what was to come, it was a ballad sung by Peter Cetera. It reached #9 on the Hot 100, #8 on the US Adult Contemporary chart, and #5 in Canada.
3 The Show Must Go On
Three Dog Night
written by Leo Sayer, whose record reached #2, and David Courtney, Three Dog Night decided to cover it, with Chuck Negron doing the lead vocal. The original song had the line “I won’t let the show go on,” but Negron changed it to “I must let the show go on,” which Sayer was reportedly not happy about. It peaked at #1 on the Cash Box Pop chart, #4 on the Hot 100, and #2 in Canada, and was certified Gold.
2 The Loco-Motion
Grand Funk Railroad
“The Loco-Motion” was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and originally recorded by Little Eva (Gerry and Carole’s babysitter), who took it to #1 in 1962. Grand Funk Railroad did a slightly heavier version (this one) and also took it to #1 in 1974, then Kylie Minogue did a version in 1983 that reached #3. Rare that a song would be a Top Ten hit in three different decades…
1 The Streak
Ray Stevens
A new craze hit college campuses in the US in 1974: streaking, essentially running around with no clothes on. The epicenter of the streaking fad in the Chicago area was Northwestern University, where I was about to matriculate in September, but by then the fad had died out. (One of the more prominent victims was Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who ran the Astronomy department at NU and had also written several books about UFO sightings. During one of his lectures, a young man, wearing only a coat of green paint, ran onstage and took his picture.) Anyway, Ray Stevens decided that the fad was important enough to record a novelty song about, and it reached #1 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Country chart, and #1 in the UK. It sold over a million copies. The video I selected is an updated version of it.

We’ll pick this up on Monday with the letter J. See you then!

33 thoughts on “#atozchallenge Top Ten: KIMN (950 AM, Denver, CO), 5/4/74

  1. Hands down “The Entertainer”. I loved to play it on the piano so it has loads of good memories for me.

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    1. That started a whole ragtime revival. Back in the ’70’s, Johnny Carson (a legendary late-night talk show host) used to have Eubie Blake, the last of the original ragtime performers and composers, on a couple of times a year. He must have been 90 years old but played piano like he was half that. He had these incredible long fingers, I remember, and after he played one of his rags he would stand up and declare, “now THAT’S ragtime!” Amazing guy…

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  2. John,

    I came by the other day “liked” your post but didn’t get a chance to listen to your playlist until now. Incredible set of music like usual. Your closing tune, “The Streak” always makes me smile. Ray Stevens had some hilarious songs from the 70s. I’ll never forget my first experience seeing a streaker. I was on the city bus heading downtown after class. The older ladies up front were laughing and pointing at a guy walking on the street. I didn’t understand why the excitement. All I saw was a guy wearing white shorts and socks with no shoes. Apparently he was stoned. I could tell that much by the way he walked. It didn’t become clear that he was in nothing but his birth suit until he got a little closer. His white shorts was his tan line. lol I believe I turned every shade of red imaginable. At least it felt that way. My face really felt warm. 😀

    Thanks for stopping by to check out my Looney Tune Injun Putty Tat Art Sketch, my friend. Happy A2Zing!!

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  3. Great songs again and, of course, I know the first one because of The Exorcist. I also love Bachman Turner Overdrive. The last song brought back fun memories. I remember someone streaking across a baseball field but the most famous was at the Oscars and I do remember it well.

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  4. Hi Mike – thanks for posting these … I’m saving them to listen to as time passes … just enjoying your choices … some I know, some will be new … all the best – Hilary

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  5. A lot of memories in this playlist – I graduated college in 1974 and took on the adult world. I hadn’t thought about Tubular Bells in many, many years, or, for that matter, most of the songs on this list. But I like almost every one of them.

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  6. John. A very good list indeed. I’m not sure which of these songs is my favorite, Band on the Run is the one I choose to listen to first if that’s any indication. Have a great weekend. I an looking forward to your chart from WKRP come Tuesday!

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  7. Hey John this list of then sure brought back some memories. The Entertainer made me remember The Sting was the first movie I saw in a cinema with my mother and her best friend. They goo-goo’d all over Robert Redford…he was the hottie back then. And the Exorcist theme just creeps me out to this day. WHOOOOOP they call it the streak, who can forget all those copy cats that ran around doing just that? And my favorite from the list today is the Locomotion …. love that song. I think that is still used in every wedding reception!
    Cheers,
    Crackerberries

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    1. I think the song “The Streak” came after the fad. I know there were a lot of guys (and probably gals) running around naked at Northwestern. We had a student teacher from there and she was pretty well shell-shocked….

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