#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.
“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
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!

Song of the Day: Sheb Wooley, “The Purple People Eater”

Actor and singer Sheb Wooley would be a century old today. As an actor, he appeared in Westerns in the movies and on television, and was the creator of the Wilhelm Scream. As a singer, Sheb did mostly novelty songs, including "The Purple People Eater," which was a #1 hit in 1958. The orchestra and chorus were directed by Neely Plumb, whose daughter Eve played Jan Brady on the ’70’s comedy The Brady Bunch.

Simply 6 Minutes: Kitties!

Now, everyone together: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..

We got our first cat on New Year’s Eve, 1977, and since that time we’ve had at least one cat, and often more (on occasion, many more). Right now, we’re back to where we started, with just one, and have decided that this is it for a while. When she goes, we’re going to wait at least a year before we consider adopting again. We have a lot of things we want to redo in the house, most notably the kitchen and the bathrooms, and, with workmen walking in and out, we don’t want to have to lock a newcomer into a room, lest he or she dash out the door, or, as was the case the last time we had the bathroom done, disappear into the walls of the house and be lost forever (actually, the one that did that found her way out, but we’ve sealed off that way out).

Besides, even though cats are arguably easier to take care of (show them where the food is, show them where the box is, and let them figure out the rest), cats are still work. They need fresh water and food daily, as well as to have their box scooped and occasionally emptied, washed, and filled with fresh litter. They have to go to the vet once a year for a checkup and occasionally will develop health issues that require more frequent visits (and more money). And they can worry the hell out of you. They’ll stop eating for a day or two, or make a habit of going into a room in the other part of the house and start howling for no other reason than they’re bored, or find a new hiding spot and spend several days enjoying the solitude while you and the rest of your family dash around frantically wondering "where’s the cat?"

Mary and I nevertheless are not looking forward to the empty nest…

Christine Bialczak is the host of Simply 6 Minutews.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Black Coffee” Results

Ever have one of those days where you have this notion that you’re forgetting something? Yesterday was one of those days. In my case, the wrapup to my most recent Battle of the Bands, which pitted Julie London against Rosemary Clooney on the 1948 version of "Black Coffee." The votes are in, and here’s the final…

Julie London – 8

  • Ed
  • Aliyah
  • Frank
  • Eugenia
  • Cathy
  • Max
  • Jack
  • Stephen

Rosemary Clooney – 5

  • Dan
  • Arlee
  • Ally
  • Loretta
  • Shady

Congratulations to both ladies on keeping it close, and to Julie for winning the round.

My next battle will com your way this coming Thursday, April 15. Be sure to join us then!

#atozchallenge Top Ten: CHUM (1050 AM, Toronto ON), 6/22/64

CHUM in Toronto is currently broadcasting a sports-talk format, but did Top 40 music from 1957 through 1986, after which they went through several other formats and had a couple of different owners. Here’s their Top Ten from June 22, 1964. No Beatles, but Merseyside is well-represented.

  1. The Wailers, “Tall Cool One”: From Tacoma, Washington, The Wailers (also called The Fabulous Wailers) did saxophone-drven rock & roll. They initially released “Tall Cool One” in 1959 when they were on the New York-based Golden Crest Records, and it reached #36 on the Hot 100. The band chose to move back to Tacoma (Jimi Hendrix, from nearby Seattle, was a big fan) and ended their contract with Golden Crest. In 1964, Golden Crest re-released the song and it again hit the Top 40, peaking at #38.
  2. Johnny Rivers, “Memphis”: From the 1964 album Johnny Rivers Live At The Whiskey A Go Go, which produced a few hits for them, comes this cover of Chuck Berry’s song. It reached #2 in the US, behind The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around,” and #1 in Canada.
  3. Gerry & The Pacemakers, “I’m The One”: Like The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers were from Liverpool, were managed by Brian Epstein, and produced by George Martin. “I’m The One” only reached #82 in the US, but got to #2 in the UK and Canada.
  4. Elvis Presley, “Kiss Me Quick”: Elvis originally released “Kiss Me Quick” on his 1961 album Pot Luck With Elvis, but it wasn’;t released as a single until 1963 in the UK and 1964 in the US. In the US, it was the B side to “Suspicion” and only reached #34, but reached #3 in Canada. Terry Stafford, who sounded a lot like Elvis, ended having a bigger hit with “Suspicion” in ’64.
  5. Dave Clark 5, “Do You Love Me”: Written by Berry Gordy Jr. and originally released by The Contours in 1962, The DC5 took it to #11 (#8 according to Cash Box).
  6. Gerry & The Pacemakers, “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying”: The second song by Gerry & The Pacemakers, this was released before “I’m The One” in the US and went to #4 in the US, which might explain “I’m The One”‘s poor performance. It reached #4 in Canada and #6 in the UK.
  7. The Dixie Cups, “Chapel Of Love”: Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and producer Phil Spector for The Dixie Cups, it reached #1 in the US and Canada and #22 in the UK.
  8. Millie Small, “My Boy Lollipop”: 13-year-old Jamaican singer Millie Small covered Barbie Gaye’s song from 1956, introducing the US, Canada, and the UK to ska. It rose to #2 in all three countries.
  9. Lucille Starr, “The French Song”: Born in Manitoba and married to country singer Bob Regan, with whom she sang in a duet called “Bob & Lucille.” “The French Song” was produced by Herb Alpert and was so popular that she became the first Canadian international star. It rose to #12 in Canada and only to #54 in the US.
  10. Peter & Gordon, “A World Without Love”: Peter Asher was the brother of Jane Asher, who at the time was dating Paul McCartney, who wrote “A World Without Love” for Peter and Gordon Waller. It became a #1 hit in the US and the UK.

Back with I to round out the week tomorrow!

Five For Friday is on hiatus until May 7.