The Friday 5×2: WKNR (Detroit, MI), On This Day in 1972

We visited WKMH in Detroit back in September 2018. During the ’60’sa and into the ’70’s it was WKNR, "Keener 13," and played Top 40 music. Here’s their Top 10 from this date in 1972.

  1. Don McLean, “American Pie” What more can be (or needs to be) said about this song?
  2. Denise LaSalle, “Now Run And Tell That” I don’t remember this being on Top 40 radio in Chicago, which is surprising, because she was a blues, R&B and soul singer who, after the death of Koko Taylor, was recognized as “Queen of the Blues.”
  3. Neil Young, “Heart of Gold” Neil’s only #1 in the United States and his first #1 in Canada, from the 1971 album Harvest.
  4. T. Rex, “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” T. Rex went from a “psychedelic folk” duo to a “glam rock” band when that genre became popular.
  5. Apollo 100, “Joy” Apollo 100 was made up of British session players who had a little fun with Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
  6. Lunar Funk, “Mr. Penguin (Part 1) Can’t find much about Lunar Funk, other than they recorded on the Bell label and that they also went by Bad Smoke, The Counts, and the Fabulous Counts.
  7. The Osmonds, “Down By The Lazy River” From their Phase III album, when they decided to write their own material and play their own instruments.
  8. The Dramatics, “In The Rain”┬áTheir second crossover hit, also from the album Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get. This reached #5 on the Hot 100 and was their only #1 on the R&B chart.
  9. Joe Tex, “I Gotcha” Joe scored a number ofr Top 10 hits on the R&B chart but only a couple on the Hot 100. This reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
  10. Harry Nilsson, “Without You” Harry’s first #1 on the Hot 100 was a #1 in most of the English-speaking world.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for February 21, 2020.

Song of the Day: Wet Willie, "Keep On Smilin'"

Back in 1988 or 1989, I saw Robert Cray at Chastain Park. The band that opened for him was The Nighthawks, whose lead singer at the time was Jimmy Hall, formerly the frontman for Wet Willie. A couple of years ago, I read an article about him, remembered seeing him, and dropped him an email. He was really happy to know that people still remembered him. "Keep On Smilin’" was Wet Willie’s big hit, reaching #10 on the Hot 100 in 1974.

Writer's Workshop: Cut Yourself Some Slack

Yeah, I know they’re Japanese… Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

It’s kind of a shock, really, to realize just how young I was when I was a teenager. Maybe because I’ve lived in this body for almost 64 years and this is the same exact body I had when I was 16 (it’s grown a lot since then, but still, same body). Sometimes I look around me when I’m sitting at Starbucks banging away on my laptop and see teenagers doing the same math problems and reading the same books that I did, and I think to myself, "My God, they’re so young! Was I ever that young?" The answer, of course, is yes. In fact, I can still remember what it was like when I was their age. I see what they’re reading, and I remember how I felt when I read the same thing, and start to experience it all over again.

At the same time, I look back at the stupid things I did at 16 and cringe, just like I did then. I have to remind myself that I was young and stupid then, and if I hadn’t done what I did then, I wouldn’t have that experience that I have now. I wouldn’t know, for example, that if you’re smitten with a gorgeous girl who doesn’t even know you exist, it’s generally bad form to call her a bitch when she doesn’t respond to you. I still have nightmares about that, and I have to keep reminding myself "You were an idiot, but that’s all over now. Live and learn, and don’t do it again, okay?"

Sometimes I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and it’s almost a shock. "Who the hell is that old guy?" I’m sure it’s 16-year-old me asking.

There used to be a section of the classified ads in the newspaper called "Disclaimer of Debts," where people (particularly those who had had their identities stolen–yes, it used to happen quite regularly then, too) would declare "Responsible for my debts and signature only after February 19, 2020." There should be the same kind of thing for when you want to just forget about something kind of embarrassing. Maybe post it on Craigslist or something.

I guess what I’ve discovered is that I have had to learn to cut myself a lot of slack and not obsess over the stupid things I did when I was younger. You would do well to learn the same thing.

Song of the Day: Allman Brothers Band, "One Way Out"

We aren’t quite sure who wrote this; Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson II both recorded it in the ’60’s, but it’s probably from much earlier. Anyway, Duane Allman, who was most likely influenced by Elmore James and other slide guitar players, probably learned this and lobbied the rest of the Allman Brothers to cover it.

The Allman Brothers Band is pretty much the 800-pound gorilla of Southern rock; it’s hard to talk about the genre without talking about them. They formed in 1969 and recorded two studio albums, their eponymous debut (1969) and Idlewild South (1970), but it wasn’t until their first live album, 1971’s At The Fillmore East, that people began to take notice of them. This is from that live album.