#atozchallenge Top Ten: KMVI (550 AM, Kahului HI), 4/12/71

The former KMVI on 550 AM in Kahului, Hawai’i (on the island of Mau’i) is now KNUI, which has been broadcasting a country music format since last July. Pacific Radio Group swapped the call letters in 2013, and the new KMVI is at AM 900, broadcasting a sports-talk format. In any event, KMVI was broadcasting Top 40 music in 1971, so let’s look at their Top Ten almost exactly 50 years ago.

#10 – The Fifth Dimension, "Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes": Title track from their 1971 album, the song was written by Dorothea Joyce and originally recorded by Diana Ross. It reached #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #19 on the Hot 100 and in Canada, and #26 on the R&B chart. The Brotherhood of Man (who had a hit with "United We Stand" in 1970) recorded it in 1972 for their album We’re The Brotherhood Of Man.

#9 – Paul McCartney, "Another Day": This single was recorded during the Let It Be sessions in 1969. It reached #2 in the UK, #5 in the US, and #6 in Canada, and was a Top Ten elsewhere in the world. Later releases of Paul’s album Ram include this song as well as its B side "Oh Woman Oh Why."

#8 – B. J. Thomas, "No Love At All": A somng by Johnny Christopher and Wayne C. Thompson, originally recorded by Lynn Anderson. B. J.’s cover reached #16 in US and Canada and did best on the US Adult Contemporary chart, reaching #5.

#7 – Manila Machine, "Poor Loser": I’m not finding anything on the Manila Machine in any of my usual sources (Wikipedia, AllMusic, Discogs), and DuckDuckGoing it tells me that Manila Machine is a food truck selling Filipino food in Los Angeles. What I have found is that they were a soul group who recorded this as the B side of their cover of "Higher And Higher," they recorded an album on a private label in 1973, and the song is on a record called Soulful Thangs Vol. 5.

#6 – Sammi Smith, "Help Me Make It Through The Night": A song by Kris Kristofferson, this was a crossover for Sammi, one of the few women in the "outlaw country" movement of the ’70’s. Sammi’s record reached #1 on the US and Canadian Country charts, #3 on the US Easy Listening chart, #4 on the Canadian Singles chart, and #8 on the Hot 100.

#5 – Cat Stevens, "Wild World": From Tea For The Tillerman, Cat took this to #11 in the US and #14 in Canada.

#4 – The Mixtures, "The Pushbike Song": The Mixtures were an Australian band who had done a cover of Mungo Jerry’s "In The Summertime." Normally this wouldn’t draw much attention, except for the the 1970 Record Ban, during which Australian radio stations refused to play songs by British and Australian acts that were released on major labels. Benefitting from the lowered competition, their "In The Summertime" reached #1 in Australia for six weeks. "The Pushbike Song" was their follow-up, and it reached #2 in Australia and #44 in the US.

#3 – Arkade, "The Morning Of Our Lives": Another band about which I could find next to nothing, other than they were led by the singer-songwriter Austin Roberts, who came from Newport News, Virginia.

#2 – Donny Osmond, "Sweet And Innocent": Oh, yeah, this… Donny was the next to youngest Osmond Brother (Jimmy came later) and a veritable tweenage heartthrob (as in cover boy on Tiger Beat and "16" magazines), so this was his debut single. It’s actually a cover of a Roy Orbison tune, and it reached #7 on the Hot 100.

#1 – Three Dog Night, "Joy To The World": Up to this point, Three Dog Night had done a lot of very good songs that didn’t go very far (their cover of Randy Newman’s "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)" had reached #1, and they had a couple of Top Ten hits before then). Then they decided to change things up a little and covered Hoyt Axton’s "Joy To The World," and it did better than anything they had done prior, with the exception of "Mama Told Me." It reached #1 in the US, Canada and South Africa and #8 in Australia.

We’re headed down under for tomorrow! Join us then!

#atozchallenge Top Ten: WLS (890 AM, Chicago, IL), 1/26/85

From the time I got my first radio until Mary and I moved to Georgia, WLS was the station I turned to for Top 40 music. Even after WCFL went Top 40, I mostly listened to "The Big 89," though I switched back and forth between WLS and WCFL through high school. By the end of the ’70’s "Super CFL" was playing "beautiful music" and WLS was the only game in town, at least on the AM dial. Meanwhile, almost a dozen rock and Top 40 stations had started up on FM (including WDAI, which had started as WLS-FM and is that today), and WLS was losing its listeners to those stations. So they transitioned themselves into a news-talk station, completely dropping Top 40 by the early ’90’s. Here’s their Top Ten from January 26, 1985.

#10 – Chaka Khan, "I Feel For You": Chicago native Chaka Khan had been with The American Breed when they morphed into the band Rufus, and by 1983 that band had broken up. "I Feel For You" was written by Prince and appeared in his eponymous 1979 album. Chaka’s version included a rap by Grandmaster Melle Mel and harmonica by Stevie Wonder. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B and Dance charts, and was an international Top Ten hit.

#9 – Bryan Adams, "Run To You": The lead single from his 1984 album Reckless, it’s considered a "cheating classic." Nevertheless, it reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Top Rock Tracks chart, #4 in Canada and #8 in Ireland.

#8 – Chicago, "You’re The Inspiration": From the 1984 album Chicago 17, a song written by Peter Cetera and David Foster. This was the midst of Chicago’s "power ballads" days, with Cetera doing the vocals and about half the band playing keyboards of some kind. Nevertheless, it reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts in the US and Canada, #3 in the US, and #5 in Canada. Peter left Chicago for a solo career after he finished this album.

#7 – Prince, "I Would Die 4 U": The fourth single from 1984’s Purple Rain, it reached #8 on the Hot 100.

#6 – New Edition, "Cool It Now": The first single from their eponymous 1984 album, the song peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the Hot Black Singles chart.

#5 – Foreigner, "I Want To Know What Love Is": A power ballad and first single from Foreigner’s fifth album, 1984’s Agent Provocateur. It reached #1 in both the US and the UK, their highest-ranked single in either country to date. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked this #479 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

#4 – Band Aid, "Do They Know It’s Christmas": Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote this as a reply to the 1983-85 famines in Ethiopia and recorded by the supergroup Band Aid, which Geldof and Ure assembled from the cream of the British and Irish groups. It was sold during the 1984 Christmas season and was one of the fastest-selling singles of all time, reaching #1 in many countries and started the fad of charity singles, including "We Are The World" by the supergroup USA for Africa. Lack of airplay in the US resulted in it not reaching the Top Ten on the Hot 100.

#3 – Jack Wagner, "All I Need": Wagner, a soap opera star in the US (at the time, he played Frisco Jones on the long-running General Hospital), wrote and recorded this as the title track on his 1984 debut album. It reached #1 on the US and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts, #2 on the Hot 100 (where it stayed behind Madonna’s "Like A Virgin") and #3 in Canada. To date, he hasn’t had another Top 40 single…

#2 – Philip Bailey & Phil Collins, "Easy Lover": Bailey, from Earth Wind & Fire, and Collins, from Genesis, got together and recorded this after Collins was hired to produce Bailey’s album. It was a great song and even greater video, with the two of them shown clowning around and having a great time recording this. Naturally, it was also stuck behind…

#1 – Madonna, "Like A Virgin": A song written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg (who said it is based on personal experience) and produced by Nile Rodgers. It’s a dance-oriented song and contrasts Madonna’s high register with the bass line. It was the title track from Madonna’s second album from 1984, and established her as a pop culture icon.

Back tomorrow with M!