Normally, I’d feature a survey that was issued on February 22, but this one spoke to me, so I hope you don’t mind me using a survey from February 25, 1967. It would be the last survey in February, so I think I’m in the clear. WSAI is now an affiliate of the Fox Sports Radio Network and airs all their programs as well as Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games, but they were a Top 40 station in 1967. Here, then, is their Top 10 (I’ll explain why there are 11 songs in a minute).
- The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” This was the Australian folk quartet’s highest-charting single in the US, peaking at #2. Their previous hit was “I’ll Know I’ll Never Find Another You,” which you know if you’ve done a Marriage Encounter…
- The Left Banke, “Pretty Ballerina” Their follow-up single to “Walk Away Renee” didn’t do as well as that did, peaking at #15 on the Hot 100 and #12 on the Cash Box chart, as well as #4 in Canada. This was the last charting single for this “baroque pop” quintet.
- The Supremes, “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” Their third of four straight #1 singles. Later in ’67, they changed their name to “Diana Ross & The Supremes.”
- The Beatles, “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” This single was issued as having two A sides, as oppoesd to an A and a B side, where the B side is just along for the ride. In Chicago, WLS and WCFL both decided that “Penny Lane” would be the A side, but evidently WSAI went along with the “two A sides” approach.
- Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin'” Shortly after releasing this, Stevie Winwood left to form the band Traffic, and later Blind Faith.
- Gary & The Hornets, “There’s A Kind Of Hush” Cincinnati-based Gary and the Hornets were apparently an early “boy band” who had a bigger hit with this song than Herman’s Hermits did. The flip side of HH’s version of “Hush,” “No Milk Today,” was on the chart at #22.
- The Rolling Stones, “Ruby Tuesday” Another double A side record with “Let’s Spend The Night Together” on the flip side, this was the hit in the US, peaking at #1.
- The Royal Guardsmen, “The Return Of The Red Baron” The listening public hadn’t quite gotten tired of The Royal Guardsmen’s songs about Charlie Brown’s dog, although this only made it to #15 nationally.
- Tommy James & The Shondells, “I Think We’re Alone Now” Title track from their 1967 album, it wasn’t the hit “Hanky Panky” was, but still reached #4 nationally. This was later a #1 hit for singer/mall rat Tiffany in 1988.
- Ed Ames, “My Cup Runneth Over” Former lead singer of The Ames Brothers and expert tomahawk thrower Ed Ames reached #8 nationally but #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with this. It’s arguably a beautiful song, which makes it seem a little out-of-place here.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for February 22, 2019.
I was still more or less listening to pop radio in 1990, although I found myself seraching the radio dial for alternatives, so I decided to go with this survey from Fox FM (3FOX), which Wikipedia tells us is the most listened-to radio station in all of Australia. I’m impressed…
- Black Box, “Ride On Time” Wikipedia tells us that they were a house music trio who employed Katrin Quinol (the attractive woman seen in the video) as its alleged frontwoman (as they called her, the band’s “image”). There was quite a bit of controversy when it was discovered that Katrin was merely lip-syncing and the actual singer was a woman named Martha Wash. There was a lot of that going on around this time, as you’ll soon see. The song did well in Australia, reaching #2.
- Midnight Oil, “Blue Sky Mine” Midnight Oil is an Australian rock band based in Sydney. They’ve won 11 ARIA awards (the Australian equivalent of the Grammys) and are members of the ARIA Hall of Fame. This went to #1 in the US on the Mainstream Rock and Alternative charts and #8 in Australia.
- The B-52’s, “Love Shack” This alternative band from Athens, Georgia (from whence R. E. M. also comes) has been around since 1979, but I didn’t hear of them until they released this and it went to #3 in the US. It went to #1 in Australia and sold enough records to earn double platinum status.
- Milli Vanilli, “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” Around the same time that Black Box had their controversy over their alleged lead singer not actually sung their hits, Milli Vanilli, who had won the Grammy for Best New Artist, admitted that they hadn’t actually sung any of their songs. They returned the Grammy and they never achieved that kind of success again. This reached #1 in the US and #3 in Australia.
- Michael Bolton, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?” Say what you will about Michael Bolton, he did his own singing, and continues to do so to this day. This reached #1 in the US on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts and #2 in Australia.
- Peter Blakeley, “Crying In The Chapel” Not a cover of the Elvis tune, but pretty good nonetheless. Peter is an Australian White Soul and Adult Contemporary singer and songwriter. This record went double platinum in Australia, but I couldn’t find chart performance data.
- Alannah Myles, “Black Velvet” This was the Canada-based singer-songwriter’s lone #1 in the US, but as her previous single, “Love Is,” reached #36 in this country, technically she’s not a one-hit wonder, but she might as well be. It reached #1 in the US and #3 in Australia, where it achieved Gold status, but only reached #10 in Canada.
- Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much” Linda had a magnificent voice until Parkinson’s disease (not MS as I told someone else) robbed her of it, but she left an impressive catalog of songs, including this one with R&B singer Aaron Neville, with whom she released three singles. No data on how well it did in Australia, but it reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US.
- Lisa Stansfield, “All Around The World” A song that still gets some airplay on Smooth Jazz stations, this reached #9 in Australia and earned Gold status, while it reached #3 in the US on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Dance and R&B charts.
- Aerosmith, “Janie’s Got A Gun” The Bad Boys From Boston reached #2 on the US Mainstream Rock chart and #1 in Australia with this song. What more is there to say?
And that’s the Friday 5×2 for February 15, 2019 (which would have been my dad’s 87th birthday).
I’ve mentioned before that the reason I do this is to play songs that were big hits on some radio station’s weekly survey that have somehow fallen through the cracks and are no longer heard. I found this survey yesterday for a station in Alabama, WDNG AM 1450 in Anniston, and there were songs on it that I never heard. I figure if I haven’t, you probably haven’t either, so here we go.
- Janis Ian, “In The Winter” The followup to the previous year’s #3 hit didn’t do anywhere near as well, not even charting on the Hot 100 and only getting to #97 on the Cash Box survey. Folks in Anniston clearly disagreed.
- Helen Reddy, “Somewhere In The Night” This was Helen’s followup to “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” and it made #19 nationwide, though I can’t recall it being played in Chicago.
- The Four Seasons, “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!) A song sung by drummer Gary Polci for a change, with Frankie Valli singing backup. This was a big hit for them, reaching #1 in the US, Canada and the UK.
- Art Garfunkel, “Break Away” The followup to his cover of “I Only Have Eyes For You” reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart but barely cracked the Top 40 (#39). He got the hint and, after a three-year hiatus, went back to doing ’50’s covers.
- Paul Simon, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” Here cones Rhymin’ Simon, besting his erstwhile singing buddy again. This went to #1 in the US and Canada.
- The Bee Gees, “Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)” This went to #2 in Canada and #12 in the US, and to be honest I don’t remember hearing it before today. I think I would have remembered a song named “Fanny.”
- Hagood Hardy, “The Homecoming” A beautiful song that many YouTube commenters said they would like to have played at their funeral. Hardy reached #14 in his adopted home Canada and #6 on the Easy Listening chart in the US, but just missed placing in the Top 40 on the Hot 100 (#41). Clearly the people of Anniston saw differently.
- Nazareth, “Love Hurts” A cover of the 1960 song written by Boudleaux Bryant and sung by The Everly Brothers. Reached #1 in Canada and #8 in the US.
- Cledus Maggard & The Citizens Band, “The White Knight” Get your ears on, buddy! As you might have guessed from the name of the band, this is a CB song. It reached #1 on the Country chart and #19 in the US overall.
- Barry White, “Let The Music Play” This went to #4 on the R&B chart and #32 on the Hot 100 for the big guy.
WDNG-AM has adopted a news-talk format, while WDNG-FM (“My 95”) plays an adult contemporary format, as does its sister station WFHK.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for February 8, 2019.
Let’s head back to Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa (we were there last June) and see what their Top 10 looked like on this day in 1974.
- Peter Vee, “The Tips Of My Fingers” Discogs tells us that Peter Vee is a South African singer/songwriter, producer and record company executive, and that this was his biggest solo hit.
- David Cassidy, “Daydreamer” This was a #1 hit in the UK and South Africa that didn’t make a dent in the US market.
- Johnny Gibson, “My Daddy Was A Rock’n’Roll Man” The site 45cat tells us that this was the first of his two big hits (the other was 1978’s “I Saw The Light”) and that he had a further three that weren’t quite as big.
- Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” This was a hit just about everywhere it was released.
- ABBA, “Ring Ring” A song from before they became famous in the US and UK. Went to #1 in their native Sweden.
- The Rolling Stones, “Angie” Another huge hit for the Stones. Written primarily by Keith Richards, the song was named for his daughter, not Angela Bowie, as was suspected.
- Jody Wayne, “The Wonder Of Your Love” South African singer who was born in Bangalore to Canadian parents. Does some pretty good country music.
- David Bowie, “Sorrow” From David’s 1973 album Pin-Ups, on which he did all covers of songs he liked. This was originally done by The Merseybeats.
- Ringo Starr, “Photograph” Interesting thing this week: these are either songs I’ve played before and are familiar with, songs I’ve never heard by artists I recognize, or songs I don’t recognize done by artists I don’t recognize. This fits into the fitrst category, and in fact I’m pretty sure I’ve played it recently.
- Albert Hammond, “The Peacemaker” American and Canadian audiences remember “It Never Rains In Southern California,” Albert’s only US hit.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for February 1, 2019.
We looked at WKMH (1310 AM, Dearborn, Michigan) back in September, so let’s visit them again and have a look at their Top 10 a few months later.
- The Mark IV, “I Got A Wife” Here’s a sort of novelty record from a singing group out of Chicago. Doesn’t appear to have gone very far nationally, but it did all right in Detroit/Dearborn.
- Neil Sedaka, “The Diary” This was Neil’s first single with RCA and it did reasonably well, peaking at #14 on the Hot 100 and #22 on the Cash Box survey. Hadn’t heard this before today, to be honest.
- Cyril Stapleton, “The Children’s Marching Song” If you’re a Columbo fan, you’ll recognize this as the song he whistles all the time; if not, you’ll recognize this as “Nick Nack, Paddy Whack.” Cyril was an orchestra leader in the UK on the BBC, and when the BBC disbanded them, he formed his own group and had a few minor hits here. This reached #13.
- Pat Boone, “With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair” Mr. White Bucks reached #21 in the US and the UK with this.
- Andy Williams, “The Hawaiian Wedding Song” My parents’ favorite crooner took this to #11 on the Hot 100, #11 on the Cash Box survey, and #14 on the R&B chart.
- The McGuire Sisters, “May You Always” Reached #11 on the Hot 100 and #21 over at Cash Box as well as #15 in the UK.
- The Crests, “16 Candles” This was originally the B side of “Beside You,” but the listeners spoke and the group took this to #2 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B chart.
- Billy Grammer, “Gotta Travel On” Country singer (he had been a member of The Grand Old Opry) had his first hit record with this one, taking it to #5 on the Country chart and #4 on the Hot 100 and earning him a gold record in the process. Later efforts were not as well appreciated.
- Lloyd Price, “Stagger Lee” Lloyd took this to #1 on the Hot 100 and R&B chart. He’s had an interesting life that includes being a singer, record label executive, promoter, builder, and food company executive, and is still active at 85.
- Ritchie Valens, “Donna” His highest-charting single nationally (#2), the flip side was “La Bamba.” He was killed, along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper (J. P. Richardson) in a plane crash nine days later.
And that’s your Friday 5×2 for January 25, 2019.