The Friday 5×2: WPTR (1540 AM, Albany, NY), 1/2/72

The call letters WPTR now point to a now-defunct radio station in Schenectady, New York. It got them from the original WPTR, which has now also gone dark as of a couple of years ago. Back in the early ’70’s, they were a Top 40 station, so let’s see what they were playing during the first week of 1972.

  1. Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” A #1 hit in the US and Canada, as well as on the R&B chart, this song was a departure from their earlier, more upbeat music. Billy Preston plays electric piano and Bobby Womack plays rhythm guitar.
  2. Sonny & Cher, “All I Ever Need Is You” No doubt helped by the popular show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, this song rose to #7 in the US, #5 in Canada, #8 in the UK, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was eventually the title track for their 1972 album.
  3. Honey Cone, “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Part 1)” The followup to their #1 singles “Want Ads” and “Stick-Up,” this reached #15 on the Hot 100 but #5 on the R&B chart. As the name implies, there was a Part 2, which was on the flip side.
  4. The Stylistics, “You Are Everything” The Stylistics did some beautiful songs in the early ’70’s, and this is one of the more beautiful. It reached #8 on the Hot 100, #10 on the R&B chart, and was certified Gold by RIAA.
  5. The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” After the demise of The Seekers, guitarist and singer Keith Potger moved to England and formed The New Seekers, who would do the same sort of music as the original group. This was taken from a commercial for Coca-Cola (as most of us remember) and reached #7 in the US, #3 in Canada, and #1 in the UK.
  6. David Cassidy, “Cherish” A nice cover of The Association’s hit from several years earlier. David recorded this shortly after The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” became a hit, no doubt wanting to establish himself as more than Keith Partridge. It did well, rising to #9 in the US and #3 in Canada, as well as #1 on the AC chart and in Australia.
  7. Jonathan Edwards, “Sunshine” Jonathan’s only hit, it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was from his eponymous 1971 and was preceded by one of my favorite songs, “Shanty”.
  8. Dennis Coffey, “Scorpio” A member of the “Funk Brothers” (the session musicians who played on many of the Motown hits), he took this solo effort to #9 on the R&B chart and #6 on the Hot 100. He earned a Gold record in the process. A week after this (January 8, 1972), Coffey became the first white musician to play on Soul Train.
  9. Melanie, “Brand New Key” Melanie Safka, who went by just her first name in the late ’60’s and ’70’s, wrote and sang this cute little ditty and turned it into a #1 hit in the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, as well as #4 in the UK. Billboard ranked it at #9 for 1972.
  10. Don McLean, “American Pie” Not such a bad song once in a while, but this was probably the most-discussed song of 1971-72 and it seems it ended up on the air about once an hour, making it #1 on my list of “EBS Specials”. The full song was almost 9 minutes long; this is the single version. It spent four weeks at #1 in the US and was either #1 or #2 in most of the rest of the English-speaking world, was certified Gold in the US and Platinum in the UK.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 3, 2020.

The Friday 5×2: KRLA (1110 AM Los Angeles), 12/28/63

For the last Friday 5×2 of this year, I’ve chosen the year-end 1963 survey from KRLA in Los Angeles. They’re now KRDC and are now known as "Radio Disney Country." Thanks to Oldiesloon for hosting the survey.

    1. The Righteous Brothers, "Koko Joe" A song that’s been covered by Jerry Reed, it’s from their debut album, 1963’s Right Now!. It didn’t make the Hot 100, but obviously it was popular in LA.
    1. The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick" This was the only Christmas-themed song on KRLA’s Tune-Dex (their name for their survey). It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart, and has been pulled out of mothballs every Christmas since.
    1. Tommy Roe, "Everybody" Before Tommy’s "Dizzy" and "Sweet Pea" days, he was still popular. This reached #3 in the US and Canada and #9 in the UK, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.
    1. Round Robin, "Do the Slauson" All I can think of is Johnny Carson’s "Tea Time Movie" bit where he was giving directions on how to get somewhere in LA. There was always one place where you drove to the Slauson Cutoff, then cut off your Slauson. The Blossoms appear on this record as backup singers, and appears to have only been a hit in LA.
    1. Bobby Rydell, "Forget Him" Another song I haven’t heard before, even though it reached #4 on the Hot 100, #3 on the AC chart, and #13 in the UK.
    1. The Singing Nun, "Dominique" Jeanne Deckers, also known as Dominican Sister Luc-Gabrielle (or Soeur Sourire ("Sister Sunshine") or the Singing Nun) had a surprise hit with a French-language son about St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order. It reached #1 in the US and Canada and did very well in the rest of the world.
    1. The Murmaids, "Popsicles and Icicles" Sisters Carol and Terry Fischer and Sally Gordon reached #3 nationally with this, their only hit record. You’ll notice the song was written by David Gates, later the leader of the ’70’s band Bread.
    1. Shirley Ellis, "The Nitty Gritty" Best known for "The Name Game," she had a #8 hit with this. She seemed to do well with novelty records.
    1. The Marketts, "Out Of Limits" The Marketts were a fairly successful istrumental group whose only Top 10 hit was this one, which reached #3 nationally. Several years later, they had a minor hit with the Batman theme.
    1. The Kingsmen, "Louie Louie" This video shows the actual lyrics of the song, not the ones everyone thinks they hear. For reference, here’s the obscene version, which also shows the right lyrics. Show of hands: who likes the dirty version better? This was their only Top 10 hit (it reached #2), but they had a #17 hit with their next record, "Money."

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for December 27, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: KIMN (Denver, CO), 12/19/70

Before we get started, I’d like to ask you, if you haven’t already, to check out my latest Battle of the Bands. It’s between three acts, each of whom did a song called "Games People Play," and as of right now there’s a three-way tie.

ARSA is featuring a survey from KIMN in Denver, where Craig from PopBopRockTilUDrop worked for many years, so let’s have a look at their Top 10 from December 19, 1970.

  • #10: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "Mr. Bojangles" Jerry Jeff Walker wrote this one in the mid-’60’s and recorded it in 1968, but the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s cover is probably best known. Theirs was a Top 10 hit in the US (#9) and Canada (#2).
  • #9: 5th Dimension, "One Less Bell To Answer" This Burt Bacharach-Hal David song was originally written for Keely Smith. "Bones" Howe, producer for the 5th Dimension, found it and thought it would be perfect for their debut on Bell Records, 1970’s Portrait. It went to #2 in the US and #7 in Canada.
  • #8: Santana, "Black Magic Woman" A cover of Peter Green’s song with Fleetwood Mac, the album version was longer and segued into Gabor Szabo’s "Gypsy Queen" at the end. This is the version from the single, which reached #4.
  • #7: José Feliciano, "Life Is That Way" A song that had not made it onto an album yet, it appeared on 1971’s Encore! José Feliciano’s Finest Performances. Today was the first time I had heard it.
  • #6: Jerry Reed, "Amos Moses" Certified Guitar Player (a title bestowed on him by the late Chet Atkins) Jerry had a few semi-novelty records in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. This one reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #2 in Canada as well as #16 on the Country chart.
  • #5: José Feliciano, "Feliz Navidad" A really simple song that’s become a holiday classic. It reached #1 on the Holiday 100 and #29 on the Hot 100.
  • #4: Brian Hyland, "Gypsy Woman" Brian’s cover of The Impressions’ tune went to #3 on the Hot 100 and the Canadian chart.
  • #3: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, "Tears of a Clown" A song written by Smokey, Stevie Wonder, and Hank Cosby (Stevie Wonder’s producer) originally for 1967’s Make It Happen. It turned out to be a huge crossover hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart.
  • #2: The Partridge Family, "I Think I Love You" Written by Tony Romeo, this was the first hit for the Partridges, who were actually David Cassidy and mom Shirley Jones in the studio with musicians from The Wrecking Crew. It was a #1 hit in the US and Canada.
  • #1: George Harrison, "My Sweet Lord"/"Isn’t It A Pity" This was the first #1 single released by a former member of The Beatles. "My Sweet Lord" was, of course, the subject of a lawsuit by Ronnie Mack, who had written The Chiffons’ "He’s So Fine" earlier in the decade, claiming successfully that George had stolen the melody for his hit. George had written "Isn’t It A Pity" originally as a Beatles song, but it was never recorded by them as a group.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for December 20, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: WTRY (980 AM Troy, NY), 12/12/64

WTRY is now WOFX, "Fox Sports 980," but they were playing Top 40 hits until the turn of the century. Oldiesloon has a couple of years’ worth of their surveys, and one was from December 12 55 years ago. No real surprises here, but there were a couple of songs that were new to me.

  • 10. Buddy Randell & The Knickerbockers, "All I Need Is You" From Bergenfeld, New Jersey, they had a bigger hit than this with the Beatlesque "Lies" a year later. This is more doo-wop. This didn’t chart nationally.
  • 9. The Beach Boys, "Dance, Dance, Dance" Brian and Carl Wilson wrote this one together, Carl’s contribution being the guitar riff. The Blogger’s Best Friend™ tells us that it was kept out of the Top 5 in most of the country by "a logjam of British Invasion hits," but that it reached #4 in the Albany Tri-Cities, of which Troy is one.
  • 8. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, "Big Man In Town" At this time, The Four Seasons had records coming out on both the Philips label and the Vee Jay label. This was a Philips song, and it only reached #20 nationally.
  • 7. The Rolling Stones, "Time Is On My Side" This was written by Jerry Ragovoy under the name "Norman Meade." There were actually two versions of this song, the first a much looser arrangement that started only with organ, the second (this one) recorded in 1964 at Chess Studios in Chicago. It reached #6 in the US and #3 in Canada.
  • 6. Bobby Vinton, "Mr. Lonely" Per Wikipedia, this song reached #1 nationally on this day (12/12/64). Bobby had started this song while he was in the Army, and it describes a soldier who has just been deployed and has no contact with home, as were many young men at the time as the US’s involvement in the Vietnam war was escalating.
  • 5. Manfred Mann, "Sha La La" This was written by Robert Taylor and Robert Moseley, and reached #3 in the UK and #12 in the US and Canada.
  • 4. Gene Pitney, "I’m Gonna Be Strong" A Barry Mann-Cynthia Weil song, it was released the previous year by Frankie Laine, but Gene had the big hit with it. It reached #2 in the UK and #9 in the US.
  • 3. Herman’s Hermits, "I’m Into Something Good" A Gerry Goffin-Carole King song, it was recorded earlier in 1964 by Earl-Jean and The Cookies. Their version only reached #38; Herman’s reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Cash Box survey.
  • 2. Zombies, "She’s Not There" Rod Argent wrote this and it became The Zombies’ first hit, reaching #12 in the UK and #2 in the US.
  • 1. The Beatles, "I Feel Fine"/"She’s A Woman" A double-"A" side record that reached #1. The humming and buzzing at the beginning of "I Feel Fine" was the result of John’s acoustic guitar (fitted with a pickup) feeding back in the studio. He liked it so much that they left it in. (Can anyone read lips well enough to tell me what George is saying in the first chorus?) "She’s A Woman was Paul imitating Little Richard.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for December 13, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: KNAK (1280 AM Salt Lake City), 12/5/69

We visited KNAK in Salt Lake City earlier this year, so let’s jump a little ahead from that and check out their survey from December of 1969. There are 12 songs here, because there are two double-"A" side songs, which you’ll see shortly.

  • #10: The Tokens, "She Lets Her Hair Down" True one-hit wonders (1961’s "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" reached #1 and was their only Top 40 hit), they reached #61 on the Hot 100 and #43 in Canada with this. Seems strange. I heard this for the first time today.
  • #9: The Grass Roots, "Heaven Knows" A minor hit that reached #24 on the Hot 100 (Cash Box had it at #13 and Record World had it at #12), It was sandwiched between "I’d Wait A Million Years" and "Temptation Eyes."
  • #8: Stevie Wonder, "Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday" Stevie hadn’t reached his "woke" period of the early ’70’s just yet and was still cranking out songs like this, which reached #7 on the Hot 100, #5 on the R&B chart, and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • #7: Neil Diamond, "Holly Holy" Neil’s changing record labels from Bang to Uni resulted in his being better promoted. This followed the success of "Sweet Caroline" and reached #6.
  • #6: The Beatles, "Come Together"/"Something" Allen Klein, who had been hired to run Apple, had this single released because the company needed the money. It went to #1 in the US and #4 in the UK.
  • #5: Mel & Tim, "Backfield In Motion" Mel & Tim hailed from Holly Springs, Mississippi and moved to Chicago, where they were discovered by "The Duke Of Earl," Gene Chandler. This was their only song to reach the Top 40 on the Pop chart; it reached #4 on the R&B chart and they had a second hit on the R&B chart, "Starting All Over Again," in 1972.
  • #4: Three Dog Night, "Eli’s Coming" Great song by a great songwriter (Laura Nyro) and performed by a great band (Three Dog Night). This was their third Top 10 sinle in a row, raching #10 in the US and #8 in Canada.
  • #3: Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son"/"Down On The Corner" two A side songs helped this to #3 on the Hot 100. Creedence had five records reach #2 but never one that went all the way.
  • #2: Peter Paul & Mary, "Leaving On A Jet Plane" A song by John Denver that ended up being PP&M’s only #1 hit.
  • #1: Diana Ross & The Supremes, "Someday We’ll Be Together" Their last #1 together, as Diana Ross would start her solo career in 1970.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for December 6, 2019.