The Friday 5×2: WKBR (1250 AM Manchester, NH) on this day in 1958

WKBR in beautiful Manchester, New Hampshire was a popular Top 40 station, then switched formats from sports to country and satellite-delivered oldies (you know, robo-DJ’s) until 2006, when it changed its call letters to WGAM (“The Game”) and switched to all sports-talk, first affiliated with Fox Sports, then with ESPN. Last year, WGAM and its FM twin, WGHM, rebranded as “Oldies Radio WGAM.” Maybe they play some of the songs that were on their Top 10 in 1958. There’s some crossover with other stations we’ve done so far, but a couple of interesting others.

  1. Ivan, “Real Wild Child” Ivan is the middle name of Jerry Allison, who was drummer for The Crickets (as in Buddy Holly &).
  2. Bobby Hendricks, “Itchy Twitchy Feeling” Bobby was lead singer for The Drifters before going out on his own. This was his first solo release, and it reached #5 on the R&B chart and #25 on the Hot 100.
  3. Tommy Edwards, “It’s All In The Game” This has shown up a lot of times here. It’s a great song, I’m sure you’ll agree.
  4. Don Gibson, “Blue Blue Day” I know a guy named Don Gibson, and this ain’t him. Gibson was a country singer and songwriter who wrote, among other songs, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” which was covered by Ray Charles. This reached #1 on the Country chart and #20 on the Hot 100.
  5. Roger Williams, “Near You” The Top 40 still had room for easy listening performers. Roger had a #10 hit nationally with this.
  6. Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, “Tea For Two Cha Cha” Okay, no more 1958, especially if this is one of the songs.
  7. Bobby Day, “Rockin’ Robin” A great song even after Michael Jackson did it. Bobby’s original reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
  8. Dion & The Belmonts, “No One Knows” One of their lesser-known hits, this reached #19 on the Hot 100.
  9. Jane Morgan, “The Day The Rains Came” The lovely Ms. Morgan found her initial success in France and the UK, and sang songs in French and English. She only reached #20 in the US with this, but it was a #1 hit in the UK. The flip side is the song sung in French.
  10. Gordon MacRae, “The Secret” An actor and singer of some note, Gordon reached #18 with this nationwide.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for September 28, 2018.

The Friday 5×2: KIMN (AM 950 Denver) on This Day in 1984

You might remember this past Monday that I did a post based on a post I had seen on the blog PopRockBopTilUDrop. Craig, the proprietor on that blog, said that the URL of his blog was based on the radio station he worked at, KIMN (pronounced “Kim”), which from the ’50’s through the ’80’s was Denver’s popular “950 KIMN.” I found a survey from September 21, 1984 on ARSA, so let’s check out their Top 10 from that day.

  1. The Pointer Sisters, “I’m So Excited” Originally released in 1982 (when it only reached #30), it was re-mixed and released again in 1984, reaching #9 on the Hot 100 and #25 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In Denver it stayed at #10 from the week before.
  2. Scandal featuring Patty Smyth, “The Warrior” Title track from their 1984 album, it was their only song to reach the Top 40, peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
  3. Stevie Wonder, “I Just Called To Say I Love You” A huge hit for Stevie, it reached #1 on the Hot 100, R&B and Adult Contemporary charts. This weekin Denver it jumped from #14 to #8 with a bullet.
  4. Huey Lewis & The News, “If This Is It” The fourth single off their hugely popular 1983 Sports album, it peaked at #6 on both the hot 100 and the Cash Box survey. It was down from #4 the week before.
  5. Lionel Ritchie, “Stuck On You” From 1983’s Can’t Slow Down album, it reached #3 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and by virtue of the fact he wore a cowboy hat on the single sleeve, #24 on the Country chart. Down from #3 in Denver this week.
  6. Cyndi Lauper, “She Bop” The third single from her debut album She’s So Unusual, this reached #3 on the Hot 100 annd Cash Box surveys. It spent a second week at #5 on 950 KIMN’s survey this week.
  7. The Cars, “Drive” From the album Heartbeat City, it was sung by bassist Benajmin Orr and was their highest-charting single, reaching #3 nationally. It rose from #7 on KIMN, meaning it and Huey Lewis’s song switched positions.
  8. Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy” From the Purple Rain soundtrack, it was Prince’s second straight #1 after “When Doves Cry.” Up from #6 the previous week, swapping with Lionel Ritchie.
  9. Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” From Private Dancer, Tina’s first and only #1, it also reached #2 on the R&B chart. In Denver, it had slipped from #1, trading places with…
  10. John Waite, “Missing You” I was going to say that John Waite was a one-hit wonder, but since the definition of that is “only one Top 40 single ever,” I can’t, because his follow-up single, “Tears,” reached #37 (#8 on the Mainstream Rock chart). From his 1984 No Brakes album, which reached #10 in the US.

In 1988, KIMN changed its call letters to KYGO and began broadcasting country. The callsign re-emerged in 1995 on 100.3 FM. Currently it’s known as Mix 100 (“All The Hits”) with an Adult Top 40 format.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for September 21, 2018.

The Friday 5×2: KYA, San Francisco, 9/14/59

KYA (1260 kHz) is now KSFB, a station broadcasting Relevant Radio, a Roman Catholic radio format, to the San Francisco Bay Area. Starting in the mid-’50’s, they were “the Boss of the Bay” annd remained so until KFRC switched to Top 40 in 1966 with a much-stronger signal. Anyway, here’s what their Top 10 looked like on this day in 1959.

  1. Jerry Wallace, “Primrose Lane” Jerry’s highest-ranking single, which made it to #8 on the Hot 100. It was used as the theme song for the 1971 TV series The Smith Family, which starred Henry Fonda.
  2. The Browns, “The Three Bells (Little Jimmy Brown)” The Browns were a country and folk music trio consisting of Jim Edward Brown (who I guess is the “Little Jimmy Brown” in the song) and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie. This was a #1 hit on both the Country and Pop charts for them.
  3. The Coasters, “Poison Ivy” Like many of their songs, this combined tight vocal harmonies with a humor. This went to #1 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Hot 100.
  4. Sarah Vaughan, “Broken Hearted Melody” Sarah, who kicked everyone’s backside whenever she competed in one of my Battles of the Bands, had a #7 hit with this in both the US and the UK.
  5. Lloyd Price, “I’m Gonna Get Married” A follow-up to his #2 hit “Personality” (which earned him the moniker “Mr. Personality”), this reached #3. Both songs reached #1 on the R&B chart in ’59.
  6. Johnny and the Hurricanes, “Red River Rock” The pride of Toledo, Ohio, this was their one Top 10 US hit, though they had a few more in the UK and Germany. In 1962 they played an engagement at The Star Club in Hamburg, where the opening act was an unknown band called The Beatles. Shades of Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees…
  7. Everly Brothers, “(Til) I Kissed You” Written by Don Everly, this was a Top 10 hit in the US (pop and country charts), Australia, and the UK.
  8. Bobby Darin, “Mack The Knife” I always like to point out that Lotte Lenya, one of the names calld out by Bobby at the end of the song, was the wife of Kurt Weill, who composed the melody as “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” for Bertolt Brecht’s “play with music” The Threepenny Opera. It went to #1 in the US and UK.
  9. Phil Phillips, “Sea Of Love” Written by Phillips, it was his only hit. It’s been covered many times, in particular by The Honeydrippers, whose lead singer was Robert Plant.
  10. Santo & Johnny, “Sleep Walk” Santo (steel guitar) and Johnny (electric guitar) Farina wrote this classic instrumental after they got home from a gig and couldn’t sleep. It has since become a rock & roll classic.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for September 14, 2018.

The Friday 5×2: WKMH, Dearborn, Michigan, On This Day In 1958

WKMH (AM 1310) is now WDTW, “La Mega,” having gone through a number of changes since this survey was issued. During the ’60’s it was WKNR, “Keener 13,” using a Top 40 format. It’s been through a few changes over the years. Of course, it was a Top 40 station in 1958, so let’s look at their survey.

Continue reading “The Friday 5×2: WKMH, Dearborn, Michigan, On This Day In 1958”