A venerable name in Chicago radio, WVON got its start in 1963 when Leonard and Phil Chess, owners of Chess Records, purchased WHFC and programmed R&B and soul music, gradually adding songs by white artists that were compatible with the format and that would appeal to a wider audience. The call letters stood for "The Voice of the Negro," and it broadcast news about the civil rights movement. Jesse Jackson called WVON the night that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Don Cornelius was a disk jockey at the station before he started Soul Train. Now broadcasting at 1690 AM, the "Voice of the Nation" has been an African American-oriented talk station since 1986. Here’s their survey from January 17, 1975.
- The Temptations, “Happy People”: Co-written by Lionel Richie, this was the first single from their 1974 album A Song For You. This was their first album without producer Norman Whitfield. The song reached #1 on the R&B chart and #40 on the Hot 100.
- Syl Johnson, “I Want To Take You Home (To See Mama)”: Blues and R&B singer Syl Johnson took this to #40 on the national R&B chart, but since he was a local artist, he got more airplay and reached #9.
- Ohio Players, “Fire”: The Ohio Players were from Dayton and had a few hits in the ’70’s. “Fire” was a #1 hit on the Hot 100 and R&B charts in the US and #5 in Canada.
- Love Unlimited, “I Belong To You”: Barry White’s backup singers (Glodean James was Barry’s wife) had several hits in the ’70’s. “I Belong To You” was their most successful release, reaching #1 on the R&B chart.
- Bobby “Blue” Bland, “I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)”: Blues singer Bobby “Bluw” Bland got plenty of airtime on WVON, as I revall. This song reached #3 on the R&B chart.
- Wales Wallace, “Whatever You Want”: Discogs calls him a “mysterious figure on the Chicago soul scene.” “Whatever You Want” was issued on Innovation II Records, a local label.
- Tyrone Davis, “I Can’t Make It Without You”: Best known for his 1970 hit “Turn Back The Hands Of Time,” Tyrone reached #38 on the R&B chart with this song.
- Garland Green, “Let The Good Times Roll”: Another local artist, Green reached #65 on the national R&B chart with this record.
- Margie Joseph, “Words Are Impossible”: Her follow-up single to her cover of Paul McCartney’s “My Love,” this made it to #27 on the national R&B chart.
- Stevie Wonder, “Boogie On, Reggae Woman”: Reached #1 on the national R&B chart and #3 on the Hot 100.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for January 18, 2022.
The current WGLI is based in Hancock, Michigan (up on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the UP) playing an active rock format. The old WGLI, on Long Island in New York, ceased broadcasting in 1988 after about 40 years as a Top 40 station. Here is their Top Ten from January 11, 1971.
No snarky remarks this week; here’s the list of songs.
- Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
- Supremes & Four Tops – River Deep Mountain High
- Stephen Stills – Love The One You’re With
- Dawn – Knock Three Times
- Supremes – Stoned Love
- Partridge Family – I Think I Love You
- Van Morrison – Domino
- Elton John – Your Song
- Fifth Dimension – One Less Bell To Answer
- George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for January 11, 2022.
When I chose today’s survey from WCFL, it was without checking to see if I had already done a survey of heirs from 1974. And, I did.. Then I checked that survey against this one, and it was sufficiently different that I decided to go with it. So, here’s the last survey from WCFL for 1974.
I’m just going to list the songs rather than give the whole spiel about them. I’ll get back to the descriptions and comments on the songs next week. Maybe…
- Paul Anka with Odia Coates, “One Man Woman, One Woman Man”
- Harry Chapin, “Cat’s In The Cradle”
- Helen Reddy, “Angie Baby”
- Barry White. “You’re The Forst, The Last, My Everything”
- The Three Degrees, “When Will I See You Again”
- BT Express, “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)”
- Paul McCartney, “Junior’s Farm”
- Elton John, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
- Carl Douglas, “Kung Fu Fighting”
- Billy Swan, “I Can Help”
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for December 28, 2021.