WCRO went on the air in September 1947, and has never changed their call letters or frequency on the dial. It’s currently owned by the Greater Johnstown School District, broadcasting a nostalgia format from the Music Of Your Life network, and simulcast TV station WJAC’s morning newscasts from 5 to 7 AM. Here’s their Top Ten from 1963.
I’m going to try something different this week: Rather than giving the list of songs and writing something about each, I’m going to give you a table that shows the song (or songs), the artist, and its peak on the Billboard Hot 100. Let me know how you like it!
||“If I Had A Hammer”
||Randy & The Rainbows
||“My Whole World Is Falling Down”
||“Just One Look”
||“Judy’s Turn To Cry”
||Jan & Dean
|The Four Seasons
||“So Much In Love”
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for August 4, 2020.
We haven’t been Down Under in a while, so let’s visit radio station 3DB in Melbourne and see what their Top Ten looked like 59 years ago yesterday. I’ve generally shared chart information about the US and UK, because locating chart information for Australia is a frustrating experience: Wikipedia will occasionally have Australian chart info, but not always.
- Pat Boone, “Moody River”: Pat was on the charts most of the ’50’s and early ’60’s, so this is no surprise. This was a #1 record in the US and a #13 in the UK.
- Connie Francis, “Breaking In A Brand New Broken Heart”: Connie Francis was another perennial favorite in the ’50’s and ’60’s. This reached #7 in the US (Cash Box had it at #5) and #12 in the UK.
- Linda Scott, “I’ve Told Every Little Star”: Linda was just 15 when this record came out, and it was a big one, #3 in the US and #7 in the UK.
- The Everly Brothers, “Temptation”: Not as big of a hit in the US (#27) as it was in Australia (#4), Canada (#12), or the UK (#1).
- Gaynor Bunning, “My First Love And Last Love”: The only Australian we see on this week’s survey. Gaynor was from Adelaide in South Australia and was one of the first to travel, to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
- Mark Wynter, “Dream Girl”: Mark was a British singer and actor who had several hits in the ’60’s, including “Go Away Little Girl” and “Venus In Blue Jeans.” “Dream Girl” reached #27 in the UK.
- Eddie Hodges, “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door”: Eddie was a child actor in the US who was 14 when he recorded this cover of the Isley Brothers hit. He reached #12 on the Hot 100.
- Rick Nelson, “Hello Mary Lou”: Reached #8 in the US and #2 in the UK, where James Burton’s guitar solo influenced many of the British Invasion bands.
- Bobby Vee, “Baby Face”: Bobby didn’t reach the Top 40 with this one in the US, but he clearly connected with the Australian listeners. It’s a perennial favorite, and has charted as a hit in every decade from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.
- Andy Stewart, “A Scottish Soldier”: A song that connected even more with the Australian audience is this one from Andy Stewart. The melody of the song is “The Green Hills of Tyrol,” a Scottish retreat march.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 28, 2020.
Radio Mi Amigo is still around, albeit no longer at sea but from Spain, whre they broadcast over the Internet and at shortwave frequency 6085 kHz, which covers most of Europe from their transmitter in Germany. If weather conditions permit, you might be able to catch them from where you are. Here’s their Top Ten from July 1978.
- Gene Latter & The Shake Spears, “Rock Your Boat”: The Shake Spears came out of Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia) and had a fluid lineup that included Gene Latter at one time.
- Michael Zager Band, “Let’s All Chant”: Michael Zager was a producer that worked with Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, and Herb Alpert, among others, and was a member of the jazz-rock band Ten Wheel Drive. “Let’s All Chant” is cosidered a classic of the disco era; it reached #15 on the R&B chart and #36 on the Hot 100 in the US, but was a Top 10 hit in much of Europe.
- The Darts, “Come Back My Love”: A nine-piece doo-wop band from London, The Darts took this to #2 in the UK.
- Plastic Bertrand, “Bambino”/”La Petit Tortillard”: Plastic Bertrand is a Belgian performer, songwriter, and producer best known for “Ça Plane Pour Moi.” This was his follow-up to that.
- Jimmy “Bo” Horne, “Dance Across The Floor” Jimmy is from West Palm Beach, Florida, and this is lone Top 10 hit, written by Harry Wayne Casey, aka “KC” of KC & The Sunshine Band fame.
- Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams, “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late”: This song waws a comeback for Johnny, whose last #$1 was “Chances Are” back in the ’50’s. It reached #1 inthe US and was in the Top 10 just about everywhere else.
- Rolling Stones, “Miss You”: Another in the amazing string of hits the Stones had in the ’70’s. It reached #1 in the US.
- Suzi Quatro, “If You Can’t Give Me Love”: “Leather Tuscadero” hs always been more popular in Europe than in her home country. Case in point: This song was a Top 10 in most of the rest of the world but didn’t even make the Top 40 here, peaking at #45.
- Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers, “Golden Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll”: All the members of this band were from the Arnhem (The Netherlands) band Moan. They would generally play one set as Moan, then come out as Ernie & The Shakes and do a set of oldies.
- John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John, “You’re The One That I Want”: From the film adaptation of the Broadwawy musical Grease, which was a huge success worldwide. So was this song.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 21, 2020.
SWe turn our attention to the Steel City, where the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the Ohio Rivers meet, and go visit radio station WJAS, which by 1957 was part of the NBC Radio Network. Except for a brief period in the mid- and late-1970’s, it’s always been known as WJAS. They’re now broadcasting news and talk, like so many other radio stations these days. I chose a survey from July 13, 1957, and discovered that there wasn’t a whole lot of information on the songs or the artists, leading me to believe that they were from the Pittsburgh area. Anyway, that explains why the notes are a bit sparse this week.
- Eileen Rodgers, “Third Finger Left Hand”: Hometown girl Eileen Rodgers was better known for her appearances on Broadway and for the many television performances, but she had a couple of hits.
- Victor Young, “Around The World”: From the movie Around The World In Eighty Days. He won a posthumous Oscar for the score.
- Malcolm Dodds & The Tunedrops, “It Took A Long Time”: I checked Wikipedia, Discogs, and Allmusic and wasn’t able to find anything on them.
- The Premiers with LeRoy, “Run Along Baby”: Found a little more about these guys: The group was formerly known as The Orlandos. And that’s all I could find.
- The Del Vikings, “Cool Shake”: Also from Pittsburgh, the Del Vikings were one of the few racially-mixed groups during this period in history. This readched #12 on the Hot 100 and #9 on the R&B chart natonally.
- Dick Vale and The Three Vales, “Sure Nuff”: Again, was unable to find much on Dick or the rest of the Vales. The record does show up in Allmusic, but that’s pretty much all it does.
- Patti Page, “Old Cape Cod”: The lovely Ms. Page took this lovely song to #3 on the Hot 100.
- Johnny Mathis, “It’s Not For Me To Say”: The lovely Mr. Mathis took this lovely song to #5 on the Hot 100 (Cash Box has it at #2).
- Four Coins, “Shangri La”: The Four Coins hailed from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, as did Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, and our own Dan Antion. They had a #11 hit with this.
- Elvis Presley, “Teddy Bear”: We find the formidable Elvis Presley where we usually found him in the ’50’s, at the top of the charts. He took this to #1 nationally as well.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 14, 2020, which would have been Grandma Holton’s 120th birthday…
Welcome to the inaugural post in my new series, Top Ten Tuesday! Two for Tuesday is now Five For Friday, so look for it this Fridaay!
We visited KFWB in Los Angeles about a year ago and recreated a survey from 1958, so let’s jump ahead a couple of years and see what they had on the survey in 1960.
- Connie Francis, “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool”: This wasn’t even the A side of the record (that was “Jealous of You (Tango Della Gelosia)”), but this eventually became a #1 hit.
- The Fendermen, “Mule Skinner Blues”: Jim Sundquist and Phil Humphrey met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and called themselves The Fendermen because both played Fender guitars (a Telecaster and a Stratocaster). This was their only single, and reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #16 on the Country chart.
- Don Costa, “Theme from The Unforgiven“: Costa was a conductor and producer who worked with Steve Larence and Eydie Gormé at ABC Records (later at United Artists Records) and Frank Sinatra at Reprise Records, as well as discovering Trini Lopez. And he still found time to conduct a Top 10 hit.
- Ray Peterson, “Tell Laura I Love Her”: This song was his biggest hit and only got to #7 nationally as well.
- Donnie Brooks, “Mission Bell”: Features backing vocals by girl group The Blossoms. Also only reached #7 nationally.
- Safaris, “Image Of A Girl”: Wikipedia reminded me that this was not The Surfaris(. The Safaris recorded from 1960 through 1962, and had just this one hit, which peaked at #6 on the Hot 100.
- Brenda Lee, “That’s All You Gotta Do”/”I’m Sorry”: Contrary to what this might look like, these were two different records. “That’s All You Gotta Do” had been on the chart for three weeks and reached #4 at the same time that “I’m Sorry” debuted at #4 on KFWB. “I’m Sorry” peaked at #1 nationally, while “That’s All You Gotta Do” peaked at #6 nationally.
- Deane Hawley, “Look For A Star”: This is a cover of the 1959 UK hit by Garry Mills for the movie Circus Of Horrors. It reached #29 nationally. But hey, they liked it in LA…
- Hollywood Argyles, “Alley Oop”: This was a national #1 hit and earned a Gold record, and everyone involved with the recording was drunk on cider.
- Duane Eddy, “Because They’re Young”: The twangalicious guitar of Duane Eddy is still alive and well, and this was his best-selling single, reaching #4 nationally.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 7, 2020.