The Friday 5×2: WCFL (1000 AM Chicago), 5/28/69

Today we’re going to head back to Chicago and WCFL, which had its offices and studios at Marina City on the southern bank of the Chicago River.

Marina Ciy, where WCFL had its offices and studios. Source: Wikipedia (Diego Delso / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0))

Here’s their Top 10 from May 28, 1969. Big 10 (their nickname at the time) created two “double A side singles,” even though only one of the songs ws an official A side. Don’t ask me why…

  1. Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Let Me!” Up from #20 the week before, a song from their album Alias Pink Puzz, this only mae #20 nationwide.

  2. Marvin Gaye, “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” A cover of a Temptations song from three years before, this spent a second week at #9 on Super CFL. Nationally, it reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.

  3. Elvis Presley, “In The Ghetto” Jumped into #8 from #22 on the Big 10 survey. It peaked at #3 nationally.

  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Bad Moon Rising”/”Lodi” The first of our two “double A side singles,” made the jump from #28 in just one week. “Bad Moon Rising,” which was the lead single, peaked at #2 nationally; “Lodi” never reached the Top 40.

  5. Edwin Hawkins Singers, “Oh, Happy Day” Down from #5 the week before, this was an international hit, as I’m sure I’ve already told you.

  6. The Buchanan Brothers, “Medicine Man (Part 1)” The Buchanan Brothers were Terry Cashman, Gene Pistilli, and Tommy West, who were a folk-pop trio. They changed their name to record this, which peaked at #22 nationally. On WCFL, they had jumped to #5 from #14 the previous week.

  7. Neon Philharmonic, “Morning Girl” As you can probably surmise from the name of the band and the sound of the single, The Neon Philharmonic was a psychedelic pop band. They had released two albums in 1969, The Moth Confesses and their eponymous second album, from which this was drawn. It reached #22 nationwide, their bestselling single, and was up one spot from #5 on this survey.

  8. The Guess Who, “These Eyes” WCFL’s Top 3 this week were the same as the week before. From their first album, Wheatfield Soul, this peaked at #6 in the US and #7 in Canada.

  9. Mercy, “Love (Can Make You Happy)” Despite having the original single pulled off the market in a legal dispute, this song earned a Gold record two months after it was released, reaching #2 on both the Hot 100 and Easy Listening chart. A lot of us learned to slow dance to this one, so it was a favorite.

  10. The Beatles, “Get Back”/”Don’t Let Me Down” The second “Double A side single,” “Get Back” was an international #1, while “Don’t Let Me Down” never charted. My copy of “Get Back” had “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)” on the flip side. Weird.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for May 29, 2020.

Song of the Day: Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Linus & Lucy”

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My introduction to Vince Guaraldi’s music was, as you probably know by now, the 1965 animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas, starring the characters from Charles M. Schulz’s popular Peanuts comic strip. One of the songs Guaraldi wrote was subsequently added to the score of all the Peanuts specials, “Linus & Lucy,” played when the blanket-toting Linus and his bossy fussbudget sister Lucy made their first appearance in the show. Those of you who have seen the specials know what I’m talking about. The Wikipedia article on the strip and the page on Don Markstein’s Toonopedia will give you some background if you aren’t.

Writer’s Workshop: “Virus Of The Mind”

Let me preface this by saying that anytime I try to discuss memetics, I manage to, in the words of Andy Griffith, “catch my britches on my own pitchfork.” Years ago, I wrote about “the brain vs. the mind” and the difference between genetics and memetics. Both are important to your development as a person: genetics determines the physical you (your DNA), where memetics determines, for lack of a better term, the spiritual you (your culture, ethos, beliefs, etc.).

This has been an interesting year (as in “may you live in interesting times”), in that it’s an election year and a year in which there’s been considerable turmoil due to Covid-19, a very nasty coronavirus that has the ability to kill people. It has been, and will be, a time when a lot of messages about said election and said pandemic have been flying around in the media and online. The outcome of all of these things is going to depend on which memes, units of “cultural transfer” which Richard Dawkins first discussed in his book The Selfish Gene, are going to catch on and which are going to be rejected.

The book that introduced me to the notion of memes and memetics is Richard Brodie’s 1996 book, Virus Of The Mind: The New Science Of The Meme. Brodie advances the notion that a meme (for eample, “step on a crack, break your mother’s back”) works in much the same way as a virus does: its sole purpose is to reproduce itself. Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, it “infects” a person and starts reproducing itself. The “infected” person then goes about spreading the meme, “infecting” others, until it’s “infected” as many people as it can. Where a virus such as Covid-19 makes people ill, even kills them, the meme makes people do and think differently. News broadcasts, political campaign advertising, pornography, and posts to social media are just a few ways these memes get started. I’m sure that the term “going viral” came from the way these messages replicate themselves.

I just started re-reading the book, because this year seems to be one rich in memes, with the election in November, the continuing battles against Covid-19 and the struggle to get things back to “normal,” either the normal we had before March or some form of new “normal” that grows out of everything we’ve learned. I made the comment recently that I’m less concerned about Covid-19 than I am about the “viruses of the mind” that occur as a result. I think everyone should be, and the way to do that is to learn to recognize the memes for what they are.

Song of the Day: Bola Sete and the Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Outra Vez”

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Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete recorded three albums with the Vince Guaraldi Trio (Guaraldi, piano; Fred Marshall, bass; Jerry Granelli, drums) between 1963 and 1966. Here’s a video of an appearance they made on Jazz Casual, hosted by noted critic Ralph J. Gleason, in 1963. “Outra Vez” (“Again”) was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and is a bossa nova standard.

An Observation Of Mine #1LinerWeds

Had my annual physical today (I’m doing this on Tuesday) and dutifully wore a mask (and felt like a total dork). While I was waiting for the doctor, this thought crossed my mind. By the way, did you hear Coke is going to bring back “new Coke” as a different product (which is probably what they should have done to start with)?


One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. And now, here’s Max Headroom for New Coke. Catch the wave!