The Friday 5×2: WABC (Musicradio 770 AM NYC), 8/2/77

I had a choice between 1966 and 1977 for WABC (that’s what came up in my DuckDuckGo search) and chose the latter because I think I had just done 1966 at another radio station. Here’s what they were listening to in New York City on August 2, 1977, and surprisingly, there’s not a lot of disco on it.

  1. The Floaters, “Float On” This is the short version; there’s also a long version and a longer version. Dig those dance moves! This was their one and only hit, #1 on the R&B chart, #2 on the Hot 100, and #5 in Ireland, sure ‘n’ begorrah!
  2. Barbra Streisand, “My Heart Belongs To Me” The late ’70’s produced some really depressing music, and this is a prime example. Not that it’s a bad song: Ms. Streisand is in especially good form here. It reached #1 on the AC chart and #4 on the Hot 100, not surprising for a woman who could sing the phone book and have a platinum record.
  3. Peter McCann, “Do You Wanna Make Love” Peter was a songwriter who hit it big in ’77 when Jennifer Warnes sang his “Right Time Of The Night.” 20th Century Records signed him and he rewarded them with this going to #5. “Right Time of the Night” was on the flip side. This was McCann’s only hit as a recording artist.
  4. Barry Manilow, “Looks Like We Made It” Bette Midler’s former pianist and music director scored his third of five gold records with this song, released on Mary’s 20th birthday. It rose to #1 on the AC chart and the Hot 100 and was #37 for the year.
  5. Rita Coolidge, “Higher And Higher” Rita had been a backup singer, and was part of Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour in the late ’60’s, which boosted her as a solo act. Despite recording since 1969, this was her first Top 10, reaching #2 on the Hot 100, #5 on the AC chart, and #1 in Canada, earning her a gold record.
  6. Alan O’Day, “Undercover Angel” Alan is probably better known for writing “Angie Baby” for Helen Reddy and “Rock & Roll Heaven” for the Righteous Brothers. He wrote and recorded this one and it found its way to #1.
  7. Shaun Cassidy, “Da Do Ron Ron” David’s younger (and arguably cuter) half-brother, Shaun was on TV as Joe Hardy in The Hardy Boys Mysteries when he recorded this, and it shot to #1 in both the US and Canada.
  8. The Emotions, “Best Of My Love” These ladies started as gospel singers and later branched into R&B and soul. From Chicago, they had another Chicago band, Earth Wind & Fire, backing them on this, which no doubt helped it reach #1 on the Pop and R&B charts. VH-1 named them on of the 18 most influential girl groups of all time.
  9. Peter Frampton, “I’m In You” Still basking in the glory from Frampton Comes Alive! the previous year, this is the title track from his next studio album. It rose to #2 in the US and #1 in Canada, and he didn’t even use the talk box…
  10. Andy Gibb, “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” Andy’s star burned brightly in the late ’70’s until drugs and depression took him down. This was the first of three straight #1 hits in the US for Andy.

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

The Friday 5×2: KRBE (104.1 FM, Houston TX), 1977

KRBE in Houston is an anomaly from most of the US stations we’ve featured here: The call letters have never changed, nor has the format. Named for the original owners, Roland Baker and his wife Edith, the station’s studios used to be on Kirby Drive in Houston, leading many to believe that the call letters referred to the station’s location. Their studios are now on Westheimer Road in the Westchase district in Western Houston. None of which makes any sense unless you’ve been to Houston, which I have (see yesterday’s post). Anyway, here’s their survey from March, 29, 1977, and you’ll be happy to know there isn’t much disco on it.

  1. Kenny Nolan, “I Like Dreamin'” Singer-songwriter Kenny Nolan has written hits for Frankie Valli (“My Eyes Adored you” with Bob Crewe) and LaBelle (“Lady Marmalade,” also with Crewe). He reached #3 nationally with this offering.
  2. Jennifer Warnes, “Right Time Of The Night” Jennifer Warnes had been around for almost ten years when she finally struck paydirt with this. It reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #6 overall. Her duets with Joe Cocker (“Up Where We Belong,” from the movie An Officer And A Gentleman) and Bill Medley (“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from the movie Dirty Dancing) did especially well.
  3. Thelma Houston, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” Thelma’s biggest hit: #1 on the Hot 100, R&B and Dance charts and won her the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
  4. Eagles, “Hotel California” Title track from their 1976 album, it was released in February and shot up the charts, reaching #1 in the US and Canada and earning the Grammy for Record of the Year.
  5. David Soul, “Don’t Give Up On Us” The man who brought “Hutch” to life in Starsky & Hutch took this to #1 in the US and the UK.
  6. David Dundas, “Jeans On” Musician and actor Dundas is known in the UK for his TV and film scores and has also done well as an actor. He only reached #17 nationally, but took this to #3 in the UK and #1 in Germany.
  7. Daryl Hall & John Oates, “Rich Girl” Their first #1 in the US, from their 1976 album Bigger Than Both Of Us.
  8. 10cc, “The Things We Do For Love” Reached #5 nationally and was certified Gold in the US.
  9. Barbra Streisand, “Evergreen” Love theme from her remake of A Star Is Born with Kris Kristofferson, this song reached #1 on all the charts in the US and Canada.
  10. Glen Campbell, “Southern Nights” A song written and originally recorded by Allen Toussaint, Glen reached #1 with it nationally in both the US and Canada.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for March 29, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: WLS Survey From 1977

I went back and forth with what I wanted to do today as far as M4, and finally I decided to go with the old tried-and-true survey post. So, I spun the wheel and came up with 1977 (sorry, there’s disco) at WLS, by then heavily into their “Musicradio” phase. Let’s see what Larry Lujack was playing on this date in 1977.

Continue reading “Monday’s Music Moves Me: WLS Survey From 1977”

The Friday 5×2: 1977 One-Hit Wonders

Moving on through the Seventies, we reach 1977. I’ll be honest, I don’t recognize some of the songs here. By ’77, I was too busy to listen to a whole lot of music: I was gearing up to finish school in December, I was hip-deep in making wedding arrangements, and didn’t bring my stereo with me to the dorm, because it was too much of a hassle. But I did manage to catch a lot of radio, I just wasn’t listening very hard.

  1. Ram Jam, “Black Betty” “Black Betty” was originally recorded by the band Starstruck, of which Bill Bartlett (formerly of The Lemon Pipers, of “Green Tambourine” fame) was a member. The record was a regional hit and caught the attention of producers, who created Ram Jam to record it and eleven other songs. Their record reached #18 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the Cash Box 100. Ram Jam then faded into obscurity.
  2. Sanford-Townsend Band, “Smoke From A Distant Fire” This is one I have to admit I don’t remember, even though it went to #9. Ed Sanford and Johnny Townsend were session keyboardists from Alabama who recorded an album in 1976, from which this was taken. Future records by the duo were nowhere near as successful, though they have had success as songwriters: they wrote the Loggins & Messina song “Peacemaker” with Kenny Loggins, and Sanford co-wrote “I Keep Forgettin'” with Michael McDonald.
  3. David Dundas, “Jeans On” Another song I don’t remember. Dundas charted at #17 in the US with this, as well as reaching #4 in his native UK and #1 in Germany.
  4. Mary MacGregor, “Torn Between Two Lovers” Mary first gained attention as a backup singer for Peter Yarrow (the Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary). This was the title track from her 19765 album, and it reached #1 on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. She later said she hated the song, which is about a married woman having an affair. She had limited success on the AC chart after that.
  5. Thelma Houston, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” Thelma reached #1 with this song on the Hot 100, R&B and Dance charts with this one, and earned the Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance. She has had a couple more hits on the R&B and Dance charts, but this was her only top 20 hit.
  6. David Soul, “Don’t Give Up On Us” The “Hutch” portion of the hit TV series Starsky & Hutch found the time to record a self-titled album in 1976, from which this was taken. It reached #1 in both the US and UK in 1977. He’s had a couple more hits in the UK and is now a British citizen.
  7. William Bell, “Tryin’ To Love Two” Bell had already been a veteran of the R&B charts since 1961, but this was his one crossover hit, reaching #10. Another I wasn’t familiar with.
  8. Alan O’Day, “Undercover Angel” Alan is better known as a songwriter, having written Helen Reddy’s “Angie Baby” and The Righteous Brothers’ “Rock & Roll Heaven,” but he scored a #1 hit with this. He moved on to scoring TV series in the Eighties.
  9. The Floaters, “Float On” There are some songs you just remember, and this is one of them for me, mostly because of the singers announcing their Zodiac sign at the beginning of the long version of this as well as at the beginning of each verse. This is the shorter single version, which reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
  10. Meri Wilson, “Telephone Man” Singer and model Meri Wilson was known for her novelty songs that featured double-entendre lyrics. Dr. Demento played this song on his weekly show and it became a surprise hit, reaching #18 and earning Gold status. It was a back-to-back hit with ELO’s “Telephone Line” for two non-consecutive weeks over the summer.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for December 22, 2017.