Flashback Music Charts – The Third Week of January

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Guy Mitchell

Arranged and Narrated by Rick Hiduk

I have been collecting music charts since I was a kid and have been prompted by friends to share some of them with readers. My resources extend back to 1898, so I’d thought I’d start in the middle with a pop chart from 1957. Subsequent charts this week are from 1971, 1979, 1985 and 1989. Each offers a few stock photos and a pair of video clips to help you time travel through popular music’s portals with me.

Billboard has long been the leading source for record charts since the 1940s, as it evolved from a vaudeville and live radio guide into a publication much more in-tune with (and often controlled by) the music recording industry. With the popularity of rock’n’roll, radio stations began to splinter in ways that are still evident today. By 1956, Billboard had begun to meld its Bests Sellers, Most Played in Jukeboxes, and Most Play by (radio) Jockeys lists in a single Top 100 chart that was the precursor to the Hot 100 Chart that remains the most respected “cross genre” chart to this day. The following sample shows that Big Band and breezy folk songs were still holding their own against rock’n’roll’s earliest stars.

fats Domino

Billboard Top 10 – January 19, 1957

  1. Guy Mitchell (top) – Singing the Blues (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVXOMnurFkQ)
  2. Jim Lowe – Green Door
  3. Pat Boone – Don’t Forbid Me
  4. Frankie Laine – Moonlight Gambler
  5. Fats Domino (above) – Blueberry Hill (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgDHtM600nw)
  6. Elvis Presley – Love Me
  7. Elvis Presley – Love Me Tender
  8. The Tarriers – Banana Boat Song
  9. Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly – True Love
  10. Johnny Ray – Just Walking in the Rain

Rock, Funk, and Bubblegum Music reigned in the early 1970s. Within three years, the pop music scene would be mellowed out dramatically by country crossover hits and soulful ballads.

Billboard Top 10 – January 1971

George Harrison

  1. George Harrison (above) – My Sweet Lord (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viuWOo811Qo)
  2. Dawn – Knock Three Times
  3. Fifth Dimension – One Less Bell to AnswerFifth Dimension
  4. Santana – Black Magic Woman
  5. Partridge Family – I Think I Love You (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAXFkUaQoAs)
  6. Bee Gees – Lonely Days
  7. Supremes – Stoned Love
  8. Barbara Streisand – Stoney End
  9. King Floyd – Groove Me
  10. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Tears of a Clown

I didn’t work at Rock 107 in Scranton until the early 1990s but I was a fan many years before, listening to the Rock Top 20 countdown on Sunday evenings, followed Dr. Demento and his Funny Five.

Rock 107 – Top Albums of 1979

Breakfast in America

  1. Supertramp – Breakfast in America (above)
  2. Doobie Brothers – Minute by Minute (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTvABE3ZdXs)
  3. Led Zepplin – In Through the Out Door
  4. The Eagles – The Long Run
  5. The Cars – Candy-O (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEkGqb2wu5k)
  6. Dire Straits – Dire Straits
  7. The Knack – Get the Knack
  8. Bad Company – Desolation Angels bad company desolation angels
  9. Rod Stewart – Blondes Have More Fun
  10. Van Halen – Van Halen II

I got to DJ a lot of school dances when I worked at WILK in the mid 1980s, often bringing the van and equipment back to the radio station just in time to do the overnight radio show. One dance per week and a wedding reception easily doubled the mediocre pay that we all received as air personalities. For school dances, I often dropped off a packet of music surveys early in the week and picked them up on Thursday – to get an idea of what the kids at each school expected to hear – and composed a chart for the occasion. I hate to admit that I don’t remember where this Catholic school was, as it is no longer on the Diocese directory for Wilkes-Barre. I’m guessing by the songs that the dance was middle school aged children. Interesting top two choices for Catholic kids though.

St. Stan’s Solidarity Top 10 – January 19, 1985

Kiss

  1. Kiss (above) – Heaven’s on Fire (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZjevnnkA20)
  2. Madona – Like a Virgin
  3. Jack Wagner – All I Need
  4. Chicago – You’re the Inspiration
  5. Chaka Kahn – I Feel For Youchaka kahn
  6. Prince & Sheila E – Erotic City
  7. Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights
  8. Duran Duran – Wild Boys
  9. Julian Lennon – Valotte (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP4YHXnft1w)
  10. Honey Drippers – Sea of Love

In the late 1980s, Q-102 went on the air in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market specifically to put as much of a dent as possible in the listenership of power-house hit music station KRZ fm. The owners siphoned the best air talent off WILK am, which would be the last Top 40 radio station in the market on the am dial. I joined my good friend Nancy Faye at Q-102 in 1989 as overnight air personality Rick Wilding. One of my favorite regular gigs was the weekly Rock ‘n’ Bowl sponsored by Q-102 at Modern Lanes in Exeter. The crowd ranged from teens to young adults. While rock was always more popular there than dance music, certain dance and early rap songs went over very well. After a few weeks, I began to post a Top Ten chart each week based on requests and response to other hits that I played the week before.

Q-102 Rock’n’Bowl Top Ten – January 20, 1989

guns & Roses

  1. Guns & Roses (above) – Paradise City (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm6GXllBiw)
  2. Tone Loc – Wild Thing
  3. Sheriff – When I’m With You
  4. Bon Jovi – Born to Be My Baby
  5. Bobby Brown – My Prerogative (video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cDLZqe735k)
  6. Paula Abdul – Straight Up
  7. Def Leppard – Armageddon It
  8. Poison – Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
  9. Samantha Fox – I Want to Have Some Funsamantha fox lp
  10. Guns & Roses – Used to Love Her

Thanks for taking this musical journey with me. Feel free to suggest some eras and genres you’d like to see a chart from, and I’ll do my best. And if you know any other chart geeks like me out there, please put us in touch.

 

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Managing Editor of EndlessMtnLifestyles.com, dedicated to providing interesting information about life in the Endless Mountains region of northern Pennsylvania. The website - a meager investment with no immediate return - is meant to be community-based and to reflect the varied tastes of its readers. Submissions from legitimate organizations and event coordinators are welcome and will be published as space and time allow. This website is operated by Endless Mountains Media Services. I am seeking submissions of news stories, promotional press releases, and photos for posting with full recognition for the submitter. I am also hoping to build a base of correspondents who would enjoy being my "ears and eyes" in parts of the four county region where news is happening. I am also a self-employed media consultant and freelance writer/editor, providing professional services for businesses, municipalities, and organizations for which retaining a full time staff writer is not a viable option.

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