Friday, July 24, 2009

July 24, 1973

Between March 13, 1972 and July 16, 1973, WLS stopped printing copies of their weekly survey for distribution in record shops all over Chicagoland. Instead, they printed large, display posters to be posted in the record departments ... fortunately, some of the fanatics in our circle of chart collectors would make the weekly trip to their local record store and jot down the latest postings so that we could still maintain a record of the WLS charts for this extended period of time. (In fact, FH List Member Bill Hengels, who has supplied the digital chart copies for this on-going series, went in and recreated very authentic looking copies of these missing charts, some of which we'll feature over time.)

On July 23, 1973, WLS started distributing charts to the public again ... and up on top of this first "comeback" survey was "Shambala" by Three Dog Night. The new survey, now simply called "The WLS MusicRadio Survey", featured The Top 30 chart positions as well as The Top Five Recommended Albums.

(click chart to enlarge)

A quick look at the #3 record this week shows the Bobby "Boris" Pickett Halloween Classic "Monster Mash" back on the chart again, some eleven years after it first topped the charts back in 1962. (Why it was charting this high three months BEFORE Halloween is anybody's guess ... but Pickett's reissue was rereleased in May of '73 and became a National Top Ten Hit all over again, too.)

This week's #10 song, "Touch Me In The Morning" by Diana Ross would jump all the way to #1 the following week. A couple of favorite Forgotten Hits that absolutely deserve a spin now and again would be the Gilbert O'Sullivan rocker "Get Down" (#7), and two soul classics, "Natural High" by Bloodstone (#20) and "So Very Hard To Go" by Tower Of Power (#21) ... so let's give those three a listen today!


Here's what some of our readers have been saying so far about our brand new Forgotten Hits Fridays Feature:

When you mentioned you were planning to do a 1971 survey, I instantly thought of "Sooner or Later" and "Don't Pull Your Love." I recall that summer as a summer packed with nights of cruising to many of the tunes listed on the WLS survey. We'd enjoy Scott Shannon here on WMAK until dark and then (sorry, Scott) switch things over to the Big 89. I remember hearing WLS from the open windows of innumerable cars as we cruised our favorite places, and it was probably 1971 that WLS was so popular here that a local Tennessee Honda dealer (Pug Vickers) bought spots on WLS.
1971 was also the first year I knew someone killed in a car accident. Jimmy Pack had a super hot '71 Chevelle SS396 complete with 8-Track and all the goodies. Late one night in midsummer he flipped his car on nearby Gallatin Road in front of the Tradewinds market. When the police arrived, his 8-Track player was still playing Three Dog Night's "Joy To The World". Honest. That song was past peak by that time but everyone was still listening to it on their 8-Tracks. To this day, every time I pass by that spot I remember Jimmy's wreck and hear "Jeremiah was a bullfrog .... "
-- David Lewis

How long has it been since I heard "Mighty Clouds of Joy" by BJ Thomas?
Thanks and hallelujah!
Phil @

Hey Kent,
Just a note to say that I really enjoyed that 1971 survey you included in the blog the other day. Those things really help to pinpoint a specific memory when you have an actual date to refer to.

That particular survey had some bittersweet memories for me as my father had passed away in April and I always remember how ironic it seemed that "It's Too Late" should be on the air at that time, as well as "Joy To The World" and "I Just Want To Celebrate", which made me think of how can there be these great songs and sentiments, when I'm feeling so down?
Later that year, several albums helped to save my sanity, McCartney - Ram, Santana III and Chicago - Live at Carnegie Hall. I sat and listened to those albums / 8-track tapes with headphones on over and over again and just forgot all my troubles. I still have those albums and the Santana 8-track (no longer playable) and of course have long since replaced them on CD. Even though those songs have bittersweet memories, I still love the music from that time period because it helped me get thru a very difficult time.
A little over a year later, in June of '72, my mother passed away as "Lean On Me" and "Alone Again, Naturally" were at the top of the charts. Irony anyone?
Kent, please include more of those surveys in the future, they are great!!
Growing up in Connecticut, we always listened to WABC and the surveys are very similar to what we heard.
Thank You So Much!!

Orange, CT

We're still hoping that a couple of the current 'LS jocks will pick up on our feature ... and maybe feature a couple of our weekly suggestions on the air. No nibbles yet ... but time will tell. Meanwhile, we've got a few more of these up our sleeves ... so hang tight! (kk)

(For a look at some of our initial 1964 Chart Reaction, scroll back to our July 16th, July 12th and July 10th postings! Looks like we may have another hit on our hands!!!)