Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 1960

October 14, 1960 ...

It was the VERY first WLS Silver Dollar Survey ever issued.

Although the station had switched over to a Top 40 / Rock And Roll format back in April, they hadn't published a weekly list of the most popular songs in Chicagoland ... until now.

And what a list it was!

Right off the bat, the station established itself as setting their own trends, rather than following the lead of the other Top 40 stations around the country.

Case in point ... our very first official #1 Record: "Shortnin' Bread" by Paul Chaplain, a song that only reached the #82 spot on The Billboard Chart ... and peaked at #55 in Cash Box Magazine ... but here in Chicago it was big enough to sit on top of "Chicago's Only Authentic Record Survey."

(click chart to enlarge)

Due to some sort of glitch that has never been properly explained, the following week's survey was dated October 15th, only a DAY later rather than a week later. "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs leaped from #12 to the top spot ... and "Ruby Duby Du" by Tobin Matthews ... a song that hadn't even appeared on the previous week's chart ... and would go on to top the chart itself just a week later ... was in at #4 ... not bad for a brand new premier!!!

Other titles of note on these two charts: "Wait For Me" by The Playmates, "Pineapple Princess" by Annette and "You Mean Everything To Me" were all big hits here in Chicagoland ... and some classic early '60's titles appear on this list as well:

"Mr. Custer" by Larry Verne, a #1 novelty hit, "My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own" by Connie Francis, "You Talk Too Much" by Joe Jones, Elvis' big hit "It's Now Or Never", "Never On Sunday" by Don Costa, the Johnny Bond version of "Hot Rod Lincoln", "So Sad" by The Everly Brothers, "Save The Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters and "Let's Think About Living" by Bob Luman are ALL songs worthy of airplay today but virtually ignored by the oldies stations around the country. All of these records were Chicagoland Top Ten Hits.

How seriously was WLS taken back in 1960 when it came to the national charts? Check out THIS ad that ran as a full page in Billboard Magazine after "Ruby Duby Du" topped our Chicagoland Charts!