Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Last Radio Rave ...

OK, this is my last radio rave-out for the month ... I promise ... so please bear with me for just a few more minutes.  After I post this, I'm going to go load up the car with some of my favorite CD's and turn the damn thing off. (Although I have to admit that WLS-FM has surprised me a few times this week, playing things that I thought were now gone forever from their playlist. Hey, maybe they're listening to us after all ... for fear of the prospect of the collective "us" not listening to them!!!)  I actually heard "Burning Love" by Elvis yesterday along with a few other '60's surprises ... I figured Elvis was gone for good.  A positive sign perhaps?

First of all, I'd like to extend my VERY special thanks to both Jack Levin and Bill Hengels for sending in those mint, clean copies of the WLS Silver Dollar Surveys that we featured earlier this week. My copies are rather worn and tattered (and, quite often, written on) so it was excellent to be able to share such mint, clean copies with you.  

Meanwhile, it seems that several of you enjoyed our look back at WLS Radio ... here are just a few of your comments ...

I thoroughly enjoyed today's Sunday's comments. First, back in the sixties when the atmospheric conditions were right, I could pick up WLS here in OKC. The station here in the OKC area on 890 was a daytimer and depending on what time of year it was, determined when they had to sign off with their broadcast. Really, the only DJ I remember hearing was Art Roberts, especially there on Sunday evenings with his oldies show,"Hey Baby! They're Playing our Song".
I enjoyed looking over WLS's first top 40 radio survey. On October 14 here in OKC back in 1960, our number one song was DEVIL OR ANGEL. To my knowledge and remembrance, Paul Chaplain's SHORTNIN' BREAD never made the survey. I do have a copy of the record however.
WAIT FOR ME by the Playmates eventually made our survey and went all the way up to not quite number five. OVER YOU by Aaron Neville made our survey. When was the last time you heard that on the radio?
KOOKIE LITTLE PARADISE by Joann Campbell did make our survey as well as a version by the group known as the Tree Swingers on Guyden records.
On October 14 1960 here in OKC, the pick album of the week was "Songs I Love To Sing" by Brook Benton on Mercury records.
The pick hit of the week was TO EACH HIS OWN by the Platters. I am going to assume that later on WLS had a record listed at the bottom of the survey which was their "pick hit of the week"
Our local survey had in the far right column what song position the song held the week before. I can assume WLS started doing this since this was their first survey.
On the back of our survey, were caricatures of the seven DJ's which were currently working for the station. Again, I assume WLS eventually had pictures of their DJ's on the survey.
Going back to the two songs you posted, the version of SHORTNIN' BREAD by the Bellnotes made the survey and I am not sure but I believe the Blisters's version out of 1963 made our local survey. I, of course, have copies of both versions.
RUBY DUBY DU by Tobin Matthews did made our local survey. In fact, it made it initial appearance on the survey for the week of October 14, 1960, eventually peaking at number 30. I couldn't remember but I went and got out my copy because I knew it was from a movie but I couldn't remember which one. A movie which I have never seen, don't know who was in it.
The only record on the survey I don't remember and am not familiar with is the one by the Sheppards
at song position number 22 with the song COME HOME, COME HOME. I am familiar with a group called the Sheppards but do not know if it's the same one.
Now one might wonder why someone living in OKC, who by the way has never been to Chicago, would
be interested in seeing and studying a local radio survey of some 52 years ago. The answer is simple.
The answer is BECAUSE
Being the very first survey issued they, of course, couldn't show last week's position because it didn't exist yet! Although the chart was set up to look that way, instead they opted to show the number of weeks played at the station. (NOT the number of weeks charted, mind you, but the number of weeks PLAYED ... kind of an unusual stat ... but they also ran through a lengthy period where they denoted if a record was first played in Chicago on WLS or not ... which, of course, most of them were ... so maybe this was their way of letting the industry know that if a record was going to break here in Chi-Town, it was going to break on WLS. This may also be the way they got most of the Chicagoland "exclusives" back in the day.)
A picture of one of their deejays typically adorned the bottom of each chart ... although I do remember one particular week in early 1964 where the entire on-air staff was pictured on the back of the survey, all wearing Beatles wigs.
WLS used to show the "Pick Album Of The Week" at the bottom of their chart ... and they claimed to feature tracks from this LP during their regular programming ... but, other than maybe a Beatles LP, I honestly don't remember this being the case. Others on the list have written in to say that they DID, in fact, feature music from the featured LP, but I don't recall it. In that the featured LP was usually something a bit more obscure than one of the most popular albums of the day, it seems even less likely that they would ... but I wasn't listening yet in 1960 ... if you read Part Two of our piece, you'll see that I became a "fan of WLS" in June of 1964. As such, I can state with all certainty that I have NEVER heard Aaron Neville's "Over You" on the radio ... and to this day am unfamiliar with this record. (The first time I ever heard of Aaron Neville was seven years later when "Tell It Like It Is" hit the charts ... I don't think I heard his name again ... in the context of the charts anyway ... until he recorded a couple of hit duets with Linda Ronstadt in the '80's.)
"Ruby Duby Du" comes from the motion picture "Key Witness" starring Jeffrey Hunter ... and no, I've never seen or heard of it either. I do know that the version performed in the movie is NOT the one done by Tobin Matthews (whose real name, by the way, is Willy Henson, a local Chicago-area / Calumet City boy.)
Finally, The Sheppards never charted in Billboard, Cash Box or Record World ... so they're today's "mystery group"! If anybody out there can shed any light on this artist, we'd love to hear from you. FH Reader Ed Erxleben sent me some CD's many years ago featuring EVERY song that ever charted on the WLS Survey but never made the Billboard Chart. As a result, we can feature this track for you today. Ring a bell with anybody out there??? 

By the way, thanks to the Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago Chart, we have determined that The Sheppards charted here TWICE ... first with "Island Of Love" in 1959 and then again in 1960 with "Come Home, Come Home". Both records were released on the Apex label (7550 and 7560 respectively) and, on the "Top Tunes" chart peaked at #21 and #31. "Come Home, Come Home" peaked at #22 in its one and only week on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... which is the very first chart they ever issued. (kk)

I enjoyed looking over your June 19th, 1964 WLS survey. I did some analyzing of it and some comparisons to our own here in OKC. First to my knowledge and remembrance, #14 Bobby Rydell's version of A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE never made our survey, #16 PARTY GIRL by Bernadette Carroll never made our survey, #23 song by Bobby Vee is mis-spelled on the survey but that happened a few times through the years.
The record in song position #30 by the Crestones, I'VE HAD IT, never made our survey and I am wondering if it's the same song as the Bellnotes.
Song #39 by Webb Pierce never made our survey, FRENCH RIVIERA.
As for the song by Johnny Cash on Sun, BELSHAZAH, at position #38 ... I am wondering what a song
by Cash on Sun is doing on survey. Never made our survey.
I always did like Bobby Darin's #28 MILORD. I think I'll get it out tonight and play it.
For your general information, here in OKC on that date back in 1964, the song by the Ray Charles Singers was number one with Billy J. Kramer at number two.
The Pick Hit of the week was ALONE by the 4 Seasons.
The Pick Album of the week was THE DAVE CLARK FIVE RETURN.
I noticed that into 1964 WLS's survey still didn't have a record at the bottom labeled as 'pick hit' of the week, nor did it indicate what record was previous week on the survey, just the number of weeks it had been on.
I love to see songs which made your survey but didn't make ours.
Larry Neal
Once Johnny Cash signed to Columbia Records, Sun continued to try and "cash" in by releasing (and re-releasing ... and re-releasing again) many of the tracks he recorded for Sun Records in the late '50's. As such, tracks like "Belshazah" continued to make the charts from time to time. (Sun kept this up throughout the decade. In fact, in 1969 and 1970, Cash charted in Billboard with "Get Rhythm" and "Rock Island Line" respectively, both pressed on Sun Records in the late '50's.)
As explained above, WLS didn't show last week's position back then. (I wanna say they started doing that in the middle of 1967.) Prior to that it wasn't even weeks charted but instead, weeks PLAYED on the station. They were VERY big on touting the fact that nearly every hit record heard on the radio in Chicago first premiered on WLS. (What a difference today, eh?!?! Where they're content to just play the exact same thing that every other radio station on the dial. My biggest discontent with the station to be sure!)
"Milord" was one of the last Bobby Darin songs to chart in Chicago in the '60's. It peaked at #28. The follow-up "The Things In This House" peaked at #22 ... and then Darin charted one more time in 1967 with his version of "If I Were A Carpenter", a Top Ten National Hit that peaked at #15 here in Chi-Town. (kk)
I just looked up that song by Johnny Cash on the Internet. Apparently it did come out in 1964 on Sun and was a gospel tune, which I'm sure you already knew. I just now played it. Not bad.
Honestly, no, I didn't know it was a gospel tune ... nor am I familiar with the song. I just know that labels have ALWAYS "cashed" in on their artists once they develop successful career on another label! (lol) kk

I love the WLS celebration comments. Years ago, I went thru all the weekly WLS Silver Dollar Surveys and Hit Parades from 1960 - 1970 and made the All-Time Top 40 listing of the WLS surveys from October 14, 1960 - 1970. I based this chart on much what the Supercharts has done recently. I gave points for each weekly position for each song as it rose up and down with extra for top 10 weekly placings as well as number one and two weekly spots. Here's how the WLS "really" top hits of their first surveyed decade came out. I also gave equal standing to TSW (two-sided winners) if both sides were listed. Some records only listed both sides on some weeks and some actually flipped hit sides. This will not set well with some, but that's how I did it. Ties were broken by number of weeks at peak position. 

2205 points

1. I'M A BELIEVER - MONKEES 2205 points (Tie for #1).
3. Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison 2160
4. The Letter - Box Tops 2090
5. Exodus - Ferrante & Teicher 2090
6. Cherish - Association 2040
7. I Want to Hold Your Hand - Beatles 2030
8. Michael - Highwaymen 1995
9. Windy - Association 1990
10. I Think We're Alone Now - Tommy James & Shondells 1990
11. We Can Work it Out - Beatles 1985
12. Wonderland by Night - Bert Kaempfert 1985
13. Kicks - Paul Revere & Raiders 1975
14. Let There Be Drums - Sandy Nelson 1975
15. Satisfaction - Rolling Stones 1965
16. Telstar - Tornadoes 1930
17. Day Tripper - Beatles 1925
18. California Dreamin' - Mamas & Papas 1925
19. Runaway - Del Shannon 1920
20. Winchester Cathedral - New Vaudeville Band 1920
21. Sugar Shack - Jimmy Gilmar & Fireballs 1915
22. Hey Baby - Bruce Channel 1910
23. I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher 1910
24. He's So Fine - Chiffons 1910
25. Downtown - Petula Clark 1910
26. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Tokens 1905
27. Bend Me, Shape Me - American Breed 1900
28. Love Me Do - Beatles 1895
28. P.S. I Love You - Beatles 1895 (TIE)
30. Wonderful Summer - Robin Ward 1890
31. Bobby's Girl - Marcie Blaine 1890
32. Daydream Believer - Monkees 1880
33. Love is Blue - Paul Mauriat 1875
34. Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence 1875
35. Runaround Sue - Dion 1875
36. Are You Lonesome Tonight - Elvis Presley 1875
36. Judy In Disguise - John Fred & His Playboy Band 1875 (TIE)
38. Quarter to Three - Gary US Bonds 1870
39. Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli 1870 (TIE)
40. I Heard it Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye 1865
Man, I wanted SO badly to cheat when I figured this chart. As often was the case with the Cryan Shames, they again landed just outside the top 40, ranking #41 with "It Could Be We're in Love". Also just out of the top 40 were: Happy Together, Little Bit of Soul, Johnny Angel, Someday We'll Be Together, Suspicion, Last Train to Clarksville, Dead Man's Curve, My Boyfriend's Back and Hanky Panky, rounding out the top 50.
Long live the BIG 89! (in our memories, at least).
WLSClark Besch
The biggest objection you'll get is listing the A-Side and B-Side of the same record separately, especially since on WLS they typically charted together as a two-sided winner. (That's also created a few extra "ties" on your list ... and I don't know if the B-Side truly deserves the same amount of points as the A-Side.)  I think I would have paired those two-sided hits together, opening up a few more spots on your chart ... and then The Cryan' Shames would have made The Top 40! (lol)
Surprising to see two songs by The Monkees and two songs by The Association in The Top Ten, while only one Beatles tune made the cut. (They just missed at #11 with "We Can Work It Out".) Notice, too, that "Hey Jude" didn't make the list. While it topped Billboard's chart for nine weeks, here in Chicago it was only #1 for one! That's because "Fire" by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, "Over You" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin all hit the top spot during their Billboard reign at the top.
In his WLS book recapping the WLS Charts of the 1960's, Ron Smith runs a similar list, with (I would imagine) a similar point system. He got some rather drastically different results. "I'm A Believer" / "Steppin' Stone" still comes in at #1 ... and "The Letter", "Oh, Pretty Woman", "Cherish", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Windy" and "Michael" all made The Top Ten, albeit in different order ... but "Exodus", which ranks all the way up at #5 on your chart doesn't even make Ron Smith's list. (Similarly, you'll be pleased to know that "It Could Be We're In Love" by The Cryan' Shames came in at #20!)
A few other surprises: "Sherry" (#13), "Come Together" / "Something" (#15), "California Dreamin' (#16), "Get Back" (#23) and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (#24) all made Ron's list but failed to make yours. This is also true of "Runaround Sue", "Good Vibrations", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "I Can't Stop Loving You", "Honey", "Blue Moon" and "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter". 

You can check out ALL of Ron's Chicagoland chart books here:  
Click here: WLS and WCFL Chicago Top 40 Charts by Ron Smith
While Ron tells me that he is personally sold out of the 1960's book, it IS available through the Amazon link on his site.  (kk)

I love your comments about WLS' 1964 chart. I was smitten by WLS in 1964 as well, even having recorded the Canadian version of "Love Me Do" off WLS about this time before Tollie released the better known version that was the hit here. However, I recorded off KOMA more in 1964, as it was the station we grew up with first around Dodge City. As '65 came on and "Look Through Any Window" became a hit on WLS and I began hearing things like "I Confess" on there -- PLUS the great DJs (not that KOMA did NOT have great DJs, they DID!), I listened to WLS more and more just as you were already doing in '64. Anyway, great memories always!

As you can imagine, this next email made my day!!! (kk)
>>>I can still remember the very first week I ever listened to WLS. It had to be middle-to-late June of 1964. I know this because the very first program I ever listened to was Dex Card's Silver Dollar Survey Countdown Show, where he played back ... on a DAILY basis, Monday thru Friday ... the 40 most popular songs in Chicago. The week I first tuned in, "Little Children" by Billy J. Kramer was #1, and they held that spot for two weeks on the survey weeks dated June 19th and June 26th of 1964. That's how close I can pin it down. (kk)
Hi Forgotten Hits & Kent Kotal,
I’m Dex Card … and it’s nice to be remembered. I worked for a number of large market radio stations … but WLS was heads and shoulders above every other radio station in the world. It was indeed an exciting time in music that will never be duplicated. WLS was more than music. The success of the station was the connection between the on-air talent, the music and the listeners.
I’m healthy, happy and approaching my 80th birthday. I’ve been retired and living in Florida for about twenty years. I still have occasional contact with my WLS friends Ron Riley and Clark Weber … and at least once a month I meet someone who remembers me from WLS. Like I said earlier, It’s nice to be remembered after 44 years.
Warm regards,
Dex Card
So GREAT to hear from you ... and that you're doing well. Yep, yours was the very first program I ever listened to on WLS ... what a killer line-up the station had back then ... Clark Weber (who's a Forgotten Hits regular ... and one of the nicest guys I've ever met) in the morning, Bernie Allen (who I met at a Record Collectibles show a few years back) doing mid-days, Dex Card counting down The Silver Dollar Survey every week day afternoon, Ron Riley (who I'd LOVE to have on our list participating from time to time) in the evening and the late, great Art Roberts at night. (I fell asleep many a night with my radio under my pillow listening to Art's show without my parents ever suspecting a thing!!!) "East Of Midnight" back then was Don Phillips, who I met at a live record hop behind Hillside Shopping Center where the aforementioned Cryan' Shames were performing in 1966!!! (Incredibly, they were still known as The Travelers back then ... but were just about to change their names and release "Sugar And Spice" ... I got a set of small, autographed 2 x 3 photo cards from Don and the band that night ... and got a private guitar demo in a trailer by Shames guitarist Jim Fairs, who was trying to sell his Starburst Gretch Country Gentleman Guitar, which was the main reason I was there.  Who knew that this would be more first "official" rock concert!!!  Believe it or not, Jim, lead singer Tom Doody and "Hook" (Jim Pilster) still perform around the Chicagoland area from time to time (although not necessarily always together!!! lol) GREAT memories of a GREAT, GREAT time. Thanks SO much for taking the time to write ... and stop by now and then ... I'm sure you've got some INCREDIBLE WLS Stories to tell! (And I know our readers would love 'em!!!) kk

I agree with the large number of posters about the changes at WLS-FM. It is ludicrous to have the talent playing songs that were out after (in some cases long after) their tenure at WLS. It is also a shame that the word "oldies" has become poison to radio programmers. Those of us who remember and listened to the classic WLS of the past just can not find our music on the radio any more. Oh yeah, it's available online I know, but that's not the same. I'd be happy if it was on AM, as that's where it was originally and it could help some struggling AM stations. I like 80's music fine but it doesn't belong on WLS-FM. And I have to add that the current program director is not well-liked by many in the industry, and his track record is not all that good. So, maybe this will fail. If it does, will the very talented air staff get the blame? Probably, as that's how radio usually works. Also miss my buddy Scott Shannon on WLS. Luckily, the TOC is alive and well.  
Phil Beckman

In your Saturday column you wrote (regarding the K-Hits music lists) ...
>>>You won't find The Guess Who on this list either. Instead Steely Dan, the inescapable Steve Miller Band and Queen have all been elevated to "top artists" status, despite not even making Whitburn's Top 50 List. (kk)
Interesting that they won't play The Guess Who, considering that the group recorded most, if not all, of their early hits in Chicago at RCA Studios.
Doug Thompson
I don't get it ... we hear "American Woman" quite a bit ... "These Eyes", "Undun" and "No Time" fairly often ... but that's about it. With nine Billboard Top 40 Hits in the '70's, it's hard to imagine The Guess Who not making their Top 40 Artists list ... and four of those made The Top Ten ("No Time", 'American Woman", "Share The Land" and "Clap For The Wolfman".) When's the last time you heard "Hang On To Your Life", "Hand Me Down World" or "Albert Flasher" on Chicagoland radio? Not to mention "Laughing" ... or "Star Baby", which was a HUGE hit here in Chicago (#3).

People think I'm exaggerating when I talk about how much Steve Miller music they play here ... so I decided to keep track for a week. In fact, I started keeping score of ALL of the repeats I heard in a week.   

Now, to keep this in perspective, consider this ... I get to listen to the radio for about two hours per day TOPS ... and hour on the way to work (same time every day, from 7 am - 8 am) and another hour on the way home (that time varies on a daily basis, but typically between 5:30 pm and 8 pm.) That comes out to ten hours per week, Monday through Friday. I have eight buttons set in my car for oldies, classic hits, classic rock, soft rock and "the mix". I would say that 80% of the time, if you cycle through all eight buttons you will hear AT LEAST one, two or three of the songs and artists listed below ... that's right, 80% of the time!!! Sometimes the SAME artist playing on as many as three different stations ... and one dozen times last week the EXACT SAME SONG playing on two different stations. (And radio doesn't think we should have a problem with this?!?!?) 

Last week ... in a ten hour span (during which a great deal of time is spent pushing buttons to change the channel due to incessent repeats) I heard: "The Joker" once, "Take The Money And Run" twice, "Rock 'n' Me" twice, "Fly Like An Eagle" four times, "Jet Airliner" four times, "Jungle Love" twice, "Swingtown" FIVE times and "Abracadabra" three times. I swear sometimes it feels like Steve Miller is the ONLY thing on the radio ... until I consider all of the OTHER repeats I heard during that same timeframe.   

During that same ten hour / one week timeframe, I also heard:  

Billy Joel: Piano Man (three times), Only The Good Die Young (twice), My Life (twice), Big Shot (twice), You May Be Right, It's Still Rock And Roll To Me (three times)  

Elton John: Your Song, Levon (twice), Tiny Dancer (three times), Rocket Man (twice), Crocodile Rock (three times), Daniel, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Bennie and the Jets (three times), Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, The Bitch Is Back, Philadelphia Freedom (twice), Little Jeannie, Candle In The Wind, I'm Still Standing (twice)  

Journey: Anytime (twice), Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', Any Way You Want It (three times), Who's Crying Now (twice), Don't Stop Believin' (four times), Open Arms, Separate Ways (twice)  

Foreigner: Feels Like The First Time (twice), Cold As Ice (three Times), Hot Blooded, Waiting For A Girl Like You (twice), Juke Box Hero (three times), I Want To Know What Love Is (twice)  

Supertramp: Bloody Well Right, Give A Little Bit (twice), The Logical Song (twice), Goodbye Stranger, Take The Long Way Home (four times) 

Bryan Adams: Straight From The Heart, Cuts Like A Knife (twice), Run To You (twice), Heaven (three times), Summer of '69 (five times)

Fleetwood Mac: Ove My Head, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me, Go Your Own Way, Dreams (twice), Don't Stop (twice), You Make Loving Fun, Tusk, Sara, Hold Me (twice), Gypsy, Little Lies, Silver Spring, Landslide (twice), Gold Dust Woman, The Chain ... plus "Edge Of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks FIVE times!!!  

Queen: Killer Queen (twice), Bohemian Rhapsody (twice), You're My Best Friend (twice), Somebody To Love, We Will Rock You (twice), We Are The Champions (three times), Crazy Little Thing Called Love (three times), Another One Bites The Dust (three times), Under Pressure (three times)  

REO Speedwagon: Keep On Loving You (three times), Ridin' The Storm Out, Time For Me To Fly, Take It On The Run (three times), Can't Fight This Feeling  

The Doobie Brothers: Listen To The Music (twice), Black Water (twice), Long Train Runnin' (three times), China Grove (four times), Take Me In Your Arms, Takin' It To The Streets (twice), Rockin' Down The Highway (twice), Minute By Minute  

The Eagles: Take It Easy (twice ... usually it's more), Witchy Woman (twice), Peaceful, Easy Feeling, Already Gone (twice ... usually it's more, too), Best Of My Love, One Of These nights, Lyin' Eyes, Take It To The Limit, New Kid In Town, Hotel California (four times ... three of them the "live" / "Hell Freezes Over" version), Life In The Fast Lane (four times), Heartache Tonight, The Long Run ... plus "Boys Of Summer" by Don Henley three times and "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh four times!  

Pat Benatar: Heartbreaker (three times), Hit Me With Your Best Shot (three times), Promises In The Dark (twice), Shadows Of The Night (three times), Love Is A Battlefield (twice), We Belong (three times)  

Phil Collins: You Can't Hurry Love (three times), In The Air Tonight (FIVE times), Easy Lover, One More Night, Another Day In Paradise  

Santana: Black Magic Woman (three times), Oye Como Va (three times), Winning (man, this one sounded good!), Smooth (twice), Evil Ways (twice)  

.38 Special - Hold On Loosely (three times), Caught Up In You (twice) ... and I love BOTH of these songs ... but radio is ruining them for me!  

Dire Straits: Sultans Of Swing (three times), Money For Nothing (three times), Walk Of Life, So Far Away

Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love (twice), Black Dog (twice), Rock And Roll (four times), D'yer Mak'er (twice), Stairway To Heaven (three times) plus at least six other LP tracks sprinkled throughout the week  

Tom Petty: Breakdown (I'll never turn that one off!), Don't Do Me Like That, The Waiting, You Got Lucky, Don't Come Around Here No More (twice), I Won't Back Down (twice), Free Fallin' (three times)  

Cheap Trick: Surrender (three times), I Want You To Want Me (three times), Dream Police, The Flame (twice)  

John Mellencamp: I Need A Lover, Hurts So Good (four times), Jack and Diane (SIX times ... and the reigning leader!), Crumblin' Down, Pink Houses (three times), The Authority Song, Lonely Ol' Night, Small Town, R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., Cherry Bomb  

Bob Seger: Night Moves (four times), Rock And Roll Never Forgets (twice), Still The Same (twice), Hollywood Nights (twice), We've Got Tonight, Old Time Rock And Roll (only once ... usually it's much, much more), Against The Wind, Like A Rock  

Now quite a few people on the list will probably say that radio plays WAY too much of The Beatles ... and I will admit that it's hard to go a half hour without hearing SOMETHING by them on the radio ... but there is SO much material to choose from that radio should at least be able to mix it up a little bit. So why did I hear "Come Together" four times last week?!?!?  

Another song that just won't seem to go away is "Stuck In The Middle" by Stealers Wheel (I heard that one four times last week.) I heard "Carry On, Wayward Son" by Kansas four times, too ... and "Light My Fire" by The Doors three times. Other notable repeats included "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire (three times), "Take On Me" by A-Ha (five times) and (leader of the pack) "More Than A Feeling" by Boston ... an incredible SIX times during this brief timeframe!!!  

Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run (three times), Hungry Heart, Dancing In The Dark (twice), Cover Me, Born In The U.S.A., Glory Days (three times), Brilliant Disguise  

The Rolling Stones: Sympathy For The Devil, Time Is On My Side, Get Off My Cloud, Satisfaction (twice ... usually more), The Last Time, As Tears Go By, Paint It Black, Jumpin' Jack Flash (twice), Honky Tonk Women (three times), You Can't Always Get What You Want (three times), Brown Sugar (twice), Wild Horses (twice), Tumbling Dice, It's Only Rock And Roll (twice), Miss You (twice), Beast Of Burden, Shattered, Start Me Up (twice), Gimme Shelter (twice)  

The Who: Who Are You (four times), I Can See For Miles (twice), Magic Bus, Won't Get Fooled Again, Baba O'Riley (twice)   

Do the math, people ... this doesn't leave much time to play anything else when all the concentration seems to be focused on the same two dozen artists played repeatedly over and over and over again ... until even some of their biggest fans can't stand the thought of listening to these songs one more time. (There've been times ... depending on how long I'm going to be in the car ... that I've taken as many as two dozen CD's with me for the drive ... shouldn't a radio station in a major market have a bigger playlist than what I can carry in my glove box?!?!?)
If you're a disc jockey on the air in Chicago, you already know how many times YOU'VE played each of these songs ... but are you aware that virtually every other station in town is playing them too?!?!
Radio has RUINED so much of this great music for me ... music I used to love and cherish and hold in the highest regard. (Frannie mentions "Jack And Diane" by John Mellencamp in her rant below ... the other day, one of my coworkers asked me, "Isn't that a great song?" "Yeah," I said, "I genuinely liked this song the first 200,000 times I heard it ... but these last two million times have turned me off to it completely."  It's over-saturation to the max ... and has reached the point that I'm hitting the button at the sound of the very first note. How is THAT serving the best interests of the listeners???)    

Notably missing from this list ... anything that would typically constitute the "oldies" label. Sure, we heard a few thrown in the mix throughout the week ... but by and large THESE are now the most over-played tunes. (For years we ran a "most-overplayed oldies" list, offering up suggestions of some "alternative" programming that might break up the monotony a little bit. Today we've still got the same issue with radio ... it's just a new and updated list. Seriously ... research tells you that THIS is what we want to hear?!?!? Really?!?!? 'Cause to me it just seems a little bit lazy!) kk

Love your passion - Hope someone is listening!
Frannie (Mrs. K) posted her own rave-out on Facebook the other day ... and got similar responses by other music-lovers completely turned off by this latest trend in programming. (How on earth is it possible that Jan Jeffries can tell the media with a straight face that he is programming something different ... something unlike anything else on the dial ... and then explain it by saying that WLS-FM will feature more music by Bryan Adams, Journey, John Mellencamp, Chicago, the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles, Supertramp, Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen, telling columnist Robert Feder "there will not be any radio station like this one." Does he not listen to any other radio stations? Does he live in a cave with no radio reception? It makes me wonder ... so I have to ask ... does anybody working in radio actually listen to the radio?!?!?)

Frannie's original rant:

I have to vent or my head just may explode. I have a 15 minute commute to work. On the way in today I heard Hotel California, Heartache Tonight, and Life In The Fast Lane. On the way home, it was Abracadabra, Take The Money And Run, and Jungle Love. WTF, radio stations? I know that my beloved DJ friends don't have much say in the playlists; it's all "market research". Who is being asked? Not me. You? Stations have long enough pleasured Bubba who lives in Mama's basement and cannot live without his fix of Jack and Diane. There is a world of excellent music that does not include Miller, Seger, Mellencamp and The Eagles. You are making me despise FM radio. Please don't do this. It has been an integral part of my whole life.

Here are a few of the comments she received ... (listen to your audience, radio ... they control your future!!!)  And remember, my research was based on listening to Chicagoland radio stations ... the comments expressed here prove that this is a nationwide epidemic!

Frannie, Isay these EXACT words in my head on a daily basis.
Kristy White    

Well, if its any consolation Frannie, it's the same this side of the Atlantic. The "Oldie Stations" (for want of a better word) are in effect killing off the music they should be trying to preserve. They paint a picture of the 70s and 60s like it never was ... sad.
David Scott    

I guess I'm not a "loyal" listener ... I just change the station ... constantly. I started listening to NPR music station in Fort Worth, 97.1, and they have a good variety of music so far.
Kelly Hilton Lovett  

NPR is on constantly in our house (we've got a small stereo in our bedroom). As for other radio stations, I only " listen" to them in the car - I'm constantly changing the station or I shut it off. I'm very picky. It is because of the radio stations that, with few exceptions, I'm so tired of "classic rock," a name that annoys me almost as much as most of the music. That's why I play CD's all day at work.
Ed Parker    

And that is the reason that I decided to NOT go back to commercial radio when I left Reprise Records ;)wink ... and those rocket scientists that program the music these days have NO clue why their audience is slowly dwindling away ... LOL
JD Stone    

What is it, Three-fer Tuesday? I know it's old school, Frannie, but haul out your CDs and plug them in. If I didn't, I'd never get a Foo fix.
Kelly Landman Greene    

How about playing your own CDs instead? The hell with the stations.
Gary Tuber  

Even current music has a playlist that plays the same songs every hour on the hour. My daughter heard Call Me Maybe 64 times en route to Canada from Connecticut, a 6 hour drive. That's the way public broadcasting has always been with it's "playlists." Since I refuse to pay for radio, I listen to my IPOD hooked up to its ITrip. I pay for music, but at least it's what I want to hear. It's sad, and I don't foresee the industry changing. Oz has spoken.
Doreen Ostapchuk

And THAT'S how radio is losing their audience. THAT'S how listeners are coping with the same crap, day in / day out, that radio feeds us on a non-stop basis. And you guys don't even get it ... you haven't got a clue ... or why on earth would you start ANOTHER radio station playing the EXACT same music ... and then boasting about how DIFFERENT it's going to sound than anything else on the dial?!?!? (kk)

Frannie's final comments ...

I love FM radio. I want it to succeed ... to thrive ... and it's dying. Do any of you from this area remember an old school R&B station from about 10-12 years ago? I loved it. Larry Lujack was on and the playlist was kinda small, but it was sooo good! I was thrilled when I heard Sha-La-La by Al Green ... a rarely played but excellent song. That station lasted for like 18 months or so. What a shame.
I am trying to set a good example and not listen to my iPod while I have a brand new driver in my family ... but it hurts. soooo. much.
Why don't you throw in a little Billy Joel and Phil Collins while you're at it?
I swear, I think I will fling myself from my moving car and onto the Elgin-O'Hare if, on my way in, I hear ANY of the following: Jack and Diane, any/all Steve Miller, Journey, REO, Billy Joel (It's Still Rock & Roll, You May Be Right), Bruce Springsteen's Glory Days ... Phil Collins ... blech!
C'mon, big wig DJ friends ... clue in your PMs and tell them that Frannie Kotal is taking up the gauntlet that her hubby threw down a few years ago in Forgotten Hits. Kent is MUCH nicer than I am, btw.

And mine:   

Radio, your audience has spoken ... why aren't you listening???  (By the way that "Jammin' Oldies" R&B Station Frannie's talking about was "The Beat" ... Lujack came back to host mornings [albeit by remote] for a brief period right around the millennium.  100.3 FM is now "Rewind", featuring predominantly '80's tunes.)   

Speaking of which, for the record, the radio stations surveyed in my research include WLS-FM, Y103.9, The Drive, The River, The Loop, The Lite, Rewind 100.3 and K-Hits. "Oldies" in the traditional Real Oldies / True Oldies fashion are completely gone from Chicagoland Radio, one of the biggest and longest-standing oldies markets in the country. (As Scott Shannon once told me, "You DO love our oldies in Chicago".) 

In all fairness, this "play and repeat ... and then repeat again ... and again" formula isn't limited to these stations. If you listen to the current hits on stations like B96 and KISS-FM, you'll find many of the same songs playing literally every hour ... during one of my scan searches I found THREE different Katy Perry songs playing on TWO stations within the same ten minute period!!! And you've already seen the comment above about Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe". And I'm sure you'd find the same results on both an all-country or an all R&B station. Simply put, radio has lost all sense of imagination and creativity.    

I am sick to death of the fact that radio insults our intelligence on a daily basis ... that they think THEY have a better idea of what we really want (or need) than we do. And then, after they throw it in our faces with a "that's all you're going to get" attitude, they cite the "research" that "proves" this is what we really want to hear. (I would LOVE to see the research that "proves" most listeners prefer to hear 14 Steve Miller songs per day ... every day ... than a little more variety.)  It's degrading and insulting that radio thinks so little of us ... and then they can't understand why we don't keep coming back for more ... why their industry is dying. 

Honestly if we had had the opportunity to torture Bin Laden and all of Al Qaeda, could there have been a more effective method than playing them endless hours of Steve Miller, Fleetwood Mac, John Mellencamp and Journey??? I don't think so. Save the bamboo shoots ... just turn on the radio, circa 2012!!! (kk)