Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Charting the Charts: Steve Carlisle - WKRP in Cincinnati (1981)


As I was preparing this post on the Adult Contemporary singles chart of February 6, 1982, I noticed the main theme from WKRP in Cincinnati sitting at the #48 spot but didn't think much about it. Then it hit me that the show premeired in September 1978 and here's the single charting over three years later?  Odd stuff and I couldn't hunt down a reason why. In any case, here's a look at how the single fared on various Billboard charts:

Date Billboard Hot 100Billboard AC
Nov 21 87
Nov 28 85
Dec 5 85
Dec 12 8240
Dec 19 7436
Dec 26 6532
Jan 9 6530
Jan 16 6529
Jan 23 9429
Jan 30
Feb 6

In a sad footnote, the series was on its last legs when the theme charted; the final episode aired in April 1982.

You'll notice that the producers of the single are Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia. Yes, the same duo that would subject us to "Pac-Man Fever" which debuted on the Hot 100 at #76 on the January 9, 1982 chart as "WKRP in Cincinnati" was peaking at #65 on the same chart.

Cash Box, Nov. 11, 1981, p. 11

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bracketology: 1977 singles, Champion

I really struggled with this one. As it should be, the final match-up was a tough one.  So tough that this post didn't get published last week because I couldn't make up my mind on a clear winner.  Since I kept going back and forth on my decision, I invented a tie-breaker: which song would the 11 year old version of me prefer? And if memory serves, I preferred the BeeGees tune back then. Photo finish.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bracketology: 1977 singles, Finals

The semifinal results are in and both were photo finishes:
  • Semifinal #1: "How Deep is Your Love" is just so. damn. smooth. Barry sure could write and produce - and he was just hitting his stride. The melody is so good, the third verse doesn't even need lyrics.
  • Semifinal #2: It's difficult for me to pick against Stevie, but that groove for "Best of My Love" is just too much. Or should I say grooves? Did radio DJ's talk over the intro to "Best of My Love"? For shame.

Check back soon: if I can come to a decision in the next week, we'll crown a champion.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bracketology: 1977 singles, Semifinals

Let's see how the quarterfinal match-ups panned out (for me, at least):
  • Quarterfinal #1: And the top seed gets upset in the first round - "Rich Girl" in a landslide. "You Light Up My Life" was the biggest hit of 1977, topping the charts for 10 weeks, but I'd be hard pressed to remember the last time I heard it. And with the shrill string arrangement and awful mix, I'd like to keep it that way. 
  • Quarterfinal #2:  In another runaway, the electric piano, subtle strings, falsetto vocals, and bossa groove of "How Deep is Your Love" beat Babs' chart-topper. There's nothing particularly wrong with "Evergreen," it's just not "How Deep is Your Love." 
  • Quarterfinal #3: The toughest battle of this round. I love the guitar groove in "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" but did I mention that I've heard "Sir Duke" live?
  • Quarterfinal #4:  I was not torn between these two. It would be easy to give all the credit to Maurice White for "Best of My Love" but that would ignore those emotional vocals from the Hutchinson Sisters [pun intended]. That song's intro alone beats the lament about a love triangle from Ms. MacGregor; even the Muscle Shoals group can't help it. Heck, MacGregor doesn't like the song:

    Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. p. 453

Check back for the final round match-up.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Bracketology: 1977 singles, Quarterfinals

This year, this blog will periodically focus its attention on the singles and albums of 1977, so let's get things rolling with some Billboard Hot 100 bracketology. I've created this bracket of the eight top-selling pop singles from 1977 and we'll match them against each other, round by round, until a winner emerges. I hope you'll play along as I'm sure your bracket will turn out differently from mine. In years past, I've taken my seedings from the year-end edition of Billboard, but this year I'll take singles and seedings from my worn copy of Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual.

  • Quarterfinal #1: "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone (#1 for 10 weeks) vs. "Rich Girl" by Daryl Hall & John Oates (#1 for 2 weeks)
  • Quarterfinal #2: "How Deep is Your Love" by The Bee Gees (#1 for 3 weeks) vs. "Love Theme from 'A Star is Born' (Evergeen)" by Barbra Streisand  (#1 for 3 weeks)
  • Quarterfinal #3: "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb (#1 for 4 weeks) vs. "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder (#1 for 3 weeks)
  • Quarterfinal #4: "Best of My Love" by The Emotions (#1 for 5 weeks) vs. "Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary MacGregor (#1 for 2 weeks)
Fill out your bracket(s) with your personal favorites and check back for the semifinal round.