Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kansas - People of the South Wind (1979)

People of the South Wind
b/w Stay Out of Trouble

Released: June, 1979 (Kirshner)
Written by: Kerry Livgren
Produced by: Kansas
Album: Monolith

Note: when I label a song a "Lost AT40 Single," I'm only speaking for myself.  Your mileage may vary.

So I'm listening to a rerun of the American Top 40 broadcast from July 28, 1979 and after an Anne Murray song, Casey Kasem tells a story about Kansas playing at the 1973 State Fair of Iowa.  This song begins and I'm immediately grabbed by the disco-licious keyboard riff in the intro and suddenly I remember what an earworm that lick was when I was a 13 year old.  I bet I haven't heard this song since 1979,  but I couldn't get it out of my head during that summer.

The verse melody isn't memorable and the guitar solo is fairly routine, but the syncopated, singalong chorus is kinda catchy.  But I'm happy when the disco synth strings return later in the song.  To me, it sounds like something that should have been in a tune by The Spinners and is oddly out of place in a Kansas single.

On the July 28 AT40 show, "People of the South Wind" was at position 24; it would peak at 23 the following week.  The song spent a total of 8 weeks in the Top 40.  For what it's worth, according to Wikipedia the song was written about the Kaw people who gave the state Kansas its name. In the Kansa language, the tribe's name could roughly be translated to "People of the South Wind".

On a related note: if you have access to that particular episode of AT40, make sure you listen to the Long Distance Dedication between songs #20 and #19 in which a wife dedicates "I Will Survive" to her ex-husband.  It's unlike any other LDD I can recall.

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