Friday, June 12, 2015

AT40, June 9, 1979 [Part 3 of 4]


I'm breaking down the AT40 show of June 9, 1979 track by track.  For an introduction and a look at #40-31, click here, for #30-21 click here.

#20:  "Makin' It" by David Naughton.  A TV show theme, sung by the show's lead.  I've always liked this song with its positive attitude over a disco beat.   And, yes, I remember watching a few (if not all) episodes of the TV show.  The theme song entered the Top 40 on May 12, nearly two months after the show had been canceled.  Naughton's only song to reach the Top 40, it peaked at #5 in 16 weeks on the chart.  The TV series, on the other hand, only lasted 9 weeks.

#19:  "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions. A great dance tune from my favorite EWF album, I Am. Ain't nuthin' wrong with this joint - I'll even admit to a bit of chair-dancing as I write these words.  A big crossover hit, this peaked on the Top 40 at #6, hit #2 on the R&B chart, and #14 on the disco chart.  I even played a marching band arrangement of the tune at high school football games.  Just hearing this song this morning has prompted me to pull out my I Am CD for listening later today.

#18: "Minute by Minute" by The Doobie Brothers.  Another great song - we're having a good run here.  I'm hooked right from the electric piano intro.  Some fans disagree, but I think Michael McDonald did the Doobies a world of good.  This soulful soft rock tune spent 9 weeks in the Top 40, peaking at #14. 

#17: "In the Navy" by the Village People.  Even as a young 'un, I considered this group a novelty act so I sang along with their stuff on the radio but never considered myself much of a fan.  This song had peaked at #3 in late May and was on its chart descent this week.

#16:  "Renegade" by Styx.  One of Styx's better rockers with a tasty extended solo from James Young.  All the girls liked Styx back in '79 which meant that I had better like Styx, too.  Songs like this made them easy to like ("Babe" is a different story).  This #16 spot was the song's peak in its 13 weeks in the Top 40.

#15:  "You Take My Breath Away" by Rex Smith.  A swooning, sweeping soft pop classic sung by a teen idol. It's not as bad as I remember and it's certainly not as bad as it could have been.[1] Kids aren't exactly renown for their tact or compassion. Case in point: I had a friend back in '79 that once told me she always pictured Rex singing this song from inside an iron lung.  Nonetheless, this song would peak at #10 a few weeks after this episode.

#14:  "Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy" by Bad Company. My favorite single from Paul Rodgers and the gang.  Great riffs, catchy melody, and good groove - give it a 78, Dick Clark.  It would peak at #13 the next week.

#13: "Goodnight Tonight" by Wings. Two McCartney songs in one episode can't be a bad thing.  Love the groove in this one, the cheesy vocoder, and the way the slow, smooth verse melody contrasts with the busy accompaniment. And Sir Paul is one of only a handful of musicians that could get away with flamenco guitar over a disco beat.  A single-only release, it had peaked at #5 and was on its way down the charts.  It also reached #30 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Long Distance Dedication: "Goodbye Girl" by David Gates.  Dedicated from a girl in Oregon to her boyfriend who was serving in the US Army, leaving to be stationed in Germany.  The song had reached #15 back in early 1978.  Never saw the movie this song was attached to, but I still think this is a catchy tune.  My family moved in August 1978 and I thought this song perfectly captured the spirit of the relationship between me and my girlfriend that would soon be a long-distance girlfriend.  Nowadays, I can't even remember her name.  Let's go with Kim.[2]

#12:  "Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)" by GQ. A fun dance tune, it peaked here at #12, but reached #1 on the R&B chart and #3 on the disco chart.  With its synth-funk groove, it actually sounds more like early '80s R&B than disco.  I like it okay, but it pales in comparison to its follow-up, the wonderful slow jam "I Do Love You."

AT40 Archives: "Billy, Don't be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods.  Miller continues to play the #1 hits of the 1970's in chronological order.  This song spent two weeks at the top of the chart in June 1974.  A corny story song about a Civil War soldier that served as an allegory for the Vietnam War.  The depressing lyrics don't fit the peppy, bubblegum pop music.  I remembering my sister and her friends listening to this 45 over and over and over.  I wouldn't seek this one out, but I have to admit there are parts that are kinda catchy.[3]

#11:  "Deeper Than the Night" by Olivia Newton-John. Of ONJ's 29 Top 40 hits, this is my least favorite.  It spent only 8 weeks in the Top 40, peaking here at #11.  (♡Still love ya, Olivia!♡  Call me!☎)

More to come...


  1. So many killer tracks, here. The ONJ song is the only weak link for me. Well, that one and the LDD. This countdown has been just shy of perfect since the get-go. It is now up to the Top 10 to either make it one of the single greatest Top 40s ever or louse it up entirely.

    Enjoying all the music triggered seventh and eight grade flashbacks. Thanks for those.