Wednesday, April 12, 2017

AT40, April 23, 1977 [Part 3 of 4]


I'm breaking down the AT40 show of April 23, 1977 track by track.  For an a look at #40-31, click here, for #30-21 click here.

#20:  "Your Love" by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. The former members of The Fifth Dimension place in the Top 40 for the second (and final) time as a duo. This bland tune was a waste of their talents and placed on the chart only 8 weeks, peaking at #15 on May 7. Still, the two hits were enough to get the couple their own variety show on CBS in the summer of 1977.

#19: "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder. Casey tells us that Stevie, at 12 years old, was the youngest artist to hit the top spot on both the single and album charts. As if Wonder needs Casey's hype. It's Stevie Wonder, case closed. This fun tribute to Duke Ellington from the epic Songs in the Key of Life album was Wonder's 31st Top 40 hit: it spend 13 weeks on AT40 including three of those weeks in the top spot (May 21 - June 4).

Casey reminds us that AT40 can be heard around the world on stations like WILE and KYJC.

#18: "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. I can say with absolute certainty this song was my favorite tune for several months in 1977 (probably the four months it was in the Top 40, if not longer). To this day, I still get up and dance at the sound of the initial piano glissando. When I saw Mamma Mia! on Broadway, the cast came out and sung this song as an encore and I was up grinning and dancing with a few hundred of my new closest friends. I'm told there are people that don't care for this disco classic, but I wouldn't want to know them. This single had been in the #1 spot on April 9 and was on its slow descent down the charts.

#17: "I'm Your Boogie Man" by KC & The Sunshine Band. If this isn't my favorite KC song, it's certainly in the discussion, mainly because of the bassline and those tasty horn licks. It's timeless - I played this with high school marching bands well into this century and the kids loved it (their parents did, too, natch). This had a slow climb up the chart, finally hitting #1 on June 11. At the time, it was KC's fifth Top 40 hit and his fourth #1. Not a bad run.

Listener question: a listener from Florida who wants to know if "any artist during the Rock Era have ever hit #1 with their first record and then never made the chart again." Casey will be back later with the five(!) acts that answer the question.

#16:  "Can't Stop Dancin'" by The Captain & Tennille. A high-energy song (written by Ray Stevens of all people) that seems ready-made for a TV variety show opening production number. (It appeared on the couple's own variety show on March 14, 1977, but wasn't the show opener. I stand corrected). It's a bit frantic for my tastes but I know all the words because my sister played C&T albums non-stop for several years in the late '70s. This particular single would peak at #13 on May 7 in only 8 weeks in the Top 40.

Answer to above question: "Greatest Disappearing Acts of the Rock Era"

#15:  "Lido Shuffle" by Boz Scaggs. I mentioned earlier that "Dancing Queen" was my favorite song for months. This is the tune that took its spot. I had no idea what this song is about (still don't), but that has never stopped me from wailing along with Boz. Then The Love Boat appeared on my TV with talk of the ship's "Lido Deck" and this further confused my pre-teen mind.  Bonus points for being an actual shuffle, though. This single, Scaggs' 3rd of 8 Top 40 hits, would go on to peak at #11 on May 14.

--end of hour two--

Casey kicks off the third and final hour of this episode by welcoming two new stations to the "AT40 Family" - WHSL in Wilmington, NC & KMWX in Yakima, WA.

#14:  "Couldn't Get It Right" by Climax Blues Band. A poor man's ZZ Top to be sure, but this song has a decent boogie groove and, most importantly, lots of cowbell. One of those songs that doesn't make me want to change the station, but I won't seek it out, either. In 14 weeks on AT40, this would peak at #3 on May 21.

#13: "I Wanna Get Next To You" by Rose Royce. This smooth R&B single would reach the #10 spot in its 10 weeks on the chart. Casey barely plays two minutes of it, but this thing is so good it earned a coveted position in my Greatest Slow Jam Mix Ever. Haven't had the pleasure?  Here ya go:

Casey makes a point to state Rose Royce's Car Wash soundtrack album did much better than the movie itself.

#12:  "Rich Girl" by Daryl Hall & John Oates. A stone cold classic that immediately takes me back to Mrs. French's fifth grade classroom, my home away from home during the 1976-77 school year. The electric piano intro is clumsy but catchy plus it includes the word "bitch" which is a big draw to a ten year old knucklehead (I'm talking about me). This song, the duo's first #1 single, spent 14 weeks in the Top 40. It had peaked atop the chart in late March and was on its way down this week.

#11:  "Trying to Love Two" by William Bell. This didn't get much airplay in west Texas so I'm not as familiar with it as I am the other tunes on this week's countdown. That's my loss because this thing is fantastically smooth. Better late than never. A #1 R&B hit, this single would peak the following week at #10 and would ultimately spend 9 weeks in the Top 40.

More to come...

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