Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pop Quiz: American Top 40, July 5, 1980 - "The Book of Records" (Pt. 1 of 4)

I saw a few weeks back that Justin Bieber had surpassed The Beatles in some category on the Billboard charts. I wasn't much interested because comparing Billboard today to Billboard 50 years ago is an archaic exercise in futility. Anyway, I was reminded of the AT40 episode from July 5, 1980 which dealt with such records. I'll let Casey introduce this episode:
This week, we're doing the most unusual, special show we've ever done. To begin with, it's not a countdown - it doesn't make sense to rank the biggest, the highest, the first, and so on, from different chart categories. And this is the first time we've ever spotlighted the top artist or record from the various categories of chart achievement and brought them all together in one super special show.

The songs that have set the marks: hits from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, and even one from the Forties. They're all here in the American Top 40 "Book of Records"!
So revert back to a 1980 mindset and see if you can guess which artist or song held the following records in July 1980. I've included the years of the recordings as hints. Answers below.

Hour One:
a) The biggest chart hit of the rock era (1960, 1962)
b) Biggest "disappearing act" a.k.a. "one-hit wonder" of all-time (1969)
c) Oldest melody ever to hit #1 (1976)
d) Oldest melody to ever hit the Top 40 (1972)
e) The oldest male solo singer to ever hit #1 (1964)
f) The oldest lyric ever to hit #1 (1965)
g) Youngest female solo singer to ever hit the Top 40 (1959)
h) Youngest female solo singer to ever hit #1 (1963)
i) Youngest male singer to ever hit the Top 40 (1955)
j) Youngest male singer to ever hit #1 in the "Rock Era" (which started in 1955) (1963)
k) Biggest protest song (1965)
l) Shortest playing single to hit #1 (1969)
m) Top 40 hit with the most singers on it (1959)
n) Only act to occupy the top 5 spots on the singles chart simultaneously (1964) Bonus: name the five singles
o) Song containing the most often repeated word or phrase in a Top 10 hit (1971)
p) Most successful family act in chart history

Hour One:
a) "The Twist" by Chubby Checker (also the only record in chart history to have hit #1 twice)
b) "In the Year 2525" by Zager & Evans
c) "A Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band
d) "Amazing Grace" by Judy Collins
e) "Hello Dolly" by Louis Armstrong (age 64)
f) "Turn, Turn, Turn" by The Byrds (I call shenanigans on this one as the lyrics were adapted from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 making the lyrics an interpretation of a transliteration of the original Hebrew writings. It's a nice tune, though.)
g) "Pink Shoelaces" by Dodie Stevens (age 12)
h) "I Will Follow Him" by Peggy March (age 15)
i) "Nuttin' for Christmas" by Barry Gordon (age 6)
j) "Fingertips Pt. 2" by Stevie Wonder (age 13)
k) "Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire
l) "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs (Casey claims it's 89 seconds, other sources indicate 96 seconds, the label indicates 1:50.)
m) "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (375 voices)
(Casey plays "I Want to Hold Your Hand")
o) "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers ("I know" repeated 26 times)
p) The Bee Gees (Casey plays "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" from 1971)

Coming soon: Pop quiz from hour two of this episode

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