Monday, January 23, 2012

Music from a half-century away

One of the more amazing things about entering late middle age is the notion of my brain as a time machine, accessing events that happened 50 years and more ago. I still have a crisp memory of sitting in my brother's room listening to a far-away radio station in Buffalo, N.Y., one night in what must have been 1961, listening to a catchy new song called "Calendar Girl." I became a fan of this Neil Sedaka fella not long after.

Every Tuesday night during my teenage years, I'd tune in Cousin Bruce Morrow at WABC in New York City to find out the weekly Top 20 (which was the Top 40 at one time and was later reduced further to the Top 14). I must not have been the only one, because those surveys are a prominent part of the site devoted to memories of the biggest hit radio station of the era. Here are this week's memories:

50 years ago (1962)
1. The Twist - Chubby Checker (which had spent five weeks at #1 - again)
2. Peppermint Twist, Pt 1 - Joey Dee and the Starliters
3. I Know (You Don't Love Me No More) - Barbara George
4. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens
5. Baby It's You - The Shirelles

45 Years Ago (1967)
1. I'm a Believer - The Monkees (which had spent five week at #1 - a pattern?)
2. Snoopy vs. the Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
3. Georgy Girl - The Seekers
4. Tell It Like it Is - Aaron Neville
5. Standing in the Shadows of Love - The Four Tops

40 Years Ago (1972)
1. American Pie - Don McLean (3 weeks #1)
2. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
3. Brand New Key - Melanie
4. Clean-Up Woman - Betty Wright
5. You Are Everything - The Stylistics

35 Years Ago (1977)
1. Car Wash - Rose Royce
2. You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be In My Show) - Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
3. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer
4. Enjoy Yourself - The Jacksons
5. I Wish - Stevie Wonder

No comments: