|On this day in AT40/AT20/AT10 history...|
(Editor's Note: Is there a past Casey show you'd like to see featured in this section. If so, feel free to e-mail Rob Durkee at email@example.com with your memories of that show. About 3-5 paragraphs is plenty...but you can write more. Just don't write a novel. Please make sure you give plenty of advance notice. A week is preferred)...
Forty four years ago Friday (December 19, 1970), "American Top 40" was only three hours long, it was going by the Hot 100 of December 26, 1970 and something strange happened at #30.
"This is where song #30 ought to be," explained host Casey Kasem, "but we had to rearrange the show this week, so we could play BOTH #1 songs. If you're not sure what I mean by that, you'll understand when we get to that. So for those of you keep tracking, the tune at #30 is 'Share The Land' by the Guess Who. And, now, at #29, up up nine points this week, a song that debuted last week. Elton John and 'Your Song'."
"Share The Land" wasn't played in order for to play both sides of the new #1 song...and the first instance of a solo Beatle to hit #1..."My Sweet Lord/Isn't It A Pity" by George Harrison. Pete Battistini, perhaps the ultimate expert on 1970's "American Top 40" shows, remembers a mistake and subsequent correction surround this show. Pete remembered, "In the 12/26/70 show (that aired 12/19/70), Casey states that Harrison's parents are 'alive and well,' when in fact his mother had passed away earlier in 1970. Casey made the correction about hs mother's death on the 1/16/71 program."
Meanwhile, Casey played an extra, "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And HIgher" and telling the story of how the song's singer, Jackie Wilson, sang on street corners as a child so he could buy his mother a music box for Christmas. Casey also noted that in 1967, Wilson bought his mom a $45,000 home and how that was Jackie's "biggest thrill."
To tie in with "Border Song" at #37, Casey told how Aretha Franklin spent her first paycheck on roller skates in the mid-1950's and that "today, she can buy the whole rink." Also, the Jackson Five was falling on the chart with "I'll Be There" but Casey noted that group had sole at least 10 million records in 1970.
By the way, "American Top 40" was a week ahead with the Hot 100 from its start in July, 1970, until May, 1971. It's explained in the book, "American Top 40: The Countdown Of The Century."
Thirty two years ago Thursday (December 18, 1982), "Maneater" by Hall and Oates was spending its first of four weeks as the #1 song in the USA. Casey Kasem climaxed the show by noting that Hall and Oates had stretched their lead for most #1's for a duo to five. The Carpenters, the Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel were all tied for second with three #1's at the time.
Also in Hour Four, at #3, we heard "Gloria" by Laura Branigan and a drop-piece of the original 1979 version by Italian Umberto Tozzi. Earlier, Casey had time for an extra, playing "Come See About Me" and noting that the Supremes are the only American group to have five #1's in a row.
Among the human interest stories were how Vegmite is eaten by most Aussies, but hardly anyone else (tied in with "Down Under" by Men At Work at #12); that Phil Collins got his first job, playing Oliver in "The Artful Dodger" at age 14 (Phil was at #22 with "You Can't Hurry Love"); and the story of the mogul who retired at the age of 33 and earned $23 million (David Geffen, whose Geffen label had song #37, "Shock The Monkey" Peter Gabriel).