|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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)...
Thirty six years ago Tuesday (June 30, 1979), "Ring My Bell" by Anita Ward became the new #1 single in the United States. It went on to spend another week at #1 and became 1979's #9 song...but the real story for this show was the Top 5 songs.
At #5 was "Chuck E's In Love" by Rickie Lee Jones.
At #4 was "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge.
It was an all-female Top 5 for the first time in chart history...and it wouldn't happen again until May 26, 1990. Ironically, there was only one other solo woman on this 1979 countdown--Anne Murray was at #32 with "Shadows In The Moonlight."
Host Casey Kasem teased this feature at least three times during the show. He not only talked about the All-female Top 5 feat but also how Summer joined the Beatles and the Bee Gees as rock era acts to have had two singles in the Top three.
Elsewhere on this show, at #7 was "She Believes In Me" as the story of Kenny Rogers correctly predicting his future success was told. Rogers had predicted that he would have a #1 country hit and a Top 10 pop hit, too. He was right.
"One Way Or Another" was at #35 as Casey told the story of how Mike Chapman was promised a shot at becoming Blondie's next producer by the group's manager. It was written on a cocktail napkin. "Reunited" was at #17 and Herb Fame of Peaches and Herb was highlighted for his once moping floors of his wife's beauty solon.
Also, "I Was Made For Lovin' You" was #26 as Casey told how Gene Simmons of the group Kiss has had his hair catch fire at least seven times.
Forty one years ago Monday (June 29, 1974), "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot spent its only week at #1 en route to becoming the #28 song of 1974.
The real story of this show, though, was how host Casey Kasem ended this show. In his closing remarks, he said that "our list was tabulated by the AT40 staff based on their opinions and estimate of the probable chart positions for the week ending June 29th, 1974."
Allow us to explain. We found out what happened...and we believe either former statistician Ben Marichal and/or AT40 expert Pete Battistini explained the circumstances. Casey was due to fly to Hawaii to participate in a three-week-long filming of a "Hawaii 5-O" TV show. So...."American Top 40" had to be done three weeks in advance after the June 22, 1974 show was completed. It was decided that Humble Harve would fill in for Casey on the July 13, 1974 show. A special (The Top 40 acts of the 1970's so far) was earlier researched, written and recorded for the July 6, 1974 weekend.
That took care of two of the weeks. The third week? Well, once the June 22, 1974 show was completed, the AT40 staff guestimated the June 29, 1974 chart, wrote the show and had Casey's voice tracks recorded. That probably happened either the same day as the June 22, 1974 show...or maybe a day or two later.
The good news about the AT40 staff's chart predictions? They batted 1.000 for the top two songs. They were right about "Sundown" at #1 and "Billy, Don't Be A Hero" by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods at #2.
The bad news...is that for the other 38 songs, they were 1-for-38. The only other song they were right on was "If You Talk In Your Sleep" by Elvis Presley at #34. To the AT40 staff's credit, though, it did get 38 of the June 29, 1974's Top 40 records correctly picked. They just got their positions in the 40 wrong.
Casey's staff incorrectly figured that "The Show Must Go On" (Three Dog Night) and "Oh Very Young" (Cat Stevens) would fall out of the Top 40. They didn't. They were #36 and #38, respectively.
Meanwhile, the AT40 staff had "Keep On Smiling" by Wet Willie debuting at #40 when it was actually #44. Finally, "LaGrange" was incorrectly pegged at #33 when it was actually #41...and had never really made the Top 40 at all.