|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 one years ago Monday (September 15, 1973), "Delta Dawn" by Helen Reddy became the new #1 song in the United States. This was its only week at the top and it went on to become the #16 single of 1973.
To climax the song's rise to the top, host Casey Kasem featured Reddy's famous Grammy acceptance speech. It happened after she won the "Best Pop, Rock and Folk Vocal Performance-Female" for "I Am Woman." Helen thanked her label, Capitol, and her husband-manager, Jeff Wald, "because he makes my success possible." THEN, she thanked "God because she makes everything possible."
Two other solo woman were profiled in Hour three, too. For instance, "Touch Me In The Morning" was at #7. Diana Ross was compared to boxer Joe Louis as both began their careers at the same recreation in Detroit and both became among the best in their professions. And at #11 was "Half Breed" as Cher was featured for once being told by Phil Spector that she's never make it in music. That statement came after she recorded "I Love You Ringo" as Bonnie Jo Mason.
"Ramblin' Man" was #21 as Casey profiled the Allman Brothers and how two group members (Duane Allman and Berry Oakley) were killed in separate motorcycle accidents.
Remember Conway Twitty? Well, the country superstar who started as an Elvis sound-alike rocker was at #35 with "You've Never Been This Far Before" and it was his first Top 40 pop hit in 13 years..or since he took "C'est Si Bon (It's So Good)" to #22 in 1961.
This show contained a mistake as "The Monster Mash" by Bobby (Boris) Pickett And The Crypt Kickers was at #31. This was the song's third Hot 100 performance but it wasn't 40 total weeks on the chart as Casey said. As we recall, the chart had the wrong number of weeks listed, causing the mistake.
Twenty nine years ago Sunday (September 14, 1985), "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" by John Parr was the #1 single in the USA. Perhaps more importantly, though, the most hilarious and collectable 76 seconds in the history of "American Top 40" were born.
We didn't know it at the time, though. All we knew was that host Casey Kasem read a Long Distance Dedication to a little dog named Snuggles and played the song "Shannon." Then, starting around 1987, morning drive disc jockeys were playing a so-called outtake of this LDD.
For the uninformed, an outtake is a recording that isn't or wasn't used and was supposed to be destroyed. This one wasn't. It was a recording of one of Casey's unsuccessful attempts to read the LDD letter. He reads about 10 seconds into the letter and then suddenly stops reading, asking that they start all over again.
There's a slight pause, and then Casey clears his throat and says, "See when you come out of those uptempo G--d damn numbers, man, it's impossible to make those transitions. And then you've got to go into somebody dying..." And gets madder by the second. Eventually, he's yelling and swearing, even using the f-word.
Initially, Casey was upset about has become known as the dead dog tape. Over the years, though, he's mellowed tremendously and has been extremely philosophical about the whole thing. You can read the entire story of this unique aspect of "American Top 40" history in the book, "American Top 40: The Countdown Of The Century."
Oh, and the "uptempo" song that upset Casey, the one that preceeded the Snuggles LDD, was "Dare Me" by the Pointer Sisters.