|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)...
Forty years ago Sunday (August 2, 1975), "One Of These Nights" by the Eagles was the new #1 single in the United States. It only stayed on top for a week but on the strength of 10 Top 10 weeks---a lot for the mid-70's--it became the #10 song for all of 1975.
Meanwhile, "Dynomite" by Bazuka was at #10 as producer Tony Camillo was profiled for producing "Midnight Train To Georgia." The only #1 hit for Gladys Knight And The Pips was recorded in the basement of Camillo's Sommerville, New Jersey, home.
The tune that became the biggest for 1975 was falling down the chart. "Love Will Keep Us Together" by the Captain and Tennille was at #17 as host Casey Kasem pointed out that the song was in part dedicated to its co-writer. In the fade of the song, as Casey pointed out, Toni Tennille sings the words "Sedada's Back," which was also the title of Neil Sedaka's 1975 comeback album.
An update on Joey Dee of "Peppermint Twist" fame was aired, plus the oft-told story about Judy Collins was told to tie in with song #36, "Send In The Clowns." In a story told in early 1971 as well as in 1973, Casey told how Collins had to overcome both polio and tuberculosis.
Also, "At 17" was #23 as Casey told how Janis Ian was an ex-child prodigy and made $250,000 before turning 17 with her 1967 hit, "Society's Child."
Thirty four years ago Saturday (August 1, 1981), not only did we have a new cable TV network with MTV being launched, we also still had "American Top 40." And the biggest single in the USA was new, "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield. It would stay at the top for another week and become the fifth biggest single for all of 1981.
To commemorate Springfield's rise to the top, host Casey Kasem pointed out that one Australian act replaced another (Air Supply, which slipped to #2 with "The One That You Love") at the top. Plus, the top two acts were Australian. Both feats were firsts in pop chart music history.
This AT40 show had another significant happening at the start. Casey had started playing the previous week's Top three hits to kick off the show starting in February, 1979, and since then had played at least one of the top three songs from the previous week. However, on this show, Casey just mentioned the previous week's Top three and didn't play any of them. This would eventually be the accepted norm on not only AT40 but on most other countdown shows, too.
The show's most unique story, though, was probably when Casey told how Merv Griffin sang vocals on 1949's "I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts" from 1950. A drop-piece was played on the song, which had Danny Kaye getting the label credit. That single only reached #26, yet it sold over two million copies. Go figure. And, yes, this story would be told again about five years later.
At #12, meanwhile, was "Gemini Dream" as the Moody Blues were profiled along with the Bee Gees and Jefferson Starship as groups who disbanded, reunited and went on to have a #1 album. "Lady You Bring Me Up" was at #17 as the Commodores were featured for having its members having streets named for them in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Also, "Urgent" was #22 as Foreigner drummer Dennis Elliott was profiled for having become deaf in his left ear.