|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 three years ago Friday (March 7, 1981), "I Love A Rainy Night" by Eddie Rabbitt was the #1 song in the USA for its second of two weeks. It went on to become the #7 single of 1981.
This show had sentimental value for me as one of my favorite all-time songs was played as an extra: "Quarter To Three" by Gary U.S. Bonds. To tie in with the song, host Casey Kasem told for at least the third time the story of how Bonds was discovered by his producer, Frank Guida. I believe it was told again in 1982 when Bonds was hitting with "Out Of Work."
Casey was told this story by Guida years earlier about how he (Guida) fired a tempermental singer who was uncooperative and swore nobody could replace him. Guida fired the singer and claimed he pulled Bonds off the street as a total stranger to complete the recording session. Guida told me, though, that he'd known Bonds (real name Gary Anderson) for about a year, so the part about Bonds being a total stranger may not have been true.
One of the week's two Long Distance Dedications was humorous as a woman dedicated "Seasons In The Sun" to "the boy who gave me a black eye."
Meanwhile, the Outlaws were at #31 with their version of "Riders In The Sky," which was also known as "Ghost Riders In The Sky." Casey noted that the song's charted in seven versions along with "Man With The Golden Arm" and "Unchained Melody" and how "Mack The Knife" has charted in eight versions. Depending on the way the feature was presented, though, there might've been a mistake. The legendary song "The Tennessee Waltz" has had 10 different charted versions.
The Hispanic group Tierra was at #28 with its remake of the Intruders' 1967 hit, "Together," as Casey told how Tierra had to released the same album three times on three different labels before getting a hit off of it.
Rod Stewart was at #16 with "Passion" as his earlier hit, "In A Broken Dream," had a bit of it played as a drop-piece. This was the song Stewart charted as Python Lee Jackson. Abba was at #9 with "The Winner Takes It All" as Casey pointed out that the group had sold over 100 million albums and was in striking distance of catching the Beatles' all-time record of 115 million LP's sold.
Thirty nine years ago Saturday (March 8, 1975), "Have You Never Been Mellow" by Olivia Newton-John was the new #1 song in the USA. This was its only week at #1 and it went on to become the #37 song of 1975. To climax the song's rise to the top, host Casey Kasem pointed out that Olivia became the first foreign solo woman to land two straight #1 singles releases. Among the other solo American women in the rock era to have pulled off the feat were Cher, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee and Roberta Flack.
Meanwhile, Neil Diamond was holding at #34 with the highly-forgotten hit, "I've Been This Way Before" as Casey noted that Neil's live "Hot August Night" album at the time was the biggest selling LP in Australian history. Also, David Gates wrote his song at #29, "Never Let Her Go," to a girl that was taken, but would end up marrying him eventually.
Bad Company was at #19 with "Movin' On" as Casey told how group member Paul Rodgers won the New Musical Express top Brithy male vocalist award, beating out the likes of Elton John and David Bowie. Meanwhile, Sugarloaf was at #11 with "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" as Casey pointed out how the song borrowed the guitar riff from the Beatles' "I Feel Fine."
Also, AT40 gave an update on Leslie Gore of "It's My Party" fame while Casey answered a listeners' question about songs that jumped to #1 from outside the Top 10. "Sherry" by the Four Seasons and "Walk Right In" by the Roofop Singers both jumped to #1 from #11. Paul McCartney had a hand in the other three. His duet with wife Linda, "Uncle Albert/Albert Halsey" went from #12 to #1; "Paperback Writer" jumped to #1 from #15; and "Can't Buy Me Love" set the then-record with a jump from #27 to #1 in 1964.
Thirty four years ago this week (March 8, 1980), "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen was the #1 song in the USA for its third of four weeks. The song wound up as the #6 hit for all of 1980.
Perhaps the most intriguing story, though, was tied in with the #4 hit that week, "Desire" by Andy Gibb. Host Casey Kasem talked about a contest where first prize was a lock of Andy's hair. Slight problem, though. The hair given away in that contest wasn't Andy's.
Meanwhile, ZZ Top was at #36 with its remake of the Sam and Dave tune, "I Thank You" as Casey told a story he would repeat in 1986. The story dealt with ZZ Top having the highest grossing 1976 tour that netted about $11.5 million. But then, the group disappeared for about three years.
Neil Diamond was a t #18 with "September Morn" as Casey told now Neil fought his record company early in his career to keep from releasing "Solitary Man." At #13 was "An American Dream" as Casey told how the group, the Dirt Band, was at the time the only USA rock band to have toured the then-USSR.
Rupert Holmes was at #9 with "Him" as Casey told how Rupert kept practicing his saxophone next door to a classroom, bothering a teacher who eventually made him play in front of his class. It turned out that Rupert didn't do all that badly with his rendition of "Twist And Shout."
Finally, Casey answered a listeners' question about the performer who's sold the most records. It wasn't Elvis or the Beatles, but instead was Bing Crosby with over 400 million records sold.