|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 Rockster2746@GMail.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 (September 30, 1972), we didn't know that
"Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" by Mac Davis was the #1 song in the
United States. That's because "American Top 40" host Casey Kasem
didn't do the regular countdown.
Instead, the Top 40 recording acts of the previous five years was
aired...but that wasn't the "highlight" of this show. After all, to
the surprise of virtually no one, the Beatles were at #1 as "The Long
And Winding Road" was played. Aretha Franklin was #2 as "Rock Steady"
was played. And despite never having a #1 single, James Brown chalked
up enough hits to rank #3 as "Super Bad, Part 2" was played.
The real story of this special, though, didn't involve anything Casey
said or played. Instead, it was something AT40 superexpert Pete
Battistini discovered at the end of Hour two.
And we DO mean THE END of Hour two. For the most part, when AT40 was a
three hour show for its first eight years, Casey would tell us how
many songs we had to go to end hours one and two...and we'd hear the
show's theme song underneath his voice.
When Casey's voice stopped, the show's theme would be turned up and
play out instrumentally for about another two minutes or so. This was
fill time for the show's affiliates. They could play the show's theme
for as long as was needed or perhaps go to a commercial break.
Most of the time, the show's theme song would eventually fade out.
Sometimes, though, the show's theme would have a definitive, cold,
ending. That's what happened with Hour two of this special.
But that's not all that was heard. After the show's theme ended cold
at the end of hour two, there was a rubber duckie sound effect added.
Lee Hansen, who served as engineer for AT40's parent company,
Watermark, thoughout most of the 1970's, confessed to author Rob
Durkee in 1996 that he was the culprit. He simply wanted to see if
people were paying attention.
Apparently not, because nobody'd confronted Hansen about the rubber
duckie sound effect or others that were interspersed into shows. Rob
was the first one in 1996. This particularly happened in 1973 when you
even heard a stampede of horses during one show's closing!
Thirty seven years ago Thursday (September 29, 1979), "My Sharona" by
the Knack was spending its last of six weeks at #1 in the United
States. It went to become the #1 single for all of 1979.
This song climaxed the second of two shows substitute hosted by the
late Robert W. Morgan. When he was alive, Morgan told author Rob
Durkee in an interview that recording his voice tracks for this show
took a record 47 minutes.
Although it wasn't used as a Question Letter (QL) feature, a unique
answer to a trivia question was featured to tie in with "Rise" at #3.
Herb Alpert and his former group, the Tijuana Brass, were on Page 244
of the Guinness Book of Records for having sold the most records in a
calendar year (1966). Also in Hour Four was "I'll Never Love This Way
Again" at #7. Morgan told how Barry Manilow was turned down as Dionne
Warwick's producer. But then Barry begged for the job...and got
"Different Worlds" (a/k/a the theme from the TV show "Angie") was #18
as Maureen McGovern was featured for having two disaster hits, then
having everything go wrong for her. McGovern's woes included five
hotel fires, a hurricane, a typhoon and being trapped in an elevator.
All this happened after her #1 hit "The Morning After" (from the
Poseidon Adventure") plus the #83 hit, "We May Never Pass This Way
Again" (from "The Towering Inferno").
Falling down the chart but stopping at #25 was "Good Times" by Chic.
Group members Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were featured as a
producing team who'd turned down producing the likes of Bette Midler,
the Spinners and Aretha Franklin. Instead, they said, "Give us
somebody without a name," and they got Sister Sledge, who wound up
having hits like "We Are Family" and "He's The Greatest
Morgan also did a Doors update and played "Light My Fire" as an extra.
He closed the show by saying "have a great week and a good