|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 seven years ago Wednesday (April 16, 1977), "Don 't Give Up On Us" by David Soul was the new #1 song in the USA. It only stayed at the top for a week and it became 1977's #37 single. To commemorate the song's rise to the top, host Casey Kasem told how Soul became the first actor in a non-singing role to go to #1. Lorne Greene of "Ringo" fame came close, but his was a talk single.
Perhaps the real story of this AT40 show, was how one of the better stories was told for the first time about the rock group, Kansas, to tie in with the group's first top 40 hit, "Carry On Wayward Sun.". Kansas was performing at a bar called Fat Albert's near Des Moines, Iowa, when a fight broke out.
Once order was restored, the place was almost empty except for the bartenders, the group Kansas and one drunk guy who kept asking to be served. The drunk kept getting thrown out. At least twice. So he made one more try at getting served. He drove his car through one of the bar's walls...and then drove it through the bar and out of it...through another wall! This story has also been told on the 3/25/78, 7/28/79, 6/12/82 and 12/6/86 AT40 shows. Hey, it's a good story!
Meanwhile, "Lonely Boy" debuted at #36 as it was pointed out that the singer, Andrew Gold, backed Linda Ronstadt on her last four albums. On this album, Ronstadt backed Gold! Another debut was "Sir Duke" at #31 as it was speculated that Stevie Wonder, who had 15 Grammys at the time, would eventually win more and overtake the then-leader, Henry Mancini, who had 20.
Finally, an extra was played--"Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John---as Casey told how the song was the only #1 dedicated to a professional athlete (Billie Jean King of the tennis team the Philadelphia Freedoms).
Thirty six years ago Tuesday (April 15, 1978), "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees was the #1 song in the USA for the fifth of its eight weeks of ruling the chart. It went on to become the #2 song for the year 1978, trailing only "Shadow Dancing" by the Gibb brothers' brother, Andy.
To tie in with "Night Fever's" stay at the top, host Casey Kasem retold the story of how the Bee Gees' first public appearance was lip-synching to a record that broke. Rob Durkee swears the record's title changes with the story but with this one, it was 1957's "Wake Up Little Suzy" by the Everly Brothers.
Meanwhile, Eddie Money had just debuted at #40 the previous week with "Baby Hold On," his first Top 40 hit. It moved up four to #36 as the story of his being handcuffed by his future manager (Bill Graham) was told.
The group Rubicon, which evolved into Night Ranger, was at #29 with its only Top 40 hit, "I'm Gonna Take Care Of Everything," as the story of the group starting at the top was told. Rubicon was forced by record label executives to be signed after doing so well at the California Jam II concert. Also, at #24 was "Lady Love" as the story of Lou Rawls' misunderstanding of what "airborne" meant in the Army. Lou was terrified by heights ---and he was forced to make at least 36 parachute jumps.
In chart action, Roberta Flack was at #7 with her duet with Donny Hathaway, "The Closer I Get To You." Flack was mentioned by her nickname, Rubina Flake, and how she and Helen Reddy were at the time the only solo women to go three straight calendar years with a #1 hit. Finally, in a question letter, Casey told how Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were like the Beatles what with all their members having Top 40 hits on their own.