Saturday, January 5, 2013

Casey Kasem's Year-End Countdown for 1975

On SiriusXM Radio's Channel 7, it is January 3, 1976 and Casey Kasem is playing the top songs for 1975.  We just heard number 39, "Cats in the Cradle," by Harry Chapin, and number 38, "Could It Be Magic," by Barry Manilow.  Casey told us that Barry Manilow wrote the "You Deserve a Break Today" jingle for McDonald's.

Further updates in the comments.

58 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I had totally, totally forgotten that he wrote the McDonald's jingle.

      Along about this same time, I saw Marvin Hamlisch on some TV program, talking about writing jingles. He asked the studio audience to come up with a product for him to write a jingle on the spot, and the suggestion they said was pineapple. Then he led them in, basically, a key-messages brainstorming about the differentiating benefits of pineapple--and then he wrote a terrific jingle.

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  2. Number 37: "Have You Never Been Mellow," by Olivia Newton-John

    I liked Olivia Newton-John as a quasi-country singer better than I liked her later pop incarnation. My guess is I'll end up feeling the same way about Taylor Swift.

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    1. We watched Taylor Swift on New Year's, and I didn't even know it was her for the first 15 minutes.

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  3. Number 36: Barry Manilow, "Mandy"

    Huge year for Barry Manilow. This song is even better than "Could It Be Magic."

    I think 1975 must have been a huge year for me in terms of radio listening, because a lot of these songs are huge favorites with me. I'm pretty sure that until I was about 21, I would have listed "Mandy" and "Cats in the Cradle" as two of the 10 best songs of all time.

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  4. Number 35: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," by Elton John

    Casey tells us that when the Beatles released this song in 1967, the BBC wouldn't play it because it allegedly promoted drugs. Casey says that times have changed.

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  5. Number 34: "Sister Golden Hair," by America

    A very solid effort, although I was never a huge "America" fan.

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  6. Number 33: "Please Mister Postman," by the Carpenters

    Casey tell us that this is only the third song to hit number one with two different acts. One of the others was "The Locomation," but I don't know what the third was.

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  7. Number 32: "Magic," by Pilot

    This is a pretty forgettable song.

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  8. Number 31: "Fire," by The Ohio Players

    Casey introduced this song by talking about the striking images on the covers of the albums released by The Ohio Players.

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  9. Number 30: "Jackie Blue," by Ozark Mountain Daredevils

    I always thought this song was rather creepy.

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  10. Number 29: "Fight the Power," by the Isley Brothers

    I'm pretty sure I've never heard this song before.

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  11. There is no number 28 because we have a tie at number 27.

    Number 27 (tie): "Angie Baby," by Helen Reddy

    Now this song is truly creepy. Of course, this was a great era for creepy pop songs.

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  12. Number 27 (tie): "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," by Freddy Fender

    This song is useful if you're arguing with someone who insists that country music was much better in the 1970's than it is today.

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  13. Number 26: "Boogie On, Reggae Woman," by Stevie Wonder

    This is probably about my 20th favorite song by Stevie Wonder, and it's still really good.

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  14. Number 25: "Love Won't Let Me Wait," by Major Harris.

    I remember the Major Harris who played quarterback for West Virginia in the late 1980's, but I have no memory of this Major Harris.

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  15. Number 24: "Why Can't We Be Friends," by War

    I've never really liked this song.

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  16. Number 23: "Lady Marmalade," by LaBelle

    Yeahh! Now I'm dancing all around the room.

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  17. Number 22: "The Hustle," by Van McCoy

    And the imposing shadow of disco appears over the happy world of mid-1970's pop.

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  18. Number 21: "Pick up the Pieces," by the Average White Band

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  19. Number 20: "Seventeen," by Janis Ian

    One of the great angst-ridden songs of all time. This song still pulls in a lot of angst-ridden comments on YouTube.

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    Replies
    1. It figures prominently in an excellent 30 Rock scene from a few years ago.

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  20. Number 19: "He Don't Love You," by Tony Orlando and Dawn

    This is a very solid song.

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  21. Number 18: "Hey, Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song?" by B.J. Thomas

    Casey tells us that this song set the record for the number one song with the longest title, beating "She Wore an Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini."

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  22. Number 17: "Ballroom Blitz," by Sweet

    Finally, a little rock 'n' roll! This song sounds like it should be in the soundtrack for Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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  23. Number 16: "Blackwater," by the Doobie Brothers

    Casey tells us that this was originally the B-side of the single on which it was released.

    This is, of course, one of the all-time great songs to play while you are driving from Mayfield to Paducah on Highway 45 at about 11 o'clock at night in the middle of August.

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    Replies
    1. That song has to be in Paducah's all-time Top 40.

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  24. Number 15: "Kung Fu Fighting," by Carl Douglas

    When Number One Son was about 10, and Number Two Son was about 7, they went to spend a week with their grandparents in Kentucky. When they came back to NoVA, we learned that their grandparents had not stuck to our rule of prohibiting talking toys. Number Two Son had picked up a little toy that would sing "Kung Fu Fighting" if you pushed a button. It was possibly the most annoying toy ever made.

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  25. Number 14: "Lovin' You," by Minnie Riperton

    When I was growing up, I pretty much thought this song summarized what girlfriends were like. As it turned out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

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  26. Number 13: "Best of My Love," by the Eagles

    Casey tells us that the Eagles are one of the most-respected rock bands of the 1970's. It's hard to argue with that.

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  27. Number 12: "Jive Talking," by the Bee Gees

    Casey says that "you know the pull of Disco is strong," when a soft-rock band like the Bee Gees puts out a Disco song.

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    Replies
    1. that's one of the best songs of all time. all of these other songs are antiques; "jive talkin'" would be the no. 1 song in the country if it came out tomorrow.

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  28. Number 11: "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," by John Denver

    This, of course, is the traditional song for the seventh-inning stretch at Baltimore Orioles games. At least it used to be, when I went to Camden Yards about 15 years ago. The Orioles fans used to go absolutely nuts when they played this song -- it was pretty much the high point of the evening.

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  29. Number 10: "One of Those Nights," the Eagles

    The Eagles are the only act with two hits in the year-end top 20.

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  30. Number 9: "Laughter in the Rain," Neil Sadaka

    When I was a kid, I thought all the songs by Neil Sadaka were sung by a woman.

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  31. Number 8: "Fame," by David Bowie

    I like David Bowie now a lot better than I did 25 years ago, and that's pretty unusual for me.

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  32. Number 7: "Shining Star," by Earth, Wind, and Fire

    Another solid song. This is a great countdown.

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  33. Number 6: "Some Kind of Wonderful," by Grand Funk Railroad

    About a year ago, I watched the movie "Some Kind of Wonderful, a John Hughes flick from 1987 that I somehow missed. I thought it was pretty bad, and I could see why Lea Thompson and Eric Stoltz had pretty decent careers in Hollywood without ever breaking through to movie stardom.

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    Replies
    1. i think there's at least one hp reader who, at least in 1987, had a significantly higher opinion of some kind of wonderful than you do now.

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  34. Number 5: "My Eyes Adored You," by Frankie Valli

    Hey, there seems to be a lot of interest in old 1950's music? What if we made a movie of that musical about the fifties -- what's it called? Grease? Yeah, yeah, that could be HUGE!

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    Replies
    1. there was a lot of interest in everything 1950s. one of the things that comes up in reading tv guide from 1975 is that reruns of '50s shows are huge hits around the country.

      American Graffiti and Happy Days were both excellent.

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  35. Number 4: "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," by Freddy Fender

    This is a much better outing by Freddy Fender. Casey tells us that his real name is Baltimore Huerta, which strikes me as a much cooler name than Freddy Fender.

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    Replies
    1. yeah, what the heck were "Freddy Fender's" handlers thinking?

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  36. Number 3: "Philadelphia Freedom," by Elton John

    This song, of course, was written for Billie Jean King's World Tennis Team.

    How cool would it have been if Elton John had written songs for all of the NFL teams back in the 1970s? That would have been AMAZING.

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    Replies
    1. I lip-synched this song at a second-grade talent show. I wore a pair of sunglasses and heeled shoes that my brother had, and I wore one of my mom's Cameo rings.

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  37. Number 2: "Rhinestone Cowboy," by Glen Campbell

    Casey tells us that this is the first song to reach number one on the country chart and the pop chart at the same time since 1961, when Jimmy Dean pulled the trick with "Big Bad John."

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  38. Number 1: "Love Will Keep Us Together," by the Captain and Teneille

    At this point, I will comment that Tony Teneille is from Smart Mom's hometown of Montgomery, Alabama.

    What a great countdown! Hooray for 1975! LIFE, MORE LIFE!

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    Replies
    1. That's a fantastic song. On the night of the 1977 or '78 Grammys, I told my sister that I thought it should win the award for song of the year. She pointed out that it had already won in the year that it had been released, and I told her that I thought it should win again.

      Incidentally, the Heath High School English classes of 1983 or '84 saw Toni Tenille perform the female lead in "The Rainmaker" on stage in St. Louis, and she was fantastic.

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