Sunday, December 27, 2015

Some Thoughts on Music Radio Countdowns

Back in the 1960s I used to love to listen to radio station countdowns.  Back then Dan Daniel on WMCA would count down the top 25 hits from 4 PM - 7 PM with Wednesday as the new survey day.  Likewise Tuesday was new survey day on WABC as it was introduced by Dan Ingram at 2 PM and counted down in order later that night by Cousin Bruce Morrow.  It was always fun comparing the surveys of the two radio stations.  At the end of the year the stations would compile the top hits of the year.

Let's turn the clock ahead 30 or so years ago as oldies stations would ask their listeners to vote for their favorite songs.  For many years In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins was the number one song voted by the listeners.  We never knew for sure is this was a truc countdown as we suspected that radio station would not include songs voted that were out of format.  When WCBS-FM returned from the dreaded Jack format in 2007 it was described as classic hits, not oldies and covered 1964-89.  Some how In the Still of the Night didn't make the survey.

For the past 18 years oldies enthusiast Mike Riccio and Tom Natoli have compiled a list of the Top 77 songs voted by  listeners.  Yesterday they appeared on Rewound Radio and played the top 77 with extras and gave a history of the songs that charted.  I certainly applaud their efforts and appreciate their enthusiasm.

In 2015 I just can't get excited over countdowns as I did when I was a teenager growing up.  Like A Rolling Stone was #20 this year, but I still like it no matter what number it reached.  There are plenty of other Dylan songs that I like better that are obscure and unknown to the casual listener.

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