Into Early 1970 Again

Originally posted January 16, 2010

Well, we’re going to talk about the second week in January 1970 again, if you don’t mind.

Yesterday, when I looked at the January 16, 1970, survey from San Diego’s KCBQ, I mentioned that the surveys from the Twin Cities’ KDWB that I used to examine at The Oldies Loon were no longer available.

Well, that’s not precisely true. Jeff, our pal at AM then FM, emailed me last evening, telling me he was getting to the surveys just fine. I tried again, and I can get to the KDWB page there that lists the years. From then on, it’s iffy; no page that has in its URL a tilde – the little mark that looks like this: “~” – will come up in my browser, and most of the annual pages for KDWB’s surveys fall there (as do many other pages on the website). I use IE Explorer, but I tried Firefox, too, with no joy. And it’s not just my computer; we tried to get to those pages using the Texas Gal’s laptop, and all Vista would tell us is that there might be a firewall in the way.

I emailed the folks at The Oldies Loon, and we’ll see if they have anything to say. If any readers have any ideas as to what’s going on, suggestions for solutions would be helpful. Come Monday, if I haven’t figured anything out, I might give a call to Dale the Computer Guy down on Wilson Avenue and see if he knows anything.

In the meantime, however, Jeff was kind enough to send along, as part of our Friday evening email exchange, the KDWB “6+30” for the week of January 12, 1970. The top fifteen on KDWB was significantly different than the top fifteen from KCBQ that I looked at yesterday. Here’s what we were listening to most frequently in the Upper Midwest that week:

“La La If I Had You” by Bobby Sherman
“Venus” by the Shocking Blue
“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
“Holly Holy” by Neil Diamond
“Leavin’ On A Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul & Mary
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” by B.J. Thomas
“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam
“Jam Up, Jelly Tight” by Tommy Roe
“Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday” by Stevie Wonder
“Someday We’ll Be Together” by the Supremes
“Midnight Cowboy” by Ferrante & Teicher
“Don’t Cry Daddy” by Elvis Presley
“Early In The Morning” by Vanity Fare
“Jingle Jangle” by the Archies
“Brand New Me” by Dusty Springfield

More than half of the records in the top fifteen of KDWB’s survey were absent from the San Diego list I posted yesterday: Those are the records by Bobby Sherman, Neil Diamond, Steam, Tommy Roe, Stevie Wonder, Ferrante & Teicher, Vanity Fare and the Archies.

(The artists in KCQB’s top fifteen who were absent from KDWB’s top fifteen were: The Jackson 5, R.B. Greaves, the Plastic Ono Band, the Originals, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Tee Set, Jay & the Americans and The Band. The Jackson 5, Greaves, CCR and The Band show up lower down on the KDWB survey; the others are completely absent.)

To be honest, the KCBQ top fifteen is a more listenable set of songs than the stuff I was hearing most frequently on KDWB. Along with the continued presence of the Elvis tune and “Raindrops,” there are three major ouches in KDWB’s top fifteen: First of all, Bobby Sherman at No. 1 is a concept that stretches my mind a great deal. Secondly, I’ve never been quite as tickled as other folks by the winking naughtiness of “Jam Up, Jelly Tight.” Third, anything beyond “Sugar, Sugar” is just a little too much of the Archies for me.

Nevertheless, there are some treasures in KDWB’s top fifteen that weren’t getting the same kind of airplay in San Diego. (I know, the dates aren’t quite the same, but they’re close enough for anything that’s not rocket science or accounting.) Those treasures – and here we come to the sticky matter of individual taste or lack of the same – are “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” “Holly Holy,” “Midnight Cowboy” and the utterly luminous “Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday”

It seems that for most folks, the Stevie Wonder songs that stand out in this time period are “For Once In My Life” and “My Cherie Amour,” and those are both beautiful songs that made for beautiful records. But neither of them ever touched me the way “Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday” did at the time. I’ve never quite understood why, and I’m not sure I could, or even want to, figure it out now. Whatever the reasons were, I imagine they’re lost in time, but it was the song that was piercing my heart forty years ago, and it’s today’s Saturday Single:

“Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday” by Stevie Wonder [1969]


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