The 2003 Musicradio 77 Web Site All Time Favorite Hits
Commentary and analysis by Mike Riccio
(as voted by site visitors 11/6/03 through 12/14/03)
It's the sixth annual Musicradio77.com Top 77 All-Time Favorite list as voted by you!
For a "countdown" version of the results, click here
And the survey lives on stronger than ever thanks to you, our site visitors and voters. You voted for almost 1200 songs, with 74.9% of the votes coming from the guys and 22.7% from the ladies (the balance of the votes is undetermined due to unisex names, like "Pat"). That means that this year was one of the highest ever for female participation, nearly one in four.
This year's survey was truly international in scope, with votes coming in from approximately 23 different countries, which is a new record in itself. Canada and Nova Scotia showed up, along with England, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, plus Brazil, Spain, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, along with Belgium (love those waffles), Malaysia, Argentina, Scotland, the Bahamas, Japan, Wales, Italy, Ireland, and the North Mariana Islands. And this year my curiosity got the better of me, so I actually checked WHERE the North Mariana Islands are! Let's just say you can't get there from here...JUST JOKING!)
Now then, will all you nice boys and girls from Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming please mark your calendars to vote next year? EVERY other state checked in. Are you guys antisocial or something? And we're especially disappointed in Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota and Wyoming, who have now been invisible for TWO years in a row!
And will all you vote-stuffers with phony names or those ballot-stuffers from artist fan sites PUH-LEESE gimme a break next year and stay away! This thing is tough enough to figure out without having to weed out you trouble-makers! Grrrrrrrrr...!
I have to admit, though, that your terrific emails and comments are still what keeps me going. "Thanks again Mike and Happy Holidays!" says Matt Vandermast from New Jersey. New York's John Simon says "Thanks for doing this, guys!" for helping him remember songs you want to "grab a part of and sing along to." Hilary from Pennsylvania writes "Thank you for all your hard work compiling, sifting through and finally,listing everything. It has been said many times, but you are appreciated." And to Fred Clemens, who writes " Great job on the countdown this year. I especially like the presentation with the written commentary." And thank YOU, everybody!
As usual, compiling the votes made for some great and entertaining reading, as participants showed their personalities through their favorite songs. Arneil DeWitt of New Jersey "can still picture that Tuesday afternoon, hearing ("MacArthur Park") for the first time after running home from school in 1968...Nothing is better." He also mentions how he listened to "over 40 different Bing Crosby songs...his legacy deserves much better than his harmless spankings showed." Then he voted for Bing's "Dancing in the Dark" as number three. But maybe that title should be "Spankings in the Dark". (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
Ohio's Malcolm Spence voted for the song that "...on every given night, in any given bar, tavern, or honky-tonk, some band will be playing." Oh yeah, it's "Johnny B. Goode". And Mark Nemeth from North Carolina added the "WABC Ding!" to his voting.
Congratulations to Christine Brown of New Jersey, who was our first female voter this year and led the charge for nearly one of four votes being cast by the "fairer sex". And thanks to Tom Walheim from Delaware who recruited the four women in his house for Thanksgiving to vote in order to "improve the male/female participation ratio. These women really love popular music!"
Miss Andrea Leone Rioux from, as she wrote, "Salem - Witch Town, Massachusetts" kept it ALL female voting for Ms. Ross, the Chantels and Timi Yuro.
And it was always great to see "old friends" here who once again participated in our yearly celebration. Kudos to fellow "Survey Guy" Tom Natoli for feverishly rallying up the vote from co-workers and friends. Thanks Tom, but your greatest achievement was getting wife Barbara to participate. Good job!
Thanks to survey maven and trivia professor Rich Appel whose perfectly balanced voting honored the 70's ("Maggie May"), the 80's ("Back on the Chain Gang") and the 50's ("Lonely Boy"). But Rich, what happened to the 60's? No votes for the Lemon Pipers?
Local veteran New York/Long Island DJ and friend Kathy Cunningham liked "She Loves You", "Good Vibrations" and "Close to You". Thanks for voting, Kath! And ultimate pro and one of THE best air personalities in any format in any city, Pat. St. John, helped ensure that his favorite made our list again by voting for "The Twist" by one Mr. Checker (nee Evans).
Triva maven Larry Zamparelli from New York picked both Sonny and Cher ("I Got You Babe") and Cher ("The Way of Love") in his top three...good choices! Record maven Phil Gasperitis from New York remembered three classics in "Stairway to Heaven", "Hey Jude" and "My Girl". And sun maven "Big John" Libynski (Hi, John!) is still "hangin' out in the Arizona sun" with "Hey Jude" as his favorite.
"Kate" from Pennsylvania has been a "proud contributor since 1998" and Ken Ng from New York proclaims that this is his "sixth year of voting!" Thanks!
Steve Green from Pennsylvania once again commented in ways that had me thinking..."Hmmm...HUH?" with his description of "Roll With the Changes" as "A Martian who lands in Allantown and demands to know the difference between 'Rock and Roll' and "Rock" gets THIS piped through the earphones. A piano/keyboard links generations!" Could we have the world's new Casey Kasem in Steve? (I won't get into his other two descriptions!)
Site regular Mike Gallant from Tennessee led the charge for diva Diana and "Ain't No Mountain..." which "continues to get my number one vote each year". New York radio expert and WMCA lover John Porcaro voted for real classics in "Satisfaction", "Incense and Peppermints" and "Light My Fire". Site friend "Dr. Lou" Iacueo says he's "...still doing fine now (New York City's song) with my all New York top three, if we still consider Passaic, New Jersey (Shirelles) as (being) related to New York and...Miami (George McCrae) as the sixth borough." And frequent NY Radio Message Board contributor William Brown from NYC checked in, giving not only his favorite songs and artists, but also the year of their release AND the label and label number. Now THAT'S what I call complete voting! Albert from California joined in the parade for accuracy by giving the chart numbers of the songs he liked.
UFO town Roswell, New Mexico was remembered by Ken Case but NOT with any songs from native John Denver. And Pressley remembered the Beatles, as Rita Pressley from Pennsylvania voted for "Hey Jude" ("...still my fave after all these years.")
The late, great stars we lost in 2003 were honored with lots of votes, led by Bill Langill's choice of the Righteous Brothers appropriately titled "Rock and Roll Heaven" as his number three favorite. Rich Klein from Texas feted Johnny Cash, the Righteous Brothers and the Bee Gees. Greg Dennis from New York added Robert Palmer and Warren Zevon to the mix. "Frank" from New Jersey honored "Purple People Eater" Sheb Wooley.
And, um, guys and gals, you really SHOULD know the correct titles and artists of your favorite songs. "Grazing in the Grass" is by the Friends of Distinction, NOT the "Brothers of Exincsion". ("I think that's their name." claimed Craig from Sayville.)
"Big Ed" Edwards from WTMY in Florida invoked the humor of another "big" DJ, "Big Dan Ingram" in dedicating his vote for "Burning Love" ("...to the girls at the free clinic.") All I can say to that is "Ah-ha-ha, kemosabe!"
And those mixes! Ricky Cortez's faves include the Vogues' "Turn Around Look at Me", Captain and Tennilles' "Love Will Keep Us Together" and...and..."IN DA CLUB" by 50 Cent! Er..some people wouldn't give you a plugged nickel for THAT choice, Ricky! William E, Simon from Wales loves the classic Doors' "Light My Fire" and...JANE MORGAN (!) with "Love Makes the World Go Round". Mike Langan from New Jersey sure mixed it up with foreign hit "Morgen" (NOT Jane) as number one and "Revolution #9"...number nine, number nine as his number three, number three, number three...
Stu Dolgon from New Jersey voted for "Back When My Hair Was Short" by Gunhill Road even though, as he says, "OK, so my hair was never long!" Regular voter Hilary from Pennsylvania loves both the Stones' "Let It Bleed" and Benny Goodman's "Moonglow". And let's not forget New York's Alex Zweyck's votes for smoothies "Mack the Knife", "One for My Baby, One for the Road" and..."OOPS I DID IT AGAIN" (!). HUH? Britney isn't THAT cute, Alex...or is she? And oh yes, we can't forget Tennessee's Justin Griffin who mixed Queen, Louis Armstrong and a symphony orchestra in his voting!
Who would ever think that some of these lesser-known choices would pop up as top three favorites? New York's Alan Seltzer's unique number one is "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" by the Beatles. Larry Huston from Ohio checked in with "Jennifer Tomkins" by the Street People and "Moonflight" from Vik Venus (late WMCA DJ Jack Spector). Lucia Martins from Brazil voted for "Oh Susannah" by the Singing Dogs (!). Michigan's Ray Gallagher liked "Do It Again Just a Little Bit Slower" by Jon and Robin. And Chris Krouse from Minnesota remembered the obsure 60's group People, which was fine. But seeing him type his number one song as "I love you people" could only make me smile and want to say, "Thanks, Chris, and we love you too, man! But you still can't have our Bud."
Andy Agree from Virginia wanted to know if any of us remember his number two and three picks, "I Do Love You" by Billy Stewart and "Brown Eyed Woman" by Bill Medley. Andy, I think we can all "agree" that we do remember those songs. And Billy Guzman of Tennessee REALLY got into the holiday mood by voting Andy Williams' "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" as his number two favorite.
Jim and Deb Cizinski from Minnesota remembered the 60's with some great songs from the Animals, Doors, Stones, Small Faces, Status Quo and Troggs. And Frank Bowen from Florida checked in with some great "lost hits" from that decade with votes for "Who Do You Love" (Sapphires - 1964) and "That's the Only Way" (Four Seasons - 1963).
New York's Michael Suhovsky remembered the 70's with songs he loved that some may not remember as fondly with votes for "Disco Duck" and "Kung Fu Fighting". Betsy Hahn from New Jersey probably just started on page one of the rock and roll encyclopedia as she voted for "Ain't No Sunshine", "Always and Forever" and "Angie". Next year, she'll go to the B's.
Our voters showed their "mensa" side with some ingenius voting patterns. Led by Dave Coyle of California, who must have stayed up all night to vote for a top ten recognizing different cultures with each entry "Little Latin Lupe Lu", "Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud", "Indian Reservation", "Turning Japanese", "Ahab the Arab", "Girl from Ipanema", "Viva Tirado", "Soul Makossa", "Island Girl" and "China Girl". Great job, Dave, but only your top three counted in the tally. And Enrique Ramirez kept things Spanish with Santana, the Hombres and Los Bravos.
Themes proved big, too, as Susan Paul from sunny California celebrated summer with "Hot Fun in the Summertime", "Summer in the City" and "Summer Rain". Artie Katz from Tennessee says he lived in New York City from '72 to '76 listening to great stations like WABC and WFIL (Philadelpha) and so, being 49 years old, chose only from the songs that were #49 for the year from that time period. (He picked "Sylvia's Mother", "Little Willie", and "Beach Baby".) New Jersey's Arthur Merchant picked his faves out of the best of 1963, 1973 and 1983. "Lou" from Patterson, New York chose only love songs in his top three, led by - what else - "American Pie". But is that a "love song"? Hmm, maybe I'm missing something here...
Wendy Waldman from New Jersey "played the horses" with her votes for "A Horse with No Name", "The Horse" and "Wildfire". Ginger from Maryland prefers dogs, which she showed by voting for "I'll Be Doggone", "Hound Dog" and "Walkin' the Dog".
April Muller from California celebrated Tuesday by voting for two of the only "Tuesday" songs ever to make the chart, "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Ruby Tuesday". Adam Chen from New York prefers years instead, specifically "'65 Love Affair" and "Summer of '69". New Jersey's Matt Fischer likes any old day, voting for "Turn Down Day", "Day By Day" and "Eight Days a Week".
Don Johnson from Brooklyn took a break from Melanie Griffith to vote four times for fifteen different songs, all good songs, Don, but only three of them counted. We're glad New Jersey's Steve Sigman found "time" to vote for "Time in a Bottle", "Time of the Season" and "Time Is on My Side". Alicia Weschler from New Jersey likes both "My Girl" and "My Guy". But why no votes for AC/DC? (I couldn't resist.) And William Shaw from Florida "can't help" voting for "I Can't Help Myself" and "Can't Help Falling in Love".
With a name like "PsychoScott" (from New Jersey), shouldn't he have voted for Napoleon XIV and "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!"? Ah, and we heard from the good reverend Father Joseph Zurmuehl. It's interesting enough that he of the Lord voted for "Superstition", but the town he's from "Dacula" (with no "r") in Georgia evokes thoughts of other creatures from down below!
Massachusetts' Betty Joel likes not Billy but Diana as she votes for three songs from Diane Earle (Diana Ross).
Jeff Sherman from the Bronx said "Please let's hope "Hey Jude" is not number one again. Great song...but it has worn (itself) out on the survey". And "Big Sal" Arnez from Virginia joined in by pleading not to have "Hey Jude" repeat as number one "...over and over and over for so many years. It's a good song but come on now." Sorry, Jeff and "Big Sal", but I just count 'em as I see 'em and let the songs fall where they may. This survey is 100% accurate from your votes! But the GOOD news for your family, "Big Sal", is that ALL THREE of your choices ("Good Vibrations", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Stairway to Heaven") finished in our top 15. And besides, not everyone agreed with you guys. Georgia's Dave Cranmer voted for "Hey Jude" as number one, calling it "the greatest, no matter what!" Huh, I wonder where it wound up?
Virginia from Boston, a Dylan fan, is confused that "Like a Rolling Stone" is his only song to ever make the list, and adds her surprise that "One" by U2 hasn't surfaced yet. True, Virginia, in fact, U2 has NEVER made our list wit ANY of their songs! Interesting, huh?
Tom Gaffney from New Jersey also picked some Top 77 winners in "Satisfaction", "MacArthur Park" and "American Pie" and wins the vote for this year's most typical Top 77 voter. Those songs have been consistent winners on our list every single year.
So, thanks to all of you for voting. Now let's get to the results, already! Once again, here's a reminder of how this list was compiled. Voters were asked to choose their three all-time favorite songs from any era, not just the years that WABC was a music station. Songs that got votes received three points if they were voted as a number one favorite, two points as a number two favorite, or one point as a number three favorite. Points were tallied and those songs with the most votes were ranked highest. The number of people who voted for each song was also factored in with a variably weighted system for the final ranking. Ties were broken based on the number of voters for each song, then by the number of #1, #2 and #3 votes for the song, and finally, if still tied, by the higher ranking song on the WABC and national surveys.
SO let's get down to it...the envelope, please, maestro!
MUSICRADIO77 WEB SITE ALL TIME TOP 77
www.musicradio77.com98/99/00/01/02/03 --/--/--/--/--/77.*A HARD DAYS NIGHT - Beatles (1964) --/--/--/--/--/76. BROWN-EYED GIRL - Van Morrison (1967) --/--/--/--/--/75. PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN - STATUS QUO (1968) 65/68/--/--/--/74.*I CAN'T HELP MYSELF Four Tops (1965) 53/--/--/26/76/73.*THE TWIST - Chubby Checker (1960/1962) --/--/--/--/--/72. THUNDER ROAD - Bruce Springsteen (1975 - LP cut) --/--/40/17/--/71. GOD ONLY KNOWS - Beach Boys (1966) --/--/--/71/--/70. MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS - Grass Roots (1968) --/56/61/--/--/69. HOTEL CALIFORNIA - Eagles (1977) --/--/--/36/--/68.*HONKY TONK WOMEN - Rolling Stones (1969) --/--/--/--/--/67.*GET BACK - Beatles (with Billy Preston) (1969) --/--/--/--/--/66. WILDFIRE - Michael Murphey ((1975) --/--/--/68/--/65.*STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT - Frank Sinatra (1966) 58/--/--/--/--/64.*NIGHT FEVER - Bee Gees --/--/--/60/--/63. MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY - Spiral Starecase (1969) 9/74/73/--/73/62.*JAZZMAN - Carole King (1974) --/--/--/--/--/61.*SILLY LOVE SONGS - Wings (1976) --/--/--/--/--/60. THIS I SWEAR - Skyliners (1959) 40/--/30/--/--/59.*CHERISH - Association (1966) --/ 4/18/--/21/58. BEYOND THE SEA - Bobby Darin (1960) --/--/--/--/--/57. ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK - Bill Haley & the Comets (1955) --/--/--/--/--/56. BAND ON THE RUN - Wings (1974) --/--/--/--/--/55.*LIGHTNING STIKES - Lou Christie (1966) --/14/35/13/37/54. BECAUSE - Dave Clark Five (1964) 60/--/--/--/--/53. DAWN (GO AWAY) - Four Seasons (1964) --/--/46/--/--/52.*OH PRETTY WOMAN! Roy Orbison (1964) --/--/--/--/18/51. DAY AFTER DAY - Badfinger (1972) --/37/41/76/--/50.*PENNY LANE - Beatles (1967) --/--/--/75/--/49.*HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN - Animals --/--/45/25/--/48. LIFE IS A ROCK (BUT THE RADIO ROLLED ME) - Reunion (1974) --/--/--/ 8/--/47. THEME FROM "NEW YORK NEW YORK" - Frank Sinatra (1980) --/--/--/--/--/46.*CRIMSON AND CLOVER - Tommy James & the Shondells (1969) --/--/--/--/--/45. HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE - - Beatles (1966) (from the LP Revolver") --/--/--/--/--/44. YOU BELONG TO ME - Dupress (1962) --/--/--/--/--/43.*RUNAROUND SUE - Dion (1961) --/--/--/--/--/42. LONG AND WINDING ROAD - Beatles (1970) --/--/--/66/--/41. WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN - Who (1971) --/60/--/22/30/40.*YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING - Righteous Brothers (1965) 49/ 2/15/--/--/39. MACK THE KNIFE - Bobbt Darin (1959) --/47/--/--/65/38.*TURN! TURN! TURN! (TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON- Byrds (1965) --/23/26/52/12/37.*INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS - Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967) 24/--/44/53/62/36. LAYLA - Derek & the Dominos (1971/1972) --/--/69/--/48/35.*CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION - Tommy James & the Shondells (1969) --/34/--/28/--/34. BORN TO RUN - Bruce Springsteen (1975) --/58/34/56/22/33.*RAG DOLL - Four Seasons (1964) --/42/16/35/--/32. I WONDER WHY - Dion & the Belmonts (1958) --/--/--/31/24/31.*MAGGIE MAY - Road Stewart (1971) --/--/ 6/ 7/28/30. BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME - Gladys Knight & the Pips (1974) 38/--/68/--/--/29.*BE MY BABY - Ronettes (1963) 27/25/24/34/71/28.*NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN - Moody Blues (1972) 36/--/37/40/20/27. TAXI - Harry Chapin (1972) 48/--/--/33/43/26. IN MY LIFE - Beatles (1966) (from the LP "Rubber Soul") 3/12/62/72/--/25. MY GIRL - Temptations (1965) --/--/32/41/57/24.*YESTERDAY - Beatles (1965) --/32/21/59/16/23. LIKE A ROLLING STONE - Bob Dylan (1965) 12/43/--/16/27/22. A DAY IN THE LIFE - BEATLES (1967) (from the LP "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) --/--/--/24/26/21. MY SWEET LORD - George Harrison (1970) --/--/--/--/60/20. SOMETHING - Beatles (1969) --/30/--/--/--/19. STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER - Beatles (1967) --/57/--/--/40/18.*THE RAIN, THE PARK AND OTHER THINGS - Cowsills (1967) 19/52/59/64/47/17.*BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER - Simon & Garfunkel (1970) --/20/27/21/17/16. UNCHAINED MELODY - Righteous Brothers (1965/1990) --/--/--/--/--/15. MAYBE I'M AMAZED - Paul McCartney (1970) - (from the LP "McCartney") 23/ 7/13/18/23/14. GOOD VIBRATIONS - Beach Boys (1966) 4/ 9/14/20/19/13.*SHE LOVES YOU - Beatles (1964) 25/61/12/ 9/10/12. IMAGINE - John Lennon (1971) 8/ 8/10/12/13/11. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN - Led Zeppelin (1971) (from the unofficially titled LP "Led Zeppelin IV") 15/ 5/ 3/10/ 5/10.*AMERICAN PIE - Don McLean (1972) 2/ 3/ 9/15/11/ 9.*LIGHT MY FIRE - Doors (1967) 17/11/ 2/ 2/ 6/ 8. IN THE STILL OF THE NITE - Five Satins (1956) 16/18/11/ 6/ 8/ 7.*A HORSE WITH NO NAME - America (1972) 5/16/ 8/ 4/ 2/ 6.*(I CAN'T GET NO) SATISFACTION - Rolling Stones (1965) 10/10/ 7/14/15/ 5.*I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND - Beatles (1964) 56/--/53/19/14/ 4.*LET IT BE - Beatles (1970) 14/17/ 4/ 5/ 3/ 3. MACARTHUR PARK - Richard Harris (1968) 6/ 6/ 5/ 3/ 7/ 2.*AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH - Diana Ross (1970)
"WABC Heavy Hit One!"
1/ 1/ 1/ 1/ 1/ 1.*HEY JUDE - Beatles (1968) (SIXTH straight year at #1)Asterisks (*) indicate a former #1 song on the WABC weekly survey.
Analysis by Mike Riccio
There you have it!
The official WABC Musicradio77 Web Site Top Hit
2003 Edition - As voted by you!
With the sixth year of voting now under our belt,
I changed the columns above so that you can
see the entire history of each song on this year's Top 77.
What an interesting year of voting it was! This year out of the top 77, five songs came from the 50's, one from the 80's, and none from the 90's or from this decade. 45 of the Top 77 were 1960's hits and 26 were songs out of the 1970's. So it's obvious that the 1960's remain a strong decade for voters. Overall, there were 36 former WABC number one songs that made the Top 77, which is a hefty 46.8% of the total.
I really thought that this could be the year that "Hey Jude" was overtaken as #1, since it came so close to being dethroned last year. Boy, was I wrong! From day one of the voting, this song just overwhelmed the competition, in the end grabbing nearly three times the amount of voters over its closest competition. It was their only number one song in 1968, but "Hey Jude" remains an incredibly popular Beatles hit to this day. In addition, 61 of the Fab Four's songs received votes, with 14 of their songs ending up in the Top 77 and another five individual songs also making the final cut. That means that nearly 25% of the survey this year was made up of "Beatle" music. The fact that three of the top five belong to the Beatles is likely a reflection of their popularity in light of the just-released "Let It Be...Naked" CD.
Our site visitors really love both "MacArthur Park" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", with these two songs along with "Satisfaction" proving to be strong vote-getters every year. It's also amazing to see the continued strength of "A Horse with No Name" at this site's poll. Although it was a number one hit in 1972, it rarely shows up as a top song on other "all time" surveys. For us, it's in its sixth straight year in the top 20.
As for othe surprises...? "Maybe I'm Amazed" at #15 is an interesting first time entry, although this was spurred by both the Beatles new CD and the Paul McCartney ("Macca") fan clubs. The Cowsills fan club helped push "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" to new heights.
It was nice to see the classics hang in there ("American Pie", "In the Still of the Nite", "Unchained Melody", "Good Vibrations", "She Loves You", "Imagine", etc). And it was great to see some of those classics jump back way up on the list, like "My Girl" which returns this year to the top 25 and "Bridge Over Troubled Water", boosted by Simon and Garfunkel's reunion, which moves to #17 from #47 last year. "Be My Baby" and "I Wonder Why" return in a big way. The Who are back with "Won't Get Fooled Again". And how about "Nights in White Satin"? It jumps WAY up from #28, a position closer to where it has usually ended up, after mysteriously dropping to #71 last year. It was also great to see the return of "Born to Run" and "Mack the Knife" to the Top 77.
From the "Gee we hardly noticed you were gone" file, it was interesting to see first time entries that I bet we all thought were here all along...like "You Belong to Me" (Duprees), "Runaround Sue" (Dion), and "Lightning Strikes" (Lou Christie). Nope, they were all first-timers this year. And it's about time you recognized one of rock's all time great hits, as "Rock Around the Clock" FINALLY cracks the survey at #57.
As for "goodbyes", well, it was nice to know you, "Bang a Gong", but after a remarkable debut at #4 last year, it's NOWHERE to be found this year. Also, "I Love You" from the Climax Blues Band drops off the list completely after two years at #11 and then #9.
This year's "Missed It By THAT Much" award goes to "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) from Looking Glass, which narrowly missed making the list, dropping to #78 after landing at #54 last year. The newest song to almost make the list this year is the current hit from Outkast "Hey Ya!". And again this year, I must mention the foreign hit "Remember Me" by Rita Pavone. For the fourth straight time this international hit just missed making the survey as worldwide voters continued to include her among their favorites. In fact, if not for some Rita ballot-stuffers, the song may have even made the Top 77.
But if you really want to know, the BIGGEST shocker of all for me, if you've yet to figure it out...is that for the SECOND time in six years, there is NO Elvis music to be found in the Top 77 ("Don't Be Cruel" finished in the top 100). Now how do you explain THAT?
Here are some specific breakdowns based on ALL votes, not just the Top 77 portion of the survey:
Here are the top states by percent of overall votes:1. New York (21.6%) 2. New Jersey (20.7%) 3. California (5.4%) 4. Pennsylvania (5.3%) 5. Florida (4.1%) 6. Connecticut (3.6%) 7. Tennessee (3.0%) 8. Virginia (2.9%) 9. (tie) Minnesota and Texas (2.4%) 10.Ohio (2.1%)
This year Virginia returns to the top ten, and California switches places with Pennsylvania. New York votes were down, but New Jersey votes were up this year. Minnesota and Texas are the new entries. Massachusetts, Indiana and Georgia drop off.
1. Beatles (1) 61 songs 2. Rolling Stones (2) 25 songs 3. Paul McCartney/Wings (--) 17 songs 4. Elvis Presley (4) 17 songs 5. Beach Boys (3) 14 songs 6. Four Seasons (8) 10 songs 7. Bee Gees (--) 10 songs 8. Elton John (6)10 songs 9. Supremes (5) 10 songs 10.Dion/Dion & Belmonts (--) 8 songs
Ties were broken by top total points.
Last year's position is in brackets.
This year, Billy Joel, the Dave Clark Five and Frank Sinatra dropped out of the top ten.
Top Hits by Decade
1950s (6.6% of the vote)
1. In the Still of the Nite - Five Satins (1956) 2. I Wonder Why - Dion & the Belmonts (1958) 3. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin (1959) 4. Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & the Comets (1955) 5. This I Swear - Skyliners (1959) 6. Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley (1956) 7. Since I Don't Have You - Skyliners (1959) 8. I Only Have Eyes for You - Flamingos (1959) 9. That's My Desire - Dion & the Belmonts (1958) 10.Venus - Frankie Avalon (1959)
1. Hey Jude - Beatles (1968) 2. MacArthur Park - Richard Harris (1968) 3. I Want to Hold Your Hand - Beatles (1964) 4. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones 5. Light My Fire - Doors (1967) 6. She Loves You - Beatles (1964) 7. Good Vibrations - Beach Boys (1966) 8. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers (1965) 9. The Rain, the Park and Other Things - Cowsills (1967) 10.Something - Beatles (1969)
1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross (1970) 2. Let It Be - Beatles (1970) 3. A Horse with No Name - America (1972) 4. American Pie - Don McLean (1972) 5. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin (1971) 6. Imagine - John Lennon (1971) 7. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney (1970) 8. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel (1970) 9. My Sweet Lord - George Harrison (1970) 10.Taxi - Harry Chapin (1972)
It's interesting to note that every top ten song from the 1970's is from 1970, 1971, or 1972.
1. Theme from "New York New York" - Frank Sinatra (1980) 2. Careless Whisper - Wham (1985) 3. Endless Love - Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (1981) 4. Rapture - Blondie (1981) 5. When Doves Cry - Prince (1984)
The remaining votes were too scattered to list a balance of the top ten.
1990s (3.6% of the vote)
1. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers (1990) 2. Smooth - Santana featuring Rob Thomas (1999) 3. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana (1992) 4. Unforgettable - Nat and Natalie Cole (1991) 5. The Power of Love - Celine Dion (1994)
The remaining votes were too scattered to list a balance of the top ten.
(4.5% of the vote) 1. Hey Ya! - Outkast (2003) 2. In Da Club - 50 Cent (2003) 3. Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake (2003) 4. Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne (2003) 5. Oops, I Did It Again! Britney Spears (2000)
The remaining votes were too scattered to list a balance of the top ten.
And with that, we wrap up another year of voting, and yet another terrific "All Time Top 77". As I always must do, my thanks go to this site's program manager, Allan Sniffen and to fellow "Survey Guy" Tom Natoli for their input and advice on various questions as my work progressed with the survey. Thanks to all the "survey detectives" who helped me snoop out the ballot stuffers. And, of course, thanks to all of you who voted and sent me comments, encouragement and good wishes during the voting period. As I say over and over again, your enthusiastic response is the main reason that I continue with this massive project each year. When your interest in it disappears, my enthusiasm to continue compiling this list will also diminish. So, again, thanks to all of you who participated in making this as much of a tradition for us as were the WABC top 100's of the year.
And please take time to send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments at the New York Radio Message Board. I'd love to read them!
Now, it's time for me to catch some zzzzz's, relax, read, or do just about anything BUT count survey votes until next year, same time, same station! Whew!
Mike Riccio (MusicRadio77.com "Survey Guy")
WABC Musicradio 77 Home Page