The 2000 Musicradio 77 Web Site All Time Favorite Hits

Commentary and analysis by Mike Riccio

(as voted by site visitors 11/13/00 through 12/17/00)

Three times a charm?

The third annual Top 77 All Time Favorite list as voted by site visitors!


First of all, I must acknowledge the help of fellow “Survey Guy” Tom Natoli, without whom this list would probably not even have happened this year. If not for Tom’s guidance with Excel in helping me develop a program that could calculate all involved with this survey, and without his expert input on calculating the numbers and which systems to use, I likely could have been totally overwhelmed by the hours and hours necessary to do this right. So thanks, Tom!

This year’s voting turned out to be the most interesting to date, with the votes staying close throughout on nearly every position except for the songs that finished numbers one and two. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about “Oh Wow” songs or “Lost Hits”, and curiously enough, there were plenty of them getting votes. How nice it would be to hear more songs like “Junior’s Farm” (McCartney), “Get Dancin’” (Disco Tex), “Mr. Businessman” (Ray Stevens), “Last Song” (Edward Bear) and “Ma Belle Amie” (Tee Set), just to name a few of the vote-getters.

Also interesting were the less popular songs that were voted for by popular artists. Most people remember artists like the Shangri-las, Neil Diamond and the Moody Blues, but how many people remember “Give Us Your Blessing”, “Desiree” and “Guessing Game” by those artists? Yet many songs like this got the votes this year; however in the end, the biggest hits prevailed.

The ballot stuffers were at it again (guess they’ll never learn they can’t beat the “Survey Detectives” - LOL), so although fans of America, Guess Who, the Dave Clark Five and several others proved to be a feisty bunch, they actually cost their favorite groups points as many of their votes were thrown out. So, as Nick from New Jersey asked, NO, “dimpled chads” did not count, but ballot stuffers WERE deep sixed!

Legitimate votes came in on a fairly regular basis (except for the last minute procrastinators who kept me counting to the end!). Some 43 states were heard from (we missed you guys in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Wyoming). And we were happy to hear from our friends in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, The Netherlands, and others. By the final count, just under 2000 individual votes were counted. And men outvoted women 69.8% to 23.5% (the balance was undetermined due to unisex first names).

Once again, the reward of doing this comes from some of the wonderful comments made. Augi wrote “Thank you...I lived it and I loved it...I didn’t know that anyone else remembered.” And Pete commented how the songs he voted for “...would always cause me to turn up the radio, roll down the window...and...sing along to the best of my limited ability.” Joe wrote “Long live the memory of WABC Musicradio...This web site is a real treasure.” Gee, thanks Joe! That’s exactly why we do it!

And thanks to Doug and others who think this survey is “...a great idea! I hope you continue to do this every year along with WABC’s Rewound show every Memorial Day.” And Lynn K hopes this stays an “annual tradition”. OK, guys, I’ll do my best until I collapse from the exhaustion of counting all these votes!

To Tom from Plano, Texas who remembers traveling to Rhode Island and getting his dad to turn on WABC once he got to Philly, you’re right, all the great music stations of the 60's ARE now talk, it seems. But thanks for the compliments and for reminding us how “when I listen to the jingles and airchecks (at the site)’s 1962 again!”

And, of course, it’s always amazing to see the mix of favorites any one individual voted for. Some of the more interesting mixes this year? Well,how about the voter who choose two Ringo songs, but not both from the ex-Beatle. His number two song voted for was “Ringo” by Lorne Greene. Number three was “Oh My My” by the real Ringo. Different era votes coupled together included the Foo Fighters with Donna Summer, the Poppy Family and Will Smith, Sam Cooke and Hootie and the Blowfish, Robert Mitchum and Pink Floyd and Petula Clark and AC/DC just to name a few. It showed a definite trend that, unlike what seems to be a common belief, listeners are not locked into just one era, but enjoy and listen to music of the 50's and 60's ALONG WITH hits from the last ten years and current hits. Anyone interested in revitalizing the Musicradio concept?

Kudos to all of you who voted for, and reminded us of, some of the GREAT instrumentals that we hardly ever hear anymore, like “Our Winter Love”, “A Taste of Honey”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Joy”, “Music to Watch Girls By”, “Rise” and so many others.

To site regular and Canadian neighbor Dale Patterson, thanks for voting for “Canadian content”, but I doubt Bobby Curtola will EVER make the survey. But Dale was in good company with the large amount of industry professionals who visit the site and voted in this survey. Looking at the email addresses confirms how this site is well-read by industry pros as well as the general public.

Here’s an understanding word to all those who mentioned how tough it was to pick just three favorites, and to those who voted for as many as 20 extra songs for “honorable mentions”. I know, I know, and I sympathize with the dilemma, but if you voted for more than three songs I’d need a year to figure out the results! Oh, yeah, and thanks to those who listed their LEAST favorite songs, but that’s a whole other survey!

And finally, to Roland from Colorado, who voted in honor of his daughter for a Rod Stewart song that sums up the reason LOTS of us treasure the memories of Musicradio. Yes, indeed, it helps keep a part of us “Forever Young”.

Once again, here are the nuts and bolts of how this was tabulated this year. I used a reverse point system for voters who listed an order for their favorites. #1 got three points, #2 got two points, and #3 got one point. For all those songs listed in no special order, I assigned two points. Points were then added up for the final result. Ties were broken based on the number of voters for each song, then the number of #1 votes for the song, and finally, if still tied, by the higher ranking song from the WABC surveys.

So, with no further delay, once again I’m proud to present your 2000 Top 77 Favorites. Let’s “scroll ‘em down” from #77 to #1.


2000 edition

(98)(99)(00)      Title         Artist       (Year)

(–-)(–-) 77. Whispering Bells - Dell-Vikings (1957)
(–-)(–-) 76. Little Darlin’ - Diamonds (1957)
(–-)(–-) 75. Smooth - Santana with Rob Thomas (1999)
(–-)(–-) 74. Gloria - Shadows of Knight (1966)
( 9)(74) 73.*Jazzman - Carole King (1974)
(67)(--) 72. Mr. Tambourine Man - Byrds (1965)
(–-)(--) 71.*Dancing in the Street - Martha & the Vandellas (1964)
(66)(--) 70. Twist and Shout - Beatles (1964)
(–-)(--) 69.*Crystal Blue Persuasion  - Tommy James & the Shondells
(38)(--) 68.*Be My Baby - Ronettes (1963)
(–-)(–-) 67. She’s My Girl - Turtles (1967)
(–-)(--) 66. A Must to Avoid - Herman's Hermits (1966)
(–-)(–-) 65.*American Woman - Guess Who (1970)
(–-)(--) 64.*Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu) - Paul Mauriat (1968)
(–-)(--) 63. Hello It's Me - Todd Rundgren (1973)
( 3)(12) 62. My Girl - Temptations (1965)
(–-)(56) 61. Hotel California - Eagles (1977)
(20)(--) 60.*Runaway - Del Shannon (1961)
(19)(52) 59.*Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
(–-)(--) 58. She's a Beauty - Tubes (1983)
(–-)(--) 57. Make It Happen - Mariah Carey (1992)
(–-)(38) 56.*Will You Love Me Tomorrow - Shirelles (1961)
(62)(13) 55. Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five (1964)
(–-)(--) 54. Go All the Way - Raspberries (1972)
(56)(--) 53.*Let it Be - Beatles (1970)
(–-)(35) 52. (I Wanna) Testify - Parliaments (1967)
(–-)(--) 51. Mr. Dieingly Sad - Critters (1966)
(–-)(--) 50.*Stoned Soul Picnic - Fifth Dimension (1968)
(–-)(--) 49. Time Has Come Today - Chambers Brothers (1968)
(–-)(--) 48. A Little More Love - Olivia Newton-John (1979)
(–-)(--) 47. Get Ready - Rare Earth (1970)
(–-)(--) 46.*Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison (1964)
(–-)(--) 45. Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion (1974)
(24)(--) 44. Layla - Derek & the Dominoes (1971, 1972)
(57)(--) 43.*Groovin' - Young Rascals (1967)
(–-)(--) 42.*Joy to the World - Three Dog Night (1971)
(–-)(-–) 41. Run Run Run - Third Rail (1967)
(–-)(--) 40. God Only Knows - Beach Boys (1966)
(–-)(40) 39.*A Hard Days Night - Beatles (1964)
(–-)(--) 38.*Kiss and Say Goodbye - Manhattans (1976)
(36)(--) 37. Taxi - Harry Chapin (1972)
(–-)(65) 36. Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley (1962)
(–-)(14) 35. Because - Dave Clark Five (1964)
(–-)(58) 34.*Rag Doll - Four Seasons (1964)
(–-)(--) 33.*I Feel Fine - Beatles (1964)
(–-)(--) 32.*Yesterday - Beatles (1965)
(32)(44) 31. He's a Rebel - Crystals (1962)
(40)(--) 30.*Cherish - Association (1966)
(–-)(--) 29. Always and Forever - Heatwave (1978)
(–-)(--) 28. Ventura Highway - America (1972)
(–-)(20) 27. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers (1965, 1990)
(–-)(23) 26.*Incense and Peppermints - Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967)
(–-)(--) 25. Can't Find the Time - Orpheus (1969)
(27)(25) 24.*Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues (1972)
(–-)(--) 23. Jumping Jack Flash - Rolling Stones (1968)
( 7)(15) 22.*I Honestly Love You - Olivia Newton-John (1974)
(–-)(32) 21. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (1965)
(–-)(39) 20. Like to Get to Know You - Spanky & Our Gang (1968)
(35)(28) 19. Since I Don't Have You - Skyliners (1959)
(–-)( 4) 18. Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin (1960)
(42)(--) 17. I Only Have Eyes for You - Flamingos (1959)
(–-)(42) 16. I Wonder Why - Dion & the Belmonts (1958)
(49)( 2) 15. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin (1959)
( 4)( 9) 14.*She Loves You - Beatles (1964)
(23)( 7) 13. Good Vibrations - Beach Boys (1966)
(25)(61) 12. Imagine - John Lennon (1971)
(16)(18) 11.*A Horse with No Name - America (1972)
( 8)( 8) 10. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin (from the LP
             "Led Zeppelin IV") (1972)
( 2)( 3)  9.*Light My Fire - Doors (1967)
( 5)(16)  8.*(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones (1965)
(10)(10)  7.*I Want to Hold Your Hand - Beatles (1964)
(-–)(--)  6. Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me - Gladys Knight
             & the Pips (1974)
( 6)( 6)  5.*Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross (1970)
(14)(17)  4. MacArthur Park - Richard Harris (1968)
(15)(5)   3.*American Pie - Don McLean (1972)
(17)(11)  2. In the Still of the Nite - Five Satins (1956)

(WABC fanfare please...!) "It's Now Number One, On 77...WABC...!"

( 1)( 1)  1.*Hey Jude - Beatles (1968)

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 List -
2000 Edition - As voted by you!


Some interesting points:

This year, I added the position each song ranked over the last two surveys for easy comparison. Some immediate thoughts? Well, once again “Hey Jude” was a solid number one from about the second week of voting on through the end. Although the Five Satins made it interesting at some points, “Hey Jude” never really had a serious challenge. This is truly a monster hit of rock and roll.

But how about “In the Still of the Nite”? This year, it finished a solid #2. And each year it keeps getting stronger and stronger. This is amazing considering the song is now 44 years old, and it reasserts that this song is indeed an all-time superhit.

It’s amazing how the “classics” hang in there every year. “American Pie”, “MacArthur Park”, “Satisfaction”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” “Stairway to Heaven”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and others just keep strong every single year.

And surprises? Will someone tell me where “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” by Gladys Knight came from? Wow! This one was a real contender for the top three right from the beginning. Yet it never even showed up on our other lists.

Some songs showed a resurgence this year, as Lennon’s “Imagine” moved from #61 to #25. But almost none of his other hits were voted for, most noticeably “Woman”. The Flamingos were back in a strong way with four songs voted for, and “I Only Have Eyes for You” moving back on the list to #17. And the Stones’ “Jumping Jack Flash” finally made it to the survey coming on strong at #23. And “Layla”’s back, after an unexplained absence last year. This classic moves up to #44. Another surprise is "Like To Get To Know You" which was a relatively minor hit. It has now ranked on our list for the second straight year.  This year it's up to #20!  

Many “turntable hits” made the survey this year. Orpheus at #25, Heatwave at #29 and Harry Chapin at #37 represent a nice cross-section of listener favorites that were never really big survey hits. But where’s
the “turntable hit” champ, “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison?

For those curious souls, the “Missed It By THAT Much” award goes to “Beginnings” by Chicago, our #78 song this year.

And, of course, no survey would be complete without the “HUH???” award. This year, it goes to two songs...the ones that make you wonder HOW they made the list at all against such stiff competition. SO to #41 “Run Run Run” and to #45 “Life Is a Rock...”, I say “huhhhhhh????”

Biggest jump on the list this year was obviously Gladys Knight at #6. Biggest drop-off from the list last year was “It’s Too Late” by Carole King which went from #11 to #19 to OFF over the last three surveys (Looks like Olivia Newton-John is the new female vocal champ with six songs voted for.) And speaking of drop-off, could “My Girl” really be getting worn out? It dropped from #3 to #12 to #62 this year.

“Smooth” by Santana takes the honors as the most recent song to make the list, but another 90's artist, Mariah Carey, checked in strong with many songs and “Make It Happen” getting to #57. And The Tubes' "She's a Beauty" joins these two songs as post-Musicradio 77 releases that made the survey.

And although we’re into a new century, The Beatles are proving their lasting power and why they are rock legends as 44 Beatle songs were voted for by site visitors. And that number decimated the competition. They are truly, according to our voters, the group for all ages.

Here are some more detailed breakdowns, based on ALL the songs voted for, not just the Top 77:


Who voted?

Here are the top states by percent of overall votes:

1. New York (37.1%)
2. New Jersey (17.4%)
3. California (4.9%)
4. Connecticut (4.3%)
4. Pennsylvania (4.3%)
6. Florida (3.9%)
7. Virginia (2.0%)
8. New Hampshire (1.8%)
9. Massachusetts (1.7%)
10. Tennessee (1.4%)
Analysis by Mike Riccio



Top Vote-Getters by Artist
(Last Year's Position in Brackets)

1. The Beatles (1) 44 songs
2. The Rolling Stones (3) 15 songs
3. Elvis Presley (4) 14 songs
4. The Beach Boys (2) 12 songs
5. The Four Seasons (6) 11 songs
6. Madonna (–-) 10 songs 
7. Chicago (10) 7 songs
8. Olivia Newton-John (—-) 6 songs
9. The Dave Clark Five (5) 6 songs
10.Three Dog Night (–-) 6 songs
Analysis by Mike Riccio

Note that neither Madonna or Chicago had a song in the Top 77, even
though both made the top 10 of artists voted for.



Top Hits by Decade
 1. In the Still of the Nite - Five Satins (1956)
 2. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin (1959)
 3. I Wonder Why - Dion & the Belmonts (1958)
 4. I Only Have Eyes for You - Flamingos (1959)
 5. Since I Don't Have You - Skyliners (1959)
 6. Little Darlin' - Diamonds (1957)
 7. Whispering Bells - Del-Vikings (1957)
 8. Earth Angel - Penguins (1955)
 9. Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly (1958)
 10.The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant (1956)


 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 (1965)
 5. Light My Fire - Doors (1967)
 6. Good Vibrations - Beach Boys (1966)
 7. She Loves You - Beatles (1964)
 8. Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin (1960)
 9. Like to Get to Know You - Spanky & Our Gang (1968)
 10.Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan (1965)

 1. American Pie - Don McLean (1972)
 2. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross (1970)
 3. Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
     - Gladys Knight & the Pips (1974)
 4. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin (1972)
 5. A Horse with No Name - America (1972)
 6. Imagine - John Lennon (1971)
 7. I Honestly Love You - Olivia Newton-John (1974)
 8. Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues (1972)
 9. Ventura Highway - America (1972)
 10.Always and Forever - Heatwave (1978)

 1. She's a Beauty - Tubes (1983)
 2. Never Let You Go -Sergio Mendes (1983)
 3. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC (1980)
 4. Overkill - Men at Work (1983)
 5. '65 Love Affair - Paul Davis (1982)
 6. Morse Code of Love - Capris (1982)
 7. In Your Room - Bangles (1988)
 8. Xanadu - Olivia Newton-John with
     the Electric Light Orchestra (1980)
 9. Take On Me - A-Ha (1985)
 10.Open Your Heart - Madonna (1987)

 1. Make It Happen - Mariah Carey (1992)
 2. Smooth - Santana with Rob Thomas (1999)
 3. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston (1993)
 4. Free Your Mind - En Vogue (1992)
 5. One of Us - Jane Osbourne (1996)
 6. One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men (1996)
 7. This Kiss - Faith Hill (1998)
 8. Too Much - Spice Girls (1998)
 9. How Do I Live - Leann Rimes (1997)
 10....Baby One More Time - Britney Spears (1999)
Analysis by Mike Riccio



Percentage of Total Votes By Decade

1950's - 7.6%
1960's - 39.5%
1970's - 32.2%
1980's - 12.4%
1990's - 6.4%
2000   - 1.2%
Analysis by Mike Riccio

The 50's, 70's and 80's all gained ground this year at the expense of the 60's and 90's. And the most popular years for music according to our voters? 1967 followed by 1966 and then 1968.

So there you have it. The final tallies of the 2000 Top 77. Hope you enjoy it. As always, we’d love to know your thoughts, which you can post at the New York Radio Message Board.

And if I can ever catch up on my sleep, maybe we'll do it again for round #4 in 2001! Thanks to all who participated.

Mike Riccio (a tired “Survey Guy”)


WABC Musicradio 77 Home Page