‘New Jersey’?

Hoping for inspiration, I scanned the entries on KDWB’s 6+30 survey released this week in 1971, seeing lots of familiar stuff: Rod Stewart, the Carpenters, Carole King, Donny Osmond, the Stampeders, Lighthouse . . .

And then, at No. 24: “New Jersey” by England Dan & John Ford Coley.

My mind shuffled through its internal files, quickly confirming that the first hit for the pop-rock duo came in the summer of 1976, when “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” often came wafting from the ceiling speakers at St. Cloud State’s student union as I sipped my first cup of coffee of the day.

So, No. 24 at KDWB in the autumn of 1971? I must have heard it, right? I dug a little more at Oldiesloon, my source for the KDWB surveys. “New Jersey” had peaked at No. 22 during the week of October 4, 1971.

So – and this is a question that’s not at all rhetorical – how many times in a day would KDWB have played a record that peaked at No. 22? Maybe my listening hours at the time and “New Jersey” never intersected. A trip to YouTube brought me the record, but beyond its introduction’s resemblance to Joe Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends,” there were no memories there.

Looking for more information, I visited the Airheads Radio Survey Archive and learned that KDWB was one of only five stations that listed “New Jersey” in its surveys.

The record was hit-bound at KAFY in Bakersfield, California, during the second week of August; was listed the next week as an “Instant Preview” at KRCB in Council Bluffs, Iowa; went to No. 7 in early September at WLON in Lincolnton, North Carolina; and went to No. 12 at KSPD in Boise, Idaho, near the end of September.

And it was on KDWB’s 6+30 for nine weeks, crawling from No. 35 to No. 22 in seven weeks, then sitting at No. 24 for two weeks – where we found it – before falling out of the survey.

Nationally, it did next to nothing, bubbling under the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, peaking at No. 103.

Even after a couple of listenings, I don’t remember “New Jersey.” It’s got a harder edge than the stuff that would bring England Dan & John Ford Coley into the Top Ten four times during the period from 1976 to 1978. But it’s an okay record, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.

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2 Responses to “‘New Jersey’?”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    Whiteray, either your memory is playing tricks on you or mine is. I recall your having written about “New Jersey” a number of years ago, then burning an ED&JFC compilation for you, comprised of both their A&M and Big Tree material.

    Mostly, I recall my printer at the time going saturation crazy with the blue sky background on that album cover. I must’ve printed it a half-dozen times trying to get an improved color balance, to no avail.

    Don Bleu was KDWB’s music director at the time, and “New Jersey” wasn’t the first time the 6+30 survey turned up a surprise in 1971. A couple of months earlier, that distinction had belonged to Cherokee’s “Girl, I’ve Got News For You.”

  2. whiteray says:

    My memory, not yours. I should have searched the raw copy archives for “New Jersey.” But so it goes. I know that I’ve heard it before, and yes, I have the CD you burned for me, but it’s still unmemorable. At l4east not as memorable as your struggles with the sky.

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