Saturday Single No. 264

I’m playing around this morning with some charts found at the Airheads Radio Survey Archive, a place where radio geeks and chart geeks can lose themselves for hours. Among the goodies I’ve found this morning are local surveys released by five Top 40 stations on November 19, 1971, forty years ago today.

The day was, says timeanddate.com, a Friday, so I no doubt spent the day on campus at St. Cloud State, where I was a freshman. My classes that first quarter were all general eds, as one might expect: introductory courses in sociology, chemistry, African history and music appreciation/history. I was singing in the freshman choir. And I was still listening to a fair amount of Top 40 radio, so most of what I’ll find on the surveys, I would guess, will be familiar.

Sadly, none of the local surveys I found this morning were for either of the two Twin Cities stations that played Top 40. The nearest I found for November 19, 1971, was from WHB in Kansas City, Missouri. The No. 1 song there that week was Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.” Sitting at No. 11 was “Two Divided By Love” by the Grass Roots,” and the No. 19 record was “I’d Love To Change The World” by Ten Years After. The WHB survey included forty records and a pick hit below that. The No. 40 record was Joan Baez’s cover of “Let It Be,” and the pick hit was “Daisy Mae” by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, a record I don’t know that I’d ever heard until this morning.

On WDRC in Hartford, Connecticut, the No. 1 record was Isaac Hayes’ “Theme from Shaft.” Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train” was at No. 11 and “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards was sitting at No. 19. The WDRC survey went thirty records deep, and parked at No. 30 was Lee Michaels’ “Can I Get A Witness.” WDRC’s “Hits to Be” was topped by Tommy James’ “Nothing To Hide,” another record I don’t remember ever hearing before.

Just down the East Coast a little ways, WWDJ in Hackensack, New Jersey, had the Cher record in the No. 1 slot, with “I Found Someone Of My Own” by the Free Movement at No. 11 and “Only You Know And I Know” by Delaney & Bonnie sitting at No. 19. WWDJ listed thirty records, with No. 30 being “Sweet City Woman” by the Stampeders.

We’ll stay in the Northeast for one more survey: WYSL in Buffalo had “Precious and Few” by Climax in the top spot. “Love Is Bigger Than Football” by Sammy Day & The Comic Strip – I’m thinking that has to be a novelty record or else a local thing (though I’d love to hear it) – sat at No. 11 and the No. 19 record was “Lucky Day” by the Rascals. The WYSL survey only went twenty singles deep; sitting in the bottom rung was Edwards’ “Sunshine.”

Heading south, we find a chart from Orlando, Florida’s WLOF: At No. 1 is “Theme from Shaft,” while “Peace Train” sits at No. 11 and the Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes” takes up the No. 19 spot. WLOF listed forty records in its survey, and parked at No. 40 is another record that I do not ever remember hearing about; in fact, I don’t think I’d ever heard about “It Took A Long Time” by Russell Dean. I’m guessing that it was a regional record, as it never made the Billboard Hot 100. The pick hit at WLOF was “You Are My Sunshine” by Hot Ice. Was that a cover of the country standard or something else? I don’t know, but it’s another record I don’t recall.

In a world where all things were easily available, Russell Dean’s “It Took A Long Time” would be in the running for sharing here today, as would “Love Is Bigger Than Football” by Sammy Day & The Comic Strip or maybe the Hot Ice version of “You Are My Sunshine,” but, sadly, we have to look elsewhere. So I’ll dig into the records I don’t recall that are available this morning.

“Daisy Mae” by Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds is a decent record, but I have to go with the almost overblown Tommy James record. “Nothing To Hide,” which ended up peaking at No. 41 in the Billboard Hot 100, is today’s Saturday Single.

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3 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 264”

  1. Dale Smith says:

    Tommy James’ only Country album – Excellent! Recorded in Nashville with some Elvis sidekicks.

  2. “Love is Bigger than Football” by Sammy Day and the Comic Strip! Brings me to my freshman year of high school in the fall of 1971 (and a pretty girl named Sue who barely knew I was alive but that’s… a different story). You are right, Sammy was a local act and a 1-hit wonder. The song itself is bubble gum with big, 3-Dog-Nightish Hammond organ chords. Interestingly, and I just learned this tonight, it is the same song as one recorded by a Canadian bubble gum purveyor, the DeFranco Family. They did it as “Love is Bigger than Baseball.” A couple of other minor soul acts gave the song a whirl, using the smaller round ball instead of the pigskin, up thorugh 1973. If you’re interested, a couple of web sites have the 45 of Sammy Day’s version and are selling it.

  3. Marc Nathan says:

    Dave (DiGrazie) – Amusingly, I woke up this morning with the idea to Google Search “Love Is Bigger Than…” and found this post, which made me smile. I worked at Ampex Records, and we distributed Big Tree, and the thing I remember most about this record was that someone in the production department had illegible handwriting and the single came out as Sammy Day and the Comic Strip, but at the time, the act was SUPPOSED TO BE Sammy JAY and the Comic Strip. I guess he changed his name to coincide with the incorrect label copy on the single 🙂 *(true story.)

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