Blast from the Past

October 11, 2006

In the process of sorting through boxes of my mom’s scrapbooks and memorabilia, I came across an old scrapbook of mine. It picked up in 1965 and ended in 1969, my ages 10 to 14. There were pictures of classmates, vacations and neighborhood friends, and cards from various birthdays.

And then came the fun stuff…my entire collection of WLS Radio Top 40 Countdowns. No laughing. Radio was important back in the day. Boy those are great to look through all these years later.

As I typed the list below, the variety of styles and groups was striking. Abraham, Martin and John, by Dion just up the list from Tammy Wynette and Stand by Your Man; Cloud Nine by the Temptations followed by Glen Campbell and The Witchita Lineman. Now that’s what I call diversity. Throw in a little Canned Heat, The Doors, and Aretha – what a bunch of good memories.

WLS Radio Top 40, December 30, 1968

1. I Heard it Through the Grapevine-Marvin Gaye
2. Things I’d Like to Say-New Colony Six
3. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me-Supremes/Temptations

4. Crimson and Clover-Tommy James/Shondells
5. Son of a Preacher Man-Dusty Springfield
6. I Love How You Love Me-Bobby Vinton
7. Stormy-Classics IV

8. Soulful Strut-Young Holt Unlimited
9. Abraham, Martin and John-Dion
10.For Once in My Life-Stevie Wonder

11. Cinnamon-Derek
12. Hang ’em High-Boooker T and the MG’s

13. Going up the Country-Canned Heat
14. Bella Linda-Grassroots
15. Cloud Nine-Temptations
16. Witchita Lineman-Glen Campbell
17. Love Child-Diana Ross/Supremes
18. Worst That Could Happen-Brooklyn Bridge
19. Hooked on a Feeling-B.J. Thomas

20. Both Sides Now-Judy Collins
21. Condition Red-Goodees
22. Can’t Turn You Loose-Chambers Brothers
23. If I Can Dream-Elvis Presley
24. Till-The Vogues

25. Lo Mucho Que te Quiero-Rene/Rene
26. Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag-Otis Redding
27. Scarborough Fair-Sergio Mendes/Brazil ’66
28. Too Weak to Fight-Clarence Carter
29. Ray of Hope-The Rascals

30. Hey Jude-Wilson Pickett
31. Goodnight My Love-Paul Anka

32. I Started a Joke-BeeGees
33. Touch Me-The Doors
34. Stand by Your Man-Tammy Wynette
35. Someone to Love Me-Bobby Vee
36. My Favorite Things-Herb Alpert
37. See Saw-Aretha Franklin
38. Goody Goody Gumdrops-1910 Fruitgum Company
39. Everyday People-Sly and the Family Stone
40. California Soul-Fifth Dimension

Does anyone remember a Chicago band, the Cryan Shames? This was my first live music experience with a real band I had heard on the radio. They played at the high school gym. The Wilshires opened for them, along with an all girl band called the Powder Puffs. Larry Lujak, from WLS was the DJ.

One of the members, Jim Pilster (J.C. Hooke) has a hook in place of his left hand.

All of the girls had autograph books and were clammering at the stage following the show. I was right in there with the rest of them. One of the guys from the Wilshires signed my book. They hadn’t made it big and were a little more interested in having fans.

When I finally got up to where the Cryan Shames were, Jim Pilster took a whack at the back of my book with his hook and told me that was my autograph.

Was that cool or what? I mean really, sometimes it’s the simple pleasures in life.

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12 Responses to “Blast from the Past”

  1. Jay Says:

    When I saw that picture of that dude with the hook for a hand I thought “I’d ask him to punch a hole in my autograph book with that hook”

    Then I scrolled down and saw that pic of where he “whacked” the book.

    Very cool!

  2. graymama Says:

    I just heard Crimson and Clover on the radio this morning 🙂

    My first concert experience was a family outing to see the Oakridge Boys.

    Great story!

  3. Tod Says:

    Wow. Great post. It is amazing how diverse that top40 is. I can’t see that happening today with the music fascists telling us what’s hot and what’s not.

    I LOVE the hook part of your post.

  4. John Says:

    Most of that music made the charts in the UK. At least it was worth listening to, unlike today’s ‘RAP Crap’ etc.

  5. Ern Says:

    I love old music flashbacks!

    Great WWC, by the way. I liked the way you described the church picture as both high and low. 🙂

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Wow! That list sure brought back some memories. I used to keep those radio countdown lists, too. I wonder if I still have them.

  7. Betty Says:

    Gooooood music! Except for Tammy Wynette, but to each his own. Reminds me of going to see The Kingston Trio when they appeared at the UofA. Followed closely by The Limelighters. Fun.

  8. SongBird Says:

    Oh my gosh!! I used to listen to WLS, too!! We had huge New Year’s Eve parties in our church basement and we always, always listened to the WLS countdown while we played games and chowed down. Thanks so much for this post!! It brought back some wonderful memories.

  9. willi Says:

    I would listen to WLS late at night when we could pick it up in Little Rock. Then came Bleaker Street and it was the cool thang.

  10. KaY Says:

    I’v started scrapping since 1999. I want to keep it going for as long as I can.

    This just inspired me more. I can’t wait for my son to be able to sort through my scrap stuff and see things that he will find “cool.”

  11. Swampwitch Says:

    What a blast from the past. Thanks for the memories. And the “hook thing” is way ‘too cool…groovy, man.’
    BTW: will have a post about IBC hopefully tomorrow if I have a wireless connection. I want to thank you for your efforts to get that info out.

  12. mjd Says:

    This is a great memorable post. Your memories bring back a flood of fond memories for one and all. “Both Sides Now” by Judy Collins is such a good song. “Crimson and Clover” is another favorite, but I like the more recent Joan Jett version.

    My first concert was to see the King. Yes, I mean Elvis Presley in his gold suit. I think the year was 1957.

    Thanks for the memories Gawilli.


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