The applause is slow-gathering, anticipating, as he comes to center stage. “Hello, and welcome back to our show, “ he says, the bright lights hiding the faces of the audience he trusts is out there. “last time, we left to the sounds of Jeff Lynne and ELO serenading us. They will be back again, I can assure you, along with a host of other acts. Some you’ll be familiar with, some not so much, So sit back and get comfortable, please turn off your phone but feel free to discuss amongst yourselves, and enjoy the show.”
300- Amie, Pure Prairie League, 1973, Peak Position #27. Another “I can’t help but sing along” song. Prefer the long version with the “Falling in and out of love with you” part at both ends.
299- Lights, Journey, 1978, #68. For those who thought Journey started with Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’, I contend that the best of there songs were the ones BEFORE LTS that never got big play0 Wheel In The Sky (#57), Feeling That Way/Anytime (83), Just The Same Way (58). And this one.
298- It Was Almost Like A Song, Ronnie Milsap, 1977, #16 (# 1 country). This was one of my first big country crossover favorites. He had such an incredible run in the mid eighties, But for me it started here- and again in 1981 with Smoky Mountain Rain (which is actually pretty much a repackage of Elvis’ Kentucky Rain, but still tears my heart out).
297- Girls Talk, Dave Edmunds, 1979, #65. I am an absolute sucker for Dave Edmunds, and this was my favorite on this side of 1980.
295- A Place In The Sun, Pablo Cruise, 1977, #42. I really didn’t care much for Whatcha Gonna Do, but loved the follow-up title cut.
294- Let’s Get It On, Marvin Gaye, 1973, #1. Wow, we finally hit a #1 song! The lead contender with Leon Russell for the smooth award, the man had an almost magical way.
293- Rock And Roll All Night, Kiss, 1975, #68 (studio), #12 (live). I admit I arrived late to Kiss- my nephew was the big fan, went to every show they did in Ft. Wayne. My fandom grew backwards from 1985’s Tears Are Falling.
292- I Need You, America, 1972, # 9. This was one of “my bands” during the day. I was big into the softer side until about 1976.
291- Roll Over Beethoven, Electric Light Orchestra, 1973, #42. A lot of people have covered this Chuck Berry classic, but ELO was born to.
290- All Mixed Up, the Cars, 1978, unreleased. Linked with Moving In Stereo, one of the great pieces of the Cars’ debut lp. We got this at a garage sale along with a swivel rocker for five bucks. We had that rocker for years, until one night my sister had the base break out from under her while drunk in front of all my drunken friends. Good times.
288- Come Sail Away, Styx, 1977, #8. I heard this the first time on the old Midnight Special show with Wolfman Jack. They don’t make shows like that anymore, children.
287- Miracles, Jefferson Starship, 1975, #3. But it got the airplay of a #1.
286- Lovely Day, Bill Withers, 1977, #30. Big Bill Withers fan. This was from my CKLW era.
285- Song On The Radio, Al Stewart, 1979, #29. I just gave props to Al over on Time Machine this week. “I was making my way through the wasteland/ that the road into town passes through/ I was changing the radio station/ with my mind on you…”
284- Hang On To Your Life, The Guess Who, 1971, #43. I once wrote a comic book around this one. It was pretty damn good.
282- Lowdown, Boz Scaggs, 1976, #3. Silk Degrees is undoubtedly one of the finest albums of the era.
281- Rendezvous, Hudson Brothers, 1975, #26. Another CKLW tune from an act more remembered for their 1974 variety show than their music.
And now, the lights come up half, and the host walks out on the stage. “Fun, isn’t it”, he says. “Anyone can give you the #1s and top fives and such, but we give you the #26s, the #58s, the #65s. Come back soon and hear some more. As you leave, enjoy this next selection. Go out and find yours…”