Wednesday, December 11, 2019

1969 45s and the End of AM Radio

1969 was the year of the Beatles' "Come Together" and "Something," their double A-sided No. 1 smash, Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," David Bowie's "Space Oddity," the Rolling Stones' "Honky-tonk Women," "Pinball Wizard" from The Who, Elvis Presley's comeback No. 1 single "In the Ghetto," and Crosby Stills and Nash's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." There was "Touch Me" from The Doors, "Venus" from Shocking Blue, on and on. I know this just seems like an endless refrigerator list, because it is. Here's more: Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," The Temptations' "Psychedelic Shack," and Badfinger's "Come and Get It," which people thought was the Beatles. One of my favorite story songs, Glen Campbell's version of "Galveston" by Jimmy Webb.
How about "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" from Roberta Flack, Blood Sweat and Tears' "Spinning Wheel," Peter Paul and Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," and we're only talking huge hits so far. Here's one a bit more obscure but still classic: "White Bird" from It's a Beautiful Day.
1969 was really the end of an era in that it was also the first year of AOR, Album Oriented Rock. AM was on its way out and FM would become the new mainstay. But what a way to go. For all the new bands that were created in 1969 like Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin, FM radio would give them a voice.
And while the biggest selling album of the year would be the Beatles' Abbey Road, The No. 1 single of the year was the Archie's "Sugar Sugar;" now that's diversity. The Archies, by the way, are the only animated group ever to reach the number one spot. Again, that's diversity.

On the AM network, we always look back 50 years and in 2020, as we look back to 1970, we've got some great music in store, but I am going to miss talking about 1969.

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