Sunday, July 26, 2020

Playlist for 7/26

Prince - One Nite Only
Prince - One Nite Only...Solo Piano
Prince - One Nite Only...Aftershow
Prince and the Revolution - Live 1985
Ambrose Akinmusire - On The Tender Spot
Elton John's Rocket Hour (Apple Weekly Radio Show)
Hamilton (Film)
Eurovision Song Contest (Netflix)
Pretenders - Hate For Sale

Monday, July 20, 2020

Playlist for 7/20

Modest Mouse - Moon & Antarvtica
Willie Nelson - IRS Tapes
Willie Nelson - First Rose of Spring
Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways
Neil Young - Homegrown
Chicks - Gaslighter
Saving for a Custom Van - Various (Adam Schlesinger Tribute)
Voices of Color (Women of Country Spotify Playlist)
Judy (2019 Judy Garland Movie)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Songs About Letters/Mail (Post-USPS Music Post)

While working for the USPS, the #1 song I mentioned the most by customers regarding letters was Elvis Presley's "Return to Sender". Hundreds, thousands?  That's how many times someone would sing or mention that song when giving back a letter from someone who didn't live at their address.
Over the years, I (and some other music-minded colleagues) would try to name other Postal related songs.  Below are list of the most popular ones mixed with some of my other less popular faves.

Box Full of Letters - Wilco
Care of Cell 44 - Zombies
Death Letter Blues - Son House
He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh - Allan Sherman
Hey, Western Union Man - Jerry Butler
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter - Fats Waller
In Your Letter -  REO Speedwagon
Letter - Box Tops
Letters - Leonard Cohen
Letter to Elise - Cure
Letter to Me - Brad Paisley
Letter to Myself - Chi-Lites
Letter to You - Bruce Springsteen 
Letter Never Sent - REM
Love Letter - Bonnie Raitt
Love Letters - Ketty Lester
Mailman - Leon Payne
Mailman Bring Me No More Blues - Lefty Frizzell
Please Mr. Postman - Marvelettes
Please Read the Letter - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
P.S. I Love You - Beatles
Return to Sender - Elvis Presley
Rikki Don't Lose That Number -Steely Dan
Rock and Roll Love Letter - Bay City Rollers
Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
Soldier's Last. Letter -  Ernest Tubb
Strawberry Letter 23
Take A Letter Maria - R.B. Greaves
Tear-Stained Letter - Richard Thompson
Western Union - Five Americans
You Wear It Well - Rod Stewart

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Playlist for 7/11

Norah Jones - Pick Me Up Off The Floor
Tom Jones at 80 (Welsh TV Special)
Ringo's Big Birthday Show (AXS TV)
Fats Domino - Live From Austin, TX
Boss Black Rockers (YouTube Playlist)
Hinds - Prettiest Cure
Tenille Townes - Lemonade Stand
John Edwards - Life, Love & Living

Monday, July 06, 2020

Playlist for 7/6

Dion - Blues With Friends
James Hand - Truth Will Set You Free
June Carter Cash - Appalachian Pride
Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated Side B
Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways to New Italy
100 Greatest UK #1 Singles (Guardian Music Spotify Playlist)
BET Awards 2020
American Top 40 First Broadcast July 3, 1970

Friday, July 03, 2020

50 Years of American Top 40

Can you remember the last time you listened to American Top 40?  It's still out there, now hosted by Ryan Seacrest.  I'm not trying to belittle Seacrest's AT40.  But once Casey Kasem's AT40 disappeared, so did my quest to try and find it.  Kasem's ended pre-Internet, and if you want, Seacrest's AT40 is on the iHeartRadio streaming app.

But Casey Kasem's AT40 ruled my world through most of the 70's and parts of the 80's.  Although it started on July 3, 1970, I didn't come to it until a year or two later when I lived in Germany.  My Dad was stationed there from 71-75, and AT40 played every weekend on Armed Forces Radio.  I was fascinated from the start at songs that moved around the charts every week.  I needed to know what the #1 song was going to be.  No Billboard magazines in 1970's Germany.  And the chart was diverse back then.  Pop, Rock, Soul, Country, Novelties all collided and took my young mind everywhere.  It's a big reason for my eclectic tastes today. 

AT40 is also a big reason I have such a soft spot for chart icons that got roasted by music critics in the 70's.  You don't love John Denver, Barry Manilow, Bread, Olivia Newton-John, Carpenters?  Well, then, I guess you had to be there in the 70's, tuned into an AM station playing AT40.  And I was. 

The genius of AT40 was that it made every record, whether they went to #1 or peaked at #35 sound like the most important song that week.  Which is why chart nerds like me remain fascinated with forgotten chart records that came and went.  Those glorious hits that would peak at #37 then disappear forever. 

By the time the 80's rolled around the radio business changed.  It became harder to find pure Top 40 stations.  CHR stations no longer played crossover Country songs and were taking fewer chances on R&B songs.  And AT40 no longer fit in with the type of stations that played its weekly countdown. Kasem himself bounced between AT40 and his own Countdown shows.  He left AT40 for good in 2003, which is when Seacrest took over.

As AT40 rolled along, there were other syndicated radio countdowns.  I definitely remember the Dick Clark one. But nobody tops Casey's AT40.  Chart info is easy to find now.  It wasn't in the pre-Internet age.  That was to wonder of AT40.  50 years later, I still love to listen to the old shows.  You can find them on SiriusXM's 70's channel, iHeart Radio and on a bunch of non-satellite/streaming stations.  Listen to a few and even if you're too young to have been there from the beginning, you'll become as hooked on AT40 as I did way back then. 

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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Playlist for 7/1

Run the Jewels - RTJ4
John Legend - Bigger Love
Teddy Thompson - Heartbreaker Please
Pam Tillis - Looking For A Feeling
Trisha Yearwood - Every Girl
Iconic Women of Country (PBS Special)
12 Essential Lesser-Known Power Pop Songs (NY Times Playlist)
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