A little trivia from this week’s American Top 40: The 80s* rebroadcast.
(Apparently this is the official name for these programs.)
Until 1980, no artist had ever had two top ten hits at the same time as both a member of a group and as a solo artist. Diana Ross did it first in late 1980. Another artist accomplished the same feat this week in 1981. Care to take a guess? Answer is below the jump.
Not hard if you know your music history and consider the date.
This week in 1981 John Lennon had “(Just Like) Starting Over” at #7, after peaking at #1, and “Woman”* at #6, on its way to #2. Obviously, he owned the top 10 for much of the 60s with the Beatles.
(My favorite Lennon solo single, by the way. It narrowly missed my top 25 of all-time.)
All this came, of course, two months after Lennon was murdered.
Listening to an AT 40 from 1981 was a little weird. Certainly different than the others I’ve heard over the last month from later in the decade. The countdown was full of the poppy country music that was crossing over at the time. While the songs weren’t overtly country, since the artists came from Nashville they were considered country. I’m talking “Smoky Mountain Rain,” by Ronnie Milsap, “I Love A Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbit, and the #1 song that week, “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. Looking at the top 100 songs for the year, Kenny Rogers, Juice Newton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, and John Schneider all had huge pop hits as well. Yeah, you hear nothing like that on pop radio today, do you?