Thursday, December 1, 2022

Rock Radio DECEMBER 1972 Wrapping Up the Year!

Wrapping Up 1972 with a December Sing-A-Long!  

We’re here! We’re here! How did we get here so soon?! It can’t be the end of the year already ... I haven’t finished the mound of projects I started so optimistically in January!
       Still working on a few finishing touches, but the bulk of it is done!

One thing is constant, however ... we always have 50 Years of Rock & Roll History to explore. So let’s wrap up December 1972 in a big Golden Oldies bow with the rest of the year, and present it to Old Man Time as 2023’s baby slides in with a resounding thud. Stop kicking and screaming kid, and Rock On with ... 50 Years Ago this Month ...

Then & Now Rockin’ News & Views 
This month’s article is for you radiophiles out there ... you know who you are ... whatever city you live in and wherever you travel, you tune your Radio into the strongest radio station for the music your love.

Nowadays, it may be a streaming signal, but our terrestrial stations haven’t totally left the earth yet. And much as Millennials, Gen Z’rs and other fresh-faced young’uns may wish it, not all Boomers have either. We remember when Radio was king long after Elvis left the building.

So to wind up 1972, we’re going to celebrate Radio and what used to be their ubiquitous, free top tunes music charts. Somehow in my Radio survey collecting, the small (in comparison to some collectors) BFYP Collection wound up with six December ’72 surveys scattered from sea-to-shining-sea.

Oh, we’ll still include the monthly standard features I hope you enjoy, albeit a bit thinner, and somehow, from these great annals of history I managed to select just one Featured Radio Survey. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of fun to peruse as you sip your morning cinnamon coffee, or evening creamy eggnog. Picture this ... Rock & Roll Radio ... December 1972 ... 50 Years Ago this Christmas Month ...

> Then December 1972 Rockin’ News
In addition to Rockin’ DJs and dynamic graphics, this month’s surveys have plenty of tunes vying for the coveted Song of Note . So, let’s wander back to December 1972 for some nostalgic fun! 

> On Your Tinny Transistor Radio     

Each of the wild-and-crazy Radio station charts listed below had their own unique style and enticing fun for fans. California’s KERN brought Holiday magic with a Mickey Mouse wizard left over from Halloween, while WCFL/Chicago let listeners in on Rock and Roll around the world, with a top ten from Spain!
       Three more charts feature wildly popular DJs of the day, like
Dr. Don Rose and Cousin Brucie. And WABC/New York’s 1972 Year-End Top 100 Hits takes center stage. Of course, it’s the Featured Radio Survey (below). Fear not, however, the FRS page will also connect you to a page of the other five fun December 1972 charts, so you can wallow in memories to your heart’s content.

Feel like taking a nostalgic cross-country Rock Radio road trip? We’re Rockin’ California to New York with Midwest music mayhem in between. Drum roll, please ... listed by week ending date:

December 1, 1972:   KERN/Bakersfield, California, starts the month off with Mickey Mouse in wizard garb, wand in hand, still making Halloween magic with “Jambalaya”* (Blue Ridge Rangers) at the top, followed closely by “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes), #1 and #2 respectively. But 1410 on your dial wanted fans to know how hip they were, too, in expressive “hippy” art and graphics. Hippy Music! ... Far Out! Good Trip! Power to the People! Right On! What’s Your Sign? Peace! 

December 11, 1972: WFIL/listeners in Philadelphia gave Billy Paul a thumb’s up in the #1 spot with “Me and Mrs. Jones,” while Helen Reddy muscled her way into #2 with the decisive, “I Am Woman.” Most notable, though, is fast-rising DJ star, Dr. Don Rose, on the cover. (Soon to be scooting to the left coast’s KFRC.) His daffy one-liners were in with the in-crowd, back in the day. 

December 16, 1972: WCFL’s All Hit Music followed Chicago fans’ lead as they boost The Temptations to #1 with “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” And do you remember affable DJ Ron O’Brien? “O’Brien in the Night” kept the Rock rollin’. CFL didn’t stick to Chicago when it comes to music ... the worldly station posted “Spain’s Big 10” with Andy Williams’ “Love Theme from the Godfather” topping their hit list.

December 18, 1972: WFIL/Philly marks interesting changes in chart lineup in just one week. “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Blue Haze (go figure)   was a featured Hitbound tune on December 11th, while this week sees it hop to the chart at #29 of their Top 30. DJ Tommy Tyler warmed up your winter weekends behind the mic, in the City of Brotherly Love.

December 23, 1972: KIRL/St. Louis, Missouri, listeners shared the earlier WFIL fans’ passion for “Me and Mrs. Jones” (Billy Paul) at #1, but gave Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Clair” the #2 spot. The chart is surrounded with flowing ‘70s’ psychedelic art, calling attention to Helen Reddy’s album, I Am Woman, as “A Great Gift Album ... for Your Woman.” Duh.

And we wrap up the trip with a big Golden Oldies bow in New York City! WABC not only has New York City’s top tunes of the whole year, but a crew of iconic disc jockeys that you listened to and treated like Rock stars.

January 2023: WABC, the grandaddy of New York City’s Radio stations, regales us with “MusicRadio 77 | Our Top 100 Hits of 1972,” along with images of all eight dazzling DJs. The top five whipped up fan frenzy six days a week ... not an easy life, but most DJs admit, it was a heck of a lot of fun! Surely you remember:

Harry Harrison             6:00a-10:00a
Ron Lundy
Dan Ingram
                  2:00p-5:55p (not 6:00p! 😊)
Bruce Morrow
              6:15p-10:30p (another off-kilter schedule)
Jay Reynolds

Weekend warriors & fill-ins:
Chuck Leonard
Frank Kingston Smith
Johnny Donovan 

Can’t help but wonder if the year-end top tunes analysis allows enough climbability (I know that isn’t a real word—it is today!) for fan faves in December, to flex their musical muscles? Seems as if at least a couple of them might have had a higher standing if given the opportunity.
       For example, “
It Never Rains in Southern California” and “I’m Stone in Love with You” are #88 & #89, respectively, at year-end, but in December they were still on the rise at the stations. Any DJs out there care to chime in with comments? In your experience, when were year-end surveys generally compiled? Enough time allowed for all songs to shine? 
       Interestingly, one song, “
I Can See Clearly Now,” landed on four of the five surveys (there may be more December-Year End coincidences, but this is the one I spotted). It’s #13 on the Year End list, and on WCFL. WFIL fans gave it #17, followed by KERN at #18. It was already slipping to #22 of WFIL’s 12/18 chart, and KIRL gave it the only no-show distinction on its late-December chart.

Monthly Song of Note ...

Well, of course, WABC’s year-end Top 100 Hits chart is the Featured Radio Survey, so it stands to reason, the #1 tune should be our December Song of Note !
       Surprisingly, “
Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan is #1, wowing East Coast fans like those at WFIL/Philly who charted it back in August 1972. It beat out the famously iconic “American Pie” by Don McLean, showing up in an early #1 position on WBBF/Rochester, New York’s January 5th chart.  
       “Alone Again” obviously struck a somber note with Radio listeners; it explores the ballad style with sorrowful, lamenting lyrics, which O’Sullivan says are not biographical. All the same, the feeling is there ... and many identified being alone again.

Quirky Band Names ...
The Blue Ridge Rangers, we learned, are not who “they” say they are ... they are a one-person exploration into solo music by John Fogerty, after a long, successful run with Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fogerty found freedom in “Jambalaya,” which hit #1 on the KERN/Bakersfield survey, and showed off his instrument chops—he played them all on the complete album, titled after his new pseudo-band.
       And let’s give a nod to Kracker—research didn’t come up with their naming history, but in addition to their unique name, they qualify as a One Hit Wonder. A Wiki bio says their “
Because of You” had a poor showing on Billboard’s official charts, only reaching #104 on their Bubbling Under tunes. But Philly fans liked it better—taking it at least to #19 this month.

Now December 2022 Rockin’ News  
Let’s face it—this month in any year, is all about the Holiday Season. There is nothing much related to music on the calendar, not even our beloved, retro Rock & Roll. Sooooo ...

December 1st – 31st: We may as well declare the whole month, Joyful Music Month and be done with it! Whether you’re playing an instrument, stacking the vinyls on your vintage record player, or humming Holiday songs while baking gingerbread cookies, enjoy! We will.
       Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock ... What a bright time | It's the right time to rock the night away ... (“Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms) is hot off the record press in time to hit the joyful Christmas charts of 1957, making it to #16 at WMCA/New York, by December 20th.)

BFYP Featured Radio Survey  

DECEMBER 1972 ~ WABC/New York City just had to be our FRS this month. Its year-end chart of now-Golden Oldies, is a powerful list of Top 100 Hits and nearly the whole year of songs hold a lifetime of memories for many of us. Between tunes that have stood the test of time, and flashbacks of dashing DJs, it holds something for everyone. Enjoy 50 Years Ago this Month in Rock & Roll Radio! Where were you that groovy day when your radio played 

A Note of Sentiment ...At the end of the day, in the month of December, we often turn to introspection of the year—and life—past. Use this month to enjoy the three “R’s”. No, not Reading, (W)Riting, and (A)Rithmetic ... as an editor, I have to wonder how that got to be a thing when we were kids. It’s beyond me.

Boomers know, the most profound “Three R’s” are Reflect, Rejoice and Rejuvenate!
Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!

Let’s Celebrate DECEMBER 1972 and Rock On!    

BFYP Book 1 (1954-1959) on Amazon
BFYP Book 2 (Swinging ‘60s) on Amazon
Blast from Your Past Gifts
Share your Oldies R&R fun on Twitter: @BlastFromPastBk                

ORIGINAL POST ~ LR / BFYP LATE NOTE 12/01/22:  Boy, do I have a great December 1972 article for you! Um, it just isn’t finished yet. I’m pushing to have it completed in all its fun Holiday spirit by tonight; if not, tomorrow (sometime) at the latest.
Sneak peek: This month’s article is for you ol’ radiophiles and survey collectors—and the lovers of retro Rock & Roll at any age! Just a hint ... SIX dynamic December ’72 radio surveys for your nostalgic pleasure, from sea to shining Holiday sea ... don’t touch that dial! C’mon back ... I promise, it’ll be worth the wait. More fan fun ... 

A thought-provoking quote to ponder while you wait ... heard this profound take on the past, in an NCIS: Los Angeles episode that aired 11/28/22: “In my experience, the past is to learn from, not to live in.”
       Can you guess (or do you know, show fans) which character was given that line to speak?
Coming soon ... 50 Years Ago this Month! Rock On ...

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LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and author by way of Rock & Roll. Two books (of three) are published in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies! 

Note: FYI – All links in the BFYP site are personally visited, verified, and vetted. Most are linked to commonly accessed sites of reputable note. Occasionally, since I often feature real people and/or singular sources there may be an unsecured link. As with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion and risk. No compensation is received for any mentions of businesses, products, or other commercial interests. *All holiday and special event days are found at’s calendar site. Enjoy!  

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