December 1972 5 BFYP Rockin’ Surveys

 Wrapping Up the Year with December 1972's Hits Across the Country!

Hello! Thank you for stopping by! These five Rock Radio surveys are a great mix of early 1970s' tunes and art across the country. Small, whistlestop stations vied with mega-watt, super-stations, but bottom line, they all played awesome music!
       Of course, we had to make the year-end WABC music chart our Featured Radio Survey, but I couldn't leave these out. From iconic DJs to psychedelic art, they're just too much fun. So here ya go ... in order by 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! 
       KERN has been a popular station in the center of California since it began as an itty-bitty 100-watt station in 1932. They tagged along with most everyone else in the late 1950s and Sixties, with fresh on-air personalities and the best Rock & Roll. Word has it, KERN was on of the first stations to carry Casey Kasem's Top 40 syndicated show, airing first on Independence Day 1970. By the late 1970s AM/FM started changing and KERN slipped into an MOR format.










 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.
       So many DJs owe their start to this venerable radio station. WFIL celebrated 100 years on-air in Philadelphia this year! Their major claim to DJ fame, is of course, giving a youthful Dick Clark his start behind the mic in 1952. From that point on, it was gravy for both of them. Their Rock & Roll heyday lasted through the late 1980s.












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.
       Their Rockin' reputation is nearly as long and storied as WFIL's. But not at first. It began as a very conservative voice for the Chicago Federation of Labor. But by the time Rock & Roll bounced into the windy city, they too, opted for music. However, they wouldn't allow themselves to let it all hang out--yet--in 1957 they said, no, we're not gonna play any of those evil Elvis Presley records! Apparently, they eventually got over it ...











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.
       Already looking back, check out their "One Year Ago Today" list--at #1, "Old Fashioned Love Song" by Three Dog Night. Cool.















 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. 
       KIRL is rather an enigma of radio stations. Its Rock & Roll years were short and like many, the late 1970s were rife with changes. For many years after, it broadcast in gospel music ... how's that for an about-face?














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