1972 was a very memorable year!
Not only was it the year of Watergate and Paul Henderson’s goal, it was also one of the best years in the history of 20th century contemporary music. Perhaps (if you been around long enough) you may recall…
It was the heyday of AM radio’s domination of the airwaves. In Canada 1050 CHUM Toronto was king along with it’s many sister stations such as CFRA Ottawa and CKLC Kingston. If your record wasn’t being played on CHUM in those days then your record wasn’t being played anywhere.
In the U.S. stations such as WABC in New York City were the mainstay of the pop commercial music industry. At night, after the sun had gone down, all of these stations would begin to come in and the airwaves were transformed into “rock n roll heaven.” ‘Cousin Brucie’ on WABC 770 was America’s top rated DJ in those days but there were many other great ones too on stations such as; WKBW Buffalo, WLS Chicago, WOWO Fort Wayne, WNBC New York and so on. Wow! And we are talking about some great tunes here as well!
Do you recall; BRANDY by the Looking Glass? Or, BACKSTABERS by the Ojays? WILD EYES by the Stampeders, Harry Chapin’s TAXI, YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A LADY by April Wine, AMERICAN PIE by Don McLean, SUNNY DAYS by Lighthouse, OR SATURDAY IN THE PARK by Chicago? The list goes on with like; BABY DON’T GET HOOKED ON ME, RAIN SHOWERS, THE SUN DON’T SHINE ANYMORE< (Alone Again) NATURALLY, ONE OF A KIND LOVE AFFAIR, ROCKETMAN, LONG COOL WOMAN IN A BLACK DRESS, DAY AFTER DAY and on and on it went.
Do you remember how great Eric Clapton’s (Derek and the Domino’s) LAYLA sounded on AM? (Remember walking around with your transistor radio or those “tube jobs” that lit up between the cracks in the dash board of your car?) “PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS!” Speaking of cars, “fast cars” were still in vogue then with the; Charger, Chevelle, Mustang, Delta 88 and the like tearing up the roads. “Drag races” would take place “before the cops got there.” (Remember that?)
“Real Bands” played for school dances and in the local, bars, clubs and hotels. “Hot Pants” and “Mini-skirts” were in style as were “black-lights” and “8-track tapes.” The GODFATHER was the movie of the year back in 72. But it was the music that stands out the most. Timeless tunes in a timeless age. “It” was all there in front of us. The future and all it’s promise. Technology, peace and love were going to save the day. That and Bobby Orr of course.
Carleton Place born and raised singer/songwriter Brock Zeman claims in one of his songs that “there ain’t nothing on the radio” these days. And he may well be right, but that wasn’t the case in the summer of 72. Back then it was simply the best!