The Friday Five: Top 5 from WCFL, September 6, 1975

Today is my brother Patrick’s birthday! Happy birthday, Pat!

Both WLS and WCFL were issuing their surveys on Saturday in 1975, so this Top Five from WCFL was from the Saturday before he was born, because it was closer, and because, if you turn the number 6 over, it’s 9. Again, thanks to the folks at Oldiesloon for archiving the surveys and making them available for the world to see.

#5: At Seventeen – Janis Ian Janis was on her way to becoming a one-hit wonder when it seemed she’d never have another hit after “Society’s Child,” which had caused quite a ruckus when it came out due to its subject matter, i.e. interracial romance. So this song, about teenage cruelty, came as a surprise to a lot of us. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Cash Box and Adult Contemporary charts. It reached #2 by the end of September, as high as it went in Chicago.

#4: Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John This song had been #1 the week before and was falling fast. Nationally, it went as high as #4. This was the only single off his 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

#3: Tush – ZZ Top Some raunchy blues-rock for the survey, this went as high as #2 locally, #20 nationally.

#2: Fallin’ In Love – Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds By the time this was recorded, Tommy Reynolds had left the group and was replaced by Alan Dennison, but they kept the name because their new label, Playboy Records, asked them to. This reached #1 both nationally and locally.

#1: Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell Title track from his 1975 album, this hit #1 in both the US and Canada. Glen’s still hanging in there, I guess.

WCFL abruptly switched formats from Top 40 to “beautiful music” in March 1976. I understand that they day they made the change, they unceremoniously dumped their Top 40 record library on the sidewalk in front of Marina City, where their offices and studios were located. At least they didn’t throw the records into the Chicago River…

Anyway, that’s The Friday Five for September 9, 2016. Happy birthday, Pat!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

9 thoughts on “The Friday Five: Top 5 from WCFL, September 6, 1975”

  1. It’s great to see the list of top songs from the week I was born. Terrible last few years battling Alzheimer’s for Campbell, but I remember hearing unconfirmed reports that he was still able to play his music and sing in some capacity despite the advancing state of decline. Music does indeed sooth the soul and runs deep. Thanks for the birthday wishes, dear brother!


  2. I remember all these songs fondly. September 6th is my birthday and I can only imagine that back in 1975 I was celebrating with music being a big part of the festivities…Surely I heard most of these songs on that day.

    Michele at Angels Bark


  3. 1975, I was still getting a lot of my music from one of the few radio stations in Morgantown, WV, so I remember these all very well. Good choices for sure, although Janis Ian was a little tough to take a few times every day.


    1. The more popular a song was, the more frequently you heard it. It was a rule that most radio stations followed. #40 might get played once or twice a day, usually overnight, while a song from the Top Ten would play every 15 minutes. That means you hear it at least three times a day while you’re at work. Then the song becomes an EBS Special… (I have a page that explains what I mean…)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some great memories in these songs though the Ian song seems almost out of place in this company. For my taste, “Seventeen” is one of the most amazing songs ever written and the album that it was on was absolutely incredible. I used to play it repeatedly and I do believe I still have the album which likely is in pristine condition. The album Between the Lines is a thing of beauty and a masterpiece of recorded music. At least that’s the way I see it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

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