Billboard #1 Singles, 1970-1974

As I announced last Tuesday, my Two For Tuesday series of Chanteuses is coming to an end the week after tomorrow, and I think I’ve figured out my next series: High School!


New Trier West High School, Northfield, Illinois, my alma mater

I wrote about my high school days during the 2014 A to Z Challenge, though I only went there for three years; I served my sentence attended St. Ignatius College Prep my freshman year. But I was in high school from September 1970 to June 1974, and it was a pretty crazy time in music, with most bands fitting into one of two categories: good or sucks.

I thought it would be fun to look at the Billboard Hot 100 singles and share the #1 song for each year. After seeing the list, I’m not sure how much fun it will be…but anyway… Here’s the list.

1970: Simon & Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” This was popular when I was in eighth grade, and it was popular because it was a slow dance and guys like slow dancing. The flp side of the single was “The Only Living Boy In New York,” another slow one.

1971: Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” Gotta have one by Three Dog Night if it’s the early Seventies. They were a favorite band of mine, as you know if you’ve been reading the blog for any amount of time.

1972: Roberta Flack, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” I wish this had come out two years earlier, because if you like slow dancing, you don’t get much slower than this. This is actually a few seconds shorter than “Bridge” (above), but it seems longer.

1973: Tony Orlando & Dawn, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree” Was popular again a few years later, when Iran released the hostages it had been holding. I love the guys that are dancing in the video; they’re either high or their girlfriends made them dance. Or both. You decide.

1974: Barbra Streisand, “The Way We Were” Both the movie and its theme song won Academy Awards in ’74, which is why it ended up the best-selling single that year. Top 40 radio stations would often follow this one with something by Led Zeppelin.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 23, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Author: John Holton

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

24 thoughts on “Billboard #1 Singles, 1970-1974”

  1. Oh yes, the absolute greats! Way ta go John!!!! Thanks for taking me way back… snicker~ to some memorable years when my big brother was blasting these on his transistor radio… hehehe~ and thank you for rockin’ the house with us! You’re the best! Have a rock & roll week my friend! hugs

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  2. Glenn Berger’s “Never Say No to a Rock Star” (http://tinyurl.com/ztqvboc) gives some insight into Paul Simon, Phoebe Snow and other artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. Berger assisted engineer / producer Phil Ramone at New York’s A&R Recording studio during that time.

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  3. The NTW picture must be an old one.

    The times I’ve gone back to the place on Chicago-area visits, I don’t get clear memories of walking the halls, and everything seems a little too small. It almost feels like it happened to someone else.

    Everybody I knew has long since moved on. Some are dead, as you know. The students there now are impossibly young – was I ever that age? My teachers are long retired, including my French teacher mother.

    My college alma mater UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is the same way – most everyone I knew is gone or retired. A few who taught me remain as emeritus profesors, including James Beauchamp for electronic music hardware design and Scott Wyatt for electronic music composition. But there’s an energy there that’s still appealing. Maybe it’s just that I thoroughly enjoyed college – EE classes, music theory classes and studying my head off during the week, bad beer, a steady girlfriend and playing rock star all over the Midwest on the weekends – and thoroughly detested high school.

    Anyway, I enjoy your writing – keep doing it!

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    1. You’re not a member of the “In Memoriam” group they have on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/347143992138737/). I can add you, if you like. Peter Nitto (a guy I always seemed to have gym with) has been keeping a list of all our departed classmates. I think I counted, and ten percent of the class (around 60) are gone now. Holly’s on it, and Jim Coughlan, and a lot of other people I had classes with, and probably you did, too. I’ve followed up on a few of my teachers, and several of them have passed on, including Mr. Heikkinen (you might have had him for Physics), Mr. James (he was head of the Math department), and Miss Keoughan (headed the Classics department and taught me Latin and Greek; I remember none of either, but will never forget her).

      I wrote the high school post in 2014, and that’s when I got the picture. It still looks the same, and I think I remember the place pretty well. Like you, I came to life, so to speak, in college, particularly when I was at Loyola. High school was four years of my life I’ll never get back….

      Thanks! I’ll try to keep up the writing.

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  4. Agree with Dan on that one, at least the Tony Orlando part. I loved The Way We Were, but then again, what 19-year old girl didn’t have a crush on Robert Redford? Oh to be Barbra and pushing the hair out of his eyes – swoon.

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  5. Your high school looks a lot more modern than mine was. Most of the buildings at my alma mater were torn down years ago. I’m not sure what they do with the ones that remain–maybe some kind of adult school or some other use, but no longer a high school.

    All the songs bring back memories. I was in college during those years and mostly listening to other kinds of music, but I do remember these hits being played somewhere in those memories. Just not on my stereo at the time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I think it was completed in 1966 and shared a lot of the architectural features that you would find at U of I Chicago. This campus was closed in the 80’s because of dwindling enrollment (there was enough room at the East campus) and was used as an extension college and community center until they needed to use it as a school, although for a time it just housed freshmen.

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  6. John, The 70s was a fabulous time for good mewsic. I remember all of these very well. Judging by your graduation year (1974) I reckon you’re 6 years older than me and 4 years older than DH. This puts us in the same club. 🙂 Simon and Garfunkel was always good easy-listening mewsic to fall to sleep to. Three Dog Night was one of my favorite bands. I’m sure we have some of their mewsic on vinyl but that’s all in storage. I do have one of their CDs and I have fond memories being on the roller skating rink while listening to “Joy to the World”. Roberta Flack has a fantastic job and I love her soft vocals in “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” but in those days I don’t think I listened to her mewsic very much. Barbara Streisand never appealed to me vocally even though she has a good voice. I think I liked her better as an actress. Tony Orlando “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree” was a favorite and I loved his 70-s TV show. This popular song always made me feel a little sad at the start but then by the end of the song I’m happy because that feller gets a good answer with 100 yellow ribbons. 🙂 Thanks for sharing these tunes that brought back some fond memories and thanks for stepping out on the dance floor with the 4M crew once more!

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    1. Roberta Flack has done a lot of good music in her time, but “The First Time…” is not one of my favorites, mostly because it seems to drag on and on. I’d get about halfway through and spin the dial. As for Barbra, I’m not a fan, either.

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