DEAR JERRY: In the mid-1960s I was a Top 40 dee jay at WROD, in Daytona Beach, Florida.
In the summer of 1966 I moved to Texas to join the Good Guys at KNUZ in Houston, also a Top 40 station.
One thing that struck me as odd, if I'm remembering correctly, is how different the hit records were in the two areas.
Was there really such an inconsistency between markets?
Also, were either of the stations in sync with Billboard? I know both could not have been.
Daddy Dave Knight, Clearwater, Fla.
DEAR DADDY DAVE: You were struck by an oddity that, until your letter, I may never have been motivated to investigate.
To replicate and therefore compare your Daytona-to-Houston transition, I have randomly selected the middle of August 1966, or 49 years ago this week.
As you reboot your memories of that summer, review the Top 10 hits on August 15th in both areas, followed by Billboard's Top 10 that week.
The truth shall then reveal itself:
WROD ACTION SURVEY
1. "Sunshine Superman" (Donovan)
2. "See You in September" (Happenings)
3. "Summer in the City" (Lovin' Spoonful)
4. "With a Girl Like You" (Troggs)
5. "Sunny" (Bobby Hebb)
6. "She Drives Me Out of My Mind" (Swingin' Medallions)
7. "Look at Me Girl" (Playboys of Edinburg)
8. "You're Gonna Miss Me" (Thirteenth Floor Elevators)
9. "Say I Am" (Tommy James and the Shondells)
10. "Cherry, Cherry" (Neil Diamond)
K-NUZ GOOD GUYS HIT LIST
1. "Almost Persuaded" (David Houston)
2. "Look at Me Girl" (Playboys of Edinburg)
3. "Born a Woman" (Sandy Posey)
4. "Little Girl" (Syndicate of Sound)
5. "Wouldn't It Be Nice"/"God Only Knows" (Beach Boys)
6. "Summer in the City" (Lovin' Spoonful)
7. "See You in September" (Happenings)
8. "Sweet Pea" (Tommy Roe)
9. "Hanky Panky" (Tommy James and the Shondells)
10. "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" (Napoleon XIV)
BILLBOARD HOT 100
1. "Summer in the City" (Lovin' Spoonful)
2. "Sunny" (Bobby Hebb)
3. "Lil' Red Riding Hood" (Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs)
4. "Wild Thing" (Troggs)
5. "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" (Napoleon XIV)
6. "See You in September" (Happenings)
7. "The Pied Piper" (Crispian St. Peters)
8. "Mother's Little Helper" (Rolling Stones)
9. "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" (Petula Clark)
10. "Sunshine Superman" (Donovan)
Until seeing this side-by-side comparison of Top 10 lists, we would have never imagined how dissimilar two regional and one nationwide surveys would be.
WROD has only "See You in September," "Summer in the City" and "Look at Me Girl," in common with KNUZ. None are at the same chart positions.
WROD has "Sunshine Superman," "See You in September," "Summer in the City" and "Sunny" in common with Billboard. None are at the same chart positions.
WROD also lists a different song by Tommy James and the Shondells than KNUZ, and a different one by the Troggs than Billboard.
KNUZ has "Summer in the City," "See You in September," and "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" in common with Billboard. None are at the same chart positions.
"Summer in the City" and "See You in September" are the only songs found on all three Top 10s.
"Look at Me Girl," by the Playboys of Edinburg, Texas (motto: "Gateway City to the Rio Grande Valley") stands out as the only Top 10 entry that never made Billboard's Hot 100, though it did "Bubble Under" briefly at No. 108.
Obviously by their ranking in Florida, the popularity of this Texas band extended well beyond the Lone Star State.
Only slightly less surprising is No. 6 on WROD, "She Drives Me Out of My Mind." This tune, the Swingin' Medallions' follow-up to "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)," never got any higher on Billboard than No. 71.
IZ ZAT SO? Researching today's topic awakened the curiosity in me, a common reaction in my wacky world, as to whether or not there exists a regional Top 40 survey having nothing in common with Billboard's Top 10 that same week.
After shuffling through hundreds of weekly surveys, I can confirm there is at least one occurrence. There may be others but I stopped at one.
It is from WBZ in Boston, and here is their Top 10 for June 3, 1967, none of which are in the June 3rd Top 10 on Billboard:
1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Beatles)
2. "New York Mining Disaster, 1941"/"I Can't See Nobody" (Bee Gees)
3. "Headquarters" (Monkees)
4. "Can't Take My Eyes off You" (Frankie Valli)
5. "Sunday Will Never Be the Same" (Spanky and Our Gang)
6. "She'd Rather Be With Me" (Turtles)
7. "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" (Scott McKenzie)
8. "Let's Live for Today" (Grass Roots)
9. "Little Bit O' Soul" (Music Explosion)
10. "Mirage" (Tommy James and the Shondells)
Runner up: WPOP (Hartford, Conn.) is one example of a regional survey having only one song in common with Billboard's Top 10 this time from October 19, 1959. "Mr. Blue" by the Fleetwoods was No. 3 on both charts.