Throwback Thursday: 1974

In 1974 Grandpa Abe gave ten-year-old me a radio. Very quickly that radio became shy me’s best friend. I hadn’t paid much attention to music previously, only hearing what played in the family care when we went out to eat or to Sunday school or the orthodontist. With my best friend Radio by my side I was exposed to so much more. Mostly I listened to the top 40 station WABC. By the autumn of 1974 I was making weekly treks on my bicycle to Melody Manor to buy whatever single entered the top 40 that week, unless it was something truly heinous like “Cat’s in the Cradle.” It’s a habit I kept up until the mid to late eighties, when “Lady in Red,” “The Final Countdown,” “Hip To Be Square” and Milli Vanilli convinced me to eschew that habit and only buy records that were tolerable. Today’s playlist celebrates the music of the year I started collecting records.

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A Philly Soul Playlist

Not all records classified as Philly Soul come from Philadelphia-based artists, though all share characteristics – orchestral string arrangements married to rhythm and blues with a funk influence that bridged the way toward disco. Here are thirty examples of the genre, with the songwriting-production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff working on the lion’s share of these releases.

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Throwback Thursday: 1972

This Throwback Thursday we revisit 1972. What happened in music in 1972?:

Michael Jackson had the first of 13 solo US #1 Hot 100 singles with a song
about a rat.

Chuck Berry had his first US #1 single with a song about his penis.

Roberta Flack spent six weeks at #1 on the US Hot 100 with a song she
released in 1969.

Helen Reddy rerecorded a song from her 1971 album I Don’t Know How To Love Him. It became the first of her three US #1 Hot 100 singles and became an anthem for women’s equality.

The Staple Singers scored their first of two US #1 Hot 100 hits with a classic song that had only one verse.

Neil Young scored his only US #1 Hot 100 single.

Some of the other classic singles to peak in 1972 are “American Pie,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Me & Mrs. Jones,” “Without You,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Alone Again (Naturally),” “Lean On Me,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “School’s Out” and “The Harder They Come.”

David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders
from Mars
.

The Rolling Stones released Exile on Main St.

Elton John released Honky Château.

As far as music goes, I’d say 1972 was pretty pretty pretty pretty good. Even the bad songs were good! Here are thirty highlights.

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