An exhaustive reference, by title and artist, to all songs appearing on Chicago's Top 40 radio surveys in the 1960s.
We Americans love to rank things. Whether it's the top television programs or movies at the box office, we have a burning desire to know when something is "number one." Music is no exception. Music charts have been around as long as recorded music and radio programs from Your Hit Parade to American Top 40 have capitalized on the idea of counting down the day's top hits. It is said that the first printed radio survey of the current top tunes was the WIND Top 21 in Chicago. Whether that's true is irrelevant. Because of it, Chicagoans got into the habit of picking up a list of the latest hits at their local record stores. When ABC bought WLS, "The Prairie Farmer Station" in 1960 and switched it to the fledgling "top 40" format, it soon followed with the "Silver Dollar Survey" of Chicago's top 40 tunes. For over 30 years, WLS (and its FM successor, WYTZ) kept the surveys going each week. And with its 50,000-watt clear channel signal and enormous respect in the industry, to be listed on WLS' survey was perhaps more of an honor than to appear on the national Billboard Hot 100. Chicago Top 40 Charts 1960-1969 documents those songs that dominated the Midwestern airwaves during that decade--considered by many to be top 40's "golden age." Many of the songs listed did not appear at all on the national charts. Others, including local acts, fared much better in Chicago than in the rest of the country. Chicago Top 40 Charts 1960-1969 contains an alphabetical listing by title and by artist of every tune listed on the WLS Silver Dollar Surveys during those years. It also lists the top 40 songs of each year and for the entire decade, as well as a supplemental listing of songs on the station's Rhythm-and-Blues chart of 1964. For those who grew up listening to radio in the Windy City as well as for record collectors from anywhere, Chicago Top 40 Charts 1960-1969 will be a valued addition to any music reference library.
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Writers Club Press
August 07, 2001
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