By: Lyle Dillabough (The Ottawa Valley Troubadour)
1972 was a very memorable year!
Not only was it the year of Watergate and Paul Henderson's winning goal, it was also one of the best years in the history of 20th century contemporary music.
Perhaps (if you have been around long enough) you may recall… It was the heyday of AM radio's domination of the airwaves. In Canada 1050 CHUM Toronto was king along with it's many sister stations such as CFRA Ottawa and CKLC in Kingston. If your record wasn't being
played on CHUM in those days then your record wasn't being played anywhere.
In the U.S., stations such as WABC in New York City were the mainstay of the pop commercial music industry. At night, when the sun had gone down, all of these stations would begin to come in and the airwaves were transferred into "rock n roll heaven."
"Cousin Brucie" on WABC 770 was America's top rated DJ in those days but there were many others on stations such as WKBW Buffalo, WLS Chicago, WOWO Fort Wayne, WNBC New York and so on. Wow! And we are talking about some great tunes here as well!
Do you recall; BRANDY by the Looking Glass? Or, BACKSTABBERS by the Ojays? WILD EYES by the Stampeders, Harry Chapins' TAXI, YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A LADY by April Wine, AMERICAN PIE by Don McLean, SUNNY DAYS by Lighthouse, or SATURDAY IN THE PARK by Chicago? The list goes on with titles like; BABY DON'T GET HOOKED ON ME, RAIN SHOWERS, THE SUN DON'T SHINE ANYMORE, (Alone Again) NATURALLY, ONE OF
A KIND LOVE AFFAIR, ROCKETMAN, LONG COOL WOMAN IN A BLACK DRESS, DAY
AFTER DAY and on and on it went..
Do you remember how great Eric Clapton's (Derek and the Domino's) LAYLA sounded on AM? (Remember walking around with your transister radio or those "tube jobs" that "lit up" between the cracks in the dash boards of your car?)
"PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS!"
Speaking of cars, "fast cars" will still in vogue then with the Charger, Chevelle, Mustang, Delta 88 and the like tearing up the roads. "Drag races" would take place "before the cops got there." (Remember that?)
"Real Bands" played for school dances and in the local; bars, clubs and hotels. "Hot Pants" and "Mini-skirts" were in style as were "black lights' and "8-track tapes." The GODFATHER was the movie of the year back in 72.
But it was the music that stands out the most. Timeless tunes in a timeless age. "It" was all there in front of us. The future and all of it's promise. Technology, peace and love were going to save the day. That and Bobby Orr of course.
Carleton Place born and raised singer/songwriter Brock Zeman proclaims in one of his songs that "there aint nothin on the radio" these days. And he may well be right. But that certainly wasn't the case in the summer of 72. No siree,..far from it. Back then it was and will
forever remain; simply..THE BEST!!