Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 22 (June 26, 2022):  Was It A Top 40 Hit?

Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 22 (June 26, 2022): Was It A Top 40 Hit?

This Week’s Theme: Was It A Top 40 Hit?

My move back into fully developed Faux Shows started last week, after a few months of simpler shows, with a theme that used my favorite music reference – Joel Whitburn’s Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. I enjoyed that research so much that this week and next week will also feature themes based on that book.

This week’s theme is a sort of trivia game. I’ve included thirty-one songs and the game is to guess whether the songs were Top 40 Hits. All but one of the songs sound like they could have been a hit, but only those with an extensive knowledge of Top 40 hits across the last sixty-five years will know all of these songs – I certainly didn’t know them all until researching this show. Many of those that were not hits are now standards while some of the hits are long-forgotten. Before moving on with your reading, listen to the playlist and see if you can guess which songs were hits.

Welcome to Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number Twenty-Two.

First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.


Amazon Music

The Answer Key

This week’s blog is a little different. We’ll start with the answers to the game in the form of the track list and then delve into some of the songs in more detail.

TrackArtistSongWas It a Top 40 Hit?Peak PositionDate
1Georgie Fame & The Blue FlamesYeh, YehYes212/27/1965
2Clash, TheShould I Stay or Should I GoNo455/1/1982
3Canned HeatGoing Up The CountryYes1112/21/1968
4Who, TheI Can’t ExplainNo931/15/1965
5Rolling Stones, TheUnder My ThumbNo1297/2/1966
6Beatles, TheI Am The WalrusNo5611/24/1967
7Beatles, TheI’ll Cry InsteadYes258/15/1964
8Kinks, TheDestroyerNo859/28/1981
9Kinks, TheA Rock and Roll FantasyYes308/9/1978
10Band, TheThe WeightNo638/8/1968
11Ronnie Hawkins & The HawksMary LouYes269/21/1959
12Lloyd PriceOh, Oh, OhNoN/A1952
13Little RichardTutti FruttiYes171/28/1956
14ScandalGoodbye To YouNo65Sep-82
15BerlinThe MetroNo581981/May 1983
16Bow Wow WowI Want CandyNo62May-82
17Outfield, TheSay It Isn’t SoNoN/A1985
18Hooters, TheAll You ZombiesNo581985
19QuarterflashTake Me To HeartYes147/2/1983
20Sundays, TheHere’s Where The Story EndsNoN/AJan-90
225th Dimension, ThePuppet ManYes245/2/1970
23Earth, Wind, and FireMighty Mighty Yes294/27/1974
24Gilberto GilFunk-se quem puderNoN/AN/A
25Donna SummerLush LifeNoN/AN/A
26Chaka KhanThe End of a Love AffairNoN/AN/A
27Billy JoelHalf a Mile AwayNoN/AN/A
28Boston A Man I’ll Never BeYes3112/23/1978
29Bon JoviIn and Out Of LoveNo69Jul-85
30Led ZeppelinTrampled Under FootYes385/17/1975
31Led ZeppelinAll My LoveNoN/A8/15/1979

Songs Everyone Knows But Weren’t Hits

The Clash “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”: This is now the most well-known song by The Clash. True Clash fans never name this as their favorite because it is too popular, even though deep down we all know it may be their best song. At the time, The Clash were known for their minor hit “Train in Vain” and their surprise Top 40 smash “Rock The Casbah.” This song is from the same album as Casbah, and was their last brush with the charts before they broke up after one more record.

I am getting very stressed out that the head of our school does not know about Neu!

The Weight

This song by The Band is now thought of as an iconic example of American music. At the time it was released, it was ignored in a sea of psychedelia, bubblegum music, and other late ’60s-era pop songwriting. It didn’t even come close to hitting the Top 40 but now stands as a defining song of that era’s generation.

The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Who

These are obviously three of the most successful artists in rock history, so I selected one song by each that are part of each band’s canon but weren’t hits. As a comparison, I also included one of The Beatles least known and lowest charting hits, “I’ll Cry Instead.” Also interesting is that the album Hard Days Night only had three hit singles, including “I’ll Cry Instead,” plus the title track and “And I Love Her.” Not a hit – “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Should Have Know Better.” It all just goes to show how fickle and undiscerning pop audiences can be.


Scandal, Berlin, Bow Wow Wow, The Outfield, The Hooters, and Quarterflash were all daily staples of an MTV diet in the early-mid ’80s. Any MTV teen from those years knows every one of these songs, so it is amazing to look back and see that the only hit from this entire list is “Take Me To Heart” by Quarterflash.

Get the Led Out

Led Zeppelin had very few hits, and those they did have are usually not what you’d expect. The following songs were NOT hits:

“Good Times, Bad Times,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Communication Breakdown,” “Heartbreaker,” “Living Loving Maid,” “Ramble On,” “Rock and Roll,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “The Ocean,” “Custard Pie,” “Kashmir,” and “All My Love.”

It is interesting that “Trampled Under Foot” makes their list of hits. Also on that list is “Fool In The Rain” from their final album, while the much more radio-friendly “All My Love” wasn’t even a single, although it later became a classic rock radio standard.

Artist of the Week: Art Rupe

Art Rupe was a producer who pioneered the beginnings of rock and roll in the early ’50s. He founded Specialty Records in 1946 and recorded several early artists in the R&B, gospel, and blues genres. He first went to New Orleans in 1952 after hearing Fats Domino. During this first visit, he auditioned Lloyd Price and became the producer of all of Price’s early rock and roll recordings. These records defined a style of R&B that became the rock and roll sound of artists like Fats Domino and then Little Richard. Domino played piano on Price’s early recordings. Price then talked Little Richard into sending a demo to Rupe to be a piano player for Rupe’s label. On Richard’s first visit, he played a song for Rupe that he had written with lyrics too raunchy to be recorded. Rupe worked with Richard to change the lyrics and after three takes they had completed “Tutti Frutti.” These recordings by Price, Domino, and Richard are part of the foundation of rock and roll. Rupe also recorded other early rock and roll artists, including a very young Ray Charles on piano backing Guitar Slim. Rupe later moved on to other business endeavors, but his work as a rock and roll pioneer, although now forgotten, makes him one of the most important figures in the history of modern pop music.

Some would argue that it all starts here in 1952.
“Maybe we can make him sing like B.B. King.” Well, maybe not, but “Tutti Frutti, Good Booty” might work.
And some would argue that it was perfected here in 1955.

In Memoriam

Ronnie Hawkins died on May 29, 2022. He was the leader of his band The Hawks, and his work starting in Arkansas in the ’50s and then moving to Canada in the ’60s was influential on both U.S. and Canadian rock music. Most importantly, he was a great talent scout. Many of his band members went on to successful careers, most notably those members who left to form The Band (Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson).

“I turned 41, I don’t mind dyin'”: Hawkins with The Band in the film The Last Waltz.

Art Rupe died on April 15, 2022. See Artist of the Week.

Alan John Such died on June 5, 2022. Such was the original bassist for Bon Jovi.

Happy Birthday (June 19)

Billy Davis Jr. is a founding member of The 5th dimension.

Georgie Fame is a British jazz and R&B musician who found early success on the U.S. pop charts over sixty years ago and then went on to have a successful career for over fifty years.

Gilberto Gil is one of the most important artists in Latin music history. He deserves his own show, but for now I have included a funk song from his lesser known early ’80s period. If you don’t know Gil’s work, don’t start with this! His work in the ’60s and ’70s helped create the framework for modern Brazilian music.

Dave Grusin is a composer, producer, arranger, pianist, and performer of a variety of styles. He has won Grammy and Oscar awards and is a co-founder of GRP Records (he is the G). He started recording in 1962 and was an influential artist throughout the ’70s and ’80s. He is best known for his film score work, including The Graduate, Three Days of the Condor, On Golden Pond, Tootsie, The Goonies, and The Milagro Beanfield War (for which he won a Grammy). This week’s show includes three tracks featuring Grusin as a session musician. He provides horn orchestrations on Billy Joel’s “Half a Mile Away” and piano on Donna Summer’s “Lush Life” and Chaka Khan’s “End Of A Love Affair.”

Colin Greenwood is the bassist for Radiohead. They are good.

Mick Jones is a founding member of The Clash. They were good.

Terri Nunn (Berlin), Rindy Ross (Quarterflash), and Patty Smyth (Scandal) are three iconic female artists from the early days of MTV.

Larry “The Mole” Taylor was the bassist for Canned Heat.

Harriett Wheeler was the lead singer for jangle pop band The Sundays.


Too many to list.

2 for “Two”Day

The Beatles, The Kinks, and Led Zeppelin: A trio of old school classic rock radio double shots.

3 Chunks of Funk

Earth Wind and Fire “Mighty Mighty”: This is their first Top 40 hit.

The 5th Dimension “Puppet Man”: This song from their prime hit-making period is a funky Neil Sedaka cover.

Gilberto Gil “Funk-se quem puder”: This is a song from his early ’80s attempt at more contemporary pop and reggae music.

Thanks for listening (and reading)!

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