Radio Hits in November 1973: Joking Around

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Richard NixonIn November 1973, the world was getting increasingly caught up in the Watergate scandal. While President Richard Nixon was professing “I am not a crook,” days later his attorney revealed the infamous 18 1/2-minute gap in the White House tape recordings.

And on Los Angeles Top 40 radio leader KHJ, rock songs still dominated the charts.

Bubbling under… Debuting at #30 (on its way to #3) were Michigan rockers Brownsville Station with the biggest hit of their career, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.”

Related: Our feature story on Brownsville Station

Climbing from #30 to #27 was Stevie Wonder‘s “Living For the City” from his brilliant Innervisions album.

Todd Rundgren jumped from #29 to #25 with his third (and final) Top 20 single, “Hello, It’s Me.” The single was the biggest hit of his career, peaking at #5.

Related: Our story about the song’s wild success

Philadelphia soul group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes rules the R&B charts in the ’70s with ten Top 10 singles. “The Love I Lost,” with a great vocal by lead singer Teddy Pendergrass, climbed from #19 to #16 this week, on the way to #7 pop and #1 R&B.

The Steve Miller Band were enjoying their breakthrough hit, “The Joker,” this week moving from #23 to #13. It would become the first of their three #1 chart hits.

The Rolling Stones’ “Angie” was at #9, a few weeks after it had become the band’s seventh #1 Hot 100 hit. At #8, Billy Preston earned his fourth Top 5 hit in just two years with “Space Race.”

Jim Croce had died in a plane crash two months earlier and radio was embracing his music. His beautiful “I Got A Name” was at #7 this week on KHJ; it would soon be followed by “Time In A Bottle” which ultimately hit #1. Enjoy this live version.

The title cut from Elton John’s hugely successful double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was at #6 (on it’s way to #2), one of 16 Top 10 hits he had in the ‘70s.

Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” is the subject of an On This Day feature, marking the anniversary of its hitting #1. The song, co-written with George Harrison, was #3 this week on KHJ.

The Carpenters were at #2 with “Top of the World,” their second of three #1 hits. The duo enjoyed 12 Top 5 singles from 1970-1975.

At #1? Chicago’s “Just You ‘N’ Me,” one of the band’s insane number of Top 10 singles: 21. (Nationally, Chicago had to wait until 1976’s “If You Leave Me Now” to earn their first #1.)

30. “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” – Brownsville Station (Big Tree)

27. “Living in the City” – Stevie Wonder (Tamla)

25. “Hello, It’s Me” – Todd Rundgren (Bearsville)

16. “The Love I Lost” – Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (Phila. Intl.)

13. “The Joker” – Steve Miller Band (Capitol)

10. “Heartbeat It’s a Lovebeat” – The DeFranco Family (20th Century)

9. “Angie” – The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones)

8. “Space Race” – Billy Preston (A&M)

7. “I Got a Name” – Jim Croce (ABC)

6. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John (MCA)

5. “Why Me” – Kris Kristofferson (Monument)

4. “Midnight Train to Georgia” – Gladys Knight & The Pips (Buddah)

3. “Photograph” – Ringo Starr (Apple)

2. “Top of the World” – The Carpenters (A&M)

1. “Just You ‘N’ Me” – Chicago (Columbia)

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