Saturday, July 25, 1970

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory Debuts: July 25, 1970

Originally posted July 25, 2011.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and one of the Top 100 Acts of All Time according to Dave’s Music Database. Perhaps no album is more responsible for giving the band such iconic status than Cosmo’s Factory, which spent nine weeks atop the Billboard album chart. “Seven of the album’s 11 tracks turn up on Chronicle, CCR’s best hits collection” SS and the album ranks as one of the top 1000 albums of all time according to Dave’s Music Database.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door is “a charming, bright shuffle, filled with dancing animals and domestic bliss – he had never been as sweet and silly as he is here.” STE Up Around the Bend is “a searing rocker, one of their best.” STE There’s also “the menacing murkiness of Run Through the JungleSTE and the “poignant melody and melancholy undertow” STE of Who’ll Stop the Rain. “Travelin’ Band, a funny, piledriving rocker with a blaring horn section; the first indication their sonic palette was broadening.” STE On Long as I Can See the Light, singer/songwriter John Fogerty “finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove.” STE

Travelin’ Band

Those six songs comprised the A and B-sides of three 1970 singles. The album also featured an 11-minute version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. “Even if it wanders, their take on the Marvin Gaye classic isn’t unpleasant.” STE “No white group of its time could cover black music with as much natural flair.” SS

As for the non-singles, there is “the claustrophobic, paranoid rocker Ramble Tamble. Unlike some extended instrumentals, this was dramatic and had a direction.” STE “Their faithful, exuberant takes on the Sun classics Ooby Dooby and My Baby Left Me are joyous tributes.” STE

Cosmo’s is really a must-own in its entirety. No other album so adeptly laces together the various strands of the CCR sound.” SS “The band broke up two albums after the release of this, their apex LP, but Cosmo’s Factory cemented CCR’s standing as a great American band.” SS


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Saturday, July 4, 1970

American Top 40 Debuts: July 4, 1970

Originally posted July 4, 2011.

July 4, 1970: the internationally-syndicated radio countdown show American Top 40 launched. The show counted down the biggest hits in the U.S., starting with #40 and working its way to #1. The Billboard Hot 100 charts, widely considered the industry standard, were the original source material. In the early ‘90s, they based the list off the Hot 100 Airplay chart and later the Top 40 Mainstream chart. When Kasem returned in 1998, AT40 switched to Radio and Records. In 2000, Mediabase began providing the data. Those charts are currently published on Tuesdays in USA Today.

Casey Kasem was the show’s original DJ and a co-creator. He is most associated with the show, having hosted it from its inception through 1988. Shadoe Stevens hosted from 1988-1995 and then the show went on hiatus for three years. Kasem returned in 1998, hosting until 2004. Ryan Seacrest has hosted it since then.

Casey Kasem

AT40 started as a three-hour show, expanding to four hours in 1978. By the early ‘80s, the show was available in 520 stations in the United States and in 50 countries around the world.

The inaugural show aired on seven radio stations. Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come” was the first #1. Both Elvis Presley and The Beatles were in the top 10.

Kasem put his stamp on the show in several ways, most notably through long distance dedications. Listeners wrote letters with emotional personal stories and requested a song. Kasem read the letter on-air and then played the song. He was also well known for his signature closing motto: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

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