WABC Top 100 Songs of the Year
During its years as a Top 40 Music radio station, WABC compiled year end surveys of the ranking of the songs that were played during that year, usually referred to as "the top 100 of the year". You could receive the survey free from WABC by sending in a self addressed stamped envelope. Fortunately some of the readers of this web page were extremely diligent in doing so over many years! The following pages are from the original surveys from 1964 to 1982.
There are many interesting things about these lists. First, there is the ranking of the songs and, of course, the titles and artists of the most popular songs of this era. This is a great place to come when you can't remember who sang what. It is also interesting to see how many of the records on these lists are still popular today. That is one of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Musicradio WABC. Today, we still listen to this music almost as much as we did when it was new.
Still, there are other songs that you never hear anymore. Some of them are quite high in rank. It is amazing to see what songs have staying power and what songs don't. It frequently has nothing to do with their relative popularity at the time.
You can follow the changing themes of Top 40 music from the British Invasion in 1964 with The Beatles and the Rolling Stones through the "Bubblegum" era of The 1910 Fruitgum Company, to the protest songs of the late 60's. Take a look at 1968. On the same list you have "Hey Jude" at number one, "Yummy Yummy Yummy" at number thirty eight, and "Abraham, Martin and John" at number seventy. What an amazing range in music.
As the seventies roll along you can see how music is changing and WABC along with it. Passion and protest songs are replaced by "beat" in Rock with songs like Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" in 1973. Then comes the Disco era. Even the venerable Rolling Stones had the disco sound in 1978's "Miss You". By 1981 the station's playlist is almost confusing. Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen on the same station doesn't work too well. Top 40 radio was having a difficult time coping with fragmentation of the music audience. It was becoming ever more difficult to play everything. And, of course, in May of 1982 WABC stopped trying.
These surveys were generated from the actual lists that were distributed by WABC each year. Each song was transferred to a database and the lists were then generated. Because these lists are now in a database, it is possible to sort them in many different ways. Here they are presented by year. But, they can also be sorted by artist, or song title. So, for example, if you wanted to know how many times The Beatles appeared on the WABC Top 100, I can sort the lists and tell you (the answer is 34). E mail me if you have such a question.
Special thanks and appreciation go to Phil DiMaggio who donated most of the lists for this web page. Without his contribution this would not have been possible. Thanks also to Peter Mokover, Jeff Roteman and Paul Kopp for filling in a couple of blanks.
All lists are for the Top 100 for their respective years except 1977, 78 and 81. Those years WABC published only the Top 77. 1982 lists only 40 songs because no list was actually published that year since the station had changed its format. The 1982 list is from Rick Sklar's book "Rocking America" where he lists the most popular 40 songs.
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1964||never published|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1965|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1966||1966 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1967||1967 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1968||1968 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1969||1969 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1970||1970 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1971||1971 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1972||1972 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1973||1973 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1974||1974 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1975||1975 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1976||1976 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 77 of 1977||1977 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 77 of 1978||1978 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1979||1979 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 100 of 1980||1980 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 77 of 1981||1981 WABC Cover Page|
|The Musicradio WABC Top 40 of 1982||never published|
But, what about 1960-1963?
WABC did not officially tabulate the top songs for the year until 1964. They did, of course, keep weekly surveys. Thanks to an amazing amount of work by Tom Natoli we have a close approximation of what the top songs for each year would have looked like!
Tom took all the weekly lists from each of the years from 1960 to 1963 and, for the top 20 in each survey, ranked the songs over the course of each year. By weighting each song according to its rank in the weekly surveys he was then able to come up with a point system for ranking the songs for the year.
The following lists are therefore based on the WABC weekly surveys just as the official Top 100 lists were. 1960 has only 97 songs because WABC did not start weekly surveys until July 9, 1960. 1961-63 have more than 100 songs because Tom tabulated the results to that level of accuracy.
Remember, these lists were never published by WABC as were the ones above. But, they are based on the WABC playlists over each of their respective years.
Thanks to Tom Natoli for this contribution!
The Musicradio WABC Top Songs of 1960
The Musicradio WABC Top Songs of 1961
The Musicradio WABC Top Songs of 1962
The Musicradio WABC Top Songs of 1963
In 1981 WABC compiled a "Top 200" songs survey. Listeners were asked to vote for their favorite songs of all time. This list is therefore based on votes from WABC listeners. It includes the ranking of the songs according to the voting and also the year the song was a hit. (Thanks to Paul Kopp for this contribution!)
The Musicradio WABC Top 200 Songs
WABC Top 200 Songs Cover Page
WABC Musicradio 77 Home Page