The 20th Anniversary of the Top 77!
by Scott Benjamin



The Summer of Love; the Monkees walking down the street; psychedelic music, bubblegum rock, WABC ends its commitment to the Breakfast Club and the Newscope and is all music all the time with a chime time jingle at the end of each song; Dennison is where “money talks and nobody walks.”

The Beatles double-tracking establishes a standard for other artists and for radio production. Mass appeal radio: A top 20 survey with the 1910 Fruitgum Company, Deep Purple, the Chambers Brothers, Jeanne C. Riley, Cream Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Steppenwolf, the Vogues, Clarence Carter and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

Could it really be 50 years since Cousin Brucie was saying “Things Go Better With Coca Cola” and there was a contest to find out what new air personality Roby Yonge looked like? Dan Ingram said: “Think Mao Tse-tung.”

 The Top 40 music of 1967 and 1968 represented a landmark. Survey Guy Mike Riccio, who is in his 20th year moderating The Top 77 Of All Time through Rewound Radio, and the Oldies Message Board, said 1967 has been the most popular year in the annual countdown.

“The Beatles had been on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the British invasion was in full swing and everything just kept building over the next few years,” he said in a November 6, 2017 phone interview with

“I think there are quite a few people voting in the Top 77 that cherish that time because they were 10 or 11 then and that transformation in music came as they were first getting real acquainted with WABC and the Top 40 hits,” added Mike, who is a real estate broker on Long Island and has been an air personality at WBLI, WLIX and WGLT.

“It’s somewhat different now,” he said. “There are people that came of age in the 1990s and 2000s who didn’t experience music radio where the air personality was as prominent as was the case during WABC’s peak years.”

Mike said the Top 77 tries to recapture the excitement of the year-end Top 100, which was a staple at Musicradio77 WABC from 1964 through 1981. The top 100 songs from that year were played from the day after Christmas through New Year’s and listeners were invited to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to get a copy of the survey, which included photographs of the WABC All-American air personalities.

‘Hey, Jude’, the Beatles biggest hit and the number one song on the WABC Top 100 of 1968, has worn the championship fedora in 18 of the 19 years of the Top 77 of All Time. The one other year, 2010, it was ‘Rag Doll,’ by the Four Seasons.

“It’s a great sing-along song that crosses generations,” Mike said. “People sing-a-long with it when Paul McCartney is on international tour.”

Balloting for this year’s Top 77 Of All Time, which can be done through Rewound Radio, Musicradio77 com. and the Oldies Message Board, started October 30 and will continue through Monday, December 4.

For the third time, the voters are listing their top 10 selections – which are rated in descending order, with 10 points assigned to the number one choice and one point for the 10th-rated song. The voters have had up to three, five and seven selections in some previous years.

Mike said some years songs have gone higher in the rankings if, for example, the artist was one tour or the song was featured in a movie or television commercial. He said Bob Dylan got more votes than usual last year since months earlier he had been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

He said Rewound Radio will air a Top 77 countdown on Tuesday, December 26, hosted by Rewound Radio air personality Bob Radil, who hails from Connecticut, along with Mike and fellow Survey Guy Tom Natoli. Tom and Frank Thomas are again assisting in tabulating the results of the 3,000 to 3,500 different songs that are entered and ensuring against ballot fraud.

Rewound Radio will play songs from the complete list of entries through New Year’s Day – Monday, January 1, 2018.

Mike said they also usually get 3,000 to 3,500 votes, covering most of the American states and several foreign countries. He said the most popular foreign destinations are Canada and England.

He said surveys are popular because they put songs in a neat order and people are interested in where their favorite selections are on the chart.

“It’s a snapshot, that may bring back some terrific memories,” said Mike. “Also, some people look at a survey from years ago or hear the Top 30 from this week in a certain year on satellite radio and find that they had forgotten that a certain song had gone that high on the charts.”

Regarding audio programming, Mike said radio, which is approaching its 100th anniversary, will continue to thrive, but with more listeners going to on-demand, steaming and satellite options, which will result in a smaller audience for terrestrial radio.

“You hear a song on the speaker in your car and it reminds you of another song by that artist, you go through YouTube and its coming through your speaker” he explained.

Vote In The 2017 Top 77...


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