Lost Hits of the Late Seventies

No surprise here, but oldies radio doesn’t play all the oldies. You’ll hear Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” a million times before “Strange Magic” ever pops up. Who’s the band in the pic up there? Exactly. The Sylvers had three Top 40 hits in 1976 and 1977, but you’re probably not going to hear them outside of a “Saturday Night Disco” specialty show. (Yep, they’re all brothers and sisters.)

Sean Ross writes the Ross on Radio column and recently broke down what he considers the songs of 1975-1979 with the biggest Lost Factor – “songs have the widest gap between hit status then and a lack of airplay today.” Go check out the full list, but here’s three personal favorites.

Donny and Marie, Bay City Rollers, and Shaun Cassidy all lost staying power for being so tied into the Teen Beat pop of the ’70s and their squeaky clean images. You grow out of sweetie Scott Baio and grow into sweaty Robert Plant. I insist this Shaun Cassidy #1 is still a fun bit of cotton candy. It’s produced by Michael Lloyd, who also was behind Belinda Carlisle’s “Mad About You” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing.”

Between being the “I’m a Pepper” guy and “An American Werewolf in London,” David Naughton starred in “Makin’ It,” a nine-episode sitcom that borrowed heavily from “Saturday Night Fever.” John Travolta’s sister, Ellen, was even in the cast. Here’s the “Makin’ It” opening credits with the theme song, sung by Naughton, that went to #5 in the US.

Sometimes, you hear a song and love a song and only learn years later that it’s a cover. That’s what happened with me and Captain & Tennille’s “Shop Around.” My excuse is I was in grade school. Before this version hit #4 in 1976, The Miracles and Smokey Robinson took “Shop Around” to #2 in 1960. Try to find either played on the radio today.