Friday, May 4, 2012

Steve Carlisle - "WKRP in Cincinnati"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted November 21, 1981, Peaked #65, 9 Weeks on the Chart)

Yes, they released a longer version of the opening theme to WKRP in Cincinnati as a single. Unfortunately, it failed to chart very high; some might say that was because the show -- which began airing in 1978 and was beginning its final season during the chart run -- had been on the air too long at the time and was too "familiar," but the song was actually released as a single in 1979. I'm not sure why it still took two years to reach the national chart, but it definitely deserved better than a #65 peak.

I used to work in the radio business, and WKRP was a great show because it actually "got" what was happening in the industry. Yes, the ensemble cast was great and well-chosen, but the radio-based topics were close to what was really going on (and I wasn't in the business until a decade after the show went off the air). The lyrics of the song basically told the story of Andy Travis (played by Gary Sandy), the fictional station's new program director tasked with turning it around.

Personally, I would have liked to see a single release of the song that played during the closing credits of the show. However, as a nonsensical tune that acknowledged that CBS was going to have an announcer "presell" the next show, it just wasn't meant for a 3-minute version.  

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