From what I gathered he was the first to understand the power of making a list and he lived by his humble credo of “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Maybe he came up with the idea after watching a rocket touch down on the moon because a year later, starting in 1970, he was counting down from 40 to 1 and “the smaller the number the bigger the hits”.
I remember being transfixed in my parents car when I first heard his voice and he was counting down songs. I had to hear the entire broadcast. I was never a fan of the long distance dedication but I lived for the tidbits on each artist and the questions sent in by listeners,
“What man and what woman have had the most #1’s singing solo in any 12 month period?” And then the teaser. “The man set the mark in the 50s, the woman in the 70’s. Details coming up” Well of course I’m going to stand by. Answer from February of 1986. “The woman did it three times in a 12 month period starting in 1978. She topped the charts with “McArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls” her real name is Madonna Andrea Gaines (Madonna??? I had no idea) but is famous as Donna Summer. The rock and rock ground breaker from Mississippi hit in 1956 with “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Love Me Tender”, “All Shook Up” and “Teddy Bear” . Five number one’s for who else? The King Of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley Thanks for writing in and now on with the countdown.”
It was a treat to listen to him work. He was a true original and he’s going to be missed.