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Please note: This is a temporary mirror site for THE AMERICAN TOP 40 CELEBRATION PAGE, which seems to have disappeared faster than you can say, "Shuckatoom!"

SPECIAL COUNTDOWNS

(Special thanks to Pete Battistini and Scott Lakefield for help in developing this page)

One of the most unique features of American Top 40 was its occasional special countdowns. Done every few months, these countdowns were devoted to some topic of interest outside the normal weekly countdown. Special countdowns included: "Top 40 Disappearing Acts", "Top 40 Hits Of the Beatles", "Top 40 Acts of the Rock Era", and "Top 40 Hits From the Movies". These countdowns were tabulated by AT40 and were independent of Billboard except that its charts were used to compile the list.

In the early years the special countdowns aired the first week in April, the first week in October and over AT40's anniversary weekend of July 4th. However by the early 80s these special countdowns were done much less frequently, although they remained apart of the program as late as 1991.


 The special countdowns were used by AT40 as a promotional tool to get new stations to sign on to carry AT40. Previous to most of these countdowns, ads would appear in radio and record magazines announcing the special countdown and requesting interested markets to add AT40 to their lineup. This was ideal as the special countdowns brought in slightly higher audiences than the normal weekly countdowns.


What follows is a rather thorough listing of all the special countdowns done. However, the list is not complete.  Any help in "filling in the gaps" would be greatly appreciated.


CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF SPECIAL AMERICAN TOP 40 PROGRAMS

"Top 40 Recording Acts of the Rock Era (1955-1971)" (1st take) - Broadcast during the weekend of  1 May, 1971.

"All-Time Christmas Countdown" (1st take) - Done over Christmas weekend in 1971 in conjunction to the year end countdown. Top Christmas songs were profiled and played. An interesting side note: a playlist of the songs played, and a 2 ft. x 3 ft. wall poster (in red, white and blue) of the official AT40 logo could be had by writing to American Top 40.

"All-Time Rock & Roll Countdown" (2nd Anniversary show)-Top 40 songs from 1955-1972 Broadcast 4th Of July weekend 1972.

"National Album Countdown" - Done the weekend of 5 August, 1972. Instead of counting down the Top 40 singles, Casey counted down the Top 40 albums of the week. (#1 album: "Honky Chateau" by Elton John)

"Top 40 Recording Acts Of the Past 5 Years (1967-1972)" - Broadcast during the weekend of  30 September, 1972. A tabulation of the biggest acts from 1 September 1967-1 September, 1972)

"Top 40 Hits Of the Past 5 Years (1968-1973)" - Broadcast during the weekend of 7 April 1973. A tabulation of the biggest hits from 1 March 1968 - 1 March 1973.

"Top 40 Disappearing Acts Of the Rock Era" (1st take) (3rd Anniversary show)- One of the most popular of all the special countdowns. Ran on  AT40s 3rd anniversary (4th of July weekend 1973). Unlike other "one-hit-wonder" special programs, AT40 stuck to a strict criteria for inclusion into this countdown. An act must have had only 1 appearance on Billboard's Hot 100 and been absent form the chart for at least 2 years. As a result, many acts that had one Top 40 hit but one or more Hot 100 hit (such as Lorne Green) were excluded. Unlike other countdowns a subjective criteria of the acts influence on music was considered in the rankings as well as its chart run. So some low charting but well remembered songs made the survey, while some higher charting songs did not.

"Top 40 Acts of the Rock Era (1955-1973)"  (2nd take) - Ran the weekend of 6 October 1973. A simple countdown of listing the biggest recording acts from 1955 to the year of the countdown. Most memorable for its 13 minute "Beatles Medley".

"All-Time Christmas Countdown" (2nd take) - Ran in conjunction with the "Top 40 Hits of 1973" countdown that was broadcast the following weekend. Minor changes from the 1971 chart.

"The Top 40 Most Extraordinary British Hits Of the Rock Era"-Ran weekend of 6 April 1974. The Top 40 songs by British artists of the rock era were counted down.

"Top 40 Acts Of the 1970s" (1st take) (4th Anniversary show) ran 4th of July weekend 1974.

"Top 10 Producers Of the 70s" - Weekend of 5 October, 1974. A spotlight of the 10 biggest producers in the pop music business at the time. Each producer was profiled and 3-5 songs they produced were played.

"Top 40 Disappearing Acts Of the Rock Era" (2nd take) - over the weekend of 5th of April 1975. Minor changes from the 1st take. As with the first show the acts' influence was considered as well as its chart position in determining the rankings.

"American Top 40's first show"  (5th Anniversary show) was rebroadcast on the 4th of July weekend 1975. Identical to the original program with a few new spots of Casey remarking that the program was a rebroadcast.

"The 40 Rock and Roll Acts Of the 1950s" - Ran the weekend of 4 October 1975.

"The #1 Songs On the 4th Of July 1937-1976" (6th Anniversary show) - AT40's Bicentennial countdown show. As the title suggests, each #1 song over the 4th Of July weekend of that year was played to the year 1976. Billboard provided AT40 information in determining the #1 songs for the years 1937-1939 as the Billboard charts had not existed at the time.

"The 40 Songs Of the Beatles Years (1964-1970)" - Ran the weekend of 2 October 1976. Top 40 songs of this 7 year span whether Beatles songs or not - not to be confused with the Top 40 Beatles songs countdown that was in 1981.

"Top 40 Songs About Women"  (7th Anniversary show) - AT40's 7th anniversary show counted down the top 40 songs of the rock era about or dedicated to women.

"Top 40 Songs From the Movies" - Broadcast the weekend of 1st of April 1978, this countdown was on the top hits that originated from movies from 1960-1978. Covers of movie songs were included so hits like "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone which was not the original movie version were eligible to chart.

"Top 40 Acts Of the 1970s" (2nd take) (8th Anniversary show) Ran the 4th Of July weekend 1978. A significant revision of the first take from 1974. Acts such as The Captain and Tennille and Barry Manilow, which had not appeared on the first take were now listed.

"Top 40 Disco Hits" (9th Anniversary show) - Broadcasted the 4th Of July weekend 1979. Casey counted down the top disco hits based on their Top 40 performance (and not on their Disco chart performance).

"Top 50 Hits of the 1970s" - Over New Year's Weekend 1979-80, AT40 compiled the top 50 hits of the decade.

"American Top 40 Book Of Records" (1st take) (10th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1980. This was not a countdown, but a program that played songs that held certain chart records, such as "most weeks on the Top 40" and "most weeks at #1".

"Top 40 Hits Of the Beatles" (11th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1981. A countdown of the Top 40 hits by the Beatles as a group as well as solo hits.

"Top 40 Acts Of the 80s (So Far)" (13th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1983. A look at the biggest acts so far in the 1980s.

"Giants Of Rock and Roll Special" (16th Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1986. An exclusive survey conducted by AT40 of disc jockeys, who were asked "Who were the most influential acts in the history of Rock and Roll?".

"Top 40 Hits Of the 80s (So Far)" (17th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1987. A countdown of the biggest hits of the 80s form January 1980 to June 1987.

"Top 40 Newcomers Of the 1980s"  Broadcast the weekend of 30 May 1988. Top 40 acts who made their debut in the 1980s.

"Triathalon Of Rock and Roll" (18th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1988. The Top 40 acts who charted in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The following are the special countdowns during Shadoe Stevens' run

"American Top 40 World Tour"-  Broadcast Memorial Day weekend 1989. Top 40 American acts of the 80s who were the biggest outside the United States.

"American Top 40 Book of Records" (2nd take)-  Broadcast Labor Day weekend 1989. The show only featured chart records of the 1980s.

"Twentieth Anniversary Special" (20th Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1990. Not a countdown, but a year-by-year look of the 20 years of American Top 40. The Top songs of each year were played.

"All-American 4th Of July Special" (21st Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1991. Top 40 acts of the past 10 years (1981-1991). The final non-year end special on AT40.

 AT40 did no specials (outside of the year-end ones) during the years 1970, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. 1973 had the most specials with 4.

Summary of Specials On American Top 40
Type Of Special Years Done Number
Anniversary Specials (Independence Day) 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991 16
First week of October Specials 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 5
First week of April Specials 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978 4
Christmas Specials 1971, 1973 (In the years 70, 72 and 74-82 the weekend of Christmas featured the first part of the year-end countdown) 2
Memorial Day Specials 1988, 1989 2
Labor Day Specials 1989 1
New Years Day Specials 1980 (In all other years New Years Day featured part or all of the year end specials) 1
Miscellaneous Specials 1971 (first week of May), 1972 (first week of August) 2

CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF SPECIAL AMERICAN TOP 40 PROGRAMS

"All-Time Christmas Countdown" (1st take) - Done over Christmas weekend in 1971 in conjunction to the year end countdown. Top Christmas songs were profiled and played. An interesting side note: a playlist of the songs played could be had by writing to American Top 40.

"Top 40 Acts of the Rock Era" (1st take) (2nd Anniversary show)- Broadcast 4th Of July weekend 1972.

"Top LP's Countdown" - Done the weekend of 5 August, 1972. As the name suggests a countdown of the best selling albums of the rock era up to the week aired.

"Top 40 Hits Of the Past 5 Years (1968-1973)" - Broadcast during the weekend of 7 April 1973. A tabulation of the biggest hits from 1968 - 1973. (#1 was "Hey Jude" by the Beatles).

"Top 40 Disappearing Acts Of the Rock Era" (1st take) (3rd Anniversary show)- One of the most popular of all the special countdowns. Ran on  AT40s 3rd anniversary (4th of July weekend 1973) Unlike other "one-hit-wonder" special programs, AT40 stuck to a strict criteria for inclusion into this countdown, An act must have had only 1 appearance on Billboard's Hot 100 and been absent form the chart for at least 2 years. As a result, many acts that had one Top 40 hit but one or more Hot 100 hit (such as Lorne Green) were excluded.

"Top 40 Acts of the Rock Era" (2nd take) Ran the weekend of 6 October 1973. A simple countdown of listing the biggest recording acts from 1955 to the year of the countdown. (The #1 act were the Beatles the #2 act was Elvis Presley, the #3 act were The Supremes)

"All-Time Christmas Countdown" (2nd take) - Ran in conjunction with the "Top 40 Hits of 1973" countdown that was broadcasted the following weekend. Minor changes from the 1971 chart.

"Top 40 British Aritsts"-Ran weekend of 6 April 1973. The Top 40 British acts of the rock era were counted down.

"Top 40 Acts Of the 1970s" (1st take) (4th Anniversary show) ran 4th of July weekend 1974.

"Top 10 Producers Of the 70s" - Weekend of 5 October, 1974. A spotlight of the 10 biggest producers in the pop music business at the time. Each producer was profiled and 3-5 songs they produced were played.

"Top 40 Disappearing Acts Of the Rock Era" (2nd take) - over the weekend of 5th of April 1975. Minor changes from the 1st take with a few more 70s acts added.

"American Top 40's first show"  (5th Anniversary show) was rebroadcast on the 4th of July weekend 1975. Identical to the original program with a few new spots of Casey remarking that the program was a rebroadcast.

"The 40 Acts Of the 1950s" - Ran the weekend of 4 October 1975.

"The #1 Songs On the 4th Of July 1937-1976" (6th Anniversary show) - AT40's Bicentennial countdown show. As the title suggests, each #1 song over the 4th Of July weekend of that year was played to the year 1976. Billboard provided AT40 information in determining the #1 songs for the years 1937-1939 as the Billboard charts had not existed at the time.

"Top 40 Songs About Women"  (7th Anniversary show) - AT40's 7th anniversary show counted down the top 40 songs of the rock era about or dedicated to women.

"Top 40 Songs From the Movies" - Broadcasted the weekend of 1st of April 1978 this countdown was on the top hits that originated from movies from 1960-1978. Covers of movie songs were included so hits like "You Light Up My Life" by Deby Boone which was not the original movie version were eligible to chart.

"Top 40 Acts Of the 1970s" (2nd take) (8th Anniversary show) Ran the 4th Of July weekend 1978. A significant revision of the first take from 1974. Acts such as The Captain and Tennille and Barry Manilow, which hasd not appeared on the first take were now listed.

"Top 40 Disco Hits" (9th Anniversary show) - Broadcasted the 4th Of July weekend 1979. Casey counted down the top disco hits based on their Top 40 performance (and not on their Disco chart performance).

"Top 50 Hits of the 1970s" - Over New Year's Weekend 1979-80, AT40 compiled the top 50 hits of the decade.

"Top 40 Book Of Records" (1st take) (10th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1980. This was not a countdown, but program that played songs that held certain chart records, such as "most weeks on the Top 40" and "most weeks at #1".

"Top 40 Hits Of the Beatles" (11th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1981. A countdown of the Top 40 hits by the Beatles as a group as well as solo hits.

"Top 40 Acts Of the 80s (So Far)" (1st take) (13th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1983. A look at the biggest acts so far in the 1980s.

"Giants Of Rock and Roll Special" May 1986. An exclusive survey conducted by AT40 of disc jockeys, who were asked "Who were the most influential acts in the history of Rock and Roll?".

"Top 40 Acts Of the 80s (So Far)" (2nd take) (17th Anniversary show) - 4th of July weekend 1987. A revision of the 1983 countdown.

"Top 40 Newcomers Of the 1980s" May 1988. Top 40 acts who made their debut in the 1980s.

"Triathalon Of Rock and Roll" (18th Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1988. The Top 40 acts who charted in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The following are the special countdowns during Shadoe Steven's run

"American Top 40 World Tour"- 1989 but exact date and content of the program are unknown.

"Top 40 Book Of Records" (2nd take) (19th Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1989. The show only featured chart records of the 1980s.

"Twentieth Anniversary Special" (20th Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1990. Not a countdown, but a year-by-year look of the 20 years of American Top 40. The Top songs of each year were played.

"All-American 4th Of July Special" (21st Anniversary show)- 4th of July weekend 1991. Top 40 acts of the past 10 years (1981-1991).