Marcia Strykowski

Pop Music Hits of February 1973

music groupI had a lot of fun researching 1973 music, fashion, TV shows, and other popular pastimes when I was writing the Amy books. Call Me Amy takes place from March 1973 until August. And Amy’s Choice picks up right after, continuing through November 1973. But what about just before then; what were teens listening to on their transistor radios during the cold weeks of February 1973? Turns out there were some great hits happening exactly 42 years ago today.

Music turntableFirst, we’ve got American sensation Stevie Wonder who was born in 1950. He had two huge hits in February 1973 that reached #1: Superstition and You Are the Sunshine of My Life, both from his Talking Book album and both winning Grammy awards. Only 23 years old in 1973, Stevie already had fourteen previous albums to his name (first one at age 11!). He now has more than 25 albums and just as many Grammy awards. Here’s a link to his 1973 performance on Soul Train (wait ’til you see the dancers!): Superstition

Elton JohnNext up, from England, Sir Elton John, born in 1947. One of his enormous hits of February 1973 was Crocodile Rock, quickly followed by more #1 songs off his popular Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, such as Candle in the Wind, Bennie and the Jets, and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Still going strong, he has sold more than 300 million records. Here’s Elton in action (check out the shoes!): Crocodile Rock

Carly_Simon_-_1978American singer-songwriter Carly Simon was born in 1945. On this day in 1973, you’d most likely hear her number one hit You’re So Vain. She had many other hits, as well, but this particular song was always a bit of a mystery. Who is she singing about? She claims it’s not James Taylor (her former husband) or Mick Jagger who sings backup on the original song. Could it be Warren Beatty, as many suspect? Or, as she often says, is it really a combination of three different people? Live from Martha’s Vineyard, you decide: You’re So Vain

Roberta FlackLast, but not least, lovely singer-pianist Roberta Flack, born in 1937 in North Carolina and raised in Virginia. Her most popular song of February 1973 was Killing Me Softly with His Song. This hit, released soon after The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, remained at number one for five weeks—both songs won back-to-back Grammy awards. Sit back and enjoy her amazing talent: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face music notes

26 Comments

  1. Marcia, this post brings back memories! So many fun songs.

    Yvonne

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  2. Loved all those songs – great nostalgia read! Thanks, Marcia. Think I may have to get out my old records and dance around the house now!

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  3. Edna Lord

    Marcia, these songs were great. They brought back so many memories.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  4. Bette Norton

    Thank you for taking us down memory lane with some of the great music from that time period! Brought back wonderful memories! A great post! 🙂

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  5. All great songs! We used one of Stevie’s hits (I’ll let you guess which of those two it was!) to walk back down the aisle for our wedding. 🙂

    Carly was singing about Warren Beatty in “You’re So Vain.” He had treated her badly in their relationship. (Source: the biography, GIRLS LIKE US: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller.)

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    • Great choice for a wedding song! 🙂
      Although it’s been printed a bunch of times that Warren Beatty is the mystery man, Carly has never publicly revealed this. There were three or four others who also fit her clues of having an a, e, and r in their name. In a newer version of the song, she whispers the identity as David…. I’m going to stick with it being a combination of several men, including Warren. Fun stuff–she sure was busy–writing songs for Kris Kristofferson and Cat Stevens, too.
      Thanks for your comment, Barbara!

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  6. This is before I came to the U.S.A., but I’ve done a lot of catching up with last century’s popular culture here. YouTube makes it easy.
    And that Elton John getup- oh!

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    • It must be fascinating to compare the two cultures, with styles and music changing so swiftly.

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  7. I’m not so much of a Stevie Wonder fan but I really like Yellow Brick Road!

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    • Yes, lots of good songs on Elton’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album!

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  8. Ashley

    I know all these songs even though they were from before I was born!

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    • That’s a great thing about music, the classics stay with us forever!

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  9. Oh, I love so many of these songs, especially anything by Carly Simon, even though I was actually born in 1973. It was really fun reading what was going on then. I need to read your book!

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    • You certainly have an important connection to 1973. 🙂 Thank you, Jenni!

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  10. I recognized two of three of these songs- You’re So Vain, Killing Me Softly, & Candle in the Wind. =) Tho I bet some of the others I’d know if I heard them. And wow, Stevie Wonder sure was productive at a young age!

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  11. Our son was a year-old in 1973, and I still remember singing ‘you are the sunshine of my life’ to him!
    I’ve seen Elton in concert a couple of times and still love his songs. As for Roberta Flack and Killing me softly – all I can say is they don’t make songs like that any more. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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    • I’m very envious that you’ve seen Elton in concert. I almost did once and regret not doing so. And yes! Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for sharing your memories, Barbara!

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  12. These songs bring back my childhood. I was born in 1974, so these were the songs playing on the car radio when I was growing up. I still listen to these! Your music research must have been fun. I hope to see Elton John in concert one day! 🙂

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    • Happy I could bring back memories for you. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

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  13. Fun post! We’ve been on a 70s kick lately because my son is taking break dancing classes :).

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