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some text Shawn Ryan

A friend forwarded me an email that offered the chance to click a weblink (www.iheart.com/graduation-playlist), put in the year you graduated from high school and it would give you the most popular hit singles that year.

I graduated in 1975.

Lord have mercy.

"That's The Way (I Like It)" by KC & the Sunshine Band? "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille?

Sure, there was also "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith. "Tush" by ZZ Top. "Boogie on Reggae Woman" by Stevie Wonder. But c'mon, KC & the Sunshine Band? Just recalling the drooling dreck of "That's The Way (I Like It)" makes my brain ache.

But that chunk of gunk was hardly a standalone moment for 1975 music. All of the following songs were No. 1 hits.

* "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone. No. 1 for 10 straight weeks. Count 'em 10. Back in 1975, if someone told me that I'd never hear this song again if I set fire to my hair, I might have reached for the matches.

* "Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band. This team of two husbands and wives won a Grammy for Best New Band — beating Boston. "Afternoon Delight" is an answer to a trivia question now, but we all know Boston's "More Than a Feeling." Proof that, if you thought Grammy voters knew anything about music, you're wrong.

* "Have You Never Been Mellow" by Olivia Newton-John. I know some people thought she was singing about weed. Maybe she was. But who cares?

* "(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka. Picturing Paul Anka having sex left a permanent scar on my psyche.

* "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots. The name of the band says it all.

* "Convoy" by C.W. McCall. As if the CB craze of the 1970s wasn't bad enough, now we had a song that celebrated it — and that song was turned into a movie. That's sadism.

* "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas. Kung fu movies — or "chopsocky" — were big business in the '70s, so why not make a loopy song about the martial art? I don't remember any songs based on "The Exorcist" or "Jaws," but the "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" by Meco was a No. 1 hit in 1977, so at least we had that genre covered.

* "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille. Well, apparently it kept them together for 39 years until Toni Tennille filed divorce papers in 2014. The Captain didn't know he was getting divorced until he was served with the legal papers. Doesn't sound very loving to me.

Contact Shawn Ryan at mshawnryan@gmail.com.

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