In March of 1973, I was living in New Jersey and working a good job. I particularly remember The O’Jays and their infectious song “Love Train”. There were several stations on the radio that played Top 40 music (Most coming from New York City). I would stay on one station until I heard “Love Train”, then when I heard it, I would switch over to another station to wait for it again. As long as I was in the car, I would do this hoping to hear the song as many times as possible.
The O’Jays were a trio in 1973. They had been in business for over ten years by this time and had struggled to make it in the competitive world of pop music. Finally they released “Back Stabbers” which didn’t hit number one, but was a big hit for them. After a short time, they decided to release “Love Train” and it became their one and only number one hit.
The O’Jays went on to a great career, however, with songs like “Put Your Hands Together”, “For the Love of Money” and “I Love Music”. Their last hit was in 1980, but I just listened to “Love Train” and it sounds as good as it did 35 years ago. It’s still one of my favorites.
In 1973, Nixon was President. The Vietnam War was pretty much over, but Nixon had new problems: Watergate. He was still trying to talk his way out of that. We all know how that ended. The Viet Cong were still holding American prisoners and we were negotiating for their release. On TV, people were definitely into comedy. One one night you could watch “Bridget Loves Bernie”, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show”. For the country fans, “Hee Haw” was still going strong. Some of my favorite comic strips were still being published. “Steve Canyon”, “Rib Kirby” and “The Phantom” being three examples. I really love “story” comic strips. They are few and far between these days.
A quick check of the newspaper of 1973 find that your money still went a relatively long way. You could get a turkey dinner at a diner for $1.66 and a four piece dinette set at a furniture store for $49.95. A three bedroom “starter” home could be had in the low 20’s. Keep in mind this was only 35 years ago. How far we have fallen.
Here’s a chance to hear The O’Jays and “Love Train” one more time.