Around the beginning of August in 1979, I did on a typical Friday what every other preteen or teenager did by picking up that evening's edition of The Richmond News Leader and immediately going to the "Young Virginians" section.
Yep, once a week, the now defunct evening paper would spend a few pages with articles and features for the generation that's now 40 to 64 years old. There was the advice column for teens, "Ask Beth", and, my favorite part, the Billboard Top 10 Singles Chart.
They posted a few charts, but the first one was what I focused on, future radio programmer that I was at the time.
One Friday, I looked, and there was a song listed that, well, I had never heard before.
What's is "My Sharona by The Knack"?? I distinctly remember asking myself that question, mispronouncing "Sharona" in the process. Not too many days later, I got my answer, hearing the song for the very first time.
(NOTE: "My Sharona" was #45 on the Hot 100 the week of July 14th, then went to #34, #18, then #6 the week of August 4th)
In my first fifty years, NO other song has ever made me obsessed from the first listen like this one did. Immediately, my daily hope in the waning weeks before seventh grade began at Beaverdam Elementary was to hear the song, hear it again, get it on tape, and play said cassette to death.
To this day, when I hear it, I am immediately transported back to August, 1979, in my brother's Chevrolet Monza, listening to it as high as the volume for that little car radio would allow, absolutely and totally enthralled. And I smile. And I crank it up again.
The beat, the riffs, the drums, the bridge, the vocals. It's everything wrapped into one incredibly perfect piece of music, and perfect for late summer, 1979, a summer we've saluted here many times.
I eventually bought the album, "Get The Knack", and I, along with many others, thought we had the second coming of Beatlemania on our hands. That is, until early 1980, when, fatefully, The Knack released an album obviously rushed to completion to capitalize on the massive, monster success of today's song.
It was a flop. And, as quickly as they stormed the charts, sadly, The Knack disappeared from them. But I'm still a fan, as shown by the fact that several of their songs made the Top 500, a few others came close.
I salute and thank The Knack for providing me the most musically charged moment of my life: the first time I heard today's song, and knew, beyond reasonable doubt, what "My Sharona" was.
In a word? Life-changing.
Or is that two words.... :)
What eventually supplanted "My Sharona" from the #1 spot? There's a major story, in parts, behind its ascension. See you tomorrow. :)