The 1981 WLS Rock Hall Of Fame

As I was down and out this past Memorial Day Weekend, it wasn't really a thing for me but I did do some searching from my sick bed for 2018 Memorial Day Countdowns and found a few:

All of which reminded me of the WLS Rock Hall Of Fame Top 500 Songs Of All-Time I had featured back in September 2017. WLS was my most favorite radio station of all-time. A constant companion from shortly after our family moved to Rantoul, Illinois, in 1975 until we moved away in early August 1981. Constant that is except for the Summers when I was whisked out of state, to either Navasota, Texas (Dad) or Pineville, Missouri (Mom), by my folk's folks. My Dingo Boots box of cherished WLS music surveys collected during that time mysteriously disappeared during that move in 1981 but I've recently acquired a few of those old surveys including some from 1981. I discovered The 1981 Rock Hall Of Fame was printed on the back of 10 of those surveys, running from June to August 1981. I'm guessing this was the station's annual Memorial Day Weekend feature as it features songs from throughout the history of Rock N Roll, from the Fifties up into the Eighties though I do not recall listening to it all, not even a little bit. It's interesting to note regional favorites, as well as the strange infiltration of current or recent chart hits, into an all-time type countdown. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers listening to the Rock Hall Of Fame or knows more about it. It's all old but it's all new to me you know what I mean?

Comparing the Top 20 from 1981 to the Top 20 of 1982, there are but 9 songs that appear on both lists:
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand - Beatles
  • American Pie - Don McLean
  • Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and the Comets
  • Imagine - John Lennon
  • Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
  • Yesterday - Beatles
  • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
  • Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • Hey Jude - Beatles


  1. Heck yeah I remember listening to these, which would take the whole weekend. It was always interesting to see which current hits would get ranked out of all proportion to where they belonged, such as "Woman" and the REO and AC/DC records on the 81 list. I am surprised at the small amount of overlap between the 1981 and 1982 lists. I am guessing there was more overlap in earlier years, but I haven't looked at the lists myself.

    I was going to blog about these lists at my place, so thanks for saving me the work. Seriously.

  2. This is mighty cool! As you noted, it's fascinating to see then-current songs in the top 100/50/20.