Off The Charts

If you're curious about how a certain song fit into its time period, Frank has you covered.

We’ve gathered a stash of radio surveys from the ‘60s through the ‘80s from stations around the country. And we've turned them into Spotify playlists.

You're thinking, what's a radio survey? Well, every week -- probably organized by the radio station's intern -- the most popular and requested hits were tallied up. Then the survey with the station’s vitals printed on it (sometimes along with an ad for a local retailer) was distributed for free at nearby record stores, libraries, coffee shops, hair salons and so on.

These surveys were often an amazing combination of national hits and regional gems. Remember radio stations, until the early 80s, were usually unique and often supportive of their local talent (the mega-mergers and acquisitions of stations beginning forty years ago, brought about the homogeny we now hear today.)

So, you can use our recreated surveys (the playlists below) like a time machine. Travel back and find your song and you'll be able to listen other cuts popular at that same moment (disclaimer: Spotify doesn't always have the rare gems available so a few songs may be missing), creating a sort of time-based aural landscape.