W*O*L*D by Harry Chapin (Elektra, 1974)

Boy this song really makes the life of radio DJ sound awful. W*O*L*D barely reached the Top 40, peaking at #36, most likely because DJs cringed at the thought of their lives being echoed in song. It would be his only hit in England as well.

The song is sung as a phone conversation to the man’s ex-wife after 8 years of not seeing her. He’s a DJ that’s moved around a lot and hasn’t found what he’s been looking for. So he checks in with her to see if he’s got a chance to get back together. For a more recent video reference, watch the scene in Sideways where Miles drunk-dials his ex-wife. This song is just as awkward and sad. And it both cases it turns out that ‘she’ has moved on. It was inspired by a conversation that Harry overheard from a Boston DJ named Jim Connors, who Harry credited as giving his career a boost by heavily playing his song Taxi in 1972.

Supposedly this song it turn was an inspiration to Hugh Wilson, the man who created WKRP In Cincinnati. So do the math. All it took was someone eavesdropping on a phone call who us to get 4 years of watching Loni Anderson weekly in those luscious tight outfits. Thank you, Harry. Did I mention he was a humanitarian?

By the way in 1974, WOLD did exist as a radio station in Virginia. I presume that they thanked Harry for the free promotion.

Did you know: that Harry is an Oscar nominated filmmaker? Back in 1968 he wrote & directed a film called Legendary Champions which was nominated for an Academy Award. But he changed his career choice and went into music instead. Again Loni & I thank you, Harry.

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1 Comment

  1. My Ding-A-Ling by Chuck Berry (Chess, 1972) « 7 Inches of 70s Pop

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