Countdown to the Annual Music Party


This coming June with be my 40th annual music party. We go in-depth about the music party on the 5 episodes from Castlist 002 of the Beyond Radio Presents podcast. For those not in the know, the first party was in January 1984 and counted down the top 125 of the year based on a group of my friends’ top 50’s of 1983 (David Bowie’s “Modern Love” was the first #1). By the mid-90’s the party had morphed into a summer party and soon became a weekend event and really an annual reunion of friends and family. I did not know when I had the initial idea that it would go on for this long but I am blessed that it has. 

My life has been one immersed in music, starting with The Partridge Family (the bulk of episodes from Castlist 001 relate PFam songs to some of the genres that I have gravitated towards), leading into my weekly personal chart, the music party, and then this website. During the first 20 years of the website it was mainly focused on the charts I compiled from personal charts from across the globe. All of these things fueled my insatiable search for new music.

Once I started the podcast in 2018 that has become my main focus and it has been a true joy to produce. The premise of the podcast, where music nostalgia and music discovery collide, made me look backward as well as forwards. What a gift it is to sift through my history with music and create a way for people to discover music through my lens (and of course my podcast partner Jeff Morris’ as well). It was his suggestion that I do a podcast so the gift really came from him.

The 40th annual music party is scheduled for June 24, 2023. In leading up to that I decided to make a series of playlists that feature the songs that attained each position in the top 50 each year. The first playlist is all the #50’s from the last 39 years. The playlists won’t always have 39 songs as some songs ended up performing better the following year they hit a certain position.

The songs are in chronological order and are a mix of well-known and obscure songs. Typically the participation of submissions would be anywhere from 20 to 50 people so in the years where there were fewer it was easier for songs that were not big hits to reach the top 50. This past summer there was substantially less participation which allowed “Coconuts” by Kim Petras reach #4 and the remake of Reba McEntire’s “Does He Love Me” with Dolly Parton come in at #6. I personally love the eclectic mix that the party countdown provides.

The first #50 was the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Seen The Rain” as done by Bonnie Tyler (maybe a travesty to some but it turned the song into a grandiose upbeat anthem). The signature production by Jim Steinman is evident. Ironically Steinman’s muse Meat Loaf showed up at #50 11 years later  with “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”. In 2020 the song “Die To Live” by the Danish metal band Volbeat was #50 and with it’s mix of metal and boogie-woogie horns it is very reminiscent of Meat Loaf’s addition to the Rocky Horror movie “Hot Patootie-Bless My Soul”. We discussed this in an episode of the podcast but with 65 episodes I’m not sure which one (we’ve easily discussed over 1000 songs thus far).

To show the diversity of the countdown, #50 in the last 4 years has been by Barbra Streisand, Volbeat, Blake Shelton, and Jack White. Shelton shows up another time with a largely overlooked duet that went to #4 in Iceland in 2013. There’s also a punk band with a transgender lead singer, a poignant song about a father and son by a British singer-songwriter, a Canadian 2-hit wonder from 1993, and a lip-syncing duo.

By: Radio Tim 
Dec 15, 2022