Songs That Were Only Popular Locally

I remember growing up in the 70s and there were a few songs in Chicago that were very big here but not really elsewhere.

For instance, Helen Reddy’s, Gladiola and Ariel by Dan Friedman were played all the time on Chicago radio when I grew up, but nationally not so much. *Gladiola * wasn’t even a single for Reddy, but it was played in Chicago a lot. I also remember in the 80s, Leslie Pearl’s, If The Love Fits was played and my biggest example was Matthew Wilder’s, Break My Stride.

Now that actually got play all over the country too, (it was like #3 nationwide but the song was much bigger in Chicago). I still recall the DJs at B96 in Chicago saying “and now for the SIXTH straight are number one song is…OH NO…Break My Stride

So my question is what songs did you hear in your area of the country and thought would be popular nationwide only to learn later on, that those songs weren’t really hits or big hits at all and they were only played on heavy rotation in your city

Wouldn’t these mostly be local bands? I was happily surprised when people outside of New England that I’d introduced to Guster and Jeremiah Freed reported hearing their songs on the radio, but I’d known that they were in heavy rotation only because they were local - “local” meaning from ME to MA in my case. Same with Vacationland, Paranoid Social Club, C60, Dear Leader, Twisted Roots, Taxpayer, and Angry Salad.

However, I’ve been downloading an internet radio site from Boston (Loudcaster), and was surprised to learn that Bleu, Tracy Bonham, and Mission of Burma are local.

I’ve always wondered if people outside the Chicago area know the Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah song, Lake Shore Drive.

The Spin Doctors were very popular locally about a year before they became a national act, though the rest of the world caught up.

Blotto was very big locally.

Guster blew up big in Rochester, NY because of heavy airplay on local alternative/indie station 90.5 WBER. They’re so popular in Rochester that it was chosen as the location of one of only nine tour dates Guster played this year.

Another artist that WBER was really big in supporting was Canada’s Sarah Slean. She even thanked the station in the liner notes to Night Bugs or Day One. I heard later that apparently she’s practically unknown in the US outside of Rochester and that most of her albums have never been officially released in the US.

I lived in the Bay Area most of my life, and throughout the '90s Faith No More always got quite a bit of radio airplay. I was quite surprised when they were included in a “One Hit Wonder” list on VH1 some years back. While talking about it with a friend of mine, from New York, I learned that apparently outside of the Bay Area FNM was exactly that - a One Hit Wonder.

It was a KSHE Classic in St. Louis. That means it wasn’t a top 40 sorta hit, but the leading rock station played it occasionally for years and years.

I’ve introduced it to my daughter and have played it on the iPod within the week.

Nitpick - it’s Dean Friedman. And this song was also played a lot in the New York area, possibly because it references the Paramus Park mall in New Jersey (Friedman is from Paramus).

They’ve enjoyed national attention for the past 5-7 years (one of their songs was played on a FOX or WB show and they suddenly became a band other people had heard of after that. I want to say it was The O.C.), but they were already popular in New England 15 years ago. I first saw them in 1996, and at that point had already known about them through dormmates for quite a while; the girls across the hall had a poster from the Parachute cd on their walls when I met them in 1995.

Dispatch in DC

Sparky’s Flaw/Parachutes in Charlottesville

FNM were very big here for a while and had at least two hits :wink: .

Back in the late 1980’s I lived in East Lansing Michigan. A local station played a novelty song by a Michigan group called The Yoopers.

The song was titled “The Second Week of Deer Camp” I thought it was hilarious, but it was supposed to be just a one day novelty. But the darn song caught on and the station had to play it at least twice a day during the whole darn month of November, until hunting season was over.

Next year folks asked for it again! I actually bought a Yoopers tape with the song, to give it to my cousin in Kansas, who is an avid hunter.

Having grown up and lived my entire life within a few hundred miles of Myrtle Beach, I’m often unsure just how familiar beach music is in the rest of the world.

Yeah… Epic, We Care a Lot, then much later on Last Cup of Sorrow and one other song from the same album as LCoS the title of which escapes me were played quite often. OTOH, I *only *ever heard these four songs by them on the radio.

Ah, Jewish girls in peasant blouses! The forbidden fruit. :frowning:

The Fools were really big in New England for awhile there in the 80s. Songs like “She Makes Me Feel Big,” “World Dance Party” and “Life Sucks…The You Die” were in heavy rotation on Boston radio.

The Pittsburgh Steeler Polka, circa 1978 or so. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t played much west of Washington (PA), south of Somerset, east of Altoona, or north of Erie…

I know that song (I live in Chicago) but only because Dr. Demento plays it every November…TRM

In the same vein, The Super Bowl Shuffle, courtesy of Da Bears, 1986. Which I still occasionally play for my students if I’m eager to humiliate myself on a given day.

There’s No Surf in Cleveland by the Euclid Beach Band.
That was a novelty, but for a real HIT song, we had It’s Cold Outside by the Choir, a forerunner of the Raspberries before Eric Carmen showed up. #68 on the Billboard charts!