8 April 1977

thelma-houston-dont-leave

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 7 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
2 1 5 Smile  - Pussycat
3 4 5 Living Next Door To Alice  - Smokie
4 3 6 Love Me  - Yvonne Elliman
5 11 4 Rock ‘N Me  - Steve Miller Band
6 5 10 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
7 6 12 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
8 7 10 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
9 8 7 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
10 New 1 Don’t Cry For Me Argentina  - Julie Covington
11 10 8 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young
12 16 3 I Recall A Gypsy Woman  - Don Williams
13 15 4 Couldn’t Get It Right  - Climax Blues Band
14 9 8 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
15 14 9 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
16 New 1 Hey Mister Dream Maker  - Cliff Richard
17 12 5 When A Child Is Born  - Johnny Mathis
18 18 2 Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes  - Barbara Ray
19 19 2 Chanson D’ Amour  - Manhattan Transfer
20 13 14 Howzat  - Sherbet

Thelma Houston scored her first SA chart topper this week as ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ knocked Pussycat’s ‘Smile’ from the number 1 spot. This was the 15th song to top the charts by a solo female artist (there had also been 2 further chart toppers where women were one half a duet). So far only Olivia Newton-John had managed to find a second number 1.

Don Williams’ ‘I Recall A Gypsy Woman’ moved up 4 from 16 to 12 thus gaining the song star rater status, but it was The Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rock ‘n Me’ that took top honours for climbing as it jumped up 6 places from 11 to 5. There had been 6 songs that had previously made this exact 6 place jump from 11 to 5 and of those 3 had been the biggest climber in the week and 3 hadn’t. The Steve Miller Band now tipped the balance in favour of this climb being the biggest in the week.

Sherbet were added to the list of Australian acts who had a biggest faller in a week as ‘Howzat’s 7 place drop was the biggest this week. Sherbet joined John Paul Young, New World and The Mixtures as Aussie acts with a biggest faller and all of them so far had only had this happen to them once.

This week was significant for Barbara Ray as she now equalled Alan Garrity at the top of the list of weeks on the charts to date by a local artist, both having clocked up a total of 84.

We had 2 songs depart the chart this week, the first of which was Leo Sayer’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ which had lasted 13 weeks on the chart and peaked at 3. This accounted for just over a 3rd of the total of 38 weeks he had accumulated to date with 5 hits (including this one).

The Rice And Beans Orchestra’s ‘The Blue Danube Hustle’ also left us after just 2 weeks and a peak of 17. Leo Sayer would grace our top 20 again, but there were no further servings from The Rice And Beans Orchestra. The wife of Pepe Luis Soto who led The Rice And Beans Orchestra, would have a hit under the name Celi Bee & The Buzzy Bunch.

Julie Covington brought us the 9th song to debut on the chart at position 10 or higher and in doing so her hit ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ would be the highest debuting song by a solo female, a record which would only be equalled in 1982 but never beaten. Covington had starred in the musicals ‘Godspell’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ but when it came to ‘Evita’ from which the song came, she only recorded a studio version of it but turned down the role for the stage production. The role ended up going to Elaine Paige. This was the second song to chart from an Andrew Lloyd-Webber/Tim Rice musical (the previous being Richard Loring’s version of ‘One More Angel In Heaven’ from ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’). The song went to number 1 in the UK, Holland, Belgium and New Zealand. The song was banned from airplay by the BBC during the Falklands war in 1982. In 1996 Madonna recorded a version for the film of Evita in which she starred. This version made number 3 in the UK and 8 in US and topped the charts in France and Spain. In total the song has charted by 6 different acts in the UK, Covington’s and Madonna’s mentioned above and The Shadows who took it to number 5 in 1978 were the only times it went top 10 while the other 3 versions were by Sinead O’Connor (#53 in 1992), The Mike Flowers Pops (#30 in 1996) and The Glee Cast (#67 in 2011)

Cliff Richard joined Barbara Ray on 9 hits as ‘Hey Mr Dream Maker’ entered the top 20 this week. This placed them tied 5 on the list of number of hits by an artist. In the UK this would be Cliff’s 68th charting hit and would garner him a number 31 placing on the charts. This would be only his 14th hit of the 68 not to make the top 20 in the UK. In Holland the song would make it to number 21 and in New Zealand it would get to 34. The song was written by Alan Tarney and Bruce Welch, both of whom had had a hand in writing one of Cliff’s previous hits with Tarney getting a credit on ‘Living In Harmony’ while Welch’s name appeared on the single of ‘Don’t Forget To Catch Me’. In 1980 US country singer Dottie West recorded a cover of the song, but it failed to make any impression on the charts.

Youtube playlist:

 

1 April 1977

smile-pussycat

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 4 Smile  - Pussycat
2 4 6 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
3 3 5 Love Me  - Yvonne Elliman
4 7 4 Living Next Door To Alice  - Smokie
5 2 9 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
6 5 11 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
7 6 9 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
8 8 6 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
9 10 7 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
10 12 7 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young
11 16 3 Rock ‘N Me  - Steve Miller Band
12 13 4 When A Child Is Born  - Johnny Mathis
13 11 13 Howzat  - Sherbet
14 9 8 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
15 15 3 Couldn’t Get It Right  - Climax Blues Band
16 19 2 I Recall A Gypsy Woman  - Don Williams
17 18 2 The Blue Danube Hustle  - Rice & Beans Orchestra
18 New 1 Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes  - Barbara Ray
19 New 1 Chanson D’ Amour  - Manhattan Transfer
20 14 13 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing  - Leo Sayer

Pussycat were smiling at the top of our charts as ‘Smile’ spent a second week there. They already stood tied 5th for weeks at 1 by an artist, sharing the spot with Daniel Boone and Dawn. Thelma Houston moved into second place with ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’.

The Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was the climber of the week, moving up 5 places to 11, this after spending the first 2 weeks of its chart life at number 16. There were no other star raters this week.

Leo Sayer may not have felt like dancing much as his song, ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ was the biggest faller this week, dropping 6 from 14 to 20. He couldn’t really complain too much though as he had already had 4 hits manage to have runs on our charts without one of them being a biggest faller in a week, it was bound to happen to him sometime or the other. The biggest fall any of his previous hits managed was only 3 places while ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ fell 5 places 2 weeks earlier, but escaped being the biggest faller as Pussycat’s 8 place drop with ‘Mississippi’ helped him out then.

The up side for Leo was that ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ shared the oldest song on the chart honours with Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’, both songs sitting on 13 weeks. The reason they were the oldest was that last week’s granddaddy, Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ fell off the charts after 19 weeks and a peak of 2. It only spent its last week as the oldest on the chart.

Also going was Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’ which had lasted 10 weeks and peaked at  7, 5 places lower than their only other hit to date, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and 5 weeks less.

Barbara Ray clocked up her 9th hit to date. Only Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley on 10 and Billy Forrest and Creedence Clearwater Revival on 11 had managed more. Her new hit was ‘Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes’ which was a cover of a song from 1973 by Wild Bill Emerson. The only chart action other than Barbara’s I can find for the song was when a cover by a guy called Ray Pillow made 97 on the US Country Singles charts in 1978, the year following Barbara’s success.

The other new entry was ‘Chanson D’Amour’ by Manhattan Transfer. The song had its first success in 1958 when Art & Dotty Todd and The Fontane Sister both took it to number 6 in the US. The Manhattan Transfer’s version would not trouble the US charts, but did spend 3 weeks on top of the UK charts. The title, ‘Chanson D’Amour’ translates as ‘love song’.

Youtube playlist:

25 March 1977

smile-pussycat

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 6 3 Smile  - Pussycat
2 3 8 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
3 4 4 Love Me  - Yvonne Elliman
4 5 5 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
5 2 10 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
6 1 8 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
7 10 3 Living Next Door To Alice  - Smokie
8 9 5 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
9 8 7 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
10 12 6 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
11 7 12 Howzat  - Sherbet
12 17 6 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young
13 15 3 When A Child Is Born  - Johnny Mathis
14 11 12 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing  - Leo Sayer
15 19 2 Couldn’t Get It Right  - Climax Blues Band
16 16 2 Rock ‘N Me  - Steve Miller Band
17 13 19 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
18 New 1 The Blue Danube Hustle  - Rice & Beans Orchestra
19 New 1 I Recall A Gypsy Woman  - Don Williams
20 14 10 Somebody To Love  - Queen

The Sweet would be the only act who took over the top spot from themselves when ‘Co-Co’ knocked ‘Funny Funny’ off the number 1 position in August 1971. This week Pussycat became the second quickest to send a new song to the top when ‘Smile’ dislodged ELO’s ‘Livin’ Thing’ to gain pole position just 8 weeks after ‘Mississippi’ had fallen from the top spot. This also meant that they were the first Dutch act to have a second number 1 on our charts. This would ultimately be the 3rd shortest gap between number 1’s.  ‘Smile’ was the 10th song to jump to the top spot from position 6 or lower in the charts while ‘Livin’ Thing’ became the second song to fall as low as 6 from the number 1 spot, joining Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Sundown’. This would be the lowest position ever that any song would fall to from number 1 and we would not see a drop like this again.

With Bonnie Tyler at 2, Yvonne Elliman at 3 and Thelma Houston at 4, we saw the 15th time the woman had occupied 3 of the top 5. We would only see 1 week where solo female artists managed 4 out of the top 5. With Pussycat at 1, the top 4 songs all featured female vocals.

A further delight for Pussycat was that the 5 place climb to the top of the charts was the biggest climb this week and it was shared with John Paul Young’s ‘Keep On Smilin’, giving both artists a 3rd biggest climber in a week award. The Climax Blues Band managed a star rater with ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ climbing 4 to 15. John Paul Young’s song had had a shaky start, entering at 20, climbing to 18 where it spent 2 weeks, then dropping back to 20 before climbing to 17 last week and now jumping to a new peak of 12.

Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’ fell 6 to 20 to give it the biggest faller of the week title. Their only other hit to date, Bohemian Rhapsody’ had also managed to get this title.

While Pussycat were enjoying the success of ‘Smile’ they did see ‘Mississippi’ flow off out of the charts. The song had lasted 20 weeks, 8 of which were at number 1 and its departure brought to an end their 15 consecutive week run with 2 or more songs on the charts, a record to date which would ultimately be equalled by 1 act and beaten by another. It was also the record to date if one included non-consecutive week runs.

Also leaving the charts was Showaddywaddy’s ‘Under The Moon Of Love’ which shared a peak of 6 with their only other hit, ‘Three Steps To Heaven’ but only lasted 8 weeks compared to the 12 their first one managed. This was the sum total of their SA chart career.

The departure of ‘Mississippi’ meant we had a new oldest song on the chart and that was Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ which sat on 19 weeks.

The Rice and Beans Orchestra who brought us the first of our 2 new entries this week was led by Puerto Rican born, but US based Pepe Luis Soto. Pepe had relocated from Puerto Rico to the US around 1972 along with his wife, Celida Ines Camacho. Celida would go on to have success as Celi Bee along with her group The Buzzy Bunch while Pepe (who had helped Celi along her way) formed his own band, The Rice And Beans Orchestra and recorded a disco take on Johann Strauss’ ‘The Blue Danube’, calling it ‘The Blue Danube Shuffle’. While garnering a lot of attention, the song did not chart on the main charts either side of the Atlantic, but the band did manage to get to number 11 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles in the US later in 1977 with ‘You’ve Got Magic’. Pepe and Celi Bee got divorced in the early 80’s.

The other new entry this week was ‘I Recall A Gypsy Woman’ by Don Williams and was his first SA chart hit. The song first saw the light of day as a b-side of Wiliams’ 1973 single ‘Atta Way To Go’ which made number 13 on the Hot Country Songs chart in the US. In 1976 it managed to climb to number 13 on the UK charts and is his highest charting song on either the UK or US main charts to date.

Youtube playlist:

18 March 1977

livin-thing-elo

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 7 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
2 1 9 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
3 4 7 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
4 5 3 Love Me  - Yvonne Elliman
5 7 4 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
6 9 2 Smile  - Pussycat
7 3 11 Howzat  - Sherbet
8 8 6 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
9 10 4 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
10 19 2 Living Next Door To Alice  - Smokie
11 6 11 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing  - Leo Sayer
12 15 5 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
13 11 18 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
14 13 9 Somebody To Love  - Queen
15 16 2 When A Child Is Born  - Johnny Mathis
16 New 1 Rock ‘N Me  - Steve Miller Band
17 20 5 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young
18 14 8 Under The Moon Of Love  - Showaddywaddy
19 New 1 Couldn’t Get It Right  - Climax Blues Band
20 12 20 Mississippi  - Pussycat

Chicago’s time at the top with ‘If You Leave Me Now’ was short lived for after only 2 weeks there, it was knocked into 2nd place by ELO’s ‘Livin’ Thing’. This meant that ELO were now the 16th act who would ultimately go on to have 5 or more hits on our charts, to have their first one go to number 1.

Despite ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ being Smokie’s 4th hit, it was only the second time they clinched the biggest climber in a week award as the song leapt 9 places up from 19 to 10. This was way ahead of the next biggest climbers, Pussycat’s ‘Smile’, Elvis Presley’s ‘Moody Blue’ and John Paul Young’s ‘Keep On Smiling’ which only climbed 3.

Pussycat had mixed fortunes this week. Their ‘Smile’ was climbing, as mentioned above, but ‘Mississippi’ was falling and was doing so in a big way. Its 8 place drop from 12 to 20 earned them the biggest faller in the week award. ‘Georgie’ which had entered the charts after ‘Mississippi’ fell off the top 20 after 14 weeks and a peak of 2. To balance this up, the positives were that ‘Mississippi’ was the oldest on the charts and was the first song to make it to 20 weeks since Bachman Turner’s ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ back in May of 1975 (almost 2 years previously). With ‘Smile’ and ‘Mississippi’ both still on the charts, Pussycat now had had 15 consecutive weeks with 2 or more songs in the top 20. This would be the second best of all-time for consecutive weeks.

Another act that had enjoyed 2 songs on the charts, finished their run as Smokie’s ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ left the top 20, leaving ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ (our biggest climber this week), on its own. The two had only spent 1 week on the chart together, but added to the time ‘If You Think You Know How To Love Me’ and ‘Don’t Play Your Rock ‘N Roll To Me’ were on the charts together, Smokie had experienced 3 weeks in total with 2 songs in the top 20. ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ spent 13 weeks on the charts and peaked at 3, giving them peaks of 2, 3, and 4 with their first 3 hits.

The first new entry was a first SA chart hit for The Steve Miller Band, ‘Rock ‘n Me’ which entered our chart the same week that the song that it would knock off the top spot in the US charts was knocked off the top spot on our charts. ‘Rock ‘n Me’ took over from Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ at the top of the US charts on 6 November 1976 and stayed there for a week before Rod Stewart’s ‘Tonight’s The Night’ dislodged it. It was their second song to top the US charts, the previous being ‘The Joker’ however while the latter was attributed to The Steve Miller Band, ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was only attributed to Steve Miller. It was a different story in Europe where the band got credit in the artist name. The song would also top the Canadian charts, make 11 in the UK, 22 in Holland and 23 in New Zealand.

The second new entry was The Climax Blues Band with ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’. Originally called The Climax Chicago Blues Band, they actually hailed from the UK and, like our other new entry, also had a connection with Chicago as that band (who were called Chicago Transit Authority at the time) put pressure on them to drop the ‘Chicago’ from their name. ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ (perhaps an aptly titled song considering the trouble they had with the band name) would garner them a number 10 hit in the UK (their only UK hit) in 1976 and go number 3 in the US in 1977, their highest peaking of 4 hits there. A remix of it was released in 1988, but failed to chart. In 1999 The Fun Lovin’ Criminals recorded a cover of it, but that was only as an album track.

Youtube Playlist:

11 March 1977

if-you-leave-me-now-chicago

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 8 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
2 2 6 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
3 3 10 Howzat  - Sherbet
4 9 6 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
5 15 2 Love Me  - Yvonne Elliman
6 4 10 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing  - Leo Sayer
7 11 3 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
8 8 5 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
9 New 1 Smile  - Pussycat
10 12 3 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
11 10 17 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
12 5 19 Mississippi  - Pussycat
13 7 8 Somebody To Love  - Queen
14 6 7 Under The Moon Of Love  - Showaddywaddy
15 16 4 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
16 New 1 When A Child Is Born  - Johnny Mathis
17 14 14 Georgie  - Pussycat
18 13 13 I’ll Meet You At Midnight  - Smokie
19 New 1 Living Next Door To Alice  - Smokie
20 18 4 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young

Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ spent a second week at the top of the charts with ELO’s ‘Livin’ Thing’ breathing down its neck, the latter spending a second week at 2.

‘Love Me’ by Yvonne Elliman became the 43rd song to have a climb of 10 or more places as it jumped up 10 to 5. The last time a woman had managed this was when Loretta Lynn’s duet with Conway Twitty, ‘As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone’ climbed 10 on 9 May 1975 and we had to go back to Olivia Newton-John’s 14 place climb with ‘If Not For You’ back on 28 May 1971 to see the last solo female to manage this. Another female, Bonnie Tyler, had the only other star rater with ‘Lost in France’ which climbed 5 places to 4.

The faller of the week award went to Showaddywaddy’s ‘Under The Moon Of Love’ which fell 8 places to 14. ‘Mississippi’ by Pussycat and Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’ also had big falls with them dropping 7 and 6 places respectively.

‘Mississippi’ enjoyed a 3rd week as the oldest on the chart moving on to 19 weeks, the first song to manage this since Marie Gibson’s ‘One Day At A Time’ back in August 1976.

For the first time since 3 December 1976 (when 4 songs fell off the top 20) we had more than 2 songs leave the charts. The first of the 3 to do so this week was Barry Mason’s ‘Without You’. It had spent 14 weeks on the charts and peaked at 7. This would be his only hit as an artist. He had had 6 songs chart where he was amongst the song writing credits, but these had also come to an end. In total he had 7 hits (1 as artist and 6 as song writer), spent 72 weeks in the charts and the best peak was when Edison Lighthouse’s ‘Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)’ which he co-wrote with Tony MacAulay made it to number 3.

Also leaving us was The Julian Laxton Band’s ‘Blue Water’ which made it to number 7 during its 8 week stay in the charts. This was 3 places higher than their previous hit, ‘Celebrate The Rain’, but had the same weeks.

When Peter Frampton sang, ‘Show Me The Way To Go’ I’m sure he didn’t mean for us to indicate where he should get off the charts, but that’s what we did this week. It was an 8 week stay and peak of 11 for this single hit that Frampton would have in SA.

The last time we had had a new entry into the top 10 was back in December 1975 when Joe Dolan’s ‘Lady In Blue’ debuted at 7. This week Pussycat’s ‘Smile’ crashed into the charts at 10 to become the 7th song to makes its debut inside the top 10. Not only was it a high new entry, but it now meant that Pussycat became the second artist to have 3 hits in the charts at the same time as ‘Mississippi’ and ‘Georgie’ were sitting at 12 at 17 respectively. Percy Sledge was the only other artist to achieve this. ‘Smile’ would get to 2 in Holland, 3 in Belgium and New Zealand, 8 in Switzerland, 9 in Germany, 10 in Austria and 24 in the UK. The band had now spent 14 consecutive weeks with 2 or more songs in the charts

Christmas songs were not common on our charts, possibly because song from the UK and US usually took a couple of months to reach us by which time these seasonal songs were no longer apt for the time. Johnny Mathis’ ‘When A Child Is Born’ which had topped the UK charts on Christmas day of 1976 (his only chart topper there) made its way on to our charts almost 3 months after Christmas (or 9 months early for Christmas 1977 if you like). Interestingly the English lyrics (by Fred Jay) to the piece of music originally entitled ‘Soleado’ by Italian composer Ciro Dammicco, make no reference to Christmas but look forward to the birth of a particular child and mention a ‘tiny star’ which gave the song its festive appeal.

Our final new entry was the 4th by Smokie to grace our charts and coming in at number 19, ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ sat next to their 3rd hit, ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ at 18, making this the 11th time we saw an act occupy adjacent positions on the chart.  This was the second time that Smokie had managed to have 2 in the top 20 in the same week. ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ gave song writers Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn their 14th hit and put them tied 4th for number of hits by song writers. The song went to number 5 in the UK and topped the Australian, Austrian, German, Irish, Dutch, Norwegian and Swiss charts. In 1995 a Dutch band called Gompie, which featured Peter Koelewijn, a prominent Dutch musician, recorded a rude version of the song adding ‘Who The F**k Is Alice’ after the title of the song was sung. This topped the charts in Holland and Belgium. Smokie recorded their own version with these less radio friendly lyrics and drafted in comedian Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown for this. This version went 2 places better in the UK charts than the original version, getting to number 3 in October 1995.

Youtube playlist:

4 March 1977

if-you-leave-me-now-chicago

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 7 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
2 4 5 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
3 1 9 Howzat  - Sherbet
4 3 9 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing  - Leo Sayer
5 5 18 Mississippi  - Pussycat
6 7 6 Under The Moon Of Love  - Showaddywaddy
7 8 7 Somebody To Love  - Queen
8 11 4 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
9 13 5 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
10 6 16 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
11 19 2 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
12 16 2 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
13 9 12 I’ll Meet You At Midnight  - Smokie
14 10 13 Georgie  - Pussycat
15 New 1 Love Me  - Yvonne Elliman
16 17 3 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
17 14 8 Show Me The Way  - Peter Frampton
18 18 3 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young
19 12 8 Blue Water  - Julian Laxton Band
20 15 14 Without You  - Barry Mason

Chicago ended Sherbet’s run at the top as ‘If You Leave Me Now’ took over the number 1 spot from ‘Howzat’, the latter having spent 4 weeks there. We would have to wait till 1988 (less than a year before the Singles charts finished) before we saw an Aussie act spend longer at number 1. ‘If You Leave Me Now’ was the 10th song to top our charts that also topped the US and UK charts.

Bonnie Tyler and Chris de Burgh both scored star raters with ‘Lost In France’ and ‘Just Another Poor Boy’ which moved up 4 to 9 and 12 respectively. They would, however, be beaten for biggest climber in the week by Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ which climbed as many places as the 2 songs together (8 for those whose calculators are a bit too far away to reach).

The biggest faller moved nearly as many places as it was The Julian Laxton Band’s ‘Blue Water’ which fell 7 places. This was the 138th time a local act had the biggest faller.

Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’ was the oldest on the chart, moving on to 18 weeks and with ‘Georgie’ still floating around the top 20 (at number 14), they now entered their 13th consecutive week with 2 songs in the charts, overtaking Wings’ record of 12 weeks. They also overtook Middle Of The Road and Tommy Dell who had also had 12 weeks with 2 songs in the charts, but as mention in the commentary on last week’s charts Middle Of The Road’s were not consecutive and while Tommy Dell’s were, they were achieved with 1 of the 2 songs being as part of a duet with Caroline du Preez.

The Tavares had told us that ‘Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel’ but this week the charts were missing a Tavares song as it fell off the top 20 after 5 weeks and a peak of 16, a fair way short of their UK peak of 4 with the song. This would be the only hit we would see from them in South Africa.

The new comer in place of the Tavares was Yvonne Elliman and her hit ‘Love Me’. The song was written by Barry and Robin Gibb and was the 9th song to chart that featured Barry as song writer, but only the second by him that was not a Bee Gees hit (the other non-Bee Gees hit being Marbles ‘Only One Woman’) For Robin it was an 8th hit, but apart from The Marbles hit, he had also had credit on his own hit ‘Saved by The Bell’. The rest of his hits to date as song writer were by The Bee Gees. Elliman, who was born in Hawaii and had play the part of Mary Magdalena in the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ for 4 years, hit number 6 in the UK with ‘Love Me’. The song also made 14 in the US, 15 in Australia, 11 in Canada, 9 in Ireland, 13 in Holland and 3 in New Zealand.

Youtube playlist:

25 February 1977

howzat_sherbet

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 8 Howzat  - Sherbet
2 2 6 If You Leave Me Now  - Chicago
3 4 8 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing  - Leo Sayer
4 6 4 Livin’ Thing  - Electric Light Orchestra
5 3 17 Mississippi  - Pussycat
6 5 15 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
7 7 5 Under The Moon Of Love  - Showaddywaddy
8 10 6 Somebody To Love  - Queen
9 8 11 I’ll Meet You At Midnight  - Smokie
10 9 12 Georgie  - Pussycat
11 14 3 What Have I Done  - Mike Eager
12 12 7 Blue Water  - Julian Laxton Band
13 15 4 Lost In France  - Bonnie Tyler
14 13 7 Show Me The Way  - Peter Frampton
15 11 13 Without You  - Barry Mason
16 New 1 Just Another Poor Boy  - Chris De Burgh
17 19 2 Moody Blue  - Elvis Presley
18 20 2 Keep On Smilin’  - John Paul Young
19 New 1 Don’t Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston
20 16 5 Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel  - Tavares

‘Howzat’ by Sherbet spent a 4th week at the top of our charts, still keeping Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ at bay. The latter spent a second week at number 2. Leo Sayer’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ moved up 1 into 3rd place to add to the pressure on the number 1 hit.

The biggest climber this week only needed a 3 place jump to take that title and only Mike Eager’s ‘What Have I Done’ managed this and so took the honours for a second week running. This was the 58th time a song by a local male had been the biggest climber.

On the falling front it was Barry Mason’s ‘Without You’ which had the biggest drop, falling as it did 4 places to 15.

Pussycat continued to enjoy having 2 songs in the charts and had now had this for 12 consecutive weeks, equalling the record to date held by Wings (who did it with ‘Band On The Run’ and ‘Let Me Roll It’). Both Middle Of The Road and Tommy Dell had managed 12 weeks with 2 songs on the charts, but Middle Of The Road’s was not consecutive weeks and Tommy Dells was done with one of the songs being a duet with Caroline du Preez.

We had 2 songs drop off the chart, the first being ‘Summer Love (Ete D’amour)’, the only song by a Romanian artist (Zamfir) that would grace our charts. It had lasted 15 weeks and peaked at 9. This would be the only hit for the artist whose name alphabetically placed him second bottom for all acts that would chart in SA, one above The Zombies.

‘Jeans On’ was off. The David Dundas hit spent 18 weeks on the charts and peaked at 3. This would not be his only SA hit.

Chris de Burgh made his SA chart debut with ‘Just Another Poor Boy’. The song appeared on de Burgh’s ‘Spanish Train And Other Stories’ album and was released as the b-side of ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’. The song failed to chart in the UK until the 1986 success of ‘The Lady In Red’ when it was re-released and went to number 40 and also made 15 in Ireland, however the re-release featured a different b-side (‘The Ballroom Of Romance’). In South Africa, the ‘Spanish Train’ album and in particular ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’ were somewhat controversial due to the religious nature of the lyrics (suggesting that the Star of Bethlehem that first Christmas night was a spacecraft), which may have been the reason why the flipside of the original single was preferred for our charts.

Mississippi born Thelma Houston (née Jackson) was responsible for our other new entry. ‘Don’t Leave Me With Way’ was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. It was the 4th song to chart by this song writing duo, their previous success being with M.F.S.F.’s ‘T.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia)’, The Three Degrees’ ‘When Will I See You Again’ and our recent number 1, Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’. ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ was originally recorded in 1975 by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and went to number 3 in the US. In 1977 that version made number 5 in the UK. Thelma’s version topped the US charts in April 1977 and went to number 13 in the UK. In 1986 The Communards (featuring ex-Bronski Beat singer Jimmy Sommerville) took a version to the top of the UK charts where it stayed for 4 weeks.

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