18 June 1965


Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 3 3 Forget Domani  - Connie Francis
2 1 3 I Need You  - Rick Nelson
3 5 3 Do the Clam  - Elvis Presley
4 2 3 Under the Boardwalk  - Rolling Stones
5 7 3 Shabby Little Hut  - Bats
6 4 3 Ticket to Ride  - Beatles
7 11 3 The Last Time  - Rolling Stones
8 14 3 Tennessee Yodel Polka  - Slim Whitman & Virginia Lee
9 16 3 Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter  - Herman’s Hermits
10 8 3 I Know a Place  - Petula Clark
11 6 3 Torture  - Gene Rockwell
12 18 2 It’s Not Unusual  - Tom Jones
13 9 3 Funny How Love Can Be  - Ivy League
14 20 2 Catch the Wind  - Donovan
15 New 1 Concrete and Clay  - Unit Four Plus Two
16 13 3 The Minute You’re Gone  - Cliff Richard
17 12 3 Lovely Lovely (Loverly Loverly)  - Chubby Checker
18 10 3 Key to Your Heart  - Emil Dean
19 New 1 Where are You Now  - Jackie Trent
20 New 1 World of Our Own  - Seekers

This week we saw a change in the number 1 position. Rick Nelson’s ‘I Need You’ dropped to number 2 while Connie Francis moved into pole position with ‘Forget Domani’. This was our second number 1 and already we had seen a solo female top the charts.

Herman’s Hermits took the biggest climber of the week award as ‘Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’ moved up 7 places from 16 to 9. There were 4 other star raters, these being ‘The Last Time’ by The Rolling Stones which climbed 4 to 7, ‘Tennessee Yodel Polka’ by ‘Slim Whitman & Virginia Lee’ which climbed 6 to 8, Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ which climbed 6 to 12 and ‘Catch the Wind’ by Donovan which moved up 6 from 20 to 14.

Emil Dean’s ‘Key To Your Heart’ was once again the biggest faller, following up last week’s 7 place drop with a further 8 place plunge as it dropped to 18.

We had 15 of the first top 20 still left on the charts all sitting on 3 weeks.

Eddie Rambeau’s ‘Concrete And Clay’ lasted just one week on the chart and spent that at number 19. As in the States, this would be his only hit.

The second song to leave the top 20 was Ned Miller’s ‘Do What You Do Do Well’ which had spent 2 weeks on the chart and peaked at 13.

The last song to go was The Kinks’ ‘Tired of Waiting for You’. It had also spent 2 weeks on the chart but managed to get to number 9 in that time.

Fans of the song ‘Concrete And Clay’ may have been disappointed to see Eddie Rambeau’s version disappear from the top 20, however they could take a lot of comfort from the fact that one of the new entries was that very song but this time it was Unit 4+2’s  version. This made it the first song to chart by 2 different acts. In the UK, the Unit 4+2 version of the song knocked the song that sat at number 7 on our charts this week (The Rolling Stones’ ‘The Last Time’) off the top spot and spent a week there before our number 16 song this week (Cliff Richard’s ‘The Minute You’re Gone’) ousted it. In the US it made it to number 28.

Our second new entry was by Jackie Trent. ‘Where Are You Now’ would give her a number 1 hit in the UK, spending 1 week atop of those charts. The Wikipedia entry for the song incorrectly notes that it knocked The Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ off the number 1 spot, however, it was actually Roger Miller’s ‘King Of The Road’ that did that. Trent’s hit replaced ‘King Of The Road’ at the top of the UK charts a week later. Trent, whose real name was Yvonne Burgess, was born in Newcastle in England and would have 2 other UK hits.

The final new entry was a second hit for The Seekers and they joined The Rolling Stones and Cliff Richard on having had 2 hits on the charts so far. Their new one was ‘World of Our Own’ which gave them a UK number 3 hit as well as going to 19 in the US and 5 in Norway. In 1968 Sonny James would score his 6th successive number 1 on the US Country Singles charts with a cover of the song which was written by Tom Springfield’ who had also written The Seekers’ previous hit, ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’. Springfield, who was Dusty Springfield’s brother, moved on to 2 hits now and sat on top of the list of hits by song writers alongside Tony Hatch who had penned the Petula Clark hit ‘I Know A Place’ which sat at number 10 this week as well as the Jackie Trent new entry mentioned above.

With Jackie Trent entering the charts, she joined Petula Clark and Connie Francis to give us a total of 3 solo female artists in the top 20 which was our highest count of the 3 charts to date.

Youtube playlist:

4 June 1965 Correction

Just a quick note that thanks to the eagle eye of one subscriber to this blog, we have uncovered a slight error on the charts that were shown for 4 June 1965. Elvis Presley’s ‘Do The Clam’ was actually at 15 that week while Ned Miller’s ‘Do What You Do Do Well’ was our number 13 hit. I had them the wrong way round. I have now corrected the post for 4 June 1965 along with the commentary. The charts for 11 June 1965 show the correct movement. Apologies for this error and thanks to Willie for pointing it out to me.



11 June 1965


Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 2 I Need You  - Rick Nelson
2 6 2 Under the Boardwalk  - Rolling Stones
3 10 2 Forget Domani  - Connie Francis
4 2 2 Ticket to Ride  - Beatles
5 15 2 Do the Clam  - Elvis Presley
6 4 2 Torture  - Gene Rockwell
7 12 2 Shabby Little Hut  - Bats
8 5 2 I Know a Place  - Petula Clark
9 11 2 Funny How Love Can Be  - Ivy League
10 3 2 Key to Your Heart  - Emil Dean
11 14 2 The Last Time  - Rolling Stones
12 7 2 Lovely Lovely (Loverly Loverly)  - Chubby Checker
13 8 2 The Minute You’re Gone  - Cliff Richard
14 17 2 Tennessee Yodel Polka  - Slim Whitman & Virginia Lee
15 9 2 Tired of Waiting for You  - Kinks
16 20 2 Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter  - Herman’s Hermits
17 12 2 Do What You Do Do Well  - Ned Miller
18 New 1 It’s Not Unusual  - Tom Jones
19 New 1 Concrete and Clay  - Eddie Rambeau
20 New 1 Catch the Wind  - Donovan

Rick Nelson’s ‘I Need You’ spent a second week at the top of the charts and it shook off The Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ which dropped from number 2 to 4. Now, I’m not sure if they called songs moving up 4 or more places a star rater way back in 1965, but if they did, we would have had 5 songs make this status, the highest of which would be the new number 2, The Rolling Stones ‘ ‘Under The Boardwalk’ which climbed up 4 places to take second place.

Connie Francis’ ‘Forget Domani’ climbed 7 to 3, The Bats ‘Shabby Little Hut’ moved up 5 to 7 while Herman’s Hermits’ ‘Mrs Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’ was another star rater moving up 4 to 16. The biggest climber this week was Elvis Presley’s ‘Do The Clam’ which leapt 10 places from 15 to 5 to become our first ever 10 or more place climber.

Local lad, Emil Dean was the first act to suffer the indignity of having the biggest faller in a week as his hit ‘Key to Your Heart’ dropped 7 from 3 to 10 this week.

Three songs would not make it past the first hurdle all dropping off the chart after the first week. The first of these was Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders’ ‘The Game Of Love’. It had spent its solitary week at number 19. They would be back but without Wayne Fontana.

Cliff Richard’s ‘Just Another Guy’ also lasted just the 1 week and spent that at number 18. There were many more hits to come from him.

The last to go was The Seekers’ ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ which spent last week at 16. They also had a good few hits to come.

Tom Jones made his first appearance on our charts with ‘It’s Not Unusual’. In the UK he replaced The Seekers’ ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ at the top of the charts there, while in SA he replaced that song in the top 20. The song was originally intended for Sandie Shaw to record and Jones only sang a demo version for Shaw to hear. However, Shaw was so taken by Jones version that she persuaded him to record it and this launched the Welshman’s career. An unknown pianist called Reginald Dwight was drafted in for the recording of Jones’s version. Dwight went on to change his name to Elton John. Apart from his UK success the song would also get to number 10 in the US and number 4 in Rhodesia, but would fail to make an impact on the major European charts.

Our second new entry was ‘Concrete And Clay’ a song usually associated with UK band Unit 4+2, however it was the US cover that made our charts this week. This version was by a guy called Eddie Rambeau and it gave him a number 35 hit in the US. It would prove to be his only hit there.

Our last new entry was Donovan’s ‘Catch The Wind’. The song would give him a number 4 hit in the UK and would get to 23 in the US. As with the Tom Jones hit mentioned above, ‘Catch The Wind’ would be the artists’ first UK hit. Included in the production credits on this song was Geoff Stephens who would go on to score a good number of hits in SA as a song writer.

Youtube playlist:

4 June 1965


Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 New 1 I Need You  - Rick Nelson
2 New 1 Ticket To Ride  - Beatles
3 New 1 Key To Your Heart  - Emil Dean
4 New 1 Torture  - Gene Rockwell
5 New 1 I Know A Place  - Petula Clark
6 New 1 Under The Boardwalk  - Rolling Stones
7 New 1 Lovely Lovely  - Chubby Checker
8 New 1 Minute You’re Gone  - Cliff Richard
9 New 1 Tired Of Waiting For You  - Kinks
10 New 1 Forget Domani  - Connie Francis
11 New 1 Funny How Love Can Be  - Ivy League
12 New 1 Shabby Little Hut  - Bats
13 New 1 Do What You Do Do Well  - Ned Miller
14 New 1 Last Time  - Rolling Stones
15 New 1 Do The Clam  - Elvis Presley
16 New 1 I’ll Never Find Another You  - Seekers
17 New 1 Tennessee Yodel Polka  - Slim Whitman
18 New 1 Just Another Guy  - Cliff Richard
19 New 1 Game Of Love  - Wayne Fontana And The Mindbenders
20 New 1 Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter  - Herman’s Hermits

Okay, here we go with what I believe was the very first ‘official’ Top 20 chart in South Africa. We started off Rick Nelson’s ‘I Need You’ at the top of the charts. Some of you who have been following this blog for a while may realise that this song made a 2 week re-appearance on the charts towards the end of 1969. The song first saw the light of day on Nelson’s 1962 album ‘It’s Up To You’ and was the b-side of the single release of the title track which made 22 in the UK and 6 in the UK. In 1963 the b-side, ‘I Need You’ made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 in its own right, getting to number 83.

At number 2 was a band who need no introduction. ‘Ticket To Ride’ was The Beatles 11 song to chart in the UK and their 7th number 1 there. In the US it was their 32nd song to make the Hot 100 (they had singles like the German version of ‘She Lives You’ – ‘Sie Liebt Dich’ get to number 97) and 8th chart topper there. Obviously it made our charts before they were famously banned by the SABC.

Number 3 was the highest placed local act on this chart, Emil Dean’s ‘Key To Your Heart’. Dean (who also went under the name Emil Dean Zoghby) would go on to become a producer, working with US rocker Pat Travers and UK acts such as Magna Carta and Nirvana (no not the Kurt Cobain one). He would also produce Ballyhoo’s ‘Man On the Moon’, a South African classic from the early 80’s.

We had another local act at 4 in the form of Gene Rockwell with his hit, ‘Torture’. This was a cover of a song written by John D. Loudermilk and first recorded by Kris Jensen whose version went to number 20 in the US in 1963. The Everly Brothers also recorded a version.

Petula Clark was the highest placed female on this first chart with her song ‘I Know A Place’ at 5. It was the follow up to perhaps Clark’s signature tune, ‘Downtown’ and it topped the charts in Canada and made number 12 in the US and 17 in the UK.

Number 6 was The Rolling Stone’s cover of the 1964 Drifter’s hit ‘Under The Boardwalk’. The song was not released as a single in the UK or US, but made number 1 in Australia. The Drifters took their version to 4 in the US and 45 in the UK.

Up next was Chubby Checker’s ‘Lovely Lovely (Loverly Loverly)’. Checker (real name Ernest Evans) would reach number 70 in the US with this song.

‘Minute You’re Gone’ gave Cliff Richard his 8th UK chart topper and it was our number 8 this week. It was knocked off the UK top spot by The Beatles hit mentioned above. ‘Minute You’re Gone’ was a cover of a 1963 song by Sonny James which made 95 in the US. Richard’s version did not make the US charts.

The Kinks ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’ was at 9. It was their 3rd UK hit and their second number 1 there. Like a lot of The Kinks material it was written by lead singer for the band, Ray Davis.

Our number 10 hit was taken from the film ‘The Yellow Rolls Royce’, which starred Rex Harrison and Jeanne Moreau, and was sung by Connie Francis. Her version would make 79 on the US Hot 100. A cover by Frank Sinatra (which entered the Hot 100 on the same date as Francis’ version) would go one place better getting to 78.

The Ivy League were first heard doing backing vocals on The Who’s ‘I Can’t Explain’. They then branched out on their own and brought us our number 11 this first chart week with their song ‘Funny How Love Can Be’, a UK number 8 hit for them.

At 12 was another SA classic, The Bats ‘Shabby Little Hut’. The song was written by Van McCoy who would later score an SA hit with ‘The Hustle’ and was recorded by US band The Reflections. The Bats also recorded a Spanish version of the called ‘Una Chocita Abandonada’ which was released in Argentina.

The artist on our number 13 hit, Ned Miller, had been around for a bit, releasing his first single in 1957. His self-penned ‘Do What You Do Do Well’ would give him a number 52 hit in the US and would be his only other UK charting song apart from his number 2 hit there ‘From A Jack To A King’. ‘Do What You Do…’ made 48 in the UK.

One could say that The Rolling Stones were the first act to have 2 song in the top 20 in a week, but only because their 2 were each placed above a Cliff Richard song (see below). The Stones second one, ‘Last Time’ would be their 3rd straight number 1 in the UK, following ‘It’s All Over Now’ and ‘Little Red Rooster’. Their next 2 singles ((I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and ‘Get Off Of My Cloud’) would also top the charts there.

Elvis Presley was at 15 with ‘Do The Clam’, a song written for the film ‘Girl Happy’ in which he appeared. It would give him a number 19 hit in the UK and 21 in the US.

At 16 was a song by the only act on this week’s chart that was not local or from the UK or US. Aussie band The Seekers had their first UK number 1 with ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ where it knocked our number 9 this week from the top spot.

An unusual pairing of an American country singer and a local lass brought us our number 17 hit. Slim Whitman took a break from his tour of South Africa to record a couple of track with Virginia Lee, one of which ‘Tennesse Yodel Polka’ made our charts this week, and along with the other, ‘Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain’ were included on Whitman’s album ‘South African Tour Hits’. Chris du Toit, who worked a lot with local trumpeter, Murray Campbell, produced this the only song by a duet to appear on the first SA chart.

Our second act to have 2 songs on the top 20 this week was Cliff Richard whose ‘Just Another Guy’ was at 18  and it joined ‘The Minute You’re Gone’ at 8. Interestingly, ‘Just Another Guy’ was the b-ide of ‘The Minute You’re Gone’ in most countries, but I have not been able to verify if this was the case in SA. In Holland it was released as ‘Just Another Guy’ with ‘The Minute You’re Gone’ on the b-side. Also of note about our number 18 song was that it was penned by a certain Neil Diamond who was still 2 years away from having his first US solo hit.

‘The Game Of Love’ by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders was at 19. It had topped the US charts for a week just over a month before this chart. In the UK it made number 2. Wayne Fontana was born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis and took his stage name from Elvis Presley’s drummer, D.J. Fontana.The song would appear in the movie ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. In 1987 Tex Pistol would take a cover of the song to the top of the charts in New Zealand.

The final song on this week’s top 20 would knock our number 19 song from the top spot in the US. ‘Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’ by Herman’s Hermits would spend 3 weeks at number 1 in the US before our number 2 song, The Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ would give it its, erm, ticket to ride. Despite being a US chart topper, the song would not be released as a single in the Hermit’s native UK.

Youtube playlist:


Good News And Bad News

Well folks, sorry if you were expecting the first chart of 1978 today, but I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that a guy called Ian McLean has very kindly sent the ‘missing’ charts from 4 June 1965 to the beginning of 1969, which was when this blog kicked in. So, instead of continuing on to 1978, I will be going back to 1965 from the next post. My reason for doing this is that now that I have all the charts, I can give a complete picture. The stats and facts I have given only went back to 1969 so quite a lot of them will change with this extra information. Ian has also pointed out a few differences between what I have published for the post 1968 charts and the information that he has.

The bad news is that I will need some time to update my databases, find song writer information and such like. On top of this, I need to re-work all the stats and records for the charts that I have already published. I also have a day job to help pay the bills and that gets in the way of doing all this work, so what I am going to do is drop down to producing a new chart every 3 days. Hopefully this will be a temporary measure until I have got the back log sorted out and then I will resume the daily service. And don’t panic if you were hoping to get the charts from 1978 onwards, my aim is still to publish these and the subsequent ones right up to 1989 when they stopped producing singles charts in SA.

I trust that you will agree that this short term pain will be worth it in the long run. I promise to work as quickly as I can on this because I’m as excited about it as I hope you are.

Thanks for your patience.



1977 The Facts And Figures


So, that wraps up 1977, all that’s left to do is have a little look at the facts and figures of the year and which songs and which artists rocked our world back then.

We had 119 songs spend at least 1 week in the charts in 1977, 5 less than we had seen in 1976 but 15 better than the lowest number we had seen so far, namely 104 in 1973. The record to date was still the 150 we saw in 1969. 95 different acts brought us these 119 hits (duets/collaborations counting as a separate act to the individuals making them up). The trend of number of hits so far looked like this:

Year No. Of Hits
1969 150
1970 141
1971 134
1972 117
1973 104
1974 115
1975 129
1976 124
1977 119

The local acts managed 27 hits which was their 3rd worst effort to date, only 1975 with 26 and 1969 with 14 had less local content. 25 different acts brought us the 27 hits.


Based on a points system of 20 points for a number 1 position, 19 for number 2 etc down to 1 for position 20, the following are the top 20 chart performers for the year (Note: this does not reflect sales):

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Lucille Kenny Rogers 336
2 Don’t Leave Me This Way Thelma Houston 269
3 (Walkin’ On A) Love Cloud 5000 Volts 266
4 Don’t Cry For Me Argentina Julie Covington 250
5 Angelo Brotherhood Of Man 242
6 Magic Flight Space 231
7 Yesterday’s Hero John Paul Young 230
8 Do You Wanna Make Love Peter Mccann 227
9 If You Leave Me Now Chicago 217
10 Hush Hush Maria Joe Dolan 204
11 Howzat Sherbet 201
12 Knowing Me, Knowing You Abba 187
=13 Ma Baker Boney M 186
=13 After The Fire Is Gone Barbara Ray & Lance James 186
15 When I Need You Leo Sayer 184
16 I Need You Joe Dolan 183
=17 Living Next Door To Alice Smokie 178
=17 My Broken Souvenirs Pussycat 178
=17 Mississippi Pussycat 178
20 Daddy Cool Boney M 175

To date the top songs of the year broke down into the following nationalities: 2 South African, 2 German, and then 1 apiece for UK, US and Canada. With Kenny Rogers scoring the top song this year, the US joined SA and Germany on 2.

You can compare this to the list published in Top 40 magazine in 1989 which can be found here:


The cumulative points from the beginning of 1969 to the end of 1977 gave the following top 5:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 464
2 I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash 448
3 Cry To Me Staccatos 447
4 You Peter Maffay 399
5 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391

This top 5 had not changed since 1973 and the highest placed song on the cumulative list of points that spent time in the charts in 1977 was this year’s top song, Kenny Rogers’ ‘Lucille’ which was 13th on the overall list.

The top songs pointswise on the local front for 1976 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 After The Fire Is Gone Barbara Ray & Lance James 186
2 We Salute You (Scotland) Reg De Beer 148
3 I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) Margaret Singana 145
4 Buccaneer Mccully Workshop 124
5 What Have I Done Mike Eager 86


John Paul Young and Pussycat were the only two acts who managed to spend time on the charts during the year with 4 different hits. Abba and Leo Sayer both managed 3 each while a further 15 acts managed 2. The record of 5 in a year still stood and that was jointly held by The Archies (1969), The Bee Gees (1969), Neil Diamond (1971) and Middle Of The Road (1972).

Three local acts managed to score 2 hits in the charts and these were Roy Bulkin, Rabbitt and Dennis East. Dave Mills and Bobby Angel’s 4 in a year in 1971 and 1975 respectively were the best to date by a local artist.

In terms of total hits to date, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Presley and Billy Forrest shared the lead, all having scored 11 hits. Billy Forrest had done so under a number of different aliases and as part of a few duets. Abba, Cliff Richard and Barbara Ray all joined Neil Diamond on 10 hits during the year. From this is can be deduced that Billy Forrest led the way for local acts followed by Barbara Ray who was also the highest placed female artist. John Edmond, Jody Wayne, and Dave Mills were joined by Lionel Peterson in tied 3rd place, all being on 7.


Pussycat took top honours for weeks spent on the charts in the year (note 2 songs in the chart in the same week counts as 2 weeks) as they clocked up 44. They became the first Dutch act to have the most weeks on the charts in a year and they were the best Dutch act to date as the next best a Dutch act had managed in a year was when After All spent 18 weeks on the charts in 1974. We had only seen 3 years where an artist spent more weeks in the charts thean Pussycat’s effort and these, in descending order, were Middle Of The Road’s 58 in 1972, Chris Andrews’ 50 in 1970 and The Archies’ 47 in 1969.

Barbara Ray was the highest placed local act for weeks on the charts this year. She managed 24 weeks. Lance James and Dennis East were second on 15. To date the best in a year by a local act was the 1976 effort of Tommy Dell who managed 41.

Abba overtook Creedence Clearwater Revival this year for total weeks on the chart. The latter were on 119 while Abba had moved ahead to 130. The Sweet sat 3rd on 116 and Barbara Ray was the highest placed local act and female 4th on 106. No other act had made it to 100 weeks although Neil Diamond sat agonisingly close on 99 and was in 5th place. Alan Garrity was the highest placed local male on 84 while the Dealians were the highest placed group on 50.

1976 had been the first year where no song spent at least 20 weeks on the charts, but in 1977 we saw 2 songs get to that landmark and they were Kenny Rogers’ ‘Lucille’ which managed 23 and 5000 Volts which just managed 20.

On the local front, Barbara Ray’s duet with Lance James, ‘After The Fire Is Gone’ led the way with 15 followed by the only other duet to chart this year (by any nationality), Sharon Tandy & Graham Clark’s ‘I Believe In You’ and Reg de Beer’s ‘We Salute (Scotland)’ which both managed 11.


18 songs spent time at the top of the charts in 1977, 2 more than we had had in 1976. Joe Dolan and Pussycat were the only artists to manage more than 1 chart topper, with both of them clocking up 2. Dolan managed it with ‘Hush Hush Maria’ (3 weeks) and ‘I Need You’ (2 weeks) while for Pussycat 4 of the 8 weeks that ‘Mississippi’ spent at 1 were in 1977, the other 4 being during 1976. They then had a further 2 weeks with ‘Smile’. Chris Andrews’ 3 number 1’s in 1970 was yet to be matched.

The locals left it to very late in the year to score their only chart topper of 1977 when McCully Workshop’s ‘Buccaneer’ was at 1 for the very last week of the year.

Abba led the way for number of number 1’s, having clocked up 6. ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ was their only chart topper in 1977 which moved them on from 5 at the end of 1976. The Hollies were unmoved in second place with 4 chart toppers to their name. Joe Dolan’s 2 in 1977 moved him into tied 3rd on 3 with Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chris Andrews and The Sweet.

Julie Covington’s ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ was the song to spend the most number of weeks at 1 during 1977, clocking up 7 in total. Kenny Rogers’ ‘Lucille’ and Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ were tied second on 5. Covington also took 1st place for weeks at 1 by an artist with Pussycat second on 6 and Heart, Joe Dolan and Kenny Rogers on 5 in tied third place.


The woman managed to score 16 solo hits this year with a further 2 coming as one half of a duet. This beat 1976’s total of 13 for solo hits, but fell way short of the 6 as part of duets meaning that overall 1976 just pipped 1977 by having a total of 19 compared to the current year’s 18.

Thelma Houston, Bonnie Tyler and Donna Summer led the way with 2 hits each in 1977 and Barbara Ray equalled this, but one of hers was as part of a duet with Lance James. Gloria Gaynor was still the only woman to manage 3 in a year when she did this in 1975.

Margaret Singana, Vicky du Preez and Maria were the only local lasses to have a solo hit and Sharon Tandy had one as part of a duet with Graham Clarke.

Thelma Houston and Julie Covington were the only women to top the charts this year, but significantly Covington’s 7 week run at number 1 with ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ was the longest consecutive run at the top for a hit by a woman, and as it followed straight on the heels of Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ which managed 3 weeks, it set a new record to date for consecutive weeks with a solo female artist at the number 1 spot.

Barbara Ray still led the way for total number of hits to date, now having 10 to her name, 2 of which had been as part of a duet. Olivia Newton-John moved clear of the following pack as she added another 1 to the 4 she had at the end of 1976 to give her a total of 5 while Dolly Parton, Vicky Leandros and Maria were all still on 4.

The top solo female songs for 1976 based on the points system described above were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Don’t Leave Me This Way Thelma Houston 269
2 Don’t Cry For Me Argentina Julie Covington 250
3 After The Fire Is Gone Barbara Ray & Lance James 186
4 Lost In France Bonnie Tyler 171
5 Love Me Yvonne Elliman 164

To date, the top 5 songs by females based on the points system were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
2 I Don’t Wanna Play House Barbara Ray 336
3 Come What May (Aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321
4 It’s Too Late Now Lauren Copley 303
5 Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet Maria 302

This was the fifth year in a row that this top 5 had not changed.


Aside from artists from the UK and US (who tend to dominate most charts worldwide), and local acts the following are the top hits from other nationalities:

Pos Song Artist Points Nationality
1 Magic Flight (Aka Magic Fly) Space 231 France
2 Yesterday’S Hero John Paul Young 230 Australia
3 Hush Hush Maria Joe Dolan 204 Ireland
4 Howzat Sherbet 201 Australia
5 Knowing Me, Knowing You Abba 187 Sweden

This was the first time a French act was top of this list. So far only Germany and Canada had managed to top this list twice, with Ireland, Holland, Greece and Sweden making up the other years.

Artists from the UK took the top honours for number of hits in 1977, clocking up 36 and thus pulling level with the US for having the most in a year 3 times now. Local acts were second this year with 27 while the US only managed 26.

For the rest of the world, Holland took top honours with 7, Australia followed with 5, then Germany with 4, Ireland and Sweden on 3 each while Spain and Canada had 2 apiece. The other 4 hits came from artists from France, Argentina, Romania and Greece.

1977 saw no new nationalities added to the list of those who had had artists chart, we were stuck on 21 in total. Despite their comparatively poor showing in the year, the US still led the way in total to date with 316 to their name, followed by the UK with 293 and the local artists on 237. Holland was next on the list with 22 and was followed by Germany and Canada both on 21. Ireland on 13 and Jamaica on 12 were next on the list.


The following songs topped either the UK or US charts (or both) during 1977, but did not make our charts. Those marked with an * would, however, make the SA top 20 in 1978 or later:

Song Artist
Best of My Love The Emotions
Blinded by the Light Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Car Wash Rose Royce
Da Doo Ron Ron Shaun Cassidy
Don’t Give Up On Us David Soul
Dreams Fleetwood Mac
Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born) Barbra Streisand
Float On* Floaters
Free Deniece Williams
Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) Bill Conti
Got to Give It Up Marvin Gaye
Hotel California Eagles
How Deep Is Your Love* Bee Gees
I Don’t Want To Talk About It/First Cut Is The Deepest Rod Stewart
I Just Want to Be Your Everything Andy Gibb
I Wish Stevie Wonder
I’m Your Boogie Man KC and the Sunshine Band
Looks Like We Made It Barry Manilow
Mull Of Kintyre/Girl’s School* Wings
New Kid in Town Eagles
Rich Girl Daryl Hall and John Oates
Show You The Way To Go Jackson Five
Silver Lady David Soul
Sir Duke Stevie Wonder
So You Win Again Hot Chocolate
Southern Nights Glen Campbell
Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) Rod Stewart
Undercover Angel Alan O’Day
You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show) Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.
You Light Up My Life* Debby Boone

This year, there were 30 songs on this list which was up on the 24 we saw last year (4 of the 24 listed for 1976 made our charts in 1977), but was well below the record to date of 41 we saw in 1975.


So far no act had managed to spend at least 1 week in the chart for more than 5 consecutive years. Those that had manage it were The Bee Gees (’69 – ‘73) , The Rising Sons (‘70 – ‘74), The Sweet (’71 – ‘75) and Alan Garrity (‘71 – ‘75) . David Cassidy had added himself to this list in 1976 as he managed to chart every year from ’72 to ’76, however he did not extend that run into ’77, so the record to date of 5 consecutive years remained unbeaten. Abba, Lionel Petersen and Barbara Ray added themselves to this list as they had all seen chart action in every year from ’73 to ’77.

Four acts had seen chart action in 7 different years as Elvis Presley, Billy Forrest and Barabra Ray added 1977 to their total and joined Neil Diamond who had been at this level at the end of 1976, but failed to chart in ’77. Cliff Richard and The Sweet had managed to spend time in the charts in 6 different years to date.


John Paul Young’s song writers, Harry Vanda and George Young shared top honours with Ben Findon for most songs charting in the year that they helped pen, all managing 3. Findon had been responsible for Shabby Tiger’s ‘Slow Down’, Dennis East’s ‘Stone Walls’ and Billy Ocean’s ‘Red Light Spells Danger’. Terry Dempsey’s 9 in 1971 was still the best a song writer had managed.

Dempsey was also still the leader for song writing credits to date, although he had not added to his 23 since 1973’s ‘Daydreamer’ by David Cassidy. Roger Greenaway in second place on 16 and Jeff Barry in 3rd place on 15 had also not added to their total during 1977. It was only Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn of the top 5 writers who added to their tally this year and they only managed 1 more to move them on to 14 each, pulling 1 ahead of Roger Cook who sat on 13.

It was a similar story for weeks spent on the chart as Dempsey was unmoved at the top of the list on an unchanged 244. Chinn and Chapman were still second although they did close the gap slightly on Dempsey as they added 23 to their total to end up on 181 each. Jeff Barry in 4th place increased his total to 132 (with weeks from Dennis East’s ‘A Million Drums’ which straddle the 1976/1977 years). Abba’s song writers Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus moved into tied 5th place with 130 while their song writing partner, Stig Anderson (who had missed out on credits on ‘The Name Of The Game’), was just behind them on 127 and was tied with Roger Greenaway.

There were no song writers that managed more than 1 number 1 this year, however, with ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ topping the charts in June, Benny, Bjorn and Stig mentioned above further their lead at the top of the list of number 1’s to date for song writers. They had managed 6 so far. Neil Diamond, Terry Dempsey, Geoff Stephens, Chris Andrews and John Fogarty were all still sitting on 3. The Abba writers’ also led the way in terms of weeks at 1, having now managed 18, 4 clear of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn who were unmoved on 14.

And that concludes the roundup for 1977, so it’s onwards and upwards to 1978.

30 December 1977


Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 8 Buccaneer  - McCully Workshop
2 1 10 Barracuda  - Heart
3 3 10 I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)  - Margaret Singana
4 6 5 Go Your Own Way  - Fleetwood Mac
5 5 7 From New York To L.A.  - Patsy Gallant
6 4 11 I Need You  - Joe Dolan
7 7 4 Run To Me  - Kelly Marie
8 8 10 Face Of An Angel  - Clive Risko
9 13 4 I’m Here Again  - Thelma Houston
10 11 3 The Name Of The Game  - Abba
11 10 5 Sorry, I’m A Lady  - Baccara
12 17 3 Fantasy  - Trevor Rabin
13 12 16 Angelo  - Brotherhood Of Man
14 14 13 Star Wars Title Theme  - Meco
15 9 5 Thunder In My Heart  - Leo Sayer
16 19 3 Theme From “The Deep” (Deep Down Inside)  - Donna Summer
17 20 2 Gettin’ Thru’ To You  - Rabbitt
18 New 1 You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)  - Rod Stewart
19 15 7 Kelly’s Song  - Bobby Angel
20 18 13 Let Go  - Dobie Gray

For only the second time we saw a local act at the top of the charts for the last week of the year. The previous one to do this was Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ which was sitting at number 1 at the end of 1971. This, the final week of 1977, saw McCully Workshop’s ‘Buccaneer’ take of pole position from Heart’s ‘Barracuda’, the latter dropping to number 2. Margaret Singana, another local act was at 3 with ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You).

Trevor Rabin’s ‘Fantasy’ emulated the success of ‘Charlie’ one of the hits he had had as a member of Rabbit, as his solo effort was the biggest climber of the week, moving up 5 places to 12. ‘Charlie’ also managed to be the biggest climber with a 5 place climb, (which moved up to position 10). Thelma Houston who had managed 2 star rater climbs (i.e. 4 or more positions) with her only other hit to date, ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ saw her current hit, ‘I’m Here Again’ clicked up its second star rater award, climbing up 4 to 9. Of these 4 star raters she had had so far, only 1 (‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’s first star rater) had managed biggest climber in a week.

Leo Sayer picked up his 3rd biggest faller in a week title as ‘Thunder In My Heart’ had the biggest drop this week, falling 6 places from 9 to 15.

Frank Valdor would not be making it into our 1978 charts with ‘Massa, Massa’ as the song exited the chart this week. It had spent 10 weeks on the top 20 and peaked at 8 during this run. This was only the second act that wasn’t local or from the UK or US that would have this week and peak combination as Frank was from Germany and ‘Massa, Massa’ shared an 8 peak and 10 week record with Irishman Chris de Burgh’s ‘Just Another Poor Boy’. 12 acts so far had this chart record and only 4 more would end up with the same stats, 2 from the UK and 2 from the US.

In Valdor’s place, we saw Rod Stewart clocking up his 3rd SA chart hit with ‘You’re In My Heart’ which had the sub title ‘The Final Acclaim’. In the UK it was his 13th hit but it wasn’t a lucky 13 as the song didn’t top the charts there, but it wasn’t totally unlucky as it made a respectable number 3 and in the US it got to number 4 while topping the Australian charts for a week. As with ‘You Wear It Well’, one of his previous 2 hits, Stewart took song writing credits but this time he did not share them with anyone, ‘You Wear It Well’ being co-written by Martin Quittenton. The song appeared on Stewart’s ‘Foot Loose And Fancy Free’ album which shared the single’s peak of 3 on the UK Album charts. On the US album charts it managed to get to 2.

So far we had had 3 years where the Grammy song of the year didn’t chart in SA. The Grammy for song of the year for 1977 (awarded in Feb 1978) was shared between 2 songs, neither of which had charted so far in SA, but one of them would go on to reach our top 20. The one that didn’t was Barbra Streisand’s ‘Evergreen’.

Youtube playlist (Due to copyright reasons this excludes Rabbitt’s ‘Getting’ Thru To You’):