|1||1||11||Can’t Keep It In||-||Cat Stevens|
|2||2||5||Never Never Never||-||Shirley Bassey|
|3||3||17||We Believe In Tomorrow||-||Freddy Breck|
|4||6||11||The Morning After||-||Maureen McGovern|
|5||4||14||The Love In Your Eyes||-||Vicky Leandros|
|6||7||8||Toy Train||-||John Edmond|
|7||12||4||Get Down||-||Gilbert O’ Sullivan|
|9||8||17||I’m On Fire||-||Maria|
|10||19||4||Stuck In The Middle With You||-||Stealers Wheel|
|11||9||11||Killing Me Softly With His Song||-||Roberta Flack|
|12||16||2||Kentucky Blues||-||Lauren Copley|
|13||New||1||Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree||-||Dawn & Tony Orlando|
|14||15||6||Long Haired Lover From Liverpool||-||Little Jimmy Osmond|
|15||14||9||It’s You (I Want To Live With)||-||Peter Maffay|
|16||5||20||I Don’t Wanna Play House||-||Barbara Ray|
|17||17||6||Yellow Boomerang||-||Middle Of The Road|
|18||10||25||Woman (Beautiful Woman)||-||Don Gibson|
|19||13||11||Don’t Expect Me To Be Your Friend||-||Lobo|
|20||New||1||I’ll Never Be The Same||-||Letta Mbulu|
Only 9 songs had managed more weeks at the top of the charts than this week’s number 1. Cat Stevens’ ‘Can’t Keep It In’ was now on 5 weeks in pole position and equalled 5 other songs for having achieved this level of weeks. Shirley Bassey was still at 2 with ‘Never Never Never’, spending a second week there.
Stealers Wheels’ ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ was the climber of the week as it jumped 9 places from 19 to 10. This would be the biggest climb that Gerry Rafferty (who was a member of Stealers Wheels) would achieve. As a solo artists his best climb would only be 6 places.
Barbara Ray’s ‘I Don’t Want To Play House’ equalled the biggest ever fall by a song in a week as it plummeted 11 places from 5 to 16. The Who’s ‘See Me, Feel Me’ and Middle Of The Road’s ‘Soley Soley’ were the 2 other song to manage this. There was still one more song to suffer such a fall, but Barbara would be the only local act to do so.
The oldest song on the chart this week, ‘Woman (Beautiful Woman)’ by Don Gibson, was also the second biggest faller in the week, dropping 8 places.
We lost two songs off the charts this week. Double Vision’s ‘Maori Love Song’ became the 20th song to spend just 1 week at number 20. 2 of those 20 hits had managed to re-enter the charts for a further run. Would Double Vision be the 3rd?
The second song to go was Jermaine Jackson’s ‘Daddy’s Home’ which had spent 12 weeks on the chart and peaked at 9.
The first of the new entries was Dawn & Tony Orlando’s ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree’ which was their 4th song to chart. The song was written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown, the former having had a hand in all 3 of Dawn’s previous SA hits, while the latter helped write ‘Knock Three Times’. They wrote the song after reading about a man who had spent 3 years in prison for fraud and was coming home. He wrote to his wife saying that if she wanted him back she should tie a yellow ribbon round the only oak tree in town. The songwriters added 99 yellow ribbons to one that the man in the story saw, as the last line of the song is ‘I see a hundred yellow ribbons round the ole oak tree.’ Tony Orlando thought the song was too corny to record and offered it to Jimmy Darren, and then to Bobby Vinton, both of whom turned it down. Eventually he decided to record it and it rocketed up the US charts spending 4 weeks at number 1 there. This was a timely success as the band’s fortunes had waned after their previous hit and Orlando was $750,000 in debt. The song also topped the charts in the UK, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Holland.
The second new entry was the second hit from Letta Mbulu, ‘I’ll Never Be The Same’. As with her previous hit, ‘I Need Your Love’, her husband Caiaphas Semenya had a writing credit. Both her hits were unusual because she had left South Africa by the time they entered our top 20 and was living in exile in New York and working with other exiles like Jonas Gwanga and Hugh Masakela.
The arrival of Letta on the charts meant that 8 out of the top 20 were solo female artists. This would be the highest concentration of woman on the charts ever.
Listen to some of these old hits and much more on Neil Hendrikse’s ‘Finally Friday’ show on Impala Radio.