1976 The Facts And Figures

i-wont-give-up-bruce-millar

Well, that’s the 53 weeks of 1976 done and dusted so it’s time to check out the facts and figures and hits of the year.

123 songs spent time on our top 20 during the year 1976, 6 less than we had seen in 1975 and 27 less than 1969 when we saw a record to date 150 songs. 103 artists accounted for the 124 songs (duets/collaborations counting as a separate acts 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

The local acts managed 36 of the 123 hits, the 3rd best effort to date with only 1971 and 1973 having more (41 and 39 respectively). 29 acts brought us these 36 hits.

TOP 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 I Won’t Give Up Bruce Millar 284
2 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Elton John & Kiki Dee 273
3 One Day At A Time Marie Gibson 247
4 December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) Four Seasons 246
5 Fernando Abba 244
6 Let Me Into Your Life Flood 237
7 Let Your Love Flow Bellamy Brothers 234
8 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen 223
=9 Devil Woman Cliff Richard 218
=9 Lady In Blue Joe Dolan 218
11 Ramaja Glenys Lynne 216
12 I Hate The Music John Paul Young 205
13 No Charge J.J. Barrie 195
14 Darlin’ David Cassidy 188
=15 Arms Of Mary Sutherland Brothers & Quiver 181
=15 Miss You Nights Cliff Richard 181
17 Somewhere Between Tumbleweeds 178
=18 Jeans On David Dundas 168
=18 Green Eyed Angel Bobby Angel 168
20 Dancing Queen Abba 164

This was the third time the best performer for the year was a local song. The Staccato’s ‘Cry To Me’ took the top spot in 1969 and Alan Garrity’s ‘’I Need Someone’ was the best of 1972. You can compare this to the list published in Top 40 magazine in 1989 which can be found here:
http://www.rock.co.za/files/sahits_1976.html
The cumulative points from the beginning of 1969 to the end of 1976 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 1976 was this year’s top song, Bruce Miller’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’ which was 32th on the list.

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

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Won’t Give Up Bruce Millar 284
2 One Day At A Time Marie Gibson 247
3 Let Me Into Your Life Flood 237
4 Ramaja Glenys Lynne 216
5 Green Eyed Angel Bobby Angel 168

NUMBER OF HITS

Three acts managed to have 3 hits spend time in the charts during the year and those were Abba, Lionel Petersen (the only local act to manage this) and Smokie. A further 14 acts managed 2 while all the rest only had 1. No one had managed more than the record to date of 5 which The Archies and The Bee Gees had managed in 1969, Neil Diamond had managed in 1971 and Middle Of The Road managed in 1972.

The local acts which managed 2 hits were Bruce Millar, Bobby Angel, Caroline Du Preez & Tommy Dell, Roy Bulkin and Jonathan Butler.

Creedence Clearwater Revival had been the top act for cumulative number of hits since 1969, sharing that lead in 1969 and 1970, but had been out in front on their own since then. In 1976 they were joined in the lead on 11 hits by Billy Forrest under his various guises (2 as Billy Forrest, 1 as Dennis, 3 as Quentin E. Klopjaeger, 2 as William E., 2 as part of the duet Geli & Billy with Angelika Illman and 1 as part of a duet with Sharon Tandy). Neil Diamond was the only other act to have reached double figures so far as he stood on 10 hits. There were two new acts in the top 10 on this list this year and they were Cliff Richard and Abba who were both now on 8 hits. Barbara Ray was second for a local artist with 8 hits to her name while John Edmond, Jody Wayne, and Dave Mills were tied 3rd on 7.

WEEKS ON THE CHARTS

Tommy Dell was the 3rd local artist to end a year with the most weeks on the chart for the year as he managed 41 (14 with ‘Sometimes’, and 13 with ‘Golden Ring’, both duets with Caroline Du Preez, and then a further 14 with his solo hit, ‘Don’t Worry About Me’).  Abba, who had topped this list for the past 2 years (sharing the honours with Wings in 1974) were second in1976 with 35 weeks.

The previous two years had seen the lowest total of weeks in a year for an act drop to new lows, however Tommy Dell broke this trend, beating the 38 weeks Abba and Wings managed in 1974 and the 33 Abba managed in 1975. Middle Of The Road’s 58 weeks in 1972 was still the best in a year to date.

Bruce Millar was the next highest placed local act with 31 weeks followed by Caroline du Preez on 27 (all of them as part of a duet with Tommy Dell).

Creedence Clearwater Revival still led the way in terms of total cumulative weeks to date having clocked up 119 since the beginning of 1969. They were followed by The Sweet on 109 and Abba on 107. Abba knocked Neil Diamond into 4th place during the year. Alan Garrity was the top local act with 84 (5th overall) and Barbara Ray was a close second on 82 (6th overall).

1976 was the first year where no song managed to get to 20 week on the charts (not even those carried over from 1975). There would only be 1 other year when this would happen. The best for the year was the 19 weeks that Marie Gibson’s ‘One Day At A Time’ managed. Bruce Millar’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’ and Michael Holm’s ‘I’ll Return’ both managed 18.

NUMBER 1’S

We had 16 songs spend time at the top of the charts in 1976 averaging a stay of 3.31 weeks each. Only Abba managed to have more than 1 number 1 as both ‘Fernando’ and ‘Dancing Queen’ topped the charts. This was the second year running that they had managed to have 2 number 1s. Chris Andrews’ 3 in 1970 was yet to be matched.

There were 4 local chart toppers, Flood’s ‘Let Me Into Your Life’, Bruce Millar’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’, Marie Gibson’s ‘One Day At A Time’ and Glenys Lynne’s ‘Ramaja’ (the only fully Afrikaans number to top our charts). This was the highest number of local chart toppers in a year to date.

The 2 chart toppers Abba managed put them ahead of The Hollies on the list of number 1 hits to date as they now had a total of 5, overtaking the previous best of 4 that The Hollies had managed. Chris Andrews, The Sweet and Creedence Clearwater Revival were on 3. No local act had yet managed to get a second chart topper.

The first number 1 of the year, Joe Dolan’s ‘Lady In Blue’ was joined by Bruce Millar’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’, Abba’s ‘Fernando’ and Elton John & Kiki Dee’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ in spending 6 weeks at number 1, the most managed by a song this year. Elton John & Kiki Dee’s run was broken by Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’ which split the latter’s effort into 4 weeks at 1, then a week at 2, then back to the top for a further 2 weeks. ‘I Won’t Give Up’ was obviously the best for a local song.

FEMALE ACTS

Solo hits by women that spent time in the charts in 1976 totalled 13 with a further 6 coming as part of a duet with a male artist, giving a total of 19 altogether. This equalled the second best total that they managed in 1974 and falling 1 short of the 20 that we saw in 1975.

Tina Charles, Caroline du Preez and Barbara Ray were the only women to mange 2 hits in the year and the latter 2 were therefore the best by local acts. To date, Gloria Gaynor had been the only woman to managed more than 2 hits in a year when she got into the charts with 3 in1975.

Two solo woman topped the charts and 1 managed it as part of a duet. The solo ones were Marie Gibson with ‘One Day At A Time’ and Glenys Lynne with ‘Ramaja’, both of them local acts. Kiki Dee’s duet with Elton John, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ was the only other number 1 by a female.

Barbara Ray was still the top woman for number of hits to date as she now had 8 to her name. Maria, Vicky Leandros, Dolly Parton and Olivia Newton-John were all tied second on 4 hits.

The top solo female songs for 1975 based on the points system described above were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Elton John & Kiki Dee 273
2 One Day At A Time Marie Gibson 247
3 Ramaja Glenys Lynne 216
4 Sometimes Caroline Du Preez 153
5 You Set My Heart On Fire Tina Charles 136

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 fourth year in a row that this top 5 had not changed.

REST OF THE WORLD

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
1 Fernando Abba 244 Sweden
2 Lady In Blue Joe Dolan 218 Ireland
3 I Hate The Music John Paul Young 205 Australia
4 No Charge J.J. Barrie 195 Canada
5 Somewhere Between Tumbleweeds 178 Netherlands

To date the rest of the world top hits were:

Pos Song Artist Points Nationaility
1 You Peter Maffay 399 Germany
2 We Believe In Tomorrow Freddy Breck 376 Germany
3 Come What May (Aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321 Greece
4 You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet Bachman-Turner Overdrive 305 Canada
5 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 276 France

Artist from the US had had the most hits in 3 of the years so far and the locals and acts from the UK had managed it in 2. In 1976 the local acts joined the US acts with having had the most in 3 years as their 36 hits outdid the 35 from the US and 31 from the UK. This was the second lowest total to take a national to the top of the list for a year. France, Holland, Germany and Sweden followed with 3 each from acts from those countries. We had 2 hits each from Greece and Ireland while Australia, Brazil, Canada, Jamaica and Romania all gave us 1 apiece.

By the end of 1975 we had seen hits from artists from 20 different nationalities. During 1976 we added Romania (Zamfir) to this list to give us 21. Cumulatively the US led the way with 290 hits to date, followed by the UK (263 hits) then SA (215). Canada added 1 to their total from last year to move on to 19, but Holland added 2 to also give them a total of 19 to date and therefore joined Canada in tied 4th place. Germany followed on 17, then Jamaica on 11, Ireland on 10 and Sweden on 9.

WHAT DIDN’T CHART

The following songs topped either the UK or US charts (or both) during 1976, but did not make our charts. Those marked with an * would, however, make the SA top 20 in 1977 or later:

Song Artist
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover Paul Simon
Afternoon Delight Starland Vocal Band
Boogie Fever The Sylvers
Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) Wurzels
Convoy C.W. McCall
Disco Duck Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots
Disco Lady Johnnie Taylor
If You Leave Me Now* Chicago
Love Hangover Diana Ross
Love Machine The Miracles
Love Rollercoaster Ohio Players
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
Rock’n Me* Steve Miller Band
Silly Love Songs Wings
The Roussos Phenomenon EP Demis Roussos
Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) Diana Ross
Theme from S.W.A.T. Rhythm Heritage
Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) Rod Stewart
Under The Moon Of Love* Showaddywaddy
Welcome Back John Sebastian
When A Child Is Born (Soleado)* Johnny Mathis
You Should Be Dancing Bee Gees
You To Me Are Everything Real Thing

This list of 24 songs was well down on that of 1975’s record 41 that didn’t make it. Additionally while ‘The Roussos Phenomenon EP’ by Demis Roussos didn’t make our charts (we never had EP’s make out chart), one track from that EP, ‘My Friend The Wind’ did make our top 20.

CHARTING IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS

The Sweet and Alan Garrity had managed to spend at least 1 week in the charts in every year from 1971 to 1975 and up to the end of 1975 they had the longest unbroken run of all the acts who charted in 1975. Neither of them managed to extend that run into 1976, but David Cassidy, whom we had seen in the charts every year from 1972 now had a 5 year consecutive run of charting. He joined The Sweet and Alan Garrity in this, as well as The Bee Gees (1969-1973) and The Rising Sons (1970 – 1974).

Abba, Lionel Petersen and Richard Jon Smith had managed 4 years in a row (1973-1976) and were all hoping to be the next act to make it to 5.

So far, Neil Diamond led the way in terms of number of years in which any act had appeared in the charts as he featured in 7 of the previous 8 year we have looked at so far, only missing out on 1973. Barbara Ray and Billy Forrest led the way for local acts, charting in 6 of the 8, Barbara missing out on 1969 and 1972 while Billy failed to chart in 1970 and 1974.

I WRITE THE SONGS

Ernie Schroder took top song writing honours this year as he had a credit on 5 of the songs that appeared in the chart during the year (Buttercup’s ‘Sha La LaLa’, Roy Bulkin’s ‘Twinkle Toes’, Ian & Dix’s ‘Sonder Jou’, Mike Eager’s ‘Rock Me To Sleep’ and Geoff St. John’s ‘Candy’). We had not seen a song writer have this many hits in a year since Terry Dempsey managed a massive 9 hits in 1971. Ernie’s usual song writing partner Ken Levine managed 4 hits and sat second next to KC & The Sunshine Band’s Harry Wayne ‘KC’ Casey and Richard Finch. Levine had credits on all the Schroder songs with the exception of ‘Sonder Jou’.

Terry Dempsey was still the king when it came to song writing as he had 23 of his compositions chart. Roger Greenaway closed the gap on Dempsey by 1 as he moved onto 16 hits. Jeff Barry was 3rd on 15, also increasing his tally by 1 in 1976.

Dempsey also still led the way for weeks on the charts for a song writer but had not moved on from the 244 he had at the end of 1974. Mike Chapman & Nicky Chinn were still tied second, but they had increased their week count from 139 at the end of 1975 to 158 by the end of 1976. Both Jeff Barry and Roger Greenaway overtook John Fogarty who had been in 4th place at the end of 1975 as they moved on to 126 and 120 respectively, leaving Fogarty to drop down to 6th with his unchanged 119 weeks.

As in 1975 Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson were the only song writers to managed 2 number 1’s as song writers. They were responsible for the 2 Abba chart toppers, ‘Fernando’ and ‘Dancing Queen’. They had now had a total of 5 chart toppers and led the way on that front, leaving Neil Diamond, Terry Dempsey, Geoff Stephens, Chris Andrews and John Fogarty all lagging behind on 3. On the weeks at 1 front, they overtook Mike Chapman & Nicky Chinn who were stuck on 14, by moving onto 16 weeks.

Well, that’s it for 1976. Next up 1977.

31 December 1976

mississippi-pussycat

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 9 Mississippi  - Pussycat
2 4 4 Georgie  - Pussycat
3 2 7 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
4 3 10 Dancing Queen  - Abba
5 5 11 Jeans On  - David Dundas
6 6 7 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  - 5000 Volts
7 7 10 A Million Drums  - Dennis East
8 8 5 Without You  - Barry Mason
9 10 8 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  - Zamfir
10 9 6 Our Sweet Precious Love  - Billy Forrest
11 19 3 I’ll Meet You At Midnight  - Smokie
12 14 4 I’ll Keep On Coming Back  - Lionel Petersen
13 11 14 I Hate The Music  - John Paul Young
14 12 8 Dedication  - Rogue
15 16 4 Michaelangelo  - André
16 13 12 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  - Lou Rawls
17 15 5 Stand Up Like A Man  - Maria
18 17 6 Kiss And Say Goodbye  - Manhattans
19 18 4 It’s A Secret  - Mungo Jerry
20 New 1 My Friend The Wind  - Demis Roussos

‘Mississippi’ by Pussycat clocked up its 4th week at the top of our charts and in so doing equalled the best efforts to date by a Dutch act, both Shocking Blue’s ‘Venus’ and The George Baker Selection’s ‘Paloma Blanca’ had managed 4 weeks at the top. Further good news for Pussycat was that ‘Georgie’ had moved up moved up another 2 places to give us only the second time the top 2 songs were by the same artist (previous The Sweet had managed this in 1971 with ‘Co-Co’ and ‘Funny Funny’). It was also the 10th time we had seen an act have songs in adjacent places on the chart.

Smokie’s ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ was shooting up the charts, climbing 8 from 19 to 11 to be the biggest climber in the week, something, none of their previous 3 hits had managed. This would be the second biggest climb in a week for any Smokie song. The next biggest climber this week only managed 2 places.

Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ fell the most number of places this week and it only took a 3 place fall for it to do is. It dropped from 13 to 16.

John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ was at 13 and the oldest on the charts on 15 weeks.

The Stockley Sister’s version of ‘Venus’ exited the charts after a run of 10 weeks and a peak of 5. This would be their only SA hit. For the song ‘Venus’ it had lasted a total of 20 weeks in the charts and stood 12th on the list of weeks on the chart by a song charting with more than one version. The previous version to chart, by Shocking Blue had topped the charts.

Demis Roussos returned to the charts with his second hit. ‘My Friend The Wind’ which entered the charts at 20 this week to be the 6th song by a Greek artist on our top 20. Roussos accounted for 1 of the previous 5 and Vicky Leandross the other 4. ‘My Friend The Wind’ featured on the 4 track EP ‘The Roussos Phenomenon’ which topped the UK charts and with Roussos having been born in Egypt (on 15 June 1946) he became the first African born artist to top the UK charts. It would also be the only EP that would be a UK number 1 in the 1970s. The other tracks on the EP were ‘Forever And Ever’, ‘So Dreamy’ and ‘Sing An Ode To Love’. ‘My Old Friend The Wind’ was a song from 1973 and it topped the Dutch and Belgium charts that year as well as getting to 7 in Germany and 15 in Austria.

Youtube Playlist:

24 December 1976

mississippi-pussycat

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 8 Mississippi  - Pussycat
2 3 6 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
3 2 9 Dancing Queen  - Abba
4 8 3 Georgie  - Pussycat
5 4 10 Jeans On  - David Dundas
6 7 6 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  - 5000 Volts
7 5 9 A Million Drums  - Dennis East
8 13 4 Without You  - Barry Mason
9 12 5 Our Sweet Precious Love  - Billy Forrest
10 9 7 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  - Zamfir
11 6 13 I Hate The Music  - John Paul Young
12 10 7 Dedication  - Rogue
13 11 11 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  - Lou Rawls
14 17 3 I’ll Keep On Coming Back  - Lionel Petersen
15 16 4 Stand Up Like A Man  - Maria
16 18 3 Michaelangelo  - André
17 15 5 Kiss And Say Goodbye  - Manhattans
18 19 3 It’s A Secret  - Mungo Jerry
19 20 2 I’ll Meet You At Midnight  - Smokie
20 14 10 Venus  - Stockley Sisters

Pussycat spent a 3rd straight week at the top of our charts with ‘Mississippi’ fending off Boney M’s challenge with ‘Daddy Cool’ which jumped a place to 2. Moving up to number 4 was Pussycat’s other hit, ‘Georgie’ which meant that they were the 3rd act to have 2 songs in the top 5 at the same time. Only The Sweet and Paul McCartney’s band Wings had managed this before, the former with ‘Co-Co’ and ‘Funny Funny’ (for 2 weeks) and the latter with ‘Band On The Run’ and ‘Let Me Roll It’ (1 week).

‘Georgie’ by Pussycat mentioned above was a star rater as it had climbed 4 places to get to 4, but it was Barry Mason’s ‘Without You’ that was the biggest climber of the week as it moved up 5 to 8.

‘Venus’ by The Stockley Sisters was the biggest faller, dropping 6 places to 20 giving us the 133rd time with a local song being the biggest faller, and the 29th time that local faller had been a group.

There was no movement on or off the charts, so John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ remained the oldest in the top 20, moving on to 13 weeks. Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ was on 11 and Young and Rawls were joined by David Dundas’ ‘Jeans On’ and The Stockley Sisters’ ‘Venus’ in double figures for weeks as these 2 moved on to 10 weeks.

Billy Forrest celebrated his 70th week on the chart under his various guises. He stood 11th on the list of weeks on the chart to date. Smokie clocked up a quarter of a century of weeks as ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ spent a second week on the chart to move the band on to 25 in total.

On the song writing front, Jeff Barry celebrated 125 weeks while local artist who had also had success as a song writer, Richard Jon Smith, moved onto 30 weeks with Lionel Petersen’s ‘I’ll Keep On Coming Back’ helping him reach that milestone.

As a song. ‘Venus’ had spent 20 weeks on the charts, 10 with the current Stockley Sisters’ version and 10 back in 1970 when Shocking Blue  took it to the top of our charts.

Youtube playlist:

17 December 1976

mississippi-pussycat

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 7 Mississippi  - Pussycat
2 2 8 Dancing Queen  - Abba
3 3 5 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
4 4 9 Jeans On  - David Dundas
5 5 8 A Million Drums  - Dennis East
6 6 12 I Hate The Music  - John Paul Young
7 8 5 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  - 5000 Volts
8 15 2 Georgie  - Pussycat
9 9 6 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  - Zamfir
10 10 6 Dedication  - Rogue
11 7 10 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  - Lou Rawls
12 12 4 Our Sweet Precious Love  - Billy Forrest
13 13 3 Without You  - Barry Mason
14 11 9 Venus  - Stockley Sisters
15 16 4 Kiss And Say Goodbye  - Manhattans
16 14 3 Stand Up Like A Man  - Maria
17 18 2 I’ll Keep On Coming Back  - Lionel Petersen
18 19 2 Michaelangelo  - André
19 20 2 It’s A Secret  - Mungo Jerry
20 New 1 I’ll Meet You At Midnight  - Smokie

‘Mississippi’ enjoyed a second week at the top of our charts while the previous number 1, Abba’s  ‘Fernando’ remained unmoved at 2. In fact all the positions up to 6 were occupied by songs which were in those positions last week.

At 7 we had a song move up 1 place (5000 Volts’ ‘Doctor Kiss-Kiss’) and at 8 was the biggest climber which was the other song by this week’s chart toppers. ‘Georgie’ became the 18th song by a Dutch act to be the biggest climber in a week and the second time Pussycat had taken that honour.

Another former number 1, Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ was the biggest faller this week as it dropped 4 from 7 to 11. It was Rawls’ first time as the biggest faller and only the second time someone with the first name Lou had managed this, the previous being when Lou Christie’s ‘I’m Gonna Make You Mine’ fell 4 in the December of 1969 to take biggest faller honours.

John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ at 6 moved on to 12 weeks and was the oldest on the charts, the aforementioned Lou Rawls hit being the only other song in double figures for weeks as it clocked up its 10th. The average for weeks on the chart of all the songs on the top 20 was a rather low 5.4.

Neil Diamond fell agonisingly short of reaching his 100th week in the chart as ‘Beautiful Noise’ departed from the top 20, leaving Diamond stranded on 99 weeks. The big question was would he have another hit to make his century?

The new entry in Diamond’s place was ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’, Smokie’s 3rd SA top 20 hit. This was a lucky 13th hit for song writers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, placing them equal with Roger Cook on the list of hits by a song writer with only 3 above them. They were still a long way off leader, Terry Dempsey who had 23 to date. However, in terms of weeks, they were now second on the song writers list with 156 under their belt. Once again Demspey led the way as he was on 244. The song gave Smokie a number 11 hit in The UK and Belgium and went to 5 in Holland and 6 in Norway. The album from which the song came ‘Midnight Café’ would be the only one of theirs to chart in the US, but the song would fail to make inroads on the Billboard Hot 100.

Only 2 of the songs on our top 20, (Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’ and Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’) were on the UK top 50 this week. Neil Diamond’s ‘Beautiful Noise’ which had been on our chart last week and Rod Stewart’s ‘Sailing’ which had also finished its SA Chart run were in the top 50 in the UK and there were a further 11 songs in that chart which would ultimately grace our top 20.

Youtube playlist:

10 December 1976

mississippi-pussycat

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 6 Mississippi  - Pussycat
2 1 7 Dancing Queen  - Abba
3 6 4 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
4 3 8 Jeans On  - David Dundas
5 7 7 A Million Drums  - Dennis East
6 4 11 I Hate The Music  - John Paul Young
7 5 9 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  - Lou Rawls
8 12 4 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  - 5000 Volts
9 10 5 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  - Zamfir
10 8 5 Dedication  - Rogue
11 9 8 Venus  - Stockley Sisters
12 13 3 Our Sweet Precious Love  - Billy Forrest
13 14 2 Without You  - Barry Mason
14 19 2 Stand Up Like A Man  - Maria
15 New 1 Georgie  - Pussycat
16 18 3 Kiss And Say Goodbye  - Manhattans
17 11 6 Beautiful Noise  - Neil Diamond
18 New 1 I’ll Keep On Coming Back  - Lionel Petersen
19 New 1 Michaelangelo  - André
20 New 1 It’s A Secret  - Mungo Jerry

The cats were now ahead of the dogs as we had the 4th act that had an animal in their name top our charts. We had had The Cowsills, Three Dog Night and Cat Stevens at number 1 and this week, Pussycat joined Cat Stevens for the cats to go ahead of the cows and dogs. ‘Mississippi’ knocked Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ from the top spot after the latter had spent 2 weeks there. This was the 5th song by a Dutch act to go to number 1 and Pussycat were now the 15th act who would have 5 or more hits, have their first top the charts.

5000 Volts’ ‘Doctor Kiss-Kiss’ moved up 4 places to 8 to be a star rater this week, but it was the 5 place climb by Maria’s ‘Stand Up Like A Man’ that took biggest climber honours. This was Maria’s 5th time with this accolade and the 25th time it had been a local woman that managed this.

Neil Diamond experienced his 8th time with the biggest faller in the week as ‘Beautiful Noise’ fell 6 places from 11 to 17. Only 4 acts had had more biggest fallers in a week (Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Sweet, Alan Garrity and Lionel Petersen).

John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ was on 11 weeks and was the only song in double figures for weeks on the chart this week.

The Ritchie Family’s ‘The Best Disco In Town’ had been on the charts for 5 weeks and peaked at 18. This was the lowest peak a song spending 5 weeks on the charts would have and we had already seen it happen 4 times. There would only be one more occurrence of this. This ended The Ritchie Family’s SA chart run (despite having 2 of their songs feature in the Village People film ‘Can’t Stop The Music’). They had spent a total of 13 weeks on the charts with their 2 hits and their best peak was with ‘Brazil’ which made it to 11.

The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver’s ‘Arms Of Mary’ also left the charts, it had managed 14 weeks and a peak of 3. This would be their only SA hit.

Also heading off the charts was Tommy Dell’s ‘Don’t Worry About Me’. It had lasted 14 weeks and peaked at 11 which was to date the lowest peak for a song spending 14 weeks on the charts. There would be 2 songs to come that would last 14 weeks and only peak at 12.

Last of the leavers was the oldest on the charts last week, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ by Elton John & Kiki Dee. It had spent 17 weeks on the chart (Elton’s best to date and would ultimately be his 2nd best overall) of which 6 had been spent at number 1 in a run that was split into 4 weeks and then 2 weeks after Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’ interrupted their supremacy for a week.

While celebrating their success at topping our charts this week, Pussycat also celebrated being the 31st act to have more than 1 song in the chart in the same week as ‘Georgie’ was the first of the new entries coming in at 15. As with ‘Mississippi’ it topped the Dutch charts but was slightly less successful in Belgium and Switzerland where it only made number 2, unable to follow up the chart topping that ‘Mississippi’ managed in those countries. It also made 2 in Austria, 6 in Germany and 14 in New Zealand but failed to make the UK charts (where ‘Mississippi had made number 1).

Lionel Petersen arrived with his 7th top 20 hits, the aptly titled. ‘I’ll Keep On Coming Back’. It was the 5th song to chart where Richard Jon Smith took song writing credits, but the first of RJS’s songs that Petersen had taken into the top 20. Smith also took production credits on the song.

At 19 we had another entry by a local make artist a second hit for André (full name André Allen, real name Basil Schmidt). ‘Michelangelo’ was a cover of a song by Swedish singer Björn Skifs and was an entry into the Swedish competition to represent that country at the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest. It only came 5th and Lasse Berghagen went on to represent Sweden with a song called ‘Jennie, Jennie’ which ended up taking 8th place at the contest. ‘Michelangelo’ by Skifs would go to number 7 in Norway. It apparently also charted in Sweden, but I do not have chart information to confirm this.

Our last new entry was by an act we hadn’t seen on the charts in a couple of years. Their previous hit, ‘Long Legged Woman In A Black Dress’ spent its last week in the top 20 on 20 September 1974, but Mungo Jerry were back with a new hit called ‘It’s A Secret’. As with all of their previous hits it was penned by the band’s frontman, him of the huge sideburns, Ray Dorset. This was the first Mungo Jerry hit in SA that did not chart in the UK.

Youtube playlist:

3 December 1976

dancing_queen-abba

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 6 Dancing Queen  - Abba
2 5 5 Mississippi  - Pussycat
3 3 7 Jeans On  - David Dundas
4 4 10 I Hate The Music  - John Paul Young
5 2 8 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  - Lou Rawls
6 12 3 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
7 8 6 A Million Drums  - Dennis East
8 10 4 Dedication  - Rogue
9 6 7 Venus  - Stockley Sisters
10 11 4 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  - Zamfir
11 7 5 Beautiful Noise  - Neil Diamond
12 14 3 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  - 5000 Volts
13 20 2 Our Sweet Precious Love  - Billy Forrest
14 New 1 Without You  - Barry Mason
15 9 17 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart  - Elton John & Kiki Dee
16 15 14 Don’t Worry About Me  - Tommy Dell
17 13 14 Arms Of Mary  - Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
18 19 2 Kiss And Say Goodbye  - Manhattans
19 New 1 Stand Up Like A Man  - Maria
20 18 5 The Best Disco In Town  - Ritchie Family

Abba crept a week closer to The Sweet who had spent a total of 19 weeks at number 1 as ‘Dancing Queen’ clocked up their 16th week at the top of our charts. Pressure came from Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’ which moved up 3 to 2.

For a second week running Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ was a star rater but not the biggest climber. This week it moved up 6 to 6 but was beaten by the 7 place leap that Billy Forrest’s ‘Our Sweet Precious Love’ made to land it at number 13. This was Forrest’s 5th time with a biggest climber in the week, but the first under the name Billy Forrest. He had managed it twice as William E. and twice as part of the duet with Angelika Illman using the name Geli & Billy.

The biggest faller was also the oldest on the charts and that was Elton John & Kiki Dee’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking my Heart’ which was on 17 weeks and dropped 6 places to 15.

Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’ left the top 20 after 15 weeks in the chart, 1 of which was spent at the top of the charts. Cliff now stood on 53 weeks on the charts which gave him an average of 6.625 weeks per hit as he had had 8 hits to date. This was the lowest average to date for any artist who had managed 5 or more hits. Abba led the way with an average of 14.125 weeks per song.

Also leaving the charts was Vicki Sue Robinson’s ‘Turn The Beat Around’ which lasted 7 weeks and peaked at 12, a better peak than the highest position of 21 Gloria Estefan would manage on the UK charts in 1994 with her cover version.

The song writer of our biggest climber this week, Barry Mason, had his first hit as artist this week as ‘Without you’ entered the charts at 14. This was not a cover of the Nilsson song, but one written by a guy called Peter Shelley. As far as I can determine, this was not the Pete Shelley who fronted punk band The Buzzcocks, but was rather a British songwriter and producer who co-founded the record label Magnet. It is somewhat ironic that Mason, who had scored 6 hits in SA so far as song writer, would finally have his break as an artist with a song he did not pen. The song would not chart in the UK or US and did not appear on any of the major European charts.

Local lass, Maria was back in the charts after having been absent for 2 years, 6 months and 9 days. Her new hit was ‘Stand Up Like A Man’ which was written by Ben Findon and Mike Myers (no, not the guy from ‘Wayne’s World’ and ‘Austin Powers’) and was originally recorded by The Dooleys. The Shadows also recorded a version as a possible UK entry to the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest, but they ended up entering ‘Let Me Be The One’ (which came 9th). This was Maria’s 4th hit in SA. Her first hit, ‘I’m On Fire’ would also feature Ben Findon as song writer.

Youtube playlist:

26 November 1976

dancing_queen-abba

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 5 Dancing Queen  - Abba
2 1 7 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  - Lou Rawls
3 3 6 Jeans On  - David Dundas
4 4 9 I Hate The Music  - John Paul Young
5 8 4 Mississippi  - Pussycat
6 5 6 Venus  - Stockley Sisters
7 7 4 Beautiful Noise  - Neil Diamond
8 9 5 A Million Drums  - Dennis East
9 6 16 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart  - Elton John & Kiki Dee
10 13 3 Dedication  - Rogue
11 12 3 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  - Zamfir
12 16 2 Daddy Cool  - Boney M
13 10 13 Arms Of Mary  - Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
14 19 2 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  - 5000 Volts
15 14 13 Don’t Worry About Me  - Tommy Dell
16 15 7 Turn The Beat Around  - Vicki Sue Robinson
17 11 15 Devil Woman  - Cliff Richard
18 18 4 The Best Disco In Town  - Ritchie Family
19 New 1 Kiss And Say Goodbye  - Manhattans
20 New 1 Our Sweet Precious Love  - Billy Forrest

Lou Rawls 2 weeks stint at the top of the charts with ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ ended this week as Abba clocked up their 5th number 1 to date with ‘Dancing Queen’ and in so doing were now sitting on top of the list of number of number 1 hits, pulling 1 clear of The Hollies who were on 4.

Both of last week’s new entries were star raters this week with Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ climbing 4 places from 16 to 12, but beaten by one in terms of positions climbed by 5000 Volts’ ‘Doctor Kiss-Kiss’ which moved up 5 places to 14 to claim their second biggest climber in a week award.

Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’ was the biggest faller for a second week running as it dropped 6 places from 11 to 17. All 3 of his songs to date that had been the biggest faller in a week had all done so twice while none of his other 5 hits had been a biggest faller at all.

Elton John & Kiki Dee’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ clocked up a 16th week in the chart and was the oldest in the top 20 for the 4th week running. This equalled the run by Geli & Billy’s ‘Do You Love Me’ for being the longest run to date as oldest by a song by a duet.

Johnny Wakelin lost the fight to stay in the charts as ‘In Zaire’ disappeared from the top 20 after 11 weeks and a peak of 3. This would be his only SA hit and the 6th song to chart which had a country name in its title and the only one that would chart to mention an African country (to date we had had Roy Memphis’ ‘Maar In Amerika’, Middle Of The Road’s ‘Talk Of All The U.S.A.’, Big John’s Rock N Roll Circus’ ‘Rockin’ In The U.S.A.’, The Ritchie Family’s ‘Brazil’ and Typically Tropical’s ‘Barbados).

Also going from the chart was Caroline Du Preez & Tommy Dell’s ‘Golden Ring’ which had lasted 13 weeks and peaked at 6, equalling the peak of their previous outing as a duet (with ‘Sometimes’), but spending 1 week less. This ended Caroline Du Preez’s SA Chart career with 3 hits (2 as part of a duet with Dell and one solo hit), 32 weeks and a best peak of 6 with both the duet hits. She sat tied 58th on the list of weeks on the charts by an artist, tied 18th for a local artist and 5th for a local female. We would see Tommy Dell on our charts again.

The first of the new entries was by The Manhattans, ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’ The song would give them a number 4 hit in the UK and would become the 400th song to top the Billboard Hot 100 in the US where it would spend 2 weeks before being ousted by the oldest song on our charts this week, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’.

Billy Forrest also had a new entry this week in the shape of ‘Our Sweet Precious Love’. This was released under the name Billy Forrest and was his 11th hit to date under his numerous aliases. This placed him tied at the top of the list for number of hits with Creedence Clearwater Revival who had sat atop of this list unchallenged since June 1972. ‘Our Sweet Precious Love’ was written by Barry Mason who had already had song writing credits on 5 top 20 hits to date, the best performer of those being Edison Lighthouse’s ‘Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)’. Mason recorded the song himself and it was released in 1977 as a b-side to his version of ‘Drive Safely Darlin’ which he also co-wrote and which had been an SA hit for Tony Christie earlier in this year.

Youtube playlist: