JOHN KONGOS (SA)

Born: 6 August 1945
Real name: John Theodore Kongos

Kongos was born in Johannesburg and began working in the music world in his teens, joining a band called The Dukes. He then formed The G-Men, a beat group that proved very popular, producing hits such as ‘Johnny & The Mermaid’ and ‘Tulips For Toinette’ in the days before the charts started. In 1966 he moved to England where he released a single called ‘Flim Flam Pharisee’ before joining the band Floribunda Rose whose members included future Bats member Pete Clifford and Chris Demetriou who would work with John E. Sharpe & The Squires. From there he moved onto the band Scrugg. In 1970 Israeli born actress Daliah Lavi scored a number 9 hit in Germany with a German language cover of a song Kongos had written called ‘Won’t You Join Me’ (the German version as called ‘Willst Du Mit Mir Geh’n’). This helped Kongos finance a recording studio in his basement and it was here that he recorded the demo of ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ which came to the attention of Gus Dudgeon. Dundgeonhad produced David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and was just starting on what would be a successful working relationship with Elton John. ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ would reach number 4 in the UK and 70 in the US. His follow up, ‘Tokoloshe Man’ would again hit number 4 in the UK. Both songs would later be covered by the Happy Mondays (‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ going under the title ‘Step On’). His 4 sons would form the band Kongos and would have a number 31 hit in the US with ‘Come With Me Now’.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
23-Jul-1971He’s Gonna Step On You Again211
24-Dec-1971Tokoloshe Man139
    
  Total hits2
  Total weeks20
Biggest climber awards1
Star rater climbs3
Biggest fallers4
Weeks with oldest in the charts0
Longest run in the charts (weeks)11
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)11
Top 30 points ranking=483
Top 20 points ranking=555
Top 30 points355
Top 20 points155

JEAN KNIGHT (US)

Born: 26 January 1943
Birth name: Jean Caliste

Jean was born in New Orleans and would start singing in her cousin’s bar after she finished high school. In 1965 she recorded a demo of a Jackie Wilson song called ‘Stop Doggin’ Me Around’ and the demo landed her with a recording contract with Jetstar/Tribe records. She would record a few singles in the early 60’s but nothing came of them so she gave up and went to work at a bakery. Then in 1970 a songwriter called Ralph Williams asked her to record a song he had written called ‘Mr Big Stuff’. Initially the song did nothing, but then in 1971, it was re-released and gave her a number 2 hit on the US charts. A follow up single, called ‘You Think You’re Hot Stuff’, peaked at 57. But after that further releases failed to chart until 1985 when she covered the song ‘My Toot Toot’. Her version was released at a similar time to one by Denise LaSalle. LaSalle’s version would be the popular one in the UK where it went to number 6 while Knight’s version did not chart there. However, in the US it was the opposite with Knight’s version getting to 50 while LaSalle’s version did not chart.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
07-Sep-1985My Toot Toot219
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks19
Biggest climber awards1
Star rater climbs2
Biggest fallers2
Weeks with oldest in the charts0
Longest run in the charts (weeks)19
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking520
Top 20 points ranking=521
Top 30 points335
Top 20 points167

QUENTIN E. KLOPJAEGER (SA)

Quentin E. Klopjaeger was one of the aliases that Billy Forrest released material under. For more information, see the main Billy Forrest entry. If one counts his duets with Angelika Illman and Sharon Tandy as separate artist, then of the 6 different guises he charted under (Billy Forrest, Dennis, William E., Quentin E. Klopjaeger, Geli & Billy and Sharon Tandy & Billy Forrest), this was his most successful act name using a top 20 points basis (279 points). Geli & Billy was second (233 point) followed by Billy Forrest (232 points), Sharon Tandy & Billy Forrest (139 points), William E. (89 points) and Dennis (8 points).

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
03-May-1968Lazy Life1 (2)16
18-Apr-1969Melody Fayre145
19-Sep-1969Abergavenny156
19-Mar-1973We’re All Playing In The Same Band192
    
  Total hits4
  Total weeks29

LESLIE KLEINSMITH (SA)

Leslie was born in Bishop Lavis, an area near Cape Town Airport. When he was very young his family moved to District Six. He is the cousin of Elspeth Davids (who is also known as Tashneeqa) who was a singer and Leslie would hang out with her and go see various acts playing live. When he was about 13 or 14 he got a job as a packer at a lingerie factory. His breakthrough in the music world came in 1967 when he volunteered to sing at a charity show in District Six and was a huge hit. He would then work with a number of different groups, including one called The Exotics. He became good friends with Zayn Adams who invited him to perform with Pacific Express who Adams was a member of at the time. This heightened Leslie’s profile and he began to work in cabaret. His recorded output seems limited with the single mentioned below being one of only a handful of releases I could find. In the late 70’s he was part of a band called Hotline, but this was not the same band as the one PJ Powers fronted. Kleinsmith would manage to land a lead role in David Kramer & Taliep Petersen’s ‘District Six’ and would star in 414 performances of the show, including the shows run at the Edinburgh Festival in 1989.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
15-Apr-1977Isn’t She Lovely126
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks6
Biggest climber awards0
Star rater climbs1
Biggest fallers0
Weeks with oldest in the charts0
Longest run in the charts (weeks)6
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking=1028
Top 20 points ranking=1022
Top 30 points88
Top 20 points28

KLAXONS (BELGIUM)

The Klaxons were 1 of 3 acts from Belgium to make our charts and by far the most successful of the 3. To illustrate, the points total (using a top 20 basis) for their hits was just over 5 times the combined points total for the other 2 acts’ hits (Telex’s ‘Moskow Diskow’ and Viktor Lazlo’s ‘Breathless’). The main person behind The Klaxons was Burt Blanca (full name Norbert Arthur Blanke) who was born in Neder-Over-Heembeek, an area of north Brussels. He had performed mainly as a rock ‘n’ roll artist and had opened for Bill Haley in 1974 at the latter’s Brussels’ concert. ‘Clap Clap Sound’ would get to number 45 in the UK charts.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
23-Mar-1984Clap Clap Sound1 (7)30
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks30
Biggest climber awards1
Star rater climbs4
Biggest fallers1
Weeks with oldest in the charts8
Longest run in the charts (weeks)30
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking222
Top 20 points ranking186
Top 30 points662
Top 20 points381

‘Clap Clap Sound’ was the best performing instrumental on our charts using both a top 20 and a top 30 points basis.

EARTHA KITT (US)

Born: 17 January 1927
Died: 25 December 2008 (aged 81)
Real name: Eartha Mae Keith

Eartha was born on a cotton plantation near the town of North (population 745 per the 2010 census) in South Carolina. When she was in her mid to late teens, she joined the Katherine Dunham Company, a song and dance troupe and in 1950 she was offered her first starring role when Orson Welles asked her to be Helen of Troy in his production of ‘Dr Faustus’. She would go on to star in a number of productions while also recording a number of records. She would see 6 US singles hits (some of them charting on the pre-Hot 100 charts) with her Christmas hit, ‘Santa Baby’ giving her a best peak of 6. She would see 1 UK hit in the 50’s (‘Under The Bridges Of Paris’ #7, and her best peak so far) and then have to wait until 1983 to see her next hit, a gap of 28 years, 5 months and 10 days (the 62nd biggest gap at the time of writing), before her next hit which was ‘Where Is My Man’. She would see a further 5 hits after this (total of 7).  She would die from cancer if the colon on Christmas Day 2008. While sad, it was perhaps fitting as her biggest US hit was a Christmas song.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
09-Dec-1983Where Is My Man622
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks22
Biggest climber awards2
Star rater climbs3
Biggest fallers0
Weeks with oldest in the charts0
Longest run in the charts (weeks)22
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking=585
Top 20 points ranking=699
Top 30 points293
Top 20 points107

Eartha would be the oldest woman to make our charts. She was 56 years, 10 months and 22 days old when she charted with ‘Where Is My Man’. Overall she was the 4th oldest act to chart, beaten by Louis Armstrong, Perry Como and Telly Savalas.

KISS (US)

Kiss hailed from New York and their roots go back to a band called Wicked Lester which featured Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. In 1972 the two left Wicked Lester and began putting together a new band. They recruited Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and this formed what would be the classic line up of Kiss. They chose the name after Criss mentioned that he had been in a band called Lips and Stanley apparently said, ‘What about Kiss?’. They played their first gig on 30 January 1973 at a club called The Popcorn Club in New York and it is said that there were only 10 people in the audience. They recorded a 5 track demo soon afterwards and by the November of the year they had signed with Casablanca Records (the first act to be signed to the label). On 31 December of that year they opened for Blue Oyster Cult at The Academy of Music venue in New York and in the February of the following year, their debut album, ‘Kiss’, was released. They toured the US extensively promoting it and the album would get to 87 in the US and ‘Kissin’ Time’, a single off the album, became their first Hot 100 hit, going to 83. They would go on to see 25 US Hot 100 hits with a best peak of 7 which ‘Beth/Detroit Rock City’ managed. They managed 14 UK hits with ‘Crazy Crazy Night’ and ‘God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You II’ both going to their best peak of 4. There have been accusations that the two ‘s’s at the end of their name in their logo were modelled on the Nazi SS symbols and that Kiss stood for ‘Kids In Satan’s Service’. Simmons and Stanley (who are both Jewish) have strongly denied this.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
03-Aug-1979I Was Made For Lovin’ You215
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks15
Biggest climber awards1
Star rater climbs1
Biggest fallers1
Weeks with oldest in the charts1
Longest run in the charts (weeks)15
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking=500
Top 20 points ranking=445
Top 30 points347
Top 20 points197

Ace Frehley solo hit:

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
29-Dec-1978New York Groove412
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks12

Total chart involvement for the band and its members:

Number of hits2
Weeks27

JILL KIRKLAND (SA)

Jill was born in Cape Town and would study at the College of Music there. She would play folk songs at The Troubadour Coffee Bar in Johannesburg which was run by Des Lindberg and this brought her to the attention of Trutone Records who signed her. She came to the nation’s attention when she played the title role in the 1969 film ‘Katrina’. The film, which also starred Joe Stewardson, looked at the plight of mixed race people in apartheid South Africa. Kirkland, who played a folk singer in a coffee bar, would perform the track ‘Katrina’s Theme’ in the film and The Staccatos make an appearance singing ‘Cry To Me’ which prompted its second run in the charts. Kirkland would go on to record a number of albums and also starred in further films, including ‘Jannie Totsiens’ (1970) and ‘Rage To Kill’ (1980), the latter also starred Oliver Reed and Cameron Mitchell who some may remember as Uncle Buck in ‘The High Chaparal’.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
19-Sep-1969Katrina’s Theme116
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks6
Biggest climber awards1
Star rater climbs1
Biggest fallers0
Weeks with oldest in the charts0
Longest run in the charts (weeks)6
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking1008
Top 20 points ranking=980
Top 30 points98
Top 20 points38

FERN KINNEY (US)

Born: 11 July 1949
Real name: Fern Kinney-Lewis

Fern was born in Jackson in Mississippi. She would be a member of the group The Poppies which included fellow SA charting act, Dorothy Moore. The Poppies would see a US chart hit with ‘Lullaby Of Love’ in 1966, but Kinney was not a member of the group at that time. During the early 70’s she would work as a backing vocalist and would sing on Dorothy Moore’s SA chart hit, ‘Misty Blue’. She then took time off to be a housewife. In 1979 she decided to return to the music scene and recorded a song called ‘Groove Me’ which made it to number 6 on the US Dance charts but failed to hit the main Hot 100. The follow up, ‘Together We Are Beautiful’ would make neither the dance nor the Hot 100 charts but hit the number 1 spot in the UK where it remains her only hit. A few further singles were released but, other than a number 30 hit on the Dance Charts in the US with ‘Let The Good Times Roll’, she saw no further chart action.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
06-May-1980Together We Are Beautiful514
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks14
Biggest climber awards1
Star rater climbs1
Biggest fallers1
Weeks with oldest in the charts0
Longest run in the charts (weeks)14
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)0
Top 30 points ranking565
Top 20 points ranking=528
Top 30 points304
Top 20 points164

Dorothy Moore’s hit on which Fern Kinney sang backing vocals:

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
23-Jul-1976Misty Blue119
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks9

Total chart involvement:

Number of hits2
Weeks23

THE KINKS (UK)

The Kinks were formed in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They were the youngest of 8 kids in their family and the only 2 boys. Their parents were great music fans, so the boys grew up with music around them. At school they formed the Ray Davies Quartet which went through a number of line up changes and would at one stage include Rod Stewart as lead vocalist for a short while. The Ray Davies Quartet would later change their name to The Ramrods and then The Ravens, ultimately settling on the name The Kinks. Their debut single was a cover of Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’. It did not make the recognised UK charts (as calculated by Record Retailer at the time) but did peak at 42 on the charts calculated by music magazine Melody Maker. Their next single, ‘You Still Want Me’ failed to chart, but it was 3rd time lucky as the following release was ‘You Really Got Me’ which would spend 2 weeks at 1 in the UK and peak at 7 in the US. They would go on to see a total of 27 UK hits getting to number 1 again with ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’ and ‘Sunny Afternoon’. In the US they managed 22 hits, but their best peak there was only 6 which ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’ and ‘Come Dancing’ managed.

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
04-Jun-1965Tired Of Waiting For You92
01-Apr-1966A Well Respected Man79
12-Aug-1966Sunny Afternoon153
03-Feb-1967Dead End Street201
01-Nov-1968Days88
21-Aug-1970Lola1 (2)12
19-Feb-1971Apeman124
    
  Total hits7
  Total weeks39
Biggest climber awards3
Star rater climbs6
Biggest fallers2
Weeks with oldest in the charts2
Longest run in the charts (weeks)12
Weeks with more than 1 in the charts0
Biggest gap between hits (weeks)90
Top 30 points ranking185
Top 20 points ranking195
Top 30 points758
Top 20 points368

The Kinks had by far the lowest weeks count of all the acts who managed 7 hits. The next lowest, after their 39, was Nancy Sinatra who managed 54 weeks. If fact off all the acts who managed 5 or mor hits, The Kinks had the lowest weeks per hit ratio of 5.57. The next lowest was Virginia Lee who averaged exactly 6 weeks per hit.

Hits by Dave Davies:

Date of entrySongPeak (weeks at 1)Weeks
    
06-Oct-1967Death of A Clown144
    
  Total hits1
  Total weeks4

Total chart involvement by the band and its members:

Number of hits8
Weeks43
No of No.1’s1
Weeks at 12