29 November 1968


Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 10 My Special Prayer  – Percy Sledge
2 1 8 I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You  – Bee Gees
3 8 4 My Little Lady  – Tremeloes
4 3 8 Little Arrows  – Leapy Lee
5 4 9 Indian Lake  – Cowsills
6 7 6 The Red Balloon  – Dave Clark Five
7 9 4 Jesamine  – Casuals
8 10 6 Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby  – Elvis Presley
9 5 9 Those Were the Days  – Mary Hopkin
10 6 11 Picking Up Pebbles  – Cornelia
11 12 5 Days  – Kinks
12 13 3 I Say a Little Prayer  – Aretha Franklin
13 11 6 Sonbrilletjies  – Al Debbo
14 15 4 Hush  – Deep Purple
15 14 6 Harper Valley PTA  – Jeannie C Riley
16 17 5 Weltevrede Stasie  – Bats
17 19 2 Hey Mr Dreamer  – Pat Gregory
18 20 2 Bang-Shang-a-Lang  – Archies
19 New 1 You Can Cry If You Want To  – Troggs
20 New 1 Eloise  – Barry Ryan

The Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and Quentin E, Klopjaeger’s ‘Lazy Life’ jointly held the record for the slowest climb to the top spot as it took them both 8 weeks to get there. However, this week, Percy Sledge’s ‘’My Special Prayer’ took over as the slowest climber to the top spot as it was in its 10th week when it finally managed to gain pole position. Previous number 1, The Bee Gees’ ‘I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You’ dropped to 2 after spending 3 weeks at the top. Sledge became the second black solo artist (after Louis Armstrong) to top our charts.

‘My Little Lady’ by The Tremeloes made biggest climber for a second week running following up last week’s 6 place climb with a 5 place climb this week. It was now sitting at number 3. It was the only star rater this week and it was the 3rd week running it made star rater status as it had also climbed 5 2 weeks back. The Tremeloes were the 15th act to reach a total of 8 star raters with only half of those also making biggest climber in their respective weeks.

This week saw the first time that we had 2 biggest fallers by solo female artists as Mary Hopkins’ ‘Those Were The Days’ and Cornelia’s ‘Picking Up Pebbles’ both fell 4 places to 9 and 10 respectively to take the biggest faller award for the week. Cornelia could take some comfort from the fact that her song was the oldest on the charts, enjoying its 11th week with us.

Andy Kim’s first adventure on our charts was a short one with ‘How’d We Ever Get This Way?’ lasting just 2 weeks in the top 20 and peaking at 18. The good news for him was that there were bigger and better things to come, both as an artist and as a song writer.

Joining Kim in going was Engelbert Humperdinck whose ‘Les Bicyclettes De Belsize’ fared slightly better, lasting 4 weeks and peaking at 12. This was his worst performing song of his 7 hits to date peaking 1 place lower and lasting 2 weeks less than his previous worst, ‘Everybody Knows’.

8 hits to date placed you tied 3rd on the hits count list behind Petula Clark on 9 and Tom Jones on 10. This week The Troggs joined Herman’s Hermits, Cliff Richard, Jim Reeves, The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann and The Hollies in the chasing pack as ‘You Can Cry If You Want To’ became their 8th hit to date. The song was written by lead singer Reg Presley (who had penned 5 of their previous SA hits), but would fail to make either the US or UK charts. It did, however manage a peak of 12 in Canada and 4 in what was then Rhodesia.

The other new entry was possibly the only to song to chart where the song writer was the twin brother of the artist. ‘Eloise’, which was performed by Barry Ryan, was written by his twin brother Paul Ryan. The song would spend 2 weeks at number 2 in the UK, kept off the top spot by Hugo Montenegro’s ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’. This would be his biggest hit there, but he did manage to chart in the UK a total of 14 times, 8 of which were as a duet with his brother Paul. Furthermore ‘Eloise’ would top the charts in Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Belgium and make number 2 in Austria and Norway.  In 1986 punk band The Damned took a cover version to 3 in the UK. Although not a charting hit, local band Rouge (featuring Zane Cronje) recorded a 17 minute epic disco cover of ‘Eloise’ which was entitled ‘Eloise Concerto’.

Despite ‘Days’ being their 5th SA chart hit, The Kinks were only just hitting the 20 weeks mark this week. Of all the acts who had managed 5 or more hits so far, the average weeks/per hit ratio of 4 that The Kinks now had was the lowest to date with Virginia Lee being second lowest averaging 6 weeks per hit. Even once ‘Days’ finished its time on the chart, The Kinks would still have the lowest average weeks per hit for anyone having 5 or more hits. The Beach Boys had the highest weeks per hit ratio, averaging 12.57 per hit.

But even with The Beach Boys great average, The Troggs caught up with them for total weeks on the charts. The 2 acts shared 3rd place on the weeks count list with 88 each to their names. They sat just 3 behind second placed The Rolling Stones. On the local list, Al Debbo moved tied 13th with Billy Forrest and Peter Lotis on 16 weeks (Forrest’s only hit to date having been under the guise of Quentin E. Klopjaeger) while The Bats finally caught up with Des Lindberg, going tied 6th with him on 31 weeks.

As a final bit of trivia, there would be 39 songs with the world ‘little’ in the title that would chart in SA and this was the 3rd week running that we would have 3 in the chart at the same time (The Tremeloes’ ‘My Little Lady’, Leapy Lee’s ‘Little Arrows’ and Aretha Franklin’s ‘I Say A Little Prayer’. This present run of this many ‘little’ songs in the charts would never be bettered and would only be matched once where that would be a 2 week run, making this the longest run we would ever see with 3 ‘little’ songs.

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