Well that’s it for 1968. All that is left to do is sum up the year and give the facts and figures for what transpired. Who were the the artists and the song writers who pushed our buttons in 1968.

We saw 142 song spend at least 1 week in the charts this year 125 of which were new entries and 17 were hang overs from 1967. These 142 songs were brought to us by 97 different acts. The 142 song tally was slightly down on the 146 we saw in 1967 but was our second highest to date. So far we had seen the following number of hits each year:

Year No Of Hits
1965 (30 weeks) 79
1966 136
1967 146
1968 142

We saw 1 less local hit this year than in 1967 with 22 of the 142 being by South African artists. 1966 remained their best showing to date with 30 hits that year. The 22 in 1968 were brought to us by 15 different acts.


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 40 chart performers for the year (Note: this does not reflect sales):

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
2 Sunglasses Hilary 279
3 Young Girl Union Gap Ft Gary Puckett 255
4 Lazy Life Quentin E. Klopjaeger 227
5 Simon Says 1910 Fruitgum Company 224
6 My Special Prayer Percy Sledge 223
7 Love Is All Around Troggs 211
8 Baby Come Back Equals 203
9 Delilah Tom Jones 191
=10 A Man Without Love Engelbert Humperdinck 186
=10 Love Is Blue Paul Mauriat Orchestra 186
12 What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong 183
13 Help Yourself Tom Jones 182
14 Picking Up Pebbles Cornelia 180
15 I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You Bee Gees 175
16 Mighty Quinn Manfred Mann 174
17 Little Red Donkey Troggs 172
=18 Take Time To Know Her Percy Sledge 170
=18 Little Arrows Leapy Lee 170
20 Judy In Disguise John Fred & His Playboy Band 167
21 Daydream Believer Monkees 161
22 Yummy Yummy Yummy Ohio Express 160
23 She Wears My Ring Solomon King 159
24 Those Were The Days Mary Hopkin 154
25 Massachusetts Bee Gees 151
26 All My Love Cliff Richard 149
27 Send Me No Roses Lucille Starr 144
28 (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay Otis Redding 141
29 Bottle Of Wine Fireballs 138
30 Words Bee Gees 136
31 For Your Precious Love Flames 133
32 Indian Lake Cowsills 127
33 I’m Coming Home Tom Jones 122
34 Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby Elvis Presley 120
35 1, 2, 3 Red Light 1910 Fruitgum Company 119
36 (Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls Dionne Warwick 118
37 Congratulations Cliff Richard 117
=38 My Little Lady Tremeloes 116
=38 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 116
40 Hurdy Gurdy Man Donovan 115

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

Top 40 Magazine 1968 List

‘Master Jack’ was the second local song to be the overall biggest points gatherer for the year following the success of Murray Campbell’s ‘Goodbye My Love’ which was the top hit pointswise in 1965.

The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 312
2 Sweet Pea Tommy Roe 307
3 Single Girl Sandy Posey 302
4 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
5 Green Green Grass Of Home Tom Jones 289
6 California Girls Beach Boys 286
7 Sunglasses Hilary 279
8 Massachusetts Bee Gees 278
9 Silence Is Golden Tremeloes 259
10 Young Girl Union Gap Ft Gary Puckett 255

The top songs pointswise on the local front for 1968 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
2 Sunglasses Hilary 279
3 Lazy Life Quentin E. Klopjaeger 227
4 Picking Up Pebbles Cornelia 180
5 For Your Precious Love Flames 133

And cumulatively from the start of the charts in 1965:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 312
2 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
3 Sunglasses Hilary 279
4 Ramblin’ Boy Des Lindberg 251
5 Timothy Carike Keuzenkamp 236


We had 2 acts manage to spend at least 1 week on the chart with 5 different songs and those were The Bee Gees and Engelbert Humperdinck. The Troggs, Four Jacks & A Jill and Tom Jones all managed 4. The previous 3 years (including the 30 weeks in 1965) had seen artist enjoy a maximum of 4 hits in the year, so this was a new high. Tom Jones led the way overall for number of hits having clocked up 11 to date. He was followed by The Hollies and Petula Clark on 9 each.

On the local front, Four Jacks & A Jill (as mentioned above) managed 4 to set a new record for a local act. Carike Keuzenkamp, The Bats, Al Debbo and Hilary all managed 2. Four Jacks & A Jill also led the way overall for number of local hits, having had 7 chart so far. Virginia Lee and Gene Rockwell were tied second with 6. None had 5 to their name while The Bats and The Staccatos were on 4.


The Bee Gees set a new record for weeks on the chart in a calendar year as they clocked up 43 in 1968 (2 in the chart in the same week counts as 2). The previous best was The Beach Boys’ 39 weeks in 1966. The Troggs came second for 1968 with 39 and Four Jacks & A Jill were the highest placed local act and 3rd placed overall with their 38 being the best to date in a year for a local act (Previous best Murray Campbell’s 30 weeks in 1965).

Cumulatively, Tom Jones was the leader having spent 122 weeks on the charts to date. The Troggs were second with 92 and The Rolling Stones 3rd with 91.

Four Jacks & A Jill led the way for local acts with a total of 68 (tied 8th place overall) with The Staccatos and Gene Rockwell sharing second place with 39 each. They were tied 24th overall.


The Bee Gees and Tom Jones were the only acts to score more than a single number 1 hit this year and they both managed 2, The Bee Gees with ‘Massachusetts’ and ‘I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You’ while Jones’ chart toppers were ‘Delilah’ and ‘Help Yourself’. We were yet to see an act have more than 2 chart toppers in a year. It should also be noted that ‘Massachusetts’ spent time at number 1 in both 1967 and 1968.

So far we had seen 1 local chart topper in 1965 and 2 in both 1966 and 1967, but 1968 was our best year yet with 5 local songs going to number 1. These were Four Jacks & A Jill’s ‘Master Jack’, Quentin E Klopjaeger’s ‘Lazy Life’, Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’, The Flames’ ‘For Your Precious Love’ and Cornelia’s ‘Picking Up Pebbles’.

Hilary’s 7 weeks at 1 with ‘Sunglasses’ was the longest run by any song in 1968 and Four Jacks & A Jill’s ‘Master Jack’ was second best with 5 weeks at 1. ‘Sunglasses’ joined The Tremeloes’ ‘Silence Is Golden’ and The Bee Gees’ ‘Massachusetts’ for the longest run at 1 so far. As noted above, ‘Massachusetts’s 7 weeks straddling 1967 and 1968 so only 3 of their weeks at 1 were in 1968, hence Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’ being the best for the year. From the above, you should be able to conclude that the best run by a local song at 1 to date was of course Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’.

To date, Tom Jones had had the most number 1’s with 5 to his name. The Rolling Stones with 3 were second. Four Jacks & A Jill were the only local act so far to score 2 number 1’s.

Unsurprisingly Tom Jones also topped the weeks at 1 to date list having spent a total of 15 weeks there. The Bee Gees were second with 10 and The Tremloes 3rd on 8. Four Jacks & A Jill and Hilary led the way for local acts with 7 each to their names.


After last year’s best effort to date of 23 hits (27 including those as part of a duet), the woman artists would have been disappointed to see these figures fall to 17 hits (18 if duets are included). The 17 hits were brought to us courtesy of 12 acts.

Lucille Starr’s 3 hits that spent time in the charts this year was the most for a woman for 1968, but they fell 1 short of the best to date which was Petula Clark’s 4 in 1967. Petula herself managed 2 this year and was joined in this total by 2 local ladies, Carike Keuzenkamp and Hilary who were the only South African ladies to have more than 1 hit this year. Cornelia and Pat Gregory were the only other local women to chart.

Petula Clark led the way overall with 9 hits to her name. Nancy Sinatra and Virginia Lee were second with 6 hits each and Virginia Lee being the highest placed local woman. Carike Keuzenkamp, Hilary, June Muscat and Judy Page were tied second for local women with all 4 of them being on 2 hits.

Hilary took the 1968 weeks on the chart title for women as her 22 just beat Lucille Starr’s 21. Cornelia was in 3rd place quite a way behind the top 2 with 13 weeks to her name.

Cumulatively it was Petula Clark who led the way with 68 weeks under her belt since the start of the charts. Lucille Starr came in second with 53 and Nancy Sinatra was 3rd with 48. Virginia Lee still led the way for local lasses with 36 followed by Carike Keuzenkamp and Hilary both on 22.

There were only 2 women who topped the charts in 1968 and both were local. The aforementioned ‘Sunglasses’ by Hilary spent 7 weeks at 1 while Cornelia’s ‘Picking Up Pebbles’ managed 4. To date it was still only Nancy Sinatra who had seen the top spot more than once and one of her 2 times there was as part of a duet with her dad, Frank. Hilary’s 7 weeks at 1 with ‘Sunglasses’ gave her the most weeks at the top to date for a female artist while Nancy Sinatra and Sandy Posey were tied second with 5 weeks each (1 of Nancy’s 5 being the aforementioned duet with Frank Sinatra).

The top 5 hits by woman in 1968 based on the points system were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Sunglasses Hilary 279
2 Picking Up Pebbles Cornelia 180
3 Those Were The Days Mary Hopkin 154
4 Send Me No Roses Lucille Starr 144
5 (Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls Dionne Warwick 118

On a cumulative basis, the top 5 read:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Single Girl Sandy Posey 302
2 Sunglasses Hilary 279
3 Timothy Carike Keuzenkamp 236
4 Cry Softly (Liebestraum) Nancy Ames 232
5 The French Song Lucille Starr 223


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 Love Is Blue Paul Mauriat Orchestra 186 France
2 Send Me No Roses Lucille Starr 144 Canada
3 Macarthur Park Richard Harris 101 Ireland
4 Crystal Chandelier Stu Phillips 48 Canada
5 If I Only Had Time John Rowles 44 New Zealand

In total we saw 11 songs on our charts from artists who were not from The UK, The US or South Africa. Of these 8 were by Canadian acts, 2 by French acts and 1 each from Irish and New Zealand acts. The 8 Canadian hits smashed the record to date for hits by non-SA, -UK or -US acts as we had only seen a best of 3 from one of these nations in the previous 3 years.

The Paul Mauriat Orchestra’s ‘Love Is Blue’ was the only chart topper from a ‘rest of the worlder’ this year. This was the first chart topper from such an act since July 1965 when Australia’s The Seekers occupied the top spot with ‘World Of Our Own’. We had not seen any other chart toppers from outside the 3 main nations who charted on our charts.

Acts from the UK balanced up the number of times they had the most in a year with what the Americans had managed. Their 68 for 1968 was the biggest tally this year. The previous 2 years, the Americans had had the most hits with the Brits last beating them back in 1965.

The cumulative best hits for ‘rest of the world’ artists was as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points Nationality
1 The French Song Lucille Starr 223 Canada
2 World Of Our Own Seekers 192 Australia
3 Love Is Blue Paul Mauriat Orchestra 186 France
4 The Carnival Is Over Seekers 160 Australia
5 I Love You Lucille Starr 148 Canada


We missed out on a record equaling 15 UK or US chart toppers that did not make our top 20 this year. 3 of these were Beatles songs which would have been banned by the SABC at the time, thus accounting for their lack of appearance on our charts. 1966 also saw 15 songs make number 1 in the UK or US or both, but not feature on our charts.

The 15 songs were as follows (songs marked with an * would chart in a later year in SA):

Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde Georgie Fame
Cinderella Rockefella Esther And Abi Ofarim
Fire Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Grazing In The Grass Hugh Masekela
Hello Goodbye Beatles
Hey Jude Beatles
Honey Bobby Goldsboro
I Heard It Through The Grapevine* Marvin Gaye
I Pretend Des O’Connor
Lady Madonna Beatles
Love Child Supremes
Mrs Robinson Simon & Garfunkel
People Got To Be Free Rascals
Tighten Up Archie Bell & The Drells
With A Little Help From My Friends Joe Cocker


There were 15 acts that had seen at least 1 week of chart action in 1965, 1966 and 1967. Four of those acts would not see any hits on the charts in 1968. The 11 acts who had managed to chart in 4 consecutive years were:

Beach Boys, Cliff Richard, Donovan, Herman’s Hermits, Hollies, Kinks, Manfred Mann, Petula Clark, Rolling Stones, Staccatos and Tom Jones.

The 4 that didn’t manage to extend their runs were:

Gene Rockwell, Matt Monro, Seekers and Virginia Lee.

This meant we had 1 local acts who had charted in all 4 year so far (The Staccatos) and Petula Clark was the only woman to have done so.

In addition to those who had charted every year since 1965, there were 9 acts who had charted every year since 1966. That list included local group Four Jacks & A Jill.


In 1967 it took a record to date 206 different song writers to bring us the songs that charted that year. In 1968 we had 10 less do the job as 196 song writers had their names on the labels of the singles that charted. Last year’s top song writer, Les Reed, had to be satisfied with second place this year, his 7 hits falling 1 short of top dog and Reed’s writing partner Barry Mason who scored 8. All 7 of Reed’s hits were co-written with Mason, but Mason had the edge as he was credited with the English lyrics to Engelbert Humperdinck’s ‘A Man Without Love’.

Reed, however, led the way overall with a total of 13 hits to date to his name. Mason came in second with 11 while The Rolling Stones’ writing team of Jagger & Richards shared 3rd place with Bee Gee, Barry Gibb with 9.

As is often the case, the one with the biggest number of hits also had the most weeks and 1968 was no exception with Barry Mason’s 63 weeks being the highest for the year. Les Reed was second with 51 while Barry and Robin Gibb were 3rd with 47.

Similarly, the overall picture for weeks (just about) mirrored the number of hits list as Les Reed was out in front with 125, Barry Mason 2nd on 102 and Jagger & Richards 3rd on 82. The only difference with the hits count list and total weeks was that Barry Gibbs’ 9 hits had only accumulated 76 weeks so far. Barry, however, was busy accumulating weeks at the end of the year as he had song writing credits on The Marbles’ ‘Only One Woman’ which was busy heading up the charts.

The Gibbs brothers (Barry, Robin and Maurice) were the only song writers to see 2 of their compositions top the charts and these were the 2 Bee Gees chart toppers, ‘Massachusetts’ and ‘I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You’. They were the 8th, 9th and 10th song writers to have 2 number 1s in a year. No one had managed more than that yet.

Barry, Robin and Maurice were now also top of the weeks at 1 for song writers as they had spent 10 weeks there with their compositions. Les Reed and Maurice Jarre were in second place with 8 weeks.


Finally, I would like to thank all those who have helped by noting corrections etc as we have gone through 1968. Special thanks go to Peet van Staaden and Ian McLean for supplying invaluable information and Anton van Staden for his eagle-eyed spotting of typos and errors.

And so on to 1969.


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