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|
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):
|1||Master Jack||Four Jacks & A Jill||295|
|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|
|=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|
|22||Yummy Yummy Yummy||Ohio Express||160|
|23||She Wears My Ring||Solomon King||159|
|24||Those Were The Days||Mary Hopkin||154|
|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|
|31||For Your Precious Love||Flames||133|
|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|
|=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:
‘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:
|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|
|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:
|1||Master Jack||Four Jacks & A Jill||295|
|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:
|1||Timothy||Four Jacks & A Jill||312|
|2||Master Jack||Four Jacks & A Jill||295|
|4||Ramblin’ Boy||Des Lindberg||251|
NUMBER OF HITS
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.
WEEKS ON THE CHART
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:
|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:
|1||Single Girl||Sandy Posey||302|
|4||Cry Softly (Liebestraum)||Nancy Ames||232|
|5||The French Song||Lucille Starr||223|
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:
|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:
|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|
WHAT DIDN’T CHART
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|
|I Heard It Through The Grapevine*||Marvin Gaye|
|I Pretend||Des O’Connor|
|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|
CHARTING IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS
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.
I WRITE THE SONGS
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.