1 October 1971

sweet_co_co

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 10 Co-Co  – Sweet
2 2 9 You  – Peter Maffay
3 3 6 Daar’s Niks Soos Ware Liefde  – Groep Twee
4 6 4 Never Ending Song of Love  – New Seekers
5 8 5 Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum  – Middle of the Road
6 9 5 Tom-Tom Turnaround  – New World
7 13 3 Silver Threads and Golden Needles  – Barbara Ray
8 4 13 Hold on (to What You Got)  – Peanutbutter Conspiracy
9 5 12 I Did What I Did for Maria  – Tony Christie
10 7 8 How Can You Mend a Broken Heart ?  – Bee Gees
11 15 4 Sweet Hitch-Hiker  – Creedence Clearwater Revival
12 17 3 Hey  – Hedgehoppers Anonymous
13 16 9 Flower of Life  – Lauren Copley
14 10 11 He’s Gonna Step on You Again  – John Kongos
15 18 4 Never Ending Song of Love  – Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
16 20 2 Can We Get to That  – Peter Vee
17 New 1 Leader of the Pack  – Shangri-las
18 19 2 Time After Time  – Judy Page
19 New 1 Sweet Maria  – Gert Potgieter
20 New 1 I’m a Believer  – Neil Diamond

The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’ set a new record for weeks at 1 by a song as it entered its 8th week at the top spot. This pulled it 1 clear of The Tremeloes’ ‘Silence Is Golden’, The Bee Gees’ ‘Massachusetts’ and Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’ for weeks at 1. It also made The Sweet the first act to see 2 songs be at number 1 while spending their 10th week in the chart.

Peter Maffay’s ‘You’ at number 2 was also topping a list, but it shared the top spot for consecutive weeks at number 2 with Lynn Anderson’s ‘Rose Garden’ and Lincoln’s ‘Long Days And Lonely Nights’. All 3 songs had spent 4 weeks in a row in second place. Neither of the other 2 songs had gone on to take the top spot, so things did not look good for Maffay. He could take heart from the fact that 4 consecutive weeks at number 2 would be an all-time record for a German act which would only be equalled twice.

Barbara Ray’s ‘Silver Threads and Golden Needles’ was the climber of the week as it moved up 6 places from 13 to 7. This was her second time with the award as she had also managed it with ‘Happy Birthday Baby’. She now equalled Carike Keuzenkamp and Hilary for number of biggest climbers by a local woman.

Creedence Clearwater Revival joined Percy Sledge and The Bee Gees in second place for number of star rater climbs as ‘Sweet Hitch-Hiker’ gave them their 16th one to date with a 4 place climb from 15 to 11. Tom Jones was still way out front with 22 to his name. There were 2 other star raters this week with Hedgehoppers Anonymous’ ‘Hey’ climbing 5 from 17 to 12 and Peter Vee’s ‘Can We Get To That’ moving up 4 from 20 to 16.

Moving in the other direction was The Peanut Butter Conspiracy’s ‘Hold On (To What You Got)’, Tony Christie’s ‘I Did What I Did For Maria’ and John Kongos’ ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ which all made the biggest fall this week of 4 places and landed at 8, 9 and 14 respectively. It was a 4th time with the award for The Peanut Butter Conspiracy and a second time for both John Kongos and Tony Christie. And with 2 local fallers and Barbara Ray taking climber of the week, this was the 10th time we had local acts being the climber and faller in the same week.

One of the 2 songs that were the oldest on last week’s chart was no longer with us this week. The Gentle People’s ‘Rain, Rain, Rain’ fell out of the top 20 after enjoying a 12 week run and a peak of 3. There was more to come from the band on our charts. Its departure meant that The Peanut Butter Conspiracy’s ‘Hold On (To What You Got)’ on 13 weeks was the oldest in the chart on its own.

Tami Lynn’s ‘I’m Gonna Run Away from You’ was also leaving the top 20. It had been with us for 5 weeks and peaked at 11, but unlike The Gentle People, Tami would not be back and this would be her only SA chart showing.

Last of the leavers was Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ which spent 7 weeks in the charts and peaked at 7, thus becoming the 25th song to have the same weeks and peak figure. It was the 8th time we had seen a song have a weeks and peak figure of 7 which was the most popular number to date. The next best was 8 which we had seen 5 times. Gordon, who would be the only Canadian act to see an equal weeks and peak figure, would return to the charts at a later date.

The first of the new entries was a song recorded in 1964 which topped the US charts and made number 11 in the UK. A subsequent release of it in 1972 made it to number 3 in the UK. We are talking about The Shangri-Las’ ‘Leader Of The Pack’ which was written by Shadow Morton, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. This was Morton’s first hit and Greenwich’s 4th hit in SA as a songwriter. For Barry it was his 16th and he was back into tied second place with Terry Dempsey with gap of 2 between them and leading songwriter to date, Les Reed on 18. ‘Leader Of The Pack’ was number 447 on Rolling Stones magazine’s 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Song Of All Times. It is rumoured that a very young Billy Joel played piano on the track, but even he is not sure if they used his efforts in the final mix.

The second new entry was by a local opera singer who, like Ge Korsten, had made a cross over in to pop. Gert Potgieter entered the charts with his version of a Bert Kaempfert tune ‘Sweet Maria’. Gert was just over a month away from his 42nd birthday when he charted. He was at least the 4th local act to be born in the 1920s to chart in SA. The previous local acts born in that decade who had charted were Al Debbo, Nico Carstens and Virginia Lee with Al Debbo being the oldest, then Carstens, Potgieter and Lee. As birthdates for artists are not always readily available, this list relates to only those where I could determine an age. So far the oldest person to make the charts that I can tell was Louis Armstrong who was over 66 years old when ‘What A Wonderful World’ charted.

Last of the new entries was Neil Diamond with his 7th hit as an artist and 11th as a song writer. ‘I’m A Believer’ was his version of a song he had written and which The Monkees had had a number 1 hit in SA with in 1967. ‘I’m A Believer’ was the 27th song to chart in more than 1 version and with the 13 weeks that The Monkees’ version had been in the top 20 for, the song now had 14 weeks to its name and sat tied 16th overall for weeks in the chart by a song charting in more than 1 version. It shared the spot with ‘Everybody Knows’ (Engelbert Humperdinck and The Dave Clark Five) and The Love Theme From “Romeo & Juliet” (Henry Mancini and Jody Wayne).

The Peanut Butter Conspiracy’s weeks count ticked over to the 30 week milestone and they sat unmoved in 11th place on the local weeks count list, but no longer shared the spot with Dickie Loader who dropped into 12th place. On the overall list, Creedence Clearwater Revival joined Herman’s Hermits in 7th place with 95 weeks to their name.

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