So, 1971 is almost done and dusted. All that’s left is for us to wrap it up and see who the movers and shakers were.

We had 135 songs spend at least 1 week in the charts this year. This was the lowest we had seen to date except for 1965 when we only had 79, but that was the year the charts started and was not a full year. The 135 songs of 1971 were 1 less than 1966 which was the previous record holder for the lowest number of songs seeing chart action in a full year. 1969’s 153 was the record most to date. There were 114 acts that brought us the 135 hits this year (duets counting as 2, the total would be 110 if duets counted at 1). While the 135 songs were the lowest to date (excluding 1965), the number of acts was tied highest meaning that the hits per act ratio was by far the lowest to date we had seen, amounting to only 1.18. The next lowest was the 1.24 we had seen in 1970. The table below sets out the comparative figures for these stats by year:

Year No Of Hits No Of acts Hits/Act
1965 79 55 1.44
1966 136 97 1.40
1967 146 98 1.49
1968 142 97 1.46
1969 153 112 1.37
1970 141 114 1.24
1971 135 114 1.18

For the local acts, 1971 was their most successful to date as we saw 41 songs by them spend time in the charts during the year. This thrashed the previous record of 30 that we had seen in 1966. There were 28 act who brought us these songs. This counts the 3 different guises that Billy Forrest recorded under as 1.


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 You Peter Maffay 349
2 Co-Co Sweet 294
3 Knock Three Times Dawn 275
4 Never Ending Song Of Love New Seekers 247
5 Have You Ever Seen The Rain? Creedence Clearwater Revival 246
6 Funny Funny Sweet 240
7 Mammy Blue Charisma 234
8 A Summer Prayer For Peace Archies 213
9 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 207
10 I Hear You Knockin’ Dave Edmunds 206
=11 Understanding Peanutbutter Conspiracy 199
=11 Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow Dealians 199
13 Daar’S Niks Soos Ware Liefde Groep Twee 198
14 Put Your Hand In The Hand Alan Garrity 191
15 Rose Garden Lynn Anderson 189
=16 Mozart: Symphony No. 40 In G Minor K.550 1° Movement (Allegro Molto) Waldo De Los Rios 179
=16 Hold On (To What You Got) Peanutbutter Conspiracy 179
18 I Did What I Did For Maria Tony Christie 178
19 Long Days And Lonely Nights Lincoln 174
20 Joy To The World Three Dog Night 167
21 Home Dave Mills 162
22 No Matter What Badfinger 161
23 Get Me Some Help Neville Whitmill 157
24 The Seagull’S Name Was Nelson Des & Dawn Lindberg 154
25 Silver Threads And Golden Needles Barbara Ray 152
26 Rain, Rain, Rain Gentle People 149
27 Vicki Lance James 148
28 If Not For You Olivia Newton-John 147
29 Looky Looky Giorgio 146
30 It Don’T Come Easy Ringo Starr 141
31 Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum Middle Of The Road 137
32 My Sweet Lord George Harrison 136
=33 What Is Life George Harrison 135
=33 I Think I Love You Partridge Family 135
35 Amen Peanutbutter Conspiracy 133
36 Tom-Tom Turnaround New World 129
37 When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door Dealians 126
38 He’S Gonna Step On You Again John Kongos 124
39 Gypsy Woman Brian Hyland 123
40 Zanzibar Wanda Arletti 112

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

Top 40 Magazine 1971 List

As he was German, Peter Maffay’s ‘You’ was the first song by an act that was not from the UK or the US or local to be the top song of the year. Previous winners were 3 local acts, 2 American acts and 1 British act. The 349 points that ‘You’ amassed beat the previous record of 342 for points by a song in a year. The previous record was held by The Staccatos’ ‘Cry To Me’.

The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry To Me Staccatos 447
2 You Peter Maffay 349
3 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 312
4 Sweet Pea Tommy Roe 307
5 Single Girl Sandy Posey 302
6 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
7 Co-Co Sweet 294
8 Green Green Grass Of Home Tom Jones 289
9 California Girls Beach Boys 286
10 Pretty Belinda Chris Andrews 284

The top songs pointswise on the local front for 1971 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Mammy Blue Charisma 234
2 Understanding Peanutbutter Conspiracy 199
3 Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow Dealians 199
4 Daar’S Niks Soos Ware Liefde Groep Twee 198
5 Put Your Hand In The Hand Alan Garrity 191

And cumulatively from the start of the charts in 1965, the top 5 were unchanged from last year:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry To Me Staccatos 447
2 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 312
3 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
=4 Sunglasses Hilary 279
=4 Theresa Dave Mills 279


Neil Diamond became the 5th act so far to manage to spend time in the charts with 5 different hits during a calendar year. His 5 songs to be in the top 20 this year were ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’ (which started its chart run in 1970), ‘Do It’, ‘Shilo’, ‘I Am…I Said’ and ‘I’m A Believer’.  Engelbert Humperdinck and The Bee Gees managed 5 hits each in 1968 while The Archies, Percy Sledge and The Bee Gees (again) did so in 1969.

Dave Mills came second in 1971 with 4 hits and for the second year running he was the highest scoring local act. The Peanut Butter Conspiracy and Tony Christie both managed 3 with the former being the second best local act.

Tom Jones led the way on the overall count as he moved his total on to 17, adding 2 to the 15 he had achieved by the end of 1970. Cliff Richard was in second place with 14 while Percy Sledge and The Hollies on 12 apiece were tied 3rd.

Four Jacks & A Jill topped the list for local acts with 7 to their name with 6 acts tied for second place on 6 hits. They were The Staccatos, Gene Rockwell, Dave Mills, Virginia Lee, The Bats and Billy Forrest. The 4 hits Dave Mills had in 1971 was an equal record best for a local act, joining Four Jacks & A Jill who achieved this in 1968.


The Peanut Butter Conspiracy became the first local act to top the list of weeks spent in the chart in a calendar year as they amassed 39 weeks in 1971. This was the tied 4th highest total the top act had managed, equalling the 1966 effort by The Beach Boys, but falling way short of the record to date 48 that Chris Andrews managed in 1970. (Note that 2 songs in the chart in the same week count as 2 weeks).  Neil Diamond and The Sweet were tied 2nd with 34 weeks each with Dawn and Creedence Clearwater Revival having the 3rd highest total as they managed 26 weeks. The Dealians took second place amongst the locals with 23 and Barbara Ray was close behind with 22.

Tom Jones, unsurprisingly was the overall leader with 178 weeks to his name. The Bee Gees were second with 108 and Percy Sledge and The Troggs tied for 3rd place with 105. The Staccatos were still top of the local list on 83 as Dave Mills moved past Four Jacks & A Jill to take second place on 69. Four Jacks & A Jill who sat second at the end of 1970 had not moved their total past 68 where it sat at the end of the previous year and they were now 3rd.


The Sweet were the only act to see more than 1 chart topper this year and they had 2 in ‘Funny Funny’ and ‘Co-Co’. Only 1 act so far had managed 3 number 1s in a year and that was Chris Andrews who did this in 1970. The Sweet’s 2 chart toppers clocked up a total of 14 weeks at 1 between them which smashed the previous record of 9 weeks at 1 in a calendar year that Chris Andrews had managed in 1970.

We saw 3 local chart toppers in 1971 which was equalled second best to date. We had seen this total in 1970, but the 5 we saw in 1968 was still the record. The 3 songs to make it to the number 1 spot by local acts were ‘Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow’ by The Dealians, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’ by Alan Garrity and ‘Mammy Blue’ by Charisma.

‘Mammy Blue’s 11 weeks at 1 was not only the most a song managed in 1971 but was also the record to date. The Sweet’s 8 weeks with ‘Co-Co’ was second. ‘Knock Three Times’ by Dawn and The Sweet’s ‘Funny Funny’ tied for 3rd each spending 6 weeks in pole position. Alan Garrity’s ‘Put Your Hand In The Hand’ was the second best run at 1 by a local song in 1971 as it managed 4 weeks with The Dealians’ ‘Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow’ managing 3.

Overall Tom Jones had seen 6 number 1s which was the highest tally to date. Chris Andrews was next highest on 4 and 7 acts sat tied 3rd on 3 with The Hollies and Creedence Clearwater Revival catching up to The Troggs, The Tremloes, Elvis Presley, The Bee Gees and The Rolling Stones who had not added to their score of chart toppers in 1971.

Tom Jones’ 18 weeks in total at 1 was still the best to date with The Bee Gees and The Sweet both on 14 in second place. Chris Andrews had 13 weeks to his name and was next on the list. Charisma, who were 5th overall with 11 weeks were the highest placed local act with Hilary and Four Jacks & A Jill on 7 each coming second.


After 1970’s worst year to date (excluding the half year of 1965) for woman artists, they managed to almost double their tally of hits from 8 to 14, their 3rd best effort to date. It still fell quite a distance short of the 23 in 1967 which was their best performance to date.

Barbara Ray was the only one in those 14 hits that accounted for more than 1 as she brought us 2 hits. Petula Clark’s 4 in 1967 was still the best effort that a woman had managed. Aside from Barbara Ray, Lauren Copley and Judy Page were the only other local ladies to make the top 20.

Petula Clark was still the leader for number of hits by a woman. She added 1 to her total this year and sat on 11. Nancy Sinatra was second with 7 and Virginia Lee was still the leading local lady with 6 which put her 3rd overall. Barbara Ray and Judy Page on 3 apiece were the second highest on the local list.

Barbara Ray’s 2 hits spent a total of 22 weeks in the charts and this was the best effort for a woman this year.  This was the tied highest number of weeks in the chart in a year for a local woman, equalling Hilary’s effort in 1968. Petula Clark still held the record, having seen 37 in 1967. Lynn Anderson’s 13 weeks was the second best weeks tally for a woman this year while Lauren Copley’s 12 was 3rd overall and the second highest for a local woman.

Petula also led the way for total weeks in the chart. She had 72 to her name. Sandie Shaw and Nancy Sinatra were tied second on 54. Virginia Lee was the highest placed local woman with her 36 putting her 5th overall. Barbara Ray was, however closing that gap as she had 32 and was in 6th place overall.

Last year was the first time we did not have a female chart topper and if it had not been for the 1 week that Olivia Newton-John’s ‘If Not For You’ spent at the top of the charts in 1971 (it should have been called ‘If Not For Me’), this year would have been the second time. 1967 was still the best year where 5 songs by women topped the charts. We were still to see a woman top the charts more than once other than Nancy Sinatra who had managed it once as a solo artist and once as part of a duet with her dad, Frank. Hilary’s 7 weeks at the top of the charts with ‘Sunglasses’ was still the most number of weeks a woman had spent at 1.

The top 5 hits by woman in 1971 based on the points system were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Rose Garden Lynn Anderson 189
2 Silver Threads And Golden Needles Barbara Ray 152
3 If Not For You Olivia Newton-John 147
4 Zanzibar Wanda Arletti 112
5 Amazing Grace Judy Collins 101

On a cumulative basis, the top 5 was unchanged from last year and 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 You Peter Maffay 349 Germany
2 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 207 France
3 Mozart: Symphony No. 40 In G Minor K.550 1° Movement (Allegro Molto) Waldo De Los Rios 179 Argentina
4 Looky Looky Giorgio 146 Italy
5 Tom-Tom Turnaround New World 129 Australia

As mentioned above, Peter Maffay’s ‘You’, which topped this list, was the only song so far that was by one of the ‘other nationalities’ that was the top song for the year.

So far the Australians had taken top honours for top hit by one of the ‘other nationalities’ (in 1965 and 1966). Since then we had seen a Canadian act, a French act, an Irish act, a Dutch act and now a German one take top spot on this list.

There were 16 songs by ‘Rest Of the Worlders’ that spent time in the charts this year. This was the second highest total so far with the record being the 19 we saw in 1970. No act managed more than 1 hit.

The British acts were the dominant force in 1971 with 45 of the hits making the charts being from them. The local acts were next best with 41 while the Americans were in 3rd place with 33. Of the others, Germany fared best with 4 hits. Canada, Australia and France all saw 2 while acts from Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands, Ireland, Argentina and Norway all contributed 1. With a total of 13 different nations having a look in at the charts in 1971, this was the most diverse year we had seen to date. In fact each year, other than in 1967 had seen an improvement in the number of nations charting. We started with 4 in 1965 then moved on to 6 in 1966. 1967 equalled the 6 we saw in 1966 then 1968 moved the total onto 7. We saw 8 in 1969 then 11 in 1970, and now 13 in 1971.

Despite a poor showing in 1971, the Americans still led the way for total number of hits with 301 to their credit. The Brits were in second place with 296, just 5 behind them Local acts were 3rd with a total of 155. Canada on 17, Australia on 10 and Germany and Jamaica on 8 each were the highest for the rest of the world.

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

Pos Song Artist Points Nationality
1 You Peter Maffay 349 Germany
2 Looky Looky Giorgio 261 Italy
3 Ma Belle Amie Tee Set 231 Netherlands
4 The French Song Lucille Starr 223 Canada
5 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 207 France


A record to date 21 songs that topped either the US or UK charts or both, did not make our top 20 in 1971, beating the previous record set in 1969 of 18. Of the 21 number 1s in the US or UK that didn’t make our charts in 1971, 1 of them (Melanie’s ‘Brand New Key’) would chart in 1972. The previous record of 18 did include 3 songs that subsequently made our charts. In 1970 there were 17 songs that didn’t make our charts in the year, and none of them would subsequently do so. This previous record for songs that would never make our charts (as opposed to not making it in the specific year) was now beaten by the 20 UK/US chart toppers in 1971 that would never chart in SA.

The 21 chart toppers in the US or UK or both that didn’t make our charts in 1971 were as follows:

Song Artist
Brand New Key* Melanie
Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep Middle Of The Road
Coz I Luv You Slade
Double Barrel Dave And Ansel Collins
Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) Benny Hill
Family Affair Sly & The Family Stone
Get It On T.Rex
Grandad Clive Dunn
Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves Cher
Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me Tams
I’m Still Waiting Diana Ross
Indian Reservation Raiders
It’s Too Late Carole King
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) Temptations
Maggie May/Reason To Believe Rod Stewart
Me And Bobby Mcgee Janis Joplin
One Bad Apple Osmonds
Theme From Shaft Isaac Hayes
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey Paul & Linda Mccartney
Want Ads Honey Cone
You’ve Got A Friend James Taylor
* Would chart in 1972


Cliff Richard and Tom Jones were the only acts who had spent at least 1 week in the chart every year since 1965, that’s 7 consecutive years that these 2 had been seen in the top 20 at least once.  The Staccatos, Herman’s Hermits and The Hollies had managed to chart every year up to 1970, but failed to continue that run into 1971. The 6 consecutive years that The Staccato’s managed to spend at least a week in the charts would be an all-time record for a local act that would not even be equalled.

No act apart from Tom Jones and Cliff Richard had managed 6 consecutive years from 1966, but The Bee Gees and Percy Sledge had been seen chart action every year since 1967, giving them a 5 year run. The Archies were the only act (excluding the 4 mentioned above) to see chart action in every year since 1968, a 4 week run.

Of the local acts who did see chart action in 1971, Dave Mills was the only one whose run extended back to 1969, a 3 year run, while on the female artist front, none of the acts charting in 1971 had seen action in consecutive years other than Petula Clark, Barbara Ray, Melanie and Wanda Arletti all who had spent time in the charts in 1970 as well. Petula’s run of 4 years from 1965 to 1968 was the best any woman had managed so far.


The songs that had spent time in the charts in 1971 were brought to us by a total of 162 song writers and this was the lowest figure we had seen since 1965 when 104 song writers had their names featuring on our hits during that half year of charts. In 1967 we saw the highest number of song writers being responsible for our hits when 206 different names appeared in the song writer slot on the labels of the singles that charted.

Terry Dempsey broke the record which he equalled in 1970 as he was responsible for 9 hits that saw chart action in 1971. His 8 in 1970 had equalled Barry Mason’s 1968 effort. Neil Diamond was second best this year as he saw 6 of his compositions spend time in the charts and Jeff Barry came in 3rd with 4 hits.

Les Reed who led the way for number of hits at the end of 1970, only managed to add 1 to his total and his 18 to date and was just ahead of Terry Dempsey who had now seen a total of 17 compositions chart. Jeff Barry was in 3rd place on 16.

Unsurprisingly Terry Demspey managed more weeks in the chart than any other song writer this year. His 65 were 4 less than the record to date 69 he managed with 1 less hit in 1970, but was 19 more than any other song writer could manage in 1971 as second place was shared by Neil Diamond and the song writing due of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman who had all managed 46.

Reed still led the way for total week to date with 168 to his name. Dempsey was hot on his heel in second place with 160. he was followed by a couple of Barrys with Barry Mason (often co-writing songs with Les Reed) in 3rd place on 139 and Barry Gibb (of The Bee Gees) 4th on 134.

Despite all his hits this year, Terry Dempsey did not see a single one top the chart. Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn were the only song writers to manage more than 1 number 1 in 1971 and they did so with the 2 chart toppers by The Sweet, ‘Funny Funny’ and ‘Co-Co’. They also took the most weeks at 1 in the year award with a total of 14. Hubert Giraud and Phil Trim who had writing credits on Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ were second with 11 weeks.

Barry and Maurice Gibb still led the way overall for weeks at 1 as a song writer with 15 to their respective names. Chapman and Chinn joined Barry and Maurice’s brother Robin Gibb with the second highest total to date of 14. Chris Andrews and Neil Diamond on 13 each were next.


Finally, I would like to thank all those who have helped keep me on the straight and narrow as we have gone through 1971. Special thanks go to Peet van Staaden, Anton ‘Eagle-Eye’ van Staaden and Ian McLean for supplying invaluable information and corrections as well as Chris Kimberly, Brian Currin, Stephen Segerman and Tertius Louw for being my go-to guys when I’m stumped.

The 1970s adventure continues as we start to explore 1972 next.


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