Well, that’s 1972 done with. All that’s left is to wrap up the year with an analysis of the shakers and movers that rocked (and popped and heavy metalled and folked and all other genre-ed) our lives that year.

There were 117 hits that spent at least 1 week in the chart during 1972 and, other than the 79 that we saw in the half year of charts in 1965 when the charts began, this was by far the lowest number of hits we had seen. It broke the record lowest for a full year of 135 that we had seen in 1971 by 18 hits. The 97 acts (duets counting as 2, it would be 96 if duets counted as 1) that brought us these 117 hits were tied lowest (again excluding the half year of 1965) to date, equalling what we had seen in 1966 and 1968. The average number of hits these acts had this year was 1.21 the second lowest to date with 1971’s 1.18 holding that record. The table below sets out the figures for these stats by years:

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
1972 117 97 1.21

The local acts accounted for 29 of the 117 which the 3rd best we had seen so far, but it was a fair bit down on the 41 we saw in 1971 and just below the 30 we saw in 1966. 25 acts (this would be 24 if duets are counted as 1 act) brought us these 29 hits.


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 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 417
2 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
=3 Beautiful Sunday Daniel Boone 363
=3 Sylvia’s Mother Dr. Hook 363
5 Nice to be with You Gallery 359
6 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321
7 Mother and Child Reunion Paul Simon 306
8 I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash 294
9 Son of My Father Chicory Tip 283
10 Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress Hollies 273
11 It’s too Late Now Lauren Copley 262
12 Sacramento Middle of the Road 228
13 Mother Barbra Streisand 218
14 Without You Nilsson 211
15 I Will Return Springwater 204
16 Soley Soley Middle of the Road 202
=17 Amazing Grace Pipes and Drums And The Military Band of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards 187
=17 Mama, Papa (Nana, Nana) Cyan 187
19 A Shoulder to Cry On Denise Freeman 186
20 Softly Whispering I Love You Congregation 185
21 Brand New Key Melanie 180
22 How Do You Do Rising Sons 177
23 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Roberta Flack 168
24 Mother John Lennon 162
25 Mother of Mine Neil Reid 155
26 Every Day Every Night John Edmond 150
27 Imagine John Lennon 149
28 Burning Love Elvis Presley 148
29 Sunshine Lover Daniel Boone 147
30 Song Sung Blue Neil Diamond 145
31 (Is This the Way to) Amarillo Tony Christie 142
32 Samson and Delilah Middle of the Road 137
33 Mouldy Old Dough Lieutenant Pigeon 130
34 Cousin Norman Marmalade 128
35 Hello-A Sharon Tandy & Billy Forrest 124
36 Run to Me Bee Gees 119
37 Someday Never Comes Creedence Clearwater Revival 118
38 Amen Peanutbutter Conspiracy 115
39 Desiderata Les Crane 114
40 Mammy Blue Charisma 113

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

Top 40 Magazine 1972 List

Alan Garrity’s ‘I Need Someone’ was the 4th local song to be the song of the year on this points basis. We had seen 2 songs by American acts make the top of this list and 1 British and 1 German act do so. ‘I Need Someone’s 417 points in a calendar year was the best we had seen so far and beat the previous record of 349 that Peter Maffay’s ‘You’ managed in 1971.

The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry to Me Staccatos 447
2 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 417
3 You Peter Maffay 399
4 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
=5 Sylvia’s Mother Dr. Hook 363
=5 Beautiful Sunday Daniel Boone 363
7 Nice to be with You Gallery 359
8 Mammy Blue Charisma 347
9 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321
10 Timothy Four Jacks & a Jill 312

The top songs pointswise on the local front for 1972 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 417
2 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
3 It’s too Late Now Lauren Copley 262
4 A Shoulder to Cry On Denise Freeman 186
5 How Do You Do Rising Sons 177

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

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry to Me Staccatos 447
2 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 417
3 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
4 Mammy Blue Charisma 347
5 Timothy Four Jacks & a Jill 312


So far no one had managed to spend at least 1 week in the charts with more than 5 hits in a calendar year and 1972 did not change this as Middle Of The Road had the most hits this year and that was 5. They were the 6th act to manage this and joined Engelbert Humperdinck and The Bee Gees who did so in 1968, The Archies, Percy Sledge and The Bee Gees (again) in 1969 and Neil Diamond in 1971.

Billy Forrest, The New Seekers, Daniel Boone and The Sweet were tied second in 1972 with 3 hits each. Forrest was therefore the top local act with Jessica Jones, Jody Wayne and John Edmond being the only other local acts to have more than 1 hit as they managed 2.

Tom Jones had no new hits in 1972, but did see 1 of his new entries in 1971 continue its chart run into 1972. He still sat top of the hits count list overall with 17 hits to his name so far. Cliff Richard was in second place with 15, The Hollies in 3rd place with 13 while The Bee Gees and Percy Sledge sat on 12.

On the local front Billy Forrest under his numerous guises (William E., Quentin E. Klopjaeger, Dennis and his duet with Sharon Tandy) led the way with 8 to his name. Four Jacks & A Jill and Jody Wayne on 7 were tied second.


Middle Of The Road set a new record for weeks in the charts in a calendar year (2 hits in the chart in the same week count as 2) as they amassed 59 weeks during 1972. This comprehensively beat the previous record of 48 weeks that Chris Andrews had managed in 1970. Daniel Boone managed 42 in 1972 and was second and The Sweet on 32 were 3rd. Jessica Jones was the top local act with 30 weeks and was 4th overall with Alan Garrity on 29, 5th overall and the second highest for the local acts.

Tom Jones added 6 more weeks on to the cumulative total that he had at the end of 1971 and still led the way with 184 weeks to his name. The Hollies sat second with 120 and The Bee Gees just crept into 3rd place with 119, going 1 ahead of Creedence Clearwater Revival in the last week of the year. The top 3 of the local acts were unchanged with The Staccatos on 83, Dave Mills on 69 and Four Jacks & A Jill on 68. None of them had seen any chart action in 1972.


1972 joined 1966 in being the only years to date where no artist managed more than 1 number 1. There were 15 songs in total that spent time at the top during 1972 and the 12 weeks that Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ was the best effort we saw. Daniel Boone’s 10 weeks (in a broken run) with ‘Beautiful Sunday’ was second best. Chris Andrew’s 3 number 1s in 1970 remained the best to date as did The Sweet’s 14 weeks at 1 (with 2 hits) in 1971. Nash’s 12 weeks was second and Boone’s 10 weeks also beat the 9 that Chis Andrews managed in 1970 and which was second best at the end of 1971.

Jessica Jones’ ‘Sunday, Monday, Tuesday’ and Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ were the only local songs spending time at 1 in 1972 with the former managing 3 weeks and the latter spending the last weeks of its 12 week run at number 1 on the first week of the year.

Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ and Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ had both managed a total of 12 weeks at 1 each and this was the best we had seen to date. Daniel Boone’s ‘Beautiful Sunday’ on 10 and The Sweet’s ‘Co-Co’ on 8 were the next highest 2.

Tom Jones still led the way for most chart toppers overall as he had seen 6 songs get to number 1. The Hollies and Chris Andrews on 4 each were in tied second place. Four Jacks & A Jill remained the only local act to have seen more than 1 number 1 as they had 2 to their name.

Unsurprisingly Tom Jones also led the way for total weeks at 1 as he had clocked up 18. The Bee Gees and The Sweet were tied second with 14 while Chris Andrews’ 13 put him in 4th place. Charisma’s 12 was the most we had seen from a local act with Four Jacks & A Jill and Hilary on 7 each were the second placed locals.


It was not the best year for the woman as they only saw 10 hits chart, 11 if you include the 1 where a woman was half of a duet. Of the 8 years charts we had seen so far, this was the 4th highest total for the girls with the 23 of 1967 still being their high point.

Local lass Jessica Jones was the only female artist who managed more than 1 hit in the year and she saw 2. Petula Clark still held the record for most hits in a year by a woman when she managed 4 in 1967. Apart from Jessica Jones, we also saw local lasses Lauren Copley, Denise Freeman, Sharon Tandy (as one half of a duet with Billy Forrest) and Letta Mbulu chart.

The top 3 woman for number of hits was unchanged from the end of last year with Petula Clark in front on 11, Nancy Sinatra second on 7 and Virginia Lee 3rd on 6. None of them had added to their tally during 1972. Lee was obviously the top local woman with Judy Page on 4 second and Barbara Ray on 3 coming in 3rd.

For the second year running we saw a local woman spend the most weeks on the charts of all the female artists as Jessica Jones’ 30 was the highest this year and followed up Barbara Ray’s top score for the woman of 22 in 1971. This was the 4th time in the 8 years of charts so far that a local woman had seen the highest weeks in the year. Vicky Leandros on 23 was second for 1972 and another local lass, Lauren Copley was 3rd with 18.

As with the number of hits, the top 3 for cumulative weeks was also unchanged both in the artists positions and in terms of the weeks they had spent on the charts. The top 3 were Petula Clark (73 weeks) and then Sandie Shaw and Nancy Sinatra tied on 54 weeks. Virginia Lee was still the top local woman (and 5th overall) with 36 weeks. Barbara Ray was the second highest local woman on 32.

Although it was not a great year for the woman for number of hits, it was quality not quantity that they looked for this year as we saw 4 number 1s by solo female acts, the second best to date after the 5 that we had in 1967 (when we saw 27 hits by women make the charts). The 4 chart toppers for the ladies this year were Melanie’s ‘Brand New Key’ (3 weeks), Barbra Streisand’s ‘Mother’ (1 week), Vicky Leandros’ ‘Come What May’ (4 weeks) and Jessica Jones’ ‘Sunday, Monday, Tuesday’ (3 weeks).

Nancy Sinatra was still the only woman who had made the top spot twice since the start of the chart. One of her chart toppers was as half of the Nancy and Frank Sinatra duet. Hilary’s 7 weeks at the top was still the longest any woman had managed so far.

The top 5 hits by woman in 1972 based on the points system were:

1 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
2 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321
3 It’s too Late Now Lauren Copley 262
4 Mother Barbra Streisand 218
5 A Shoulder to Cry On Denise Freeman 186

On a cumulative basis, the top 5 read:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
2 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321
3 Single Girl Sandy Posey 302
4 Sunglasses Hilary 279
5 It’s too Late Now Lauren Copley 262


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 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321 Greece
2 Mama, Papa (Nana, Nana) Cyan 187 Italy
3 Popcorn Popcorn Makers 110 Germany
4 Heart Of Gold Neil Young 95 Canada
5 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 69 France

Other then 1965 and 1966 (the first 2 years of the charts) when the Australians had the top hit for the ‘Rest of the World’ acts, every year since had seen a new nation take the honours and 1972 continued this habit with an act from Greece (Vicky Leandros) having the top hit. In the interim we had had acts from Canada, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Germany be the top acts for this category.

There were a total of 14 songs that charted that were not by American, British or South African acts and this was the 3rd highest total to date after 1970’s 19 and 1971’s 16. Germany’s Michael Holm was the only one who managed to have 2 hits with all the others only managing 1. Overall The Seekers from Australia still had the most hits with 7 to their name. Canada’s Lucille Starr was second with 5 and Michael Holm sat 3rd on 4.

After 3 years of American domination, we saw the Brits have the most hits in the chart for the first time since 1968. So far the Americans had been the top nationality for 5 of the 8 years with the other 3 being taken by the Brits. Germany was the highest of the ‘rest of the world’ nations with 5 hits from there spending time in the charts this year. Canada and Australia had been top for 3 years each (once when they shared top spot). Germany on 2 was next highest with Jamaica managing to be the highest once. Other nationalities to see hits this year were Italy (who managed 2) and France, Norway, Canada, Jamaica, Greece, Australia and Ireland who all managed 1.

In total acts from 12 different nations managed to spend at least a week in the charts in 1972 and this was the second most, just 1 less than the record to date 13 that managed it in 1972.

The year ended with the Brits and American acts necks and neck with both nations supplying us with 330 hits each. The locals were next highest with 179. Then came Canada on 18, Germany on 12 and Australia on 11.

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

Pos Song Artist Points Nationality
1 You Peter Maffay 399 Germany
2 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321 Greece
3 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 276 France
4 Looky Looky Giorgio 261 Italy
5 Ma Belle Amie Tee Set 231 Netherlands


There were 19 songs that topped either the UK or US (or both) charts in 1972 that didn’t make our top 20. This was the second highest total that we had seen to date, 2 less than 1971’s 21. Of the 19 there would be 3 that would eventually make our charts in subsequent years giving us 16 US/UK chart toppers that would never make our top 20. This was the 3rd highest we had seen in a year with 1971 seeing 20 and 1970 seeing 17.

The 19 chart toppers in the US or UK or both that didn’t make our charts in 1972 were as follows:

Alone Again (Naturally) Gilbert O’Sullivan
American Pie Don McLean
Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me Mac Davis
Black & White Three Dog Night
Candy Man Sammy Davis Jr
Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) Benny Hill
How Can I Be Sure David Cassidy
I Am Woman Helen Reddy
I’ll Take You There* Staple Singers
Lean On Me Bill Withers
Let’s Stay Together Al Green
Long Haired Lover From Liverpool* Little Jimmy Osmond
Mama Weer All Crazee Now Slade
Me And Mrs Jones Billy Paul
My Ding-A-Ling Chuck Berry
Oh Girl Chi-Lites
Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone* Temptations
School’s Out Alice Cooper
Telegram Sam T.Rex

* Would chart in subsequent years


Both of the acts who had manged to spend at least 1 week in the charts every year from 1965 to 1971 also saw chart action in 1972 ,making it 8 years in a row for Tom Jones and Cliff Richard. Apart from these 2 aforementioned acts, no act had charted every year since 1966, but The Bee Gees had managed to have a hit in the charts in every year since 1967, a run of 6 consecutive years. Percy Sledge who had seen chart action every year from 1967 to 1971 failed to continue that run into 1972. No act (except the aforementioned) had managed a run of 5 years from 1968, but Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Marmalade and Neil Diamond had all managed 4 years running now.

Of the local acts we had 3 that charted in 1972 that had seen top 20 action in both 1971 and 1970. No other local act charting in 1972 had a run going further back. There were 10 other local acts who had been in the charts in both 1971 and 1972. Dave Mills who had charted in 1969, 1970 and 1971 (the only local act last year to have had a 3 year run) failed to chart in 1972. The record to date (and all-time record) for charting in sequential years by a local act was The Staccatos’ 6 year run from 1965 to 1970.


It took 155 people to write the 117 songs that spent time on the charts this year and this was the lowest total we had seen for a full year of hits with only the half year of 1965 where we saw 104 song writers have hits charts being lower. The record to date so far was the 206 we had seen in 1967.

We also saw the lowest total (again excluding 1965) for an individual song writer as the most hits that any one writer managed this year was 4 and 5 song writers managed this. They were Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway, Mario Capuano, Lally Stott and Giosi Capuano with the last 3 having all 4 of their songs be hits by Middle of the Road while the 2 Rogers saw hits by The Congregation, Cilla Black, The New Seekers and The Hollies bear their name in the songwriter credits bit on the labels. Terry Dempsey’s 9 hits in 1971 was still the highest we had seen to date.

Dempsey also led the way overall as he had seen 20 of his compositions chart. During 1972 he had overtaken Les Reed who led that way at the end of 1971, but was now sitting second with 18 hits. Jeff Barry was in 3rd place with 16 to his name.

The 3 guys that wrote some of the Middle Of The Road hits, Giosy Capuano, Mario Capuano and Lally Stott took top honours for weeks in the charts with their compositions enjoying a total of 47. Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway were second highest with 46 weeks each and Hans van Hemert was 3rd with 42. Van Hemert had brought us The Rising Sons’ ‘How Do You Do’, Cyan’s ‘Mama,Papa (Nana, Nana)’ and the Tandy/Forrest duet ‘Hello-A’.

Dempsey had also taken the lead for total weeks to date, overtaking Les Reed. Dempsey was on 196 while Reed was second on 168. Barry Gibb sat 3rd with 145 and Barry Mason was 4th with 139.

The 2 Rogers (Cook and Greenaway) and John Lennon were the only writers to see more than 1 chart topper in 1972 and they all managed 2. Cook and Greenaway manged it with The Congregation’s ‘Softly Whispering I Love You’ and The Hollies’ ‘Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress’ while Lennon’s own ‘Imagine’ and Barbra Streisand’s cover of his song ‘Mother’ gave him his 2 chart toppers. In terms of total weeks at 1, Johnny Nash, who penned his hit ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ was tops with 12 weeks, while Daniel Boone and Ronnie McQueen who had written Boone’s hit ‘Beautiful Sunday’ were 2nd on 10.

Chris Andrews, Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb, Les Reed and Geoff Stephens had all seen 4 of their compositions hit the number 1 spot so far and this was the record to date. Barry and Maurice Gibb led the way for cumulative weeks at 1 by a song writer as they had spent 15 weeks at the top spot. They were followed by their brother Robin, Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman who had all seen 14. Neil Diamond and Chris Andrews were just behind them with 13.


Finally, I would like to thank all those who have helped keep me on the straight and narrow as we have gone through 1972. 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.

1973 is up next.


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