1973 THE FACTS AND FIGURES

We have now reached the end of the 8th full year of charts (plus just on a further half year in 1965 when the charts started) and its time to see who the movers and shakers were back in 1973.

1973 saw the lowest number of songs spend at least 1 week in the charts of all the full years we had seen so far. The 103 hits in 1973 was 14 less than the previous lowest that we had seen in 1972. The 153 hits we saw in 1969 remained the highest to date. 87 different acts brought us the 103 hits in 1973 (duets counting as 2, it would be 84 if you count duets as 1 act). Unsurprisingly this was the lowest we had seen in all the full years to date, beating the previous lowest of 97 which we had seen in 1966, 1968 and 1972. The 87 acts of 1973 averaged just 1.18 songs each which was the equal lowest we had seen, matching that of 1971, although going to 4 decimal places, then 1973 just pipped 1971 for the lowest hits per artist ratio with the ratio for the former being 1.1839 and the latter 1.1842. Tight margins these. 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 1.1842
1972 117 97 1.2062
1973 103 87 1.1839

Local acts brought us 38 of the 103 hits, their second best effort to date, coming in behind the record to date of 41 that we saw in 1971. The 38 songs were brought to us by 29 acts if duets count as 1 and 31 if they count as 2.

TOP 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):

Pos Song Artist Points
1 We Believe in Tomorrow Freddy Breck 376
2 Woman (Beautiful Woman) Don Gibson 355
3 I Don’t Wanna Play House Barbara Ray 336
4 Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree Dawn 307
5 Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet Maria 302
6 Never Never Never Shirley Bassey 300
7 Can’t Keep it In Cat Stevens 295
8 Kentucky Blues Lauren Copley 285
9 I’d Love You to Want Me Lobo 283
10 The Love in Your Eyes Vicky Leandros 275
11 Baby Blue George Baker Selection 268
12 Take Me to the Mardi Gras Paul Simon 243
13 Heaven is My Woman’s Love Tommy Overstreet 229
14 I’m on Fire Maria 226
15 Ashes of Love Dickey Lee 223
16 That’s Why I Love You Richard Jon Smith 221
17 I Wanna Live Tommy Oliver 210
=18 Maori Love Song Double Vision 203
=18 The Morning After Maureen McGovern 203
20 And I Love You So Perry Como 194
21 Do You Love Me Angelika Illman 192
22 Get Down Gilbert O’ Sullivan 189
23 One & One is One Medicine Head 182
24 Toy Train John Edmond 180
25 You’re so Vain Carly Simon 177
26 Stuck in the Middle with You Stealers Wheel 171
=27 Home Isn’t Home Anymore Alan Garrity 163
=27 Funny Face Barbara Ray 163
29 Time Dealians 161
30 I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash 154
31 I Need Your Love Letta Mbulu 153
32 Dreams are Ten a Penny Kincade 149
=33 Shambala B.W. Stevenson 122
=33 Long Haired Lover from Liverpool Little Jimmy Osmond 122
=33 The Ballroom Blitz Sweet 122
36 Going Down Jordan Rising Sons 121
37 Daniel Elton John 114
38 Blockbuster! Sweet 109
=39 Sunday Girl Peter Lotis 108
=39 My Daddy was a Rock ‘n Roll Man Johnny Gibson 108

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

Top 40 Magazine 1973 List

Freddy Breck’s ‘We Believe In Tomorrow’ was the second by a German act to be song of the year on the points basis. It followed up the 1971 success of Peter Maffay’s ‘You’. Germany was the only nation outside the US, the UK and SA to have seen one for their acts provide the song of the year and the 376 points Breck’s hit managed was the second highest for a song of the year, coming second to Alan Garrity’s 417 with ‘I Need Someone’ in  1972, and overall it was the 3rd highest in a in a calendar year with Jessica Jones’ 391 with ‘Sunday, Monday, Tuesday’ which was also clocked up in 1972.

The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 464
2 I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash 448
3 Cry to Me Staccatos 447
4 You Peter Maffay 399
5 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
5 We Believe in Tomorrow Freddy Breck 376
7 Woman (Beautiful Woman) Don Gibson 373
=8 Sylvia’s Mother Dr. Hook 363
=8 Beautiful Sunday Daniel Boone 363
10 Nice to be with You Gallery 359

The top songs pointswise on the local front for 1973 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Don’t Wanna Play House Barbara Ray 336
2 Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet Maria 302
3 Kentucky Blues Lauren Copley 285
4 I’m on Fire Maria 226
5 That’s Why I Love You Richard Jon Smith 221

Barbara Ray was the first local woman to have the top local hit of the year.

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

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Need Someone Alan Garrity 464
2 Cry to Me Staccatos 447
3 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
4 Mammy Blue Charisma 347
5 I Don’t Wanna Play House Barbara Ray 336

The Sweet and Alan Garrity were the only acts to see 3 songs spend any time in the charts this year with 16 acts seeing 2, 8 of which were locals. So far the highest number of hits any acts had seen spend time in the charts in a year was 5 which we had seen on 6 occasions. These were Engelbert Humperdinck and The Bee Gees in 1968, The Archies, Percy Sledge and The Bee Gees (again) in 1969, Neil Diamond in 1971 and Middle Of The Road in 1972.

Given the above, it was fairly easy to conclude that not only was Alan Garrity tied for overall for number of hits during 1973, but he was also the top local act for this stat. There were 8 other local acts who spent time in the charts with 2 hits and they were Maria, Barbara Ray, Richard Jon Smith, Lauren Copley, Letta Mbulu, The Dealians, Billy Forrest and Jessica Jones.

Overall Tom Jones still led the way for the most hits even though he had not seen any chart action since February 1972. His 17 to date still put him 2 ahead of second placed Cliff Richard (who had also not seen any further chart action in 1973). The Hollies in 3rd place on 13 had also not charted in 1973.

Billy Forrest led the way for local acts with 9 to his various names (he had charted as William E., Quentin E. Klopjaeger and Dennis as well as having had duets with Sharon Tandy and Angelika Illman). Jody Wayne and Four Jacks & A Jill were second best with 8 while Dave Mills was 3rd highest with 7.

WEEKS ON THE CHARTS

Maria spent more weeks in the charts than any other act this year. Her 40 weeks made her the second local act after The Peanut Butter Conspiracy in 1971 to be the highest scorer for weeks in a year. Not only that, it was the best any local act had managed in a calendar year to date and the highest for any female. Furthermore, Maria was the top weeks scorer and the second and third highest were both women as well with Barbara Ray second on 34 and Vicky Leandros 3rd on 32. We had only seen 1 woman in the top 3 of the weeks on the chart in a year list and that was in 1967 when Petula Clark topped the list. We would have to wait till the 80s before we saw women in the top 3 of this list again.

Tom Jones’ 184 weeks in total to date put him top of the weeks in the chart so far list. The Bee Gees on 125 were second with The Hollies on 120 coming in 3rd. The Staccatos still led the way for the locals with 83 followed by Four Jacks & A Jill on 76 and Dave Mills on 73.

NUMBER 1’s

1973 became the 3rd year where we did not see an act top the charts more than once. 1966 and 1972 were the 2 previous years where this had happened. With only 13 songs spending time at the top of the charts this year, it was the lowest number of number 1s we had seen in a year so far, even lower than the 14 we saw in the half year of 1965 where the charts only started in June. 1971 had equalled the low of 14. 1969 had seen the most number of chart toppers so far with 21 songs spending time at the top in that year.

Tommy Overstreet’s ‘Heaven Is My Woman’s Love’ spent the most number of weeks at 1 in the year as it managed 7. Barbara Ray’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’ was second with 6 weeks while Lobo’s ‘I’d Love You To Love Me’ and Freddy Breck’s ‘We Believe In Tomorrow’ both managed 5.

There were 3 local chart toppers, Barbara Ray’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’, Lauren Copley’s ‘Kentucky Blue’ and Maria’s ‘Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet’. The observant would have noted that they were all female artists.

Tom Jones still led the way overall for number of chart toppers as he had seen 6. The Hollies and Chris Andrews were second with 4 each while there were 6 acts who had seen 3 and they were The Bee Gees, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Tremeleos, The Troggs and Elvis Presely. Four Jacks & A Jill remained the only local act to have seen 2 chart toppers.

The most weeks in total an artist had spent at 1 so far was 18 by Tom Jones. The Bee Gees and The Sweet shared second spot with 14 while Johnny Nash and Chris Andrews were on 13. Johnny Nash’s 13 came with 1 song, ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ which held the overall record for weeks at 1 by a song. This was followed by Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ on 12.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS

Perhaps the best way to put this year’s performance by women in the charts into perspective is to work out what percentage of the total points on offer were picked up by songs by solo female acts and in the case of 1973 it was 26.1%, that is just over a quarter of the points. Their next best effort was 18.8% back in 1967 and this figure for all weeks to the end of 1973 was only 11.9% which all suggests that this was by far the best year for the girls. (It should also be noted that this was the first year that solo males outdid hits by groups as the men had 56 compared to only 30 by groups).

So how did the women do it? Well interestingly, this was not their best year for number of hits, that honour still sat with 1967. The woman managed 18 hits in 1973 (21 if you include where they were part of a duet) compared to the 23 (27 including as part of a duet) they saw in 1967. Where this year did beat 1967 was in the total weeks spent on the charts by songs by women. In 1973 it totalled 258 (including where they were part of a duet) compared to 212 back in1967. This meant that their songs had an average life in the chart of just over 9.5 weeks compared to 7.9 weeks in 1967.

The 21 hits (including duets) we saw this year came courtesy of 15 different women. Of these 6 managed to have 2 hits which was the most any managed this year. Those managing 2 were Maria, Barbara Ray, Vicky Leandros, Lauren Copley, Letta Mbulu and Jessica Jones which meant 5 of the 6 were by local women. Petula Clark’s 4 hits in 1967 was still the record to date for a woman.

Once again the top 3 woman for cumulative 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. Virginia Lee was obviously the top local woman, but Barbara Ray was now not far behind with 5 with Judy Page in 3rd place with 4.

As mentioned above, Maria was the act with the overall top weeks count for the year with 40. This also therefore made her the top woman and it meant we had now seen 3 consecutive years where the top woman for weeks on the charts was local with Jessica Jones taking the title in 1972 and Barbara Ray in 1971. Adding Hilary’s topping of the list in 1968 and Virginia Lee doing so in 1965 we had now had more years with a local woman topping the woman’s week count list then the years where women from other countries had manged this. The other 4 years had seen an American woman top 3 times and a British woman once. Maria’s 40 weeks was the best we had seen a woman manage in a single year, beating Petula Clark’s 1967 effort of 37. Barbara Ray’s 34 weeks this year was the 3rd best.

Barbara Ray and Vicky Leandros’ efforts in 1973 propelled them into the top 3 of the cumulative weeks by women list. Petula Clark was still top of the list with 73 and Barbara Ray was second with 66 while Leandros was 3rd with 55. This knocked Sandie Shaw and Nancy Sinatra out of the top 3, they had been 2nd and 3rd respectively at the end of 1972.

While Ray took top honours for cumulative weeks by a local woman, Lauren Copley moved into second place with 54, Jessica Jones was 3rd with 45 and Maria on 40 was 4th. Virginia Lee, who had been top of this list at the end of 1972 fell into 5th place.

There were 4 songs by women that topped the chart in the year with no act managing more than 1. The 4 number 1s by women were Barbara Ray’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Place House’ which managed 6 weeks while Shirley Bassey’s ‘Never Never Never’,  Lauren Copley’s ‘Kentucky Blues’ and Maria’s ‘You’re your Hands And Stomp Your Feet’ all spent 4 weeks at 1.

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:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Don’t Wanna Play House Barbara Ray 336
2 Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet Maria 302
3 Never Never Never Shirley bassey 300
4 Kentucky Blues Lauren Copley 285
5 The Love in Your Eyes Vicky Leandros 275

On a cumulative basis, the top 5 read:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Jessica Jones 391
2 I Don’t Wanna Play House Barbara Ray 336
3 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321
4 It’s too Late Now Lauren Copley 303
5 Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet Maria 302

NATIONALITIES

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 We Believe in Tomorrow Freddy Breck 376 Germany
2 The Love in Your Eyes Vicky Leandros 275 Greece
3 Baby Blue George Baker Selection 268 Netherlands
4 Maori Love Song Double Vision 203 New Zealand
5 Get Down Gilbert O’ Sullivan 189 Ireland

Germany became the first non-big 3 country since Australia to see a song by an artist from there have the top hit of the year twice. Australia had managed this in the first 2 years of the charts (1965 and 1966) with The Seekers taking the honour both times. Germany managed it in 1971 when Peter Maffay’s ‘You’ was the top non-big 3 hit. 1973 saw Freddy Breck’s ‘We Believe In Tomorrow’ take the honours making Germany the first such nation to take the honours with 2 different acts.

There were 13 hits by ‘rest of the worlders’ that spent time in the charts this year, the tied 4th highest total we had seen to date with the 19 in 1970 still being the record. Ireland’s Gilbert O’Sullivan and Greece’s Vicky Leandros both saw 2 songs spend time in the charts in 1973 while the rest of the acts only had 1 hit. The top of the overall hits count list for non-big 3 acts was unchanged from the end of 1972 with The Seekers from Australia on 7, Canada’s Lucille Starr second with 5 and Michael Holm sat 3rd on 4.

For the first time we saw the local acts have more hits spend time in the charts than any other nation with 38 songs by locals making the charts. This was 10 more than the next nation produced and that was the 28 that acts from the US managed. British acts saw 24 hits spend time in the charts. The Americans had been the top nation for 5 of the previous 8 years with the Brits having taken the top spot in the other 3. Of the other nations, it was Ireland who fared best with 3 hits by artists from there. Canada and Australia had dominated this stat for the first 5 years, each nation taking it twice and sharing the honours once. Then Jamaica managed it in 1970 and Germany had been the top one for 1971 and 1972. Neither Canada nor Jamaica saw a hit in 1973. Germany and Greece managed 2 while we had 1 each from Australia, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden.

The 12 different nations to see chart action equalled what we saw in 1972 and this was tied second behind the 13 nations who charted in 1972.

The British and Americans had been pretty close throughout the year in terms of the cumulative number of hits that they had given us with the gap between them never exceeding 5. The Brits had led the way for 19 weeks while the Americans were top of the list for 28 weeks. There had been 5 weeks where they were equal. The year ended with the Americans 1 ahead of the Brits with the former on 352 and the latter 351. Local acts had managed 211 so far and sat 3rd. The next 3 nations were unchanged from last year end with Canada on 18, Germany on 14 and Australia on 12. As mentioned above, Canada had not added to their hit count while, Germany had added 2 and Australia 1.

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 We Believe in Tomorrow Freddy Breck 376 Germany
3 Come What May (aka Aprés Toi) Vicky Leandros 321 Greece
4 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 276 France
5 The Love in Your Eyes Vicky Leandros 275 Greece

WHAT DIDN’T MAKE IT

With such a high proportion of the songs charting this year being local, it is not too surprising that we saw a new high for the number of US or UK chart toppers that did not make our top 20. 1973 saw 30 such songs and none of them would even make the charts at a later date. The previous record for UK and US number 1s not seeing chart action in SA was 21 (20 if you exclude those that would make the charts at a later date) which we saw in 1971. Of the 23 acts who appear on the list below, 12 of them would never see SA chart action.

The 30 chart toppers in the US or UK or both that didn’t make our charts in 1973 were as follows:

Angel Fingers Wizzard
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown Jim Croce
Brother Louie Stories
Can The Can Suzi Quatro
Cum On Feel The Noize Slade
Eye Level Simon Park Orchestra
Frankenstein Edgar Winter
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) George Harrison
Half-Breed Cher
I Love You Love Me Love Gary Glitter
I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am) Gary Glitter
Keep On Trucking Eddie Kendricks
Let’s Get It On Marvin Gaye
Love Train O’Jays
Merry Xmas Everybody Slade
Midnight Train To Georgia Gladys Knight & The Pips
Rubber Bullets 10CC
See My Baby Jive Wizzard
Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me Slade
Superstition Stevie Wonder
The Most Beautiful Girl Charlie Rich
The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia Vicki Lawrence
The Twelfth Of Never Donny Osmond
Time In A Bottle Jim Croce
Top Of The World Carpenters
Touch Me In The Morning Diana Ross
Welcome Home Peters And Lee
We’re An American Band Grand Funk Railroad
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life Stevie Wonder
Young Love Donny Osmond

CHARTING IN CONSECUTIVE YEARS

At the end of 1972 The Bee Gees were the act who had seen the most consecutive years with a song in the chart of any act charting in that year. They extended their run into 1973 and had now seen chart action for 7 consecutive years and were just 1 year away from equalling the record run to date of 8 years which Tom Jones and Cliff Richard had managed. The next longest run we had seen which was still going at the end of 1973 was 4 straight years and 4 acts managed this namely, The Dealians, Giorgio, John Edmond and The Rising Sons. Apart from Giorgio, the other 3 were local acts and so led the way for SA acts. They were all 2 years short of the record for a local act which The Staccatos had managed, charting every year from 1965 to 1970, a run of 6 years. Billy Forrest, Alan Garrity, Lauren Copley and Neville Whitmill had all seen 3 years in a row from 1971 to 1973 with chart action.

I WRITE THE SONGS

180 song writers saw their name appear on the hits that spent time in our charts this year. This was the 5th highest total we had seen to date with the 206 in 1967 still leading the way. Terry Dempsey was again the one who saw more compositions chart than any other song writer as he saw 5 of his chart. These were Lauren Copley’s ‘It’s Too Late Now’ (which had continued its run started in 1972), Lauren Copley’s ‘Kentucky Blues’, Peter Lotis’ ‘Sunday Girl’, Dave Mills’ ‘I Can’t Go Home To Mary’ and David Cassidy’s ‘Daydreamer’. Dempsey still held the record for the most in a single year which was 9 which he managed in 1971. It was the 3rd time he had topped this list and the only others to do this more than once was The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who had managed it twice.

No song writer saw 4 hits in 1973 while Daniel Moore, Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman all managed 3. Moore’s hits were the 2 versions of ‘Shambala’ that charted for B.W. Stevenson and Three Dog Night as well as ‘My Maria’ for B.W. Stevenson. Chinn and Chapman’s 3 were all songs by The Sweet.

Terry Dempsey had seen a total of 24 songs chart in total that bore his name in the song writer slot. This was 6 more than the second highest, Les Reed who sat on 18 while Jeff Barry on 16 was 3rd.

Dempsey’s compositions spend a total of 49 weeks on the charts, the highest for any song writer in 1973, although this was the 4th lowest for a year to date with 47 in 1972, 46 in 1966 and 29 in 1965 being lower and remembering that 1965 was only half a year. Norman Newell was second with 42 weeks and Kurt Herta’s 38 was the 3rd best. Newel has helped compose the 2 Vicky Leadros songs that spent time in the charts as well as Shirley Bassey’s ‘Never Never Never’ while Herta had his name on the singles of Freddy Breck’s ‘We Believe In Tomorrow’ and Geli & Billy’s ‘Do You Love Me’.

On a cumulative basis, the top song writers in terms of weeks were Terry Dempsey with 245, Les Reed with 168 and Barry Gibb with 151

No song writer saw more than 1 chart topper during the year so S.K. Dobbins who had written the song that spent the most weeks at 1 in the year, Tommy Overstreet’s ‘Heaven Is My Woman’s Love’, was naturally the writer whose songs spent the most weeks at 1 (7 in this case). Cumulatively to date it was Barry and Maurice Gibb who still led the way for weeks at 1, having seen 15 as song writers. Brother Robin Gibb was joined by the song writing team of Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman in tied 3rd place with 14. It terms of number of number 1’s 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.

THANKS

Finally, I would like to thank all those who have helped along the way through through 1973. 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.

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