8 April 1977

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 7 Don’t Leave Me This Way  – Thelma Houston
2 1 5 Smile  – Pussycat
3 4 5 Living Next Door to Alice  – Smokie
4 3 6 Love Me  – Yvonne Elliman
5 11 4 Rock ‘n Me  – Steve Miller Band
6 5 10 Lost in France  – Bonnie Tyler
7 6 12 If You Leave Me Now  – Chicago
8 7 10 Livin’ Thing  – Electric Light Orchestra
9 8 7 Just Another Poor Boy  – Chris de Burgh
10 New 1 Don’t Cry for Me Argentina  – Julie Covington
11 10 8 Keep on Smilin’  – John Paul Young
12 16 3 I Recall a Gypsy Woman  – Don Williams
13 15 4 Couldn’t Get it Right  – Climax Blues Band
14 9 8 Moody Blue  – Elvis Presley
15 14 9 What Have I Done  – Mike Eager
16 New 1 Hey Mister Dream Maker  – Cliff Richard
17 12 5 When a Child is Born  – Johnny Mathis
18 18 2 Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes  – Barbara Ray
19 19 2 Chanson D’Amour  – Manhattan Transfer
20 13 14 Howzat  – Sherbet

Pussycat’s ‘Smile’ would be the last ever song by a Dutch act to top our charts. It had spent 2 weeks at 1, but was dislodged this week by Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me With Way’ which moved up from 2 last week. Overall Pussycat had managed 10 weeks at 1 (the other 8 being with ‘Mississippi’) and the Dutch acts had spent 27 weeks at the top of the charts. They currently had the most weeks at 1 for any of the non-big 3 nations, but they would have dropped to 3rd by the time the charts ended in 1989.

Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was the climber of the week for a second week running. It moved up 6 from 11 to 5. This was the 800th biggest climber that we had seen. Unlike last week where it was the only star rater, ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was joined this week on the star rater front by Don Williams’ ‘I Recall A Gypsy Woman’ which climbed 4 from 12 to 16.

For a 4th week running we saw the faller of the week end up at number 20. This time it was Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’. We had only seen 1 previous run of at least 4 weeks where the faller ended up at the bottom of the charts. On that previous occasion, the run continued into a 5th week. ‘Howzat’ was, however, the oldest on the charts, sitting on 14 weeks with us.

The other song that shared the oldest on the chart title with ‘Howzat’ last week was the first of 2 songs to leave the chart this week and that was Leo Sayer’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ which had seen a run of 13 weeks and a peak of 3. This was the first of his 5 hits to date to reach double figures for weeks and the only one to go top 5. His previous best was the 8 week run and peak of 9 that ‘Long Tall Glasses’ managed. We were not yet done with Leo on our charts.

‘The Blue Danube Hustle’ by The Rice & Beans Orchestra was the other song to depart the chart. It had lasted just 2 weeks and peaked at 17. They would not return to our charts and this would be their only hit. We would, however, see band member Pepe Luis Soto in the song writing and production credits on a future hit.

Julie Covington brought us the 26th song to debut on the chart at position 10 or higher as ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ crashed into the top 20 this week. It was only the second by a solo female to debut as high as 10, the previous one being Nancy Sinatra’s ‘There Boots Are Made For Walking’. There would only be one more hit by a solo female that would debut at 10 during the top 20 era and these 3 would be the best any solo female would manage. Covington had starred in the musicals ‘Godspell’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ but when it came to ‘Evita’ from which the song came, she only recorded a studio version of it but turned down the role for the stage production. The role ended up going to Elaine Paige. This was the second song to chart from an Andrew Lloyd-Webber/Tim Rice musical (the previous being Richard Loring’s version of ‘One More Angel In Heaven’ from ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’). ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ went to number 1 in the UK, Holland, Belgium and New Zealand. The song was banned from airplay by the BBC during the Falklands war in 1982. In 1996 Madonna recorded a version for the film of Evita in which she starred. Her version made number 3 in the UK and 8 in US and topped the charts in France and Spain. In total the song has charted by 6 different acts in the UK. Apart from Covington and Madonna’s versions mentioned above, The Shadows took it to number 5 in 1978 (the only other time it went top 10) while the other 3 versions were by Sinead O’Connor (#53 in 1992), The Mike Flowers Pops (#30 in 1996) and The Glee Cast (#67 in 2011)

Cliff Richard joined Tom Jones at the top of the hits count list as ‘Hey Mr Dream Maker’ entered the top 20 this week to give him his 18th hit to date. In the UK this would be Cliff’s 68th charting hit and would garner him a number 31 placing on the charts. This would be only his 14th hit of the 68 not to make the top 20 in the UK. In Holland the song would make it to number 21 and in New Zealand it would get to 34. The song was written by Alan Tarney and Bruce Welch, both of whom had had a hand in writing some of Cliff’s previous hits with Tarney getting a credit on ‘Living In Harmony’ while Welch’s name appeared on the singles ‘In The Country’ and ‘Don’t Forget To Catch Me’. In 1980 US country singer Dottie West recorded a cover of ‘Hey Mr Dream Maker’, but it failed to make any impression on the charts.

Cliff caught up with Abba for weeks on the chart and the 2 acts sat tied 7th overall with 111 to their respective names. A bit further down the list, Barbara Ray moved into tied 17th place alongside Alan Garrity and Engelbert Humperdinck. Garrity and Ray sat tied second on the local list with 84 weeks, but were 8 weeks behind leader, Billy Forrest.

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