15 April 1977

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

We had just passed the halfway point of the charts as there were 1,237 charts in total that were produced and this one was the 619th. We celebrated the fact by seeing Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ hang on to the top spot to make it 2 weeks in a row there. The previous chart topper, Pussycat’s ‘Smile’ dropped to 3 from 2 while Smokie’s ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ moved into second place. The Americans were now just 1 week behind the Brits for weeks at 1. They had 214 to the Brits’ 215.

The biggest climbers this week were also the only star raters as it was a 4 place jump that earned one the award. There were 4 songs that managed this and they were Don Williams’ ‘I Recall A Gypsy Woman’ (up from 12 to 8), the Climax Blues Band’s ‘Couldn’t Get it Right’ (up from 13 to 9), Barbara Ray’s ‘Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes’ (up from 18 to 14) and Manhattan Transfer’s ‘Chanson D’Amour’ (up from 19 to 15). It was Barbara Ray’s 8th time with the climber of the week award and her 9th star rater. She was the 13th act to reach 8 biggest climbs and the 31st to reach 9 star raters and was the second local act, after Billy Forrest to get to this many climber awards. No other local act would see as many as 8 climbers.

John Paul Young picked up his second faller of the week awards with ‘Keep On Smilin’ dropping 5 from 11 to 16. His previous such award had been with ‘I Hate The Music’.

The oldest song on last week’s chart, Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’, would be the only one to leave the top 20 this week. It had managed 14 weeks in the top 20, 4 of which were at the top spot. This would be their only SA chart hit. The new oldest on the chart was Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ which was on 13 weeks.

The new entry was Leslie Kleinsmith’s cover of the Stevie Wonder song, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’. Kleinsmith was the 82nd local male to chart and ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ the 144th song by a local male to make the top 20. Stevie Wonder’s version wasn’t released as a single, but did eventually make the UK chart in 2012 when it went to number 94. This was after he performed the song at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace and presumably made the charts as, since 2007, downloads (which could include album tracks not released as a single) were included in calculating the charts. Despite not being a single, the song was (and is) a popular Wonder track and its non-release meant that Kleinsmith’s version could chart in SA while in the UK David Parton took a version to number 4 in 1977, also making number 3 in Rhodesia (as it was then). Having said that Wonder’s version was never released as a single, it does appear that a pressing of it was made in Rhodesia which was possibly done without permission.

British acts clocked up their 4,000th week in the chart and if one attributes the weeks to the songs from number 1 downwards, then it would be the Climax Blues Bands’ ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ which snapped up the honour for the Brits.

Pussycat became the 77th act and 8th from a non-big 3 nation to reach 40 weeks in the charts.

Cliff Richard took 7th place on the weeks count list for himself as he moved 1 ahead of Abba. He was on 112 while Abba on 111 dropped into 8th place. Similarly, Barbara Ray took 17th place with 85 weeks while Alan Garrity and Engelbert Humperdinck dropped into 18th place. Barbara was also now in clear 2nd place on the local list.

Pussycat celebrated going past the 600 point make while Smokie saw their total move past 500.

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