22 April 1977

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 9 Don’t Leave Me This Way  – Thelma Houston
2 7 3 Don’t Cry for Me Argentina  – Julie Covington
3 5 6 Rock ‘n Me  – Steve Miller Band
4 2 7 Living Next Door to Alice  – Smokie
5 4 8 Love Me  – Yvonne Elliman
6 3 7 Smile  – Pussycat
7 6 12 Lost in France  – Bonnie Tyler
8 8 5 I Recall a Gypsy Woman  – Don Williams
9 13 3 Hey Mister Dream Maker  – Cliff Richard
10 New 1 When I Need You  – Leo Sayer
11 9 6 Couldn’t Get it Right  – Climax Blues Band
12 10 14 If You Leave Me Now  – Chicago
13 New 1 Every Face Tells a Story  – Olivia Newton-John
14 14 4 Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes  – Barbara Ray
15 15 4 Chanson D’Amour  – Manhattan Transfer
16 11 9 Just Another Poor Boy  – Chris de Burgh
17 New 1 Sand in Your Shoes  – Al Stewart
18 19 2 Isn’t She Lovely  – Leslie Kleinsmith
19 12 12 Livin’ Thing  – Electric Light Orchestra
20 New 1 I Don’t Want to Go on Without You  – Nazareth

Thelma Houston clung to the top spot with her hit ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’. It had now clocked up 3 weeks at 1. And at number 2 was a song that also started with ‘Don’t’ and that was Julie Covington’s ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ which was the climber of the week as it moved up 5 places from 7 to 2. This gave us the 13th time that the top 2 songs were by solo women and slightly more obscurely, the 4th time that the top 2 songs had the same first 4 characters.

Cliff Richard’s ‘Hey Mister Dream Maker’ was the only other star rater this week as it moved up 4 from 13 to 9. This was his 14th time with a star rater and Cliff was the 12th of 23 acts that would see this many.

The Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Livin’ Thing’ took the faller of the week award with a 7 place drop from 12 to 19.

The oldest song on the charts was still Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ which was enjoying its 14th week with us and its second as the oldest.

There were 4 songs which left the charts this week. The first of these was Johnny Mathis’ ‘When a Child Is Born’ which lasted 6 weeks in the top 20 and peaked at 12. This would be his only charting hit in SA.

Michael Eager’s ‘What Have I Done’ had a run of 10 weeks and peaked at 8. This was the 123rd song by a local act to reach double figures for weeks out of the 296 that had charted so far, which worked out at just over 41.5%. Michael would return to our charts at a later date.

Elvis’ ‘Moody Blue’ became the 43rd song to have an equal weeks an peak figure as it left the charts after 9 weeks and a peak of 9. This was the 13th time a song had seen 9 as its weeks and peak figure and this beat 8 which was second, having occurred 10 times. We still had 1 more to come from The King.

Last to go was John Paul Young’s ‘Keep on Smilin’’ which had managed 9 weeks and peaked at 10, not quite as good as his only other hit to date, ‘I Hate The Music’ which topped the chart during a 15 week run. JPY would return to the charts but this ended the record to date run of 29 weeks with at least 1 song by an Aussie act in the charts. The previous best run had been 20 weeks.

The highest new entry was Leo Sayer’s 6th SA hit, ‘When I Need You’. This was the 27th song to date to enter the charts at position 10 or higher and we would have to wait exactly 50 weeks for the next one. It had been almost 3 years since we last saw an Albert Hammond composition in the charts, but this one, which he co-wrote with Carole Bayer Sager and which he recorded himself in 1976, was the 9th to chart where he had song writing credits. Leo’s version would top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, spending 3 weeks at 1 in the UK and a single week at the top of the US charts. In 1998 Celine Dion recorded a cover of it which was only released as a single in Brazil.

Olivia-Newton John was just 1 hit behind Leo Sayer as her new entry this week, ‘Every Face Tells A Story’ was her 5th to chart in SA. She moved into tied 5th place on the number of hits by women list, joining Lucille Starr and Sandi Shaw there. ‘Every Face Tells A Story’ started life as a religious song which Cliff Richard included on his album of that title. Don Black re-wrote the lyrics for Olivia and the song went to number 55 on the US Hot 100, breaking her run of 9 consecutive hits making the top 40 there. It was also her first hit not to top the Adult Contemporary charts in the US where it stumbled at number 6. The good news for Olivia was that it did top the Canadian Country charts. It had been 116 weeks since Olivia had last graced our charts and this was the 94th time we had seen a gap of 100 weeks between hits. It was the 15th time in those 94 where the act had been a female. It was the second time she had seen such a gap and she was the 8th act and second female act to have managed a 100 week gap twice.

The third new entry this week was a first for Al Stewart. Taken from his album ‘Year of The Cat’ and penned by him, ‘Sand In Your Shoes’, does not appear to have charted anywhere else, but the title track from the album made 8 in the US and 31 in the UK. ‘Sand In Your Shoes’ was produced by Alan Parsons of The Alan Parsons project and Al Stewart was only the 3rd act to chart in SA with the first name being Al ,the previous being Al Debbo and Al Martino (and this of course excludes Paul Simon who later said we could call him Al). Stewart’s ‘Al’ was short for Alistair.

The last of the new entries was Nazareth with ‘I Don’t Want To Go On Without You’. The band had last been seen on our charts in 1975 when they went to number 1 with ‘Love Hurts’ and had been missing from our charts for 93 weeks. ‘I Don’t Want To Go On Without You’ was a cover of a song written in 1964 for the Drifters and ended up being the b-side to their hit ‘Under The Boardwalk’. Apart from the Nazareth cover, acts such as Dusty Springfield, Van Morrison, The Moody Blues and The Searchers have all recorded version of it. Like Al Stewart’s ‘Sand In Your Shoes’, Nazareth’s version of this song failed to make an impact in the rest of the world.

With all 4 of the new entries being by British acts, this was the second time we had seen 4 new entries by them in a week, the last time this happened was on 3rd March 1967. One of those new entrants, Olivia Newton-John became the 52nd act to reach 50 weeks in the charts and was the 9th woman to do so. This took the count of British hits in the top 20 to 10 and is was the first time it had been this high in 244 weeks.

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