Well we’ve now reached the end of 1974, the 9th full year of charts and the 10th year overall in which we had charts produced as they stared halfway through 1965. So who did what with what and for how long and how many times and all that stuff. Read on…
We saw the second lowest number of hits for a full year in 1974 with 115 songs spending time in the charts. This was 12 more than 1973, the lowest to date for a full year. The 79 for 1965 (half a year of charts) was the overall lowest. 1969 still held the record for the most hits as we saw 153 that year. There were exactly 100 artists who spent time in the charts this year if one splits out duets into their component parts, however, if we count a duet as a single act, then this figure would be 98. This did give us the lowest hits per artist ratio of 1.15, beating the 1.18 of 1971 and 1973. The table below sets out the figures for these stats by years:
|Year||No Of Hits||No Of acts||Hits/Act|
Local acts accounted for 35 of the 115 songs of 1974, this was their 3rd highest total for any year. 1971’s 41 was the record to date followed by the 38 we saw in 1973. It took 27 acts to bring us these 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):
|2||The Peacemaker||Albert Hammond||287|
|=3||Loving Arms||Dobie Gray||282|
|=3||Rock Your Baby||George McCrae||282|
|5||Why Me||Kris Kristofferson||273|
|6||Seasons in the Sun||Terry Jacks||260|
|7||If You Love Me (Let Me Know)||Olivia Newton-John||258|
|8||The Night Chicago Died||Paper Lace||247|
|9||The Air That I Breathe||Hollies||226|
|12||If You Need Me||After All||209|
|13||Love’s Theme||Love Unlimited||205|
|14||Touch too Much||Arrows||204|
|15||Hello Girl||Dr. Marigold’s||201|
|=16||Little Jimmy||Gwynneth Ashley-Robin||189|
|18||Kung Fu Fighting||Carl Douglas||184|
|19||Let Me Roll It||Wings||182|
|22||Rock Me Gently||Andy Kim||167|
|23||Band on the Run||Wings||163|
|24||The Wonder of Your Love||Jody Wayne||158|
|25||There Won’t be Anymore||Charlie Rich||156|
|26||Sugar Baby Love||Rubettes||151|
|27||When Will I See You Again||Three Degrees||145|
|29||The Entertainer||Marvin Hamlisch||144|
|30||Kissin’ in the Back Row of the Movies||Drifters||143|
|34||Ma! (He’s Making Eyes at Me)||Lena Zavaroni||130|
|35||Tchip Tchip||Dan Hill||129|
|36||Haai Casanova||Glenys Lynne||128|
|37||I Need a Little Love||Lionel Petersen||126|
|=38||Rock the Boat||Hues Corporation||125|
You can compare this to the list published in Top 40 magazine in 1989 which can be found here:
Andy William’s ‘Solitaire’ was the 3rd song by an American act to be the song of the year using this points basis. The previous 2 were Roger Williams’ ‘Lara’s Theme (From Dr Zhivago)’ in 1966 and Sandy Posey’s ‘Single Girl’ in 1967. Local acts still led the way for Song of The Year as they had managed 4. Germany had seen 2 while the Brits had only managed 1 so far. ‘Solitaire’ accumulated 298 points, the 6th highest any song had seen in a calendar year. The 417 Alan Garrity’s ‘I Need Someone’ managed in 1972 was still the best we had seen.
The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10:
|1||I Need Someone||Alan Garrity||464|
|2||I Can See Clearly Now||Johnny Nash||448|
|3||Cry to Me||Staccatos||447|
|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 1974 were as follows:
|1||Little Jimmy||Gwynneth Ashley-Robin||189|
|2||The Wonder of Your Love||Jody Wayne||158|
|4||Tchip Tchip||Dan Hill||129|
|5||Haai Casanova||Glenys Lynne||128|
The previous year had seen the first local female artist top this list as Barbara Ray took the honours with ‘I Don’t Wanna Play House’. This year we saw the second woman to manage it in the form of Gwynneth Ashley-Robin’s ‘Little Jimmy’.
Cumulatively from the start of the charts in 1965, the top 5 local songs were:
|1||I Need Someone||Alan Garrity||464|
|2||Cry to Me||Staccatos||447|
|3||Sunday, Monday, Tuesday||Jessica Jones||391|
|5||I Don’t Wanna Play House||Barbara Ray||336|
NUMBER OF HITS
For a second year running 3 hits was the most that any act saw spend time in the charts and 4 acts managed this. They were Lionel Petersen, Billy Forrest, Abba and Wings. 17 acts saw 2 hits chart in 1974. 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.
The alert among you will have noted that Lionel Petersen and Billy Forrest were the top local acts, both seeing 3 hits in the top 20 in the year. Tommy Oliver, Jody Wayne, Barbara Ray, Angelika Illman, Alan Garrity, Peter Vee, Gwynneth Ashley-Robin, Glenys Lynne and Dan Hill all managed 2. Four Jacks & A Jill and Dave Mills held the record to date for local acts, each managing 4 in 1968 and 1971 respectively.
Neither of the top 2 acts for cumulative total hits to date saw chart action in 1974, but they both still sat first and second with Tom Jones leading the way on 17 and Cliff Richard in second place on 15. The Hollies, who were in 3rd place last year, did manage to see 1 hit chart in 1974 and they were now only 1 behind Cliff Richard with their total being 14.
Billy Forrest was the top local act for number of hits. His 11 put him tied 6th on the overall list, a position he shared with 5 other acts. He had added 2 to his total in 1974. Jody Wayne added 1 to his total and was second with 9 while Four Jacks & A Jill were in 3rd place on 8.
WEEKS ON THE CHARTS
Abba became the first act from a nation other than the UK, the US or SA who would see the most weeks in the chart in a calendar year. They managed 38. Only 1967 had seen less from the top acts for a year when 3 acts topped the list with 37. Middle Of The Road’s 59 in 1972 was still the best we had seen so far. Wings on 37 was second highest for 1974 and Albert Hammond on 30 was 3rd.
Tom Jones was still way out in front for total cumulative weeks. His 184 put him 48 ahead of second placed The Hollies who moved past The Bee Gees with 136 to their name while the latter were on 125 and had not seen any chart action in 1974.
The Staccatos were still the top local act for weeks with 83 to their name. Billy Forrest had moved into second place with 81 while Alan Garrity was 3rd with 79. Four Jacks & A Jill dropped from 2nd to 4th. They were on 78.
For a 3rd year running we had no acts see more than 1 number 1 hit. We had also seen this in 1966, making 1974 the 4th time overall where no act had more than 1 chart topper. There were a total of 15 songs that spent time at number 1 during the year which was 2 better than 1973’s effort of 13 which was the lowest total we had seen to date. The 21 chart toppers we saw in 1969 was the most we had seen so far.
Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Why Me’ spent more weeks at 1 than any other song in 1974. It was at the top spot for 8 weeks. Albert Hammond’s ‘The Peacemaker’ and Carl Douglas’ ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ were tied second with six weeks although it should be mentioned that the latter was at number 1 for the last week of the year and had the potential to increase its overall total for weeks at 1 in 1975.
There was only 1 local chart topper and that was Gwynneth Ashley-Robin’s ‘Little Jimmy’ which managed just 1 week at the top spot. This was the 3rd year where we had only seen 1 local chart topper, the other 2 being 1965 and 1969 but this was the first time we had only seen a local chart topper for 1 week in the year as in 1965 and 1969 those single local chart toppers spent 6 and 3 weeks at 1 respectively.
Overall, the 6 chart toppers Tom Jones had managed was still the best anyone had seen to date. The
Hollies picked up another one this year (‘The Air That I Breathe’) to give them outright second place with 5, moving 1 ahead of Chris Andrews on 4 and who dropped into 3rd place. The only other act of the 15 chart toppers this year who had seen a number 1 prior to 1974 was Olivia Newton-John who now had 2 to her name.
Tom also led the way for total weeks at 1, his 18 was still unchanged since he had last been at number 1 in June 1970. The Bee Gees and The Sweet also did not add to their total during 1974, but remained in tied second place with 14 weeks each. In terms of weeks at 1 by a song, we had already seen the all time record of 13 which Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ had managed and the second highest of 12 weeks which Charisma’s ‘Mammy Blue’ managed.
LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS
1974 was the 2nd best year for woman in terms of the number of hits they had. As solo artists they saw 19 songs spend time in the charts and they had a further 7 more where they were part of a duet bringing the total to 26. The best we had seen to date was 23 in 1967 (27 including duets). The 19 songs were brought to us courtesy of 16 different acts while the 26 including duets brought that total up to 19.
There were 7 woman who saw 2 hits this year which was the best any managed. The 7 in question were Angelika Illman (both as part of a duet with Billy Forrest), Barbara Ray, Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, Glenys Lynne, Gwynneth Ashley-Robin and Olivia Newton-John. 4 of those 7 were local (Illman, Ray, Lynne & Ashley-Robin). Petula Clark’s 4 hits in 1967 was still the record to date for a woman.
The top 2 women for cumulative number of hits to date was unchanged from 1973 and they were Petula Clark at 1 with 11 hits and Nancy Sinatra at 2 with 7. Virginia Lee was unmoved in 3rd place with 6, but she was joined by Barbara Ray who moved alongside her as her total climbed to 6. The top 2 local woman, Lee and Ray, who coincidentally both had what are usually regarded as men’s names as their surnames, were followed by Judy Page on 4 while Glenys Lynne joined Maria, Jessica Jones and Lauren Copley on 3.
Gwynneth Ashley-Robin spent more weeks in the charts than any other woman in 1974 as she managed 23. Olivia Newton-John was second with 22 while Dolly Parton came 3rd with 19. This was the 4th year in a row that a local woman had been the top weeks scorer for female artists. Maria’s 40 in 1973 was the best a woman had ever managed in a single year.
On a cumulative basis Petula Clark still led the way for weeks in the charts by a woman with 73 to her name and this was unchanged from the end of the previous year. She had had a 7 week lead over second placed Barbara Ray at the end of 1973, but this was slashed to just 2 as Ray added 5 weeks to her total in 1974 and sat second on 71. Vicky Leandros on 62 was in 3rd place. The top 3 local women were Barbara Ray (71 ), Lauren Copley (54) and Maria (49).
There were only 2 songs by woman that topped the charts this year and they were Olivia Newton-John’s ‘If You Love Me (Let Me Know)’ (3 weeks) and Gwynneth Ashley-Robin’s ‘Little Jimmy’ (1 week).
Olivia Newton-John was the first woman to manage 2 solo chart toppers (her previous one being ‘If Not For You’). Nancy Sinatra had been seen at the top of our charts with 2 different hits, but one of them had been her duet with her father, Frank.
Hilary’s 8 weeks at 1 was still the most a song by a woman had managed with Barbara Ray having 6 to her name and Sandy Posey and Nancy Sinatra were in 3rd place with 5.
The top 5 hits by woman in 1974 based on the points system were:
|1||If You Love Me (Let Me Know)||Olivia Newton-John||258|
|2||Little Jimmy||Gwynneth Ashley-Robin||189|
|5||Ma! (He’s Making Eyes at Me)||Lena Zavaroni||130|
On a cumulative basis, the top 5 read:
|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|
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:
|1||Seasons in the Sun||Terry Jacks||260||Canada|
|3||If You Need Me||After All||209||Netherlands|
With Terry Jacks having the top hit for the rest of the world acts, Canada joined Australia and Germany in now having had 2 top hits in this category. The previous Canadian to top this list was Lucille Starr whose ‘The French Song’ was the best by a non SA, US or UK act back in 1967. Australia’s 2 times topping this list were both with songs by the same act (The Seekers) while Germany had been the first nation to have 2 with 2 different acts (Peter Maffay and Freddy Breck).
There were 16 songs from acts not from SA, the UK or the US which spent time in the charts this year. This equalled the second highest we had seen to date which happened in 1971. The year that held the record so far was 1970 when we had 19 ‘rest of the world’ hits on our charts. For the first 4 years of the charts (i.e. 1965 – 1968) at least 1 act from the rest of the world had seen 3 hits spend time in the charts. We had not seen this again until this year when Abba managed 3 (‘Waterloo’, ‘Hasta Mañana’ and ‘Ring, Ring’). After All had 2 ‘If You Need Me’ and ‘Help Me My Love’) while all the rest only had 1 each. 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 while Michael Holm sat 3rd on 4 but was joined by Vicky Leandros who added 1 to her total this year.
For a second year running the local acts had more hits on the charts than any other nation as they saw 35 songs spend time in the top 20. The Americans were second with 33 while the Brits managed 31. For a 4th time Canada was the top of the rest of the world nations for number of hits as they scored 5. One of their previous 3 times they shared the top spot with the Aussies who had managed to top the list 3 times. Sweden and The Netherlands were second for 1974 with both nations seeing 4 hits in the charts. In total, acts from 9 different nations charted with the 3 aforementioned nations being joined by the usual suspects (SA, UK and US) while Greece, Germany and Italy each saw 1.
Having acts from 9 different nations chart during the year was the first time this number had not been in double figures since 1969.
The Americans held on to the lead for total number of hits throughout the whole of 1974 at worst they were just 1 ahead of the Brits and their biggest lead was when they were 11 hits ahead of the Brits on 19 April and again on 10 May. The year ended with the Americans tally on 382 and they were 6 ahead of the UK acts who were on 376. Locals sat on 236 with Canada on 23, Germany on 15 and Australia on 12 being the next 4 on the list. This was the same order of the top 6 nations as we had seen at the ned of 1973, it was just the hit count for all except Australia that changed.
The cumulative best hits for ‘rest of the world’ artists was as follows:
|2||We Believe in Tomorrow||Freddy Breck||376||Germany|
|3||Come What May (aka Aprés Toi)||Vicky Leandros||321||Greece|
|5||The Love in Your Eyes||Vicky Leandros||275||Greece|
WHAT DIDN’T CHART
1974 saw the highest number of UK and/or US number 1s not make our top 20 as there were 32 songs that topped the charts in either the UK or the US or both that didn’t make our charts. However, if one excludes 3 of those 32 which would chart in SA at a later date, then this was 1 less than the 30 (using the same criteria) we saw in 1973.
The 32 chart toppers in the US or UK or both that didn’t make our charts in 1974 were as follows:
|Always Yours||Gary Glitter|
|Angie Babe||Helen Reddy|
|Bennie & The Jets||Elton John|
|Billy Don’t Be A Hero||Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods|
|Billy, Don’t Be A Hero||Paper Lace|
|Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe||Barry White|
|Cat’s In The Cradle||Harry Chapin|
|Devil Gate Drive||Suzi Quatro|
|Everything I Own||Ken Boothe|
|Feel Like Makin’ Love||Roberta Flack|
|Gonna Make You A Star||David Essex|
|I Can Help*||Billy Swan|
|Jealous Mind||Alvin Stardust|
|Lonely This Christmas||Mud|
|Love Me For A Reason||Osmonds|
|Merry Xmas Everybody||Slade|
|Nothing From Nothing||Billy Preston|
|Sad Sweet Dreamer*||Sweet Sensation|
|Show And Tell||Al Wilson|
|Sunshine On My Shoulder||John Denver|
|The Joker||Steve Miller Band|
|The Loco-Motion||Grand Funk Railroad|
|The Streak||Ray Stevens|
|The Way We Were||Barbra Streisand|
|Then Came You||Dionne Warwick & The Spinners|
|Time In A Bottle||Jim Croce|
|You Haven’t Done Nothin’||Stevie Wonder|
|You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me||New Seekers|
|You’re (Having My Baby)||Paul Anka|
|You’re The First, The Last, My Everything*||Barry White|
I WRITE THE SONGS
It took 149 song writers to bring us the songs that saw chart action in 1974 which was the second lowest we had ever seen with only the half year of charts of 1965 seeing less (104). The most we had seen was 206 in 1967. Jody Wayne took top honours for number of compositions seeing chart action as he had 4 make the charts this year and these were his 2 hits, ‘The Wonder Of Your Love’ and ‘Heartbeat’ along with 2 Gwynneth Ashley-Robin hits, ‘Little Jimmy’ and ‘Little Soldier Blue’. Mike Hazelwood, Albert Hammond, Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman, Stig Anderson, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Paul McCartney all managed to see 3 of their compositions chart. These all fell way short of the record to date 9 hits in a year that Terry Dempsey managed in 1971.
Dempsey did see a song in the charts this year (David Cassidy’s ‘Daydreamer’) but that had started its chart run in 1973 so he had not added to his total of 24 hits to date, but he still led the way overall for hits by a song writer. Les Reed was also unchanged in second place with 18 while Jeff Barry was still in 3rd place, but he had moved on from 16 at the end of 1973 to 17 at the end of 1974.
Song writing duo Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood saw their compositions spend more time in the charts than any other song writer in 1974. Their hits totalled 44 weeks in the top 20. Jody Wayne was second with 40 weeks with the Abba song writing team of Stig Anderson, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus sharing 3rd place with Paul McCartney on 37 weeks. The top score of 44 weeks was the lowest top score we had seen for a full year so far with only the half year of 1965 showing less where Guglielmo Brezza and Nini Rosso managed 29 weeks.
Overall Terry Dempsey led the way for weeks count for a song writer as his hits had clocked up a massive 253 (69 more than Tom Jones, the leading weeks count for an artist). Les Reed on 168 was second while Barry Gibb on 151 was 3rd.
Apart from having the top weeks count for song writers, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood were also the only song writers to see more than 1 chart topper as they gave us Hammond’s hit, ‘The Peacemaker’ as well as The Hollies’ ‘The Air That I Breathe’. The combined total of 8 weeks that those 2 songs spent at number 1 equalled the total for Kris Kristofferson’s self-penned ‘Why My’ putting Kristofferson equal top for weeks at 1 by a song writer. Barry and Maurice Gibb still led the way for the total weeks at 1 by a song writer as the 2 brothers had managed a total of 15. Their other brother, Robin, was still tied second with Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman who had 14. In 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.
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 Staden 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.