1976 THE FACTS AND FIGURES

That brings to a conclusion the 1976 charts and now it’s time for the usual year round up of facts and figures about which songs and artists were the ones who had the biggest impact on our charts (or not).

We saw 123 songs spend time in the charts in 1976 and this was the 8th highest of the 12 years we had seen to date. From 1972 to 1974 we had seen less than 120 chart, but this jumped to 128 in 1975, but was now dropping again in 1976. The 153 we saw in 1969 was still the record to date. It took 110 acts to bring us these 123 songs (1 less than the 111 that we saw in 1975). This was the 5th highest we had seen to date and the 6th time we had seen over 100 acts in a year. The hit per act ratio was 1.118. The most artists we had seen in a year was 114 which happened in both 1970 and 1971. The total number of acts figures always counts those who chart as part of a collaboration separately. If we count the collaboration as 1 act instead of looking at its component parts, then we had 103 acts chart this year. 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 1.18
1972 117 97 1.21
1973 103 87 1.18
1974 115 100 1.15
1975 128 111 1.15
1976 123 110 1.12

The local acts had their 3rd best year to date with 36 SA hits spending time in the charts. 1973’s 38 and 1971’s 41 were the 2 years that saw better figures. There were 32 local acts that featured on the charts this year (duets counting as 2 acts) and this was the most we had seen in a single year, beating the previous record of 31 which we had seen in 1973.

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 I Won’t Give Up Bruce Millar 288
2 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Elton John 273
3 One Day at a Time Marie Gibson 247
4 December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) Four Seasons 246
5 Fernando ABBA 244
6 Let Me Into Your Life Flood 237
7 Let Your Love Flow Bellamy Brothers 234
8 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen 223
=9 Devil Woman Cliff Richard 218
=9 Lady in Blue Joe Dolan 218
11 Ramaja Glenys Lynne 216
12 I Hate the Music John Paul Young 205
13 No Charge J.J. Barrie 196
14 Darlin’ David Cassidy 188
15 Arms of Mary Sutherland Brothers & Quiver 181
=16 Somewhere Between Tumbleweeds 180
=16 Miss You Nights Cliff Richard 180
=18 Jeans On David Dundas 168
=18 Green eyed Angel Bobby Angel 168
20 Dancing Queen ABBA 164
21 Fattie Bum-Bum Carl Malcolm 160
22 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine Lou Rawls 159
23 Dolannes Melodie Jean-Claude Borelly 157
24 Wedding Bells Billy Swan 156
25 Sometimes Caroline du Preez 153
26 Rocky Austin Roberts 152
27 Happy to be on an Island in the Sun Demis Roussos 148
28 Woogie Boogie Platform 6 147
29 You and Me – Me and You Main Ingredient 145
30 Save Your Kisses for Me Brotherhood of Man 142
=31 Mississippi Pussycat 137
=31 Honey I (Live My Life For You) George McCrae 137
=33 You Set My Heart on Fire Tina Charles 136
=33 I Write the Songs Barry Manilow 136
35 In Zaire Johnny Wakelin 129
=36 Golden Ring Caroline du Preez 127
=36 When I’m Dead and Gone Bruce Millar 127
38 Take My Heart Pendulum 126
39 A Million Drums Dennis East 120
40 I’ll Return Michael Holm 117

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

Top 40 Magazine 1976 List

Bruce Millar’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’ was the 5th song by a local act to be the top point scorer for a year and the locals led the way for this with American acts having the top hit 3 times, Germany twice and the UK and Canada once each. ‘I Won’t Give Up’s points of 288 was the 4th lowest for a year that we had seen so far and was the 35th best points tally for any song so far.

The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10 which had been the same since the end of 1973:

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 1976 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 I Won’t Give Up Bruce Millar 288
2 One Day at a Time Marie Gibson 247
3 Let Me Into Your Life Flood 237
4 Ramaja Glenys Lynne 216
5 Green eyed Angel Bobby Angel 168

The men continued to dominate the top of this list with Bruce Millar’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’ being the 7th time the top local song was by a solo male. We had seen 2 songs by solo women top this list and 3 songs by groups.

Cumulatively from the start of the charts in 1965, the top 5 local songs 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

NUMBER OF HITS

The record to date for number of hits by an act to spend time in the charts during a year was 5 which we had seen in 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1972. but since 1972 other than the 4 we saw in 1975 all the other years, including 1976 had only seen 3. There were 5 acts which managed 3 in 1976 and they were Smokie, Lionel Petersen, Bobby Angel, Abba and Tommy Dell. This was the 4th year running that local acts had been among the top scorers for number of hits although it was only Bobby Angel’s 4 in 1975 that did not share the top spot with other acts.

Lionel Petersen, Bobby Angel and Tommy Dell were obviously the top local acts for number of hits, but Bobby Angel was the first local act to be top of the list 2 years running. Only the Bee Gees and The Archies had managed this before with the Bee Gees doing so with the record to date 5 in both years (1968 & 1969). Jonathan Butler, Barbara Ray, Roy Bulkin, Bruce Millar and Caroline du Preez all managed 2 hits.

Although all of the top 3 acts on the overall hit count list at the end of 1975 had charted during 1976, the order did not change with Tom Jones leading from Cliff Richard in second place and The Hollies in third place. The following is a list of all acts that had seen 10 or more hits chart:

Pos Artist No Of Hits
1 Tom Jones 18
2 Cliff Richard 17
3 Hollies 15
=4 Percy Sledge 12
=4 Bee Gees 12
=4 Elvis Presley 12
=4 Billy Forrest 12
=8 Herman’s Hermits 11
=8 Petula Clark 11
=8 Creedence Clearwater Revival 11
=8 Rolling Stones 11
=12 Troggs 10
=12 Jody Wayne 10
=12 Neil Diamond 10

As can be seen from the above, Billy Forrest led the way for the locals with 12 to his name. He was followed by Jody Wayne with 10. Gene Rockwell, Barbara Ray and Four Jacks & A Jill on 8 (not on the list above) were tied 3rd.

WEEKS ON THE CHARTS

Tommy Dell became the 4th local act to spend more weeks in the charts in a year than any other act. He managed 41. Abba on 35 and Bruce Miller on 32 were second and third respectively. 41 weeks was the 4th highest total to top this list with Middle Of The Roads’ 59 in 1972 still being way out front.

The top 20 for overall weeks was as follows:

Pos Artist No Of Weeks
1 Tom Jones 185
2 Hollies 137
3 Bee Gees 125
4 Creedence Clearwater Revival 118
5 Elvis Presley 116
6 Troggs 115
7 Cliff Richard 110
8 Rolling Stones 109
9 Sweet 108
=10 Abba 105
=10 Percy Sledge 105
12 Neil Diamond 98
13 Beach Boys 97
14 Herman’s Hermits 95
15 Tommy Roe 92
16 Billy Forrest 87
=17 Alan Garrity 84
=17 Engelbert Humperdinck 84
19 Staccatos 83
=20 Barbara Ray 82
=20 Chris Andrews 82

While the local list looked like this:

Pos Artist No Of Weeks
1 Billy Forrest 87
2 Alan Garrity 84
3 Staccatos 83
4 Barbara Ray 82
5 Four Jacks & A Jill 78
6 Dave Mills 73
7 Jody Wayne 72
8 John Edmond 70
9 Lionel Petersen 64
10 Bobby Angel 57
=11 Gene Rockwell 54
=11 Lauren Copley 54
=11 Maria 54
14 Dealians 50
=15 Jessica Jones 48
=15 Peanutbutter Conspiracy 48
17 Bats 45
18 Richard Jon Smith 43
19 Rising Sons 42
20 Tommy Dell 41

NUMBER 1’s

As in 1975, there was only 1 act which had more than 1 number 1 and as in 1975 this act was Abba who once again saw 2 chart toppers in the year. ‘Fernando’ spent 6 weeks at the top of the charts in July/August and then in November/December ‘Dancing Queen’ managed 2 weeks. For the past 2 years we had seen 15 different songs spent time at number, but this year that figure rose to 16. The 21 we saw in 1969 was still the record.

Apart from ‘Fernando’ there were 2 other songs that spent 6 weeks at 1 which was the best any song managed. The other 2 songs were Bruce Millar’s ‘I Won’t Give Up’ and Elton John & Kiki Dee’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’, although it should be noted that the latter song did have an interrupted run.

Local songs to top the chart this year were the aforementioned Bruce Millar hit, Flood’s ‘Let Me Into Your Life’ (3 weeks), Glenys Lynne’s ‘Ramaja’ (3 weeks) and Marie Gibson’s ‘One Day At A Time’ (2 weeks. These 4 were just 1 short of the record to date 5 local chart toppers in a year which we saw in 1968.

Tom Jones still led the way for most number 1 as he had seen 6. Abba moved into tied second place with The Hollies on 5 while Chris Andrews still had the 3rd highest amount of 4.

After overtaking Tom Jones for weeks at 1 last year, The Sweet held onto their lead with 19. Jones followed in second place with 18 while Abba moved into 3rd place with 16 while The Bee Gees dropped into 4th place with 14. 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

In terms of number of hits, women saw their worst tally since 1972’s 10 as they only managed 13 this year. If one added in those where a woman was part of a duet, then it was a far healthier 19, but that was also the worst since 1972. There were 12 acts which brought us the 13 hits and 16 if you add in the duets.

If one excludes duets, then Tina Charles was the only woman to see more than 1 hit in the year as she managed 2, ‘I Love To Love’ and ‘You Set My Heart On Fire’. Including the duets then we can add Barbara Ray and Caroline du Preez to the list of those with 2 hits. Both du Preez’s hits were duets with Tommy Dell while Ray had a solo hit (‘The Last One To Touch Me’ which entered the charts in 1975 but continued its run into 1976) and then a duet with Bobby Angel (‘The Greatest Christmas Gift’, also entered the charts in 1975). Petula Clark still held the record which was 4 in a calendar year and that was in 1967.

Petula also still led the way for number of hits by a woman as she had seen 11. Barbara Ray sat second on 8 and Nancy Sinatra was 3rd on 7. This top 3 was unchanged from the end of 1975. The second highest local woman was Virginia Lee on 6 who was also the 4th highest overall. Again this was unchanged from the end of 1975.

Caroline du Preez won the weeks in the chart for a woman award for 1976 having clocked up 26 during 1976. She was followed by Tina Charles who managed 22 and Marie Gibson on 19. The alert among you would have noticed that Caroline and Marie were the top 2 local women.

During 1976 Barbara Ray overtook Petula Clark as the leading lady for weeks on the charts. Barbara had 82 to her name while Petula (who was last seen in our charts in April 1971) was second on 73. Vicky Leandros was unmoved at 3 with 62. Lauren Copley was still the second highest local woman with 54 weeks, but she was joined in second place by Maria who added to her tally this year.

There were only 2 chart toppers by solo women this year and both were the local hits by Glenys Lynne and Marie Gibson mentioned above in the Number 1’s section. Kiki Dee also spent time at number 1 as one half of the duet with Elton John. The latter spent 6 weeks at 1 which was the best for a woman this year.

Hilary’s 8 weeks at 1 was still the most that a woman had managed with Barbara Ray having 6 to her name and she was joined in 2nd place by Kiki Dee. Olivia Newton-John and Nancy Sinatra remained the only 2 woman to have managed more then 1 number 1 with both having 2 to their names. One of Sinatra’s was a part of a duet with her dad, Frank.

The top 5 hits by woman in 1976 based on the points system were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 One Day at a Time Marie Gibson 247
2 Ramaja Glenys Lynne 216
3 Sometimes Caroline du Preez 153
4 You Set My Heart on Fire Tina Charles 136
5 Golden Ring Caroline du Preez 127

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 Fernando ABBA 244 Sweden
2 Lady in Blue Joe Dolan 218 Ireland
3 I Hate the Music John Paul Young 205 Australia
4 No Charge J.J. Barrie 196 Canada
5 Somewhere Between Tumbleweeds 180 Netherlands

This was the first time Sweden had topped this list with Canada leading the way having had the top ‘Rest Of The World’ hit 3 times. Germany and Australia had managed it twice.

In total we saw 21 songs from the non-big 3 nations spend time on the charts which was the second best we had seen with only the 24 in 1975 being better. Abba once again had 3 hits in the year and was the leading ‘Rest Of The Worlder’ act. Demis Roussos and Pussycat with 2 each were the only other acts who managed more than 1. Three hits in a year was still the best that any ‘Rest of the World’ act had managed with The Seekers managing it in 1965, 1966 and 1967, Lucille Starr doing so in 1967 and 1968 and now Abba in 1974, 1975 and 1976, equalling The Seekers effort of 3 years with 3. On the overall hits count list, Abba were the new leaders with 8 to their name. They took over the lead from The Seekers during the year with the latter having managed 7. Lucille Starr, The George Baker Selection and Michael Holm all sat tied 3rd on 5.

Local acts accounted for more hits on the chart this year than any other nation as they saw 36 hits spend time in the top 20. The US were second with 35 while the UK were 3rd with 31. This was the 3rd time the local acts had topped this list, having managed it in 1973 and 1974. France, The Netherlands and Sweden topped the list for the rest of the world with each nation seeing 3 hits. The best any nation had managed in a year was the 72 the US acts managed in 1969. For France and Sweden it was the first time they had been the top nations for the rest of the world while it was a second time for The Netherlands who shared the honours with Canada in 1975. Canada had topped the list 5 times which was the best to date.

This year we saw hits from 14 different nations which was a new record, beating the 13 we saw in 1971. Aside from the big 3 nations (SA, UK & US), we had hits by acts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, The Netherland, Romania and Sweden.

The Americans led the way for overall number of hits with them having provided 453. The Brits were second with 428 to date while SA on 292 was 3rd. After this we had Canada on 26, Germany on 18 and The Netherlands on 17. While the order of those 3 did not change from the end of 1975, all three saw their tally increase.

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 You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet Bachman-Turner Overdrive 299 Canada
5 Butterfly Danyel Gerard 276 France

WHAT DIDN’T CHART

1975 had seen the biggest number of UK and US chart toppers not make our top 20 as there were 42 of them, of which 2 managed to chart this year. The total of 1976 chart toppers either side of the Atlantic that did not make out charts in the year dropped dramatically to 23. There would be 2 of these that would make our charts in 1977. We should also note that one of the UK chart toppers was an EP by Demis Roussos called ‘The Roussos Phenomenon’. This included the track ‘My Friend The Wind’ which was a new entry at number 20 in the charts for the last week of 1976.

The 23 chart toppers in the US or UK or both that didn’t make our charts in 1976 were as follows:

Song Artist
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover Paul Simon
Afternoon Delight Starland Vocal Band
Boogie Fever Sylvers
Combine Harvester Wurzels
Convoy C.W. McCall
Disco Duck Rick Dees & His Cast Of Idiots
Disco Lady Johnnie Taylor
If You Leave Me Now Chicago *
Love Hangover Diana Ross
Love Machine Miracles
Love Rollercoaster Ohio Players
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
Rock’N Me Steve Miller Band
Silly Love Songs Wings
The Roussos Phenomenon Demis Roussos **
Theme From “Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) Diana Ross
Theme From “S.W.A.T.” Rhythm Heritage
Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) Rod Stewart
Under The Moon Of Love Showaddywaddy *
Welcome Back John Sebastian
When A Child Is Born Johnny Mathis
You Should Be Dancing Bee Gees
You To Me Are Everything Real Thing
 
* Would chart in a later year
** Included ‘My Friend The Wind’ which did chart in SA this year

I WRITE THE SONGS

It took 169 song writers to bring us the hits that spent time in the charts this year. This was the 7th highest figure we had seen to date for this, being 11 down on the 180 we saw in 1975 and 37 off the record of 206 in 1967. Three song writers saw a best of the year 5 of their compositions make the charts. They were Harry Wayne ‘KC’ Casey and Richard Finch from KC & The Sunshine Band and Ernie Schroder. Casey & Finch brought us 2 KC & The Sunshine Band hits, 2 from George McCrae and Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne’s ‘Gimme Some’ while Schroder accounted for Buttercup’s ‘Sha La La La’, Roy Bulkin’s ‘Twinkle Toes’, Ian & Dix’s ‘Sonder Jou’, Michael Eager’s ‘Rock Me To Sleep’ and Geoff St John’s ‘Candy’. The best a song writer had managed in a calendar year was 9 which Terry Dempsey who managed this in 1971.

Dempsey also led the way overall with 24 hits to his credit. Les Reed, Jeff Barry and Roger Greenaway were all tied second on 18 while Geoff Stephens and Barry Mason were next on 17 each.

Harry Wayne ‘KC’ Casey and Richard Finch took the honours for weeks in the chart by a song writer as their compositions accumulated 41. Ernie Schroder was second with 39 while the 3 Abba song writers, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson were next with 35 each. Terry Dempsey’s 69 in 1970 was still the best we had seen in a calendar year.

Demsey led the way for weeks with 253 to his name while Les Reed on 168 was second and Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman shared 3rd place with 157.

As with 1975, the 3 Abba song writers were the only ones to see more than 1 composition top the chart and they managed 2 with ‘Fernando’ and ‘Dancing Queen’. They also moved level with Neil Diamond for overall weeks at 1 with all 4 of the having seen 16 so far. Barry and Maurice Gibb were second highest with 15 each. In terms of number of number 1’s it was again the Abba 3 that led the way with 5 to their name. They pulled clear of a following pack of 7 other song writers.

CONSECUTIVE YEARS

In terms of consecutive years spending at least 1 week in the chart, David Cassidy had the longest unbroken run of all those that charted in 1976. He has seen chart action every year since 1972, a run of 5 years. The best ever run to date had been 8 years with both Tom Jones and Cliff Richard managed between 1965 and 1972.

Barbara Ray had been on the charts every year since 1973 which was the best a woman and also a local act had managed of those who charted in 1976. Dolly Parton’s 3 year run from 74 was the second best for a woman. Lionel Petersen shared the local act honours with Barbara Ray. The Staccatos held the overall local record for consecutive years in the charts as they managed 6 from 1965 to 1970. Petula Clark and now Barbara Ray were the only 2 women to manage a 4 year run. No woman had managed more than 4 yet.

THANKS

So that concludes 1976, but stay tuned as 1977 will follow hot on its heels. But before we sign off on 1976, I must thank those who have helped along the way. 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.

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31 December 1976

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 9 Mississippi  – Pussycat
2 4 4 Georgie  – Pussycat
3 2 7 Daddy Cool  – Boney M
4 3 10 Dancing Queen  – ABBA
5 5 11 Jeans On  – David Dundas
6 6 7 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  – 5000 Volts
7 7 10 A Million Drums  – Dennis East
8 8 5 Without You  – Barry Mason
9 10 8 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  – Zamfir
10 9 6 Our Sweet Precious Love  – Billy Forrest
11 19 3 I’ll Meet You at Midnight  – Smokie
12 14 4 I’ll Keep on Coming Back  – Lionel Petersen
13 11 14 I Hate the Music  – John Paul Young
14 12 8 Dedication  – Rogue
15 16 4 Michaelangelo  – André
16 13 12 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  – Lou Rawls
17 15 5 Stand Up Like a Man  – Maria
18 17 6 Kiss and Say Goodbye  – Manhattans
19 18 4 It’s a Secret  – Mungo Jerry
20 New 1 My Friend the Wind  – Demis Roussos

The year ended with Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’ equalling the best run at number 1 by a Dutch act as it enjoyed its 4th week at the top of the pile. It joined Shocking Blue’s ‘Venus’ and The George Baker Selection’s ‘Paloma Blanca’ in having 4 weeks at 1. On top of that, Pussycat became the 3rd act to occupy the top 2 positions in the same week as ‘Georgie’ moved into second place. The previous acts to manage this were The Hollies (with ‘That’s My Desire’ at 1 and ‘Carrie-Anne’ at 2) and The Sweet (with ‘Funny Funny’ at 1 and ‘Co-Co’ at 2). Both The Sweet’s songs had made number 1, but The Hollies’ ‘Carrie-Anne’ only peaked at 2, so it could go either way for ‘Georgie’ in terms of topping the charts.

The climber of the week was Smokie’s ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ which moved up 8 from 19 to 11. The song was their 3rd to chart, but their first to be a climber of the week. It was also the only star rater this week.

Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ followed up its faller of the week award from 2 weeks back with another one. This time it was with a 3 place drop from 13 to 16 for the former number 1 hit.

John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ was the oldest on the chart for a 4th week running. It had been with us for 14 weeks.

The Stockley Sister’s ‘Venus’ was the only song to depart the chart this week. It had been with us for 10 weeks and peaked at 5. It would be their only SA chart hit. As mentioned on last week’s chart commentary, ‘Venus’ had clocked up 20 weeks in total between the 2 versions of it that had charted so far (the other being by Shocking Blue) and sat 21st overall for weeks by a song charting in more than 1 version. It’s 20 weeks was exactly half that of the leading song on that list, ‘Lara’s Theme (From Dr Zhivago)’.

Demis Roussos returned to the charts with his second hit. ‘My Friend The Wind’ which entered at 20 this week to be the 6th song by a Greek artist on our top 20. Roussos accounted for 1 of the previous 5 and Vicky Leandross the other 4. ‘My Friend The Wind’ featured on the 4 track EP ‘The Roussos Phenomenon’ which topped the UK charts and with Roussos having been born in Egypt (on 15 June 1946) he became the first African born artist to top the UK charts. It would also be the only EP that would be a UK number 1 in the 1970s. The other tracks on the EP were ‘Forever And Ever’, ‘So Dreamy’ and ‘Sing An Ode To Love’. ‘My Old Friend The Wind’ was a song from 1973 and it topped the Dutch and Belgium charts that year as well as getting to 7 in Germany and 15 in Austria. Greece sat 12th overall for number of hits by a nation, but this new entry did mean that Italy dropped into 13th place.

Abba saw their weeks count move on to 105 and this put them level with Percy Sledge, tied 10th on the overall weeks count list. On the local list we saw Maria move into tied 11th place with Gene Rockwell and Lauren Copley with all 3 on 54 weeks.

Two local acts, Lionel Petersen and Billy Forrest, both celebrated milestones on the points front. Petersen moved past the 500 mark while Forrest went past 800, putting Petersen 15th on the local list while Forrest was only 6th, despite leading the way for weeks on the chart. Alan Garrity on 944 points was the local leader.

There were 3 acts on this week’s top 20 that were also on the first chart of the year and they were 5000 Volts, Lionel Petersen and Smokie. Petersen was the 6th local act to manage being on the first and last charts of a year. 1975 and 1974 only saw 1 act manage this, but 1973 also had 3. The record was 5 which happened in 1965 (1st chart published in June), 1968 and 1969.

Youtube playlist:

24 December 1976

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 8 Mississippi  – Pussycat
2 3 6 Daddy Cool  – Boney M
3 2 9 Dancing Queen  – ABBA
4 8 3 Georgie  – Pussycat
5 4 10 Jeans On  – David Dundas
6 7 6 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  – 5000 Volts
7 5 9 A Million Drums  – Dennis East
8 13 4 Without You  – Barry Mason
9 12 5 Our Sweet Precious Love  – Billy Forrest
10 9 7 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  – Zamfir
11 6 13 I Hate the Music  – John Paul Young
12 10 7 Dedication  – Rogue
13 11 11 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  – Lou Rawls
14 17 3 I’ll Keep on Coming Back  – Lionel Petersen
15 16 4 Stand Up Like a Man  – Maria
16 18 3 Michaelangelo  – André
17 15 5 Kiss and Say Goodbye  – Manhattans
18 19 3 It’s a Secret  – Mungo Jerry
19 20 2 I’ll Meet You at Midnight  – Smokie
20 14 10 Venus  – Stockley Sisters

The weeks at 1 kept flowing for ‘Mississippi’ as the Pussycat hit enjoyed a 3rd week at the top of the charts. It had a new threat to contend with in the form of Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ which moved into second place, swapping places with the former number 1, Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ which dropped to 3rd. And with Pussycat’s ‘Georgie’ at 4, we had the first occasion when the top 4 songs were by acts not from the big 3 nations. This also clocked up the 20th week at 1 for acts from The Netherlands and they were the 4th act after the UK, the US and SA to reach this total.

Barry Mason’s ‘Without You’ took the climber of the week award with a 5 place jump from 13 to 8. The only other star rater was Pussycat’s ‘Georgie’ which moved up 4 from 8 to 4. This gave us the 9th week where we had 2 songs by the same act in the top 5. Previous acts to manage this were Chris Andrews, Four Jacks & A Jill, The Hollies (for 3 weeks), The Sweet (for 2 weeks) and Wings.

The Stockley Sister’s ‘Venus’ was the faller of the week. It dropped 6 from 14 to 20 to give the sisters their first such award. The song was on 10 weeks and this equalled those managed by the previous version of ‘Venus’ to chart which was by Shocking Blue, although that version had topped the charts where The Stockley Sisters’ one had peaked at 5 and was not looking like it was going to better that. Overall ‘Venus’ sat 21st for weeks by a song charting in more than 1 version.

‘I Hate The Music’ by John Paul Young was still the oldest on the charts. It had been with us for 13 weeks and this was its 3rd as the oldest.

The was no movement on or off the charts and this was the 16th time we had seen this happen, including the 1 week where the charts were ‘frozen’ for the Easter week-end.

Romania moved past Norway for weeks in the charts by acts from those nations. Gheorge Zamfir had clocked up 7 weeks for his nation which put it 19th overall while Norway on 6 dropped into 20th place and in case you can’t remember which Norwegian act had managed those 6 weeks, it was Titanic with their hit ‘Sultana’ back in 1971.

Abba saw their points move past the 1,500 mark. They had been sitting in 4th place for a while now and passing this milestone didn’t help move them. They were still 47 points behind 3rd placed Bee Gees.

Youtube playlist:

17 December 1976

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 7 Mississippi  – Pussycat
2 2 8 Dancing Queen  – ABBA
3 3 5 Daddy Cool  – Boney M
4 4 9 Jeans On  – David Dundas
5 5 8 A Million Drums  – Dennis East
6 6 12 I Hate the Music  – John Paul Young
7 8 5 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  – 5000 Volts
8 15 2 Georgie  – Pussycat
9 9 6 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  – Zamfir
10 10 6 Dedication  – Rogue
11 7 10 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  – Lou Rawls
12 12 4 Our Sweet Precious Love  – Billy Forrest
13 13 3 Without You  – Barry Mason
14 11 9 Venus  – Stockley Sisters
15 16 4 Kiss and Say Goodbye  – Manhattans
16 14 3 Stand Up Like a Man  – Maria
17 18 2 I’ll Keep on Coming Back  – Lionel Petersen
18 19 2 Michaelangelo  – André
19 20 2 It’s a Secret  – Mungo Jerry
20 New 1 I’ll Meet You at Midnight  – Smokie

The top 6 songs this week were unmoved this week which equalled the record to date for the top songs not moving. We had seen this happen 2 times before, however, once was when the whole chart was frozen for the Easter weekend. The other occasion (3 December 1971) saw 9 of the top 20 songs in total remain in the same place while this week took that record to new heights as 10 of the top 20 songs were unmoved this week.

This of course meant that Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’ enjoyed a second week at 1 with former number 1, Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, still lurking at 2.

And while ‘Mississippi’ was at 1, Pussycat’s other hit, ‘Georgie’ was following in its footsteps by picking up a biggest climber award, in fact it went 1 better as ‘Mississippi’s biggest climber award was with a 6 place climb while ‘Georgie’ moved up 7 from 15 to 8 to take the award. This was the only star rater climb this week.

Falling honours went to former number 1, Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love like Mine’, which dropped 4 from 7 to 11.

John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ enjoyed a second week as the oldest on the chart as it ticked over to 12 weeks. It became the first song by an Aussie to spend more than 1 week as the oldest with the previous 2 (both by The Seekers) only being the oldest for 1 week and the first of those, ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’, only managed to be the oldest by being on the very first chart which meant the whole top 20 were the oldest.

After the excitement of 4 songs off and on the chart last week, we saw a calmer week on the arriver/leaver front with Neil Diamond’s ‘Beautiful Noise’ being the only song to depart the chart. It had been with us for 6 weeks and peaked at 7. Of his 10 songs to date, only 2 (‘Shilo’ and ‘I’m A Believer’) had spent less than 6 weeks on the chart with both managing 5. There was still a good number of hits to come from Neil.

The new entry in Diamond’s place was ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’, Smokie’s 3rd SA top 20 hit. This was a lucky 13th hit for song writers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, placing them tied 11th on the list of hits by a song write, sharing the spot with The Rolling Stones’ writing duo of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and Bee Gee Robin Gibb. They were still a long way off leader, Terry Dempsey who had 24 to date. However, in terms of weeks, they were now tied 3rd on the song writers list with 155 under their belt. On the weeks front Demspey also led the way as he was on 253 with Les Reed on 168 in second place. ‘I’ll Meet You At Midnight’ gave Smokie a number 11 hit in the UK and Belgium and went to 5 in Holland and 6 in Norway. The album from which the song came ‘Midnight Café’ would be the only one of theirs to chart in the US, but the song would fail to make inroads on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mungo Jerry saw their weeks count reach the 40 mark and they were the 75th act to reach this landmark.

Billy Forrest took the outright lead for weeks by a local act as he moved on to 85, putting him 1 ahead of Alan Garrity. This meant Forrest had 16th place on the overall list to himself while Garrity and Engelbert Humperdinck on 84 weeks dropped into tied 17th place.

Youtube playlist:

10 December 1976

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 6 Mississippi  – Pussycat
2 1 7 Dancing Queen  – ABBA
3 6 4 Daddy Cool  – Boney M
4 3 8 Jeans On  – David Dundas
5 7 7 A Million Drums  – Dennis East
6 4 11 I Hate the Music  – John Paul Young
7 5 9 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  – Lou Rawls
8 12 4 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  – 5000 Volts
9 10 5 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  – Zamfir
10 8 5 Dedication  – Rogue
11 9 8 Venus  – Stockley Sisters
12 13 3 Our Sweet Precious Love  – Billy Forrest
13 14 2 Without You  – Barry Mason
14 19 2 Stand Up Like a Man  – Maria
15 New 1 Georgie  – Pussycat
16 18 3 Kiss and Say Goodbye  – Manhattans
17 11 6 Beautiful Noise  – Neil Diamond
18 New 1 I’ll Keep on Coming Back  – Lionel Petersen
19 New 1 Michaelangelo  – André
20 New 1 It’s a Secret  – Mungo Jerry

Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ spent just 2 weeks at number 1 before being ousted by Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’. This was the 4th time we had seen an act from the non-big 3 nations (SA, UK, US) take over the top spot from another act from the non-big 3 and the second time Abba had been involved in this as they had taken the top spot from the Dutch act, The George Baker Selection back in October ’75. As Pussycat were a Dutch act, one could see this as an act of revenge. Pussycat were the 25th act who would have more than 5 hits chart and see their first one top the charts. This was the 6th chart topper by a Dutch act and they took the lead once more for number 1’s by a non-big 3 nation, pulling 1 ahead of Sweden who had seen all 5 of theirs be by Abba.

Maria became the 7th local act to reach 5 biggest climbers with a 5 place climb from 19 to 14 by ‘Stand Up Like A Man’. Barbara Ray was the only other woman on this list and there would only be 1 more local act who would see this many climbers. Maria was the 4th of 10 women overall who would reach 5 biggest climbers.

5000 Volts’ ‘Doctor Kiss-Kiss’ was the only other star rater, it moved up 4 from 12 to 8 to give them their highest chart placing to date. Their only other hit to date, ‘I’m On Fire’ peaked at 10.

Neil Diamond’s ‘Beautiful Noise’ took the faller of the week award with a 6 place drop from 11 to 17. This was his 8th time with the award and he was the 11th act to reach this many.

It had been 36 weeks since we had last seen as many as 4 songs leave the chart in a week, but this week ended that drought.

First to go was ‘The Best Disco in Town’ by The Ritchie Family. It managed 5 weeks and peaked at 18. It joined 3 other songs (Status Quo’s ‘Down Down’, The Carpenters’ ‘Hurting Each Other’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘Take Good Care Of Her’) in having the lowest peak for a song lasting 5 weeks in the charts. This ended their SA chart career after 2 hits, 13 weeks and a best peak of 11 with their other hit, ‘Brazil’.

The Sutherland Brothers & Quiver’s ‘Arms Of Mary’ managed 14 weeks and a peak of 3 and this would be the band’s only SA chart hit.

Tommy Dell’s 15 consecutive weeks with at least 1 in the chart came to an end with the departure of ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ which managed 14 weeks and a peak of 11. This joined Rabbitt’s ‘Locomotive Breath’ in having the lowest peak for a song lasting 14 weeks in the charts. ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ had overlapped for 12 weeks with Dell’s duet with Caroline du Preez, ‘Sometimes’. There would be more hits to come from Dell.

Last to go was former chart topper, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ by Elton John & Kiki Dee. It managed 17 weeks of which 6 were in a broken run at the top of the charts. This would be Kiki Dee’s only showing in our charts, but there was plenty more to come from Elton John.

‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ had been the oldest on the chart and that honour now fell to John Paul Young’s ‘I Hate The Music’ which was on 11 weeks. It was the 3rd song by an Aussie act to be the oldest on the charts with both the previous ones (‘I’ll Never Find Another You’ and ‘World Of Our Own’) being by The Seekers.

While celebrating their success at topping our charts this week, Pussycat also celebrated being the 56th act to have more than 1 song in the chart in the same week and the first act from The Netherlands to manage this. Their new one, ‘Georgie’, was the first of the new entries this week coming in at 15. As with ‘Mississippi’ it topped the Dutch charts but was slightly less successful in Belgium and Switzerland where it only made number 2, unable to follow up the chart topping success that ‘Mississippi’ had in those countries. ‘Georgie’ made it to 2 in Austria, 6 in Germany and 14 in New Zealand but failed to make the UK charts (where ‘Mississippi had made number 1).

Lionel Petersen arrived with his 7th top 20 hit, the aptly titled. ‘I’ll Keep On Coming Back’. It was the 5th song to chart where Richard Jon Smith took song writing credits, but the first of RJS’s songs that Petersen had taken into the top 20. Smith also took production credits on the song.

At 19 we had another entry by a local male artist in the form of a second hit for André (full name André Allen, real name Basil Schmidt). ‘Michelangelo’ was a cover of a song by Swedish singer Björn Skifs and was an entry into the Swedish competition to represent that country at the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest. It only came 5th and Lasse Berghagen went on to represent Sweden with a song called ‘Jennie, Jennie’ which ended up taking 8th place at the contest. ‘Michelangelo’ by Skifs would go to number 7 in Norway. It apparently also charted in Sweden, but I do not have chart information to confirm this.

Our last new entry was by an act we hadn’t seen on the charts in a couple of years. Their previous hit, ‘Long Legged Woman Dressed In Black Dress’ spent its last week in the top 20 on 20 September 1974, but Mungo Jerry were back with a new hit called ‘It’s A Secret’. As with all of their previous hits it was penned by the band’s frontman, him of the huge sideburns, Ray Dorset. This was the first Mungo Jerry hit in SA that did not chart in the UK.

The gap between hits for André and Mungo Jerry were both over the 100 week mark and this was the 9th time we had seen 2 new entries in a week where the acts had not been seen on the charts for at least 100 weeks. It was also the 3rd time we had seen 3 consecutive weeks where we had such acts charting. André’s gap of 247 weeks was the tied 20th biggest gap and the 7th biggest for a local act. Mungo Jerry’s 116 week gap was the 74th biggest to date.

Dennis East saw his highest placing in the charts to date as ‘A Million Drums’ went 1 place better than his previous hit, ‘A Rose Has To Die’. He also celebrated reaching the 20 weeks in the chart mark.

The SA acts had the most in charts again after 5 weeks of the Americans and the Brits fighting for that honour. They accounted for 6 of the top 20 with the Brits having 5 and the Americans only 3. Australia, Jamaica, The Netherlands (with 2), Sweden and Romania brought us the rest and the 8 nations we had represented was 1 off the record 9 that we had seen.

Neil Diamond went 1 week ahead of The Beach Boys giving him 12th place on the weeks count list to himself while The Beach Boys dropped to 13th. Billy Forrest saw his weeks count move on to 84 which put him tied top of the local weeks count list with Alan Garrity. The 2 of them sat tied 16th on the overall list, sharing the spot with Engelbert Humperdinck. Maria held on to 13th place on the local list with 51 weeks, but The Dealians on 50 dropped to 14th.

The average number of weeks the top 20 songs had been with us fell from 6.2 to 4.7 and this was the lowest it had been for 34 weeks and the drop of 1.5 in the average was the 13th biggest drop in a week that we had seen so far.

Youtube playlist:

3 December 1976

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 6 Dancing Queen  – ABBA
2 5 5 Mississippi  – Pussycat
3 3 7 Jeans On  – David Dundas
4 4 10 I Hate the Music  – John Paul Young
5 2 8 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  – Lou Rawls
6 12 3 Daddy Cool  – Boney M
7 8 6 A Million Drums  – Dennis East
8 10 4 Dedication  – Rogue
9 6 7 Venus  – Stockley Sisters
10 11 4 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  – Zamfir
11 7 5 Beautiful Noise  – Neil Diamond
12 14 3 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  – 5000 Volts
13 20 2 Our Sweet Precious Love  – Billy Forrest
14 New 1 Without You  – Barry Mason
15 9 17 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart  – Elton John & Kiki Dee
16 15 14 Don’t Worry About Me  – Tommy Dell
17 13 14 Arms of Mary  – Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
18 19 2 Kiss and Say Goodbye  – Manhattans
19 New 1 Stand Up Like a Man  – Maria
20 18 5 The Best Disco in Town  – Ritchie Family

This week saw the 600th chart being published and it showed Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ hanging on to the number 1 spot to spend a second week there. Until the 600th chart every one that marked another century of charts had featured a US act at number 1 as follows:

Week No Date Song Artist
100 05/05/1967 Something Stupid Nancy and Frank Sinatra
200 04/04/1969 Dizzy Tommy Roe
300 05/03/1971 Knock Three Times Dawn
400 02/02/1973 I’d Love You to Want Me Lobo
500 03/01/1975 Kung Fu Fighting Carl Douglas

While Abba did not move up the list of weeks at 1 by an artists, Benny, Bjorn and fellow song writer Stig Anderson moved to tied top of the list of weeks at 1 for a song writer. Their 16 to date (all with Abba songs) equalled Neil Diamond who shared the top spot with them. ‘Dancing Queen’ was, however, coming under pressure from Pussycat’s ‘Mississippi’ which moved up another 3 places to land at number 2.

The climber of the week award went to Billy Forrest’s ‘Our Sweet Precious Love’ which moved up 7 from 20 to 13. A 7 place climb was the best Forrest would manage in a week and he had done it once before with ‘Papa’s Gonna Kiss it Better’, but would not manage it again. It was Forrest’s 8th time with the biggest climber award and he was the 12th act to manage this. He led the way for climbers by local acts.

The only other star rater was Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ which moved up 6 from 12 to 6.

Former number 1, Elton John & Kiki Dee’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ was the faller of the week with a 6 place drop from 9 to 15. It was Elton’s 6th time with the faller of the week and he was the 24th act to accumulate this many. ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ was still the oldest on the charts with 17 weeks to its name and this was its 5th week as the oldest.

Cliff Richard’s 26 week run in the charts came to an end as ‘Devil Woman’ fell off the top 20 after a 15 week run. It was the song that broke Richard’s number 1 drought, giving him his first chart topper, even if it was for just 1 week. ‘Devil Woman’ had shared the charts with his previous hit, ‘Miss You Nights’, for 3 weeks, the other 23 weeks in his 26 week run was with one or the other song on its own.

We also bid farewell to Vicki Sue Robinson’s ‘Turn The Beat Around’ which lasted 7 weeks and peaked at 12. This would be her only SA chart hit.

The song writer of our biggest climber this week, Barry Mason, had his first hit as artist this week as ‘Without you’ entered the charts at 14. This was not a cover of the Nilsson song, but one written by a guy called Peter Shelley. As far as I can determine, this was not the Pete Shelley who fronted punk band The Buzzcocks, but was rather a British songwriter and producer who co-founded the record label Magnet. It is somewhat ironic that Mason, who had scored 17 hits in SA so far as song writer, would finally have his break as an artist with a song he did not pen. He did, however, set a new record for the gap between first charting as a song writer and eventually charting as an artist as it had been 571 weeks since we first saw his name in the song writers place on a single in the charts and that was when The Fortunes’ ‘Here Is Comes Again’ charted back in December 1965. ‘Without You’ would not chart in the UK or US and did not appear on any of the major European charts.

And talking of gaps, local lass, Maria was back in the charts after having been absent for 2 years, 6 months and 9 days, or to put it another way 132 weeks. This was the 13th biggest gap between hits for a local act (3rd biggest for a local woman). Her new hit was ‘Stand Up Like A Man’ which was written by Ben Findon and Mike Myers (no, not the guy from ‘Wayne’s World’ and ‘Austin Powers’) and was originally recorded by The Dooleys. The Shadows also recorded a version as a possible UK entry to the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest, but they ended up entering ‘Let Me Be The One’ (which came 9th). This was Maria’s 4th hit in SA. Her first hit, ‘I’m On Fire’ would also feature Ben Findon as song writer.

Australia moved ahead of France for weeks on the charts with acts from the former having clocked up 109 compared to the 108 from the latter. This put the Aussies 8 on their own while France fell to 9th on the list of weeks by acts from a nation. Romania caught up with Israel at the bottom of that list thanks to Gheorge Zamfir’s efforts. Acts from both nations had now spent 4 weeks in out charts.

Maria’s new entry gave her her 50th week in the charts. She was the 51st act overall, the 14th local act, the 3rd local woman and the 8th woman overall to reach this landmark. She now shared 13th place on the local weeks count list with The Dealians. Also on the local list, we saw Billy Forrest moved into tied 2nd place alongside The Staccatos with 83 weeks apiece and Alan Garrity’s 84 weeks at the top was looking under threat.

On the overall list, Forrest and The Staccatos were tied 18th. A little higher up that list we saw Neil Diamond move into tied 12th place with The Beach Boys on 97 weeks.

Youtube playlist:

26 November 1976

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 2 5 Dancing Queen  – ABBA
2 1 7 You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine  – Lou Rawls
3 3 6 Jeans On  – David Dundas
4 4 9 I Hate the Music  – John Paul Young
5 8 4 Mississippi  – Pussycat
6 5 6 Venus  – Stockley Sisters
7 7 4 Beautiful Noise  – Neil Diamond
8 9 5 A Million Drums  – Dennis East
9 6 16 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart  – Elton John & Kiki Dee
10 13 3 Dedication  – Rogue
11 12 3 Summer Love (Ete D’amour)  – Zamfir
12 16 2 Daddy Cool  – Boney M
13 10 13 Arms of Mary  – Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
14 19 2 Doctor Kiss-Kiss  – 5000 Volts
15 14 13 Don’t Worry About Me  – Tommy Dell
16 15 7 Turn the Beat Around  – Vicki Sue Robinson
17 11 15 Devil Woman  – Cliff Richard
18 18 4 The Best Disco in Town  – Ritchie Family
19 New 1 Kiss and Say Goodbye  – Manhattans
20 New 1 Our Sweet Precious Love  – Billy Forrest

There were a number of significant facts about the new number 1 this week. Firstly Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ which took over the top spot from Lou Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ was the 190th song to top the charts. ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ had spent 2 weeks at 1. ‘Dancing Queen’ was the 5th number 1 hit for Abba and this put them tied second for number 1’s with The Hollies also on 5 and Tom Jones on 6 leading the way. Benny, Bjorn and fellow song writer Stig Anderson moved to the top of the list for numbers 1’s as song writers, having written all 5 of Abba’s chart toppers. 7 other song writers who had managed 4 chart toppers all dropped into tied 2nd place. Abba were now 3rd for weeks at 1 with 15 to their name. Tom Jones on 18 and The Sweet on 19 were above them on that list. Despite having had the most number 1s as songwriters, Benny, Bjorn and Stig had to be happy with tied second place for weeks at 1 by their compositions, their 15 putting them 1 behind Neil Diamond who had managed 16. The Bee Gees’ Barry & Maurice Gibb shared second place with the Abba dudes. Sweden moved into tied 4th place for number of number 1’s, equalling the 5 that acts from The Netherlands had managed. The UK led the way on this list with 73, followed by the US on 67, then locals on 28. In terms of weeks at 1, Sweden’s 15 moved them ahead of Canada who were on 14 and they sat 2 behind the 17 the Dutch acts had managed. ‘Dancing Queen was the 17th song that had made number 1 in both the UK and the US to top our charts. See I told you there was a number of significant facts around the new number 1.

5000 Volts picked up their second biggest climber award as ‘Doctor Kiss-Kiss’ climbed 5 from 19 to 14. Their previous award had been with a 4 place climb that ‘I’m On Fire’ had managed.

The only other star rater this week was Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ which climbed 4 from 16 to 12 and this had the honour of being the 1,500th star rater that we had seen.

Cliff Richard’s ‘Devil Woman’ was the biggest faller for a second week running as it dropped a further 6 from 11 to 17, making Cliff the 10th act to pick up at least 8 biggest fallers.

‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ by Elton John and Kiki Dee, clocked up its 16th week in the chart and enjoyed its 4th week as the oldest in the top 20.

Johnny Wakelin’s ‘In Zaire’ was the first of 2 songs to depart the chart this week. It had seen a run of 11 weeks and peaked at 3. Despite releasing the wonderful ‘Dr Frankenstein’s Disco Party’, Wakelin would not see any other of his songs make our charts.

Tommy Dell’s record equalling run of 12 weeks with 2 in the chart came to an end this week as his duet with Caroline du Preez, ‘Golden Ring’ dropped off the top 20 after a run of 13 weeks and a peak of 6. This matched the peak of their previous duet, ‘Sometimes’, but spent 1 week less than the it on the charts. Dell would have further hits on the charts, but for du Preez it was the end of the line for her chart career. She had seen 3 hits chart, the aforementioned 2 duets with Tommy Dell and an Afrikaans cover of the Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn hit ‘As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone’ which was entitled ‘Net Soos Ek Dir Telefoon Neersit’. Her career stats were 3 hits, 32 weeks and a best peak of 6 which, as already mentioned, her 2 duets with Tommy Dell managed.

The first of the new entries was by The Manhattans, ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’ The song would give them a number 4 hit in the UK and would become the 400th song to top the Billboard Hot 100 in the US where it would spend 2 weeks before being ousted by the oldest song on our charts this week, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’.

Billy Forrest also had a new entry this week in the shape of ‘Our Sweet Precious Love’. This was released under the name Billy Forrest and was his 12th hit to date under his numerous aliases, but only the second as Billy Forrest. This placed him tied 4th alongside Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge and The Bee Gees. The Hollies on 15, Cliff Richard on 17 and Tom Jones on 18 were the 3 above this following pack. It had been 114 weeks since Forrest graced our charts and this was the 15th biggest gap between hits for a local act. ‘Our Sweet Precious Love’ was written by Barry Mason and moved him into tied 5th place for number of hits by a song writer, his 17 to date putting him level with Geoff Stephens. Mason recorded the song himself and it was released in 1977 as a b-side to his version of ‘Drive Safely Darlin’ which he also co-wrote and which had been an SA hit for Tony Christie earlier in this year.

The groups were back in fashion and now accounted for 10 of the top 20 hits after a long run with male solo acts dominating. This was the first time in 37 weeks that groups had accounted for at least half the chart.

Australian acts caught up to the French ones for weeks in the charts thanks to John Paul Youngs current efforts. The 2 nations sat on 108 weeks each and were tied 8th for weeks on the chart by a nation.

There were 3 acts reaching milestone weeks, the most significant of these was Abba who hit the 100 weeks mark. They were the 11th act to manage this and the first that were not from the US, the US or SA. Cliff Richard hit 110 weeks and was 7th to reach this mark. Further down the list we saw Tommy Dell hit 40 weeks. He was the 20th local act to do so.

Cliff’s 110 weeks meant that, while he stayed 7th on the overall weeks count list, The Rolling Stones on 109 dropped into 8th place while Neil Diamond’s 96 put him 1 ahead of Herman’s Hermits. Diamond stayed 13th while the Hermits dropped to 14th.

Billy Forrest had been absent from the top 20 of the overall weeks count list for 23 weeks, but was back in that part of the list with his 82 weeks putting him tied 19th with Barbara Ray and Chris Andrews. Ray and Forrest were tied 3rd on the local weeks count list, 1 behind the Staccatos and 2 behind leader Alan Garrity.

Youtube playlist: