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|
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):
|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|
|6||Let Me Into Your Life||Flood||237|
|7||Let Your Love Flow||Bellamy Brothers||234|
|=9||Devil Woman||Cliff Richard||218|
|=9||Lady in Blue||Joe Dolan||218|
|12||I Hate the Music||John Paul Young||205|
|13||No Charge||J.J. Barrie||196|
|15||Arms of Mary||Sutherland Brothers & Quiver||181|
|=16||Miss You Nights||Cliff Richard||180|
|=18||Jeans On||David Dundas||168|
|=18||Green eyed Angel||Bobby Angel||168|
|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|
|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||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:
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:
|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 1976 were as follows:
|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|
|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:
|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
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|
|=8||Creedence Clearwater Revival||11|
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|
|4||Creedence Clearwater Revival||118|
While the local list looked like this:
|Pos||Artist||No Of Weeks|
|5||Four Jacks & A Jill||78|
|18||Richard Jon Smith||43|
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:
|1||One Day at a Time||Marie Gibson||247|
|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:
|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:
|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|
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:
|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|
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:
|50 Ways To Leave Your Lover||Paul Simon|
|Afternoon Delight||Starland Vocal Band|
|Disco Duck||Rick Dees & His Cast Of Idiots|
|Disco Lady||Johnnie Taylor|
|If You Leave Me Now||Chicago||*|
|Love Hangover||Diana Ross|
|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.
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.
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.