13 May 1977

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 6 Don’t Cry for Me Argentina  – Julie Covington
2 2 12 Don’t Leave Me This Way  – Thelma Houston
3 5 4 When I Need You  – Leo Sayer
4 3 10 Living Next Door to Alice  – Smokie
5 10 4 Every Face Tells a Story  – Olivia Newton-John
6 7 6 Hey Mister Dream Maker  – Cliff Richard
7 9 4 Sand in Your Shoes  – Al Stewart
8 4 9 Rock ‘n Me  – Steve Miller Band
9 6 8 I Recall a Gypsy Woman  – Don Williams
10 15 3 Yesterday’s Hero  – John Paul Young
11 11 7 Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes  – Barbara Ray
12 8 11 Love Me  – Yvonne Elliman
13 18 4 I Don’t Want to Go on Without You  – Nazareth
14 19 2 Stand Tall  – Burton Cummings
15 20 2 Slow Down  – Shabby Tiger
16 12 5 Isn’t She Lovely  – Leslie Kleinsmith
17 13 15 Lost in France  – Bonnie Tyler
18 New 1 Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon  – Biddu Orchestra
19 New 1 Torn Between Two Lovers  – Mary MacGregor
20 14 10 Smile  – Pussycat

‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ by Julie Covington enjoyed a 3rd week at the top of the charts with Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ still siting at 2 where it had been since vacating the top spot to make way for Covington’s hit. This was the 4th week in a row that the top 2 songs had the same first 4 letters in their title and this was an all time record run for such songs.

For only the 3rd time we saw 5 or more songs share the biggest climber. The previous occasions were when we saw 6 songs take the award with a climb of 3 places on 10 December 1965, then we saw 5 songs do so with a 2 place climb on 27 July 1973. This week we had 5 songs climb 5 places to be the climbers of the week. Multiplying the number of climbers by the positions climbed this 25 was the best to date, beating the previous score of 24 we had when 3 songs climbed 8 in a week to take the climber award.

The songs which moved up 5 this week were Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Every Face Tells a Story’ (up from 10 to 5), John Paul Young’s ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ (up from 15 to 10), Nazareth’s ‘I Don’t Want to Go on Without You’ (up from 18 to 13), Burton Cummings’ ‘Stand Tall’ (up from 19 to 14) and Shabby Tiger’s ‘Slow Down’ (up from 20 to 15). It was John Paul Young’s 5th time with the award and he was 1 behind the leaders for Australian acts, The Seekers, who were on 6. Olivia Newton-John was enjoying her 4th and Nazareth their 3rd while it was a first for Burton Cummings and Shabby Tiger. There were no other star raters this week.

Pussycat’s ‘Smile’ was the faller of the week for a second week running. It dropped 6 from 14 to 20.

‘Lost In France’ by Bonnie Tyler was the oldest on the charts for a second week running. It now sat on 15 weeks.

The first of 2 songs to leave our charts this week was The Climax Blues Band’s ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ which had enjoyed a run of 8 weeks and a peak of 9. They would have 1 further hit make the charts.

‘Chanson D’Amour’ would prove to be Manhattan Transfer’s only SA chart hit. It left the top 20 this week after a 6 week run and it peaked at 14.

Our first new entrant was no stranger to our charts, but this was his first hit as part of a band. The Biddu Orchestra featured Biddu Appaiah who had production and song writing credits on a few of the hits that had already made our charts, the most successful being Carl Douglas’ ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ where he co-wrote and produced. Ironically the song that the Biddu Orchestra charted with did not feature Biddu in the song writing credits as it was with a cover of the Neil Diamond penned ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’ that they entered the charts this week. This was the 5th song that Diamond had penned that would chart where he was not the artist having previous seen his compositions chart for Cliff Richard, The Monkees (2 times) and The Dealians. Diamond took his own version of ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’ to number 10 in the US in 1967, but Biddu failed to chart on either side of the Atlantic with his cover. In 1994 a version by Urge Overkill was included on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’, propelling that version of the song to number 37 in the UK and 59 in the US.

The second new entry belonged to Mary MacGregor. ‘Torn Between Two Lovers’ was written by Peter Yarrow and Phillip Jarrell, the former being the Peter in Peter, Paul And Mary and who had ‘discovered’ MacGregor (who was not the Mary in the aforementioned trio). The song was inspired by the novel ‘Dr Zhivago’ and took MacGregor to the top of the charts in the US and Canada, spending 2 weeks at number 1 in former. In the UK the song went to number 4 and also charted in Germany (#40), Holland (#11), Belgium (#14) and New Zealand (#4).

We now had 7 songs by women in the charts and this was the second highest total they had seen to date. It was 191 weeks since their count had been this high. Their record to date was 8 in the charts. What was more significant though was this was the first time they share the lead for number of hits in the top 20 as we had 7 hits by solo male artists and only 6 by groups. There would only be 3 times that the women had the top spot and the other 2 would be where they had the outright lead.

Cliff Richard made 6th place on the weeks count list his own as his 115 took him 1 ahead of The Troggs who dropped from tied 6th last week to 7th. He also became the 11 act to see their points total reach the 1,200 mark as he ticked over to 1,208 and was only the 3rd male artist to do this with Tom Jones on 2,170 (and top overall) and Elvis Presley on 1,291 above him.

Youtube playlist:

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6 May 1977

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

There was no change in the top 4 songs this week with Julie Covington’s ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ enjoying pole position for a second week running. The previous number 1, Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ sat at 2 while Smokie’s ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ and the Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rock ‘n Me’ were at 3 and 4.

The climber of the week award was shared between Barbara Ray’s ‘Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes’ and John Paul Young’s ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ which both climbed 4, the former from 15 to 11 and the latter from 19 to 15. ‘Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes’ had the honour of being the 150th local song to pick up a climber award. Ray was the 8th act to accumulate 9 biggest climbers and there would only be 12 who managed this in total. She moved ahead of Billy Forrest and was now the leading local act. She was also way out front for female artists with Maria, Sandi Shaw and Nancy Sinatra on 6 being the next best. The 2 biggest climbers were also the only star raters this week.

Pussycat picked up their second faller of the week award with a 6 place fall from 8 to 14 which ‘Smile’ managed. Their previous one had been with ‘Mississippi’ and this was the 10th time a song by a Dutch act had taken the award. After All were once again the only Dutch act to only manage 1 biggest faller with all other Dutch acts managing at least 2.

Chris de Burgh’s ‘Just Another Poor Boy’ fell off the charts after a run of 10 weeks. It peaked at number 8 and was the first of 3 hits that he would have on our charts.

Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ left us now. It had seen a run of 15 weeks and spent 2 of those at the number 1 spot. Like Chris de Burgh, this was their 1st of 3 hits they would manage. ‘If You Leave Me Now’ had been the oldest on the charts last week and that honour now fell to Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Lost In France’ which was sitting on 14 weeks.

Burton Cummings was no stranger to our charts. He had been the lead singer of The Guess Who who had seen 3 hits chart (2 in 1969 and then a 3rd in 1974). He had had song writing credits on those 3 and became the 21st person to chart as a song writer before charting as an artist. His solo hit ‘Stand Tall’ entered the charts this week. It had been 404 weeks between his first charting as a song writer and charting as an artist and this was the second biggest gap we had seen to date with Barry Mason seeing 571 weeks between first reaching our charts as a song writer and charting as an artist. ‘Stand Tall’ was the 27th song by a Canadian act to chart and gave Burton a number 10 hit in the US and peaked at number 4 in his homeland. The song also had some success down under where it got to 5 in Australia and 14 in New Zealand.

Also making the top 20 was a band called Shabby Tiger with their song ‘Slow Down’. The song had been around since 1974 and the band were a British group who failed to chart in their home country but did have success with this song in 1975 in Belgium (#3), Holland (#7) and Sweden (#19). It also went to number 7 in what was then Rhodesia in 1977. The band’s lead singer, Henderson Gibson sang backing vocals for Billy Ocean and The Nolans in the 70s before his days in Shabby Tiger. He died on 26 March 2013.

With a like for like swap of songs leaving the chart and those coming in, we had a second week of 7 male artists, 7 groups and 6 female artists making up the top 20, the most evenly spread we had seen to date. And although the act type was a like for like swap. The nationalities were not, and we saw the British acts move back up to having 10 of the top 20. They had managed this for the first time in 244 weeks 2 weeks back but dropped down to nine last week. The Brits were now just 20 hits behind the Americans on the overall count with 443 to their name compared to the Yanks’ 463. The last time this gap was as low as 20 was 74 weeks back.

Cliff Richard saw his weeks total move on to 115 which drew him into tied 6th place with The Troggs on the weeks count list. Meanwhile on the local list, Barbara Ray edged closer to Billy Forrest, the leader on that list. Ray was on 88, just 4 behind Forrest.

Youtube playlist:

29 April 1977

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

This week saw the 7th time where a song by a solo female artist took over the top spot from another solo female artist as Julie Covington’s ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ knocked Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ from the number 1 position. The latter had been the nation’s favourite for 3 weeks. The Brits were three quarters of the way to a century of numbers 1’s as this was their 75th. They were 6 ahead of the Americans who were on 69.

Al Stewart’s ‘Sand In Your Shoes’ was the climber of the week with a 7 place jump from 17 to 10. Two other songs also made star rater climbs and they were Leo Sayer’s ‘When I Need You’ which moved up 4 from 10 to 6 and Leslie Kleinsmith’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ which climbed 5 from 18 to 13.

The Climax Blues Band’s ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’ and Chicago’s ‘If You Leave Me Now’ shared the faller of the week honours with the former falling 5 from 11 to 16 and the latter dropping from 12 to 17. The Chicago hit was the oldest on the charts clocking in at 15 weeks. It had been the oldest for 3 weeks now.

The Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Livin’ Thing’ was the only song to leave the top 20 this week. It had been with us for 12 weeks and spent 1 of those at number 1. This had been their first SA chart hit and there would be plenty more to come from them.

The new entry was the 3rd hit for John Paul Young. ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ became the 16th hit by an Aussie artist to chart to date. Australia sat 7th on the list of hits by acts from a nation. They were unmoved and were now 3 ahead of Ireland and Jamaica who were tied 8th and 2 behind Germany and The Netherlands who were immediately above them. As with his previous 2 hits (and John Edmonds cover of ‘Pasadena’ which John Paul Young recorded), the song was written by Harry Vanda and George Young, giving them 4 hits to date. ‘Yesterday’s Hero’ had actually been around since 1975 when it went to number 8 in Australia. In 1976 it managed a peak of 10 in Sweden and gave JPY his first US hit, reaching number 42 there. Also in 1976, The Bay City Rollers took a version to 13 in Germany and 15 in Austria.

Leo Sayer became the 78th act to reach 40 weeks while Nazareth became the 186th to reach 20 weeks in the charts.

This week also featured the most even spread of hits between male, female and groups as we had 7 hits by solo males, 7 by groups and 6 by solo women.

Youtube playlist:

22 April 1977

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Youtube playlist:

15 April 1977

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Youtube playlist:

8 April 1977

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

Pussycat’s ‘Smile’ would be the last ever song by a Dutch act to top our charts. It had spent 2 weeks at 1, but was dislodged this week by Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me With Way’ which moved up from 2 last week. Overall Pussycat had managed 10 weeks at 1 (the other 8 being with ‘Mississippi’) and the Dutch acts had spent 27 weeks at the top of the charts. They currently had the most weeks at 1 for any of the non-big 3 nations, but they would have dropped to 3rd by the time the charts ended in 1989.

Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was the climber of the week for a second week running. It moved up 6 from 11 to 5. This was the 800th biggest climber that we had seen. Unlike last week where it was the only star rater, ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was joined this week on the star rater front by Don Williams’ ‘I Recall A Gypsy Woman’ which climbed 4 from 12 to 16.

For a 4th week running we saw the faller of the week end up at number 20. This time it was Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’. We had only seen 1 previous run of at least 4 weeks where the faller ended up at the bottom of the charts. On that previous occasion, the run continued into a 5th week. ‘Howzat’ was, however, the oldest on the charts, sitting on 14 weeks with us.

The other song that shared the oldest on the chart title with ‘Howzat’ last week was the first of 2 songs to leave the chart this week and that was Leo Sayer’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ which had seen a run of 13 weeks and a peak of 3. This was the first of his 5 hits to date to reach double figures for weeks and the only one to go top 5. His previous best was the 8 week run and peak of 9 that ‘Long Tall Glasses’ managed. We were not yet done with Leo on our charts.

‘The Blue Danube Hustle’ by The Rice & Beans Orchestra was the other song to depart the chart. It had lasted just 2 weeks and peaked at 17. They would not return to our charts and this would be their only hit. We would, however, see band member Pepe Luis Soto in the song writing and production credits on a future hit.

Julie Covington brought us the 26th song to debut on the chart at position 10 or higher as ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ crashed into the top 20 this week. It was only the second by a solo female to debut as high as 10, the previous one being Nancy Sinatra’s ‘There Boots Are Made For Walking’. There would only be one more hit by a solo female that would debut at 10 during the top 20 era and these 3 would be the best any solo female would manage. Covington had starred in the musicals ‘Godspell’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ but when it came to ‘Evita’ from which the song came, she only recorded a studio version of it but turned down the role for the stage production. The role ended up going to Elaine Paige. This was the second song to chart from an Andrew Lloyd-Webber/Tim Rice musical (the previous being Richard Loring’s version of ‘One More Angel In Heaven’ from ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’). ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ went to number 1 in the UK, Holland, Belgium and New Zealand. The song was banned from airplay by the BBC during the Falklands war in 1982. In 1996 Madonna recorded a version for the film of Evita in which she starred. Her version made number 3 in the UK and 8 in US and topped the charts in France and Spain. In total the song has charted by 6 different acts in the UK. Apart from Covington and Madonna’s versions mentioned above, The Shadows took it to number 5 in 1978 (the only other time it went top 10) while the other 3 versions were by Sinead O’Connor (#53 in 1992), The Mike Flowers Pops (#30 in 1996) and The Glee Cast (#67 in 2011)

Cliff Richard joined Tom Jones at the top of the hits count list as ‘Hey Mr Dream Maker’ entered the top 20 this week to give him his 18th hit to date. In the UK this would be Cliff’s 68th charting hit and would garner him a number 31 placing on the charts. This would be only his 14th hit of the 68 not to make the top 20 in the UK. In Holland the song would make it to number 21 and in New Zealand it would get to 34. The song was written by Alan Tarney and Bruce Welch, both of whom had had a hand in writing some of Cliff’s previous hits with Tarney getting a credit on ‘Living In Harmony’ while Welch’s name appeared on the singles ‘In The Country’ and ‘Don’t Forget To Catch Me’. In 1980 US country singer Dottie West recorded a cover of ‘Hey Mr Dream Maker’, but it failed to make any impression on the charts.

Cliff caught up with Abba for weeks on the chart and the 2 acts sat tied 7th overall with 111 to their respective names. A bit further down the list, Barbara Ray moved into tied 17th place alongside Alan Garrity and Engelbert Humperdinck. Garrity and Ray sat tied second on the local list with 84 weeks, but were 8 weeks behind leader, Billy Forrest.

Youtube playlist:

1 April 1977

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

Pussycat were smiling for a second week as their song, ‘Smile’ held on to the top spot while Bonnie Tyler’s bid for a number 1 hit looked like it was fading for the moment as her ‘Lost In France’ dropped from 2 to 5. Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ moved up 2 from 4 to become the new threat to Pussycat’s dominance. Pussycat had now clocked up 10 weeks at 1 in total (8 with ‘Mississippi’ and 2 with ‘Smile’) and this put them tied 8th with Daniel Boone, Dawn, Elvis Presley, The Tremeloes and The Troggs for weeks at 1.

The Steve Miller Band’s ‘Rock ‘n Me’ was the climber of the week with a 5 place jump from 16 to 11. It was their first time with the award. This was also the only star rater of the week.

Leo Sayer picked up his first faller of the week award as ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ experienced a 6 place drop from 14 to 20. Sayer had clocked up 37 weeks in the charts before this week and this was the 4th highest run to date before seeing a first biggest faller. The Tremeloes and Abba had managed 44 weeks before their first one while The Seekers’ run of 58 was the record to date. Overall this would be the tied 15th best run.

Two songs left the charts this week and they were Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’ and Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’. ‘Somebody To Love’ managed to get to 7 during a 10 week run which was not as good as their only other chart hit to date, Bohemian Rhapsody, which made it to 2 in a 15 week run. There was still plenty to come from Queen.

‘Daddy Cool’ fared far better, peaking at number 2 and falling just short of the 20 week mark as it managed 19 weeks. But like Queen, we would see plenty more of them on our charts. ‘Daddy Cool’ had been the oldest on the top 20 last week and the honour now fell to Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’ and Leo Sayer’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’ which were both on 13 weeks.

Barbara Ray clocked up her 9th hit to date. Her new hit was ‘Who’s Gonna Tie My Shoes’ which was a cover of a song from 1973 by Wild Bill Emerson. The only chart action other than Barbara’s I can find for the song was when a cover by a guy called Ray Pillow made 97 on the US Country Singles charts in 1978, the year following Barbara’s success. Barbara was tied 15th for number of hits and was only beaten by Jody Wayne on 10 and Billy Forrest on 12 on the local front. She was, obviously, the highest local woman and was second overall for female artists, 2 hits behind Petula Clark who sat on 11.

The other new entry was ‘Chanson D’Amour’ by Manhattan Transfer. The song had its first success in 1958 when Art & Dotty Todd and The Fontane Sister both took it to number 6 in the US. The Manhattan Transfer’s version would not trouble the US charts, but did spend 3 weeks on top of the UK charts. The title, ‘Chanson D’Amour’ translates as ‘love song’ and the group took their name from a novel by a guy called John Dos Passos.

We had seen 18 weeks with groups dominating the charts and having 10 or more of the top 20, however, this week, they dropped to 9 but still led the way with the men on 7 and the women on 4. It had been 83 weeks since the solo women had this many in the charts.

The US acts had clocked up exactly 4,200 week so far and they led the way with the British acts trailing on 3,990. Local acts had managed 2,680 so far.

Smokie became the 76th act to reach 40 weeks in the charts. They were the 28th UK act to make this milestone.

Chris Andrews dropped out of the top 20 for week in the charts. He had seen 82 and had shared 20th place with Barbara Ray last week, but with her new entry, Barbara moved into tied 19th place alongside The Staccatos on 83. The 2 acts sat tied 3rd on the local list behind Alan Garrity on 84 and Billy Forrest on 92.

Obscure observation of the week, there were 5 songs on the chart that had the word ‘me’ in the title and a further 3 that had ‘I’ or ‘my’, making 40% of the chart inward looking.

Youtube playlist: