MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS
1976 was the year that Disco music became the dominant music genre in the UK. However, there were also a number of Soft Rock acts from America who were making a mark in the USA, and some, but not all, had success in the UK as well. The Swedish group, Abba, continued their success on the UK charts with three major hits, as did Elton John, who enjoyed his first Number One in the UK, albeit that it was a duet with Kiki Dee. American smooth soul group the Stylistics had their final three Top 10 hits in this year.
Other British acts that had a successful 1976 were the Bay City Rollers, who had their last two Top 10 hits, Queen, Wings and 10cc. Cliff Richard returned from a blank 1975 with three Top 20 hits, one of which reached the Top 10. The UK won the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time with an offering from the group Brotherhood Of Man. The recording went to Number One.
American performers the Four Seasons, Diana Ross and Elvis Presley all enjoyed a couple of major hits. The year also saw the last hit single from Bread, and the last hit with new material from the UK-based American band the Drifters, and American-based, the Bee Gees had another Disco hit ("You Should Be Dancing") which went to Number One in the USA.
These are my personal favourite recordings from this particular year, listed in the order in which they entered the UK hit singles chart. You may not agree with my choices, but these were UK chart hits* that had plenty of air play on the music radio stations of the day, such as BBC Radio 1, Capital Radio, and Radio Luxembourg.
*0 song not a hit in the UK.
Title: Love Machine
The Miracles origins go back to the mid 1950s when Smokie Robinson and others formed a harmony group in Detroit. They became the Miracles in 1958, and signed to Motown records in 1960, they were soon making hits. They were known as Smokie Robinson & The Miracles from 1965 to 1972, but Robinson left in 1972 and lead vocal duties were taken over by Billy Griffin. This new setup enjoyed further success in the USA, but more personnel charges were made in the 1980s, and most members of the band have now passed away, with the exception of Smokey Robinson.
Title: 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
Paul Simon was
one half of the famous duo Simon & Garfunkel, who enjoyed
numerous hits in the latter half of the 1960s (see year 1966, song
27). Paul Simon was born on 13 Oct 1941 in Newark, New Jersey,
USA. After his partnership with Art Garfunkel broke up in
1970, Simon launched a solo career. His main success was in the sale of albums rather
than singles, and he has enjoyed having many Top 10 albums in the UK
album chart up to and including his latest in 2018. He has won
numerous awards for his songs including 12 Grammy Awards and two
Title: We Do It
R & J Stone were a husband and wife duo who had this 1976 hit, their only entry on the UK charts. Russell was British and his wife, Joanne was from New Jersey, USA. They met in 1973 when they were both members of German orchestra leader James Last's touring choir. Following this hit, Russell decided that he did not wish to perform any longer, preferring to concentrate on songwriting and production work. Sadly, Joanne Stone died from a brain tumor in 1979. Russell worked in Germany for some time and, returning to singing, he has released three solo albums in the 2010s.
Title: Evil Woman
Light Orchestra (commonly known as ELO) was formed in 1970 by two
members of the band The Move, Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood. Wood
left in 1972, and Lynne became the band's lead vocalist, songwriter
and record producer. Bev
Bevan was the drummer, and he remained a fixture until 1986. The band's sound is
characterised by a
full orchestral backing, often with classical overtones. During ELO's original 13-year period of active recording and touring,
they sold over 50 million records worldwide, and collected numerous awards.
From 1972 to 1986, ELO accumulated 27 top 40 hits on the UK Singles Chart, and
fifteen top 20 hits on the American charts. They also achieved
seven Top 10 albums in the UK, including two that reached Number One
on the album chart. Lynne disbanded the group in 1986,
following which, drummer Bevan created ELO Part II and a couple of
small hits ensued for them. That incarnation ceased in
1999. Lynn finally reformed the band in 2014 as Jeff Lynne's
ELO. They toured frequently, and issued a new album in 2019.
Title: Love To Love You Baby
Donna Summer (31
Dec 1948 - 17 May 2012) was born in Boston, Massachusetts,
USA. She began singing from the age of ten, and in 1968 took a
role in the German production of the Rock musical
"Hair". She remained in Germany for some years and appeared
in several other German stage musicals. During her time in
Germany she met composer and synthesizer champion, Giorgio Moroder.
Along with producer Pete Bellotte, the three began recording in
Munich, Germany in 1974. Her first album became a hit in
several European countries, but in 1975 she recorded the song
"Love To Love You Baby" with a strong synthesised Disco
beat. It became a major hit in the UK, the USA, and many
European countries. She became known as the Queen of Disco,
and numerous hits followed into the 1990s. She had more Top 10
hits on the American charts than on the British charts. She
also had much success on the album charts, and worked with several
different producers over the years, including Britain's Stock,
Aitken & Waterman in 1989. She remained active into the
2000s, but died from lung cancer in May 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida, aged
Title: Walk Away From Love
David Ruffin (18 Jan 1941 - 1 Jun 1991) was born in the state of Mississippi, USA. He was one of four children, and his elder brother was Jimmy Ruffin who enjoyed a number of hits in the 1960s and 1970s. David moved to Detriot when he was just 16 and he met Berry Gordy who would found Tamla Motown records. He was singing at this time, sometimes with a group, and eventually he met the Temptations vocal group which he joined in 1964. He started as a background singer, but was allowed to take the lead on occasions during live performance. He took the lead on their recording of "My Girl" which became a Number One hit in the USA during 1965 (number two in the UK during 1992). Despite all this success he became addicted to drugs and was sacked by the group for his non-appearances at concerts, in 1968. He then began a solo career and in 1970 recorded an album with his brother Jimmy. His biggest hit was "Walk Away From Love" in 1976. During the 1980s he started touring with Eddie Kendricks, who had also been fired by the Temptations. However, Ruffin died in mid-1991 from an overdose of crack cocaine.
Title: It Should Have Been Me
Yvonne Fair (21
Oct 1942 - 6 Mar 1994) was born in Richmond, Virginia, USA. In
the early 1960s she was singing with different groups and made a few
recordings. In the early 1970s she joined Motown records as a
backing singer, and toured with several of the major Motown
acts. She recorded her only album in 1975, and a single taken
from it, "It Should Have Been Me" was a minor hit in the
USA but reached number five on the UK charts. She had no
further hits, and retired from mainstream music making in the early
1980s, although she did occasionally sing in some clubs and bars
around Los Angeles for a few years. She died from pancreatic
cancer in Las Vegas in March 1994, at the age of 51.
Title: I Love Music
The O'Jays were an
R&B vocal group from the USA state of Ohio, formed as far back
as 1958. They made an appearance in the USA charts in 1963,
but found international fame in 1972 when they joined the
Philadelphia International record company. They became part of
the 'Philadelphia Sound' along with other bands and artists such as
the Three Degrees. They enjoyed considerable success during the
1970s, as the Disco sound became dominant, reaching Number One in
the USA (number nine in the UK) with their 1973 release "Love
Train". They remained a popular live act into the 2000s,
and even featured in a film in 2003.
Title: December '63 (Oh, What A Night)
The Four Seasons is a vocal group, characterised by the
falsetto voice of Frankie Valli (born 3 May 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA).
In 1960, they they began working with record producer Bob Crewe, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer. The rest of the
band was Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals (also their songwriter), Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone
vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals. Their first hit on both sides of the Atlantic
was "Sherry", which was an American chart-topper. Other similar recordings followed and they
managed to hit the UK charts through to 1966 despite the prominence of the British beat
groups, although many of the singles peaked at low positions. They also had
hits during the 1970s, including several solo recordings by Frankie
Valli. The band is still performing, but with Valli as the only original member.
A farewell concert took place London in December 2018.
Title: Miss You Nights
Cliff Richard was born on 14 Oct 1940 in Lucknow, India, whilst his parents were working in that
country. He returned to England with his family in 1948. He formed a band in 1957 and a year
later he was chosen as a singer for the TV Rock 'n' Roll show "Oh Boy!". His first
hit came in 1958, which started a career that continued into the 21st century, with more than 130 hit singles
and over 50 original albums, spanning 60 years plus. In the early 1960s he also starred in several musical
films, notably "The Young Ones" and "Summer Holiday". He also achieved a number one
single in five different decades, and is the most successful British recording artist of all time.
He was honoured with a knighthood in 1995. He continues
in the 21st century and issued a new album in 2018 ("Rise Up"), which reached number four in the
album chart, and another album in 2020, "Music.. The Air That I
Breathe", which peaked at number three in the UK album chart.
Title: Funky Weekend
The Stylistics was a smooth Soul five-piece vocal
group that was formed in Philadelphia, USA in 1970. The group
was characterised by the falsetto voice of Russell Thompkins Jr
(born on 21 Mar 1951 in Philadelphia, USA) and the smooth sound
created by producer Thom Bell. This combination resulted in a
series of six UK hits until the summer of 1974. Thom Bell
stopped working with the group at that time, but production was
taken over by record label owners Hugo & Luigi with arrangements by Van
McCoy. This resulted in another run of ten hits in the UK,
with seven of those reaching the Top 10. However, this second
run of hits over the years 1974 to 1976, did not do well in the USA
where the new Disco sound was becoming dominant. In addition
to the singles success in the UK, the group's "Best Of" album
went to Number One on the British album chart, where it eventually
stayed for 63 weeks. The group continued for the next two
decades, but Thompkins left in 2000. He released a solo album
in 2002, but in 2004 Thompkins formed a new group, Russell Thompkins
Jr & The New Stylistics. They are still performing (as a
trio) at the present time.
C W McCall was a fictitious character invented
by Bill Fries (born 15 Nov 1928 in Iowa, USA). Fries was
working for an advertising agency when he was asked to create a TV
advertising campaign for a local baking company and their Old Home
bread. Fries created the story of truck driver C W McCall who
always stopped at the Old Home Café. Based on those
commercials, Fries, using the name C W McCall, began recording songs
he wrote about trucks and trucking. The song
"Convoy" came from his second album of songs and was a
major success, reaching Number One in the USA, and just one position
short of that in the UK. He recorded more albums and toured
the Country music venues of the USA, but had no more hits in the
UK. He retired from the music business in 1980, moving to
Ouray, Colorado, USA, where he served as the town's mayor from 1986
to 1992. He is now fully retired, living in Ouray with his
Title: Love Really Hurts With You
Billy Ocean was born on 21 Jan 1950 in
Trinidad, West Indies. He emigrated to the UK with his family
when he was ten years old. He began singing with local London
bands in his teens, and after some unsuccessful recordings, his
break-through came in 1976 as a solo artist. His debut album
contained the track "Love really Hurts Without You" which
became a major success, reaching number 22 in the USA. His
career took off from there, and he enjoyed numerous hits to the end
of the 1980s. He continues to perform in the 21st century, and
recorded a new album in 2019. He was awarded an MBE in 2020.
Title: Falling Apart At The Seams
Marmalade was a five-piece band formed in 1961 in Glasgow, Scotland originally called the
Gaylords. In the mid 1960s they went to London where they changed their name and signed
with the same management as the Tremeloes. A recording deal with CBS was arranged.
Their first releases failed to reach the charts but they became a popular act in the clubs of
central London. Finally in 1968 they broke through with "Lovin' Things".
This started a run of seven Top 10 hits until 1972, with a one-off number nine hit in 1976.
There was a large turnover of personnel throughout the years, although the original inspiration,
Junior Campbell was with them from 1966 to 1971, and he enjoyed a solo Top 10 hit in
1972 (year 1972, song 83).
The band still performs, with the lead singer Sandy Newman who has been with the band since 1975.
Title: I Wanna Stay With You
This Scottish duo comprised Benny Gallagher (born 10 Jun 1945) & Graham Lyle (born 11 March 1944). They formed a songwriting partnership in 1959 when part of a group in Scotland. In the late 1960s they wrote for Apple records and provided some songs for Mary Hopkin. In 1970 they joined the band McGuinness Flint, and wrote several songs for the first album which included their first hit single "When I'm Dead And Gone" (see year 1970, song 92). They left the band in 1972 to form the duo. They began recording albums, but it was not until their fifth album "Breakaway" that they finally entered the album charts. "Breakaway" reached number six during 1976, and the first single lifted from it, "I Wanna Stay With You" also reached number six. They had a second Top 10 single later in 1976 (song 47), but a further album and two singles were only minor hits. After more unsuccessful recordings the pair split in 1980. They continued writing songs and worked as session musicians as well. Finally in 2010 they reunited and began performing again, mostly in Scotland. However they called it a day in 2018.
Title: Take It To The Limit
The Eagles are an American Country Rock band formed in Los Angeles in
September 1971. The founding members were Glenn Frey (6 Nov 1948 -
18 Jan 2016), Don Henley (born 22 Jul 1947), Bernie Leadon and Randy
Frey and Henley first played together when they joined Linda Ronstadt's backing band
for her tour in 1971. Leadon and Meisner were in the band as
well, and the four decided to form their own band. They
released their first album ("The Eagles") in 1972.
None of the band's early American hits reached the UK charts. In fact,
the band's first British hit did not come until 1975, after they had
enjoyed eight hit singles in the USA. However, all of their
American hits were included on the album "Their Greatest Hits
1971-1975" (released 1976) which reached number two on the UK album chart,
where it remained for 77 weeks. Guitarist and vocalist Joe Walsh joined the band in 1975, replacing
Leadon. The Eagles hit their commercial peak in late 1976 with the release of the album "Hotel California",
which went on to sell more than 26 million copies in the USA alone and more than 42 million copies worldwide.
The Eagles broke up in July 1980, but reunited in 1994 for the album "Hell Freezes Over", a mix of live and new
They toured consistently and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
In 2007, the Eagles released "Long Road Out of Eden", their first full studio album in 28 years and their sixth
American Number One album. The next year they launched the Long Road Out of Eden Tour in support of the album.
In 2013, they began the extended History of the Eagles Tour in conjunction with the band's documentary release,
"History of the Eagles".
Glenn Frey died in January 2016, but they reformed in 2017, with Deacon Frey (Glen Frey's son) and Country singer
Vince Gill sharing lead vocals for Frey's songs.
Title: You See The Trouble With Me
Barry White (12
Sep 1944 - 4 Jul 2003) was born in Galveston, Texas, USA, but he
grew up in Los Angeles. He began singing in the early 1960s,
often with groups, sometimes solo, and he began producing recordings
in the second half of the 1960s. In the early 1970s he had
success with girl group Love Unlimited and their hit "Walking
In The Rain With The One I Love" (see year 1972, song 52),
which White wrote, arranged and produced. In 1973 White
created the Love Unlimited Orchestra, which was used mainly to
provide backing for for himself and the girl group. However,
the orchestra also recorded instrumental tracks, and they had the
hit "Love's Theme" (see year 1974, song 8). White had a
couple of small hits before his first UK Top 10 in August
1974. This kicked off his solo career in the USA and UK, where
he had ten Top 20 hits by the end of the 1980s. He continued
recording and performing until the end of the 1990s. In the
early 2000s he suffered from kidney failure, and a stroke in 2003,
which led to his death at the age of 58.
Title: Save Your Kisses For Me
The Brotherhood Of Man
was the project of songwriter Tony Hiller, started in 1969. Originally
it was a vehicle for an ever-changing selection of session singers.
In 1970 they had a Top 10 hit with "United We Stand" (see
year 1970, song 12) with vocalists Tony Burrows, Roger Greenaway, co-writer
Johnny Goodison and two female singers.
In 1973 Hiller decided to stabilise the group, having two males and two females
on a permanent basis. This led to the group eventually recording the song
"Save Your Kisses For Me" in 1976, which reached Number One in the UK
charts and was the British entry in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest, which the
The singers on this recording were Martin Lee, Nicky Stevens, Sandra Stevens and
Two more chart-toppers followed in 1977 and 1978 respectively. Although the
hits stopped at the end of the 1970s, the group continues on the cabaret and
Title: Hello Happiness
The Drifters are an American vocal
group, formed in the early 1950s, and with a constant rotation of
members. A count has indicated that some 60 individuals
have performed under the band name at one time or another. The group
enjoyed several hits in the 1960s, but in the 1970s, they signed a
deal with Bell records and based themselves in the UK, with lead
singer Johnny Moore (14 Dec 1934 -
30 Dec 1998). This gave them a run of nine hit singles, six of
which made the Top 10, until the end of 1976. Members came and
went (and returned again) several times during the next three
decades. Johnny Moore died in London at the end of 1998,
having been in the group (with some breaks) since he was 21 years
old in 1955. Nevertheless, others continued with the group
which has performed into the 21st
century, but there have been numerous lawsuits over the use of the
group name. No members of the hits-making versions of the band
are in the current lineup.
John Miles was born on 23 Apr 1949 in Jarrow, north-east England. He was part of a band in his teenage years, but opted for a solo career in 1971. He signed a recording deal in 1975, and his first album, "Rebel", reached number nine in the UK album chart. From that album came the song "Music" which was a Top 10 hit in the UK and other parts of Europe. Further albums and singles only had modest success apart from "Slow Down" which reached the UK Top 10 in 1977. Nevertheless he toured European countries extensively during the late 1970s and 1980s. He also performed on the album recordings of several major acts including Tina Turner and Joe Cocker during the 1990s. He has toured also in the 2000s, and has a concert planned in Belgium during 2022.
Title: Pinball Wizard
was born on 25 Mar 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex (north-west
London). He learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed
Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967. He met his longtime musical partner
Bernie Taupin in 1967, after they both answered an advert for songwriters.
For two years, they wrote songs for artists including Lulu, and John worked as a session musician for artists
including the Hollies and the Scaffold.
Elton John was also one of several singers in the late 1960s and
early 1970s who recorded covers of hit songs for sale as
budget-priced albums in shops like Woolworths. In 1971, his first hit single, "Your Song",
taken from his second album, "Elton John", reached the top ten in the UK and the
From that point he gradually became a star and by the end of the
20th century he had achieved over seventy hit singles in the UK
charts and some 36 albums in the album chart. In the USA he
has had more than 50 Top 40 hits and seven consecutive number-one albums.
His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over
33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and USA singles
charts. He has also composed music for the musical film and
stage presentation "The Lion King", as well as for several
other musicals. Elton John owned Watford Football Club from 1976 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2002, and is
an honorary Life President of the club.
In 2019 a biographical film tilted "Rocket Man", about
Elton John's life from childhood to the 1980s, was released.
Title: I'm Mandy, Fly Me
10cc was a British
band, formed in 1972. The members were Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol
They were two pairs of songwriters - Gouldman and Stewart, as well
as Godley and Creme. Graham Gouldman in particular was a
well-known songwriter, having composed hits for the Yardbirds and
the Hollies amongst others during the 1960s. The band became
very successful, and from 1972 to 1978, 10cc had five consecutive UK top-ten
albums, plus twelve singles in the UK Top 40, three of which were the chart-toppers "Rubber Bullets"
(1973), "I'm Not in Love" (1975) and "Dreadlock Holiday" (1978).
"I'm Not in Love" was their breakthrough worldwide hit and is known for its innovative backing track.
Godley and Creme quit the band in 1976 due to artistic disagreements and became a duo
act who had a couple of Top 10 hits in 1981. They were
replaced, and the band continued recording and performing until the
end of 1978. There were reunions of all four members from time
to time, but Stewart left the band in 1995. Since 1999, Gouldman has led a touring version of
10cc with four others.
Abba was a
Swedish group who shot to fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision
Song Contest with the song "Waterloo". The members were: Agnetha Fältskog (born 5 Apr 1950 in
Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad (born 15 Nov 1945 in Ballangen, Norway), Björn Ulvaeus (born 25 Apr 1945 in Gothenburg, Sweden),
and Benny Andersson (born 16 Dec 1946 in Stockholm, Sweden).
Following their "Waterloo" success, there was a slight gap
in record sales until 1975 when they began a run of 18 UK Top 10
hits, lasting until 1981. They were the most successful
Scandinavian act, with success in the USA, Australia, most of Europe
and other parts of the world. They toured the world
extensively during the second half of the 1970s. In 1977
"ABBA: The Movie" a drama-documentary about their Australian
tour was released. Three 'greatest hits' albums were issued
between 1976 and 1982, but in 1992 their "Gold"
compilation album was released, which reached Number One in the UK,
eventually staying on the chart for 328 weeks. The group split
in 1982, and Benny and Björn
went on to write the musical "Chess" (with Tim Rice) which
opened in London in 1986. In 1999 a musical called "Mamma Mia!",
which featured numerous Abba songs opened in London. A film
version of the musical was released in 2008. Agnetha has
issued several solo albums, the most recent in 2013. Frida
initially retired from the music business and moved to Switzerland.
However, in late 2021 it was announced that Abba had reunited to
record a new album called "Voyage".
Title: There's A Kind Of Hush
Carpenters were a brother and sister duo from Connecticut,
USA. The act comprised Richard Carpenter (born 15 Oct 1946)
and Karen Carpenter (2 Mar 1950 - 4 Feb 1983). Karen provided
the vocals and sometimes drums, while Richard provided the
arrangements, instrumentation (mostly piano), and sometimes
backing vocals. During the 1970s they were an extremely
popular easy-listening act with numerous hit singles and albums throughout
the world. Their compilation album "The Singles
1969-1973" reached Number One in the UK and remained on the
album chart for well over two years, with seven other albums
reaching the Top 10. They toured the world extensively for a
decade, but Karen began to suffer from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa,
although she always denied the suggestion. However, in early
February 1983 she collapsed and died from a heart attack brought on
by anorexia nervosa. Richard Carpenter then began producing a
new album of unreleased Carpenters recordings which was issued later
in 1983. Since then he has produced several compilation
albums, and in 2018 an album of the duo's hits with orchestration
from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was issued, reaching number
eight in the UK album chart.
Title: Girls Girls Girls
was a Norwegian/British band lead by Georg Kajanus who was born on
9 Feb 1946 in Trondheim, Norway. Kajanus moved with his mother and sister
to Paris at the age of twelve where he studied music and classical
guitar. The family then relocated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where Kajanus
worked as a stained-glass window
designer. Eventually he moved to London, England, and after a
spell with other groups, formed the band Sailor in 1973. Their
second album, "Trouble", provided two Top 10 hits, the
first of which was "Glass Of Champagne". With
diminishing success, the group broke up in 1978, but reformed in
1989. They toured throughout Europe in the first half of the
1990s, but Kajanus left the band in 1995. He was replaced and
the band continued in to the 21st century, and with further personnel
changes they continue to tour Europe, particularly Germany.
Title: Arms Of Mary
were two different bands that came together to make a couple of
albums, which provided this one-off Top 10 hit. The Sutherland
Brothers, Gavin Sutherland (born 6 Oct 1951) and Iain Sutherland (17 Nov 1948 -
25 Nov 2019) were a Scottish Folk and Soft Rock duo. They made
a couple of albums in the early 1970s, but decided to work with
Quiver to expand their repertoire. Quiver was an English rock band formed in 1970 by Tim Renwick and Cal Batchelor.
The two bands worked together from 1973 to 1976. Two albums
reached the UK Top 50 of the album chart, but the only major success
was the single "Arms Of Mary" written by Iain
Sutherland. One more Top 40 hit came in 1976, but there was no
more chart success for the collaboration. Most members of
Quiver left in 1976, and the two groups separated. The
Sutherland Brothers continued as a duo until 1979 when they had a
small chart entry, but disbanded soon after. Several members
of Quiver later backed Scottish Folk-Rock musician Al Stewart in the
Title: Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know
Where You're Going To)
Diana Ross was born on 26 Mar 1944 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She first found fame
as the lead singer with the group the Supremes, which was one of the most successful female groups of the second
half of the 1960s (see year 1964, song 75). Ross had decided to leave the group for a solo career early
Her first UK solo release "Reach Out And Touch" (year
1970, song 61) performed disappointingly in the UK, but she was soon
in the UK and USA Top 10, and she enjoyed her first British Number
One in the summer of 1971 with "I'm Still Waiting" (see
year 1971, song 58). She went on to have a highly successful career with numerous hit singles and albums, and was
recording into the 2000s.
Title: All By Myself
Eric Carmen was born on 11 Aug 1949 in Cleveland,
Ohio, USA. He began singing and taking piano lessons as a
child. Whilst at university he joined a group, and during the
first half of the 1970s he was lead singer and songwriter with a
band called the Raspberries. The band broke up in 1975 and
Carmen began performing solo. His big breakthrough came in
1976 when his recording "All By Myself" was a major hit on
both sides of the Atlantic. Further releases were less
successful in the USA, and none reached the UK charts.
However, several of his songs were hits for other artists in the
following years. He did, however have two Top 10 hits in the
USA during the years 1987/1988. In 2004 Carmen and other
original members reformed the Raspberries and began making concert
Title: Love Me Like I Love You
The Bay City
Rollers was a Scottish band from Edinburgh, formed originally in the
1960s under different names. Although the personnel changed a
few times, the best-known line up comprised
lead singer Les McKeown (12 Nov 1955 - 20 Apr 2021, born in Edinburgh), guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood,
bassist Alan Longmuir (20 Jun 1948 - 2 Jul 2018), and drummer Derek
Longmuir. They signed a contract with Bell records and had
their first hit in 1971, "Keep On Dancing", which reached
the UK Top 10 (see year 1971, song 71). They did not have another hit until 1974 when
they began a run of Top 10 hits until 1976. Fan adulation for
the group during that time was dubbed 'Rollermania', echoing the 'Beatlemania'
of the 1960s. They also had some success in the USA in the
mid-1970s, with three of their releases reaching the American Top
10. After their popularity began to wane, there were several
personnel changes, but they continued into the 1980s. Various
regroupings and reunions have taken place since then, with tours at
home and abroad in the 2010s.
Title: Let Your Love Flow
The Bellamy Brothers are Howard Bellamy, born 2 Feb 1946 and David Bellamy, born 16 Sep 1950, both from from Darby, Florida, USA. They are primarily Country music performers, but some of their hits crossed over to the pop charts. They began performing locally in the late 1960s, but moved to Los Angeles and signed a record deal in 1975. Their first major hit, "Let Your Love Flow", went to Number One in the USA, and entered the Top 10 in several countries worldwide. The following hits were sparse until in 1979 when they reached the Top 10 again. They continued to have hits on the American Country music charts during the next two decades. They issued a couple of Gospel albums in the 2000s, but continued with their Country performances as well. They issued an album of new material in 2019 recorded in a studio at their Florida ranch, where they both live with their families.
Title: Movie Star
Harpo is Jan Svensson who was born 5 Apr 1950 in Stockholm, Sweden. He began as a actor, touring Sweden in a children's theatre during the late 1960s. He was also writing songs, and in 1972 he signed a record deal with Abba's record company. That did not work out, so he signed with EMI in 1973. His first two releases reached the Top 10 of the Swedish charts. Early in 1975 he recorded the song "Movie Star", which included Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida) from Abba on backing vocals. The recording was a great success, reaching Number One in Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Although follow-up singles did not chart in the UK they were hits in various other European countries. He continued to record throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. He released an album of new material, "Jan Harpo Svensson 05", in April 2005, and he had an extensive tour of Germany in 2007.
Title: More More More
Andrea True (26 Jul 1943 – 7 Nov 2011) was born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. She learnt to play piano as a child, and studied music at university. After a spell as an actress, she issued her first recordings in 1976 with her backing band named the Connection. Her debut release, "More More More" became a Top five hit in the UK and USA, but success faded away after a couple of years. She died from heart failure at the age of 68.
Title: Can't Help Falling In Love
This was the
group's follow-up to their February hit "Funky Weekend"
(song 11). This recording was a remake of the hit by Elvis
Presley which reached Number One in 1962 (year 1962, song 9).
The Stylistics' final Top 10 came in August this year (song 67).
Title: I'm Your Puppet
This duo originally comprised James Lee Purify (12 May 1944 – 22 Jan 2021) and his cousin Robert Lee Dickey (2 Sep 1939 – 29 Dec 2011). The pair came from Florida, USA, and the act was formed in 1965. They had immediate success with their recording of "I'm Your Puppet", which was recorded at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and reached number six on the American charts in 1966. That recording was not a hit in the UK. They went on to have several more hits in the USA during the 1960s. In 1971 Dickey decided to retire due to health reasons, and James Purify then worked solo. However, in 1974 he met Ben Moore (born 1941) who had worked with other Soul artists and had made recordings as part of a group. They reformed James & Bobby Purify, with Moore assuming the role of Bobby. They re-recorded "I'm Your Puppet", and that version became a hit in the UK, although it did not chart in the USA. They toured together through the 1980s, but Moore went blind in 1998 from severe glaucoma, and left the music business. However, in the 2000s he joined Gospel group, the Blind Boys of Alabama. James Purify died in January 2021 from Covid-19.
Title: Silver Star
This was the
band's follow-up to their hit "December '63" (song 9), in
January this year. It was another Top 10 hit, but sadly it was
their last in the UK, with "December '63" having been
their final Top 10 hit in the USA. Three smaller Top 40 hits
charted until the end of 1977. However, lead singer Frankie
Valli had his big hit with the theme to the film "Grease"
Title: Love Hangover
This recording entered the UK charts just three weeks after Ross' "Theme from Mahogany" charted (song 27). "Love Hangover" was a full Disco sound, contrasting with the slow ballad film theme. It reached Number One in the USA. Strangely, it was 1980 before she had another Top 10 hit on either side of the Atlantic. In the meantime, she had eight small UK hits, the highest reaching number 23. See song 27 for more info.
Title: I'd Really Love To See You Tonight
Soft Rock duo comprised Dan Seals (8 Feb 1948 - 25 Mar 2009) and
John Ford Coley (born 13 Oct 1948). The pair met at high
school in Dallas, Texas, and began performing with local
bands. They moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s and began
recording but with little success. In 1975 they recorded
"I'd Really Love To See You Tonight", written by Country
music singer-songwriter, Parker McGee. Their Soft Rock style
was popular with the American FM radio stations, and the recording
went to number two in the USA. They had several more hits in
America until the end of the 1970s, but only one further minor hit
entered the UK charts. They split in 1980, and Seals became a
solo artist singing Country music, scoring some eleven Number Ones
on the American Country chart during the 1980s. Coley turned
to acting and record production, but began touring again in the
Title: Show Me The Way
was born on 22 Apr 1950 in Beckenham, Kent, England. He became
interested in music as a child, and by the age of 14 he was playing
with a local band. In 1966, at the age of 16, he joined the
Herd (see year 1967, song 75), and they went on to have a couple of
Top 10 hits. In 1969 he joined with Steve Marriott of the
Small Faces to form the group Humble Pie. After some modest
success with four albums, the group was dissolved, and Frampton went
solo from 1971. His early efforts at recording and performing
solo met with only moderate success until 1976 when his double live
album "Frampton Comes Alive!" went to Number One in the
USA and number six in the UK. This Top 10 single comes from
that album, as did two other tracks, although they were not as
successful in Britain, whilst hitting the Top 10 in America.
He continued through the 1980s although commercial success was
scant. Nevertheless he had been recording and performing in
the 21st century until 2019 when he announced his retirement due to
Title: Fool To Cry
The Rolling Stones debuted on the British charts in 1963, and started a
career which challenged the Beatles for the "top band" accolade during the 1960s. The band comprised lead
singer Mick Jagger (born 26 Jul 1943), guitarists Keith Richards (born 18 Dec 1943) and Brian Jones (28 Feb 1942 - 3 Jul 1969),
bassist Bill Wyman (born 24 Oct 1936) and drummer Charlie Watts (2
Jun 1941 - 24 Aug 2021).
The Stones clocked up 15 hits during
the 1960s, including eight number ones. Hits continued in the singles and album charts through the following
decades up to the present time. They still embark on world tours in the 21st century,
and toured the UK in 2018. For more details see year 1968,
Title: Soul City Walk
This band was
formed in Houston, Texas, USA. It was a quartet led by Archie
Bell (born 1 Sep 1944). They first recorded in 1967, and had
their debut American hit, "Tighten Up", in 1968.
"Here I Go Again" was recorded in 1969 and was not a hit
in the USA, but released in the UK during 1972, it only just missed
out on a Top 10 placing. The group continued through the
1970s, moving into Disco music for their next biggest hit "Soul
City Walk" in 1976 which reached number 13 in the UK
charts. They continued recording and performing until 1981,
but made occasional appearances until the turn of the
Title: Midnight Train To Georgia
& The Pips was a Tamla Motown group initially, but their
greatest success came with a move to Buddah records in 1973.
The group started as family group, the Pips, in 1952, when Gladys
was just seven! They changed the group name in 1961 to
showcase their lead singer, Gladys Knight (born 28 May 1944 in
Atlanta, Georgia, USA). They had a few local hits in Georgia,
but it was in 1966 when they signed with Motown that they began
USA-wide and international success. They did not reach the
level of popularity as other Motown acts such as the Supremes and
Four Tops, however. Following contractual disagreements, the
group left Motown for Buddah in 1973, and they enjoyed several hits
including "Midnight Train To Georgia" which was an
American Number One. The group disbanded
in 1989 when Gladys went solo. In 1989 she recorded "License to Kill" for the James Bond movie
of the same title, which was a Top 10 hit in the UK and Germany.
In the 2010s she is still making occasional concert appearances, and
she performed at an outdoor festival in London during 2018.
Title: Devil Woman
This was Cliff's follow-up to his hit of February, "Miss You Nights" (song 10). It was hit first UK Top 10 entry for over three years. Taken from his album "I'm Nearly Famous", it became his first American Top 10 chart entry, and reached the Top 10 of six other countries. A series of smaller hits followed, until he reached Number One for the tenth time in 1979.
Dolly Parton was born on 19 Jan 1946 in Tennessee, USA. She was the fourth in a family of twelve children of poor farming people. She showed an interest in music from a young age and upon leaving high school she moved to Nashville, the home of American Country music. She was spotted by seasoned Country star Porter Wagoner (1927 - 2007), and he began featuring her on his regular TV show. She also began recording with Wagoner and soon became one of the top American female Country music performers. She stopped working with Wagoner in 1974, and recording solo, she soon had hit songs on the USA Country music chart. Her hits crossed over to the pop charts from the mid-1970s, and her first UK hit came in 1976 with the song "Jolene". In the 1980s she appeared in several successful films such as "Nine To Five". She has continued successfully on record, TV and film into the 21st century. Parton always wanted to invest her wealth into the poor parts of east Tennessee, and in 1986 she opened Dollywood, a theme park centred on Appalachian traditions, in the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, which gave employment to numerous local people. Two years later she created the Dollywood Foundation, an organization with the aim of providing inspiration and educational resources to children. She was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2004 for her enrichment of the American cultural heritage. In 2005 she received the U.S. government’s National Medal of Arts, and in 2006 she was recognized at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., for her lifetime artistic achievement.
Title: Fooled Around And Fell In Love
Elvin Bishop was
born on 21 Oct 1942 in Glendale, California, USA, but as a youngster
he was living in Iowa, and at age ten he moved with his family to
Tulsa, Oklahoma. After high school he moved to Chicago to
attend university, and joined a blues band there, remaining with
them until 1968. He formed his own band in that year, but also
worked with the Rock band the Grateful Dead. He also worked
and toured with Blues artists and the Allman Brothers band. He
made a couple of albums in the first half of the 1970s, but it was
the 1976 single "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" that
brought him fame, the recording reaching number three on the
American charts. He continued recording and touring into the
21st century, and released his latest album in 2017.
Title: Silly Love Songs
McCartney was born on 18 Jun 1942 in Liverpool, England, and
found fame as a member of the Beatles group. After the breakup
of the band, McCartney pursued a solo career, as did the others.
His first solo hit was "Another Day" in 1971, which just missed
reaching the top spot of the charts. Despite this success, in
1972 he formed the band Wings, with his wife Linda on keyboards and
former member of the Moody Blues, Denny Laine, on guitar. This
group enjoyed considerable success (sometimes billed as Paul
McCartney & Wings) until the end of the 1970s. In 1981
Denny Laine left the group, which McCartney then decided to dissolve,
and all following hits and albums were credited to McCartney as a
solo artist. He also had much success on the album chart, with
his most successful being "Band On The Run" which peaked
at Number One, and remained on the UK album chart for 124
weeks. He has been very successful too on the USA charts where
he has scored seven Number One albums. He has continued
concert performances throughout the 21st century, and performed at
the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012. His
most recent album was released in 2018.
Title: This Is It
Melba Moore was
born on 29 Oct 1945 in New York City, USA. Her mother was a
professional singer, and her father, a band leader. So Moore
was surrounded by music from a young age. She began recording
in 1967, and in the same year joined the cast of the Rock musical
"Hair" alongside Ronnie Dyson (see year 1971, song 94) and
actress Diane Keaton. In 1975 Moore signed with Buddah
records, and had her first major hit with the Disco song "This
Is It" in 1976. Her output was not particularly
appreciated in the USA, where singles and albums reached only low
positions on the charts. In the UK her next significant hit
came in 1982 when she entered the Top 20 with "Love's Comin' At
Ya". In the 1990s she returned to the stage and had a
role in the 1995 Broadway production of "Les Misérables".
She has continued into the 21st century performing on the stage and
recording albums, the most recent being issued in 2019.
Title: Shake It Down
Mud was a Rock band formed in London during
1966 by Rob Davis (born 1 Oct 1947) and Les Gray (9 Apr 1946 - 21
Feb 2004). They began recording in 1967 but without any
commercial success for several years. But in 1973 they signed
with Mickie Most's RAK label, and with help of songwriters Chinn and
Chapman (who had written several hits for the band Sweet), hits
started coming the way of Mud. They had three hits in 1973,
but 1974 saw them have their first Number One with the catchy
"Tiger Feet". That started a run of Top 10 hits that
extended into 1976. In 1975 they achieved five Top 10 hits, and
in 1974 they made Number One with their Christmas hit "Lonely
This Christmas", which has enjoyed radio airplay every December
until the present time. As their popularity waned in the late
1970s, they decided to split up in 1979. Following the break
up, Gray formed a new band, Les Gray's Mud, and they continued to
perform, with a changing series of musicians, until Gray's death in
2004. Since then various musicians have continued performing
under that band name.
Title: Heart On My Sleeve
This was the follow-up to their hit of February, "I Wanna Stay With You" (song 15). This was the second of just two Top 10 hits that the duo enjoyed. Two smaller hits entered the charts until January 1977. See song 15 for more details.
Title: Young Hearts Run Free
Candi Staton was born 13 Mar 1940 in Alabama, USA. As a teenager she formed a Gospel trio with her sister and a friend, and they toured the Gospel circuits during the 1950s. In 1968 she launched a solo career, singing Soul/R&B material, and had several hits on the USA R&B chart. In 1976 she moved into Disco music, and her recording of "Young Hearts Run Free" was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK her next major hit came in 1977 with "Nights On Broadway", whilst in the USA her output was only successful on the R&B chart. She returned to Gospel singing in the 1980s, but went back to R&B from the 1990s. She has continued to record and perform in the 21st century, her most recent album being released in 2014.
Title: Tonight's The Night
Rod Stewart was
born 10 Jan 1945 in north London, England. His father was
Scottish, and Stewart has always celebrated his Scottish
roots. He came to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s
in the Jeff Beck Group, and then the Faces, but he recorded solo in
addition to his group duties. Stewart's 1971 solo album "Every Picture Tells a Story" made him a household name,
reaching Number One in the UK and USA. The album contained the
Tim Harding song "Reason To Believe", which was issued as
a single. The B-side of that record was "Maggie May"
which soon became the dominant side, reaching Number One on both
sides of the Atlantic (see song 72). His fame grew to
worldwide proportions, and he has sold over 120 million records
throughout the world. He has had nine Number One albums in the UK
Album chart, and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the
Top 10, six of which were chart toppers. Stewart has had 16
Top 10 singles in the USA. From 2002 to 2010 he issued five
albums in his "Great American Songbook" series, which were
all successful in the charts. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.
His most recent original album, "Blood Red Roses", was
issued in 2018.
MORE TO COME
Acts with most appearances in this list:
Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson: 3 (all
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