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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
Artist: The Miracles
Writer(s): Billy Griffin & Warren Moore
Entered chart 10 Jan 1976; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 10.

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
Artist: Paul Simon
Writer(s): Paul Simon
Entered chart 10 Jan 1976; Highest Position 23; Weeks on chart: 6.

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 Brit Awards.
# This was Simon's fifth UK hit single and his first since the autumn of 1973.  Although this recording peaked at a mediocre number 23 in the UK, it was a Number One hit in the USA.  It is taken from his fourth studio album "Still Crazy After All These Years", which had entered the UK album chart in November 1975, eventually peaking at number six.


Title: We Do It
Artist: R & J Stone
Writer(s): Russell Stone
Entered chart 10 Jan 1976; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 9.

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
Artist: Electric Light Orchestra
Writer(s): Jeff Lynne
Entered chart 10 Jan 1976; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 8.

The Electric 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.
# This was their third Top 10 hit, which started a consistent run of hits until 1981.


Title: Love To Love You Baby
Artist: Donna Summer
Writer(s): Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte & Donna Summer
Entered chart 17 Jan 1976; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 9.

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 63.
# Her next major hit came in 1977 when "I Feel Love" reached Number One.


Title: Walk Away From Love
Artist: David Ruffin
Writer(s): Charles Kipps
Entered chart 17 Jan 1976; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 8.

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
Artist: Yvonne Fair
Writer(s): William "Mickey" Stevenson & Norman Whitfield
Entered chart 24 Jan 1976; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 11.

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.
# The song was written in 1963 for Motown singer Kim Weston, and was also recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips.


Title: I Love Music
Artist: The O'Jays
Writer(s): Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
Entered chart 31 Jan 1976; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 9.

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.
# This was their first hit in the UK charts for nearly three years (see year 1973, song 17), although they had several hits in the USA during that time.  This release reached number five in America.  They had five more Top 40 hits in the UK up to 1979, including a re-issue of "I Love Music".  They continued hitting the American R&B chart until the end of the 20th century.


Title: December '63 (Oh, What A Night)
Artist: The Four Seasons
Writer(s): Bob Gaudio & Judy Parker
Entered chart 31 Jan 1976; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 10.

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.
# This was the band's only Number One in the UK, but was their fifth chart-topper in the USA.  Unusually, the recording features drummer Gerry Polci on lead vocals, with Frankie Valli, the group's normal lead vocalist, singing the bridge sections and backing vocals only, with bass player Don Ciccone singing the falsetto part.  They were back in the charts during April 1976 with "Silver Star" (song 35), when Gerry Polci took on the lead vocals again.
# Frankie Valli had stepped back from lead vocal duties in the mid-1970s as he was loosing his hearing.  An operation in the 1980s restored most of his hearing.


Title: Miss You Nights
Artist: Cliff Richard
Writer(s): Dave Townsend (British singer-songwriter)
Entered chart 7 Feb 1976; Highest Position 15; Weeks on chart: 10.

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.
# This hit marked a return to the charts for Cliff, after a blank year in 1975.  The track came from his 1976 album called "I'm Nearly Famous", which was produced by Shadows guitarist Bruce Welch, and reached number five on the UK album chart.  His next single "Devil Woman" (song 42) reached the UK Top 10 and it became his first Top 10 entry in the USA.


Title: Funky Weekend
Artist: The Stylistics
Writer(s): Hugo & Luigi and George David Weiss
Entered chart 14 Feb 1976; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 7.

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.
# This was the first of three Top 10 UK hits for the band during 1976.  However, it was their final year of major hits in the UK and there were no further hits in the USA.  Their next hit came in April (song 33).


Title: Convoy
Artist: C W McCall
Writer(s): Bill Fries & Chip Davis
Entered chart 14 Feb 1976; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 10.

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 wife.
# The song refers to a convoy of numerous trucks which is illegal in the USA, hence references to police and road blocks.  The lyrics use CB radio and trucker slang throughout.
# Later in 1976, a parody of this song recorded by Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks titled "Convoy GB" reached number four on the UK singles chart.  The name "Laurie Lingo" is a pun; in the UK, a large truck is known as a "lorry", and thus "lorry lingo" would be "truck slang".  The act actually consisted of BBC Radio 1 DJs Dave Lee Travis and Paul Burnett.  The parody used the same tune, but altered the song's lyrics to take place in the UK.


Title: Love Really Hurts With You
Artist: Billy Ocean
Writer(s): Billy Ocean & Ben Findon
Entered chart 21 Feb 1976; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 10.

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.
# Ocean's next Top 10 hit came in spring 1977.


Title: Falling Apart At The Seams
Artist: Marmalade
Writer(s): Tony Macaulay
Entered chart 21 Feb 1976; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 11.

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.
# As indicated above, this was the band's first hit since 1972, but it was also their last.  Lead vocals on this recording were by Sandy Newman.


Title: I Wanna Stay With You
Artist: Gallagher & Lyle
Writer(s): Benny Gallagher & Graham Lyle
Entered chart 28 Feb 1976; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 9.

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
Artist: The Eagles
Writer(s): Randy Meisner, Don Henley & Glenn Frey
Entered chart 6 Mar 1976; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 7.

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 Meisner.  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 studio tracks.  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.
# This third UK hit for the band was taken from their album "One Of These Nights", which reached number eight on the UK album chart.  This was their only British single hit in 1976, although their "Greatest Hits 1971-1975" album, and later their classic "Hotel California" both hit the UK album charts in this year.  The band's next hit single came in January 1977.


Title: You See The Trouble With Me
Artist: Barry White
Writer(s): Barry White & Ray Parker Jr.
Entered chart 6 Mar 1976; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 10.

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.
# Despite White's popularity, this was his final Top 10 hit in the UK, although he had a further nine Top 40 hits up to and including his duet with Tina Turner in 1996.  His much-loved version of "Just The Way You Are" came in December 1978, peaking at number 12.
# In 2000 "You See The Trouble With Me" was recorded by Italian production duo Black Legend, whose Eurodance version reached Number One in the UK during May that year.


Title: Save Your Kisses For Me
Artist: Brotherhood Of Man
Writer(s): Tony Hiller, Lee Sheriden & Martin Lee
Entered chart 13 Mar 1976; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 16.

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 group won.  The singers on this recording were Martin Lee, Nicky Stevens, Sandra Stevens and Lee Sheriden.  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 nostalgia circuits.
# "Save Your Kisses For Me" was a UK million-seller, and it reached the Top 30 in the USA as well.  Their follow up only reached number 30 in June this year, but they were in the Top 10 during early 1977 with a Number One following in that year.


Title: Hello Happiness
Artist: The Drifters
Writer(s): Roger Greenaway & Les Reed
Entered chart 13 Mar 1976; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 8.

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.
# This was the first of three hits that the group had in the UK during 1976.  Unfortunately, this was also their final year as hit makers.  Their next hit, which came in September, only reached number 29, but they were back in the Top 10 for their final fling in December (song 97).


Title: Music
Artist: John Miles
Writer(s): John Miles
Entered chart 20 Mar 1976; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 9.

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
Artist: Elton John
Writer(s): Pete Townsend
Entered chart 20 Mar 1976; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 7.

Elton John 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 USA.  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.
# This song was first recorded by British band The Who.  That version was a number four hit for the band in 1969 (see year 1969, song 25).  Elton recorded the song for the soundtrack of the film "Tommy" which was released in 1975.
# Elton John had three further hits in 1976.  The next was his duet with Kiki Dee (song 57).


Title: I'm Mandy, Fly Me
Artist: 10cc
Writer(s): Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman & Kevin Godley
Entered chart 20 Mar 1976; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 9.

10cc was a British band, formed in 1972.  The members were Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.  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.
# This was the band's follow-up to their Top 10 hit of November 1975, "Art For Arts Sake" (see year 1975, song 95).  Their next hit came at the end of 1976 (song 93).


Title: Fernando
Artist: Abba
Writer(s): Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson & Stig Anderson
Entered chart 27 Mar 1976; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 15.

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 Jönköping, Sweden), 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".
# This was their third Number One, and followed the chart-topper "Mamma Mia" (year 1975, song 99).  "Fernando" was originally written in 1975 for
group member Anni-Frid Lyngstad which she recorded in Swedish and included on her solo album "Frida ensam" (Frida Alone).  In 1976 it was recorded by the group and issued as a single, only appearing on the album "Greatest Hits" which went to Number One in the UK during the summer of 1976.  The band's next hit came in August (song 70).


Title: There's A Kind Of Hush
Artist: The Carpenters
Writer(s): Geoff Stephens & Les Reed
Entered chart 27 Mar 1976; Highest Position 22; Weeks on chart: 6.

The 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.
# This was the duo's first of two Top 40 UK hits in 1976.  The single reached number 12 in the USA, and comes from their 1976 album "A Kind Of Hush" which reached number three on the UK album chart.  There was a general falling-off in peak chart positions for the Carpenters in both the UK and USA at this time, although they did reach the British singles Top 10 for a final time in 1977.  Their final American Top 10 had come in 1975.
# The song was a hit in early 1967 for Herman's Hermits who reached number seven with their version (see year 1967, song 16).


Title: Girls Girls Girls
Artist: Sailor
Writer(s): Georg Kajanus
Entered chart 27 Mar 1976; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 8.

Sailor 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.
# This was the band's follow-up to their hit of December 1975, "Glass Of Champagne" (year 1975, song 98).  Only one minor hit followed in early 1977, and then they disappeared from the UK charts.
# This is a different song to
"Girls Girls Girls" by American Heavy Metal band Mötley Crüe, which reached number 26 in the UK charts during 1987.


Title: Arms Of Mary
Artist: Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
Writer(s): Iain Sutherland
Entered chart 3 Apr 1976; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 12.

These 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 late 1970s.
Gavin Southerland wrote the song "Sailing" and it was recorded by the duo in 1972.  Rod Stewart recorded the song for his album "Atlantic Crossing", which reached Number One on the UK album chart from the end of August 1975.  "Sailing" was issued as a single and reached Number One on the UK singles chart.  In 1976, the recording was used by the BBC for their TV documentary series about the British aircraft carrier "Ark Royal".  As as result, the recording charted again in October 1976, reaching number three.  See year 1975, song 66.


Title: Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)
Artist: Diana Ross
Writer(s): Michael Masser & Gerry Goffin
Entered chart 3 Apr 1976; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 8.

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 in 1970.  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.
# This song was first recorded by American vocalist Thelma Houston in 1973.  It was recorded by Diana Ross and used as the theme to the 1975 romantic drama film "Mahogany" in which Ross starred.  The recording reached Number One in the USA. 
# The recording was Ross' first UK Top 10 hit since 1974, but she was back in the British Top 10 later in April with the Disco-based "Love Hangover" (song 36).


Title: All By Myself
Artist: Eric Carmen
Writer(s): Eric Carmen & Sergei Rachmaninoff*
Entered chart 10 Apr 1976; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 7.

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 tours.
# * The verse of the song is based on the second movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff's circa 1900–1901 Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18, a piece famously used to underscore the 1945 British film "Brief Encounter".  The chorus was taken from the song "Let's Pretend", which Carmen wrote and recorded with the Raspberries in 1972.
# The song was recorded by Canadian vocalist Celine Dion in 1996 and her version reached number six in the UK and number four in the USA that year.


Title: Love Me Like I Love You
Artist: Bay City Rollers
Writer(s): Eric Faulkner & Stuart Wood
Entered chart 10 Apr 1976; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 9.

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.
# This was the first of two final Top 10 hits for the band.  They had two smaller hits in 1977 and there were no more chart entries after that.  The next hit came in September (song 75).


Title: Let Your Love Flow
Artist: Bellamy Brothers
Writer(s): Larry E. Williams
Entered chart 17 Apr 1976; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 12.

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
Artist: Harpo
Writer(s): Harpo
Entered chart 17 Apr 1976; Highest Position 24; Weeks on chart: 6.

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
Artist: Andrea True Connection
Writer(s): Gregg Diamond
Entered chart 17 Apr 1976; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 10.

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
Artist: The Stylistics
Writer(s): Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore & George David Weiss
Entered chart 24 Apr 1976; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 7.

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).
# The melody of the song is based on "Plaisir d'amour", a French romantic ballad written in 1784 by Jean Paul Egide Martini.
# In addition to the versions by Elvis Presley and the Stylistics, the song has been in the UK charts by Andy Williams (1970, number 3); UK band Lick The Tins (1986, number 42) and UB40 with a reggae version (1993, Number One).


Title: I'm Your Puppet
Artist: James & Bobby Purify
Writer(s): Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham
Entered chart 24 Apr 1976; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 10.

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
Artist: The Four Seasons
Writer(s): Bob Gaudio & Judy Parker
Entered chart 24 Apr 1976; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 9.

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" in 1978.
# Drummer Gerry Polci sang lead on this recording due to Valli's hearing problems.


Title: Love Hangover
Artist: Diana Ross
Writer(s): Marilyn McLeod & Pamela Sawyer
Entered chart 24 Apr 1976; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 10.

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
Artist: England Dan & John Ford Coley
Writer(s): Parker McGee
Entered chart 1 May 1976; Highest Position 26; Weeks on chart: 7.

This American 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 2000s.
# Dan Seals was the younger brother of Jim Seals who was one half of the Soft Rock duo Seals & Crofts who had considerable success during the 1970s in America, but none of their recordings reached the UK charts.


Title: Show Me The Way
Artist: Peter Frampton
Writer(s): Peter Frampton
Entered chart 1 May 1976; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 12.

Peter Frampton 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 health considerations. 
# "Show Me The Way" strongly features a talk box.  This is an effects unit that allows musicians to modify the sound of a musical instrument (in this case a guitar) by shaping the frequency content of the sound and to apply speech sounds (in the same way as singing) onto the sounds of the instrument.  Typically, a talk box directs sound from the instrument into the musician's mouth by means of a plastic tube adjacent to their vocal microphone.  The musician controls the modification of the instrument's sound by changing the shape of the mouth, "vocalizing" the instrument's output into a microphone.
(Info from Wikipedia)


Title: Fool To Cry
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Writer(s): Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Entered chart 1 May 1976; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 10.

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, song 47.
# This was the band's first UK Top 10 hit since 1974, and it was 1978 before they had another.  However, they were still one of the top bands in the world, and would perform to massive audiences from year to year.


Title: Soul City Walk
Artist: Archie Bell & The Drells
Writer(s): Victor Carstarphen, Gene McFadden & John Whitehead
Entered chart 8 May 1976; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 10.

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 century.  
# This recording was the group's first Top 20 hit since 1972 when "Here I Go Again" reached number eleven in the UK charts (see year 1972, song 81).  They had another couple of minor hits before disappearing from the UK charts.
# The songwriters McFadden and Whitehead went on to have their own hit in 1979 with "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now".


Title: Midnight Train To Georgia
Artist: Gladys Knight & The Pips
Writer(s): Jim Weatherly
Entered chart 8 May 1976; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 9.

Gladys Knight & 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.
# This recording was made in 1973 and was a Number One hit in the USA during that year.  The group's next UK Top 10 hit came in May 1977.


Title: Devil Woman
Artist: Cliff Richard
Writer(s): Terry Britten & Christine Holmes
Entered chart 8 May 1976; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 8.

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.


Title: Jolene
Artist: Dolly Parton
Writer(s): Dolly Parton
Entered chart 15 May 1976; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 10.

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
Artist: Elvin Bishop
Writer(s): Elvin Bishop
Entered chart 15 May 1976; Highest Position 34; Weeks on chart: 4.

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.
# Bishop does not sing lead on this recording, as he thought his voice was not suited to the song.  Bishop invited his band's backing singer Mickey Thomas to take the lead vocal on the recording, who remained uncredited.  Following that, Thomas was invited to join the Rock band Jefferson Starship (later just Starship), which he did from 1979 to 1984.


Title: Silly Love Songs
Artist: Wings (Paul McCartney)
Writer(s): Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney
Entered chart 15 May 1976; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 11.

Paul 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.
# This recording, taken from the 1976 album "Wings At The Speed Of Sound", was credited to just Wings.  The album reached number two in the UK, whereas both the single and album reached Number One in the USA.
# The song was written as a rebuttal to music critics (and John Lennon) who had criticised McCartney, accusing him of predominantly writing silly love songs and sentimental slush.


Title: This Is It
Artist: Melba Moore
Writer(s): Van McCoy
Entered chart 15 May 1976; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 8.

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.
# Songwriter Van McCoy was also a record producer, and had an instrumental hit in 1975 (see year 1975, song 42).
# In 1993 Australian singer Dannii Minogue (sister of Kylie), recorded "This Is It", and her version reached number ten in the UK that year.


Title: Shake It Down
Artist: Mud
Writer(s): Ray Stiles & Rob Davis (band members)
Entered chart 15 May 1976; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 8.

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. 
# This was the follow-up hit to their 1975 Top 10 entry "Show Me You're A Woman".  This track was something of a change in style for Mud, being a Disco/Funk production.  Although "Shake It Down" peaked at number twelve, they had a final Top 10 hit in November this year (song 91).


Title: Heart On My Sleeve
Artist: Gallagher & Lyle
Writer(s): Benny Gallagher & Graham Lyle
Entered chart 22 May 1976; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 10.

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
Artist: Candi Staton
Writer(s): David Crawford
Entered chart 29 May 1976; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 13.

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
Artist: Rod Stewart
Writer(s): Rod Stewart
Entered chart 5 Jun 1976; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 9.

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.
# This was Stewart's follow-up to his hit recording "This Old Heart Of Mine" in November 1975 (year 1975, song 91.  "Tonight's The Night" is taken from his album "A Night On The Town" which reached Number One on the UK album chart during the summer of 1976.



Acts with most appearances in this list:

Abba: 3
Elton John: 3
Stylistics: 3

Composers with most appearances in this list:

Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson: 3 (all for Abba)
Bob Crewe: 5 (1 with Kenny Nolan; 2 with Bob Gaudio; 2 with Denny Randell)
Bob Gaudio: 4 (2 with Bob Crewe; 1 with Al Ruzicka; 1 with Judy Parker)
Hugo & Luigi and George David Weiss: 4 (all for the Stylistics)

New Names in 1976
To qualify, new acts must have gone on to have at least three entries in these lists.  One-hit Wonders do not qualify.

Boney M
Brotherhood of Man (had two Top 30 hits in 1970 with a different lineup)
Dr Hook
Electric Light Orchestra (had some hits 1972-1974)
Brian Ferry
Daryl Hall & John Oates
Billy Ocean
Dolly Parton
Real Thing
Donna Summer


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Comments and corrections to: mjs@onlineweb.com

Compiled August 2021
Updated 17/10/2021