(Note to patrons: this week, there will be a new post at this site every day, as opposed to the usual Monday/Wednesday/Friday routine. Don’t get used to it, though.)
The new thing around here is that whenever I write about an American Top 40 show—even the ones I had no intention of writing about when I started listening to them but ended up doing so anyway—I’ll also write about the bottom part of the same chart. So here’s the rest of May 1, 1976.
41. “When Love Has Gone Away”/Richard Cocciante. Several years ago, a kind reader sent me a couple of editions of The National Album Countdown, and I have yet to write about them specifically. We have mentioned the show itself, however, produced and hosted by Humble Harve Miller, which ran starting in 1976 and for several years thereafter. It was the only place on the radio where I ever heard the Italian crooner Richard Cocciante (pronounced ka-SHUN-tay), whose album managed to make the Record World chart Harve used. “When Love Has Gone Away” was at its Hot 100 peak on 5/1/76, and honesty compels me to report that I do not get the appeal.
50. “Falling Apart at the Seams”/Marmalade
81. “Arms of Mary”/Sutherland Brothers and Quiver
Other, lesser hits were far more appealing than “When Love Has Gone Away.” “Falling Apart at the Seams” is nothing but appealing, thanks to writer/producer/bubblegum genius Tony Macaulay, but somehow made it only to #49. “Arms of Mary” would get no higher than this position on the Hot 100; a couple of years later a cover by Chilliwack would get to #68.
55. “It’s Over”/Boz Scaggs. You could probably win money from people by asking them to name all of the A-side singles on Silk Degrees. Most people can get two. It’s a greater accomplishment to name the others. They are (in charting order) “It’s Over,” “Lowdown,” “What Can I Say,” and “Lido Shuffle.” And if someone does that, tell them that another Silk Degrees song, “Georgia,” was an A-side in the UK, Japan, and Brazil.
If you want trivia, my friend, you have come to the right place.
62. “Shop Around”/Captain and Tennille
67. “Rock and Roll Love Letter”/Bay City Rollers
75. “Still Crazy After All These Years”/Paul Simon
78. “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”/Eric Carmen
85. “Could It Be Magic”/Donna Summer
88. “I’ll Be Good to You”/Brothers Johnson
89. “Better Days”/Melissa Manchester
90. “Dance Wit Me”/Rufus
97. “You Got the Magic”/John Fogerty
98. “Let Her In”/John Travolta
99. “Moonlight Serenade”/Bobby Vinton
Of the 11 new records on the Hot 100 this week, seven would make the Top 40, although “Dance Wit Me” and “Still Crazy” would peak at #39 and #40. The Captain and Tennille, Eric Carmen, the Brothers Johnson, and John Travolta would make the Top 10. “You Got the Magic,” in which John Fogerty takes a stab at dance music, would be his last chart single until his 1984 comeback.
77. “Kiss and Say Goodbye”/Manhattans. The 19-place move this song makes in its third week on the chart is equaled only by Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover,” which made a mighty leap from #29 to #10 in the same week.
79. “Forever Lovers”/Mac Davis. This would get only as high as #76 on the Hot 100, although it would get to #17 on Billboard‘s country chart. To save you three minutes, “Forever Lovers” starts as a couple is getting into bed on their wedding night. He suddenly says, “I forgot to get champagne,” climbs out of the sack to run down to the Kwik Trip, and gets killed by a bus or something. Flash forward many years. An elderly woman checks into the honeymoon suite, puts on the faded negligee she wore that fateful night, lies down on the bed, and dies. “A lifetime’s a short time / When love never ends.”
94. “The Fonz Song”/Heyettes. At various points over the years, I have contended at this website that each of the following people was the biggest star in American culture during 1976: Jimmy Carter, Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych, and the Fonz. Although Fidrych’s joyful demeanor, his eccentricities on the field, and his dominant performances would make him a superstar by July, he didn’t pitch regularly until mid-May. Carter wouldn’t sew up the Democratic presidential nomination until July. So in mid-May at least, the Fonz was The Man. “The Fonz Song,” however, is dreadful. It shows up on 19 surveys at ARSA, and in an affront to good taste even greater than “Forever Lovers,” WGNG in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, took it all the way to #3.