During several hours on the interstate last week, the second installment of American Top 40‘s Top 100 hits of 1976 made a pretty entertaining travel companion. Here’s some stuff about some of it:
41. “Love to Love You Baby”/Donna Summer
24. “Get Up and Boogie (That’s Right)”/Silver Convention
14. “Fly Robin Fly”/Silver Convention
Casey notes that Donna Summer took a five-word phrase, repeated it 28 times, and ended up with a hit. But Donna also had some verses to sing. Silver Convention’s entire lyric output over two songs is four phrases: “get up and boogie,” “that’s right,” “fly robin fly,” and “up up to the sky.”
For what it’s worth, I will ride to the end of the line with both Silver Convention records. Few records open in a more arresting fashion than “Get Up and Boogie,” and “Fly Robin Fly” is a terrific production. One criticism is that it’s too repetitive. Maybe for some people. In my library, I have a 10-minute remix that’s barely enough for me.
42. “Deep Purple”/Donny and Marie Osmond. This ranks above several songs that hit #1 (albeit #1 hits that skated the line between chart years), and that just seems wrong. It peaked at #14, although it did run 23 weeks on the Hot 100, and as we’ll see below, a long chart run counted for a lot.
38. “Turn the Beat Around”/Vicki Sue Robinson
30. “Love Rollercoaster”/Ohio Players
As he’d done in part 1, Casey used some extra-long versions to help fill time on the show.
34. “Moonlight Feels Right “/Starbuck. Casey tells the story of how band members went from radio station to radio station across the South in 1975 delivering copies of their song and trying to get airplay. One station said they’d play it, but not until summertime, since it sounded like a summer hit. Which it turned out to be.
EXTRA: “Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)”/Barry DeVorzon and Perry Botkin Jr.
EXTRA: “Happy Days”/Pratt and McClain
The repeat that aired around the country over the 2019 holidays included some extras that didn’t make the original year-end list. Most surprising among them was “Happy Days,” which ran to #5 in the summer. It lasted 14 weeks on the Hot 100, 10 in the Top 40, and five in the Top 10. (Something had to be #101, and I’m betting this was it.) Meanwhile, “Nadia’s Theme” made #8 during a 22-week Hot 100 run, although it peaked after the November 1976 cut-off. (It didn’t make the 1977 chart either.)
11. “Sara Smile”/Hall and Oates
10. “A Fifth of Beethoven”/Walter Murphy
9. “Love Is Alive”/Gary Wright
8. “Love Machine”/Miracles
6. “Kiss and Say Goodbye”/Manhattans
4. “December 1963″/Four Seasons
“Sara Smile,” “A Fifth of Beethoven,” and “Love Machine” tied for the longest chart run of the year: 28 weeks on the Hot 100. Casey notes that “Love Machine” set a chart record for the longest climb to reach #1. It hit #1 in its 13th week in the Top 40 and its 20th week on the Hot 100. “A Fifth of Beethoven” had the longest run in the Top 40: 22 weeks to 19 for “Love Machine.” “Love Is Alive” and “December 1963” did 27 weeks on the big chart; “Kiss and Say Goodbye” 26.
To score big, ride high and last long. And not just on the record charts, I’m told.
5. “Play That Funky Music”/Wild Cherry. Casey says this was the first record by a white group to make #1 on the R&B chart since Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs did it in 1963 with “Sugar Shack,” which is a pretty good piece of trivia.
The first part of this year-end special aired on the weekend of December 25, 1976, and as I noted (and linked to) in my earlier post, it included a montage of every song to hit #1 during the 1976 calendar year. This part of the year-end special aired on the weekend of January 1, 1977, and repeated the montage before the top three hits of the year. Casey teased the latter in spoiler-y fashion, mentioning the titles and then asking, “But in what order?”
3. “Disco Lady”/Johnnie Taylor
2. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”/Elton John and Kiki Dee
1. “Silly Love Songs”/Paul McCartney and Wings
There’s nothing to argue with here. The three songs did 13 weeks at #1 between them. “Silly Love Songs” did five all by itself, non-consecutive.
And as I said before I started the first part of this, the top three, and the other 97, all play in my head, all the time, with no need for a radio.