This week I thought we'd go with another "Big Year in Pop/Rock Music" theme, and the year I've chosen this time is 1977. There were several big hits on the charts in 1977, so without further ado, let's get started.
There were at least a couple of milestones for music in 1977, according to Billboard Magazine. For one thing, Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" held down the number one spot for 10 consecutive weeks--October 15 through December 17, 1977. Also, the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love" occupied the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 33 consecutive weeks that year into the next, ranking in the top 20 on the magazine's longevity list.
Most, if not all, of these songs certainly put in an appearance on the top 40 charts of WHAR-AM and WVHF-FM in Clarksburg in 1977.
Debby Boone was pretty much a "one-hit wonder," according to information I could garner. However, it was a different story with the Bee Gees, who happen to be my all-time favorite artist/group. Their "Stayin' Alive" first appeared on the weekly Hot 100 chart on Dec. 10, 1977, but was considered more of a 1978 hit. The Brothers Gibb were popular in Clarksburg.
Unfortunately, we lost the Gibb twins Robin and Maurice (pronounced Morris) to untimely deaths earlier in' this millennium. In 1977, the Bee Gees also charted with two of their lesser known songs, "Boogie Child" and "Edge of the Universe," which was taken from their 1975 album "Main Ingredient." Their kid
brother Andy Gibb, who sang solo, also had a number one hit in 1977, "I Just Want to Be Your Everything." Andy also had "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" in '77, Billboard indicated.
Another group with success in 1977 had to be the Eagles, who I saw in concert at the Civic Arena in Charleston 10 or 12 years ago. In '77, their biggest hits were "Hotel California", "New Kid in Town" and "Life in the Fast Lane." Also that year, a group with a few hits was the Electric Light Orchestra, perhaps better known simply as "ELO," who went to number seven on the weekly charts with "Telephone Line." In addition, they had "Turn to Stone" and "Do Ya."
Let me turn our attention to the early part of 1977, if I might. There were a few tunes that I heard while sitting in a barber's chair, including Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be
Alright)" and a song by
the duo Daryl Hall and John Oates, "Rich Girl." There was yet another tune I heard about that time by Stevie Wonder, titled "Isn't She Lovely," but I was unable to find it in my Billboard index book. But not to worry, "Little Stevie" had other '77 hits with "I Wish", "Sir Duke" and "Songs in the Key of Life."
It was in 1977 that Abba had that foursome's only number one hit, "Dancing Queen." That was a chart favorite in Clarksburg. Abba also had "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Money, Money, Money" and "The Name of the Game," which all charted in '77.
Barbra Streisand hit number one with "Evergreen," which pretty much monopolized March 1977 in that spot, at least for three weeks. Glen Campbell hit the top with "Southern Nights." Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville" was on the Billboard chart for 22 weeks, but made it only to the number 8 spot. Later in the year, he had "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes."
Another solo act, Leo Sayer, had two number one hits in 1977: "When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'." Both were Clarksburg favorites, from what I can recall.
There were some other big names that pretty much had just one hit in 1977, including Chicago's "Baby, What a Big Surprise", Paul McCartney & Wings' "Wings Over America", Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours", Paul Simon's "Slip-Slidin' Away", Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up (Part I)" and the Doobie Brothers' "It Keeps You Runnin'."
Barry Manilow had two hits in 1977: "Looks Like We Made It" and "Daybreak. Alan O'Day's "Undercover Angel" was also big that year, as was Ronnie Milsap's "It Was Almost Like a Song." Natalie Cole sang "I've Got Love on My Mind," and Bill Conti scored with "Gonna Fly Now."
Disco was making inroads in Clarksburg in 1977, as Thelma Houston charted with "Don't Leave Me This Way," and K.C. & The Sunshine Band had "I'm Your Boogie Man."
In 1977, there were other fairly hot tunes on the Billboard charts, including The Emotions' "Best of My Love", Rose Royce's "Car Wash", Stephen Bishop's "On and On", Mary MacGregor's "Torn
Lovers", Manfred Mann's Earth Band's "Blinded By the Light" and Charlene's "I've Never Been to Me."
Let's finish up the list with a few others: The Fifth Dimension's Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis had a number one hit with "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)", David Soul's "Don't Give Up on Us, Baby", the Manhattans' "It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad" and the "Star Wars Theme," by the Cantina Band and Meco. Also, Shaun Cassidy had a cover hit of the Crystals "Da Doo Ron Ron," which, incidentally, also made it to number one in 1977.
And, oh my goodness, I'd be remiss if I left off my list a hilarious novelty sone, "In the Mood," by The Henhouse Five Plus Two.
Wow! That's a lot of music! 'Hope that'll last until the next time we do this. 'Til then, don't let the music die.
- - - - -
This Week's Bible Verse: "And have you quite forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his child? He said, 'My son, don't be angry when the Lord punishes you. Don't be discouraged when he has to show you where you are wrong. For when he punishes you, it proves that he loves you.
When he whips you it proves you are really his child." -- Hebrews 8:5-6