Last Friday was the 4th of July and we celebrated by presenting our 4th of July holiday edition of “Snakes on a Gumby.” I thought we’d continue this celebration of this 4th of July weekend by presenting the top six singles on the Billboard’s Hot 100 charts from the week of July 3rd, 1976. That was a big year for me, because I had just graduated from high school and it was also the year of the United States Bicentennial. So keep your feets in your shoes and your hands in your pockets and let’s count down those hits from 1976!
#6 - “More, More, More” by Andrea True Connection
Andrea True was a pornographic actress in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and ended up recording this song as a bit of a fluke. Through her porno career she had made some connections in Jamaica and was hired by a real estate company to film some commercials for them in 1975. While she was there a political crisis broke out and no one was allowed to leave the country with money. She didn’t want to lose the dough she had made making commercials, so she got hold of a friend who was a music producer and they recorded, “More, More, More” by using True’s money she made from the filming of the commercials. The result became a disco smash and True retired from the porn business to pursue a career singing.
“More, More, More” peaked at #4 on the charts and while True had a couple other hits, none of them was as big as her debut disco single. The song was an influence to another hit a couple years later. You can hear similarities to “More, More, More” in Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.”
True went on to being a psychic and a counselor for drug addicts and substance abusers. She died of heart failure in 2011 at the age of 68.
#5 - “Shop Around” by Captain & Tennille
The song “Shop Around” was originally a hit for the Miracles and was written by Smokey Robinson who was a member of the band when the record was released in 1960.
The Captain & Tennille cover was released in 1976 and was a follow up to their debut hit single, “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Love was not in the air on January 16, 2014 however and Tennille served the good Captain with divorce papers. The Captain's real name is Daryl Dragon and he was a keyboardist for The Beach Boys in the early '70's and it was Mike Love that gave him the nickname of, "Captain."
Other recording artists who have covered “Shop Around” Include: Johnnie Ray, Bobby Vee, Mary Wells and The Spinners.
#4 - “Sara Smile” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
“Sara Smile” was Hall & Oates’ first top 10 hit and was their breakout single that established them as a force in the world of top forty radio. The song was written for Hall’s girlfriend at the time, Sara Allen. Sara Allen’s sister, Janna co-wrote the 1981 song, “Kiss On My List.”
Janna died in 1993 after battling leukemia. Daryl Hall and Sara Allen were together for 28 years before breaking up in 2001. Oates, much in the tradition of Garfunkel and Ridgeley, continues to consider himself a very lucky man up to this day. He’s also one third of the inspiration for this hilarious Tweet by Jeremy Ross.
#3 - “Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore
I have no recollection of this song, despite it being number three on the Billboard charts for this week in 1976. Of course with all the drugs I was taking in 1976, it’s fairly amazing I can remember anything from that year.
#2. - “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band
Sadly, I do remember this song.
#1. - “Silly Love Songs” by Wings
After The Beatles broke up and Paul McCartney formed his post-Beatle band, Wings, critics and former bandmate, John Lennon were quick to accuse McCartney of writing, “lightweight pop songs.” Lennon even compared him to Engelbert Humperdinck at one point.
This song was kind of a big, “fuck you,” to those critics, with McCartney pretty much saying in this song that he was more than happy to write silly love songs and he asks the question: “What’s wrong with that?” Apparently nothing, because the single was number one for five weeks and it ended up being the number one song of the year on Billboards Year-End Charts of 1976.
The song has a little bit of disco flavor to it and a great bass line that dominates the tune.
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