It’s hard to believe, but here’s how much things cost in 1976, our country’s BICENTENNIAL YEAR….a gallon of regular gas was 59 cents, you could buy a new Plymouth Arrow automobile for $3,175.00, average monthly rent was $220, you could buy a new house for $43,400, the average annual income was $16,000 and a Polaroid Camera would set you back $28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average at the end of the year was 1004. The Summer Olympics, held in Montreal, Canada, saw Nadia Comaneci receive the first ever perfect score in Gymnastics. AND….these are the Top Ten Tunes in the USA for the week of August 1, 1976….
This Week (Last week’s position in brackets)
1. “KISS AND SAY GOODBYE”/The Manhattans (1) – Spending its second week on top of the charts, this group from Jersey City, New Jersey was enjoying their biggest hit. They’d hit the national Top Ten again in FOUR years with “Shining Star,” their 2nd biggest hit.
2. “LOVE IS ALIVE”/Gary Wright (5) – Gary peaked at this position for the second consecutive time. His first hit, “Dream Weaver,” also peaked at #2 early this year. “Love Is Alive” would be Gary’s last Top Ten Hit, but he would score a Top 20 Hit four years from now with “Really Want To Know You,” in the summer of 1981.
3. “MOONLIGHT FEELS RIGHT”/Starbuck (4) – A pop-rock group from Atlanta, Georgia, Starbuck would reach the Top 5 only ONE time with this hit. This is the tune’s peak position on the charts. They’d release a handful of songs over the next couple of years, but none of them would reach the Top 30.
4. “AFTERNOON DELIGHT”/Starland Vocal Band (2) – A “One Hit Wonder” group formed in Washington, D.C., led by husband and wife Bill and Taffy Danoff, who supplied backing vocals for John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads.” “Afternoon Delight” spent 2 weeks at #1 in July and was one of the “out of left field” hits of the decade. The Starland Vocal Band would fail to reach the Top 60 again, even after winning the “Best New Artist” Grammy for 1976!
5. “DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART”/Elton John and Kiki Dee (8) – This will be one of the biggest songs of the year and it’s heading to #1 next week. It will keep the top spot for 4 consecutive weeks and become Elton’s biggest hit of the 70’s. Kiki Dee was a UK pop star in her own right and had a solo hit in 1974, “I’ve Got The Music In Me.”
6. “GET CLOSER”/Seals and Crofts (6) – In their peak position, Seals and Crofts never cracked the Top 5 in the USA, though they had a handful of hits. “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl” in 1972 and 1973 ALSO peaked at #6!
7. “GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE”/The Beatles (7) – Six years after the break-up of The Beatles, Capitol Records decided to release this song as a single. It was originally featured on the Fab Four’s “Revolver” album in 1966. Very uncharacteristic of The Beatles, this single failed to reach the Top 5, peaking at #7 for three weeks. It was the group’s last Top Ten hit.
8. “ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC”/The Beach Boys (9) – The Beach Boy’s first Top Ten Hit in TEN YEARS, when “Good Vibrations” reached #1 in 1966 and their last Top Ten Hit for quite a while. “Rock And Roll Music” was also covered by The Beatles. Originally released in late 1957, Chuck Berry first made this a Top Ten Hit in early 1958. The Beach Boys would reach the Top Ten one more time with their last #1 hit, “Kokomo” in 1988.
9. “I’LL BE GOOD TO YOU”/The Brothers Johnson (3) – A tune that peaked at #3 and stayed at that position for three consecutive weeks for this duo. The brothers are George and Louis from Los Angeles. They’d have two more Top Ten Hits, “Strawberry Letter 23” and “Stomp!” in 1977 and 1980 before breaking up in 1982.
10. “LET ‘EM IN”/Wings (19) – “Who’s that knockin’ at the door, who’s that ringing the bell?” So begins this tune, the 12th of 23 times Paul McCartney reached the Top Ten after the break-up of the Beatles. “Let ‘Em In” will peak at #3 for FOUR weeks straight.