May 22, 1976: “The apparent apathy of London DJ’s is amazing.”

Disco dee-jay’s are so consistently failing to support attempts to give them a unity that soon nobody will bother to help them. Or maybe they are happy to be thought of as nothing more than a bunch of kids playing records in the evenings?

Certainly, it was the older and more responsible type of DJ who supported last Thursday’s NADJ-run Promotion Forum, held at London’s Centre Hotel. Even so, the DJ’s there were almost outnumbered by the record company people attending – fast becoming the norm for this type of affair. To quote one DJ, Johnnie Stuart (Scallywags, Hastings), “The apparent apathy of London DJ’s is amazing, especially when you consider that many of those who have made the effort to come are from Glasgow, Cardiff, Bournemouth and Hull.”

The Promotion Forum delivered all that had been promised, but with the small number of DJ’s present, most of the interaction between the panels and the audience tended to involve people already established in the industry. Among those DJ’s who did get involved was Chris Hill (Canvey Island).

It was Chris who was called on to present the award for the “Promotion Person Of The Year”, the winner being Andy Stinton of Creole Records. Andy appeared on five of the six panels during the day, the subjects discussed by each being Promotion, Mobiles, Mailing Lists, Reaction Reports, Promotion Nights and an Open Forum.

There should have been more DJ’s present to argue their case. As it is, don’t now be surprised to find it harder to get free demos unless you return all your reaction reports. 

New Spins

CHUCK BERRY: ‘Sweet Little Rock And Roller’ (Chess 6198080)
Far from his strongest, it does have a trendy bopping backbeat. Maxi, coupled with the frantic ‘Back In The USA’ and ‘No Particular Place To Go‘, which has weathered well since ’64 and is the best bet.

LEE ELDRED: ‘How’s Your Love Life?’ (Mercury 6167331) (Billboard chart debut 6/12/76)
Reminiscent of Johnnie Taylor’s ‘Who’s Makin’ Love’ in its gutsy drive, Lee’s probing Part 1 is an instant soulful smash. However the monotonously instrumental Part 2, enlivened by a squealing chick’s climax, seems to be the DJs’ choice.

THE REAL THING: ‘You To Me Are Everything’ (Pye 7N 25709) (Billboard chart debut 11/6/76)
Already big in their Liverpool hometown, this semi-slow hustler has husky harmonies and an appealingly laid back lilt.

RHYTHM HERITAGE: ‘My Cherie Amour’ (ABC 4117)
Competent instrumental-with-chorus treatment of Stevie Wonder’s oldie, useful MoR if not too dated. The ‘Barretta’s Theme‘ A-side is another, more complex slowie.

THE RICHMOND STRING ORCHESTRA: ‘Boots And Saddles’ (Ronco RTS 2001)
Gunshot-punctuated bouncy knees-up with skippable sound FX intro, possibly useful for adventurous jocks.

FLASH CADILLAC: ‘Did You Boogie With Your Baby’ (Private Stock PVT 60)
Jolly Drifters-type bouncer helped no end on the DJ copies by some Wolfman Jack voiceovers. Why aren’t they on the commercial copies, as they make it?

CATHERINE FERRY: ‘Un Deux, Trois’ (Barclay BAR 42)
Typically joyful Euro-Pop smash with bouncy beat. Try and get the French language version if possible, as it’s much stronger than the English.

TYRONE ASHLEY: ‘Feet Start Moving’ (Pye 7N 25704)
100 mph Northern stuff from the ever-productive Ian Levine.

L.J. JOHNSON: ‘Dancing On The Edge Of A Dream’ (Mercury 6007101)
Ditto, as for Tyrone Ashley.

EL COCO: ‘Mondo Disco’ (Pye 7N 25706) (Billboard chart debut 10/11/75)
Sparsely instrumentated cool hustler, unfortunately minus the siren intro that made it a once popular import.

DAVID CHRISTIE: ‘Jaywalk I/II’ (Creole CR 121)
Pleasant if unspectacular bumper from the hit writer.

THE MAJORS: ‘My Dance’ (Magnet MAG 64)
Happy Drifters-styled item getting DJ tips.

BUTTERFLIES: ‘Crazy Legs’ (Thunderbird THE 106)
Singalong Pop pounder much tipped by our Scottish and Welsh connections.

SUPERCHARGE: ‘She Moved The Dishes First’ (from LP ‘Local Lads Make Good’, Virgin V 2053)
Flo & Eddie ride again, as these Liverpool funksters have some totally filthy Frank Zappa-type fun that’s good for sniggers if not for dancing.

UK Disco Top 20 – May 22, 1976

01 01 Silver Convention – Get Up And Boogie – Magnet
02 02 Andrea True Connection – More, More, More – Buddah
03 03 Hank Mizell – Jungle Rock – Charly
04 06 Fox – S-S-S-Single Bed – GTO
05 07 Stylistics – Can’t Help Falling In Love – Avco
06 04 Jimmy James – I’ll Go Where The Music Takes Me – Pye
07 18 Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow – Warner Bros.
08 05 Diana Ross – Love Hangover – Tamla Motown
09 13 Johnnie Taylor – Disco Lady – CBS
10 20 Tina Charles – Love Me Like A Lover – CBS
11 10 Barry White – You See The Trouble With Me – 20th Century
12 NE Melba Moore – This Is It – Buddah
13 RE Pioneers – Feel The Rhythm – Philips
14 RE James & Bobby Purify – I’m Your Puppet – Mercury
15 19 Sutherland Brothers & Quiver – Arms Of Mary – CBS
16 16 Roger Collins – You Sexy Sugar Plum – Fantasy
17 NE Four Seasons – Silver Star – Warner Bros.
18 RE Sailor – Girls, Girls, Girls – Epic
19 11 Harpo – Movie Star – DJM
20 12 Isaac Hayes – Disco Connection – ABC
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (mentioned in Billboard column 2/14/76, Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 1/3/76, Billboard chart debut 1/17/76)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 4/17/76)
#8 (Billboard chart debut 2/28/76)
#9 (Billboard chart debut 3/20/76)
#11 (Billboard chart debut 3/13/76)
#12 (mentioned in Billboard column 3/13/76, Billboard chart debut 4/3/76)
#20 (Billboard chart debut 1/24/76)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

DON WOODY: ‘Barking Up The Wrong Tree’ (MCA)
MUD: ‘Shake It Down’ (Private Stock) (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
VINCE TAYLOR: ‘Brand New Cadillac’ (Chiswick)
LEE GARRETT: ‘You’re My Everything’ (Chrysalis)
MISTURA: ‘The Flasher’ (Route)
JIMMY BO HORNE: ‘Gimme Some’ (RCA) (Billboard chart debut 7/12/75)
BABE RUTH: ‘Elusive’ (Capitol) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
CLIFF RICHARD: ‘Devil Woman’ (EMI)
THE WURZELS: ‘The Combine Harvester’ (EMI)
STEPHANIE MILLS: ‘If You Can Learn How To Cry’ (Tamla Motown)
THE CHARLES RANDOLPH GREAN SOUNDE: ‘Star Trek’ (UK) (Billboard chart debut 11/29/75)
CANDI STATON: ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ (Warner Bros.) (Billboard chart debut 4/17/76)

One thought on “May 22, 1976: “The apparent apathy of London DJ’s is amazing.””

  1. This particular edition of ‘Record Mirror’ is particularly of interest to me inasmuch as it is the edition of the publication that Carene Cheryl is reading in Piccadilly Circus in the «Salut les copains» magazine of July 1976, which I tracked down since I had been made aware that there was an article therein entitled «Pourquoi Londres veut nous voler Carene Cheryl» (‘Why London wants to steal Carene Cheryl from us’) and I wondered if there were going to be any photos of Carene in London and, much to my delight, there were!

    Carene Cheryl – later known as Karen Cheryl and then under her real name of Isabelle Morizet – is of huge importance in the leg-bone-connected-to-the-etc. virtual journey I have taken back to the female Pop scene of east of the former Iron Curtain overwhelmingly in the 1970s and also overwhelmingly in Czechoslovakia and I’ll never forget the part discovering the Pop culture of France of that era – thanks, initially, to discovering a whole load of old «Paris Match» magazines in the attic of my previous address way back in May 2004 – has played in the whole process. I wondered who this «Carène Cheril» – as it was spelt – was in the edition of 13th November 1976 who was supposedly known to the English as «Baby Star» and the rest, as they say, is history.

    It’s notable that one of the songs that have sparked this journey in Cyberspace is in the UK Disco Top 20 above, although I know it as ‘I’ll Go Where YOUR Music Takes Me’ (my emphasis), covered as «Ne raccroche pas, je t’aime» (‘Don’t Hang Up, I Love You’) by the aforementioned Carene Cheryl and I am absolutely delighted to see a record from over the other side of the English Channel featured in ‘New Spins’ and doubly so to see the drum being banged for the French-language version! It puts me very much in mind of Carene Cheryl’s «Les neiges d’été» (‘The Snows Of Summer’) on the 1976 album named after her cover of ‘I’ll Go Where Your Music Takes Me’. If one overlooks the fact that the song is in a foreign language it would have made a pretty credible Northern Soul dancer.

    You may like to know that, although getting hold of that July 1976 edition of «Salut les copains» didn’t solve the mystery of «Baby Star», I have subsequently discovered that that was the title of Sacha Distel’s cover of Harpo’s ‘Movie Star’, also featured in the UK Disco Top 20 above. It’s an additional bonus for me personally that, like I share the 19th July birthday of Isabelle Morizet, such a celebrity as Sacha shares the 29th January birthday of the artist for whom I run the Fan Blog and ‘sister Blog’ to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ (Mostly Seventies Songstresses of the Soviet Satellites), ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, Valérie Čižmárová. If discovering the Carene Cheryl/Karen Cheryl/Isabelle Morizet story was quite something even it didn’t prepare me for the Valérie Čižmárová story, which really blew me away!

    Returning to Carene, however, the primary purpose of the «Pourquoi Londres veut nous voler Carene Cheryl» article was to highlight Carene’s first foray into recording in English – the song «Love Me Like A Stranger». Is that a song known to you? When she was re-launched in October 1978 as Karen Cheryl, recording a string of songs in English, mostly in a Disco vein – possibly a reaction to Sheila’s re-launch as Sheila B. Devotion the previous year -her re-launch single was «Sing To Me Mama». Is that, too, a song known to you?


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