January 15, 1977: Rick Dees, Jimmy Castor Bunch, Bobby Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Thelma Houston

New Spins

King Kong has made his mark at the cinema again, and now crops up on three new singles – all aimed at discos and all with instrumental version B-sides.  Kong and the movie may be big, but not THAT big, surely?

RICK DEES: ‘Disgorilla’ (RSO 2090217)
Similar to his Duck maybe, yet it’s lively enough once it gets going to be good disco fun.

JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH: ‘King Kong’ (Atlantic K 10675) (mentioned in Billboard column 9/27/75)
Repetitive rattling rhythm, monotonous melody, saved by funky gibbon grunts.

BOBBY PICKETT & PETER FERRARA: ‘King Kong (Your Song)’ (Polydor 2066754)
Less instant but the best jokes, this keeps to the original film’s storyline and could be a sleeper worth working. 

BOZ SCAGGS: ‘What Can I Say’ (CBS 4869) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76)
Even stronger than his last one, it’s another cool hit-bound hustler.

THELMA HOUSTON: ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ (Motown TMG 1060) (mentioned in Billboard column 11/20/76, Billboard chart debut 11/27/76)
Although the Blue Notes original is also out, this slow-starting soulful builder has all it takes to be another ‘Love Hangover’.

DAVID PARTON: ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (Pye 7N 45663)
It had to happen – a sound-alike single for all those jocks whose pet peeve is Stevie not being on 45.

DETROIT SPINNERS: ‘Wake Up Susan’ (Atlantic K 10799)
Bright pop/soul of the most obvious type.

DAVID MATTHEWS: ‘Shoogie Wanna Boogie’ (Kudu 934) (Billboard chart debut 11/20/76)
Terrifically jaunty herky-jerky funker, already huge on import.

EL COCO: ‘Let’s Get It Together’ (Pye 7N 25732) (Billboard chart debut 7/31/76)
Great subtle instrumental with Blue Beat influences in a sensuous groove, finally out here.  Similar ‘Fait Le Chat‘ flip has its fans too.

MANHATTAN TRANSFER: ‘Chanson D’Amour’ (Atlantic K 10886)
Art and Dotty Todd’s romantic 1958 smoocher recreated, this MoR smash has been crying out for 45 release.  Lovely!

EARTH, WIND & FIRE: ‘Saturday Nite’ (CBS 4835) (Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
Specialised funk, slow and insistent.

UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘Method To The Madness’ LP (Whitfield K 56289)
As well as the full 11:10 ‘You + Me = Love’, the 9:10 ‘Let’s Go Down To The Disco’ is much stronger at LP length.  The second half has ‘Car Wash’ handclaps to confuse the punters.

WILD CHERRY: ‘Baby Don’t You Know’ (Epic EPC 4911)
Logical follow-on to ‘Funky Music’, it works well but will it hit?


Ric Simon (real name Eric Sisson) runs his mobile disco from Tamworth in Staffordshire, and has had plenty of experience playing to mixed age groups.  He suggests a segue of discotised standards as being useful for such occasions.

Ric’s mix is BIDDU ORCHESTRA ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ (Epic) / WING & A PRAYER FIFE & DRUM CORPS ‘Baby Face’ (Atlantic) / LARRY PAGE ORCHESTRA ‘Volare’ (Penny Farthing) / SALSOUL ORCHESTRA ‘Tangerine’ (Epic) / BOBBY AZEFF ‘My Way’ (Creole).  The hustle lives, eh?!  I’ve personally found that even the oldies get off on a cunning blend of SALSOUL ORCHESTRA ‘Salsoul 3001’ (Salsoul) and VAN MCCOY ‘Soul Cha Cha’ (H&L – US import), so maybe an update’s in order.

UK Disco Top 20 – January 15, 1977

01 06 Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely – Motown
02 02 Stevie Wonder – I Wish – Motown
03 01 Showaddywaddy – Under The Moon Of Love – Bell
04 NE Jesse Green – Flip – EMI
05 08 Tina Charles – Dr. Love – CBS
06 16 Rose Royce – Car Wash – MCA
07 04 Paul Nicholas – Grandma’s Party – RSO
08 03 Status Quo – Wild Side Of Life – Vertigo
09 NE Drifters – You’re More Than A Number – Arista
10 07 KC & The Sunshine Band – Keep It Comin’ Love – Jay Boy
11 RE Undisputed Truth – You + Me = Love – Warner Bros.
12 05 Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Chrysalis
13 11 ABBA – Money, Money, Money – Epic
14 RE 10cc – The Things We Do For Love – Mercury
15 09 Billy Ocean – Stop Me – GTO
16 13 Tavares – Don’t Take Away The Music – Capitol
17 17 Electric Light Orchestra – Livin’ Thing – Jet
18 NE Van McCoy – Soul Cha Cha – H&L
19 NE David Soul – Don’t Give Up On Us – Private Stock
20 12 Boney M – Daddy Cool – Atlantic
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
#2 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/16/76, Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
#4 (Billboard chart debut 2/5/77)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 10/2/76)
#10 (Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
#11 (Billboard chart debut 7/24/76)
#12 (Billboard chart debut 12/18/76)
#16 (mentioned in Billboard column 6/5/76, Billboard chart debut 6/19/76)
#18 (Billboard chart debut 11/20/76)
#20 (mentioned in Billboard column 9/25/76, Billboard chart debut 11/20/76)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

DOUBLE EXPOSURE: ‘Ten Percent’ (Salsoul) (mentioned in Billboard column 4/3/76, Billboard chart debut 5/1/76)
EAGLES: ‘New Kid In Town’ (Asylum)
ANDREW GOLD: ‘Do Wah Diddy’ (Asylum)
BAR-KAYS: ‘Shake Your Rump To The Funk’ (Mercury) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
MOMENTS: ‘Jack In The Box’ (All Platinum)
MOMENTS: ‘Nine Times’ (All Platinum)
RAMONES: ‘Shake Some Action’ (Sire)
DAMNED: ‘New Rose’ (Stiff)
SAINTS: ‘I’m Stranded’ (Power Exchange)
SEX PISTOLS: ‘Anarchy In The UK’ (EMI)
STANLEY BLACK: ‘La Cumparsita’ (Decca)
MUSCLE SHOALS HORNS: ”Breakdown’ (Bang) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/12/76)
UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘You + Me = Love’ (Warner Bros.) (Billboard chart debut 7/24/76)
PARLIAMENT: ‘Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)’ (Casablanca) (Billboard chart debut 9/18/76)
VAN MCCOY: ‘Soul Cha Cha’ (H&L LP cut – US import) (Billboard chart debut 10/9/76)
MASS PRODUCTION: ‘Welcome To Our World’ (Atlantic – US import) (Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
WHISPERS: ‘One For The Money’ (Soul Train) (mentioned in Billboard column 6/19/76, Billboard chart debut 6/26/76)
B.T. EXPRESS: ‘Can’t Stop Groovin’ Now, Wanna Do It Some More’ (EMI) (Billboard chart debut 5/29/76)
OHIO PLAYERS: ‘Love Rollercoaster’ (Mercury) (Billboard chart debut 9/20/75)
JOHN VALENTI: ‘Anything You Want’ (Ariola America)
THELMA HOUSTON: ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ (Motown) (mentioned in Billboard column 11/20/76, Billboard chart debut 11/27/76)

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