April 2, 1977: TK label launch – Ralph MacDonald, Timmy Thomas, Latimore, KC & The Sunshine Band.

RCA’s first product on their new TK label – British outlet for Florida’s complex of TK, Glades, Alston, Dash, Marlin, etc – is a set of four albums and two singles.  However, the big news is what’s yet to come!  At the beginning of May, RCA will be launching the TK Disco 12-inch series in this country, selling the highly-prized “big 45’s” at an economical price.

Their plan is to press the first 10,000 copies of all the TK releases in 12-inch form, making 7-inch two-parters for radio and subsequent commercial release.

Slated to lead the 12-inch assault are T-CONNECTION ‘Do What You Wanna Do’, an insistently rattling stormer that’s rightly the States’ biggest disco hit of the moment, FUNK MACHINE ‘Funk Machine’ and JIMMY BO HORNE ‘Get Happy’.

Meanwhile, the initial release of albums sees the influential percussionist RALPH MACDONALD finally out on his own.  As a supersession accompanist he’s been largely responsible for the current percussion trend in disco music.  His ‘Sound Of A Drum‘ (TK XL 14030) has his big hit dancer, the happy ‘Calypso Breakdown’, as well as the lovely ‘Where Is The Love‘ and Latin-type ‘Mr. Magic‘.

TIMMY THOMAS ‘The Magician‘ (XL 14044) has his big ‘Stone To The Bone’, a light and airy instrumental with chix, but the title-track single (XB 9052) is a more forceful and less effective vocal. 

LATIMORE ‘It Ain’t Where You Been‘ (XL 14034) has his sexy slow US soul hit, ‘Somethin’ ‘Bout ‘Cha’, and a slightly more rhythmic title track, both big with import jocks.

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND ‘Part 3‘ (DXL1 4021) is merely a re-issue in gatefold sleeve of their Jay Boy release containing ‘Shake Your Booty‘.  The new single from the set couples ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ / ‘Wrap Your Arms Around Me’ (XB 2167), both typical KC without being anything special.

Set for singles release at the end of April is GEORGE MCCRAE ‘Love In Motion’, a monotonously chugging variation on his old sound.

35,000 copies of commercially available 12-inchers are being pressed by WEA for the upcoming edited TRAMMPS ‘Disco Inferno’ (Atlantic K 10914), while already available in this number is the great rock masterpiece, TELEVISION ‘Marquee Moon’ (K 12252).  Creole are initially pressing 3,000 copies of the funky HONKY ‘Join The Party’ (CR 137) and their new Motown medley, RONI HALL ‘You Keep Me Hanging On / Stop! In The Name Of Love’ (CR 138), a straightforward segue of the two Supremes oldies.

Promotional 12-inchers in limited quantity for DJ mail-outs include ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA ‘Showdown‘ / ‘Roll Over Beethoven‘ (Harvest HAR 5121) and LIONEL PETERSEN ‘I’ll Keep On Comin’ Back To You‘ / ‘Love Bug’ (President PT 462).

New Spins

STEVIE WONDER: ‘Sir Duke’ (Motown TMG 1068) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/16/76, Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
Jiggly laid-back brassy tribute to Duke Ellington.

BOSTON: ‘Long Time’ (Epic EPC 5043)
Smash rock dazzler with clapping breaks.

NEIL DIAMOND: ‘Stargazer’ (CBS 5115)
At last, another useful jaunty MoR romper.

GEORGE BENSON: ‘Nature Boy’ / ‘The Wind And I’ (Warner Bros. K 16921)
Gently rhythmic subtle smoocher, beautiful instrumental flip.

SURPRISE SISTERS: ‘Music Music’ (Good Earth GD 9)
Bright little hustling clapper.

CHILDS PLAY: ‘Open Sesame’ / ‘Dancin’‘ (Magnet MAG 93)
Short-length cover-versions of Contempo’s new De-Lite dancers – ‘Sesame’ is quite strong.

EARL & THE STEAM TEAM: ‘Engine Of Love’ (MCA 280)
Munich-style chuff-chuff stuff, rather good fun and soulfully sung.

JERRY RIX: ‘Disco Train’ (Contempo CS 2112) (mentioned in Billboard column 9/25/76, Billboard chart debut 10/30/76)
Monotonous mid-tempo Munich chugger, bit dull.

KALYAN: ‘Disco Reggae, Pts. 1 & 2’ (MCA 279) (Billboard chart debut 2/12/77)
Rattling rhythms and beefy bass from Trinidad, huge in US (zero reggae content).

BRIAN BENNETT BAND: ‘Saturday Night Special’ (DJM DJS 10756)
Catchy instrumental hustler, good breaks.

UNDISPUTED TRUTH: ‘Let’s Go Down To The Disco’ (Whitfield K 16912) (Billboard chart debut 12/11/76)
Unlike the US 45, this starts at the ‘Car Wash’ clapping bit!  Good for mixing, maybe weak on its own.

PIERO UMILIANI: ‘Mah-Na, Mah-Na’ (EMI INT 530)
Madly silly MoR theme from a ’69 Swedish movie.

KATHY AND LARRY: ‘If We Can’t Do It Right’ (London HLU 10546)
Country thumper, lively MoR beat.

JAMES WELLS: ‘Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow’ (Polydor 2058861)
Attractively busy rattling racer.

AQUARIAN DREAM: ‘Phoenix’ (Buddah BDS 455) (mentioned in Billboard column 10/2/76)
Perky fast hustler.

MAYNARD FERGUSON: ‘Gonna Fly Now’ (CBS 5106) (mentioned in Billboard column 1/22/77, Billboard chart debut 2/26/77)
Best hustling so far of the theme from ‘Rocky’.

SHERMAN BROTHERS: ‘I’m Stoned In Love With You’ (Magnet MAG 85)
Real Thing-styled swayer – yes, another!

PEGGY LEE: ‘I’m Not In Love’ (Polydor 2058865)
Stunning smoocher.

FOREIGNER: ‘Feels Like The First Time’ (Atlantic K 10917)
Cool white rhythm ticker.

(BALTIMORE) FIRST CLASS: ‘Me & My Gemini’ (All Platinum 6146320)
Lovely soothing soul slowie.

HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES: ‘Where Are All My Friends’ (Philadelphia Int’l PIR 5114)
Creamy churner.

SEAN: ‘Sweet Surrender’ (Ember EMBS 350)
Punchy pop-discotizing of Bread’s oldie, familiar flip.

BETTY PADGET: ‘My Eyes Adored You’ (Dynamic DYN 125)
Gruff-voiced reggaefication of Frankie Valli.

Hot Vinyl

Chris Hill (Ilford lacy Lady) and Tony Clark (Newcastle Julie’s) are both nuts over MARVIN GAYE: ‘Got To Give It Up’ (Tamla LP cut) (Billboard chart debut 4/2/77), while their other import tips are:

GARNET MIMMS: ‘What It Is‘ (Arista) (Billboard chart debut 3/26/77)
ERIC GALE: ‘Ginseng Woman‘ (Columbia LP cut)
OHIO PLAYERS: ‘O-H-I-O‘ / ‘Merry-Go-Round‘ / ‘Body Vibes‘ (Mercury LP cuts)

MACHO: ‘Mucho Macho‘ (Event)
INSTANT FUNK: ‘It Ain’t Reggae But It Is Funky’ (TSOP)
COMMODORES: ‘Won’t You Come Dance With Me‘ (Motown LP cut)


Two Taffy roadshow mixes here from Chris Duke (St. Athan) and Steve Lloyd (Llanehill).  Chris lifts the roof with SALSOUL ORCHESTRA ‘Salsoul 3001’ (Salsoul) / MASS PRODUCTION ‘Welcome To Our World’ (Cotillion) / ALFIE KHAN ‘Law Of The Land‘ (Atlantic), while Steve gets over-18s with BONEY M ‘Sunny’ (Atlantic) / MISTURA ‘The Flasher‘ (Route) / STEVIE WONDER ‘Sir Duke’ (Motown) / SUNSHINE BAND ‘Rock Your Baby’ (Jay Boy), blending into George McCrae.

UK Disco Top 20 – April 2, 1977

01 01 Heatwave – Boogie Nights – GTO
02 08 David Bowie – Sound And Vision – RCA
03 05 Manhattan Transfer – Chanson D’Amour – Atlantic
04 09 ABBA – Knowing Me, Knowing You – Epic
05 NE Boney M – Sunny – Atlantic
06 13 Cerrone – Love In C Minor – Atlantic
07 19 Showaddywaddy – When – Arista
08 04 Brendon – Gimme Some – Magnet
09 02 Earth, Wind & Fire – Saturday Night – CBS
10 06 Thelma Houston – Don’t Leave Me This Way – Motown
11 NE Stylistics – $7000 And You – H&L
12 16 Mass Production – Welcome To Our World – Cotillion
13 RE Maxine Nightingale – Love Hit Me – UA
14 NE Fatback Band – Double Dutch – Spring
15 NE Chaplin Band – Let’s Have A Party – EMI
16 03 Rose Royce – Car Wash – MCA
17 14 Bryan Ferry – This Is Tomorrow – Polydor
18 17 Honky – Join The Party – Creole
19 RE Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke – Motown
20 20 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Don’t Leave Me This Way – Philadelphia Int’l
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (Billboard chart debut 4/23/77)
#5 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/9/76, Billboard chart debut 11/20/76)
#6 (Billboard chart debut 1/15/77)
#10 (mentioned in Billboard column 11/20/76, Billboard chart debut 11/27/76)
#12 (Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
#14 (Billboard chart debut 1/22/77)
#16 (Billboard chart debut 10/2/76)
#19 (mentioned in Billboard column 10/16/76, Billboard chart debut 10/23/76)
#20 (mentioned in Billboard column 12/6/75, Billboard chart debut 12/20/75)

No “DJ Hotline” this week.

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