August 27, 1977: “Elvis Presley was the biggest influence on my formative years”

Elvis Presley was the biggest influence on my formative years, and back in the fifties/early sixties could literally be called my god. When, as an innocent kid, I heard a 78rpm wind-up gramophone playing his ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ in 1956, I experienced the only true mystical revelation of my life. I didn’t know what it was and couldn’t make out the words, but I knew that this was for me.

From that point on, I suffered the teasing that all true fans know, and the chiding of my parents for growing sideburns (which I kept until the beard grew in ’70!).

Without Elvis, I may well have become interested in music anyway – but without Elvis would music have been the same? Certainly, it was to recapture the intensity of his earlier records that in the early sixties I turned towards R&B and soul music when his own material became less potent. Thus my life was moulded.

As a DJ, I naturally use many Presley platters whenever the occasion calls for some rock ‘n roll, and experience has taught me that (of his uptempo tunes) this is the Elvis Top Ten: ‘Return To Sender’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Hound Dog’, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, ‘Wear My Ring Around Your Neck’, ‘Mean Woman Blues’, ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’, ‘All Shook Up’, ‘I Got Stung’, ‘Baby Let’s Play House’ (the last being his best rockabilly bopper).

He wasn’t meant to die. Ever. But then he wasn’t meant to get old, grow fat and play Vegas, either.

New Spins

GIORGIO: ‘Utopia – Me Giorgio’ (Oasis 1)
Wow! Donna’s producer now hits us with his own synthesizer pounder – a fast instrumental in the Space bag – but wait for his terrific continuously seguing album, out in a fortnight . . . it’s dynaMITE!

CELI BEE & THE BUZZY BUNCH: ‘One Love’ (TK XC 9145) (BNDA debut 4/9/77)
Great long-awaited frothy fast rhythm rattler, particularly good after the trite singing stops in the second half. It’s a full-length 8:08 commercial 12-incher, in T-Connection style!

STEVIE WONDER: ‘Another Star’ (Motown TMG 1083) (BNDA debut 10/23/76)
Almost as pretty as ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ and always big in US discos, the happy subtle salsa-style rhythm builder’s been remixed for 45.

CAROLE BAYER SAGER: ‘Don’t Wish Too Hard’ (Elektra K 12260)
Totally joyous finger-snapping lilter, packed with verve and vitality.

LEO SAYER: ‘Thunder In My Heart’ (Chrysalis CHS 2163) (BNDA debut 12/10/77)
Pounding fast hustler, like a less noisy ‘Slow Down’.

NATHALIE ET CHRISTINE: ‘Femmes Part 1’ (EMI 2670)
Sombre sexy slow smoocher in ‘Je T’Aime’ style, with naughty French fillies panting at each other. Tres gay!

MORNING, NOON AND NIGHT: ‘Bite Your Granny’ (UA UP 36292) (BNDA debut 7/9/77)
Hip funky title of the day, big on import, has an insistent jittery drive and sorta simpler Brass Construction appeal. Check also ‘Le Joint’ on their LP (UAS 30114).

B.T. EXPRESS: ‘Funky Music (Don’t Laugh At My Funk)’ (EMI INT 537)
Punchy thudder with all their trademarks.

BOB MARLEY: ‘Waiting In Vain’ (Island WIP 640)
Haunting slow reggae jiggler, remixed for 45.

KEITH ROWE: ‘Groovy Situation’ (Black Swan BS 6)
Lovely slinky slow reggae groover, 12-inched in limited edition.

JEAN CARN: ‘If You Wanna Go Back’ (Philadelphia Int’l PIR 5501) (BNDA debut 1/29/77)
Harshly reviewed before, this mellow hustler has a hook that’s really rather catchy.

HODGES, JAMES & SMITH: ‘Since I Fell For You / I’m Falling In Love’ (London LHLU 10551) (BNDA debut 6/18/77)
Classy soul slowies melded together with thudding rhythm and squawking chix, 12-inched commercially.

APRIL STEVENS: ‘Wanting You’ (MGM 2006586)
“Sugar pie, honey bunch” . . . yes, it’s a catchy northern leaper from ’67.

VELOURS: ‘I’m Gonna Change’ (MGM 2006603)
Another 1967 northern churner (and nice flip) by the later Fantastics.

ROGER TAYLOR: ‘(I Wanna) Testify’ (EMI 2679)
Parliament’s ‘67 soul classic goes heavy, multi-tracked by the Queen bod.

NAZARETH: ‘Broken Down Angel’ / ‘Hair Of The Dog’ / ‘This Flight Tonight’ / ‘Love Hurts’ (from EP ‘Hot Tracks’, Mountain NAZ 1)
Hairy heaviness lives?

CARL WAYNE: ‘Hi Summer’ (Weekend/DJM DJS 10797)
Ultra-brite and bouncy TV theme really does get ‘em jiving (surprisingly).

Z.Z. HILL: ‘Love Is So Good When You’re Stealing It’ (CBS 5553)
Dynamite deep soul smoocher, dead slow.

JERRY BUTLER: ‘Chalk It Up’ (Motown TMG 1082) (BNDA debut 4/2/77)
Slightly complex but perky handclapper, edited and remixed for 45.

GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ (Buddah BDS 460)
Rhythmic swayer, typical sound.

MOTHER FREEDOM BAND: ‘Beautiful Summer Day’ (All Platinum 6146326)
Nice summery swayer, sorta War/BS&T/Ace, and an ultra-funky fast flip.

Mix Master

Keith Black (Warwick 48465) has a terrific segue sequence for happy MoR/mixed age gigs that he guarantees will work. Donna Summer ‘I Remember Yesterday’ (GTO LP) mixing into the main beat of Biddu Orch ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ (Epic), similarly skipping intro into Walter Murphy ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ (Private Stock), into Dr. Buzzard ‘Cherchez La Femme’ (RCA LP), mixing rhythms of ‘C’est Si Bon’ and Manhattan Transfer ‘Don’t Let Go’ (Atlantic), mixing through the final “hold me tight”s into rhythm of Victor Sylvester ‘La Conga’ and into his ‘Gay Gordons’ (both on Regal Starline LP ‘Celebration Party Dances’). Uh, Keith, don’t move South – that’s my style!

Hot Vinyl

Graham Canter (London Mayfair’s Gullivers), sitting-in on BBC Radio London’s Soul 77 show again this Thursday at 8:30pm, import tips a superb new floater, DRAMATICS: ‘Spaced Out Over You’ (ABC LP cut), and:

EDDIE FISHER: ‘Music Makes Me Feel Good’ (Stang LP cut)
JAMES BROWN: ‘If You Don’t Give A Doggone About It’ (Polydor LP cut)
MILLIE JACKSON: ‘All The Way Lover’ (Spring LP cut)
100 PROOF AGED IN SOUL & NEW YORK PORT AUTHORITY: ‘I’m Mad As Hell And I Can’t Take No More’ (Hot Wax) [Whew! What a mouthful!]
and a remixed BROTHERS JOHNSON: ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ (A&M 12”) pressed in strawberry-scented red vinyl.  Now that’s hot!

UK Disco Top 50 – August 27, 1977

Last week’s continuation of the Disco Chart into a full 50 was so popular that, once again (but not regularly), we present the extended version.

01 01 Donna Summer – I Feel Love – GTO
02 03 Floaters – Float On – ABC
03 13 Space – Magic Fly – Pye
04 02 Boney M – Ma Baker – Atlantic
05 09 Philadelphia All-Stars – Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto – Philadelphia Int’l
06 17 Showaddywaddy – You Got What It Takes – Arista
07 04 Danny Williams – Dancing Easy – Ensign
08 05 Rah Band – The Crunch – Good Earth
09 18 Candi Staton – Nights On Broadway – Warner Bros.
10 23 Biddu Orchestra – Soul Coaxing – CBS
11 06 John Miles – Slow Down – Decca
12 11 Lovers – Discomania – Epic
13 NE Dooleys – I Think I’m Gonna Fall In Love With You – GTO
14 10 C.J. & Company – Devil’s Gun – Atlantic
15 39 Ritchie Family – Quiet Village – Polydor
16 33 Steve Gibbons Band – Tulane – Polydor
17 46 Jacksons – Dreamer – Epic
18 NE Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene – Polydor
19 24 Bruce Johnston – Pipeline – CBS
20 21 Smokey Robinson – Vitamin U – Motown
21 47 J.A.L.N. Band – I’ve Got To Sing – Magnet
22 12 Detroit Emeralds – Feel The Need In Me – Atlantic
23 NE Belle Epoque – Black Is Black – Harvest (12″)
24 NE Donna Summer – Deep Down Inside – Casablanca
25 07 T-Connection – Do What You Wanna Do – TK
26 45 Instant Funk – It Ain’t Reggae (But It’s Funky) – Philadelphia Int’l
27 NE Osibisa – The Warrior – Bronze
28 08 Hot Chocolate – So You Win Again – Rak
29 NE Jonathan Richman – Roadrunner – Berserkley
30 19 Donna Summer – Love’s Unkind – GTO (LP)
31 48 Gary Glitter – A Little Boogie Woogie – Arista
32 34 Olympic Runners – Keep It Up – RCA
33 27 Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant – Virgin
34 41 Bobby Marchan – I Wanna Bump (With The Big Fat Woman) – Mercury
35 25 James Brown – Honky Tonk – Polydor
36 22 Dave Edmunds – I Knew The Bride – Swan Song
37 16 New York Port Authority – I Got It – Invictus
38 NE Deniece Williams – That’s What Friends Are For – CBS
39 30 Commodores – Easy – Motown
40 31 Dennis Coffey – Wings Of Fire – Atlantic
41 NE Fleetwood Mac – Dreams – Warner Bros.
42 15 Gladys Knight – Baby Don’t Change Your Mind – Buddah
43 NE Four Seasons – Down The Hall – Warner Bros.
44 44 Emotions – Best Of My Love – CBS
45 32 Cameo – Post Mortem – Casablanca
46 RE Jigsaw – If I Have To Go Away – Splash
47 NE Brotherhood Of Man – Angelo – Pye
48 NE Ohio Players – O-H-I-O – Mercury
49 NE Muscles – If It Relaxes Your Mind – Big Bear
50 (tie) 35 Celi Bee & The Buzzy Bunch – One Love – TK (LP)
50 (tie) 37 Gibson Brothers – Non-Stop Dance – Polydor
NE = new entry; RE = re-entry

Appeared in Billboard:
#1 (BNDA debut 5/28/77) / #3 (BNDA debut 6/4/77) / #4 (BNDA debut 8/6/77)
#5 (BNDA debut 7/23/77) / #11 (BNDA debut 3/12/77) / #12 (BNDA debut 5/14/77)
#14 (BNDA debut 4/23/77) / #15 (BNDA debut 7/9/77) / #19 (BNDA debut 7/16/77)
#22 (BNDA debut 4/30/77) / #23 (BNDA debut 6/18/77) / #24 (BNDA debut 7/2/77)
#25 (BNDA debut 2/26/77) / #26 (BNDA debut 12/25/76) / #27 (BNDA debut 3/5/77)
#30 (BNDA debut 5/28/77) / #32 (BNDA debut 11/12/77) / #40 (BNDA debut 6/18/77)
#44 (BNDA debut 6/11/77) / #50 (Celi Bee) (BNDA debut 4/9/77)

1 STRANGLERS: ‘Something Better Change’ (UA)
2 PEOPLE’S CHOICE: ‘Jam, Jam, Jam’ (Philadelphia Int’l LP cut)
3 TEDDY PENDERGRASS: ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ (Philadelphia Int’l) (BNDA debut 3/19/77)

Songs mentioned in “DJ Hotline”:

CAMOUFLAGE: ‘Bee Sting’ (State 12”) (BNDA debut 6/18/77)
BLONDE ON BLONDE: ‘Subway’ (Chrysalis)
COMMODORES: ‘Brick House’ (Motown LP cut) (BNDA debut 4/16/77)
CRAIG SNYDER & NIX: ‘Bust It’ (Midsong – US import)
ROBERTA KELLY: ‘Zodiacs’ (Durium LP cut – Italian import) (BNDA debut 8/27/77)
LOVE & KISSES: ‘I Found Love’ (Casablanca LP cut – US import) (BNDA debut 6/11/77)
MARLENA SHAW: ‘Yu-Ma / Go Away Little Boy’ (CBS)
T-CONNECTION: ‘Disco Magic’ (TK LP cut) (BNDA debut 9/4/76)
SHOTGUN: ‘Mutha Funk’ (ABC)
JEAN CARN: ‘If You Wanna Go Back’ (Philadelphia Int’l) (BNDA debut 1/29/77)
SHALAMAR: ‘Inky Dinky Wang Dang Doo’ (Soul Train LP cut)

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