December 30, 1978: The Hammy Awards

The Hammy Awards

Everyone else seems to be giving out mock awards for the past year’s disco achievements, so who am I not to do so too?  Herewith, then, are my own personal Hammy Awards for 1978.

LABEL OF THE YEAR: Atlantic (look at the number of hits)

RUNNERS UP: Mercury (for taking the 12in plunge successfully), Island (for creating consistent excitement with a few releases), Fantasy (or at least the US parent label, for so many hot 12in import hits)

ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY: CBS (for putting on 12in only what they want us to have, not what we want)

IMPORT OF THE YEAR: Samuel Jonathan Johnson ‘You’ (CBS LP/12” remix)

12IN OF THE YEAR: Crown Heights Affair ‘Galaxy Of Love’ (Mercury)

BEST CHOP MIXER: Hamilton Bohannon ‘Let’s Start The Dance’ (Mercury) 

ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Cameo ‘It’s Serious’ (Casablanca 12”)

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO: Sweet Thunder ‘Everybody’s Singing Love Songs’ (US Fantasy 12”, reportedly due on UK 33 1/3rpm 7”)

LP CUT OF THE YEAR: Roy Ayers ‘Can’t You See Me’ (Polydor)

7IN OF THE YEAR: Er . . . who plays anything on 7in, anyway (unless it’s on CBS)?

MARKETING PLOY OF THE YEAR: WEA’s London-only limited LV 12in launch

RUNNER UP: RCA keeping Evelyn “Champagne” King on unlimited 12in without telling anyone until it had sold 80,000 copies

DISCO PROMOTION PERSON OF THE YEAR: Fred Dove of WEA (for his courage in formulating a successful promotion pattern and then not worrying that it left out lots of thoroughly annoyed jocks – whose turn will come next year; also, for making available so many US promotional 12in remixes to those who are on his list)

RUNNERS UP: John Waller of Phonogram, Greg Lynn of CBS, Theo Loyla of Polydor, Steve Turner & Raymondo of EMI LRD, Pete Dyos of EMI, Sally Ormsby (when at RCA), Nicky Sands (when at Power Exchange), Orville Sweeney of Anchor, Tony Berry (when at Arista), David Brooks (when at Creole), Andy Stinton (when at DJM), Erskine Thompson of Island, Garrell Redfearn of MIF, Pete Waterman & Tilly of Magnet, Les Spaine of Motown – in no particular order – have all bought me drinks or meals and are jolly nice too!

TREND OF THE YEAR: Jazz-funk

EVENTS OF THE YEAR: Jazz-funk all-dayers

JOCK OF THE YEAR: Chris Hill (for proving that disco jocks can command bigger fees for personal appearances than radio DJ’s)

SUMMING UP: John Travolta and the Bee Gees may have got all the media attention during 1978, but despite this a more complex kind of jazz-funk dance music spread through many of the discos as a large portion of the public were trying to escape from anything that smacked of ‘Saturday Night Fever’.  DJ’s consequently became more aware than ever before of imports, and as the year progressed so the disco chart became ever more import orientated.  12in became the most played record size, whether as an LP track or 12in disco single, so that now a UK release is likely to fail in the discos unless it’s issued at least promotionally on a 12in too.  At year’s end it looks as if the notation of a record’s BPM (beats per minute) is going to become increasingly important in the near future as DJ’s are now beginning to get the US mixing bug – however, mixing by BPM alone and not by using your ears can lead to mechanised disaster.  1979 should see a boom for manufacturers who include variable-speed decks in their disco consoles.


No UK Disco Chart this week.


The #1 Hits of ‘78

12/31/77 (1 wk – not counting 1/7): Donna Summer – Love’s Unkind – GTO
1/14/78-1/28/78 (3 wks): Chic – Dance Dance Dance – Atlantic
2/4/78 (1 wk): Odyssey – Native New Yorker – RCA
2/11/78 (1 wk): Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking – Lightning
2/18/78-3/11/78 (4 wks): Stargard – Which Way Is Up – MCA
3/18/78-3/25/78 (2 wks): Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain – Atlantic
4/1/78-4/22/78 (4 wks): Michael Zager Band – Let’s All Chant – Private Stock
4/29/78-5/27/78 (5 wks): Bee Gees – Night Fever – RSO
6/3/78-7/1/78 (5 wks): Hi-Tension – Hi-Tension – Island
7/8/78-9/2/78 (9 wks): A Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie – Capitol
9/9/78-9/23/78 (3 wks): Crown Heights Affair – Galaxy Of Love – Mercury
9/30/78-11/4/78 (6 wks): Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Fantasy
11/11/78-12/9/78 (5 wks): Dan Hartman – Instant Replay – Blue Sky
12/16/78-12/23/78 (2 wks): Chic – Le Freak – Atlantic

Hammy mentions that had a chart been compiled this week, the likely #1 would have been ‘YMCA’.


1978 Disco Top 60

Roger Sheldon of the Phil “D” Roadshow (Horsham 62049) has kindly compiled a year-end round-up of 1978’s disco hits, using just the positions and weeks from the actual UK Disco Top 20 between Jan 7 and Dec 9 – so that this does not reflect time and positions reached in the longer Disco Top 50, and subsequently 90. However, doing the job from just the 20 is hard enough work, so many thanks indeed, Roger!

01 Hi-Tension – Hi-Tension – Island 7”/12″
02 A Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie – Capitol 7″/12″
03 Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Fantasy 7″/12″
04 Bee Gees – Night Fever – RSO 7″/US 12” promo
05 Michael Zager Band – Let’s All Chant / Love Express – Private Stock 7″/12″
06 (tie) Crown Heights Affair – Galaxy Of Love – Mercury 12″
06 (tie) Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain – Atlantic 7”
08 Evelyn “Champagne” King – Shame – RCA 12″
09 Rick James – You And I – Motown 7″/12″
10 Stargard – Which Way Is Up – MCA 7”/12”
11 Boney M. – Rivers Of Babylon / Brown Girl In The Ring – Atlantic 7″/12″
12 Voyage – From East To West – GTO 7”/LP
13 Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive – RSO 7″/US 12” promo
14 Odyssey – Native New Yorker – RCA 7”/12”
15 Hi-Tension – British Hustle – Island 7″/12″
16 Dan Hartman – Instant Replay – Blue Sky 7”/US 12″
17 John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want – RSO 7″
18 Third World – Now That We Found Love – Island 7″/12″
19 (tie) Karen Young – Hot Shot – Atlantic 7″/US West End 12″
19 (tie) Chic – Dance Dance Dance – Atlantic 7”/US 12”
21 War – Galaxy – MCA 7”/12”
22 Herbie Hancock – I Thought It Was You – CBS 12″
23 Chic – Everybody Dance – Atlantic 7″/US 12″
24 Commodores – Three Times A Lady – Motown 7″
25 Manu Dibango – Big Blow – Decca 7″/12″
26 Donna Summer – Love’s Unkind – GTO 7”/LP
27 (tie) Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking – Lightning 7”
27 (tie) Heatwave – The Groove Line – GTO 7”/US Epic 12”
29 Boney M. – Rasputin – Atlantic 7”/12”
30 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jamming – Island 7”/12”
31 Saturday Night Band – Come On Dance Dance – CBS 7″/12″/LP
32 Quincy Jones – Stuff Like That – A&M 7″/LP
33 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is This Love – Island 7″
34 Blondie – Denis (Denee) – Chrysalis 7″
35 (tie) Ripple – The Beat Goes On And On – Salsoul 7”/US 12″
35 (tie) Sheila & B. Devotion – Singin’ In The Rain – Carrere 7″/12″
35 (tie) Rose Royce – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – Whitfield 7″
35 (tie) The Jacksons – Blame It On The Boogie – Epic 7″/12″
39 Hamilton Bohannon – Let’s Start The Dance – Mercury 12″
40 Sylvester – Dance (Disco Heat) – Fantasy 7”/US 12″
41 Eddie Henderson – Prance On – Capitol/Tower 12″
42 O’Jays – Use Ta Be My Girl – Philadelphia Int’l 7″
43 Donna Summer – MacArthur Park – Casablanca 7″/12″ promo
44 (tie) Cerrone – Supernature – Atlantic 7″/12″
44 (tie) ABBA – Take A Chance On Me – Epic 7”
46 (tie) Sine – Just Let Me Do My Thing – CBS 7″/12″
46 (tie) Charles Earland – Let The Music Play – Mercury 12″
48 Boiling Point – Let’s Get Funktified – Bang 7″/12″
49 Phil Hurtt – Giving It Back – Fantasy 12″
50 Earth, Wind & Fire – Fantasy – CBS 7”
51 Ashford & Simpson – Don’t Cost You Nothing – Warner Bros. 7″/12″
52 (tie) Olympic Runners – Whatever It Takes – RCA 7″/12″
52 (tie) El Coco – Cocomotion – Pye 7”/US AVI 12”
54 Francine McGee – Delirium – RCA 12″
55 Darts – Come Back My Love – Magnet 7″
56 Donna Summer – Rumour Has It – Casablanca 7”/LP
57 Roy Ayers – Get On Up, Get On Down – Polydor 7”/12”
58 Yvonne Elliman – If I Can’t Have You – RSO 7″/US 12″ promo
59 Rose Royce – Wishing On A Star / Funk Factory – Whitfield 7”
60 Brothers Johnson – Ain’t We Funkin’ Now – A&M 12”


Shootyourshot’s 1978 Disco Top 100

To create a contrast with the chart above, I decided to create my own ranking based on my chart data, covering the Top 50/90 from Jan 14 to Dec 23. Using Excel, this was quite easy. Points were calculated by multiplying weeks on the chart by 91, then subtracting the sum of all chart positions, regardless of whether a Top 50 or 90 existed at the time. Therefore, a song in the #50 position in the early part of the year would receive 41 points, despite being in the last position on the Top 50. Unfortunately, this does give certain songs from the latter part of the year an advantage (particularly ‘Shame’, which spent 11 of its 39 weeks on the chart below #50 and accrued 297 points there; conversely, ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie’ spent 3 weeks below #50 and ‘You Make Me Feel’ debuted at #39 and hasn’t dropped below that position since).

01 Evelyn “Champagne” King – Shame – RCA 7″/12″ (2304 pts)
02 Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Fantasy 7″/12″/LP (1961 pts)
03 A Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie – Capitol 7″/12″/LP (1956 pts)
04 Voyage – From East To West / Scots Machine – GTO 7″/LP (1934 pts)
05 Hi-Tension – Hi-Tension – Island 7″/12″ (1910 pts)
06 Bee Gees – Night Fever – RSO 7″/LP/12″ promo (1830 pts)
07 Boney M. – Rivers Of Babylon / Brown Girl In The Ring – Atlantic 7″/12″ (1809 pts)
08 Cerrone – Supernature – Atlantic 7″/12″/LP (1730 pts)
09 Rick James – You And I – Motown 7″/12″/LP (1672 pts)
10 Michael Zager Band – Let’s All Chant / Love Express – Private Stock 7″/12″ (1602 pts)
11 Cleveland Eaton – Bama Boogie Woogie / Funky Cello – Gull 7″/12″ (1578 pts)
12 Stargard – Which Way Is Up – MCA 12″ (1503 pts)
13 Crown Heights Affair – Galaxy Of Love – Mercury 12″/LP (1473 pts)
14 Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive – RSO 7″/LP/12″ promo (1472 pts)
15 Karen Young – Hot Shot – Atlantic 7″/12″/US West End 12″ (1469 pts)
16 Saturday Night Band – Come On Dance Dance – CBS 7″/12″/LP (1462 pts)
17 Heatwave – Mind Blowing Decisions / Always And Forever – GTO 12″ (1442 pts)
18 Linda Clifford – Runaway Love / Gypsy Lady / If My Friends Could See Me Now – Curtom LP/US 12″ remix (1434 pts)
19 Raydio – Jack And Jill / Get Down – Arista 7″/LP (1406 pts)
20 Hi-Tension – British Hustle – Island 7″/12″ (1404 pts)
21 Hamilton Bohannon – Let’s Start The Dance – Mercury 12″ (1349 pts)
22 Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain – Atlantic 7″/LP (1320 pts)
23 War – Galaxy – MCA 12″ (1319 pts)
24 John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want – RSO 7″ (1299 pts)
25 Herbie Hancock – I Thought It Was You – CBS 12″/LP (1295 pts)
26 Musique – In The Bush – CBS 7″/12″/LP (1288 pts)
27 Cameo – It’s Serious – Casablanca 7″/12″/LP (1281 pts)
28 Deodato – Whistle Bump – Warner Bros. 7″/12″/US 12″ promo (1265 pts)
29 Manu Dibango – Big Blow – Decca 7″/French Fiesta 12″ (1252 pts)
30 Chic – Everybody Dance – Atlantic 7″/LP/US 12″ (1240 pts)
31 Earth, Wind & Fire – Magic Mind – CBS 7″ (1236 pts)
32 Commodores – Three Times A Lady – Motown 7″/LP/Dutch 12″ (1235 pts)
33 Samuel Jonathan Johnson – You – US Columbia 12″ remix (1232 pts)
34 (tie) Teddy Pendergrass – Only You / Close The Door – Philadelphia Int’l 12″ (1231 pts)
34 (tie) Boney M. – Rasputin – Atlantic 7″/12″/LP (1231 pts)
36 Charles Earland – Let The Music Play / Over And Over – Mercury 12″ (1215 pts)
37 Sheila & B. Devotion – Singin’ In The Rain – Carrere 7″/12″/LP (1211 pts)
38 Third World – Now That We Found Love – Island 7″/12″ (1176 pts)
39 Phil Hurtt – Giving It Back – Fantasy 12″ (1174 pts)
40 Quincy Jones – Stuff Like That – A&M 7″/12″/LP (1148 pts)
41 (tie) Dan Hartman – Instant Replay – Blue Sky 7″/US 12″/LP (1141 pts)
41 (tie) Bee Gees – More Than A Woman – RSO LP/12″ promo (1141 pts)
43 Sine – Just Let Me Do My Thing – CBS 7″/12″/LP (1139 pts)
44 Trammps – Disco Inferno – Atlantic 7″/12″/RSO LP (1137 pts)
45 (tie) Eddie Henderson – Prance On / Cyclops / Butterfly / Say You Will – Capitol/Tower 12″/LP (1131 pts)
45 (tie) Ripple – The Beat Goes On And On – Salsoul 7″/12″ (1131 pts)
47 Peter Brown – Dance With Me – TK 7″/12″ (1127 pts)
48 Francine McGee – Delirium / Feelin’ Good – RCA 7″/12″ (1106 pts)
49 Ashford & Simpson – It Seems To Hang On – Warner Bros. 7″/12″ (1045 pts)
50 Roy Ayers – Can’t You See Me / You Send Me – Polydor LP (1038 pts)
51 Metropolis – I Love New York – Salsoul 7″/US 12″ (1030 pts)
52 Sun – Sun Is Here – Capitol 7″/12″ (1026 pts)
53 (tie) O’Jays – Use Ta Be My Girl – Philadelphia Int’l 7″ (1003 pts)
53 (tie) Olympic Runners – Whatever It Takes / Solar Heat – RCA 7″/12″ (1003 pts)
55 Sylvester – Dance (Disco Heat) – Fantasy 7″/LP/US 12″ (988 pts)
56 Boiling Point – Let’s Get Funktified – Bang 7″/12″ (986 pts)
57 Wilbert Longmire – Black Is The Color – CBS LP (985 pts)
58 Idris Muhammad – Boogie To The Top – Kudu 7″/LP/12″ promo (965 pts)
59 Earth, Wind & Fire – Fantasy – CBS 7″ (962 pts)
60 (tie) Jacksons – Blame It On The Boogie – Epic 7″/12″ (920 pts)
60 (tie) Raydio – Is This A Love Thing – Arista 7″/12″/LP (920 pts)
62 Sweet Thunder – Everybody’s Singin’ Love Songs – US Fantasy/WMOT 12″ (915 pts)
63 Donna Summer – Rumour Has It – Casablanca 7″ (914 pts)
64 Heatwave – The Groove Line – GTO 7″ (909 pts)
65 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Is This Love – Island 7″ (904 pts)
66 Curtis Mayfield – No Goodbyes – Curtom 12″ (896 pts)
67 Brothers Johnson – Ain’t We Funkin’ Now – A&M 7″/12″ (888 pts)
68 Tavares – More Than A Woman – Capitol 7″/RSO LP (882 pts)
69 Blondie – Denis (Denee) – Chrysalis 7″ (876 pts)
70 Patrick Juvet – I Love America – Casablanca 7″/12″/LP (868 pts)
71 Rose Royce – Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – Whitfield 7″ (857 pts)
72 Frankie Valli – Grease – RSO 7″ (843 pts)
73 Ashford & Simpson – Don’t Cost You Nothin’ – Warner Bros. 7″/12″ (839 pts)
74 Darts – Come Back My Love – Magnet 7″ (832 pts)
75 Rahni Harris – Six Million Steps – Mercury 12″ (817 pts)
76 Commodores – Too Hot Ta Trot / Zoom – Motown 7″/12″ (816 pts)
77 Charo – Dance A Little Bit Closer – Salsoul 7″/LP (811 pts)
78 Stargard – What You Waitin’ For – MCA 7″/12″ (801 pts)
79 (tie) Stanley Turrentine – Disco Dancin’ / Feel The Fire – Fantasy 12″/US LP (797 pts)
79 (tie) Al Hudson – How Do You Do / Dance, Get Down – ABC 7″/12″ (797 pts)
81 Shalamar – Take That To The Bank – RCA 7″/12″ (791 pts)
82 Odyssey – Native New Yorker – RCA (12″) (790 pts)
83 Manu Dibango – Sun Explosion / Big Blow – Decca 12″ (785 pts)
84 Donna Summer – MacArthur Park – Casablanca 7″/LP/12″ promo (781 pts)
85 Gap Mangione – Mellow Out / Time Of The Season – A&M 7″/12″/LP (778 pts)
86 Gene Farrow – Move Your Body – Magnet 7″/12″ (777 pts)
87 Rose Royce – Wishing On A Star – Whitfield 7″ (769 pts)
88 Andrea True Connection – What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number – Buddah 7″/US 12″ (760 pts)
89 (tie) Rose Royce – It Makes You Feel Like Dancin’ – Whitfield 7″/12″ (757 pts)
89 (tie) Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking – Lightning (757 pts)
91 Chic – Dance Dance Dance – Atlantic (756 pts)
92 Yvonne Elliman – If I Can’t Have You – RSO 7″/LP/12″ promo (748 pts)
93 Joe Thomas – Plato’s Retreat – TK 7″/US 12″ (743 pts)
94 Lenny Williams – You Got Me Running – ABC 12″/LP (736 pts)
95 Atlantic Starr – Stand Up – A&M 12″ (733 pts)
96 Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jamming – Island (728 pts)
97 Gene Page – Close Encounters Of The Third Kind – Arista 7″/12″ (726 pts)
98 Roy Ayers – Get On Up, Get On Down – Polydor 7″/12″/LP (721 pts)
99 Kellee Patterson – If It Don’t Fit Don’t Force It – EMI Int’l 7″ (716 pts)
100 John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – Summer Nights – RSO 7″ (699 pts)


Next week: 1979 starts off with what is likely the most important James Hamilton column of all, the famous ‘To BPM Or Not To BPM’. In addition, we’ll see the start of the Import Review section.

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