The Friday 5×2: From Springbok Radio, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa

I’m having lots of fun with ARSA, The Airheads’ Radio Survey Arhive, that has music surveys from all over the world. Today I decided to leave it up to chance, and I found the survey for this week in 1975 from Springbok Radio in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has an interesting variety of music, to say the least, so let’s have a look at their Top 10.

  1. Lionel Petersen, “Private Number” Discogs tells us “Lionel Petersen was born and bred in Alexandra Township. He used to front a very dynamic band called Thunderballs. Later he moved to Capetown where he had a stint with The Rockets. He also worked with the Invaders. Some of his early hits were Private Number, I Need A Little Love and his cover version of Joe Tex’s That’s The Way (Plum Records, 1976)…” It also tells us that he became a born-again Christian in 1985 and “decided to use his talents to glorify the Lord.”
  2. Della Reese, “Don’t You Know” Delloreese Patricia Early, better known as Della Reese, was a jazz and gospel singer, actress, and ordained minister who was a familiar face on TV here in the US where she turned up in a number of guest appearances (she played Mr. T’s mother on an episode of The A-Team) and appeared frequently on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She was discovered by gospel legend Mahalia Jackson after she won a contest, and soon was singing jazz in nightclubs and making records. This recording is from 1959, but as you can hear it’s a classic. Della passed away last Novmber.
  3. Heintje Simons, “Jouw Hart Is Weer De Mijne” Heintje is a Dutch singer who started recording in Afrikaans when he was 20 with this record, which reached #4 on the South African official chart. He is popular in the German-speaking countries and evidently in China. He continues to perform as Hein Simons, and released the album Heintje Und Ich last year.
  4. The Boones, “Viva España (Forever A Song In My Heart)” The Boones are the daughters of Pat Boone, Cherry, Debby, Laury and Lindy. I believe that’s their father singing with them on this one. Generally a gospel quartet, they made the occasional foray into pop.
  5. Barry Manilow, “Mandy” Barry needs no introduction to anyone listening to pop radio in the ’70’s, and he remains popular with audiences (of a certain age) today. This was his #1 hit from the year before in the US.
  6. Telly Savalas, “If” Who loves ya, baby? Jennifer Aniston’s godfather and mid-’70’s sex symbol Telly Savalas was at the height of his popularity as the star of TV’s Kojak when he recorded this on his eponymous 1974 album. Seriously, though, Telly was an acomplished actor, voice actor, and not a bad singer.
  7. Nazareth, “Love Hurts” I was surprised to learn that this song is a cover of an Everly Brothers hit from 1960. Written by Boudleaux Bryant, as so many of the Everlys’ hits were, the Scottish band Nazareth had an international hit with it in 1975.
  8. Styx, “Lady” A Chicago band who, in the early ’70’s, played at a dance at Mary’s high school. From their second album, Styx II (I think the same guy who named Chicago’s albums named it), it got airplay on WLS before going national in 1974. Having ascended and descended the Hot 100 in the US, it was making its way around the world in ’75.
  9. ABBA, “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do” Fresh off their victory in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, ABBA issued this as their second single off their eponymous 1975 album, and it was their second international hit after “Waterloo.”
  10. Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, “As Soon As I Hang Up The Phone” Loretta and Conway recorded 11 albums together between 1971 and 1988. This was a #1 hit in the US and Canada in 1974, and topped the chart here in 1975.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for June 8, 2018.

4 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: From Springbok Radio, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa

  1. Hi John – well you’ve given me memories of South Africa … granted I only arrived in 1978 … and probably only caught up with music and life relatively recently and particularly since I’ve been blogging … The Soweto riots occurred in 1976 when civil unrest was really getting underway against the government – Afrikaner and English. Re music I wrote a post about ‘Sugar Man’ as it’s very apposite to this post with its music connotations …

    There’s a bit of history re the media and SA in the 1970s … I hope you enjoy and perhaps sometime see the film … cheers Hilary


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