Number One Songs of 1977 - The U.S. Edition

Just a few weeks back, I was checking to see if there were any movies playing in the theater worth the time, money and effort. One of the very first film posters to greet my eyes was Smokey and the (mothertruckin') Bandit!  I asked my better-half, the Frog to my Bandit and the Snowman to my Fred if we could go. She said "No" so I missed seeing Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reed, Jackie Gleason and that lady that played Forrest Gump's Momma on the big screen once again. But that's alright, that's okay, I can watch the film another day as I have it on both Special Edition DVD and wonder-if-my-player-still-works HD-DVD.
The album on the top-left is the official soundtrack album, featuring music as heard in the film along with "incidental" CB dialogue. It spent ten weeks on the Bubbling Under chart, never to break onto the Top 200 LPs and Tapes chart. In a twelve week run on the Hot Country LPs chart, Smokey and the Bandit peaked at number 10. The album on the bottom-left is the obligatory contractual cash-in album from Reed's label, RCA. It features three songs from the soundtrack album above, substituting a newly recorded single version of "East Bound And Down" for the soundtrack version, as well as seven other previously released tracks from Reed's extensive back catalog. East Bound and Down spent eleven weeks Bubbling Under the Top LPS chart and sixteen weeks on the Hot Country LPs chart, also peaking at number 10. There is little doubt the two competing albums cannibalized one another's sales. Both albums were also affected by the massive outpouring of grief and demand that followed Elvis Presley's untimely death in August 1977, in both promotion and production.
I count six songs in the table below that were featured in or based on soundtracks to movies from 1976-1977 with several more appearing in films within the past forty years but there is no "East Bound and Down" to be found. The single spent five weeks climbing the Hot Country Singles chart before spending a record sixteen weeks Bubbling Under the Hot 100. The single eventually peaked at number 2 on the Hot Country Singles chart in a four-month run. Despite this lack of popular success, I loved the song and bought the 45 the day I first found it in 1977 and eventually acquired the two albums as well. Fun Fact: The top two grossing films of 1977 - Star Wars and Smokey and the Bandit - opened on the same day, May 25, 1977.

WeekBillboardCash BoxRecord World
January 1
Tonight's The NightYou Don't Have To Be A Star
Rod StewartYou Don't Have To Be A StarMarilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
January 8
You Don't Have To Be A StarMarilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.Leo Sayer
January 15
You Make Me Feel Like DancingCar Wash
Leo SayerCar WashRose Royce
January 22
I WishRose RoyceI Wish
Stevie WonderStevie Wonder
January 29
Car WashI WishCar Wash
Rose RoyceStevie WonderRose Royce
February 5
Blinded By The Light
Torn Between Two LoversManfred Mann's Earth BandTorn Between Two Lovers
February 12
Mary MacGregorMary MacGregor
February 19
Blinded By The LightTorn Between Two LoversBlinded By The Light
Manfred Mann's Earth BandMary MacGregorManfred Mann's Earth Band
February 26
New Kid In Town
EaglesTorn Between Two Lovers
March 5
Mary MacGregor
March 12
Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)
Barbra StreisandBarbra StreisandEvergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)
March 19
Barbra Streisand
March 26
Rich GirlDancing Queen
Rich GirlHall & OatesABBA
April 2
Hall & OatesDancing Queen
ABBARich Girl
April 9
Dancing QueenRich GirlHall & Oates
ABBAHall & Oates
April 16
Don't Give Up On UsDon't Give Up On UsDon't Give Up On Us
David SoulDavid SoulDavid Soul
April 23
Don't Leave Me This WayHotel CaliforniaHotel California
Thelma HoustonEaglesEagles
April 30
Southern NightsSouthern NightsSouthern Nights
Glen CampbellGlen CampbellGlen Campbell
May 7
Hotel California
May 14
When I Need YouWhen I Need YouWhen I Need You
Leo SayerLeo SayerLeo Sayer
May 21
May 28
Sir DukeSir Duke
Stevie WonderStevie WonderSir Duke
June 4
I'm Your Boogie ManStevie Wonder
KC & the Sunshine Band
June 11
I'm Your Boogie ManDreamsI'm Your Boogie Man
KC & the Sunshine BandFleetwood MacKC & the Sunshine Band
June 18
DreamsGot To Give It Up (Part 1)Got To Give It Up (Part 1)
Fleetwood MacMarvin GayeMarvin Gaye
June 25
Got To Give It Up (Part 1)Gonna Fly NowDreams
Marvin GayeBill ContiFleetwood Mac
July 2
Gonna Fly NowUndercover AngelUndercover Angel
Bill ContiAlan O'DayAlan O'Day
July 9
Undercover AngelDa Doo Ron Ron
Alan O'DayDa Doo Ron RonShaun Cassidy
July 16
Da Doo Ron RonShaun Cassidy
Shaun Cassidy
July 23
Looks Like We Made ItI'm In YouUndercover Angel
Barry ManilowPeter FramptonAlan O'Day
July 30
August 6
I Just Want To Be Your EverythingI Just Want To Be Your Everything
Andy GibbAndy Gibb
August 13
I Just Want To Be Your Everything
Andy Gibb
August 20
August 27
Best Of My LoveBest Of My Love
Best Of My LoveThe EmotionsThe Emotions
September 3
The Emotions
I Just Want To Be Your Everything
September 10
(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And HigherAndy Gibb
Rita Coolidge
September 17
I Just Want To Be Your EverythingDon't Stop
Andy GibbFleetwood MacBest Of My Love
September 24
Best Of My LoveThe Emotions
The EmotionsStar Wars Theme / Cantina Band
October 1
Star Wars Theme / Cantina BandStar Wars Theme / Cantina Band
October 8
October 15
October 22
October 29
You Light Up My Life
November 5
Debby Boone
November 12
You Light Up My Life
November 19
Debby Boone
You Light Up My Life
November 26
Debby Boone
December 3
Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
December 10
Crystal Gayle
December 17
December 24
How Deep Is Your Love
How Deep Is Your LoveBee Gees
December 31
Bee Gees
Tonight's The NightYou Light Up My LifeYou Light Up My Life
Rod StewartDebby BooneDebby Boone

Do not get me started on the nonsensical way Billboard tabulates their year-end charts and how a song that was Number One for exactly one week in 1977 ended up as the Number One Song of the Year while a song that spent a record-setting ten weeks at the top of the chart ends up not being the Number One Song of the Year for 1977 or 1978. 

1 comment:

  1. Fun flick. I first saw it in November 1977 at our local one-screen movie theater, where all tickets were $2. (Within 7 years, they tore it down and put a Wendy's.) Also - you may not have counted it, as it wasn't in a movie, but "Da Doo Ron Ron" was featured on an episode of "The Hardy Boys"... (and even at 11 I thought it was lame.)