Today we're featuring the September 1977 issue of Song Hits Magazine which is Volume 41, Number 139 for those of you playing along at home. Fleetwood Mac, who owned 1977, is on the cover as the featured Pop Star Of The Month. By the end of September, their album Rumours had spent all but one week (thanks to Barry Manilow's Live double album) since May 21 atop the Top 200 and would stay there until December 3 when Linda Ronstadt's Simple Dreams knocked it down to number 2 for four weeks through the end of 1977 until it once again rose to Number One for the first two chart weeks of 1978 before succeeding the throne to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which would go on to dominate the charts in 1978 much like Rumours had in 1977. In this issue of Song Hits, Fleetwood Mac is represented on page six with the lyrics to "Dreams" a former Number One single that had fallen off the Hot 100 after a nineteen week run with the August 27 chart with "Don't Stop" on the rise at number 9 (number 9, number 9) that week. The group's Pop Star Of The Month profile appears on pages 8-9 with this picture of the group taking up most of the spread:
Before we get to the Soul and Country Stars Of The Month, I'd like to point out a slight error if I may. All through 1976 and 1977, regular issues (not including Yearbooks, Annuals or Supers) of Song Hits Magazine cost fifty cents and featured the WORDS TO OVER 60 HIT SONGS. Below is the list of songs included in the September 1977 issue. I'll wait while you count how many titles are listed.
Did you count 17 Pop Songs, 9 Soul Songs, and 16 Country Songs? Me, too. Now take a minute and add those three numbers together while I tell you that I have verified that the numbers match exactly the number of songs in the magazine - no songs were left off the index above. Did you come up with a total of 42 songs? Me, too. Now ask yourself in what universe does 42 equal OVER 60? This is this is the first issue I've come across that features fewer songs than advertised.
Even with the Soul Section featuring the lyrics to just nine songs it still takes up nine of the issue's fifty pages. Two of those pages are devoted to the Soul Star Of The Month, the Commodores, who are represented lyrically by "Easy" on page 23. On the Hot 100, "Easy" had peaked at number 4 and was on its way down the chart, dropping from number 17 all the way down to number 42 on the chart dated September 24. The two pictures below accompany the group's profile:
The final eighteen pages of the issue are devoted to the Country Section included a two-page, three picture spread featuring Country Star Of The Month, Tom T. Hall, on pages 34-35. Fun fact: His birth name is Thomas Hall and he gave himself the middle initial T to stand out from artists with just two names. Oddly, despite being known as The Storyteller, Hall is not represented lyrically among the sixteen songs in the Country Section. The pic below is not one of the three featured in Hall's profile but I just had to share it with Y'all. It's Hall and Captain Kangaroo at Opryland, where the good Captain was filming a few episodes of his show, in 1976.
After making their comic book debut in issue 12 of Howard The Duck back in May 1977, KISS got their own Marvel Comics Super Special the following month. The comic's gimmick was that a bit of each group member's blood was mixed in with the red ink at the printers though there is a story circulating that the printer accidentally used the blood-infused ink to rush out an issue of Sports Illustrated. Was the September 1977 issue of Song Hits printed so far in advance that the ad below was actually timely or like the song count fiasco, was it just an oversight?
A color version of the ad, with the on-sale date and price noticeably blacked out, was included in the Love Gun album, which was also released on June 30, 1977.
Remember how disappointed we were when we found out this issue of Song Hits featured less than the promised 60 Hit Songs? Well, get ready to be even more disappointed with the Spotify playlist below as it features just 31 of the 42 songs whose lyrics appear in the magazine.
Here's another photo from the same roll of film that yielded the issue's cover: