Bicentennial music :A Lookback

Posted on June 30, 2016


Our sister site , Joshuaonline, does something called a lookback, but some things don’t really fit over there in topic range, so here we are.  Part of  our lookback at 1976 and really the Bicentennial as much as we can since this is 40th anniversary of America’s Bicentennial  (Yay America is turning 240)  , so here we take a look at some music or what people were listening to in the bicentennial year.   We are using  the Billboard Hot 100 as our source, so if  we are wrong it’s their fault.   These are a lighthearted look at the music that lead the charts  in this year.

We start with January (As you do )

Seems people started their new year with  partying on Saturday Night  (the year began on  a Thursday)   Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers  was the first chart topper of the year .

How  do you Spell Saturday?

Yep this was the top song for a week  , but just as Saturday can’t last forever this song being #1 didn’t either as  by the next week , America’s love with CB Radios took a fever pitch in music with “Convoy”.    Convoy was released in November of 1975 (just in time for Christmas)  and made to #1 on the Country and Pop charts  and for the week of January 10 in 76 , it was the hottest song.

Well it can be catchy , gets stuck in your head… it’s a country song?

But as all convoys , it has to end sometime and by the next week people moved on the voice of Barry Manilow.  “I Write the Songs” was also the winner of the Grammy’s Song of the Year. It also came out in November of  1975 and spent  a couple weeks at the top of the AC  charts  in 75.


Remember kids, music writes the songs …so it’s music’s fault for bad songs.

Though music decided to write another song ,  and it was theme for the  movie Mahongany  or as the song is called “Theme from Mahogany”  sung by Diana Ross.   It was #1 overall for the week of January 24th.


As the first month of the year was ending ,  things went funky and people were on a “Love Rollercoaster” (which is like a regular roller coaster but with even less safety standards) .  The Ohio Players’ hit  also made it to the top of the U.S R&B charts.

Love is like a Rollercoaster ,  while  hunger is like the  dodgy hotdogs.

Ah February the month of love . so what song was the top of the charts for 3 weeks ?  “50 Ways to leave your Lover” by Paul Simon.  Ok 1976 people, I love your sense of humor ,  I guess the  Love Rollercoaster was too much and you just needed an escape.    This song is Paul Simon’s only solo hit on the the Hot 100 chart.

Take the Dog Sled, Bud.  wait that doesn’t work.

After everyone left their lover  they called the SWAT team. Another theme took over the hot chart in February ’76  the instrumental “Theme from S.W.A.T”     Rhythm Heritage’s hit was the theme song for “S.W.A.T” , the TV show though not  this is  a longer version with a little different sound.


If SWAT teams used this  music… that would be something. We need a better joke.

The First week of March is for Love Machines.  Though to be exact only part one of the song became the Hot 100 hit. (oh 76)  “Love Machine” was the biggest hit single of the Miracles.

There are 50 ways to leave your  Love Machine.

For the rest of March , people rather think about December of 1963 instead. The Four Seasons Song ”  December, 1963 (Oh What  Night!)  was  top hit song for 3 weeks.   It’s song about love and also about the keyboard player ,  Bob Gaudio, meeting his future wife.

Awwww… I guess they had each other to keep warm in December of 1963

By April , people remember it was the 70’s so it’s time for some  Disco.  Johnnie Taylor’s  “Disco Lady” was a hit song for all of April.  It also had  a 6 week stay in the R&B charts.

In May, we are are back to Love doing stuff and now it’s flowing , well if you let it.   The Country/Pop song “Let Your Love Flow” sung by the Bellamy Brothers.

Let your love flow … like a river of love.

The next week, the popular TV Show’s “Welcome Back , Kotter” theme song became a #1 hit  sung and written by John Sebastian . It was created for the  TV Show , in fact it made them add the word  Welcome Back to the show.  This song was Number 1 for the 2nd week of May.

This song would also be good entrance music.

Cough , by the next week  a sickness was spreading it was Boogie Fever. (This probably is an over done joke) The R&B group ,The Sylvers,  had a hit on their hands  (one of a few ) “Boogie Fever”   lasted a week at the top of the Hot 100 and it was a one of the best selling singles for The Sylvers.

The only cure for Boggie Fever is to Boogie.

Paul McCartney and Wings came to the top in the 3rd week of May with “Silly Love Songs” , a song released on April 1st , 1976.  The song was in response of people that McCartney wrote lightweight love songs and Paul wanted people to laugh with him, and well he got the last laugh ,but more on that in a little bit.

Silly Love songs are better than un silly hate songs.

Don’t you hate when you have  a little to much love ?  Love Hangover , ok 1976 , you guys were having a laugh weren’t you? Silly Love Songs then Love Hangover being the number 1 song after each other.   From Diana Ross, “Love Hangover” took over the #1 spot for the last week of may and the hangover lasted  2 weeks. This song broke the record for most number hits by a female solo vocalist in 1976.



By  the week of June 12th  , Silly Love Songs was back at number 1, and it stayed there . This song is very  catchy it gets stuck in your head.  Also thing song  is Sir Paul’s biggest US non-Bettles hit. (So Joke on us?) It sold over 1 Million copies…. silly love song indeed.

This song lasted at number 1 even when America was 200 , I guess they were partying to this. (There’s an irony to a Brit leading the American music chart on America’s 200th birthday).

Morning was over… and it’s time for the afternoon … “Afternoon Delight” , the Starland Vocal Band’s song took the 1 slot the week of July 10th and  lasted there two weeks.  Also interesting note , it’s song about sex well at least hints at it … (link)  oh 1976, it also could be a joke and was really about some guy and woman listening to “Silly Love Songs” in the afternoon and it’s a delight. (what?)


Star rockets in flight…you don’t wanna know what that means…

Also Billboard said it’s 20th in the list of 50 sexiest songs… (link) .

1976’s Numbers 1 song titles write the jokes for us… after 2 weeks of Afternoon Delight it’s time to “Kiss and  Say Goodbye”  Which rounded out the last full week of July and the first week of August.  The song , by the Manhattans , was released in April 1976 and it took a little while but  it got there.  It was a hit for the Manhattans , their only song to be number 1 in the pop charts.

It’s August 1976  and “Don’t Go Breaking  My Heart” was the song that took the month by storm. The Elton John and Kiki Dee song made it Gold in the US and  UK and Platinum in Canada.


We haven’t had any disco in a while and September decided that it was time to fix that.   “You Should be Dancing” was the first week’s hit song. This was the Bee Gees  that launched them into Disco (yay!)   It was also their only song to top the dance charts.

After all that dancing might be time to shake your booty… (what? kind of transition is that?)  “(Shake , Shake, Shake) Shake your Booty” by the K.C and Sunshine Band was the hit song for the 2nd week of September.  This was K.C and the Sunshine Band’s  3rd hit on the the Hot 100. (Shake Shake your money to the bank )  This song also holds the record for being the only song to be number one with  a word repeated more than 3 times.

Shake ,Shake ,Shake , Shake , Shake ,Shake , Shake your booty.

Time for funk and rock together when you are shaking your booty might as well “Play that Funky music”.  This song , by Wild Cherry , sold over 2 million  records and reached platinum.  The song was #1 for 3 weeks , what could dethrone it?

(Whispers)  really? (Whispers) really… that?  Wow!    A song that would shock  Schroeder , from the Peanuts a disco version of  Beethoven’s 5th Sympathy was the #1 song for the week of October 9th.

a shocking day for me…

Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band’s song  is an instrumental (wish more instrumentals would get this spot now) which was inspired by a producer telling Murphy to update some classical music.

Everybody shake your booty to Beethoven…

The next week (whispers) what, really? Oh my… Disco Duck by Rick Dees. A Novelty song that took the nation by storm.  The song sold platinum in the United States, yes over 2 million albums.  It’s a catchy song about a disco duck…oh 1976 .

No that’s not  Donald …

If you listen to a radio station that airs music from the 70’s in some capacity   you will hear this song : “If you Leave my Now” by Chicago was a hit song  taking up the last full week of  October and first week of November.  It was the first #1 for the group. It did well in the UK where it was number 1 for 3 weeks.   This song is different from the others : for the past weeks were upbeat songs this one  like people in ’76 got all boggied out and needed a slow down.

This would be weird as a disco song…


If you listen to a classic rock station or a station that plays classic hits …you will hear the name Steve Miller, but for some reason not this song that was #1 for the Week of November 6th. (Either that or we listening at the wrong times)   “Rock N’ Me” was the Steve Miller Band’s  2nd song to hit #1 .  Seems by later 76 the music was time for soft rock and rock’s time to have some chart leaders.


Time to Rock out ….

1976 was near its end and  well Rod Stewart took the last 7 weeks of the year and one week in 1977 with ” Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)”  It reached Gold Certification , meaning more people bought  Disco Duck!

Stead Rod Stewart.


Well that’s our music look at hit songs from 1976  and well it’s interesting not what I would be expecting to be how 1976 people’s tastes might be… it’s less disco then I would perceive. We looked at the  number one’s  so  other hits below we didn’t have the look at , because that would make this article even longer.   The one song that really surprised me at success was “Disco Duck” , though it is very catchy or maybe a bunch of  people though it was Donald Duck.  The unsurprising song to me was “Shake Your Booty” though  I am surprised it was #1 for not that long.   That’s our lookback… stay groovy. (That’s why we don’t have a catchphrase)