29 June 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 29 June 1981

Five of the six new entries on the Kent Music Report's beyond the top 100 list this week in 1981 are from acts we had not seen before.  Let's take a look at them.
Christopher Cross: stalling outside the top 100 is sometimes the best that you can do.
Beyond the top 100:
Position 14 "I Loved 'Em Every One" by T.G. Sheppard
Highest rank: 13th
Peak dates: 6 July 1981 and 13 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks

American country music singer T.G. Sheppard, real name William Neal Browder, started his recording career in 1974.

"I Loved 'Em Everyone" was the lead single from T.G.'s eighth studio album I Love 'Em All.  The single peaked at number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1981, becoming his only American top 40 hit.  T.G. had much greater success on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, as you would expect, racking up 14 number one county hits between 1974 and 1986, of which this was one.

As a general rule, I don't like country music, but I didn't find "I Love 'Em Every One" too bad, as it was more more-upbeat, and even reminded me a little bit of Little River Band.

"I Loved 'Em Every One" was T.G.'s only release to (sort of) trouble the Australian charts.

Position 15 "Say You'll Be Mine" by Christopher Cross
Highest rank: 14th
Peak dates: 6 July 1981, 13 July 1981 and 20 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, born Christopher Charles Geppert, placed seven singles on the Australian top 100 between 1980 and 1988.  His biggest hit in Australia, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (number 13, December 1981) was co-written by Australia's own Peter Allen.
"Say You'll Be Mine" was the fourth and final single lifted from Christopher's debut album Christopher Cross (number 6, May 1981).  It followed "Ride Like the Wind" (number 25, June 1980), "Sailing" (number 46, March 1981), and "Never Be the Same" (number 42, May 1981).

Internationally, "Say You'll Be Mine" peaked at number 20 in the US in May 1981, and number 33 in Canada.
Position 17 "When I Dream" by Jack Clement
Highest rank: 1st
Peak dates: 20 July 1981, 3 August 1981 and 10 August 1981
Weeks on below list: 7 weeks
Note: this single originally peaked at number 40 in Australia in June 1979.

American singer-songwriter and producer Jack Clement released his first record in 1953, and is credited with discovering or working with several big names before they became famous, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash.  He has also written songs that were recorded by Dolly Parton, Cliff Richard, Ray Charles and Elvis Presley, to name but a few.

When it came to his own recording career, Jack's success was more modest than many of the acts he worked with.  Jack landed only one top 100 single in Australia, with "When I Dream" (number 40, June 1979).  Surprisingly, this is one more 'pop' hit than Jack landed in the US!  Jack only had minor success on the US Hot Country Songs chart with his own releases.

I am not sure why "When I Dream" (almost) charted again in Australia two years after it nudged the top 40.  I can only guess that perhaps the song was used in a TV commercial, and subsequently some minor interest in the track was generated again.  Does anybody reading this know the reason why "When I Dream" re-charted?

Jack passed away in 2013, aged 82, from liver cancer.

Position 18 "Night Train" by Steve Winwood
Highest rank: 9th
Peak date: 13 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
English singer-songwriter Steve Winwood released his debut album Steve Winwood (number 78, August 1977) in 1977, but did not land his first Australian top 100 single until 1981, with "While You See a Chance" (number 16, April 1981).  Steve notched up 11 top 100 singles in Australia between 1981 and 1991, with "Higher Love" (number 8, September 1986) being the biggest of those.
Steve's voice was prominently featured on an even bigger hit, however, with the chorus from his 1982 single "Valerie" (number 98, January 1983; a remixed version peaked at number 19 in February 1988) forming the basis of Eric Prydz' "Call on Me" (number 2, October 2004).

"Night Train" was the second single released in Australia from Steve's second studio album Arc of a Diver (number 5, April 1981), following "While You See a Chance".  Internationally, "Night Train" peaked at number 26 in the Flanders region of Belgium in May 1981, number 42 in the Netherlands in June 1981, and number 24 in New Zealand in July 1981.  Oddly, this single did not chart in Steve's native UK.
Steve will bubble under next in 1991.

Position 21 "Stars Fell on Alabama" by Jimmy Buffett
Highest rank: 7th
Peak date: 13 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks

American country singer Jimmy Buffett made an appearance on the first Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 list, in April 1981, and here he is in the same region of the chart again.

I cannot find evidence of "Stars Fell on Alabama" charting anywhere else, even on the US Billboard Country Songs chart.

This would be Jimmy's last single to (sort of) register on the Australian chart.  However, Jimmy would continue to have top 100 albums in Australia until 1986.  Two later albums also peaked within the ARIA top 150 albums chart: Off to See the Lizard (number 131, August 1989) and Feeding Frenzy (number 141, December 1990).

Position 22 "Back to Where We Started" by Maggie McKinney and David McMaster
Highest rank: 15th
Peak date: 13 July 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks
Maggie McKinney and Dave McMaster were both Australian artists, neither of whom landed any solo chart success in Australia, other than this release.  Both were in the group Hot City Bump Band, who scored a number 35 hit in Australia with "Do What You Wanna Do" in September 1975; their only top 100 entry.
Maggie went on to record jingles for TV commercials, and was a backing singer for artists such as Renee Geyer and Marcia Hines.  Maggie was also Australian girlband Girlfriend's tour manager in 1993.

Next week (6 July): Two new entries on the beyond the top 100 list.

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