Sunday, September 14, 2014

1976 - The Golden Age of Soundtracks?

1976 seemed to be the year for TV themes more than movie soundtrack songs.  That year, 26 singles reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Of those 26, three came from movie or television soundtracks.  Those singles only spent a combined 3 weeks in the top spot. 

Over on the album chart, none of the #1 albums were soundtracks.  Of the three songs below, the
"Theme from S.W.A.T." deserves special mention as it was the first 45 single I remember purchasing.

"Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)"
Diana Ross
#1 for one week, January 24
from the movie Mahogany
"Theme from S.W.A.T."
Rhythm Heritage
#1 for one week, February 28
from the TV show S.W.A.T.

"Welcome Back"
John Sebastian
#1 for one week, May 8
from the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter

Click on the year to check out similar soundtrack lists for the following years:

YearNo. of soundtrack #1'sTotal no. of weeks at #1
19763 of 263
19774 of 297
19786 of 2017
19790 of 240
19802 of 1610
19813 of 1714
19823 of 1610
19832 of 178
19847 of 2021
19859 of 2714

Other soundtrack hits from 1976 that didn't make the top spot include:
  • "Happy Days" by Pratt & McClain from Happy Days  (peaked at #5)
  • "Nadia's Theme" by Barry DeVorzon & Perry Botkin, Jr. from The Young and the Restless (#8)
  • "Baretta's Theme ("Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow")" by Rhythm Heritage from Baretta (#20)
  • "Making Our Dreams Come True" by Cyndi Grecco from Laverne & Shirley (#25)
  • "Ode to Billy Joe" by Bobbie Gentry. #1 in 1967; re-released for the 1976 movie adaptation of the song (#65)
  • "Soul Train '75'" by the Soul Train Gang from Soul Train (#75)
  • "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" by The Deadly Nightshade from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (#79)
    The winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 49th Academy Awards was "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born)" which didn't peak on the chart until March, 1977.


    1. Replies
      1. For now. There may be a wrap-up post complete with rankings and other such minutia.