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John's Journey Back in Time
Image: John's Journey Back in Time.
Every week John Hayes takes a nostalgic trip back in time and rediscovers the hits and the headlines.

This week we visit May 1976, 29 years ago.


FERNANDO - ABBA (The Swedish winners of Eurovision two years previously had gone Spanish or was it Mexican?)
Save Your Kisses For Me - Brotherhood of Man (Eurovision winner for the UK in 76 and well deserved)
Jungle Rock - Hank Mizell (See the John's Journey part of the website for more info about Hank)
Convoy GB - Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks (So here's the link with CW McCall who we heard earlier in the show. The very funny Paul Burnett and his Radio 1 buddy Dave Lee Travis were behind this rather English version of CW's No.2 hit earlier in the year)
S-S-S-Single Bed - Fox (Noosha was her first name and her voice was a one off)
Silver Star - The Four Seasons (This later period of their music with December 63 and Down The Hall was as good, if not better than the early 60s period. Certainly it was more produced)
Get Up And Boogie - Silver Convention (The importance of disco could be seen in the charts - here's another that got us down on the floor!)
Do You Know Where You're Going To - Diana Ross (1 JJBIT point for the title of the film from which this came)
Life Is Too Short Girl - Sheer Elegance (The follow up to Milky Way and Temptation would follow today's song - but only Life Is Too Short Girl made the Top 10)
Disco Connection - Isaac Hayes Movement (Would go on to have a No.1 with a little ditty about some balls, having changed his persona to Chef)
11 Fallen Angel - Frankie Valli (He featured last week in 1963 with the Four Seasons. Thirteen years later, he was still having hits and so were the Four Seasons)
12 All By Myself - Eric Carmen (He would go on to record a song for the film Dirty Dancing called Hungry Eyes - which wasn't a major hit - but showed his harder rock edge)
13 Girls Girls Girls - Sailor (One of two big hits for the group - A Glass Of Champagne was their other)
14 Can't Help Falling In Love - The Stylistics (Elvis had done it, so had Andy Williams. Now it was the time of those high pitched tight trousered chappies)
15 Music - John Miles (Every now and again there comes along a major production in the singles charts - this was more like an event, a film soundtrack than a single and it's great)
16 Arms Of Mary - Sutherland Brothers and Quiver (One of our most soothing songs in this week's chart. So who was Mary?)
17 Love Me Like I Love You - Bay City Rollers (Still around in 76? Yes, they were and this got to No.4 to be followed by another No.4 later in the year - what was that called? 20 JJBIT points for the correct answer)
18 More More More - Andrea True Connection (Recently parodied by a furniture store for a TV advert, this was big in the discos of May 76)
19 Love Hangover - Diana Ross (A star of the Sixties on Motown, she emerged as The Supremes' most successful solo singers and we may hear from her again before the end of today!)
20 Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers (If you were listening to the adio in 76, this was played every hour, every show throughout the summer and hasn't been off much since)


Boogie Fever - Sylvers (Not to be confused with Sylver - a Belgian female DJ who would have a small hit with Turn The Tide in 2002!)
Welcome Back - John Sebastian (A non hit in the UK)
Show Me The Way - Peter Frampton (No.3 - Let Your Love Flow) (This was great - a Brit in the US charts)


It was May 1976 and Britain had a new Prime Minister. His name was James Callaghan and he had replaced Harold Wilson who had resigned.

The parliamentary Labour Party had voted and Callaghan defeated the left winger Michael Foot by 176 votes to 137. Denis Healey, who had been a front runner for the job… had been eliminated in earlier voting.

James Callaghan called for unity in the party.

However left wingers in the party met separately almost immediately after the result and vowed to continue to attack the Labour Government's economic policy.

Later in the month... Sir Harold Wilson's resignation honours list would be published and it would include the maker of a style of raincoat called Sir Joseph Kagan - who designed the Gannex coat.

It was reported that Mr Wilson's political secretary Lady Falkender had helped draw up the list.

One of America's most mysterious film directors and tycoons was dead.

Howard Hughes had died of a stroke aboard his private jet as it flew him from Mexico to Texas. He was s70.

He had left an estimated $1.5bn.

He had turned the money left to him by his father into an even greater amount, investing in Hollywood, aviation and Las Vegas property.

And he had a mysterious side.

Since the 60s he'd been virtually hidden away, in hotels he had bought around the world, in his bid to secure perfect privacy.

Now he was dead, the veil of privacy was lifted as newspapers and books reported on his life.



Image: William Mizell.

In that disco, pop and ballad world of the UK charts of May 1976, there was one song which didn't seem in the right place.

But it was, so much so, that it became the third best selling single in one particular week.

However, it was an oldie. An 18-year oldie to be precise.

William M Mizell was 53 when his song Jungle Rock made it into pop's history books.

He was born at Dayton Beach in Florida in November 1923, but moved to North Carolina with his adoptive parents. He joined the US Navy and served in the second world war, and when he was discharged, decided to take up singing professionally.

He settled in Montgomery, Alabama, where with an acoustic guitar, he would sing on local radio. One of the presenters nicknamed him Hank after the legendary country singer Hank Williams.

In 1956 Hank Mizell got together with another guitarist and a bass player and managed to get a four nights a week gig at a bar in Chicago.

Two years later he was invited by country singer Gene Parsons to record on bhis new label - Eko Records. Gene had turned his garage into a studio and that was where Hank recorded Jungle Rock and a few other songs.

The sound was an earthy, rock and roll sound with a great bass.

There was a little controversy with the first pressings of the record - they had the composer of the tune as Jim Bobo. The single was re-pressed with Mizell's name in its rightful place.

On the B side was When I'm In our Arms which had Mizell and Bobo singing together.

It failed to become a hit, and was re-issued in August the following year but still failed to make an impression in the US charts, despite a review in Billboard.

Mizell and Bobo continued playing live till 1962, when they split up. Hank was married by this time, with four children. He gave up music and became a preacher.

Then in 1971, a Dutchman by the name of Cees Klop found one of those early Eko pressings of Jungle Rock and included it on a bootleg LP called Rock N Roll Volume One.

Roy Williams, a British DJ, started playing the track in his disco Wild Wax Show. Charly Records, who had re-issued songs by the Shang-ri Las and enjoyed great chart success, released Jungle Rock. It made No.3 in the UK and went all the way to the top of the Dutch charts.

Williams got a silver record for his efforts in breaking the record.

Image:  Mizell and Bobo.

The search was now on for Hank Mizell. He was tracked down to Tennessee and persuaded to come over to England to appear on Top Of The Pops, on which he appeared to mime to his big hit.

Hank was lured back into a recording studio to make an LP, which was re-released in 1999 on the German Repertoire label.

Hank Mizell died two days before Christmas in 1992 in the town of Murfreesboro in Tennessee.

Join John Hayes for his Journey Back In Time, a nostalgic look back at music and memories from a chosen year, this Sunday from 9am on 103.5 & 95.3FM - BBC Essex.


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