As I continue to compile the history of Southern Gospel music radio charts (specifically from the 1970’s/1980’s), I thought I would start a new feature where I highlight a top ten song from the current month in a prior year.
During the decades of the ’70’s/’80’s, the only recognized radio chart in Southern Gospel music was the Singing News. So they will be the charts I am using for this feature. In this inaugural top ten back then feature I went to September 1976.
A song debuted at #7 on the top 40 chart during September 1976 from the Downings. While the song didn’t climb much higher that its debut position, it did spend nine months in the top 40. Found on the group’s 1976 Impact Records LP, Spiritfest, the song “Operator” became an instant hit for the group. The most noted covers of the song came from the Lesters (1986) and Dove Brothers Quartet (1999) and both used the arrangement made popular by the Downings.
Here is the Downings with the song landing at #7 on the chart in September 1976; “Operator”.
*Video Credit (Ann Downing Ministries)