Wednesday, January 4, 2012

... And Now On With The Countdown ...

Did you follow along with our special Top 200 #1 Records Countdown on Monday? 
(I suppose I could have gotten REALLY clever and posted one title at a time every six minutes ... but just putting together these hourly updates already took up most of MY holiday weekend!!!)
We got some feedback ... and we'll share it with you (including the good, the bad and the ugly)!
I like the idea of including chart information from ALL of the trades in your countdown -- while Billboard has long been considered the Music Chart Bible, it shows again that it was not the be all / end all when it comes to this kind of information. 
Thanks for sharing your clever idea with your readers.
What I like about doing a chart like this is this:  EACH of these trade publications was a respected source of information during this era ... artists, record companies, promoters, radio stations, etc., spent heavy-duty money promoting their latest artists and releases in these trades ... and a good showing in each and every one counted as another feather in their collective caps.  Consider then that each publication had their own sources (and resources) for compiling this information, taking into consideration record sales, radio airplay, etc. ... but no one publication covered it ALL.  A consensus utilizing the COMPLETE RESOURCES of all of these publications paints a more accurate picture as to just what was really popular at the time.  (And we found a few things that, as I said, made you take pause and wonder "Hmmm???" along the way, too ... sometimes it's easier to reflect on the times with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight ... and it was nice to finally give some recognition to some deserving titles that were considered #1 Records by most of us ... in any number of regions ... and, in many cases, nationally, too, depending on which publication you happened to pick up that week.) 
There's an age old saying that states "It ain't #1 till it's #1 in Billboard" ... and, without question, this has proven to be the case in the years spent since compiling all relevant chart information ... and we certainly give them their due ... but, like I said, at the time there were THREE publications accurately reporting this information ... and these "conflicts" should also be considered and reported.  It was a fun (if not exhausting) exercise ... but the greatest joy came in recognizing ALL of the National #1 Hits.  (kk)
Great to see #189, Crystal Blue Persuasion, make your #1 list.  That's my favorite!
"Crystal Blue Persuasion" made it to #1 here in Chicago ... and topped the Record World Chart, too.  Great tune!  (By the way, Tommy James was HUGE here in Chicago ... he hit #1 here with "Hanky Panky", ""I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Crimson And Clover", "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and "Draggin' The Line".  "Say I Am" and "Nothing To Hide", two hits that didn't even crack the National Top Ten, reached #2 here in Chi-Town.  In all, Tommy James had 13 Top Ten Chicagoland Hits!)  kk
Thank you, Kent, for recognizing Barbara Ann as a #1 hit (even though it was released too quickly by Capitol and derailed the Beach Boys' single The Little Girl I Once Knew" as it was climbing into the top twenty; a great sound!). Some fun, fun, fun on the way to Pet Sounds!
Rumor has it that California Girls (peaked at #3) was surreptitiously held back from it's rightful #1 slot ... (:>)
Good commentary and insight.
I agree 100% on Valleri!
(So many groups had their best song after their big-time on the Top 40 - Try Too Hard, Opus 17, Him or Me, Darlin', Hazy Shade Winter ... )
I've always felt that "Barbara Ann" deserved its #1 berth ... "Valleri" (and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", too.)  The one that surprised me the most was that "Lady Madonna" never officially hit #1 on ANY of the national charts ... yet "Nowhere Man" and "Yellow Submarine" DID!!!  It was tougher than many remember hitting #1 during this era ... there was SO much competition ... new releases by big name artists were coming out every 4-6 weeks ... artists were releasing as many as three albums and four or five singles per year ... and a song only stayed on the charts for about 8-10 weeks, creating a constant rotation of new and exciting material.  And, because the times were so experimental, a group like The Beach Boys could put out the symphonic-sounding surf hit "California Girls", the progressively experimental "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and the party-sounding fun of "Barbara Ann" back-to-back-to-back, all within the span of just seven months!  The group literally sounded different on each new release ... and they hadn't even hit their "Pet Sounds" period yet!  1966 would go on to see "Caroline, No" (released as a Brian Wilson single so as not to compete with the simultaneously released "Sloop John B" Beach Boys single), "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "God Only Knows" and "Good Vibrations" all come out before the end of the year.  That's SIX charted sides in 1966 alone!  (kk)
Very cool concept you've come up with here! However, I'd be interested to know the thought process behind the judgement call. If George Harrison and Diana Ross were able to score number one records so soon after striking out as solo artists (albeit due to a record buying public with lousy taste, considering the two songs at hand), why "couldn't" they be included? What were the criteria that disqualified Ross as a solo artist but qualified Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations? 
Happy 2012!
MF Ping
It was simply a judgement call. "The Beatles Years", by very definition, defines the time they spent together as a group on our American Charts.  Likewise, The Supremes, who were clearly the runners-up in the #1 Department for this period of time.  Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptation were two forerunners of this era ... and were still an "intact" entity when they joined forces to record "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me".  Diana on her own, simply put, was "another era" ... just like solo George.  (Had the Ross-less Supremes hit #1 in 1970, I might have included them ... because it was still "The Supremes" ... then again, I might not ... thankfully, I didn't have to make that call!)
Honestly, it was difficult to consider an artist like The Partridge Family part of The Beatles Era ... "I Think I Love You" was on and off the list a few times before I finally conceded and allowed it to "tie" "Windy", which certainly IS of The Beatles Era.  The Beatles DEFINED the '60's ... The Partridge Family kicked off the '70's.  (Besides, we already had our TV / Record Hit group with The Monkees!!!)
No other way to explain it, really ... it's kind of like the way radio has been segregated over the past 25 years ... oldies / '50's music now encompasses 1955 - 1963 (or pretty much anything PRE-Beatles.)  The '60's have become the period of 1964 - 1970 while The Beatles were still together.  On the other hand, artists like The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons and a few others, who went on to even greater success during The Beatles Era now see their 1962 and 1963 output included in this period.  (If you want to get REALLY technical about it, "Love Me Do" and all The Beatles British Hits from 1963 are really from BEFORE The Beatles Era, too ... it just took America a little bit longer to catch up to the rest of the world!!!)
When divvying up what does and doesn't belong, I'd be inclined to include ALL of the Motown Hits, 1960 - 1970 as "of The Beatles Era" ... and, technically, in MY mind anyway, The Jackson Five would be part of the '70's, even though we ended up including FOUR of their hits in our countdown.
As you can see, a tough call to be sure ... but one we made and now have to stick to!  (kk)
Regarding The Top 200, specifically #'s 100 and 99 ... 
I think it's all about how BB compiled the chart vs. CB / RR.
CB always underrepresented R&B titles, RW I could never figure out but it looked as if station lists were most important given how much higher many songs peaked. WRKO Boston never played "Hair," so if other major or Drake stations did same, that may have kept it from hitting #1 in BB, since airplay and sales were fairly equal components.
Rich Appel / Hz So Good
Thanks, Rich!  By the way, I'll be a guest on Rich's "The Rest Of The Week" radio program next Sunday (January 8th) when he salutes some of the Instrumental Hits that made our list of Forgotten Hits Favorites.  You can view that list here:
Or tune in to "Listen Live" to Rich's program here:
It airs Sundays from 6 am - 1 PM (Eastern) on WRNJ 
That was actually quite fun!
Once it got down to 20, I started trying to figure all the 20 left without using a book. I did! Almost forgot about Herb Alpert but I remembered it about two minutes before 20 to 11 came up. I did think Hey Jude was going to be first though. I was hoping “Honey” wouldn’t be in the Top 10. Oh Well!
LOL ... yes, but how could it NOT be?!?!?  The record was HUGE ... and it still ought to get played a few times a year if only to remind us how sappy we were back then!  (lol)  Overall, I think folks were pleased with the countdown.  We've posted it (with a few minor adjustments) permanently on the OTHER Forgotten Hits website:
Clever way to use the website -- and get a few extra web hits to boot! Forgotten Hits always keeps the oldies interesting -- thank you for your insightful look back at the #1 Hits from my favorite era of music.
While we may have had some ulterior motives in trying to boost web hits for the day, it didn't work ... despite our best efforts, we still didn't pass our top three biggest viewing dates. 
(Honestly, I doubt that anybody out there REALLY came back every hour ... not even me!!!  lol)  kk
I loved the countdown!  Thanks for the dedication on a day when many were still on holiday. 
Phil - WRCO
I wanted to kick off 2012 with a bang ... and something completely new and different.  It took a bit of work but sounds like it was well worth it.  Thanks, Phil!  (kk)
Have you been following our new SOUND ADVICE column?  You'll find it in the Side Bar that runs down the right-hand portion of the web page.  Each day we make a couple of programming suggestions to liven up (and shake up the mix a little bit) on oldies radio.
We're trying to line up deejays to add this feature to their programs ... either daily or once a week ... or maybe even a weekend wrap-up, playing selections from the list.  (Unfortunately, we've already heard from a couple of jocks who told us that, much as they would LOVE to add a feature like this to their programs, they're monitored so tightly with more music and more commercials that they're lucky to get their own name out over the airwaves in the course of an hour, much less say anything else other than the station's call letters.)
Meanwhile, Mr. C's Flip Side Show (which runs on Radio Free Nashville ... again, check the side bar!) gave HIS listeners a sneak peek of our Elvis Birthday Weekend Plans when he featured Elvis' Two-Sided Hit "Separate Ways" / "Always On My Mind" on his program last night.  (His show runs on Tuesday Nights beginning at 7 PM Central Time).  Each week, Mr. C. is going to play a selection or suggestion from our brand new SOUND ADVICE column.  Please show your support by tuning into his programs ... and calling and/or emailing YOUR favorite oldies deejays, asking them to add our SOUND ADVICE feature to their programs.  (kk)