Here is an incredible tour of Joel Whitburn’s vault from 2005 …
Keep in mind that he continued to add to this collection EVERY WEEK thereafter based on each week’s new Billboard Charts!
(That's nearly a thousand more weeks!!!)
Wow! I am truly humbled by all of the outpouring of love and support from not only the Forgotten Hits readers, but from all of our customers and chart fans around the world. I've literally been either online or on the phone this past week talking with fellow "chart nerds" (a tag that I wear with pride), sharing stories about Joel and our little company. As much as I've enjoyed it, I really need to get back to working on The Gavin Report project!
A huge "thank you" to all you've done over the years to help spread the gospel. Joel always asked me "did you see what Kent wrote about us today?" He never lost his joy or enthusiasm for music and charts. In fact, he was at his desk the day before he died. He went out doing what he loved to do. May we all be so lucky!
PS: I know you're a stickler for the facts. Joel's wife Fran was paralyzed in a parasailing accident, not an automobile accident.
As soon as I read your email I remembered that!!! I was always so amazed that even well into their 70’s, Joel and Fran lived live to the fullest, doing what they most enjoyed doing. I know one of his biggest fears after her accident was that he was going to lose her … I don’t think he ever expected that he’d be the first to go. So sad.
You must have SO many memories to share, Paul, of working with Joel over the past 30+ years … and I hope you’ll continue to share those with our readers … and keep us up to date on all new chart info that you may be working on. Consider me a life-long fan. (kk)
Nice collection of Joel Whitburn comments you're receiving. And interesting as you wrote,
>>>I’ve received more Joel Whitburn appreciative responses than for any other rock star to pass during the time I’ve done Forgotten Hits. His work touched EVERYONE (kk)
I believe that to be so true. As Ral Donner once sang in his Top 5 Forgotten Hit in the Summer of 1961, "You don't know what you've got until you lose it!" ( I know the facts I just mentioned about Donner and his Song are accurate because I got them from my Joel Whitburn Book, Top Pop Singles 17th Edition, Vol. 1: 1955-1989! )
(aka CB … who we hereby dub Chart Boy!!!)
My Favorites –
"DAILY #1 HITS" (1940 - 1992)
"AMERICA's GREATEST HITS" (1940 - 2015) THE TOP 10 CHARTS
"COMPARISON BOOK" -- BILLBOARD HOT 100 / CASH BOX TOP 100 / RECORD WORLD - THE SINGLES CHART (My Favorite)
Kent - I Don't Know If It's Possible To Do A Countdown Of Joel Whitburn Books … Most Sales #1 and Least Sales, Last Place. I Think He'd Like That.
Not sure where you’d get those stats (unless Record Research would be willing to share them with us!) It’s a tough call, too, because Top Pop Singles, for example, has gone through something like 17 revisions since the first book came out in 1969 … so while it’s the company’s flagship publication and, since it’s been around the longest, would have the greatest accumulative sales, other books (like the Comparison Chart Book in particular) became immediate best sellers, too.
The weekly charts by decade for Billboard, Cash Box and Record World are priceless editions. (I remember going to The Chicago Public Library and copying many of these charts from microfilm … probably one of the worst headaches I’ve ever had after flipping through all those pages through the viewing lenses!) I just had to have them all … so when Joel began publishing these, in pristine condition, I finally pitched my barely legible copies and have referred to his ever since.
Over the years, I have purchased HUNDREDS of copies of his books and, as I’ve said, there has not been a single day, during these past 50+ years, that I have not referred to at least one of them. It is the most complete, documented history of the charts possible, an invaluable tool at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Over the years, I have added chart history books for our two big Chicago AM Powerhouse Stations, WLS and WCFL, the CHUM Chart Book from Canada, the complete history of British Pop Singles … and special new publications put together by fans (like the Milwaukee Chart book that FH Reader Ken Freck put together a few years ago) and have been on the fence for a complete collection of Australian Chart Hits for years (a VERY expensive collection that only has incidental interest to me … yet I still feel like I can’t live without it! Lol)
For me, it has always been impossible to pass by a countdown show, no matter what the subject matter or how it was assembled. (That’s why you’ve seen so many Readers Polls here in Forgotten Hits over the years!) So finding Joel’s books (and the very fact that they even existed) has been a God-send for me.
My most-used references have to be the Billboard Chart Hits and the Cash Box Chart Hits, followed by the Record World and now Radio and Records editions which, until the Chart Comparison Book came out, meant I would often have to look up chart information in three or four places. Now (through early 1982 anyway!) I can reference just this one book – along with my own notations as to how well these songs did on our local charts, Canadian Charts and British Charts. Joel’s efforts have helped to make Forgotten Hits a much more complete and authoritative source of this information … and I am very thankful for this. (kk)
As a fellow Whitburn-ian devotee since my
youngest days, I hereby proclaim one Joel Whitburn as a first ballot Rock &
Roll Hall Of Famer.
For he has accomplished WAAAAAY more for rock & roll music legacy than many of the inductees!
I totally agree … and that was one of my very first thoughts as well when I first heard of his passing.
Joel was a voting member for years … and I think at one time part of the nominating committee … but he told me that after seeing the way the nominees were being selected, he stepped down from that post and only remained a voting member. (Perhaps more commentary on the way things were being done under Jann Wenner’s reign as President ... not that the fans didn’t already know this!) kk
>>>There weren’t many, but we helped correct a few Record Research errors over the years. One that’s STILL published wrong is the fact that Brian Wilson did NOT write The New Colony Six song “People And Me.” That song was written by BOB Wilson, who was a member of the band at the time. I swore Joel fixed this error when we first pointed it out … but then somehow it reverted back to the Brian Wilson credit … which simply is not true. (I think it may have been right for one edition only but I don’t have them all handy enough to go digging!) Paul, maybe you can add this to your list of things to be updated for the next edition. If I remember correctly, David Lewis told us a few years ago that Bob Wilson was still playing gigs around Nashville at the time.)
It's interesting that it was corrected and somehow reverted to the incorrect info.
Bob Wilson was indeed playing with his band "Timeline" regularly until just prior to Covid arriving in 2020. During breaks, Bob and I talked several times about NC6 and the overall Chicago music scene of the sixties and seventies. We fans were unaware that Bob was dealing with some serious health problems during the last couple of years he was performing. He's still with us now but isn't doing any gigs at present. We all wish Bob the best in hopes he'll get past these hurdles and be back up on stage for some superb rock and roll. As retired principal at Nashville School Of The Arts, Bob is one of the most beloved high-school principals to pass through this town. My wife met one of Bob's former students recently, who is also now working in education, and this lady echoed other things we've heard about Bob being so supportive of musicians and other students of the arts.
had always hoped that once Joel got the Comparison Chart Book off the ground,
he might consider publishing our Super Charts as well (kk)
Did you folks ever consider bypassing the trades altogether and doing super charts based on the over 100,000 surveys contained in the awesome Airheads Radio Survey Archive? This would also bypass the trades' rule that a song was not eligible unless it was released as a single, as many of these surveys had no such restrictions.
I looked up a few of your Top 3333 high-charters that did not make the Hot 100. It gives an idea of what the charts might have looked like had this rule not restricted them.
The most striking example of many was Stairway To Heaven Not counting its 1976 live remake, it was #1 on 10 charts, beginning January 16, 1972. It appeared on 148 surveys.
At first, I was surprised not to find "Here Comes The Sun" listed, but then I investigated further. It turns out that 19 charts had the entire Abbey Road album listed on their singles chart ... four of them at #1 beginning on November 12, 1969. And I checked ... they were all singles charts. Abbey Road beat out "Wedding Bell Blues" for #1.
This was also the case for other Beatles albums, and for those of some other classic rock artists, like the Rolling Stones, the Mamas & Papas and Jimi Hendrix. This is probably accurate, because top forty radio seemed to have every song on these albums in rotation whether they were released as singles or not.
But wait, it gets better.
Beginning on February 22, 1964, 25 singles surveys listed "All Beatles Records" or some variation of that on their chart, NINETEEN AT NUMBER ONE.
Top that, Drake!
During the most creative time in music, the weekly surveys and charts weren’t allowed to list album tracks … or listener requests. (We talked recently about how The Monkees’ 1967 version of “Valleri,” taped of the tv show, would win Most Requested Song every single night for weeks on end … and yet you couldn’t buy it … in ANY configuration … at the time. (At least you could shell out your eight bucks and get the new Led Zeppelin album and listen to “Stairway To Heaven”!!!)
And yet now, here we are, some 50-something years later, and EVERY song from EVERY album is suddenly eligible to rank on the charts … and in FAR too many cases, every track on any given LP DOES, in fact, hit the charts, albeit most only for a week or two.
Still it completely distorts the history of the charts that Billboard continuously (and erroneously) compares as if all things were equal … which they’re not … not even close!
You mention the entire “Abbey Road” charting … that was the big thing with “Sgt. Pepper” when it first came out … I lost track of how many surveys I saw while research our 1967 series that showed the entire LP at #1 … and most of the tracks were played that way, too! (Not all, mind you … which makes that kind of ranking somewhat deceiving … but certainly the “Sgt. Pepper” / “With A Little Help From My Friends” medley, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, “When I’m 64” and “A Day In The Life” were played every bit as often as the most popular singles in the land.
As it is, The Beatles placed 34 “sides” in The National Top 100 during 1964 alone … together, they accounted for 285 accumulated weeks charted … or nearly 5 ½ years worth of chart action in one year’s time.
We’ll never see anything else quite like it … other than somebody like Drake, of course. Or maybe the Cast of “Glee!” (kk)
Several of Brian Wilson’s musical friends got together to wish him a Happy 80th Birthday this past Monday …
And this from Spud (courtesy of Howie Edelson) …
80 Things We Love About Brian Wilson
Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings have finally rescheduled some of their cancelled tour dates. As of right now, all appearances are confined to Canada … but fans here in The States are hopeful that they’ll make their way down across the border at some point in time as well.
Cancelled due to Covid (and then Canada-imposed traveling conditions), all shows (other than a special one night concert held in Winnipeg in August of 2021, celebrating Manitoba Unite 150) were ultimately cancelled. (We had second row seats for their appearance here in Chicago … I doubt that THAT’LL happen again!!! lol)
Here’s the list of confirmed Canadian dates:
July 17th – Peterborough, ON –
Peterborough Memorial Centre
July 19th – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
July 20th – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
July 22nd – Kemptville, ON – Kemptville Live Music Festival
July 23rd – St. Catharines, ON – Meridian Centre
August 5th – Grand Forks, BC – Canada Rock Fest
September 3rd – Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheatre
I do have to say that I am a bit more excited an optimistic about the new Baz Luhrmann "Elvis" film coming out this weekend after watching the special 20/20 profile Tuesday Night. (I'm sure it's available On Demand should you have missed it.)
By all accounts and appearances, they seem to have done The King Of Rock And Roll right ... and in some of the clips shown, young actor Austin Butler truly BECOMES Elvis on screen ... enough so to win over Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley. (I'm sure we'll go check it out this weekend ... been waiting long enough for this one to come out!)
Lots of trailers and clips on YouTube ... but check out the 20/20 special if you've got an hour to kill ... I think it'll win you over, too! (kk)
From Tom Cuddy …
LA Theater: Frankie Valli in the House for Granddaughter's Premiere in
Hope your First Day of Summer today is as Summertime as it can be!
Thank you, Annette!
Now admittedly, the attached Top Ten Song from 1966 is one of my many favorite “Summertime” Songs because he sings “Chuck-chuck Chuck-chucka-Chuck-chuck!” right off the top!
So, come Rock On with me, because it is “Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime” ( 1958 ) and “In the Summertime” ( 1970 ) I don’t have time for the “Summertime Blues” ( 1958 )!
I just want some “Hot Fun in the Summertime” ( 1969 ) with maybe just a gentle “Summer Breeze” (1972 ) to cool down a hot town’s “Summer in the City” ( 1966 ).
And that’s my “Summer Song” ( 1964 ) and my “Theme from a Summer Place” ( 1960 ) where I can enjoy a few “Summer Nights” ( 1978 ) with just a slight chance of “Summer Rain” ( 1968) all before too quickly “Summer’s Gone” ( 1960 )!
For now tho, I’m off to hang out with my “Boys of Summer” ( 1985 )!
CB ( which stands for “Chuck-chuck Chuck-chucka-Chuck-chuck Boy!” )
>>>We’ve got a brand New DADDY ISSUES Sweet 16 (kk)
Don't forget the song, Dad Gave My Dog Away, by T. Texas Tyler. It's one of about 35 Dad songs I posted on my Facebook page on Friday.
Nope, we didn’t do that one! (lol)
But we probably did come up with several dozen more that we could have used had we chose to go beyond our 16 song limit! (Once you add in Dad, Daddy, Papa, Father, Pops … as in “Pops, We Love You,” which almost made the cut … as did “I’m Bugged At My Old Man,” it would have been pretty easy to put together a two hour Father’s Day Radio Special! (kk)
I love the List Mike Wolstein contributed to Forgotten Hits the other day!
Unbelievably True and Eye-rollingly Sad.