Ask Billboard: Chicago's AC Six-Cess

Ask Billboard: Chicago's AC Six-Cess

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


CHICAGO'S AC SIX-CESS


Hi Gary,

Thank you (and Billboard) for theseries of articles online and in the July 23 issue.

I am quite curious about one aspect of the chart's anniversary, however. Why not more mention of the bandwith us, your loyal readers. Thanks for your adult (contemporary) education class.

But, let's delve into this angle even further. I noticed that some AC No. 1s didn't even enter the Hot 100 at all.

In the 50-year history of Billboard's AC chart, here is a sampling of No. 1 hits that missed the Hot 100 entirely:

"It's Such a Pretty World Today," Andy Russell (1967)
"Cold," John Gary (1967)
"Love Will Keep Us Alive," Eagles (1995)
"For the First Time," Kenny Loggins (1997)
"Butterfly Kisses," Bob Carlisle (1997)
"Here in My Heart," Chicago (1997)
"To Love You More," Celine Dion (1998)
"Cruisin'," Huey Lewis & Gwyneth Paltrow (2000)
"Simple Things," Jim Brickman (2001)
"To Where You Are," Josh Groban (2002)
"Do It For Love," Daryl Hall John Oates (2002)
"O Holy Night," Josh Groban (2002)
"Sending You a Little Christmas," Jim Brickman and Kristy Starling (2004)
"Believe," Josh Groban (2004)
"Up on the Housetop," Kimberley Locke (2005)
"Jingle Bells," Kimberley Locke (2006)
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," Daryl Hall John Oates (2006)
"Frosty the Snowman," Kimberley Locke (2007)
"A Baby Changes Everything," Faith Hill (2008)

What a combination of well-known artists and less-recognized acts.

And, the No. 1 AC song with the lowest performance on the Hot 100? "Oh Santa" by Mariah Carey. It peaked at No. 100 on the Hot 100 this past January.

Thanks and take care, Gary,

Mackenzie (Mac) Scott,
Fajardo, Puerto Rico


Hi Mac,

Another great contribution - and one that highlights one of Chicago's hits!

The first two songs you list are especially notable for missing the Hot 100, as they were commercially-available singles eligible to chart on the Hot 100 but failed to do so.

Beginning with "Love Will Keep Us Alive," we see a string of five songs that were not eligible to reach the Hot 100 because they were not released to retail and, per rules at the time, thus, not eligible to chart on the Hot 100. Had they been, they might have enjoyed Hot 100 success. "Alive," for example, rose to No. 22 on Radio Songs.

After Hot 100 rules were adjusted beginning the week of Dec. 5, 1998, non-commercial singles were eligible for Hot 100 inclusion, but such songs as "Cruisin' " and "To Where You Are" were AC-only hits and did not garner enough weekly airplay during their runs to dent the Hot 100, whose airplay data pool by that point included all radio formats.

By the 2000s, as much as 75% of AC reporters had begun to flip to all-holiday programming each Yuletide season, and several holiday songs reached No. 1. Again, airplay for those songs was largely confined to AC radio and they, therefore, fell shy of reaching the Hot 100.

As Carey holds so many Billboard chart records, the one you note is one of her more dubious marks. Still, of course, a No. 1 is a No. 1!

And, since it's been such a hot summer here in New York and where you are, why not chill out (literally) to "Oh Santa"?

The carol became Carey's seventh AC No. 1 and first since "One Sweet Day," with Boyz II Men, in 1995-96.
Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


BUFFETT THE CHART SLAYER

Hi Gary!

Some pretty interesting news on the Country Songs tally. As "Knee Deep" by Zac Brown Band featuring Jimmy Buffett becomes the chart's new leader, two thoughts come to mind.

1) The song is the sixth consecutive No. 1 promoted single by Brown and his band. Has it been awhile since a group has scored that many leaders in-a-row?

2) At 64 years of age, Buffett is the oldest artist to notch a Country Songs No. 1 since Willie Nelson, with Toby Keith, on "Beer for My Horses," showed he still had it in 2003 at (then) age 70.

Best,

John Maverick
Burt County, Nebraska


Thanks John,

Billboard senior chart manager Wade Jessen notes that Zac Brown Band's Country Songs-topping streak is the longest for a band since Restless Heart likewise linked six straight leading singles in 1986-88: "That Rock Won't Roll," "I'll Still Be Loving You," "Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right)," "Wheels," "Bluest Eyes in Texas" and "A Tender Lie."

If Zac Brown Band can top Country Songs with its next single, it will boast the chart's longest No. 1 streak among groups since Alabama tallied a chart-record 21 consecutive (non-seasonal) leaders in 1980-87.

As for Buffett, you can read more about his latest reign in yesterday's "Weekly Notes" Chart Beat entry, as country radio is clearly rolling in the "Deep" with the party-anthem icon.