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.