The Who's Pete Townshend: The Super Bowl Q&A
The Who's Roger Daltrey (l) and Pete Townshend live in Brisbane, 2009.

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


Hi Gary,

With the original cast recording of "The Book of Mormon" barging into the Billboard 200's top 10 (No. 3), I was wondering: Do sales numbers reflect cast recordings that are sold in theatre lobbies?

Every Broadway musical with a cast album sells copies in the lobby and I'd imagine that that accounts for a large portion of overall purchases.


Mark Blankenship
New York, New York

Hi Mark,

I posed your question to Billboard 200 - and Cast Albums - chart manager Keith Caulfield, who fondly referred to you as an "old friend," from your correspondences when he authored "Ask Billboard" before me.

Here is his response:

"It depends on the venue and production and if they have chosen to report their sales to Nielsen SoundScan.

Most of Disney's productions do report, as does 'Wicked' and 'Jersey Boys.' Some others don't, for their own specific set of reasons. Touring productions can also report, but many do not.

For example, upwards of 1,000 copies of 'Wicked' are sold each week from internet retailers, mail orders and venue sales (likely, the bulk of that figure from sales at the 'Wicked' theater venue on Broadway in New York)."

Caulfield detailed the milestones that "Mormon" registered this week Wednesday (June 15) on

"The original Broadway cast recording of 'The Book of Mormon' comes roaring back in at No. 3 with 61,000 sold (up 2,116%) following the show's nine Tony Award wins on Sunday, June 12. It is the highest charting Broadway cast album - and first top 10 - since 1969, when "Hair" spent 13 straight weeks at No. 1.

And, 'Mormon' owns the largest sales week for any cast album since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The previous best sales week for a cast set belonged to the original London cast recording of 'Phantom of the Opera (Highlights),' which sold 54,000 over Christmas week 1992."