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!

Not to diminish this week's history-making chart accomplishments from theamong the now 1,000 total:

104, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," the Beatles (1964)
105, "She Loves You," the Beatles (1964)
106, "Can't Buy Me Love," the Beatles (1964)
The Fab Four was the first act to earn more than one No. 1 song back-to-back (or, in the Beatles' case, back-to-back-to-back). Also the first act to stay at No. 1 for double-digit consecutive weeks (12).

436, "You Light Up My Life," Debby Boone (1977)
The first No. 1 since the inception of the Hot 100 to spend 10 weeks at No. 1. This single is Debby Boone's only top 40 hit, making her one of a select group of artists to reach No. 1 but never again the top 40.

456, "Le Freak," Chic (1978)
The first song to hit No. 1 three different times in the same run. "Le Freak" spent a week at No. 1, relinquished the top spot for a week, moved back up for another two weeks, dropped back out for another two weeks and moved back into the No. 1 position for three more weeks, for a total of six weeks on top.

463, "Heart of Glass," Blondie (1979)
A worldwide No. 1 hit that united punk and disco lovers alike - no easy trick.

470, "My Sharona," the Knack (1979)
The No. 1 single of 1979 bridged the gap between '70s classic rock and the more pop-leaning '80s area rock.

473, "Rise," Herb Alpert (1979)
The last Hot 100 No. 1 instrumental not tied to a film or TV show.

474, "Pop Muzik," M (1979)
M (aka, Robin Scott) is in that elite group with Debby Boone and others who never reached the top 40 again after reigning. In fact, M, was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. It's always been my contention that "Pop Muzik" epitomized the music of a decade - not the one it came from, but the next one.

487, "Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)," Paul McCartney & Wings (1980)
The song that John Lennon reportedly liked so much that it spurred him to unretire, it would have never reached No. 1 had it not been for radio stations who switched the original studio A-side for the live B-side.

501, "Rapture," Blondie (1981)
The first (of many, eventually) rap-infused Hot 100 No. 1.

505, "Medley: Intro Venus / Sugar, Sugar / No Reply / I'll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want to Know a Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You're Going to Lose That Girl / Stars on 45," Stars on 45 (1981)
"Medley" not only holds the record for longest title to reach the Hot 100, but it also inspired other medleys of its era, including "Hooked on Classics" and "Hooked on Swing" and medleys by the Beach Boys and the Beatles themselves (each reached No. 12).

512, "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," Daryl Hall John Oates (1982)
After "Private Eyes" ceded the No. 1 spot to "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John, the duo reclaimed it 11 weeks later with a 4-1 jump (after five weeks at No. 4), much to the dismay of Foreigner, who spent its last of 10 weeks stuck at No. 2 with "Waiting for a Girl Like You."

642, "I Think We're Alone Now," Tiffany (1987)
643, "Mony Mony," Billy Idol (1987)
A rare occurrence of two Tommy James cover songs leading consecutively.

662, "Foolish Beat," Debbie Gibson (1988)
The fourth track from her debut album, "Out of the Blue," made Gibson the youngest recording artist to write, produce and sing a No. 1 hit.

663, "Dirty Diana," Michael Jackson (1988)
The record-establishing fifth No. 1 song from one album ("Bad").

790, "Stay (I Missed You)" (from "Reality Bites"), Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories (1994)
The only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 without being signed to a record label.

821, "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight," Elton John (1997)
The biggest-selling single of all time in the U.S. (11-times Platinum, per the RIAA) and the world (in Canada, the song spent three years in the top 20, with 46 weeks at No. 1).

833, "One Week," Barenaked Ladies (1998)
One of those funky chart quirks you love to have happen, like Prince's "7" hitting No. 7, or this hit, which spent, um, "one week" at No. 1.

This is way too much fun.

Thanks so much, Gary, for inspiring us to contribute to your column!

Ron Raymond, Jr.
Music Director, WMPG-FM
Portland, Maine