An analysis of why slow songs ruled top 40 in the late '80s but don't, for the most part, now. Plus, Hall & Oates' top 10 hits and Tom Wopat, 'Luke Duke' himself, stops by
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With the recent christening of Prince George of Cambridge, the 65th birthday of Prince Charles, and, of course, Lorde's "Royals" spending a ninth week at No. 1, how about we look at other pop royalty that has topped the Hot 100?
"Duke of Earl," Gene Chandler (1962)
"I'm Henry VIII, I Am," Herman's Hermits (1965)
"Dancing Queen," ABBA (1977)
"Sir Duke," Stevie Wonder (1977)
"Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)," Billy Ocean (1984)
In addition, No. 1 hits have been notched by Carole King, Queen and Prince.
And, perhaps the most poignant regal song to crown the Hot 100 has been Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997," his tribute to his friend, the late Princess Diana.
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As for Lorde (aka, "Queen Bee"), here's her latest achievement at rock radio: She enters the Alternative Songs top 10 with "Team" (15-9), the follow-up to "Royals." Lorde is the first solo female to take her first two Alternative Songs entries into the top 10 since Alanis Morissette crowned the chart on her first two tries in 1995 with "You Oughta Know" (five weeks at No. 1) and "Hand in My Pocket" (one).
Meanwhile, recent leader "Roar" by Katy Perry essentially borrows the lyrics of Queen's "We Are the Champions." And, her new perfume is called "Killer Queen." How interesting that Queen has actually influenced both Perry and Lady Gaga: the latter's name was, of course, inspired by the band's 1984 No. 16 Hot 100 hit "Radio Ga-Ga."
(Plus, going back to Gaga's "SNL" gig, let's not forget that in the future, we're under the leadership of "Empress Beyonce.")
Let's not forget two more Dukes – my favorites – Bo and Luke! John Schneider and Tom Wopat portrayed cousins Bo and Luke Duke on CBS' "The Dukes of Hazzard" from 1979 through 1985, along with a pair of reunion movies on the network in 1997 and 2000. (I also may or may not have attended a "DukesFest" fan convention in Sperryville, Virginia, in 2003 …)
Both actors also enjoyed considerable success on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in the '80s. Schneider tallied four No. 1s in 1984-85, while Wopat racked seven top 40 hits on the list in 1986-88. They also sang on the fun, kitschy 1981 series soundtrack album that included contributions from Catherine Bach ("Daisy"), Sorrell Booke ("Boss Hogg") and James Best (whose "Rosco" offered a tribute to his dog/patrol car partner "Flash," who always joined him "in hot pursuit!")
In a visit to Billboard's New York offices earlier this year, Wopat discussed his new album of standards, "I've Got Your Number," as well as (since I may or may not have prodded him incessantly for details …) memories of "Dukes":
As for any more "Dukes" incarnations? Wopat laughed off the suggestion.
"I'm Uncle Jesse's age now."