Fred discusses Yoko Ono, Taylor Swift, Vince Guaraldi and more!
YES ON 'NO': Normally, it's not polite to discuss a woman's age, but when it comes to reporting chart records, civility goes out the window.
In 2003, less than a month after turning 70, Yoko Ono topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart for the first time with "Walking on Thin Ice." That made her the oldest artist to ever achieve pole position on this tally. She repeated that feat at age 71, when "Everyman...Everywoman..." spent a week at No. 1. Now, just a few weeks shy of her 75th birthday, Ono has raised the seniority bar as she returns to the penthouse with "No, No, No" (Mind Train).
These are remixes of the original "No, No, No" track which appeared on Ono's 1981 release, "Season of Glass." That LP peaked at No. 49 on The Billboard 200.
Ono first appeared on the Club Play survey in 1981 with the original recording of "Walking on Thin Ice." That gives her a Club Play chart span of 23 years, 10 months and one week. Ono first appeared on a Billboard chart in 1969, when "Give Peace a Chance" by the Plastic Ono Band went to No. 14. The Plastic Ono Band was the name used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono for their collaborations, which also included other artists, such as Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Ono's overall career chart span is thus stretched to 35 years, five months and two weeks.
IT'S NO. 1, CHARLIE BROWN: Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi passed away in 1976, but if he were alive, he would be 79, which means Yoko Ono would not be the oldest person having a No. 1 record this week on the Billboard charts.
While Guaraldi had a Hot 100 hit in 1963 with "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," he is best known for scoring the animated TV specials based on Charles Schultz's "Peanuts." And one of the Vince Guaraldi Trio's best-known albums is "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (Fantasy), first issued in 1965. That holiday release made its debut on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart the week of Dec. 21, 1991. Now, 16 years and three weeks later, that set has finally reached the No. 1 spot on the catalog tally.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" debuted at No. 33 in 1991 and finally cracked the top 10 seven years later. On the chart dated Dec. 26, 1998, the album flew 21-9. The CD did not rise any higher until Dec. 22, 2001, when it ranked No. 6. It would take another four years before the album inched up a spot to No. 5, on the chart dated Dec. 31, 2005. Last Christmas, the album checked in at a new peak position of No. 2.
This week, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" finally leaps 4-1. That's a longer wait than Linus had for seeing the Great Pumpkin.
HER 'SONG' FOR THE ASKING: Taylor Swift's "Our Song" (Big Machine) remains No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart for the fourth week in a row. Immediately before Swift captured the top spot, Carrie Underwood reigned for three weeks with "So Small." This seven-week string of No. 1 songs by solo female artists is the second longest in the 64-year history of the country singles chart.
The record was set, amazingly, exactly 43 years ago this week, when Connie Smith's "Once a Day" was No. 1 for the eighth consecutive week.
Last week, at the six-week mark, Underwood and Swift were tied for second place with two other runs. In the summer of 1961, Kitty Wells was No. 1 for four weeks with "Heartbreak U.S.A." and was followed by Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces," which led the list for two weeks. And from December 1970-January 1971, Loretta Lynn and Lynn Anderson put together a six-week string with the former's "Coal Miner's Daughter" (one week) and the latter's "Rose Garden" (five weeks).
At the four-week mark, Swift is already in an elite group of solo female artists who have had songs remain in pole position for a quartet of weeks or more. Here are the 19 chart-toppers by solo female artists that have held first place for four weeks or more:
8 weeks: "Once a Day," Connie Smith (1964)
6 weeks: "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," Kitty Wells (1952)
6 weeks: "Breathe," Faith Hill (1999)
6 weeks: "Jesus, Take the Wheel," Carrie Underwood (2006)
5 weeks: "She's Got You," Patsy Cline (1962)
5 weeks: "Rose Garden," Lynn Anderson (1970)
5 weeks: "Here You Come Again," Dolly Parton (1977)
5 weeks: "Love Gets Me Every Time," Shania Twain (1997)
5 weeks: "I Love You," Martina McBride (1999)
5 weeks: "I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack (2000)
5 weeks: "Redneck Woman," Gretchen Wilson (2004)
5 weeks: "Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood (2006)
4 weeks: "Heartbreak U.S.A.," Kitty Wells (1961)
4 weeks: "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," Crystal Gayle (1977)
4 weeks: "No One Else on Earth," Wynonna (1992)
4 weeks: "Wild One," Faith Hill (1994)
4 weeks: "The Way You Love Me," Faith Hill (2000)
4 weeks: "That's the Way," Jo Dee Messina (2000)
4 weeks: "Our Song," Taylor Swift (2007)
On The Billboard Hot 100, "Our Song" jumps 21-17, lifting Swift to her highest position yet on this chart. At the same time, her "Teardrops on My Guitar" climbs 23-19, giving Swift her second highest rank to date.
MISSED HER MUCH: Janet Jackson is back on the Hot 100 for the first time since the week of Nov. 11, 2006, when "So Excited" spent its third and final frame on the chart. "Feedback" (Island) is a new entry at No. 84. The first single from her upcoming "Discipline" album, "Feedback" is the 39th Janet Jackson song to chart on the Hot 100 and expands her span of hits to 25 years and four weeks, dating back to the December 1982 debut of "Young Love."
If "Feedback" can power its way into the top 10, it will be Jackson's first top 10 hit on the Hot 100 since "Someone to Call My Lover" peaked at No. 3 in September 2001.
JUNO AND ALVIN: For the first time in the short history of the Top Digital Albums chart, a couple of soundtracks occupy the top two positions. Moving 6-1 is "Juno" (Rhino), the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed movie written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman. Right behind it, with a 5-2 rise, is "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (Fox).
While "Juno" dominates the digital chart, it is nowhere to be found on The Billboard 200. That's because the soundtrack is a digital-only release at this point. A physical CD arrives in stores and at online retailers Jan. 15, so look for the album to make its Billboard 200 debut on the chart dated the week ending Jan. 26.
'WITCH' WAY IS UP: Speaking of Alvin and the Chipmunks, the animated trio has more songs on the Hot 100 this week than at any point in the furry creatures' 49-year history.
Last week, a 2007 version of "The Chipmunk Song" opened at No. 70; this week that single advances to No. 66. Meanwhile, "Witch Doctor (2007)" enters at No. 62 and "Bad Day" bows at No. 67.
When "Witch Doctor" went to No. 1 in April 1958, it was credited to David Seville, the stage name of Ross Bagdasarian. While "Witch Doctor" used a speeded-up voice, Bagdasarian hadn't yet come up with the concept of the Chipmunks, who were introduced later that year with the original version of "The Chipmunk Song," which also went to No. 1.
BREAK OUT THE 'BUBBLY': Colbie Caillat finds a new field to conquer, as "Bubbly" (Universal Republic) tops the Adult Contemporary chart for the first time. The track advances 5-1; it had previously peaked at No. 3 in November 2007.
On the Adult Top 40 tally, "Bubbly" stands pat at No. 1 for the 11th consecutive week.