Fred and his readers discuss Kimberley Locke, Christine Perfect, Leona Lewis and more!
THE PERFECT E-MAIL
Last week, Mike Burk inquired about female artists who had success under both their maiden and married names. Christine Perfect had success in Great Britain as singer and keyboard player for the blues group Chicken Shack. She was named female vocalist of the year several times in the British music publication Melody Maker.
But she had bigger success after she married guitarist John McVie. As Christine McVie, she played an important role in the success of one of the biggest rock groups of the past 30 years - Fleetwood Mac.
Thanks for remembering Mrs. McVie. I knew I could count on Chart Beat readers to come up with some answers for Mike Burke. For another British female who took her husband's name, see the next letter.
HIT AND MRS.
While reading your column about married recording artists changing their last names, I thought an honorable mention should go to Posh Spice, who did change her last name [after marrying David] Beckham. When the Spice Girls started she was known as Victoria Adams.
In addition to Courtney Cox and Eva Longoria, the actresses you mentioned who added their husband's last name to their maiden name, I thought of a couple that are more music oriented: Lisa Hartman-Black (Mrs. Clint Black) and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Mrs. Brad Paisley).
Des Moines, Iowa
Another fine addition to the list - thanks!
ORDER, ORDER ON THE CHARTS
I love a challenge. However, the step-by-step question posed last week turned out to be less of a challenge than it originally appeared to be. You do not have to research every Hot 100 chart for the last 49 1/2 years. All you need to do is spend a couple of hours with Joel Whitburn's "Pop Annual" book, which gives the entire chart run of every No. 1 song.
For those who may have missed last week's Chart Beat Chat, a question was asked concerning No. 1 songs that climbed (or dropped) exactly one position each week to reach (or fall from) the No. 1 spot. My research extends only to 1999 because I do not have the latest edition of "Pop Annual."
I found a large amount of No. 1 songs that climbed or dropped from No. 3 or No. 4. So, in the interest of limiting this e-mail to less than 150% of the available space in Chart Beat Chat, I will list only the songs that did it from (or to) No. 5 or lower. Here is what I came up with.
Songs that climbed 5-4-3-2-1:
"All My Love (Bolero)" - Patti Page, 1950 (Disc Jockey chart)
"Heartbreak Hotel" - Elvis Presley, 1956 (Disc Jockey chart)
"Singing the Blues" - Guy Mitchell, 1956 (Best Seller chart)
"Laughter in the Rain" - Neil Sedaka, 1975
"Black Water" - Doobie Brothers, 1975
"Got to Give it Up (Pt. 1)" - Marvin Gaye, 1977
Song that climbed 7-6-5-4-3-2-1:
"Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" - Bill Conti, 1977
Songs that fell 1-2-3-4-5:
"Till the End of Time" - Perry Como, 1945 (Disc Jockey chart)
"The Gypsy" - Ink Spots, 1946 (Best Seller chart)
"Butterfly" - Andy Williams, 1957 (Disc Jockey chart)
"Hello, I Love You" - The Doors, 1968
Song that fell 1-2-3-4-5-6:
"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" - Elvis Presley, 1957 (Best Seller chart)
Forest Grove, Ore.
Thanks for taking the time to look this up, even if it didn't take as long as I suggested. Reader Darrell Roberts also contributed to the discussion; see his e-mail below.
THE DESCENT THING TO DO
Your reader, Robert L. Headrick, pondered whether songs had ascended to or descended from the No. 1 position on the Hot 100 in increments of one chart position, the answer is an astounding yes. The most recent examples occurred earlier this year, and in a bit of irony, they were consecutive No. 1 hits that saw one's ascension to No. 1 in increments of one position per week, followed by the other song's descent from the top spot in similar one-position increments.
Back in July, Plain White T's' "Hey There Delilah" ascended 6-5-4-3-2-1 and, in the process, displaced "Umbrella" by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z. In turn, that song fell 1-2-3-4-5 and then held at No. 5 before beginning its long and inevitable exit from the chart just a few weeks ago. The Plain White T's feat was the first song since 1977, when Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)" moved 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (almost exactly 30 years prior to "Delilah's" feat).
Hope that helps,
King of Prussia, Penn.
Thanks for finding these recent examples of one-step-at-a-time ascents and descents. I think we can safely close this subject now.
ADVANTAGE: LOCKE AND CURB?
Happy holidays! I am a fan of Kimberley Locke and have both of her CDs but what is the advantage to Ms. Locke and Curb Records for having a No. 1 Christmas song for the third year? Yes, it is great to say you have a No. 1 but the ultimate goal is sales. Does she have any sales?
Being No. 1 in Adult Contemporary really is not that big of a deal considering the low number of stations playing that music. Every year they release a song for her and it has gone to No. 1. Why did they not promote a full Christmas CD (aside from online) like Josh Groban's "Noel"??
I think any artist who has a No. 1 in any format, including Adult Contemporary, thinks it's a big deal. True, the AC chart is based on a radio format and is thus exclusively based on airplay data, not sales.
Curb did release a Christmas album by Kimberley Locke this year, although "Christmas," as you point out, is only available as a digital download. It would certainly sell more copies as a physical CD. Maybe the folks at Curb Records will read this column and decide to release an actual CD next holiday season, when Kimberley will be going for her fourth Christmas song in a row.
'X FACTOR' MARKS THE SPOT
Hello Mr. Bronson,
I am sure you are aware of Leona Lewis' amazing achievement on the U.K. singles chart. And in the very unlikely case you didn't know, Leona Lewis is last year's winner of "The X-Factor" TV talent show, the British equivalent of "American Idol. Actually, "The X-Factor" was the original "Idol" show, but was called "Pop Idol" during the first two seasons. After Michelle MacManus won the British "Idol" title in the second season, Simon Cowell (who was a judge on Pop Idol) was contracted to produce "The X-Factor," resulting in the indefinite hiatus of "Pop Idol" in favor of "The X-Factor."
But that's neither here nor there. For all intents and purposes "The X-Factor" IS the British version of "American Idol." And apparently, Leona Lewis is its true reigning queen. Ms. Lewis has achieved a great chart feat this week by remaining on top of the U.K. singles chart for a seventh straight week with her song "Bleeding Love." She has staved off high profile singles from Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls to have the most successful single by a U.K. female singer. As a matter of fact, in order to find another solo female singer to have spent seven weeks at the top of the U.K. singles chart, you'd have to go all the way back to December 1998 when Cher spent seven weeks at the top with "Believe."
I have heard the song "Bleeding Love" here in the D.C. area a couple of times, mostly in gay bars, but not on the radio. I was wondering if you know if her record company has plans to release Ms. Lewis' album (which is at the top of the U.K. album chart) here in the United States. If they decided to do so, what do you think are the chances that "Bleeding Love" could have the same impact on the U.S. airwaves as it did in her native Britain?
Thank you for a wonderful column.
Before I comment on Leona Lewis, I need to correct your history of "Pop Idol" and "The X Factor." They are two different series, created by different people and owned by different companies. Simon Fuller created "Pop Idol" and its many different versions around the world, including "American Idol." Simon Cowell created "The X Factor" later. Fuller sued Cowell at one point, but the case was settled out of court and Cowell has remained a judge on "American Idol." He has the right to adapt "The X Factor" as a U.S. TV series, but not until "American Idol" ends its run.
You are correct about "Pop Idol" only running for two seasons in the United Kingdom, which seems strange considering the success of its American cousin. But "Pop Idol" did not become "The X Factor."
Some of the "American Idol" finalists have done very well internationally, particularly Kelly Clarkson. In countries where "American Idol" is screened, that may be no surprise, but she has also sold records in countries that do not see "American Idol."
The Leona Lewis album is going to be released in America in 2008 but the music will have to stand on its own, as Americans will not have watched her compete on television. The project is a high priority with Clive Davis and I'm sure Lewis will get a strong promotional push in the United States.