Fred discusses song origins, Mariah Carey, U.S. geography, birthdates, Ed Cobb and Kristine W with readers.
BET THE NANNY OF McPHEE WOULD HAVE KNOWN
I have noticed that the younger generation in the entertainment field has no knowledge of musical history, regardless of genre. That being said, I was appalled when [a] contestant performing last night on "American Idol" proved my theory.
I may not know everything there is to know about music, but unlike "American Idol" contestant Katharine McPhee, I do know that Barbra Streisand did not originally record the classic "Since I Fell For You." According to my research, it was originally recorded by R&B artists Buddy Johnson and his sister Ella Johnson (on vocals) in 1945.
The next known version I could find was also an R&B hit, by Annie Laurie and Paul Gayten in 1947. The tune was popularized by artist Lenny Welch in 1963 and recorded by everyone from Doris Day to Laura Lee. Barbra Streisand's version did not appear until 1971.
It's that lack of knowledge as such that would have people believe even today that Elvis Presley originally recorded "Hound Dog" and not Big Mama Thornton.
I'm sure a lot of people who watched 21-year-old Katharine McPhee compete on "American Idol" were surprised when she made reference to Barbra Streisand having recorded the original version of "Since I Fell for You." But I best most people who noticed the mistake thought to themselves, "No, that was first recorded by Lenny Welch in 1963!" without realizing there were the earlier versions in the 1940s that you cite.
By the way, Buddy Johnson wrote the song but his recording didn't chart. The first charted version of the song was the one you cite by Annie Laurie with Paul Gayten and His Trio. Their single spent four weeks at No. 3 on our R&B chart in 1947.
I don't think we should be too hard on Katharine, though. One's knowledge of music has a lot to do with one's age, and youth can be educated. I'm sure there are a lot of readers of this column who have learned facts about the rock era in the decade that Chart Beat has been online, or have filled in gaps in their musical knowledge by reading my books. I'm sure that once Katharine sees this column, she won't refer to "Since I Fell for You" as a Streisand original again.
For those feeling smug about knowing about Lenny Welch or Buddy Johnson or Annie Laurie, keep in mind that most people think Chubby Checker was the original artist to record "The Twist," not Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, and that the Isley Brothers were the first to record "Twist and Shout," not the Top Notes, who cut the song one year earlier. What about "Nothing Compares 2 U," originally by the Family, not Sinead O'Connor, or "War," recorded by the Temptations before Edwin Starr? How about "Someday We'll Be Together," covered by Diana Ross & the Supremes about a decade after the original was recorded by Johnny & Jackie?
I realize that the majority of "Chart Beat" readers are so deeply involved in music and the charts that this seems like information everyone should know, but most people don't.
ANOTHER RECORD FOR MARIAH
I'm a new fan of your column and this is my first time asking you a question. I counted the number of weeks Mariah Carey has spent at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart and I counted 81 weeks. Is there anyone regardless of gender who has spent more weeks at No. 1 than her ot the airplay chart? If not, then should this be counted as a record for her?
Thank you for providing a lot of helpful information!
Bronx, New York
You have indeed uncovered another chart record set by Mariah Carey and before I forget, I'm glad to welcome a new "Chart Beat" fan to "Chart Beat Chat."
Only two artists have spent 50 weeks or more at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The other act is Boyz II Men, with 50 weeks in pole position.
The Hot 100 Airplay chart was first published in the Dec. 8, 1990 issue of Billboard. That means that Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love" never appeared on this tally, because it was a hit before the chart existed. The chart's first No. 1 was "Love Takes Time," which would have had two more weeks at No. 1 had the chart been published earlier. Despite this, Mariah has racked up 89 weeks in the lead position. Here's how it all adds up:
"Love Takes Time," 1990 (two weeks)
"Someday," 1991 (10 weeks)
"Emotions," 1991 (four weeks)
"I'll Be There," 1992 (eight weeks)
"Dreamlover," 1993 (11 weeks)
"Hero," 1993 (10 weeks)
"Fantasy," 1995 (seven weeks)
"One Sweet Day," 1995 (13 weeks) [Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men]
"We Belong Together," 2005 (16 weeks)
"Shake It Off," 2005 (three weeks)
"Don't Forget About Us," 2005 (five weeks)
BORN IN THE U.S.A.; BORN AGAIN
You mentioned Bette Midler was raised in Hawaii but born in New Jersey. I have found two natives of the Aloha State who have topped the Hot 100. They are Yvonne Elliman, who went to No. 1 on May 13, 1978, with "If I Can't Have You" and Glenn Medeiros, who along with Roxbury, Mass. -born Bobby Brown reached the summit on July 21, 1990, with "She Ain't Worth It."
In case anyone is interested in recording artists from Alaska, none have topped the Hot 100. There are two residents of Alaska who have made the top 5 but neither of them are natives. They are Jewel, who was born in Payson, Utah, and raised in Homer, Alaska (she reached No. 2 in 1997 with "You Were Meant For Me") and Rosalie Hamlin of the San Diego group Rosie and the Originals, who peaked at No. 5 in 1961 with "Angel Baby." Rosalie was born in Klamath Falls, Ore., and raised in Anchorage.
Here is some more trivia for you. It would seem very unlikely to find two members of the same group born on exactly the same day other than twins, however on Feb. 19, both former Miracles' lead singer Smokey Robinson and band mate Bobby Rogers turned 66. There are two members of the Monkees, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith, who share the same birthday, Dec. 30. However, Nesmith is exactly three years older, as he was born in 1942 and Jones was born in 1945.
You were one of almost a dozen readers to write in naming Yvonne Elliman and Glenn Medeiros as native Hawaiians who have spent time at No. 1 on the Hot 100.
Your birthday facts remind me of some people who share the same birthday (but were born in different years).
Jan. 8 is the birthday of two artists who recorded for RCA: Elvis Presley and David Bowie.
Feb. 9 is a day to send cards to songwriters Carole King and Barry Mann.
March 22 is the natal day for two famous composers of musicals: Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
March 25 is the birthday of Aretha Franklin and Elton John, who charted in 1989 with the duet "Through the Storm."
May 2 was the day Lesley Gore, Lou Gramm and Larry Gatlin were initially born.
June 7 is the birthday of Prince as well as Tom Jones, who remade Prince's "Kiss."
June 18 is a good day for a musical legend to be born, like Paul McCartney and Beethoven.
Aug. 28 is the birthday of LeAnn Rimes and Shania Twain.
And Nov. 30 is shared by Clay Aiken and Billy Idol.
EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS
I believe Ed Cobb had an earlier writing credit on the Hot 100 than the one you cited in last week's "Chart Beat" (which was Brenda Holloway's "Every Little Bit Hurts" from May 1964).
Cobb was listed as a co-writer (along with Lincoln Mayorga) on "Brontosaurus Stomp" by the Piltdown Men, which peaked at No. 75 on the Hot 100 in September 1960. So the duration of Cobb's Hot 100 tenure as a writer is currently 45 years and five months (and counting).
Thanks for catching Ed Cobb's earlier song credit, allowing us to recognize an even greater chart achievement than originally reported. Brenda Holloway's "Every Little Bit Hurts" is one of my all-time favorites but it's OK that it wasn't Cobb's first entry on the Hot 100.
In a completely different vein, Cobb also wrote hits for the Standells, including "Dirty Water," "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," "Why Pick on Me" and "Try It."
As an artist, Cobb first appeared on the Hot 100 on Dec. 22, 1956. Cobb was a member of the Four Preps, and their first single "Dreamy Eyes" debuted that week. Lincoln Mayorga, his co-writer on "Brontosaurus Stomp," was an arranger and accompanist for the Four Preps.
Cobb died of leukemia on Sept. 19, 1999, at age 61.
NOT THE BRIGHTEST 'LIGHT' ON THE CHARTM
Hope you're doing well, Fred. As always, thanks for the weekly column.
I'm glad that you touched on Kristine W this week in "Chart Beat." I was sad to see "I'll Be Your Light" dip to No. 3 after peaking only at No. 2. I'm still optimistic that DJs will unite and help give this song a reversal and push it to the top. Of course, I'm also a realist and know that most songs drop fairly quickly from Billboard's Dance Music Club Play chart.
I noticed Kristine W hasn't had much success on the Dance Radio Airplay chart. It amazes me that someone who has her stellar record on the Club Play chart would be virtually ignored by radio, especially since her music is quite radio-friendly.
I've been fortunate enough to see Kristine perform and to meet her on many occasions at various shows throughout the United States. She is one of the most overlooked talents -- not only in the dance genre, but in all of the music industry. Thank you for mentioning her and keeping her on the radar.
Glad you enjoyed the item on Kristine W. Those who missed it can go to Chart Beat and read it. I was hoping to report that her perfect record was intact and that she had scored her 10th No. 1 with her 10th chart entry, especially when I saw that "I'll Be Your Light" had gravitated to No. 2.
Even though she apparently missed the top spot for the first time, it's an enviable feat to have your first nine chart singles all visit the penthouse, so Kristine W's place in chart history is secure.