Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Donna Summer, import singles and radio's "Jack" format.
I noticed that Donna Summer has embarked on a big U.S. tour for the first time in five years. In light of this, would you know if she will have a new studio album soon?
Thanks & regards,
On Tuesday, July 26, Universal released the new Donna Summer single "I Got Your Love" exclusively through the Apple iTunes Music Store. You can hear a snippet of the upbeat pop/dance number at her official Web site, www.donnasummer.com.
Listeners may have unknowingly already heard the song -- it was featured in a 2003 episode of "Sex and the City" titled "The Post-It Always Sticks Twice."
Summer is in talks with labels regarding the possibility of a new recording deal, and hopes to have a new album out by the end of the year.
I wanted to know if import singles sales at U.S. retailers have any impact on the Billboard Hot 100?
I buy import singles on a regular basis (due to the fact that the U.S. gets shafted on remixes, in my personal opinion) such as Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" and Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl." Do these get factored in as U.S. sales?
Import singles are not counted towards any Billboard sales chart. Generally speaking, the units sold of import singles are so small, it really wouldn't make much of a difference. Additionally, the charts were always set up to reflect titles that were intended to be sold in the U.S. -- not imported titles that were purposely not released in America for whatever reasons.
I am trying to obtain a concise definition of what the "Jack" radio format is and what it encompasses. It's somewhat like the definition (or lack thereof) of "what is Americana music?" No one could tell us exactly what it was; they could only tell me what it wasn't.
Silvio Pietroluongo, who manages the Billboard Hot 100 chart, responds:
"Jack stations differ from market to market, but in principle they play a variety of songs from different genres spanning the late 1960s to today, but heavy on the '80s and '90s. There is no concise definition."