Fred Bronson chats about single-letter song titles, Nat King Cole, Anne Murray and Rascal Flatts.


Dear Fred,

Doesn't "O" by Omarion become the first one-letter title to reach the Hot 100? "I" by Don Cornell was in 1952, or six years before there was a Hot 100.

David Dana-Bashian
Garden Grove, Calif.

Dear David,

"O," which moves 50-45 this week, is the first one-letter title I'm aware of in the history of Billboard's Hot 100. Since "7" by Prince was a numeral, "O" has the letter field all to itself, but has to share shortest-title honors with "7."


Dear Fred,

As I'm sure you're aware, radio stations around the world continue to broadcast the timeless music of Nat King Cole. He was a dear friend, and for over 15 years it was my pleasure and privilege to promote his records. How very gratifying it is to see him back on the Billboard chart with "The World of Nat King Cole." He continues as a force in the world of music. He still has a firm hold on us. Bravo!

May I call to your attention, Fred, an inaccuracy that appeared in your interesting "Chart Beat" column in Billboard. Cole's album chart debut was not in 1954. The Nation's first No. 1 album from the first Billboard album chart (March 15, 1945) was "The Nat King Cole Trio" (Capitol). It included such gems as "Sweet Lorraine," "It's Only a Paper Moon," "I'm Through With Love," etc., and remained on the charts for 35 weeks. Actually, this would give him a chart span of 59 years! It's doubtful that anyone can match that achievement.

Warm regards,

Dick LaPalm

Dear Dick,

Billboard did publish a five-position album chart beginning in 1945. Thanks for bringing Nat King Cole's true album chart span to my attention. Looks like he's about to go for a 60-year chart span!



Thanks for recognizing the longevity of the career of my favorite singer, Anne Murray. She still sounds and looks great, which was highlighted three weeks ago when she sang a duet with Bryan Adams of "What Would It Take" to close out the national CBC telethon for tsunami relief.

Fred, I'm sure you will want to correct your references to Anne's latest album's chart progress on the Top Country Albums chart. The chart positions you cite are all on The Billboard 200 chart (not bad for a gal who is "of a certain age" and can't get any airplay). In fact, "All of Me" debuted at No. 13 on the Top Country Albums chart.

Best regards,

Gary Rogers

Dear Gary,

You're correct. As you and a handful of other readers noted, I used Anne Murray's positions on The Billboard 200 when I meant to use her placements on Top Country Albums. That'll teach me to write "Chart Beat Bonus" in the wee hours of the morning when I should be asleep instead.


Dear Fred,

With Rascal Flatts topping the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for the week of Feb. 12, not only do they join Blake Shelton and Darryl Worley as the artist or group with the most No. 1 hits since debuting in 2000, but "Bless the Broken Road," previously a minor hit for Melodie Crittendon as "Broken Road" in mid-1998, is the first cover recording to top the chart since Tim McGraw hit No. 1 in May 1999 with "Please Remember Me," which previously charted in mid-1995 for the artist who penned it, Rodney Crowell.

Speaking of cover recordings, Trick Pony enters at No. 49 with "It's a Heartache," a song that Bonnie Tyler took to No. 3 in mid-1978.

John Maverick
Omaha, Neb.

Dear John,

Thanks for "covering" the news on the country chart.