Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Cathy Dennis, Mighty Joe Young and RIAA Certifications.

REDISCOVERING DENNIS

Dear Keith,

I have been noticing lately, especially in the United Kingdom, that Cathy Dennis has had a hand in writing many of my favorite pop songs of the past few years. Is there any chance she will release a record here again? What did she sell when she put records out in the United States in the early 1990s, and are they currently still available?

Thanks!

David

Hello David,

Thank you for the question. Cathy Dennis has been experiencing a tremendous streak of success in songwriting and producing pop hits over the past few years.

Dennis was a very popular early 1990s pop singer in the United States. Her 1990 debut effort "Move To This" (Polydor) featured five Billboard Hot 100 singles "C'mon And Get My Love" (with D MOB, No. 10), "Just Another Dream" (No. 9), "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (No. 2), "Too Many Walls" (No. 8) and "Everybody Move" (No. 90).

Her follow-up, "Into the Skyline," failed to chart in America, and her third album, "Am I the Kinda Girl?" didn't even see a U.S. release. Currently, the only Dennis album still in print in America is "Move To This."

In the late 1990s, Dennis aligned herself with Simon Fuller's U.K.-based 19 Management company, where she began to write and produce songs for acts like Spice Girls and S Club. For the latter, she wrote and produced the track "Never Had a Dream Come True," which reached No. 10 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Since then, she has written and produced Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" and "Come Into My World" along with Kelly Clarkson's "Before Your Love." More recently, Dennis wrote Britney Spears' "Toxic," Janet Jackson's "Island Life" (a track from "Damita Jo"), Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" and Celine Dion's "Reveal" (from her album "One Heart").

It is unknown of Dennis has any plans to release an album of her own material anytime soon. We'll keep you posted if we hear anything.



MIGHTY JOE

Keith,

In the 1981 James Caan movie "Thief," there is a scene where Caan's character is driving to a nightclub or bar. As he is driving, there is a man on stage in the club playing the guitar and singing the song "Turning Point." Can you tell me the name of that singer or artist? Some people have told me it was Joe Simon, some have said Mighty Joe Young. However, the movie credits do not show the name of the song or the performing artist.

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Svata Pierce

Hi Svata,

The artist you are referring to is the late blues guitarist Mighty Joe Young, who appeared in "Thief." He passed away in 1999, two years after the release of his last studio album, "Mighty Man" (Blind Pig Records). That set is still in print and features the song "Turning Point."



IT'S NOT US

Keith,

How come the Young Buck album is not certified platinum even though it has been on the charts for 14 weeks, but the Ciara album is gold and it been on the charts a shorter amount of time?

Ron Hunter

Hi Ron,

Most people don't realize that Billboard has nothing to do with certifying gold and platinum albums. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the music industry trade organization that tracks shipments of releases to U.S. retailers and issues gold, platinum and diamond awards based on that information.

A diamond award honors 10 million units shipped to retailers for sale, a platinum award 1 million and gold 500,000. An RIAA accounting is triggered at the request of an artist's record label or management and is performed for a fee. The length of time a release appears on a Billboard chart has nothing to do with the process.

Thus far, Young Buck's G-Unit/Interscope album "Straight Outta Cashville" has sold around 850,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. One can imagine that he's nearing platinum status, but it's a mystery as to why the album hasn't yet been certified gold. Perhaps his label or management is simply waiting until the platinum level has been reached before requesting verification.

In the case of Ciara, her Sho'nuff-MusicLine/LaFace debut "Goodies" has already been certified gold by the RIAA. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the set has sold 506,000 units in the United States.

For more information on the RIAA's certification program, visit the organization's Web site at www.riaa.com.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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