CHART BEAT CHAT

Fred Bronson discusses Reba McEntire, older artists and the charts and ABBA with readers.

FROM NASHVILLE WITH LOVE

I was reading "Chart Beat Chat" and read the question posed to you about Reba McEntire's new single. With all respect, I must correct you. You said that her last single to chart in Billboard was "We're So Good Together" in 2000. She has actually charted two singles since then, "I'm a Survivor" in fall 2001 and "Sweet Music Man" in early 2002. While "Music" was a dismal failure, "Survivor" was a top-3 country single and the theme song to her sitcom. Both were from her third greatest hits collection.

And while I don't think she'll be able to match the successes she had in the 1980s and 1990s, it is great to see Reba back at country radio. And since her single is racing up the charts, it's obvious that her fans are glad to see her back too.

It'll be surreal to see Reba's "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain" and Patty Loveless' "Lovin' All Night" in the top-10 at the same time -- two talented, seasoned veterans showing the younger artists just what career longevity is. Think of the hundreds of "flash-in-the-pan" artists that have come and gone since Reba and Patty debuted.

Ross Goodwin

Dear Ross,

To make matters worse, I wrote last week's "Chart Beat Chat" in Nashville, where I spent the week working in the Billboard office and visiting various record label offices. I had a chance to tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and walk through the vast Opryland Hotel. So there's no excuse for missing two Reba McEntire hits. Thanks for the correction.



CHART ELDERS

Dear Fred,

Dobie Gray (born July 26, 1940) has been on the charts more than half a year with his remake of "Drift Away" with Uncle Kracker, and, according to my records, is the second-oldest act to reach the top-10 on the Hot 100. By only a few months, Louis Armstrong (born Aug. 4, 1901) is the oldest, reaching the top-10 on March 21, 1964 with "Hello, Dolly!"

How many acts older than 50 have reached the top-10 of the Hot 100?

David Dana-Bashian
Garden Grove, Calif.

Dear David,

We don't keep a database of artists' ages, so I'll have to appeal to "Chart Beat" readers to write in with the names of artists over 50 who have reached the top-10 of the Hot 100.



KNOWING ME, KNOWING THEM

Dear Fred,

Knowing how much you enjoy Swedish acts, I was very surprised that you did not mention in your online column that ABBA reached its highest position ever on the U.S. album charts the week of Sept. 13 when "ABBA Gold" hit No. 7 on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. It was still at No. 8 the week of Sept. 20, and prior to that, No. 9 was the highest the group had ever reached on any U.S. album chart.

Sincerely,

Matthew M. Provencher

Dear Matthew,

As an ABBA fan, I'm wary of writing too much about the group in "Chart Beat," but the fact that "ABBA Gold" set a new high mark is certainly worth mentioning. Thanks for doing it for me!