Chart-based stories on the Dixie Chicks, the Monument Label, Elvis Presley, Lee Ann Womack, James Taylor, and Alizee by "Chart Beat" columnist Fred Bronson.
MONUMENTAL: Fred Foster founded the Monument label in 1958 and ran it until the 1980s, when he sold his company to Sony Music. Monument's most successful recording artist under Foster's care was Roy Orbison, who gave the imprint its first two No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot 100, "Running Scared" (1961) and "Oh, Pretty Woman" (1964). Monument had another No. 1 hit in 1974, Billy Swan's "I Can Help."
Now, for the first time since Swan had that chart-topping single, the Monument label is back in the top-10. After a gap of almost 28 years, the Dixie Chicks give Foster's former label a No. 7 hit, as "Long Time Gone" jumps up from No. 13. "Long Time Gone" is the best-selling single in the country for the second week in a row, having debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart last week.
The top-10 singles on the Monument label, according to a point system developed for the third edition of "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits" (due out in November from Billboard Books) are:
1.. "Oh, Pretty Woman," Roy Orbison (1964)
2. "I Can Help," Billy Swan (1974)
3. "Running Scared," Roy Orbison (1961)
4. "Only the Lonely (Know How I Feel)," Roy Orbison (1960)
5. "Crying," Roy Orbison (1961)
6. "Gotta Travel On," Billy Grammer (1959)
7. "Why Me," Kris Kristofferson (1973)
8. "In Dreams," Roy Orbison (1963)
9. "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," Roy Orbison (1962)
10. "Gitarzan," Ray Stevens (1969)
MORE ELVIS: When Elvis Presley's collection of No. 1 hits is released, he's likely to have his first chart-topping album since 1973, when "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite" spent one week in pole position on The Billboard 200. But the King doesn't have to wait that long to make chart news.
This week, he has his highest-charting album in five years. "Elvis: The Very Best of Love" (BMG/Madacy Special Products) rockets 198-81. The only Presley albums to chart higher in the last 20 years were "Elvis - A Golden Celebration" (1985) and "Platinum: A Life in Music" (1997), both of which peaked at No. 80. That means if "Very Best of Love" can climb just two rungs, it will be the highest-charting Presley album since "Guitar Man" went to No. 49 in 1981.
Two Presley albums have entered The Billboard 200 this year. "Elvis: Today, Tomorrow & Forever" (RCA) peaked at No. 180 the week of July 13. When the No. 1 hits collection debuts, 2002 will be the first year to see three Presley albums enter the chart since 1984.
CLOSING IN ON CENTURY MARK: Only three songs in history have remained on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart for 100 weeks or more. Savage Garden's "I Knew I Loved You" is the record-holder at 124 weeks, followed closely by another Savage Garden song, "Truly Madly Deeply," at 123 weeks. In third place is LeAnn Rimes' "I Need You" at 104 weeks.
There's another contender for the triple-digit club, as Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" (MCA) rebounds 14-13 in its 93rd chart week. Womack's song is subject to more stringent rules than the first three songs to reach the 100-week mark, as a recent policy change finds songs that have been on the chart longer than 20 weeks being removed once they fall below No. 15. The songs by Savage Garden and Rimes were able to stay on the chart until they dipped below No. 20.
TAYLOR MADE: Long before there was Slim Shady, there was Mud Slide Slim, and James Taylor is still reaching for the blue horizon. This week, his "October Road" (Columbia) album makes a spectacular debut at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, his highest debut of all time. It's also his highest-charting set since "JT" went to No. 4 exactly 25 years ago this week.
OH WHAT A BIRTHDAY SURPRISE: The focus swings back to the Swiss charts this week, thanks to an interesting item from chart authority Jochen Tierbach. French chanteuse Alizee sets a new record on Switzerland's singles charts, as her hit "Moi... Lolita" drops 66-76 in its 70th chart week. That's the longest run for any single in the history of the Swiss charts.
The single debuted the week of Aug. 6, 2000, when Alizee was 15 years old. She's able to celebrate her 70th chart week as an 18-year-old, as she just had a birthday on Aug. 21.
No song has ever has a 70-week run on Billboard's Hot 100. The record-holder is LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live," at 69 weeks.