Ask Billboard: 'Good Times,' 'Sexual Healing,' 'Heartbreak Hotel' & More Enduring Hits

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Elvis Presley photographed in 1956.

"Ask Billboard" asked you for songs, in addition to "I Will Always Love You," that have stood the test of time on the charts.

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20

Hi Gary,

Thanks for this week's "Ask Billboard" column regarding enduring hits (Ask Billboard: Is 'I Will Always Love You' the Most Enduring Hit of the Rock Era?, Oct. 4), with Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" back again in the medley "Forever Country," which has led Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for two weeks.

Per the question at hand, I'll venture into hip-hop and directly associated genres:

"Good Times" by Chic was a 1979 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit (and an R&B No. 1). Then, Sugarhill Gang's sampling of it led to "Rapper's Delight" becoming what's credited as the first top 40 hit for the genre ... followed by Queen's "Good Times"-inspired "Another One Bites the Dust," a Hot 100 No. 1 in 1980 … and on and on and on via other songs, all the way to an act that may soon have its first Hot 100 No. 1 (as featured on The Weeknd's "Starboy"), Daft Punk, which reworked "Good Times" for its "Give Life Back to Music." (Plus, there's Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," with its roots in Chic's "Le Freak".)

"Sexual Healing," first a No. 3 Hot 100 hit and 10-week R&B leader in 1982-83 for its co-writer, Marvin Gaye, has been covered by numerous artists over the years. It was interpolated as recently as last year in Nelly's Hot 100 hit "The Fix," featuring Jeremih.

"Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)," the 1950s international classic made most famous by Harry Belafonte (in 1956, right at the beginning of the rock era), has been reimagined into top 20 Hot 100 hits by Lil Wayne ("6 Foot 7 Foot") and Jason Derulo ("Don't Wanna Go Home") in the past decade.

Good times, good songs,
Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California

Thanks Pablo,

As for the last song, when 2016 breakout star Daya first appeared on NBC's Today about a year ago on Elvis Duran's "Artist of the Month" segment, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb entered the set welcomingly singing the song, in rehearsed unison … but substituting "Daya" for "Day-O."

(And, that's not just a plug for this coming week's Chart Beat Podcast, which will trace Daya's rise on new label Artbeatz, following the release Friday, Oct. 7, of her debut LP. OK, it kind of is.)

As for another Elvis ...


Hi Gary,

How about "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley? While no one has made a pop-hit remake of the song (although Willie Nelson and Leon Russell's duet cover topped Hot Country Songs in 1979), without it there might not have been rock and roll music today.

One proof positive is that two superstars recorded different songs by that title: Michael Jackson (The Jacksons' track ultimately named "This Place Hotel") and Whitney Houston. The latter's (featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price) hit No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1999, and Houston wouldn't hit the top three again … until her cover of "I Will Always Love You" spent a week at No. 3 in 2012, following her passing.

"5:01 Blues"
Tokyo, Japan



What is this, no songs by Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley?! You gotta be kidding!

I'm sure that if you ask Mick Jagger or Brian Wilson to name an enduring rock classic, they would not come up with "I Will Always Love You."

Rock on,
Alan Warner 

Hi Alan,

All four acts you cite certainly boast exceptional legacies, although the "Ask Billboard" topic was more specifically centered on songs that have logged multiple chart runs, either thanks to original recordings, rereleases or remakes.

But, Jagger deserves a special mention of his own. And, nearly a half-century after The Rolling Stones' started up, he was namechecked in Maroon 5's 2011 four-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Moves Like Jagger" (featuring Christina Aguilera), bringing his name to yet newer music fans.

On a related note, Rae Sremmurd is nearing the Hot 100's top 40 by citing The Beatles by name: "Black Beatles," featuring Gucci Mane, soared 77-41 on the Oct. 15-dated chart.

Further celebrating their timelessness, both the Stones and Paul McCartney are playing Desert Trip 2016 this weekend in Indio, California. One of the highlights? McCartney performed his latest top 10, last year's "FourFiveSeconds," recorded with Rihanna and Kanye West and which expanded his top 10 span to more than 51 years, dating to The Beatles' iconic 1964 breakthrough with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

Then again, maybe McCartney hasn't become known to everyone. The Stones covered The Beatles' "Come Together" at Desert Trip. With McCartney singing along in the crowd, Jagger introduced the song as by "an unknown Beat group."