Is Lady Gaga at a New Career Peak? Tracing From 'Just Dance' to 'A Star Is Born' on the Chart Beat Podcast
Plus, guest Martha Reeves reminisces about her Motown classic "Dancing in the Street."
Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.
This week, as the soundtrack to A Star Is Born blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and single "Shallow" soars to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, Gary and Trevor discuss whether Lady Gaga has hit a new career peak, given the film's buzz and box office success.
Meanwhile, our very special guest is Martha Reeves, who chats with Trevor about the legacy of her Motown classic "Dancing in the Street" (with the Vandellas), which reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 in October 1964. The song, which Reeves intended as a joyous party anthem but wound up tangled in the times' racial divide, was originally recorded by one of its writers, Marvin Gaye, who eventually offered it to Reeves and her group.
"Marvin was singing 'Dancing in the Street' like a love song, like he was singing to some girl, in the Marvin Gaye style," Reeves recalls. "I was standing in the doorway, observing, because there was always an artist [at Motown's studios] saying, 'If they can't get it in one or two takes, we can do it!' I followed him around – he was such a fantastic artist. He was good-looking, too. That helped.
"He saw me and evidently thought I could do the song. He said, 'Let's try the song on Martha.' I was such in awe of him, I was in shock that he would even mention my name, and give me such a fine song."
Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes! Plus, the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast is now available on an expanded range of platforms! You can listen on Acast, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, PocketCast, Podbean, Stitcher and TuneIn.
(Special note: you can listen to the March 1, 2017-dated Chart Beat Podcast with guest Joe Rainey, who passed away Oct. 12. The affable and big-hearted senior vp of pop promotion and marketing for Capitol Records was beloved by countless friends in the industry, for his sense of humor, genuineness and devotion to family. In this podcast, Rainey reflected not only on his job, but his love of music and promotion. In discussing a Katy Perry song, he could've been summing up his own legacy: "If you can combine something real to say with fun … man, all the more power to you.")