Chart Beat Chat

Fred and his readers discuss Sheriff, Xanadu, Hot Country Songs chart and more!


Dear Fred,

Last week, you mentioned that "When I'm With You" by Sheriff had one of the longest journeys to reach No.1 on The Billboard Hot 100: more than five years from May 1983 to February 1989.

So during those five years, was "When I'm With You" moving around the Hot 100 within the top 40? I thought songs that are more than 20 weeks old are removed from the chart? Would you please shed some light on this?
Raditya Gunardisurya
Jakarta, Indonesia

Dear Raditya,

Sheriff's "When I'm With You" is one of just a few singles (like UB40's "Red, Red Wine" and Bryan Adams' "Heaven") that share an unusual history on the Hot 100 in that they reached No. 1 long after their original release.

When the Sheriff song was originally released, it debuted on the chart dated May 14, 1983, and remained on the survey for seven weeks, never going higher than No. 61. And that might have been all she wrote for "When I'm With You."

In fact, it WAS all she wrote for Sheriff, because the Canadian quintet broke up in 1985. Two members of the group, Arnold Lanni and Wolf Hassell, formed a duo called Frozen Ghost and signed with Atlantic. Their single "Should I See" debuted on the Hot 100 on April 11, 1987, and never went higher than No. 69. About 18 months later, Lanni received a phone call from a friend in Buffalo, New York, telling him that his song was going to be a huge hit. Lanni assumed his pal was talking about the new Frozen Ghost single, "Dream Come True."

But the friend was referring to "When I'm With You" by the defunct Sheriff.

A radio station in Las Vegas had started to play "When I'm With You" as a current record, and the song had spread to other stations around the United States, which led to a re-release of the single by Capitol.

"I didn't want to believe it," Lanni told me. "The band had broken up, there's no video, the record company has punched holes in the album, it's deleted." Lanni was playing a gig at a high school in a small community in Northern Canada when his brother called to tell him "When I'm With You" had gone to No. 1 in America.

Despite the reactivated hit, Sheriff never got back together. Band members Freddy Curci and Steve DeMarchi and three former musicians from Heart signed to EMI in 1990. They wanted to call the new group Sheriff II, but went with Alias. In November of that year they had a No. 2 hit on the Hot 100 with "More Than Words Can Say."

So "When I'm With You" wasn't on the chart for five years - that really would be a record, shattering the 69-week stat by LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live," which is the longest Hot 100 visit in history. Since the single was only on the chart for seven weeks in its original run, the 20-week rule didn't come into play. But even if the original run had hit the 20-week mark, as a reactivated, re-promoted single, "When I'm With You" became a current hit again and would have been allowed to chart.


Hi, Fred!

Your recent Chart Beat column discussed the Broadway cast recordings that have charted during 2008. You did not mention the "Xanadu" cast recording. It was easy to miss - it only charted for one week at No. 197 on the Jan. 26 chart. But that counts!

BTW - I noticed the media for the Broadway show mentions the four top 20 hits featured in its score:

"Magic," Olivia Newton-John (No. 1)
"Xanadu," Olivia Newton-John/ELO (No. 8) "All Over the World," ELO (No. 13) "I'm Alive," ELO (No. 16) But they always neglect the soundtrack's fifth top 20 single - "Suddenly" (the duet by Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard). Although it only peaked at No. 20, that counts! Hopefully, someone from the "Xanadu" publicity department is reading this and will give the film's soundtrack the full credit it deserves.

Thanks for reading!

Thomas Bart
New York, N.Y.

Dear Thomas,

The Broadway cast album of "Xanadu" definitely counts, and thanks for remembering its lone week on The Billboard 200.
I was never a fan of the movie, but have always loved the soundtrack, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed the musical when I saw it on Broadway. It's short (about 90 minutes with no intermission) and extremely well done.

As for "Suddenly," I don't know why the press releases don't include that hit duet for Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard. The single was one of five top 20 hits for Cliff in the United States, and if you want to read what he's up to this week, see the latest edition of Chart Beat.


Dear Fred,

For the first time in almost three years, a song has hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, fell down, and returned to No. 1. "Do You Believe Me Now" by Jimmy Wayne returned to No. 1 on the country chart for its second non-consecutive week. It was interrupted for one week by "Waitin' on a Woman" by Brad Paisley.

The last time this happened was in December 2005. "Come a Little Closer" by Dierks Bentley was No. 1 for two weeks, then "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" by Joe Nichols was No. 1 for one week, then Dierks Bentley returned to No. 1 for a third non-consecutive week.

Just wanted to pass this information along to you and all the Chart Beat Chat fans.

Lisa Curry
Beachwood, N.J.

Dear Lisa,

Thanks for this. Based on your previous e-mails, I would put you in the top five among Chart Beat readers who know the country charts best.


Dear Fred,

In your Sept. 11 Chart Beat column you wrote that Brad Paisley's five most recent No. 1s are from his album titled "5th Gear." However, his current song, "Waitin’ on a Woman," is from his previous album, "Time Well Wasted." Therefore he has had four No. 1s from each of those albums and hasn't yet matched Rodney Crowell's record.

Thanks for writing a great column!

Tim Powers
Waterford, Conn.

Dear Tim,

You were one of several readers who wrote to me about Brad Paisley's "Waitin’ on a Woman" appearing on his "Time Well Wasted" album, so I checked with Billboard's Senior Chart Manager Wade Jessen, who oversees all of our country charts.
Wade acknowledges that you are correct, but that our reporting was also correct. "Waitin’ on a Woman" has been added to the "5th Gear" album, so also counts as being part of that set, which is why Paisley gets credit for five No. 1s from one album.