Chart Beat Chat: David Cook, 'You Look Good in My Shirt,' Journey

Fred and his readers discuss David Cook, Keith Urban and Journey.

COOK'S 11

Hi Fred,

I have another question about David Cook and his 11 chart entries. I was under the impression that a single had to be actively promoted by the record company to chart. This has been your response when readers ask why older songs that receive a surge of sales do not chart. Are Cook's 11 songs really being promoted simultaneously? And, if so, what defines active promotion? If it has anything to do with an effort to have songs played on radio, Cook's handlers don't seem to be succeeding, as I've never heard him on the radio.

I wonder, if these situations continue, if Billboard will decide that only one (or two, or three, but not 11) songs can be considered actively promoted at one time. That might even help the artist score higher with fewer hits, rather than have the sales divided among several tracks.

Thanks for all you do!
Enjoy your column,

John Metz
Fort Worth, Texas


Dear John,

Thanks, and glad you enjoy Chart Beat!

Older songs are not allowed to chart on the Hot 100 unless there is a compelling reason to consider them an actively promoted re-release. If Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" had a sales surge this week, it could appear on Hot Digital Songs, but not the Hot 100 -- unless there was a compelling reason (say it was the theme song for a current film, and Universal Motown decided to promote the track to radio). That's how "oldies" like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" and Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" returned to the Hot 100 years after their original chart runs.

Since the Hot 100 is compiled by combining sales and airplay info, it's possible for current songs to chart with any combination of sales and airplay points. In extreme cases, current songs could chart with only airplay points or only sales points, if they were played enough or if they sold enough. In the latter case, sales points would be enough to propel a song onto the Hot 100 without any radio airplay, and thus without any active promotion on the part of a record label.



CLOTHES TO YOU

Good afternoon Fred:

I see where Keith Urban makes a move of 42-29 with "You Look Good in My Shirt" on Hot Country Songs. Even though it is listed in its second week on the chart, it had previously been on the chart for one week, peaking at No. 60 in July 2004. My guess is that it is listed as such because it's a new recording of the song.

John Maverick
Burt County, Nebraska


Dear John,

When "You Look Good in My Shirt" re-entered Hot Country Songs last week, the chart in the print edition listed the Keith Urban song as being in its second week, taking into account that lone week in 2004.

I just checked the online version of the chart, and "Shirt" is credited with three weeks on the survey, adding together that solitary week in 2004 and the two weeks the song has charted in 2008, so far.



PARTY LIKE IT'S 1998

Hi Fred,

You said in Chart Beat that the album chart journey of Journey started in May 1975, so they should be credited with a chart span of 33 years, one month and three weeks, not 23 years.

By the way, the new lead singer of Journey is Arnel Pineda and he's from the Philippines. This guy is amazing. His vocals are strong and right on. He is simply an amazing vocalist and has landed a dream gig. I'm proud of him and I'm proud of being a Filipino.

Ronald Liwag
Cavite City, Philippines


Dear Ronald,

You mean 1975 + 23 is not 2008?!

Good thing they don't publish my math grades in my Chart Beat bio. They simply wouldn't add up.