Chart Beat Chat

Fred and his readers discuss Nana Mouskouri, Hot Country Songs chart, Joe Dowell's "Muss I Denn" and more!


Hi Fred!

I came across an online article from the Oiko Times that said Greek singer Nana Mouskouri will receive a platinum Stimmgabel that will be presented to her on Sept. 22, that she has sold some 250 million discs sold around the world and is one of the all-time most successful singers alongside only Madonna and Mariah Carey.

Who is Nana Mouskouri and did she ever chart on The Billboart 200 in America? How come nobody has mentioned her in popular media? Who bought all those 250 million albums?

Allan Aquino
Manila, Philippines

Dear Allan,

Nana Mouskouri is a Greek-born singer known all over the world, though she is not as well-known in the United States as she is elsewhere. She has been singing professionally since 1957 and has recorded in many different languages. She has worked with Quincy Jones and Harry Belafonte, recorded albums in America and has charted on The Billboard 200.

In 1966, the live recording "An Evening With Belafonte/Mouskouri" peaked at No. 127. She didn't appear on this chart again until 1991, when she went to No. 141 with "Only Love - The Best of Nana Mouskouri."

But those aren't her only appearances on a Billboard chart. In 1993, her "Falling in Love Again" CD went to No. 28 on our Heatseekers chart. Five years later, her "Concert for Peace" peaked at No. 7 on our Top World Albums tally. Much more recently, her "I'll Remember You" album reached No. 22 on Top Jazz albums in May.

I've only seen Nana Mouskouri in person once, and that was at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest held in Athens. She was on stage to signal the beginning of live televoting. She already had a Eurovision connection, as she represented Luxembourg in the 1963 competition. And yes, when I saw her, she was wearing her signature black-rimmed glasses.

Mouskouri is currently in the fourth year of her farewell tour, which is lasting almost as long as Cher's farewell tour.
You mentioned her receiving a platinum Stimmgabel, which is an award presented in Germany where a "stimmgabel" is a tuning fork. Considering that she has been selling albums all over the world for almost 50 years, she certainly has to be considered one of the best-selling artists of all time, even if she isn't a household name in the United States.



Back when "Travelin' Soldier" by the Dixie Chicks fell from the No. 3 spot clear off the [Hot Country Songs] chart the week of April 5, 2003, that appeared to be one of the biggest drop-offs in country music history, at least in the 21st century.

However, that unfortunate achievement has been topped, as this week Rodney Atkins' recent No. 1, "These Are My People," fell off the chart from the runner-up position (No. 2).

Has there ever been a song that fell from the No. 1 spot clear off the chart? I figure if there has, it was probably back in the early days of country music history.

John Maverick
Burt County, Nebraska

Dear John,

Let me quote from the Charts Legend page printed in every issue of Billboard, from the section labeled "Recurrent Rules": "Titles are removed from Hot Country Songs if they have been on the chart for more than 20 weeks and rank below No. 10 in detections or audience, provided that they are not still gaining enough audience points to bullet."

That's why songs are in the top 10 one week, and can fall off the chart just seven days later. Rodney Atkins' "These Are My People" debuted at No. 1 on the Country Songs Recurrents chart this week.

Your question about a No. 1 song falling off the chart can only be answered by looking at every single chart by hand, something that is beyond the time and scope of Chart Beat Chat - especially since I'm on vacation this week (although the Chart Beat goes on from wherever I am in the world).


Dear Fred,

Carmen Rasmusen from season two of "American Idol" recently released her first full-length CD, "Nothin' Like the Summer." The title track has received airplay on country stations here in her native Utah, but I was wondering if either the single or CD has landed on a Billboard chart. If so, she would add to the tally of season two finalists who have charted.

Chad Daybell
Springville, Utah

Dear Chad,

I've been enjoying Carmen Rasmusen's album, as she gave me an advance copy a while ago. "Nothin' Like the Summer," the single, sounds like a hit to me, and is one of the songs on the CD co-written by Carmen.

No sign of the single or album on a Billboard survey so far, but if she charts, she'll move season two into a tie with season one for having the third highest number of finalists who have been listed on one of our tallies. Here's a recap of which finalists have charted, season by season (non-finalist William Hung has also been represented on Billboard charts).

Season one: (five)
Kelly Clarkson
Justin Guarini
Tamyra Gray
R.J. Helton
Jim Verraros

Season two: (four)
Ruben Studdard
Clay Aiken
Kimberley Locke
Josh Gracin

Season three: (seven)
Diana DeGarmo
Jasmine Trias
LaToya London
George Huff
John Stevens
Jennifer Hudson

Season four: (four)
Carrie Underwood
Bo Bice
Constantine Maroulis
Mario Vazquez

Season five: (eight)
Taylor Hicks
Katharine McPhee
Elliot Yamin
Chris Daughtry
Paris Bennett
Kellie Pickler
Bucky Covington

Season six: (two)
Jordin Sparks
Blake Lewis


Dear Fred:

[A reader wrote in about] a number of misspelled words appearing in No. 1 titles. The Words "muss" and "denn" (as in the German folk song "Muss I Denn," from which Joe Dowell's 1961 No. 1 hit "Wooden Heart" derives) made that list. Besides the fact that none of "Muss I Denn" has ever appeared in any Hot 100 title, "muss" is German for "must" and "denn" is German for "then."

Since "muss" and "denn" appear in the German portion of the lyrics, neither "muss" nor "denn" are misspelled words in the lyrics. However, "I" is not a proper German word and so in the context of the lyrics is a misspelling of "ich" (which means "I" in English)!

David Dana-Bashian
Garden Grove, Calif.

Dear David,

Thanks for pointing out that "muss" and "denn" are not misspelled words, just German. But I've always listed Joe Dowell's song as "Wooden Heart (Muss I Denn)," as it appeared on the Billboard charts.