CHART BEAT CHAT

Fred Bronson discusses LeAnn Rimes, signature songs, Usher and Elvis Presley with readers.

RIMES WITH 'SENSE'

On the Dec. 11, 2004, Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, LeAnn Rimes makes her first appearance in the top 10 since the fall of 2000 as "Nothin' 'Bout Love Makes Sense" makes a sensible 12-10 move in its 15th week on the chart. Her last appearance in the top 10 was when she reached No. 8 in October 2000 with "I Need You." Prior to "Nothin'," her highest peak position since 2000 was the No. 18 showing of "But I Do Love You" from the "Coyote Ugly" soundtrack.

And Gretchen Wilson moves 17-14 with "When I Think About Cheatin'." Should this track reach the top 10, Ms. Wilson will be the first female act to make the top 10 with her/their first three singles since SheDaisy did it in 1999-2000 with "Little Goodbyes" (No. 3), "This Woman Needs" (#9) and "I Will...But" (No. 2).

This week, SheDaisy is also trying to snap a four-year slump between top 10 hits with "Come Home Soon," which eases down 14-15.

John Maverick
Omaha, Neb.

Dear John,

Thanks for the "Chart Beat" -worthy items and for keeping your eye on the achievements of these two women.



SIGNATURE SONGS I

Dear Fred,

On the subject of artists hitting the chart with a remake of their own signature songs, I can think of a couple more:

• "Walk - Don't Run" (1960) and "Walk - Don't Run '64" by the Ventures.

• "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby with uncredited help from the Ken Darby Singers and John Scott Trotter's Orchestra. The original, recorded in 1942, hit at Christmas time each year from 1942 through 1946. Then in 1947 Bing re-recorded it with the same backing vocal group and orchestra. The new version was the one that hit almost every year from 1947 through 1962.

Larry Dhooghe
Forest Grove, Ore,

Dear Larry,

Yes, these two definitely belong on the list. For another addition, see the next e-mail.



SIGNATURE SONGS II

Fred,

You left out one of the best examples of an artist recharting with a different version of a signature song: Eric Clapton's acoustic version of "Layla," from the "Unplugged" MTV series and Grammy-winning album, charted in 1992 and went to No. 12 -- 20 years after the original "Layla" recorded by Clapton under the name Derek & the Dominos went to No. 10 in 1972.

There are also several examples of artists who recharted with their signature song as co-artists accompanied by another artist: Dobie Gray on "Drift Away" with Uncle Kracker; Nat King Cole on "Unforgettable" with daughter Natalie Cole; Ronald Isley on "This Old Heart of Mine" with Rod Stewart and David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations on a medley of two signature songs, "The Way You Do the Things You Do"/"My Girl" with Hall & Oates. (Elton John, of course, also recharted on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" with George Michael, but it's debatable whether this could be considered his signature).

Jeff Lerner
Long Island, N.Y.

Dear Jeff,

If we keep digging, I'm sure we'll find more. I agree, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" wouldn't be Elton John's signature song, though he may have more than one. I'd suggest "Your Song" and "Candle in the Wind."



CALENDAR BOY

Hi Fred,

Being a chart freak, I had to add my two cents about Usher being the only artist to reign at No. 1 for more than half of a calendar year. This is true but I can't resist the chance to defend my man, Elvis.

If you count any one-year period from the day a song first reached No. 1, Elvis was at No. 1 for 29 weeks and two days from the first day of "Heartbreak Hotel" on April 15, 1956, to the ninth week of "All Shook Up" at No. 1 on April 15, 1957.

If you go even further, to March 10, 1958, when "Don't" ended a five-week run at No. 1, Elvis was No. 1 for 56 weeks out of 99. Let's see Usher beat that.

Sherman Warner
Wallingford, Conn.

Dear Sherman,

The original item was about how many weeks Usher has been No. 1 in a calendar year. There's no question he holds the record in that department, even with "My Boo" slipping from first place on this week's Billboard Hot 100.

If we're going to count any 12-month period, we'd have to do that for all of the other artists as well. Still, thanks for noting Elvis' accomplishments.

I should also let readers know that you sent a follow-up e-mail, noting that from Aug. 12, 1956, to Aug. 12, 1957, Elvis was No. 1 for 34 weeks, with "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog" (11 weeks), "Love Me Tender" (five weeks), "Too Much" (three weeks), "All Shook Up" (nine weeks) and "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" (five weeks), with an additional week in the 53rd week of the counting period).