CHART BEAT CHAT

Fred Bronson discusses Usher, parent/child chart entries and Ja Rule with readers.

A SIMPLE MAJORITY

Fred,

If "My Boo" gets a fifth week at No. 1, that will give Usher 27 weeks at No. 1 in 2004, spread between his four chart-topping singles. Will that make him the first artist who's literally spent the majority of a calendar year at No. 1 on the Hot 100?

Jeff Axelrod
Los Angeles

Dear Jeff,

In a word, yes. Even before "My Boo" took over the top spot, Usher had set the record for the most weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 in a calendar year. His weeks at No. 1 with "Boo" have only extended his record, and he is the first artist to be No. 1 for more than half a year.


SHOULD'VE NEVER LET THIS ONE GO

Dear Fred,

In last week's "Chart Beat Chat," you mentioned that it was a rare thing for an artist to chart with one of their children on the same record. The only song that fits that description that comes to mind at this time is the 1980 springtime hit, "Should've Never Let You Go" by Neil Sedaka and his daughter Dara Sedaka. The song stayed on the charts for 19 weeks and peaked at No. 19.

Fred, I read your column every week, and felt I had to write to you about this rarity in the music world. Can you think of another?

Derryl Chapman
Mamou, La.

P.S. Fred, have you put out any music books lately, so I can get my hands on them?!

Dear Derryl,

Neil Sedaka is a good friend, so I should've never let this one go. I'm sure he'll forgive me. Ironically, the original letter from Kevin Martin was inspired by the charting of Nas and his father Olu Dara, so Neil Sedaka's daughter Dara Sedaka shouldn't have been far from my mind (and thanks to reader Frank DeAngelis of Rumford, R.I., for pointing our this coincidence).

Kevin's letter cited two examples that fit the description -- Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra had a No. 1 hit with "Somethin' Stupid" and Natalie Cole recorded a duet with her late father, Nat King Cole, on his hit "Unforgettable."

As for my books, new editions of "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits" and "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits" were both published in 2003, so it will be two or three years before we're ready for updates.


MOTHER AND CHILD REUNION

Dear Fred,

Regarding Kevin Martin's letter: You and Kevin forgot to mention the most famous parent/child combination in chart history: the Partridge Family! Although David Cassidy and Shirley Jones were stepmother and stepson, I still say it should count -- particularly since my father-in-law's name was also David Cassidy (no relation, unfortunately).

Andy Ray
Indianapolis
Andy46032@inct.net

Dear Andy,

We'd have to put a huge asterisk next to Shirley Jones and David Cassidy before we could include them on the list of parents and children who have charted together. I would have no argument with a Shirley Jones and Shaun Cassidy chart entry, but that never happened.


CHANGING THE RULES

Hi Fred,

In your most recent "Chart Beat Bonus" you wrote that Ja Rule's first top 10 hit was "Always On Time."

I hate to correct you, but his first was "Put It on Me" in 2001, followed by the chart-topper "I'm Real," the Jennifer Lopez song on which he was featured, and "Livin' It Up." "Always on Time" was his fourth top 10 hit.

Have a good week, Fred,

Niko Mitsarakis
Wuppertal, Germany

Dear Niko,

How can I have a good week knowing I made a mistake like that?

But seriously, thanks for catching this. Last week's column was written while I was in production on the American Music Awards, so there was a bit of stress going on at the time of writing -- that's the only excuse I can come up with.