Fred Bronson discusses Madonna, trivia and "American Idol" with readers.



I hear "Hollywood" is Madonna's 30th No. 1 dance/club hit. How does this total stack up against other dance music artists, and who has the most number ones on the various other Billboard charts?


Patrick Prohaska

Dear Patrick,

Even though "Hollywood" hasn't appeared on Billboard's Hot 100 yet, this second single from Madonna's "American Life" album is indeed her 30th No. 1 on the magazine's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. It was just three months ago that "American Life" became her 29th chart-topper, so the No. 1s are adding up fast for her on this chart. If it weren't for the "Madonna Megamix" in 2002, Madonna would now have 10 No. 1 songs in a row on the Club Play chart. If you toss out that promo megamix, every song since "Nothing Really Matters" in March 1999 has reached that chart's summit.

Madonna needs 11 more No. 1s on this chart to beat Conway Twitty's record of 40 No. 1 songs on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. On the Hot 100, the Beatles hold the record with 20 chart-toppers, ahead of Elvis Presley's 17. Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder are tied on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally with 20 No. 1s each. On the Adult Contemporary chart, Elton John and the Carpenters are tied with 15 No. 1s each (that's not counting "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne & Friends, as Elton wasn't billed by name).



I too am sorry to see the weekly "Chart Beat Trivia" contest come to an end. My Rhino Records collection expanded quite nicely over the past six years or so as a result of it.

But I have a nit to pick on your final question and answer. The question asked what the five songs "Crazy For You," "Foolish Beat," "Truly Madly Deeply," "Jump" and "Crazy in Love" had in common. Your answer was that these five had the longest wait to be included in your excellent book "The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits."

Technically, wouldn't "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" lead that list? It had to wait about 30 years!

Also, a couple of additional notes on Hillel Zilman's letter of a few weeks back. Before Dobie Gray broke the record for the longest time between consecutive top-10 hits, Santana, not Roy Orbison, held that record. There was about 28 years and six months between "Black Magic Woman" and "Smooth."

Santana is now second on this list, Orbison is third, followed by Aaron Neville, the Beatles, Dickie Goodman, Dusty Springfield, David Rose (if you include pre-Hot 100 charts), James Brown and Sammy Davis Jr. (Thanks to my friend Hanboo as the source of this info).

Hillel also listed songs that made the top-10 twice in different chart runs for the same artist. I can add to that list. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King and "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett all returned to the top-10 when the original recordings were reissued at least 10 years later. "Do You Love Me" by the Contours missed by a single notch, as the reissue peaked at No. 11.

The Ventures made the top-10 twice in the sixties with different versions of the instrumental "Walk - Don't Run." But the most successful example is Elton John, who made the top-10 with a live recording of "Candle in the Wind" in 1988, 15 years after the original recording failed to chart, then recorded the song with new lyrics in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. The new version is by all accounts the biggest selling single in history.

You might even include Ronnie Spector who sang lead on "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes, then sang the same chorus on Eddie Money's top-10 track "Take Me Home Tonight."


Pat Kelly
Brampton, Ont.

Dear Pat,

Is Hanboo his real name?

I am surprised we had no winners at all to the final trivia question. But I don't think it's fair to say "Rock Around the Clock" waited 30 years to appear in "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits," as there was no book to wait for 29 of those years.


Dear Fred,

I am a 62-year old mom who has recently discovered! My
children both have Ph.D.s and think my interest in "American Idol" pop star Clay Aiken is very interesting/amusing. I suspect there are thousands just like me!

Thanks for the great "American Idol" Billboard Radio Countdown special from Providence, R.I. I have listened to it a couple of times -- very enjoyable. Some of their picks were reminders to me of some of the other great music I'd forgotten was out there.

I appreciate your Idol coverage -- I'm a huge Clay Aiken fan. I'll be following you -- following him -- hopefully for years to come. What a talent.

Thanks for your continued Idol coverage, even if it isn't cool to do so in today's music market.

With appreciation,

JoEllen Kroll
Silver Lake, Wis.

Dear JoEllen,

Glad you enjoyed the special edition of "The Billboard Radio Countdown" with the nine "American Idols Live" performers introducing their all-time favorite songs. Chuck Taylor and I had a great time in Providence recording the show backstage.

The TV series "American Idol" has had quite an impact on our charts and the music business. It isn't just the contestants who have benefited. The week after Robin Gibb appeared on the series as a celebrity judge, sales of the Bee Gees' greatest hits CD increased 192%.

For news of the latest achievement of Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night" on our Hot 100 Singles Sales chart, see this week's "Chart Beat Bonus". Here's a teaser: the "American Idol" franchise has claimed the No. 1 spot on this sales chart for the last 17 weeks.