This Week in Billboard History: Neil Bogart's Bubblegum Sound, 12" Singles' Early Days, 'Newcomer' Coldplay Streams Song
This Week in Billboard History: Neil Bogart's Bubblegum Sound, 12" Singles' Early Days, 'Newcomer' Coldplay Streams Song

1965: WILL THIS BE PART OF JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE'S SCRIPT?

Christina Aguilera

Neil Bogart was named marketing coordinator of Cameo Parkway Records, moving over from the MGM label, where he had been a regional promotion manager. Bogart's Cameo duties were to include promotion, sales and artist relations. He had just come off the road with Bobby Sherman, promoting his Parkway single, "Goody Galum-Shus." Bogart later went on to work as an executive at Buddah Records (where he became one of the architects of the bubblegum sound, a sub-genre of pop he helped create at Cameo Parkway) and to found the Casablanca and Boardwalk labels. He died of cancer in 1983, at age 39. As reported by billboard.biz, Justin Timberlake will star as the legendary Bogart in a new biopic, "Spinning Gold." [ Billboard, Oct 23, 1965]

Justin Timberlake to Portray Casablanca Records' Neil Bogart in Biopic


1976: 12" SINGLES AT THE DAWN OF THE DISCO ERA:

Billboard reported that A&M Records was experimenting with 12-inch 45 r.p.m. disco singles -- not for commercial release, but for promotional purposes only. Harold Childs, the label's vice president of promotion, said the two 12-inch singles released by the company, "Get the Funk Outta My Face" by the Brothers Johnson and "I Want You" by Gato Barbieri, were receiving increasing radio and at dance-club play. The story concluded, "At present, A&M does not plan any additional 12-inch disco releases." Other labels were releasing 12-inch singles as commercial products, including Casablanca with Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby," which ran 3:21 as a 7-inch single, but was issued at its full-length 16:50 on 12-inch vinyl. [ Oct. 23, 1976, page 4]

1994: ALMO SOUNDS TO GEFFEN; DREAMWORKS IN THE WORKS:

Christina Aguilera

A front-page Billboard story reported that Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss (left), who had left their own A&M Records two years earlier, were taking their new label, Almo Sounds, to Geffen Records. Geffen president Ed Rosenblatt told talent editor Melinda Newman: "If we look at the success of A&M today, there's no reason to believe they won't be successful in the future." The imprint's biggest act was Garbage, with four top 20 albums on The Billboard 200 and six entries on the Hot 100.

Another Geffen headline appeared on page 8 of the same issue, atop a story reporting that two months after leaving Walt Disney Studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg was going to attempt to build his own Hollywood dynasty with David Geffen and Steven Spielberg. Katzenberg said the trio would finance an as-yet unnamed studio to produce live-action and animated features. The new company also planned a music and interactive division. Here's hoping the dream works. [October 22, 1994, page 1, page 8]

1998: A SEA CHANGE FOR THE HOT 100:

Billboard announced that, beginning with the start of the 1999 chart year in the Dec. 5 issue, the Hot 100 would include radio-only singles. It would be the first time since the chart was introduced, on Aug. 4, 1958, that a song without a retail component would be eligible to appear on the survey. The change came about after a number of hit songs failed to chart because they were only sent to radio as promotional singles without physical copies available in stores, including "Don't Speak" by No Doubt, "Lovefool" by the Cardigans and "Men in Black" by Will Smith. Under the new rules, director of charts Geoff Mayfield predicted, "It will be difficult, but not impossible, for a radio-only single to reach No. 1….The only 1998 song that could have reached the top without sales would have been Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On.'" It took a while, but eventually a radio-only single did capture that pole position on the Hot 100: "Try Again" by Aaliyah from the "Romeo Must Die" soundtrack moved into the top spot on June 17, 2000. [ Billboard, Oct. 24, 1998, page 3]

2000: "NEWCOMER" COLDPLAY TO STREAM "YELLOW':

Christina Aguilera

A newcomer act from the U.K. with an uplifting anthem for a first single earned some Billboard ink as its debut album, "Parachutes," was set for a Nov. 7 release. Coldplay was called a "phenomenon in England," with sales of 70,000 in its first week and a nomination for the Technics Mercury Music Prize. "Not bad for a group of 22- and 23-year olds," wrote reporter Wendy Mitchell. "The group is so young that we see potential way beyond this album," said Bob Hoch, director of marketing for the label Nettwerk America. Lead singer Chris Martin told Billboard he was not counting on success in the U.S. "We have absolutely no idea what to expect, apart from a certain degree of antipathy." Still, he was anticipating the band's first tour of America. "Almost all the music I like has its roots in the U.S., so I'm looking forward to it." Video channel M2 was adding "Yellow" as of Oct. 31, but sister broadcaster MTV had not made a decision about adding the tune yet. With a Nettwerk staffer dedicated to marketing on the internet, the label was planning to promote the single by streaming audio and video of "Yellow.[ Billboard, October 28, 2000, page 20]

2009: THE BEATS GO ON (A LAPTOP):

Portishead

Gail Mitchell reported on Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre partnering with Hewlett-Packard on a new notebook PC, the Envy 15 Beats, featuring higher quality sound for digital music. The HP device was developed in conjunction with Iovine and Dre's Beats Electronics, a company they formed in 2006. Their best-known product line: the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, made by Monster. Also working with the HP engineers on the Envy Beats 15 were will.i.am, Pharrell, Timbaland and Polow Da Don. Retail price for the new notebook, which comes with music-mixing software and a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, was set for $2,299. Iovine said that digital audio quality "has been degraded to such an extent that it's at times not even representative of what actually went on in the recording studio. With HP, we found a partner willing to take the step to improve the overall sound in the PC. This is for anyone who plays muisc. [ Billboard, Oct. 24, 2009]