DELILAH DELILAH DELILAH!
Fred Fred Fred!
You overlooked the biggest “Delilah” of them all previous to the Plain White T’s No. 1 single. Even though it wasn’t listed in the title, it was famously mentioned in the Pointer Sisters’ Bruce Springsteen-penned “Fire” that peaked at No. 2 in 1979.
Delilah was also mentioned in the song “Fire,” written by Bruce Springsteen. It was a No. 2 hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1979.
Thanks for the years of interesting reading!
Brian W. Smith
San Francisco, Calif.
With “Hey There Delilah” reigning over the Hot 100, I am putting in a vote for the biggest prior hit to mention “Delilah” in the lyrics, although this song does not mention “Delilah” in the actual title. The song is “Fire” by the Pointer Sisters, which hit No. 2 in 1979. This would, I believe, still make it the biggest hit to date to mention the other three historically/literary significant lovers’ names in its lyrics thus far. If my memory serves me right, the writing credit belongs to Bruce Springsteen.
Hillel M. Zelman
Dear Kevin, Brian and Hillel,
I wasn’t attempting to name every song with “Delilah” in the lyrics, but since the three of you wrote in about the Pointer Sisters’ hit “Fire,” it obviously should have been mentioned in the item about the Plain White T’s reaching No. 1 with “Hey There Delilah.”
ROCK FROM THE DAWN OF TIME
I have been reading your Chart Beat and Chart Beat Chat columns for a few months and finally found something to talk to you about. With the Plain White T’s song “Hey There Delilah” going to No. 1, I realized it is the first song by a rock band, let alone first rock song, to go to No. 1 since Nickelback’s 2001-2002 smash “How You Remind Me.” Just thought it was notable.
While on the topic, what was the first rock band (not solo artist) to top the Hot 100?
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your first letter to Chart Beat Chat.
To answer your question about what was the first rock band to top the Hot 100, we’d have to first determine how you would define a rock band. If you mean a guitar-driven group with percussion that plays its own amplified instruments, the answer would be the Beatles in February 1964 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
For the first time in 11 months, a song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. “Wrapped” by George Strait spent three weeks at No. 2 behind “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry and “Lost in This Moment” by Big & Rich. This is the fifth time a George Strait song has peaked at No. 2 without going to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs.
Here are George Strait’s five No. 2 Country Songs:
“True” (four weeks, 1998), kept out of No. 1 by “I’m Alright” by Jo Dee Messina and “How Long Gone” by Brooks & Dunn
“Go On” (three weeks, 2000), kept out of No. 1 by “Kiss This” by Aaron Tippin and “The Little Girl” by John Michael Montgomery
“Run” (four weeks, 2001), kept out of No. 1 by “I Wanna Talk About Me” by Toby Keith, ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” by Alan Jackson and “Good Morning Beautiful” by Steve Holy
“Cowboys Like Us” (two weeks, 2003), kept out of No. 1 by “I Love This Bar” by Toby Keith and “There Goes My Life” by Kenny Chesney
“Wrapped” (three weeks, 2007), kept out of No. 1 by “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry and “Lost in This Moment” by Big & Rich
At least George Strait has 42 Billboard No. 1 Country Songs, more than any other artist in the 63-year history of the Billboard Country Chart.
Beachwood, New Jersey
P.S. For the record, the last time a song peaked at No. 2 without going to No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart was in August 2006. “A Little Too Late” by Toby Keith was kept out of No. 1 by “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)” by Rodney Atkins.
I was ready to write about George Strait’s 43rd No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, but it looks like I will have to wait. There has been much Chart Beat Chat discussion about the lack of No. 2 hits on Hot Country Songs, so thanks for pointing out that we’ve finally had a song peak in the runner-up spot.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
You mentioned in last week’s Chart Beat column that “Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White T’s was the first record in at least 21 years to move 6-5-4-3-2-1 on the Hot 100.
It appears the last time that happened was just over 30 years ago, when “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti ascended to No. 1 the week of July 2, 1977, after having consecutively stepped through each of the positions from 6 to 2.
I didn’t find any other examples of this phenomenon in the history of the Hot 100 (dating back to its debut in August 1958).
New York City
The recent ascension of Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah” to No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 got me thinking (and researching) to see if there had ever been a song that made one-notch climbs from a position as low as No. 6 all the way to No. 1. Last week, you mentioned that you had not found one any time in the past 21 years to move 6-5-4-3-2-1, which narrowed my search considerably, thank you! My instincts told me that the years 1974 through 1977 would be ripe with candidates for this distinction since there were some very high turnovers at No. 1 then, which usually meant that songs sometimes climbed slowly and in tandem before taking their turns at the top. Sure enough, in 1975 and 1977, there were several songs that made such climbs to No. 1 from the No. 5 spot. However, only one other song made an incremental climb of one notch every week from the No. 6 position to No. 1 on the Hot 100. And this song actually did it from No. 7 just over 30 years ago.
On the Hot 100 for the week ending May 21, 1977, Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from ‘Rocky’)” moved from No. 21 to No. 7. Then, it moved up one position each week for the next six until it finally displaced Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up (Pt. I)” from the top spot on the Hot 100 dated July 2, 1977. Just to give your readers an indication of what it had to overcome, when Bill Conti’s hit moved from No. 21 to No. 7, there were seven other songs listed in the top 10 that week which either had been or would be No. 1 singles. I think we’d be hard pressed to find another song like Conti’s that climbed 7-6-5-4-3-2-1.
Dear Randy and Darrell,
Thank you for doing the research and finding the 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 move of Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now.” There’s only so much I can do on deadline and still get Chart Beat Chat posted on time!
KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER
Recently, a reader listed six titles containing names or variants thereof from the Bible which have reached the pinnacle of the Hot 100. I think he missed more than he named. Consider:
David: “The Ballad Of Davy Crockett” (Bill Hayes, 1955);
Diana: “Diana” (Paul Anka, 1957) and “Dirty Diana” (Michael Jackson, 1988) and “Jack and Diane” (John Cougar Mellencamp, 1982);
Thomas: “Tom Dooley” (The Kingston Trio, 1958);
John: “Johnny Angel” (Shelley Fabares, 1962);
Lord: “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison, 1970-1971) and “Kyrie” (Greek for “Lord”) (Mr. Mister, 1986);
enjamin: “Ben” (Michael Jackson, 1972);
Mary: “Maria, Maria” (Spanish for “Mary”) (Santana featuring the Product G&B, 2000).
I was particularly drawn to this question because I was born on the very date that “Davy Crockett” scaled the first of its many summits, on the Best Sellers in Stores chart!
Garden Grove, Calif.
THE SECOND TIME AROUND
I love your column. I make it a priority to read it every week.
My question is about Pink’s fourth (or third depending on how you look at it) single from her latest album, “Who Knew.” Isn’t this song a reissue? If I remember correctly, “Who Knew” was released as the second single after “Stupid Girls” flopped. That’s why it took so long for “U + Ur Hand” to catch on. So is “Who Knew” the official next single and was it ever officially the second single too? (Confusing, huh?).
What’s the most successful re-issue on the charts? The last reissue I can think of is “I Do” by Blaque but it flopped the second time it was released just as much as it did the third time. If a song didn’t do well the first time around, why do record companies re-issue a song? I can’t wait to see your response. I’m sure it will be full of fun chart facts and tidbits.
“Who Knew” is the latest Pink single, and it’s doing very well. This week it leaps 67-51. The song debuted on the Hot 100 the week of April 7 at No. 95, slipped to No. 99, and then fell off the chart. Three weeks ago, “Who Knew” returned to the Hot 100 at No. 94.
The practice of reissuing singles has been going on for decades. The very first No. 1 hit of the rock era, “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets, was recorded and first issued in 1954 and was only a mild success. It was followed by the group’s cover of Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” which reached the top 10. After “Dim, Dim the Lights” and “Mambo Rock” charted, “Rock Around the Clock” was reissued in 1955 after it was included in the soundtrack of the film “The Blackboard Jungle.” That’s when it went to No. 1.
Without attempting to name every song that achieved pole position after being reissued, a couple of key singles come to mind: “Red Red Wine” by UB40 in 1988 and “When I’m With You” by Sheriff in 1989. And don’t forget “She Loves You,” one of the Beatles’ songs that had been released prior to “I Want to Hold Your Hand” that became a huge hit in the wake of the Fab Four’s “overnight” success in 1964.
There are a number of reasons a single can be reissued, but it’s usually a case of radio discovering a song after its original release date. That can begin with one radio station taking a chance on a song it believes in, and when that song becomes a hit in one city it spreads to other stations and eventually becomes a nationwide success.