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Ask Billboard: World Series Edition

In the latest mailbag, more baseball hits, John Legend's history-making week and Glen Campbell's touching return.

As always, submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet @gthot20


Hi Gary,

I enjoyed so much the Oct. 12 “Ask Billboard” about hit baseball singles, as well as the “MLB Playoffs: All the Intro Songs Revealed” feature.

As we’re now amid the 2014 World Series between the National League champions, the San Francisco Giants, and the American League monarchs, the Kansas City Royals, let’s continue to celebrate the baseball/music relationship.


First, a few artists:

Ace of Base
Double (famous for “Cap-tain of Her Heart”)

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Save Ferris

How about two songs honoring the cities fighting for baseball’s biggest trophy:

“I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” by Tony Bennett

… and, a sort of medley: “Kansas City” (written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) and “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!” (penned by Richard Penniman, aka, Little Richard) as a second version of “Kansas City,” which was later covered by the Beatles).

Honorable mentions:

“Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and “Lights” by Journey. Both songs were sung-along to during the NL Championship Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco, led by the band’s former frontman, Steve Perry (a Giants huge fan). It became a fun karaoke-like version by more than 40,000 enthusiastic fans.

And, Gary, you didn’t mention in that “Ask Billboard” that, in the middle of the eighth inning of every home game of your Boston Red Sox, you can hear “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

May the best team win the Fall Classic!

Thanks and take care,

Mackenzie (Mac) Scott,
Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Thanks for another fun playlist, Mac! When it comes to music this time of year, it’s all about the bases.


@gthot20 is John Legend’s All of Me the longest running r&b song on the hot 100? It’s at 54 weeks now

John Rennolds ?@JohnRennolds

Hi John,

John Legend adds to a Hot 100 full of notable feats this week. As already covered, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” ties Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Black or White” as the longest-leading No. 1s – seven weeks each – released on Epic Records. (“I’m speechless. I can’t believe it’s STILL NUMBER 1 after SEVEN weeks! I’m so grateful,” Trainor Tweeted). And, Country Music Hall of Famer Glen Campbell, 78, returns to the Hot 100 for the first time since 1981. (See the next email for more on the icon.)

It turns out that Legend earns a significant honor, as “All of Me” tallies its 54th week on the Hot 100; it led for three weeks in May.

Is that the longest Hot 100 run by an R&B song in the chart’s 56-year history?

As of this week … it is! Last week, it tied with Next’s “Too Close,” which charted for 53 weeks in 1998-99. This week, Legend claims the mark all to himself. (Fitting, too, that he does so in the 72nd anniversary-week of Billboard‘s first R&B chart, the “Harlem Hit Parade,” which premiered in the Oct. 24, 1942, issue.)

Here’s an updated look at the longest-charting R&B hits (for this research, defined as songs that reached at least the top 40 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart) ever on the Hot 100:

54 weeks, “All of Me,” John Legend, 2014

John Legend Delves Into ‘All of Me’

53 weeks, “Too Close,” Next, 1998
49 weeks, “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, 2013
48 weeks, “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke feat. T.I. + Pharrell, 2013
47 weeks, “You Make Me Wanna…,” Usher, 1997
47 weeks, “Nobody Knows,” Tony Rich Project, 1996
46 weeks, “Together Again,” Janet, 1998
45 weeks, “Yeah!,” Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris, 2004
45 weeks, “Get Low,” Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz feat. Ying Yang Twins, 2003
45 weeks, “100% Pure Love,” Crystal Waters, 1994
45 weeks, “Whoomp! (There It Is),” Tag Team, 1993

While “All of Me” has received major top 40 airplay thanks to its Tiesto remix, its original piano ballad form is what began the song on its path to chart history. “I told my label [Columbia] early on that this could be the biggest song of my career,” Legend told Billboard earlier this year. “[It’s] probably the only song on the radio right now with no drums.

“People are used to music that makes them dance. But, every once in a while, you want to hear something that pierces your heart.”


Hi Gary,

Two things:

1, Could you please let the powers that be know that, in my opinion, the new Hot 100 online chart design is fantastic and that I hope they’ll follow suit on all the other charts, as well?

2, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” is, to my ears, the best pop song that Glen Campbell has released since “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and possibly even better. I sure hope it has the opportunity to reach the upper echelons of the Hot 100, not because of Campbell’s plight, but because it’s simply one darn good song.

And, to the best of my knowledge, Campbell is the first person ever in the entire entertainment industry to reveal having Alzheimer’s disease and continue appearing in public and performing. I hope the press is all over this one. Very brave man. Very brave family.


David Fritz
Reseda, California

Hi David,

First, the Hot 100’s new look online appears to be a hit with readers. It’s also just the first in a series of upgrades, I hear. Look for more charts to take on the sleeker new look and enhanced interactive capabilities going forward.

And, very well said about Campbell. Amazing – but not really when you view the clip – that in an era of predominantly party songs at the format, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” is currently the second-most-streamed country hit in the U.S. (It ranks between Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” at No. 1 and Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt” at No. 3, both of which are essentially ballads, too.)

As you note, Campbell’s openness in the song (its title is a reference to the cruel effects of Alzheimer’s) and its video is almost unheard of in music. In one of the rawest moments of the video, we even see Campbell’s doctor going over test results with him. Knowing that it’s not just a video – it’s a man processing the news that the disease will ultimately rob him of his precious memories – is heartbreaking. At the same time, it’s beautifully presented.

The press (including Billboard) is definitely highlighting the song, video and its accompanying documentary, Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me, which opened Friday (Oct. 24). (Check out the new issue of Billboard, in fact: an almost-full-page photo of Campbell graces the first page of the Hot 100.)

Billboard sister publication The Hollywood Reporter gave the film an overwhelmingly positive review. “There are numerous scenes of Campbell interacting with his loved ones. He’s consistently upbeat and joking,” Frank Scheck notes. Still, “the film doesn’t ignore the disease’s emotional toll, with scenes of Campbell angrily reacting to various situations. A scene in which his daughter tearfully testifies before Congress urging more funding for Alzheimer’s research as her father looks on with a vague expression is almost unbearably moving.”

The documentary also centers on the gift that Campbell has been giving fans for more than 50 years: his music. As THR‘s review points out, we see Campbell “nervously preparing for an appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show after his condition had been made public. After getting through his number, he can be heard triumphantly shouting, ‘I got through it!’ “