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Louis Prima Sets Record For Longest Break Between Hot 100 Hits, Debuting on Kids See Ghosts’ ‘4th Dimension’

Kanye West & Kid Cudi's collab brings the late Prima back to the chart for the first time since 1961.

Nearly 40 years after his passing, Louis Prima makes history on the Billboard Hot 100.

The jazz trumpeter, singer, composer and bandleader, who died in August 1978, debuts at No. 42 on the chart (dated June 23) as the featured artist on Kids See Ghosts’ song “4th Dimension.” Kids See Ghosts is the tandem of Kanye West and Kid Cudi, whose self-titled first album under that billing debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.


Prima had last appeared on the Hot 100 dated Feb. 13, 1961, with the song “Wonderland by Night.” He, thus, ends a record break of 57 years, four months and two weeks between Hot 100 appearances. (The Hot 100 launched on Aug. 4, 1958.)

Prima receives credit on “Dimension” as the song contains a sample of “What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin’),” which he wrote and performed; it was originally released in 1936.

Prima passes another late artist, Bobby Helms, whose span between Hot 100 visits covered 54 years, 11 months and two weeks, thanks to the same song: his Christmas classic “Jingle Bell Rock.” The carol had last appeared on the chart dated Dec. 29, 1962 (after debuting in December 1958), until it returned on Jan. 9, 2016. (A rule change to allow older songs to re-enter the Hot 100 if ranking in the top 50 has resulted in several holiday hits returning this decade.)

As Helms’ hiatus involved the same single, Prima passes the late Burl Ives for the longest break between Hot 100 hits involving different titles: Ives charted with “Pearly Shells (Popo O Ewa),” which logged its last week on the list dated Oct. 17, 1964, and didn’t return until his holiday chestnut “A Holly Jolly Christmas” made its first appearance on the chart dated Jan. 7, 2017, ending a gap of 54 years, two months and three weeks.

If we count acts returning with new releases (unlike Ives), Prima bests The Chipmunks, who waited 45 years and one week between “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late),” last on the Hot 100 dated Dec. 29, 1962, and “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) (2007),” which bowed on Jan. 5, 2008.

And, if we narrow the search down to acts reappearing with new compositions (as opposed to remakes, like The Chipmunks’), Prima passes legend Tony Bennett, who went 43 years, 10 months and one week between charted Hot 100 titles: “For Once in My Life,” last on the chart dated Nov. 25, 1967, and his Amy Winehouse duet “Body and Soul,” which debuted on Oct. 1, 2011.

As for Kids See Ghosts, “4th Dimension” is one of seven songs that the duo debuts on the Hot 100, encompassing the album’s entire track list. The others: “Reborn” (No. 39); “Feel the Love” (No. 47); “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)” (No. 62); “Fire” (No. 67); “Cudi Montage” (No. 69); and the act and album namesake “Kids See Ghosts” (No. 73).

Unlike Prima, West waited no time between Hot 100 visits: A week ago, he debuted all seven songs from his new solo set, Ye.

Additional reporting by Paul Haney of Record Research.