Missing Charts 1940-1952

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Missing Charts 1940-1952

Postby BoroButch » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:44 pm

Have you seen this new book that's just been published.

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Re: Missing Charts 1940-1952

Postby Bassman » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:24 am

Ah yes - Kirk and I have had a few notifications about this. It looks interesting but it has one basic problem, it's not official and the data is not based on actual retail sales.

As I understand it, the author, has compiled the data based on data provided on wholesale sales from record companies. So rather than actual sales to the Great British Public, it's based on what was actually shipped. This causes a problem becuase it changes the whole basis on how the charts are compiled and it re-writes the history of many early chart acts such Frankie Laine and Judy Garland.

Those of us old enough to remember "Record Shops", will recall, with some affection the good old bargain bins full of unsold copies of many obscure singles and albums which had been pushed by the Record Companies to the retailers but failed to sell and these, on the surface would be included.

(I personally bought on spec an album called "Trailer For A Good Life" by the band Longdancer from one of these, and it is one of my favourite albums. Longdancer had Dave Stewart as one of their members but this was many years before The Eurythmics or even The Tourists had any success.)

However, as I said it looks interesting and will probably provide many an hour of browsing for those of us obssessed with this sort of data.



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Re: Missing Charts 1940-1952

Postby Theo » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:13 pm

That's interesting. I'd heard about the project for a while, and didn't believe it would ever see the light of day. But I'm afraid I agree with Bassman, and my inclination is to ignore it, as it appears to be re-writing history with rather shaky evidence. Personally, although I am curious about the book, I'd rather stick with the Sheet Music charts for this period, as those are at least based on over-the-counter sales. And, more to the point, I believe sheet music far outsold 78rpm records at the time. I suppose the book and CD might be of some interest, but based on what the data appears to be from, I would hesitate to regard it as 'official'. (Also, the price of £30 is rather prohibitive to me buying.)

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Re: Missing Charts 1940-1952

Postby The Doctor » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:45 pm

I have bought the book. Despite its failing as you have detailed I feel it may help to point to the more popular releases for any particular song in the sheet music charts. It certainly favours brunswick artists and does reflect the popularity of American artists over our home grown talent. What is very useful is that it contains songs that were very popular at the time which would never have registered on the sheet music charts eg Life gets teejus and Take a letter Miss Smith. However, there are glaring omissions too eg where is the petite waltz? This has not been helped by the fact that a random toss up appears to have been made in choosing which was the more popular side to pick - A or B - when compiling the charts for any given record.
I am also interested to know what your definition of "official" means as it is printed by The Official Charts Company.
The early charts were very inaccurate and I feel the charts in this book are probably a lot more accurate than NME compilations in the early days.
All the best

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Re: Missing Charts 1940-1952

Postby Bassman » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:36 am

Hi Simon

Yes - the definition of the "official chart" is for quite a few people a thorny subject.

Official, prior to 1968 has always been a very emotive description for some. For our purposes we have followed the accepted norm. of NME for the 1950's followed by Record Retailer (later Music Week) up to the commisioning of the BMRB, in 1968. This was the stance taken by the GBOHS and it may be right, or it may be wrong.

Many arguments have been put forward as to whether this is correct. For example it could be argued that the NME have a better claim to being the "official" chart for vinyl sales as they were the first to publish, a couple of years ahead of Record Mirror and definitley ahead of Melody Maker. But, as they say, history is written by the victorious and RR/RM won the battle as far as the industry was concerned when RR, as the industry "in house" magazine went with Record Mirror. (There a very good article by Alan Smith about the falsehood of the GBOHS and the UK charts on Dave McAleer's site http://www.davemcaleer.com/page26.htm and worth a read.)

Interestingly the BBC never had a say in which chart was official. They intially opted for a point system based on the major published charts of the day. However the names behind GBOHS (Read, Rice, and Gambaccini) were very much associated with the BBC which, by default gave it a postion of "officialdom".

Right or wrong, we have to position it somewhere but we have not ignored the other charts which we show as Extra's in the 1950's and 1960's.

I'm still a but confused about the data in this book. If, as I am led to believe, it is based on wholesale records then that is a problem. That would reflect what the shops took into stock but not what was actually purchased by the public. Was there a sale or return for the records, and is this reflected in the positioning?

I'd be interested to know.



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Re: Missing Charts 1940-1952

Postby kirkm » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:25 am

This book has caused quite a flurry of emails and PMs and most agree the data isn't official
but does list significant tracks that were popular in the day. It's been suggested we include
them in our 'Sheetmusic Era' section of the spreadsheet, but as this is the only source for this data if we use it it'd obvious where we copied it from. Were the author still alive I would have asked permission, and if OK we could have added it to the Sheetmusic Extra category.
Then there's the question of how much weight to put on the data... does it justify inclusion ?

I've not seen the book - the following was PM'd to me.. not sure if this is taken from it or
is the persons own analysis... but gives an idea of what's contained, what changes it suggests
and why many think it distorts chart history.

1) I Believe - Frankie Laine was the No.1 with the most Weeks on Top - 18 Weeks, in 3 'Runs',
during 1953. Now it is beaten by White Christmas, by Bing Crosby. That went to No.1 in 1942,
1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, & 1951 - for a Total of 24 Weeks. (I'm adding in 9 Weeks
of missing Charts. It has 15 No.1 Weeks without them).

2) Until now only 2 No.1 Hits have reached No.1 as many as 3 times. They were I Believe - Frankie Laine, (1953), & Singing The Blues - Guy Mitchell, (1957). Both are now easily beaten by Bing Crosby's White Christmas,which was No.1 in 8 different Chart Runs - 1942, & 1945 to 1951. (It was a No.2 Hit in 1943 & 1944).

3) The 1st No.1 is no longer Al Martino's Here In My Heart. It is Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again.

4) Here In My Heart gets 8 Weeks at No.1 in the Book. Added to its 9 in the NME Charts, gives it 17 No.1 Weeks.

5) Rihanna's Umbrella, (2007 - 10 Weeks), is no longer the Single with most Weeks at No.1 by a Female Artist.

1)=That Old Black Magic - Judy Garland - 14 Weeks (1943)
1)=Cornish Rhapsody - Harriet Cohen - 14 Weeks (1944/1945) @@@
3) Music! Music! Music! - Teresa Brewer - 12 Weeks (1950)

@@@ = Includes 2 missing Chart Weeks

6) Judy Garland goes from having just 1 Hit, (No.18 in 1955), to having several, with 14 in the Top 10 - 4 at No.1, including Over The Rainbow. (The Book says 'The Trolley Song' was a 1945 No.2 Hit,
in the Judy Garland Section - Page 254. But on Page 110 it is shown as being at No.1, (1 Week), in
the Chart of W/B 4th June 1945. So, she had 4 No.1's - not 3).

7) The Ink Spots had just 1 Hit until now - Melody Of Love. (No.10 - 1955). Now they have many Hits. With 9 of them going to No.1. One of them, (Bless You), went to No.1 twice. For 8 Weeks in 1940/1941, & for 9 Weeks in 1946. Giving it 17 Weeks at No.1 - 18 if you add in a missing Week at the end of 1940. That either puts it equal to Here In My Heart, by Al Martino - 17. Or equal to I Believe by Frankie Laine - 18. (I'm counting Bless You as 1 of their 9 No.1's - not 2)

8) The 9 Ink Spots No.1's spent 61 Weeks on Top. (Counting one missing Chart Week). That gives them the 4th most Weeks at No.1 in the Singles Chart. Bing Crosby is 1st - 192 Weeks. (Or 183 - depending if you include 9 missing Chart Weeks). Elvis Presley is 2nd, (80 Weeks), & The Beatles are 3rd, (69 Weeks). It also means that only The Beatles have more Singles Weeks at No.1, as regards Groups.

9) Elvis Presley, (18 0r 21, depending how you count), no longer has the most UK No.1 Hits. Bing Crosby has 44!

10) The Andrews Sisters go from having Zero Hits, to having several. 9 of them at No.1, which puts them equal with the Spice Girls, as regards Female Groups. (4 of the Andrews Sisters No.1's were with Bing Crosby). Their 9 No.1's give them 40 No.1 Weeks - the most Singles Chart No.1 Weeks by any Female Act. (The Spice Girls also spent 40 Weeks at No.1 in the UK, but 22 Weeks were from Singles, & 18 Weeks from Albums. The Andrews Sisters have never had a UK Hit Album. Or any Hit Singles, until now).

11) Al Jolson has had Zero Hit Singles, until now. He now has many, with 7 of them reaching No.1. Including the longest consecutive 'Run' at No.1 ever, by the same Artist. That was in 1947 when Swanee/April Showers was No.1 for 9 Weeks. He then replaced himself at No.1 with The Anniversary Song, & that was No.1 for 10 Weeks.

12) Frank Sinatra gains 10 more No.1 Hits, to raise him from 3 to 13.

13) Vera Lynn has 6 more No.1's - giving her 7 rather than 1.

14) Doris Day goes from 2 to 5.

15) Guy Mitchell from 4 to 8.

16) Johnnie Ray from 3 to 6.

17) Nat 'King' Cole has his first No.1 Singles - 4. He's never been higher than No.2 before.

Cheers - Kirk

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