Sunday, November 24, 2019

American Music Awards (1974-2019)

Originally posted 10/9/2018; last updated 11/24/2019.

The American Music Awards (AMAs) were established in 1973 when ABC lost its contract to air the Grammys. They were created by Dick Clark. The AMAs are determined by public vote. The winners for favorite pop/rock song are listed here. That category existed from 1974-1995, was retired for more than a decade, and then returned in 2016. In the interim, there was also a Single of the Year award from 2013-2015.

  • 2019: Halsey "Without Me"
  • 2018: Camila Cabello with Young Thug “Havana
  • 2017: Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber “Despacito
  • 2016: Justin Bieber “Love Yourself
  • 2015: Taylor Swift “Blank Space
  • 2014: Katy Perry with Juicy J “Dark Horse
  • 2013: Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise”

  • 1995: Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love to You”
  • 1994: Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You
  • 1993: Boyz II Men “End of the Road”
  • 1992: Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
  • 1991: Jon Bon Jovi “Blaze of Glory”
  • 1990: Milli Vanilli “Girl You Know It’s True”

  • 1989: Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine
  • 1988: Whitney Houston “I Wanna Dance with Somebody Who Loves Me”
  • 1987: Billy Ocean “There’ll Be Sad Songs to Make You Cry”
  • 1986: Huey Lewis & the News “The Power of Love”
  • 1985: Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark”
  • 1984: Michael Jackson “Billie Jean
  • 1983: Lionel Richie “Truly”
  • 1982: Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love
  • 1981: Queen “Another One Bites the Dust”
  • 1980: Donna Summer “Bad Girls”

  • 1979: Commodores “Three Times a Lady”
  • 1978: Debby Boone “You Light Up My Life”
  • 1977: Elton John & Kiki Dee “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”
  • 1976: Glen Campbell “Rhinestone Cowboy”
  • 1975: Olivia Newton-John “I Honestly Love You”
  • 1974: Tony Orlando & Dawn “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”

Friday, November 22, 2019

Dave’s Music Database Hall of Fame: Album Inductees (Nov. 2019)

Originally posted 11/22/2019.

January 22, 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog. To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announced its own Hall of Fame. This month marks the fourth batch of album inductees. Only 11 albums have achieved the trifecta of winning the Grammy for Album of the Year, being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and being named to the National Recording Registry. Two of these have already been inducted into the Dave’s Music Database Hall of Fame – The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. A third album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart is not eligible as it is a comedy album, not a music album. That leaves eight albums to be inducted this month.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

“Intense, internal drama always adds a kick to a final piece of work…[and] few bands can equal Fleetwood Mac…[for] their angst.” DV “Keyboardist Christine McVie sparred with husband/bassist John, and singer Stevie Nicks scrapped with boyfriend/guitarist Lindsay Buckingham.” CDU “The resulting romantic pressure-cooker” AZ produced “a tour de force” BN which made Rumours “the ultimate hangover album for the lovestruck.” DV and “an album that defined a decade.” DV

Judy Garland Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

Judy Garland became Hollywood royalty, thanks to performances in classics like The Wizard of Oz, but struggled personally and professionally in the late ‘50s. “This live recording…would (rightfully) bring the legendary icon back into the spotlight.” AZ “This is easily one of pop music’s greatest live recordings and a fine testament to Garland’s recorded legacy.” AZ “With relentless verve, Garland takes on her entire musical catalogue with astonishing aplomb. There is little sign of the decades of self-abuse which had left her frail by the early ‘60s.” AMG

Carole King Tapestry (1971)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

Carole King made a name herself in the 1960s as a songwriter with her husband Gerry Goffin, but on Tapestry “reaches even greater heights as a performer.” AMG She “created the archetype of the female singer-songwriter” TL by insisting she be heard as “human, with all the cracks and imperfections that implies.” RC “The music is loose, earthy, L.A. session-pop” AZ delivered “with a sharpness worthy of a Brooklyn girl.” RC

Henry Mancini Music from Peter Gunn (1959)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

In 1958, “Peter Gunn was one of the unexpected hits of the new television season, capturing the imagination of millions of viewers by mixing private eye action with a jazz setting. Composer Henry Mancini was more than fluent in jazz, and his music nailed down the popularity of the series.” AMG He created “a key piece of jazz and pop music history” AMG that is a “ valuable addition to any jazz or soundtrack collection of the era.” AMG

Paul Simon Graceland (1986)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

In 1984, Paul Simon was inspired by a bootleg tape of South African music and, despite the United States’ economic sanctions against the country because of its apartheid government, he arranged a visit. He threw “his ears open to a host of new players and singers” TL and created “exotically fanciful collaborations” UT with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and others. The resulting introduction of world music into a pop arena gave listeners “that magical combination: something they’d never heard before that nevertheless sounded familiar.” AMG

U2 The Joshua Tree (1987)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

In the early 1980s, U2 built a following first with college radio and then album rock. By the mid-‘80s, they were “spending more and more time with rock legends like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan” QM and were, as Rolling Stone magazine declared, “a band utterly determined to be Important.” RS With its “inspirational, larger-than-life gestures...that’s precisely what [The Joshua Tree] sounds like.” RS It wasn’t just the band’s blockbuster, but its “most varied, subtle and accessible album.” RS as the group learned “to combine their multi-textured sound with the kind of melodies that fans could sing as well as sway along to.” QM

Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

After securing an unprecedented $13 million contract with Motown, Stevie Wonder took two years – “an eternity in R&B” TL – to write his “longest, most ambitious collection of songs.” AMG His “Grand Artistic Statement” EK “featured more true classics than even most great artists write in a lifetime.” TL It is “like stumbling into a cave full of treasure” JM and not knowing “which piece of gold to stuff into [one’s] pocket first.” JM It “touched on nearly every issue under the sun, and did it all with ambitious (even for him), wide-ranging arrangements and some of the best performances of Wonder’s career.” AMG

Various Artists (including the Bee Gees) Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1977)

Inducted November 2019 for “The Trifecta: Grammy for Album of the Year, Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry.”

“Every so often, a piece of music comes along that defines a moment in popular culture history;” AMG The disco soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever epitomized the latter half of the 1970s and made the Bee Gees the biggest group since the Beatles. They had “been exploring disco and funk rhythms on two albums before this one.” TM However, “the disco boom had seemingly run its course, primarily in Europe, and was confined mostly to Black culture and the gay underground in America.” AMG “The soundtrack “made disco explode into mainstream…with new immediacy and urgency.” AMG

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Brad Carl: 50 Songs from the 70s and 80s That Still Hold Up

First posted 11/14/2019; updated 11/16/2019.

Brad Carl is a former radio personality who wrote this book in which he picked 50 songs he believes still sound good against today’s popular music. He doesn’t claim it to be a definitive list, but one which hopefully sparks conversation. Here are the 50 songs featured in that book, as ranked by Dave’s Music Database. The top 16 songs appear in the top 1%, or roughly top 1000 songs of all time, according to Dave’s Music Database. The top 5 songs are featured in Dave’s Music Database’s book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999.


DMDB Top 1%:

1. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1983)
2. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
3. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
4. Eagles “Hotel California” (1977)
5. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988)

6. Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (1981)
7. The Knack “My Sharona” (1979)
8. AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long” (1980)
9. Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax” (1983)
10. The B-52’s “Love Shack” (1989)
11. Tracy Chapman “Fast Car” (1988)
12. Boston “More Than a Feeling” (1976)
13. Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” (1985)
14. Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” (1980)
15. Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” (1981)
16. Phil Collins “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984)

DMDB Top 5%:

17. UB40 “Red, Red Wine” (1983)
18. Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” (1978)
19. R.E.M. “The One I Love” (1987)
20. The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (1982)
21. Cheap Trick “I Want You to Want Me (live)” (1979)
22. Aerosmith “Sweet Emotion” (1975)
23. Billy Idol “White Wedding” (1982)
24. Elton John “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” (1983)
25. War “Low Rider” (1975)
26. Stevie Nicks “Edge of Seventeen” (1981)
27. Katrina & the Waves “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)
28. U2 “Angel of Harlem” (1988)

DMDB Top 10%:

29. Cameo “Word Up” (1986)
30. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians “What I Am” (1988)
31. The Church “Under the Milky Way” (1988)
32. Billy Joel “The Longest Time” (1984)
33. Enya “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” (1988)
34. Billy Vera & the Beaters “At This Moment” (1981)
35. The Jacksons with Mick Jagger “State of Shock” (1984)
36. Whitesnake “Still of the Night” (1987)
37. Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” (1986)
38. Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter” (1987)
39. Echo & the Bunnymen “The Killing Moon” (1984)
40. Traveling Wilburys “Hande with Care” (1988)
41. Rainbow “Since You’ve Been Gone” (1979)

DMDB Top 20%:

42. Benny Mardones “Into the Night” (1980)
43. Pixies “Where Is My Mind?” (1988)
44. Scandal “The Warrior” (1984)
45. Frida Lyngstad “I Know There’s Something Going On” (1982)
46. John Lennon “Nobody Told Me” (1984)
47. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band “Turn the Page (live)” (1976)
48. The Jeff Healy Band “Angel Eyes” (1988)
49. Sammy Hagar “I Can’t Drive 55” (1984)
50. The Firm “Radioactive” (1985)


Resources and Related Links:


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Billboard 1940-1958 (Pre-Hot 100 Era): Top 100

First posted 11/3/2019.

In 1958, Billboard magazine introduced the Hot 100 chart which consolidated information from sales, airplay, and jukebox plays. In the 18 preceding that, there were separate charts for each of those three. This list shows which songs did the best on those three charts. Songs are listed by total combined weeks on the three charts with codes indicating how many weeks on each of the three charts. Ties are broken by songs’ overall status in Dave’s Music Database.

  • BS = Best Sellers
  • DJ = Most Played by Disc Jockeys
  • JB = Most Played on Jukeboxes

42 weeks:

1. Francis Craig with Bob Lamm “Near You” (1947) BS: 12, DJ: 17, JB: 13

36 weeks:

2. Ted Weems with Elmo Tanner “Heartaches” (1947) BS: 12, DJ: 11, JB: 13

33 weeks:

3. Vaughn Monroe “Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)” (1949) BS: 11, DJ: 12, JB: 10
4. The Weavers with Gordon Jenkins’ Orchestra “Goodnight Irene” (1950) BS: 13, DJ: 8, JB: 12

30 weeks:

5. Patti Page “Tennessee Waltz” (1950) BS: 9, DJ: 8, JB: 13
6. Johnnie Ray & the Four Lads “Cry” (1951) BS: 11, DJ: 10, JB: 9

28 weeks:

7. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956) BS: 11, DJ: 8, JB: 9
8. Perry Como “Till the End of Time” (1945) BS: 10, DJ: 9, JB: 9
9. Guy Mitchell “Singing the Blues” (1956) BS: 9, DJ: 9, JB: 10
10. Kay Starr “Wheel of Fortune” (1952) BS: 9, DJ: 9, JB: 10

27 weeks:

11. Les Paul & Mary Ford “How High the Moon” (1951) BS: 9, DJ: 9, JB: 9

26 weeks:

12. Tony Bennett “Because of You” (1951) BS: 8, DJ: 8, JB: 10

25 weeks:

13. The Ink Spots “The Gypsy” (1946) BS: 10, DJ: 2, JB: 13
14. Vaughn Monroe “Ballerina” (1947) BS: 10, DJ: 8, JB: 7
15. Percy Faith “Where Is Your Heart (Song from “Moulin Rouge”)” (1953) BS: 10, DJ: 9, JB: 6
16. Frankie Carle with Marjorie Hughes “Rumors Are Flying” (1946) BS: 8, DJ: 9, JB: 8

24 weeks:

17. Elvis Presley “All Shook Up” (1957) BS: 8, DJ: 7, JB: 9
18. Dinah Shore “Buttons and Bows” (1948) BS: 10, DJ: 5, JB: 9
19. Kitty Kallen “Little Things Mean a Lot” (1954) BS: 9, DJ: 8, JB: 7
20. The Crew-Cuts “Sh-Boom” (1954) BS: 7, DJ: 9, JB: 8

23 weeks:

21. Les Brown with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey” (1945) BS: 9, DJ: 7, JB: 7
22. Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters “Don’t Fence Me In” (1944) BS: 8, DJ: 7, JB: 8
23. Les Paul & Mary Ford “Vaya Con Dios (May God Be with You)” (1953) BS: 11, DJ: 3, JB: 9
24. The McGuire Sisters “Sincerely” (1954) BS: 6, DJ: 10, JB: 7
25. Perez “Prez” Prado “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” (1955) BS: 10, DJ: 5, JB: 8
26. Perry Como “Wanted” (1954) BS: 8, DJ: 7, JB: 8

22 weeks:

27. Patti Page “The Doggie in the Window” (1953) BS: 8, DJ: 7, JB: 7
28. Rosemary Clooney “Come on-a My House” (1951) BS: 6, DJ: 8, JB: 8

21 weeks:

29. Johnny Mercer & the Pied Pipers “On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe” (1945) BS: 7, DJ: 6, JB: 8
30. Peggy Lee “Manana Is Soon Enough for Me” (1948) BS: 9, DJ: 7, JB: 5
31. Eddie Fisher “O Mein Papa (Oh My Papa)” (1953) BS: 8, DJ: 7, JB: 6
32. Tony Bennett “Rags to Riches” (1953) BS: 6, DJ: 7, JB: 8

20 weeks:

33. Bill Haley & the Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954) BS: 8, DJ: 5, JB: 7
34. Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” (1956): BS: 11, JB: 9
35. Tennessee Ernie Ford “Sixteen Tons” (1955) BS: 7, DJ: 6, JB: 7
36. Frankie Laine with Jud Conlon’s Rhythmaires “That Lucky Old Sun” (1949) BS: 8, DJ: 7, JB: 5
37. Evelyn Knight & the Stardusters “A Little Bird Told Me” (1948) BS: 7, DJ: 6, JB: 7

19 weeks:

38. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956) BS: 6, DJ: 3, JB: 8
39. Jo Stafford “You Belong to Me” (1952) BS: 5, DJ: 12, JB: 2
40. Eddy Howard “To Each His Own” (1946) BS: 5, DJ: 8, JB: 6
41. Vera Lynn “Auf Widerseh’n Sweetheart” (1952) BS: 9, DJ: 6, JB: 4
42. Perry Como “If (They Made Me a King)” (1951) BS: 6, DJ: 8, JB: 5

18 weeks:

43. Nat “King” Cole “Mona Lisa” (1950) BS: 5, DJ: 8, JB: 5
44. Pee Wee Hunt Orchestra “Twelfth Street Rag” (1948) BS: 8, DJ: 4, JB: 6
45. The Andrews Sisters “Rum and Coca Cola” (1945) BS: 8, JB: 10
46. Mitch Miller “The Yellow Rose of Texas” (1955) BS: 6, DJ: 6, JB: 6
47. The Chordettes “Mr. Sandman” (1954) S: 7, DJ: 7, JB: 4
48. Frankie Laine & the Muleskinners “Mule Train” (1949) BS: 6, DJ: 6, JB: 6
49. Gogi Grant “The Wayward Wind” (1956) BS: 6, DJ: 8, JB: 4,
50. Kay Kyser with Gloria Wood “Woody Woodpecker” (1948) BS: 6, DJ: 6, JB: 6
51. Teresa Brewer “TilL I Waltz Again with You” (1952) BS: 5, DJ: 6, JB: 7

17 weeks:

52. Bing Crosby with the Williams Brothers Quartet “Swinging on a Star” (1944) BS: 9, JB: 8
53. Frankie Carle with Marjorie Hughes “Oh What It Seemed to Be” (1946) BS: 6, JB: 11
54. Les Brown with Doris Day “My Dreams Are Getting Bigger All the Time” (1945) BS: 7: DJ: 3, JB: 7

16 weeks:

55. Patti Page “I Went to Your Wedding” (1952) BS: 5, DJ: 1, JB: 10
56. Tab Hunter “Young Love” (1956) BS: 5, DJ: 6, JB: 5

15 weeks:

57. Nat “King” Cole “Nature Boy” (1948) BS: 7, DJ: 8
58. Vaughn Monroe “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” (1945) BS: 5, DJ: 5, JB: 5
59. Rosemary Clooney “Hey There” (1954) BS: 6, DJ: 4, JB; 5
60. Eileen Barton with the New Yorkers “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake” (1950) BS: 2, DJ: 10, JB: 3
61. Sammy Kaye with Billy Williams “The Old Lamplighter” (1946) BS: 7, DJ: 1, JB: 7
62. Dean Martin “Memories Are Made of This” (1955) BS: 5, DJ: 6, JB: 4

14 weeks:

63. Red Foley “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” (1950) BS: 4, DJ: 2, JB: 8
64. The Ames Brothers “You, You, You” (1953) DJ: 8, JB: 6

13 weeks:

65. Glenn Miller “In the Mood” (1939) JB: 13
66. Artie Shaw “Frenesi” (1940) BS: 13
67. Shep Fields with Hal Derwin “South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)” (1939) JB: 13
68. Nat “King” Cole “Too Young” (1951) BS: 5, DJ: 4, JB: 4
69. Joni James “Why Don’t You Believe Me” (1952) BS: 4, DJ: 6, JB: 3
70. Georgia Gibbs “Kiss of Fire” (1952) DJ: 7, JB: 6
71. Russ Morgan & the Skylarks “Crusing Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon” (1949) BS: 7, JB: 6
72. Jo Stafford “Make Love to Me!” (1954) BS: 3, DJ: 3, JB: 7

12 weeks:

73. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra “I’ll Never Smile Again” (1940) BS: 12
74. The Harmonicats “Peg O’ My Heart” (1947) BS: 4, JB: 8
75. Perry Como “Some Enchanted Evening” (1949) BS: 5, DJ: 2, JB: 5
76. Art Mooney “I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover” (1948) BS: 3, DJ: 4, JB: 5
77. Pat Boone “Love Letters in the Sand” (1957) BS: 5, DJ: 7
78. Blue Barron & His Orchestra “Crusing Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon” (1949) BS: 2, DJ: 7, JB: 3
79. The Andrews Sisters “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” (1949) BS: 4, DJ: 5, JB: 3
80. Perry Como & the Ramblers “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” (1952) BS: 5, DJ: 3, JB: 4
81. Eddie Fisher “I’m Walking Behind You” (1953) BS: 2, DJ: 3, JB: 7

11 weeks:

82. Elvis Presley “Love Me Tender” (1956) BS: 5, DJ: 5, JB: 1
83. Anton Karas “The Third Man Theme” (1950) BS: 11
84. The Four Aces “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” (1955) BS: 2, DJ: 6, JB: 3
85. Tex Williams “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! That Cigarette” (1947) BS: 6, DJ: 1, JB: 4
86. Vic Damone “You’re Breaking My Heart” (1949) BS: 4, DJ: 4, JB: 3
87. Bill Hayes “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” (1955) BS: 5, DJ: 3, JB: 3
88. Eddy Howard “Sin (It’s No Sin)” (1951) BS: 2, DJ: 8, JB: 1
89. Les Baxter “The Poor People of Paris” (1956) BS: 4, DJ: 5, JB: 2
90. Guy Lombardo “The Third Man Theme” (1950) JB: 11
91. Phil Harris “The Thing” (1950) BS: 4, DJ: 5, JB: 2

10 weeks:

92. Elvis Presley “Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear” (1957) BS: 7, DJ: 3
93. Harry James with Dick Haymes “I’ll Get By As Long As I Have You” (1941) BS: 4, JB: 6
94. Sheb Wooley “The Purple People Eater” (1958) BS: 6, DJ: 4
95. Joan Weber “Let Me Go, Lover!” (1954) BS: 2, DJ: 4, JB: 4

9 weeks:

96. Elvis Presley “Jailhouse Rock” (1957) BS: 7, DJ: 2
97. The Everly Brothers “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958) BS: 4, DJ: 5
98. Glenn Miller “Tuxedo Junction” (1940) JB: 9
99. The Andrews Sisters “Shoo-Shoo Baby” (1943) JB: 9
100. Frank Sinatra “Five Minutes More” (1956) BS: 2, DJ: 4, JB: 3
101. Bing Crosby “Only Forever” (1940) BS: 9
102. Tony Bennett “Cold, Cold Heart” (1951) BS: 6, JB: 3