Saturday, May 19, 1990

Madonna hit #1 with “Vogue”



Writer(s): Madonna, Shep Pettibone (see lyrics here)

Released: March 20, 1990

First Charted: April 6, 1990

Peak: 13 US, 13 CB, 12 GR, 14 RR, 23 AC, 16 RB, 14 UK, 13 CN, 15 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.79 US, 0.66 UK, 6.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 293.64 video, 224.78 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Vogue” was originally planned as the B-side to “Keep It Together,” the fifth single from Madonna’s Like a Prayer album. Shep Pettibone, who wrote and produced the song with Madonna said, “The record company went bananas, her manager went bananas. Everybody said, ‘This is a major hit smash record – we’re not going to lose it as a B-side.’” FB

Instead, it became the first single for her next album, I’m Breathless. The album was a departure for Madonna as it served as a soundtrack to Dick Tracy, a movie in which she was cast as the love interest to Warren Beatty in the title role. Three of the songs were written by Stephen Sondheim for the movie and the others were written to be sun in character in a jazz-swing mode.

The exception was “Vogue,” an “upbeat house song” WK which Pettibone acknowledged “wasn’t written for that movie or for that album.” FB Vogueing originated in the gay community as a dance movement in which dancers struck poses and used elaborate hand movements. SF Pettibone said he was surprised Madonna wanted to do a song about it. It “had been around for a while and it was also semi-passe. People were saying, ‘What’s the next thing? That’s over.’” FB

Of course, in Madonna’s hands the song brought the underground dance movement into the mainstream. It became the world’s best-selling single of 1990. WK Fans and critics celebrated it as one of her career highlights. All Music Guide’s Jose F. Promis called it “one of the biggest all-time house music hits” and “one of her crowning artistic achievements both song-wise and video-wise.” AMG

Lyrically, the song addresses escapism and being able to feel free on the dance floor while it sonically reflected strong influences from disco music of the ‘70s. Patrick Leonard, who also wrote and produced with Madonna, said “It was a beautiful piece of music that resembles art in a big way.” FB


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Madonna
  • AMG All Music Guide review by Jose F. Promis
  • FB Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 757.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Related Links:

First posted 2/2/2021; last updated 4/30/2024.

Friday, May 4, 1990

50 years ago: Glenn Miller’s “Tuxedo Junction” hit #1 for 1st of 9 weeks

Tuxedo Junction

Glenn Miller

Writer(s): Erskine Hawkins, Bill Johnson, and Julian Dash (music); Buddy Feyne (words) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 24, 1940

Peak: 19 US, 7 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.3 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Erskine Hawkins, an African-American trumpeter and bandleader from Alabama, was one of the composers of “Tuxedo Junction.” The title came from a club in the Ensley suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. SF The venue was part of the Chitlin’ Circuit, the name given to the region in the Deep South where African American performers were accepted during racial segregation. WK According to Hawkins, his valet said, “Why don’t you call it ‘Tuxedo Junction’ since that’s where you’re from?” SB

Hawkins’ orchestra was one of the house bands at the Savoy Ballroom in New York and often used the song as the sign-off. WK His recording of “the enormously engaging, easy-loping instrumental” SS reached #7 in the U.S. and marked his highest peak out of sixteen chart entries.

Glenn Miller’s orchestra was a guest band at the Savoy on Christmas Eve 1939. Miller saw the “crowd’s enthusiastic reaction” to Hawkin’s performance of “Tuxedo Junction” SS and talked to Hawkins afterward, telling him he wanted to record the song. SB Miller recorded the song on February 5, 1940, with trumpet solos from Dale McMickle and Clyde Hurley and a piano solo from Chummy MacGregor, became a monstrous #1 song, holding the top spot for nine weeks. It was his tenth of 23 chart-toppers.

The song was also recorded by the Andrews Sisters, Frankie Avalon, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry James, Joe Jackson, Stan Kenton, and the Manhattan Transfer. WK Bob Marley’s “Kaya” was inspired by the song. WK

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Glenn Miller
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Erskine Hawkins
  • SF Songfacts
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Pages 531-2.
  • SB
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Pages 201, 309-313, and 599.
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 4/19/2021.