Saturday, July 12, 2003

Beyoncé hit #1 with “Crazy in Love”

Crazy in Love

Beyoncé with Jay-Z

Writer(s): Shawn Carter, Rich Harrison, Beyoncé Knowles, Eugene Record (see lyrics here)

Released: May 19, 2003

First Charted: May 24, 2003

Peak: 18 US, 12 RR, 29 A40, 13 RB, 13 UK, 2 CN, 2 AU, 9 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.57 US, 1.2 UK, 8.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 751.77 video, 969.72 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

For the modern day Supremes, the power pop/R&B trio, their diva leader Diana Ross, and the legendary music mogul romantically linked to the diva were recast as Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z. Like Ross, Beyoncé’s time with the group who gave her a taste of #1 success proved a stepping stone to solo success. Still, no one was quite prepared for what a monster she had right out of the gate. “Crazy in Love” won the 2003 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song and was the only tune from 2003 to top both the US and UK charts. SF

On the strength of what NME magazine called her “finest single,” NME “The groove…was not quite like anything else on the charts – toughter than pop but too smooth for the average R&B hit. The extra element would seem to be the singer herself.” TC Beyoncé became “the definitive female R&B singer of her era,’” PF “the heiress to Ruth Brown and Etta James and Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin.” PD

Beyoncé’s link to divas from other eras can be partially credited to Grammy-winning producer Rich Harrison. He’d sat for awhile on a demo built on a horn sample from “Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So),” a 1970 top 10 R&B hit from the Chi-Lites. When he shared it with Beyoncé, she thought it was too retro, but gave Harrison two hours to come up with lyrics. He was inspired by her saying “I’m looking “crazy right now.” WK

“The freakishly charismatic Jay-Z” PF guests on the song and supposedly convinced Columbia Records to release this as Beyoncé’s first proper single. TB He thought the rap up in about ten minutes and didn’t even write it down before he delivered it in the studio at about 3 in the morning. WK It wasn’t the last the world would hear of B and J; the pair would go on to become “the power couple of the decade – prettier than Brangelina, more clout than the Obamas.” SP


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First posted 10/30/2019; last updated 9/5/2023.

Friday, July 4, 2003

100 years ago: “Hiawatha” hit #1

Hiawatha (His Song to Minnehaha)

Harry MacDonough

Writer(s): Neal Moret (music), James O’Dea (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: May 1, 1903

Peak: 14 US, 13 GA, 16 SM (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

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


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Originally subtitled “A Summer Idyll,” “Hiawatha” was written by Charles N. Daniels under the pseudonym of Neil Moret SM and published in 1901. It was an instrumental tribute to Hiawatha, Kansas. SM Moret had lived in Kansas City and dated a girl from Hiawatha. TY2 The melody came to him one day when he was headed to visit her. TY2

John Philip Sousa introduced the song, adding it to his band’s repertoire. TY2 James O’Dea wrote lyrics for it a few years later which changed the song into one about a man who falls for an Indian princess. The subtitle changed to “His Song to Minnehaha,” a reference to a fictional character in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha.” SM

The song started a trend of Indian songs, DJ including Fred Hager’s “Laughing Water,” Kerry Mills’ “Red Wing,” Egbert Van Alstyne’s “Navajo” and “Seminole,” and Percy Wenrich’s “Silver Bell.” TY2 Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan recorded a parody version called “Parody on Hiawatha.” TY

The first chart version of the song was by the Columbia Orchestra in April 1903, reaching #3. Harry MacDonough followed with the most popular version of the song, going all the way to #1. Dan Quinn also had a hit with it that year, hitting #3. Sousa recorded the song as “Hiawatha Two-Step,” and it was also a #3 hit.

At the time, it was common to record songs on cylinders, which had a limited run time. However, “Hiawatha” was recorded on a 78 rpm flat disc to allow for a longer, three minute + run time. SM


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Last updated 12/15/2022.