Friday, March 22, 2019

Dave’s Music Database Hall of Fame: Music Maker Inductees (March 2019)

Originally posted 3/22/2019; last updated 5/21/2021.

January 22, 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog! To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announces its own Hall of Fame. Each month, new inductees will be added. In January, the first dozen inductees were songs. In February, 9 albums were inducted. This month, the top 10 acts of all-time (according to Dave’s Music Database) are being inducted. Note: click on the name of the act to see the full DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry. See the full list of music maker inductees here.

The Beatles (active 1960-1970)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

“They were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era, and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. Moreover, they were among the few artists of any discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did, and the most popular at what they did. Relentlessly imaginative and experimental, the Beatles grabbed a hold of the international mass consciousness in 1964 and never let go for the next six years, always staying ahead of the pack in terms of creativity, but never losing their ability to communicate their increasingly sophisticated ideas to a mass audience. Their supremacy as rock icons remains unchallenged to this day.” RU1 Read more.

Bing Crosby (1903-1977)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

Bing Crosby was the undisputed best-selling artist until well into the rock era (with over half a billion records in circulation). His everyman persona gave America a symbol of what their country was about during the Depression and World War II. With a far less formal style than the European-influenced classical and popular music of the 1910s and '20s, Crosby put his own stamp on showtunes, film music, country & western songs, patriotic standards, religious hymns, holiday favorites, and ethnic ballads (most notably Irish and Hawaiian). His recording of “White Christmas” ranks as the #1 song of all time according to the DMDB. Read more.

Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

“Among the greatest trombonists in jazz history. He and his brother Jimmy played with the California Ramblers, Charleston Chasers, Jean Goldkette, Red Nichols, and Paul Whiteman, among others. Tommy also played with Vincent Lopez and Rudy Vallee. Started his band in 1935 with the heart of the Joe Haymes ensemble, and over the years led an extraordinary array of top musicians. The jazz arrangements of Sy Oliver were among the most acclaimed of the era, and during the early ‘40s the band got a sensational new star in Frank Sinatra.” PM Read more.

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

“Michael Jackson was unquestionably the biggest pop star of the ‘80s, and certainly one of the most popular recording artists of all time.” SH He started as a child star in the ‘60s performing with his brothers and became a solo star in the ‘70s. He achieved his greatest success with Thriller, the biggest-selling album of all time and a DMDB Hall of Fame inductee in the first class. Read more.

Elton John (1947-)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

Elton John has been “one of the most successful purveyors of hit songs and records in the history of the music industry.” SHOF “A multifaceted talent, John excels as both a ballad-oriented singer/songwriter and a flamboyant rock and roll star.” RH “He and lyric writer, Bernie Taupin, comprise one of the longest-running and most successful songwriting teams of all time.” SHOF “In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early ‘70s.” STE His “output was as critical to this decade as the Beatles were to the Sixties and Presley to the Fifties.” RH “Moreover, his longevity as an active recording artist surpasses both of them.” RH Read more.

Billy Murray (1877-1954)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

At a time before radio ruled the waves and recording technology remained primitive, Billy Murray’s success gave the fledgling recording industry the credibility to develop into a popular form of entertainment. He became the most sensational record seller of the entire pre-1920 pioneer era, recording as a solo artist, in duets with Ada Jones, and on group hits with the Haydn Quartet, American Quartet, and the Heidelberg Quintet. In all, he sang on 30 #1 songs. The recording careers of Bing Crosby or Elvis Presley pale in comparison. Read more.

Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

As the “musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level” RU2 it could be argued that Elvis Presley is “the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music.” RU2 While he wasn’t the first white man to sing R&B, he was “the first…to assertively fuse country and blues music into the style known as rockabilly.” RU2 However, he didn’t stop there, also touching on “pop, gospel, and even some bits of bluegrass and operatic schmaltz” RU2 during his 20+ year career. Read more.

The Rolling Stones (active 1963-)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

This London based-band has often been referred to as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. They formed in the early 1960s as a contemporary to the Beatles, but were shaped as a rougher, tougher, and grittier band. True to the band’s guitarist Keith Richards’ reputation as one of the few living beings who would still be kicking after a worldwide holocaust, the band has remained active for six decades, releasing albums and touring. Read more.

Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

Frank Sinatra was one of the most important acts of the 20th century, rivaled only by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles. Through his ability to make classics from his interpretations of others songs, Sinatra survived ‘50s’ rock and ‘70s’ punk, winning over new fans while retaining a loyal, if aging, group of aficionados. Besides recording nearly 1,500 songs, Sinatra starred in nearly 60 motion pictures (many with his Rat Pack buddies). His turbulent personal life and tough-guy posturing also made him a well-known media figure. Read more.

Paul Whiteman (1890-1967)

Inducted March 2019 as a “Top 10 All-Time Act.”

The most popular bandleader of the pre-swing era. Played violin and viola in the Denver & San Francisco Symphony Orchestras before forming his band in 1919 featuring Henry Busse (trumpet) and Frede Grofe (piano/arranger). Almost immediately after the blocbuster debut hit “Whispering,” the Whiteman band became the dominant force in American popular recording, with a staggering profusion of hits. Whiteman’s historic premiere of George Gershwin’s classic “Rhapsody in Blue,” his late-’20s addition of Bix Beiderbecke and other jazz greats, and his introduction to America of Bing Crosby, solidified his stature in popular music history. PM Read more.
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Thursday, March 21, 2019

50 years ago: Frank Sinatra charted with “My Way”

My Way

Frank Sinatra

Writer(s): Jacques Revaux (music), Giles Thibaut and Claude François (original French lyrics), Paul Anka (English lyrics) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: March 21, 1969

Peak: 27 US, 29 CB, 17 GR, 28 HR, 2 AC, 5 UK, 28 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 1.05 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 286.8 video, 314.67 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“My Way” originated as a song composed by Jacques Revaux in 1967. It originally was called “For Me” and had English lyrics about a couple falling out of love. Revaux shopped the demo around to Petula Clark, Claude François, and others. François worked with Giles Thibaut to give the song new French lyrics. The song was retitled “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”). It was released in November 1967 and reached the top of the French pop chart. WK

Paul Anka heard the song on the radio while on holiday in France. He liked it so much that he bought adaptation, recording, and publishing rights for one dollar, under the condition that the composers of the melody retained royalty rights. After Anka had dinner with Frank Sinatra in Florida and Sinatra announced that he was quitting the business, Anka re-wrote the original song with Sinatra in mind. He said as he wrote it he thought, “If Frank were writing this, what would he say?” WK

Sinatra recorded the song on December 30, 1968. It was released as a single in early 1969 and while it only reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100, it became his signature song. It peaked at #5 in the UK, but set a record for spending 108 weeks in the top 40 WK and became the most popular song to play at funerals in the UK. LW According to Sinatra’s daughter Tina, he came to hate the song, thinking it was self-serving and self-indulgent. WK

Other artists who have charted with the song include Brook Benton (#25 RB, 1970), Dorothy Squires (#10 UK, 1970), Elvis Presley (#22 US, 6 AC, 2 CW, 9 UK, 1973), Sid Vicious (#7 UK, 1978), and Shane MacGowan (#29 UK, 1996). David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Pearl Jam, the Platters, and Nina Simone are among the other artists to record the song.


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First posted 11/25/2022.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” debuted at #1


Jonas Brothers

Writer(s): Ryan Tedder, Louis Bell, Mustafa Ahmed, Adam Feeney, Homer Steinweiss, Nicholas Jonas, Joseph Jonas, Kevin Jonas II (see lyrics here)

Released: March 1, 2019

First Charted: March 9, 2019

Peak: 11 BB, 16 BA, 11 DG, 11 ST, 117 AC, 19 A40, 4 UK, 11 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 1.2 UK, 8.23 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 443.40 video, 1381.03 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Kevin (born 1987), Joe (1989), and Nick (1992) were raised in New Jersey and formed as a pop trio in 2005. They released their first album, It’s About Time, a year later. Three albums followed – two reached two million in U.S. sales, two topped the Billboard album chart. They reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 twice – with “Burnin’ Up” and “Tonight,” both from 2008’s A Little Bit Longer.

After their fourth album, it was ten years before they released Happiness Begins in 2019. It gave the group their third #1 album and third platinum release. It also featured their biggest hit to date, the #1 song “Sucker.” In addition to debuting atop the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., it reached the pinnacle in seven other countries. It became the most-heard song on American radio in 2019. SF

It is a “rollicking pop-rock jam…about an infatuation…The lovesick brothers are so obsessed with the girl it makes them do crazy stuff like dancing on top of cars. Still, they are proud to be suckers for their love.” SF

One of the song’s co-writers was Ryan Tedder. He had success with his group One Republic, reaching the top ten with “Apologize” (2007), “Good Life” (2010), “Counting Stars” (2013), and “I Ain’t Worried” (2022). He’d also accumulated writing credits on songs by Adele, Beyoncé, Camila Cabello, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Lopez, Maroon 5, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, and others.


First posted 4/11/2024.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper hit #1 with “Shallow”


Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper

Writer(s): Lady Gaga/Andrew Wyatt/Anthony Rossomando/Mark Ronson (see lyrics here)

Released: September 27, 2018

First Charted: October 13, 2018

Peak: 11 US, 18 RR, 110 DG, 2 AC, 2 A40, 12 UK, 11 CN, 15 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.6 UK, 10.2 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1265.4 video, 2151.84 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

A Star Is Born first made it to the movie screen in 1937 and was remade in 1954, 1976, and 2018. The movie focuses on the romance between what Spin magazine’s Maggie Serota called “a grizzled, whiskey-throated troubadour” WK and his up-and-coming protégé. The most recent adaption starred Bradley Cooper, who also directed, and Lady Gaga.

The song “Shallow” is pivotal in the movie. Ally (Gaga) sings part of the song to Jackson Maine (Cooper) after sharing her musical dreams with him. When he invites her to one of his shows, he begins the song onstage and coaxes her out of the wings to join him in a duet. The performance, which was filmed in the movie at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, Calfornia in front of a live audience, launches Ally’s career.

On Beats 1, Gaga explained the song is part of the reason her character and Jackson fall in love. WK “It’s two people talking to each other about the need and the drive to dive into the deep end and stay away from the shallow area.” SF The recording features Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, on acoustic guitar as well as other members of his Promise of the Real band.

Maeve McDermott from the Chicago Sun-Times said the track elevated the movie “from normal blockbuster fare to a masterwork of the form.” WK The New York Times’ Jon Pareles praised Gaga for her “throaty and breathy to full-scale belting.” WK Spotify called it the movie’s “hero song,” saying it was the first to really delve into the “dangers of Hollywood, fame, and stardom.” WK

The song rebounded on the charts leaping from #21 to #1 after Gaga and Cooper gave what Billboard’s Aly Semigran called “a perfect Oscar performance” at the Academy Awards. WK She said “their chemistry on stage was just as electric as it was on the big screen” and that it “launched a thousand ‘OMG’s on Twitter.” WK It hit #1 in over twenty countries and won the Oscar for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song. WK It also won Grammys for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media and was nominated for Record and Song of the Year. The song’s 45 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 were the most ever for an Oscar winner for best original song. SF


First posted 3/20/2020; last updated 7/19/2023.