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August 6, 2018 2:29 pm  #1


Radio station music charts

I've always wondered about radio station music charts. Did music directors really call each and every record store to find out the sales numbers? Or if it was just a sampling of stores, how was it decided which stores were chosen for the sampling? Getting the figures alone would be labour-intensive, but nothing compared to the task of adding up all the figures in that pre-computer age and sorting them into a ranking. I imagine it must have been tempting on a busy week, and close to deadline, just to make up some of it. Just saying.

Did anybody here ever put together a radio station music chart, or know how it was done? Please share. There would probably be some good stories.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

August 7, 2018 10:40 am  #2


Re: Radio station music charts

Never personally 'did' it.  Had my APD handle it...after my GM originally set it up 'cause he had the better contacts based on experience and tenure.

We had 3 prime stores, in various parts of town, we contacted weekly.  We charted a 20/20 countdown...the Top 20 singles and, more importantly,  the Top 20 albums because by the late 70s...into the 80s L.P.s were significantly more important in terms of telling the story than mere singles and to only gauge 45s was untrue to the listening buyer's reality.  Of course in the late 80s
early 90s...L.P.s began to re-assume the backseat as Barbie Doll/Ken Doll muzac began to dominate thanks to payola and the corporate fear that playing music which made the audience THINK was a bad idea.  Hundreds of songs were struck from playlists after 9/11.  Why?  Republicans are simple-simon arsewipists who should never be given the keys to anything important..

 

August 7, 2018 10:44 am  #3


Re: Radio station music charts

geo wrote:

Excellent question, Mr. Patterson.     Likewise nostalgia radio.    What does one think of when the year 1980 is musically recalled?    "Another Brick in the Wall" (Pink Floyd) that stayed at #1 for four (4) weeks?   Or "Another One bites the Dust" (Queen) that was #1 for three (3) weeks?     

This morning's Top Ten at Ten on AM 740 ignored those in favor of tunes such as "Sailing" (Chris Cross), "Shining Star" (Manhattans) and "Cupid" (Spinners).     In a more recent post, the board moderator asks "how to fix what's wrong" . . . could credibility bring some back?       

They either have a dominating female audience or...as is usually the case when it comes to radio 'polls'...they're lying.  Sailing I can see.  It's a true contender.  The other 2?  Come ON!!!  Bullshit.  [unless only women are voting.]
 

 

August 7, 2018 10:45 am  #4


Re: Radio station music charts

geo wrote:

Excellent question, Mr. Patterson.     Likewise nostalgia radio.    What does one think of when the year 1980 is musically recalled?    "Another Brick in the Wall" (Pink Floyd) that stayed at #1 for four (4) weeks?   Or "Another One bites the Dust" (Queen) that was #1 for three (3) weeks?     

This morning's Top Ten at Ten on AM 740 ignored those in favor of tunes such as "Sailing" (Chris Cross), "Shining Star" (Manhattans) and "Cupid" (Spinners).     In a more recent post, the board moderator asks "how to fix what's wrong" . . . could credibility bring some back?       

They're playing the top hits from August 1980. "Another One Bites The Dust" didn't peak until October of that year after debuting on the Hot 100 on August 16. "Another Brick in the Wall" peaked in January 1980 and had left the charts by August.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
     Thread Starter
 

August 9, 2018 12:30 pm  #5


Re: Radio station music charts

Dale Patterson wrote:

I've always wondered about radio station music charts. Did music directors really call each and every record store to find out the sales numbers? Or if it was just a sampling of stores, how was it decided which stores were chosen for the sampling? Getting the figures alone would be labour-intensive, but nothing compared to the task of adding up all the figures in that pre-computer age and sorting them into a ranking. I imagine it must have been tempting on a busy week, and close to deadline, just to make up some of it. Just saying.

Did anybody here ever put together a radio station music chart, or know how it was done? Please share. There would probably be some good stories.

I used to do one for CKAR in Oshawa back around 1981 - 1983 or so; Dan Wilmott was the PD, and a really good one at that.  I used to have a list of the 7 main record stores in town at the time, and once a week I'd call the manager at each store and ask them to rank the sales on a particular 45 from 1-5.  By the end, every song would have a score somewhere between 0 and 35, and I'd sort 'em in order, research the tracks and write the script, then hand it off to Tarzan Dan for voicetracking - mind you, he was "Mike Daniels" in those days.

Can't remember what we did to break ties, though.

Last edited by Neil Hedley (August 9, 2018 12:31 pm)

 

August 9, 2018 12:38 pm  #6


Re: Radio station music charts

Dale Patterson wrote:

geo wrote:

Excellent question, Mr. Patterson.     Likewise nostalgia radio.    What does one think of when the year 1980 is musically recalled?    "Another Brick in the Wall" (Pink Floyd) that stayed at #1 for four (4) weeks?   Or "Another One bites the Dust" (Queen) that was #1 for three (3) weeks?     

This morning's Top Ten at Ten on AM 740 ignored those in favor of tunes such as "Sailing" (Chris Cross), "Shining Star" (Manhattans) and "Cupid" (Spinners).     In a more recent post, the board moderator asks "how to fix what's wrong" . . . could credibility bring some back?       

They're playing the top hits from August 1980. "Another One Bites The Dust" didn't peak until October of that year after debuting on the Hot 100 on August 16. "Another Brick in the Wall" peaked in January 1980 and had left the charts by August.

Not surprisingly, Dale is 100% correct.  Top Ten at Ten is ALWAYS the songs from THIS WEEK in whatever year we decide to profile.  Sometimes, admittedly, the chart itself is a hybrid of the Hot 100 and the CHUM Chart simply to breathe some fresh air into it.

Only exception in our methodology is the Friday Top Ten at Ten, which is the #1 song from this week in different years. So tomorrow, it'll be ten different songs that were all #1 on August 10th... which continues over to The Next Eleven at Eleven.

 

August 9, 2018 7:47 pm  #7


Re: Radio station music charts

A question for you Neil.

I was listening to your countdown on holiday Monday in the car and you were on the segment after the top 10 and the year was 1967, a personal fave. I was able to listen to four or five songs and then out of the car. My question is that after song  #22 I believe you played two chart extras and I did not recognize the songs, both were in the pop/country vein and did not sound like they were from 1967 more like Ann Murray and Olivia Newton John. What were those songs ?
 


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August 10, 2018 9:57 am  #8


Re: Radio station music charts

Neil Hedley wrote:

     Top Ten at Ten is ALWAYS the songs from THIS WEEK in whatever year we decide to profile.  Sometimes, admittedly, the chart itself is a hybrid of the Hot 100 and the CHUM Chart simply to breathe some fresh air into it.  

Speaking of hybrids, neither Sailing by Chris Cross, Shining Star by the Manhattans or Cupid by the Spinners EVER charted on 1050 CHUM.       All three did chart Billboard Top 40 (arguably a more relevant chart for AM 740 listeners than the Hot 100) -- Sailing peaked in July of '80 and both Shining Star and Cupid in May of that year.       
 

 

August 10, 2018 11:38 am  #9


Re: Radio station music charts

Ms. C. wrote:

Neil Hedley wrote:

     Top Ten at Ten is ALWAYS the songs from THIS WEEK in whatever year we decide to profile.  Sometimes, admittedly, the chart itself is a hybrid of the Hot 100 and the CHUM Chart simply to breathe some fresh air into it.  

Speaking of hybrids, neither Sailing by Chris Cross, Shining Star by the Manhattans or Cupid by the Spinners EVER charted on 1050 CHUM.       All three did chart Billboard Top 40 (arguably a more relevant chart for AM 740 listeners than the Hot 100) -- Sailing peaked in July of '80 and both Shining Star and Cupid in May of that year.       
 

There's no such thing as the "Billboard Top 40." There's the "Billboard Hot 100" but they don't publish a separate Top 40 chart because it would be the same songs one through 40.

Most likely those songs didn't chart on CHUM because they didn't play them. Why would they chart a song not on their playlist?


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
     Thread Starter
 

August 10, 2018 1:34 pm  #10


Re: Radio station music charts

Our little group meets Thursdays & Fridays for lunch and then to play along with the FACE THE MUSIC game on (where else?) AM-740.    Norm Edwards & Ben Mercer.    As a no. of our members lurk at the SOWNY site, the decision was made at 1:00 to audit (for lack of a better term) the NUMBER ONES at 1:00 selections.     Being seniors, our references were Ron Hall's CHUM CHART book and the Billboard top 40 book (which may be an illusion according to the previous post, however if one is only looking up number 1's, then it should do the job.   No?    

Eleven tunes were heard between 1:00 & 2:00.     Of the eleven, three were by domestic divas Jan Aarden, Sarah McLachlan and Shania Twain.    Those were obviously included to cover the broadcasters arse as to CanCon.     Anyhow, their chart positioning couldn't be verified given our meagre resource.
Of the remaining eight Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka, Unchained Melody by the Righteous Bros. and I'll be There by the Jackson 5 had at least one #1 position.

Of the remaining five tunes, none (not a single one) had even one #1 position.   These were, Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis, Holly Holy by Neil Diamond, Stuck on You by Lionel Richie, All by Myself by Eric Carmen and I'll Never Fall in Love by Dionne Warwick.

It doesn't mean anything.      All for pastime, just like FACE THE MUSIC with Norm and Ben is solely for pastime.      
 

 

August 10, 2018 3:02 pm  #11


Re: Radio station music charts

=12px>> Anyhow, their chart positioning couldn't be verified given our meagre resource.

If any one of you has a cell phone, you can Google it.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
     Thread Starter
 

August 11, 2018 5:02 am  #12


Re: Radio station music charts

AM 740 listeners should not be allowed anywhere near a computer

 

August 11, 2018 3:09 pm  #13


Re: Radio station music charts

Dale Patterson wrote:

Ms. C. wrote:

Neil Hedley wrote:

      

Speaking of hybrids, neither Sailing by Chris Cross, Shining Star by the Manhattans or Cupid by the Spinners EVER charted on 1050 CHUM.       All three did chart Billboard Top 40 (arguably a more relevant chart for AM 740 listeners than the Hot 100) -- Sailing peaked in July of '80 and both Shining Star and Cupid in May of that year.       
 

Most likely those songs didn't chart on CHUM because they didn't play them. Why would they chart a song not on their playlist?

Well, that was one of the games CHUM played during the late 70's to early 80's. Before computer monitoring the recording industry had to rely on playlists manually generated and submitted by each station's programmer. It was generally acknowledged that some stations reported and even charted songs that were not on their playlist simply to appease record reps and stay on their good side. 
Now, the case of those three tunes not charting on CHUM happened during a three-year period when they were trying to solidify their image as a rock-leaning station so tunes that were too bubblegum, funky, country, etc didn't make it on their playlist regardless of how well they were charting everywhere else. A couple examples of MIA's from the period were "Physical" from Olivia Newton-John, Funkytown by Lipps Inc, Endless Love Ross & Richie, "Superfreak" from Rick James as a small sampling. The only Christopher Cross tune they did play was "Ride Like the Wind" and "Rapper's Delight" did appear on their chart but to my knowledge was never played. During that time CHUM also charted a number of hard rock and alt rock tunes that didn't make it to most Top 40 radio station playlists.
By early '83, just in time to ride the "Thriller" wave, CHUM returned to a more mainstream Top 40 sound but in those intervening years, many would consider the credibility of their chart to have been compromised.

 

 

August 11, 2018 11:21 pm  #14


Re: Radio station music charts

Yes, i would agree with the above comments, particularly about the credibility of the CHUM Chart during those years. But re Christopher Cross, I do remember CHUM playing his 1983 hit All Right, which went to #5. This was after they returned to more mainstream Top 40 music. They also charted Say You'll Be Mine in 1981 ... I don't remember it that well, but they may have also played it.