The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69884   Message #1190807
Posted By: Blackcatter
21-May-04 - 11:54 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Day after Day It's Slippin' Away (Shango)
Subject: RE: Tune Req: anyone remember this '60s hit?
The Billboard charts (the Top 40 is part of the Hot 100 - the 40 highest ranking songs on the Hot 100) were, until 1998, based on sales, juke box play and national radio airplay. In 1998 there was a change and for the first time, airplay alone could determine whether a song made it into the Hot 100, but it took 2 years before a song hit #1 without any sales stats.

The HOT 100 was created specifically to merge the information of the previous "The Best Sellers In Stores," "Most Played By Jockeys" & "Most Played In Jukeboxes" into one chart and made its debut on August 4, 1958. That makes the charts to be only 1/3 based on airplay.

Airplay is certainly important, but it was only one way that people would learn about the songs - TV and the variety shows gave some groups an immdiate national audience, especially in the rural areas where pop radio station might not exist. The jukebox market was also huge - especially since the popularity of the records in jukeboxes had little to do with what DJs liked. The Billboard people knew early on that they had a more useful product (the charts) if they based it heavily on what the average listener wanted rather than what a few DJs played over and over.

This is what allowed performers such as Elvis and the early Mowtown groups to have big hits even though many radio stations wouldn't play their songs. My Mom grew up in the late 50s in San Bernardino CA - she and her friends listened to the records of many of the early black artists, but they didn't have a radio station that would play those artists because of racism.