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Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Top 50 Songs from 2010-2016

Posted 7/31/2016.

This list was originally posted in response to a VH1 countdown of The Top 100 Songs of the 2000s. That list and 64 others were consolidated into an aggregate DMDB list along with points in the overall Dave’s Music Database, sales figures, chart performances, and awards. It has been updated several times since.

When a title was recognized as the Song of the Year, it is noted with a code following the song. A key to the codes is at the bottom of the page.

1. Rolling in the Deep…Adele (2010) BB, DM, G-R, G-S, RS, SS
2. Uptown Funk!… Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars (2014) DM, G-R
3. Love the Way You Lie…Eminem with Rihanna (2010) VF
4. Somebody That I Used to Know…Gotye with Kimbra (2011) BB, DM, G-R, VF
5. Gangnam Style…Psy (2012) DM, PC
6. Blurred Lines…Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell Williams (2013) DM, VF, PC
7. Happy…Pharrell Williams (2013) BB, PC
8. Hello…Adele (2015) DM
9. Call Me Maybe…Carly Rae Jepsen (2011)
10. Party Rock Anthem… LMFAO with Lauren Bennett & GoonRock (2011) PC

11. Just the Way You Are (Amazing)…Bruno Mars (2010)
12. Someone Like You…Adele (2011) Q, SS
13. Roar…Katy Perry (2013)
14. All About That Bass…Meghan Trainor (2014) BB, VF
15. Dark Horse…Katy Perry with Juicy J (2013)
16. Shake It Off…Taylor Swift (2014) PC
17. See You Again…Wiz Khalifa with Charlie Puth (2015)
18. Blank Space…Taylor Swift (2014)
19. Moves Like Jagger…Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera (2011)
20. Firework…Katy Perry (2010) PC

21. Thrift Shop…Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Wanz (2012) BB
22. All of Me…John Legend (2013)
23. Royals…Lorde (2013) G-S
24. Thinking Out Loud…Ed Sheeran (2014) G-S
25. We Are Young…Fun. with Janelle Monae (2011) G-S
26. Stay with Me…Sam Smith (2014) DM, G-R, G-S
27. We Found Love…Rihanna with Calvin Harris (2011) VF
28. Grenade…Bruno Mars (2010)
29. Baby…Justin Bieber with Ludacris (2010)
30. Fuck You (aka “Forget You”)…Cee-Lo Green (2010)

31. California Gurls…Katy Perry with Snoop Dogg (2010)
32. Get Lucky…Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams (2013) G-S, NME, RS
33. Counting Stars…One Republic (2013)
34. Radioactive…Imagine Dragons (2012)
35. Fancy…Iggy Azalea with Charli XCX (2014)
36. Wake Me Up!...Avicii with Aloe Blacc (2013)
37. Rude…Magic! (2013)
38. Let It Go…Idina Menzel (2013)
39. What Makes You Beautiful…One Direction (2011)
40. Chandelier…Sia (2014)

41. Give Me Everthing…Pitbull with Ne-Yo, Afrojack, & Nayer (2011)
42. Only Girl in the World…Rihanna (2010)
43. Sorry…Justin Bieber (2015)
44. On the Floor…Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull (2011)
45. Diamonds…Rihanna (2012)
46. Let Her Go…Passenger (2012)
47. One More Night…Maroon 5 (2012)
48. Love Me Like You Do…Ellie Goulding (2015)
49. Locked Out of Heaven…Bruno Mars (2012)
50. Just Give Me a Reason…Pink with Nate Ruess (2012)


Songs Which Won Year-End Awards But Didn’t Make the Top 50:
  • Best of Friends…Palma Violets (2012) NME
  • Can’t Feel My Face…The Weeknd (2015) RS
  • Do I Wanna Know?...Arctic Monkeys (2013) Q
  • Drunk in Love… BeyoncĂ© with Jay-Z (2013) RS
  • Hold On…Alabama Shakes (2012) RS
  • Ill Manors…Plan B (2012) Q
  • Pass Out…Tinie Tempah (2010) Q
  • Runaway…Kanye West with Pusha T (2010) RS
  • Seasons (Waiting on You)…Future Islands (2014) NME
  • Shutdown…Skepta (2015) NME
  • Spanish Sahara…Foals (2010) NME
  • Video Games…Lana Del Rey (2011) NME
  • What Do You Mean?...Justin Bieber (2015) VF

Key to the Codes:

Song of the Year, 1900-2016

This page was created to get snapshots of each year and its big hit songs. However, the task became cumbersome and was better served as part of individual decade pages. As such, you can find the “Song of the Year” winners by clicking on any of the badges below:


These are the year-end awards noted on the pages above:
  • BB: Billboard magazine song of the year
  • CB: Cashbox song of the year, 1950-1996
  • DM: Dave’s Music Database
  • EG: Gardner, Edward Foote. Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century (book)
  • G-R: Grammy for Record of the Year
  • G-S: Grammy for Song of the Year
  • MJ: Mojo magazine song of the year, 1955-2005. Based on aggregated Mojo lists.
  • VF: MusicFV.com
  • NME: NME magazine song of the year, 1953-2008. Based on aggregation of NME lists and year-end lists.
  • PC: PopCultureMadness.com
  • Q: Q magazine, 1954-2013. Determined by year-end polls and highest-ranked song on aggregate of Q lists.
  • RS: Rolling Stone magazine, determined by year-end polls and highest-ranked song on aggregate of RS lists.
  • SS: Sullivan, Steve. Top 100 Songs from 1897-1956
  • TS: TSORT Song of the Year, 1900-1949
  • JW: Whitburn, Joel. A Century of Pop Music, 1900-1999 (book)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

7/30/1949: Perry Como hits #1 with “Some Enchanted Evening”

image from deezer.com


Perry Como with the Mitchell Ayres Orchestra “Some Enchanted Evening”


Writer(s): Oscar Hammerstein II/ Richard Rodgers (see lyrics here)

First charted: 4/30/1949

Peak: 15 US, 110 HP, 11 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: The famed Broadway team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein had hits with Oklahoma! and Carousel before finding monstrous success with their musical South Pacific, based on James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific - a collection of nineteen World War II Navy stories. With 69 weeks at #1, the cast album has spent more weeks atop the Billboard album charts than any other album. SS-610

At least part of that success is due to “Some Enchanted Evening,” “the single biggest popular hit to come out of any Rodgers and Hammerstein show.” WK Opera star Ezio Pinza, who played French planter Emile de Becque in the original Broadway production, sings the song to navy nurse Nellie Forbush as a declaration of love. Pinza won the Tony Award for Best Actor for his performance. He also took his version of the song to #7 on the charts, selling a million copies along the way. JA-176

However, Perry Como had the greatest success with his #1 version of the song, hitting the charts on April 30, 1949, just weeks after the show had debuted on Broadway. It was Como’s sixth time at the top and his eighth song to sell at least a million copies. PM-98 In addition to Como and Pinza, five other acts charted with their 1949 recordings of the song – Bing Crosby (#3), John Laurenz (#28), Frank Sinatra (#6), Jo Stafford (#4), and Paul Weston (#9). When the musical was made into a film version, Rossano Brazzi took on the role of Emile while Giorgio Tozzi dubbed the singing. His version of “Some Enchanted Evening” was ranked #28 on the American Film Institute’s “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs” list. WK

Others who have recorded the song include Harry Connick Jr., Bob Dylan, Art Garfunkel, Jay & the Americans (#13, 1965), Al Jolson, Willie Nelson, Barbra Streisand, the Temptations, and Andy Williams. WK The song was also featured on The Muppet Show (1977, sung by Bert to Connie Stevens), in the movie American Graffiti (1978, sung by Harrison Ford), and on the TV show Ally McBeal (2002, sung by Jon Bon Jovi). WK


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 27, 1940: Frank Sinatra Hits #1 for the First Time


Frank Sinatra (at the mike) with Tommy Dorsey (left) and His Orchestra

Ruth Lowe was a pianist with Ina Ray Hutton’s all-girl orchestra when she composed this song about the death of her husband, just a few months after their marriage. TY Believing in the song’s potential, she staked out Tommy Dorsey’s several-night engagement at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition in September 1939. She finally got Carmen Mastren, the band’s guitarist, to give her demo a listen. SS-373 Dorsey wasn’t initially swayed and passed the song on to Glenn Miller, who recorded a medium-tempo version, but it got overlooked. However, when Frank Sinatra came on board with Dorsey, they took another stab at recording it. SS-373

Sinatra had recorded with Harry James and His Orchestra in 1939, including the eventual #1 song “All Or Nothing at All.” However, those recordings didn’t chart until 1943 and 1944. When vocalist Jack Leonard parted ways with Dorsey in 1939, Dorsey was looking for a replacement. When Dorsey and James ended up at nearby gigs in Chicago, Dorsey sent someone to talk to Sinatra. James knew Sinatra, whose wife Nancy was pregnant, needed the money and agreed to let Sinatra work with Dorsey. SS-373

Sinatra’s first recording session with Dorsey in February 1940 led to Dorsey’s 100th chart entry, “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” and the first taste of the charts for Sinatra. They charted a couple of more times before they struck gold with the “unabashedly sentimental ballad” SS-373 “I’ll Never Smile Again.” Down Beat magazine called it “the most sensational Tin Pan Alley hit of the year.” SS-373

It was Dorsey’s fourteenth trip to the top and the biggest hit of his career. PM-136 As Sinatra’s maiden voyage to the pinnacle, it “made him a national heartthrob virtually overnight.” SS-373 He would hit #1 eleven times total, but this was his most successful song. It also bore the distinction of being the first #1 on Billboard’s best-selling chart. TY It also marked a shift from the “swing era” to the “sing era” when “the vocalists, not the bands and their leaders, were kings”. TY Previously, vocalists were generally limited to one chorus. TY


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Awards:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

7/26/1913: ”When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” tops the charts

image from davidneale.eu


Chauncey Olcott “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”


Writer(s): Chauncey Olcott/ George Graff Jr./ Ernest R. Ball (see lyrics here)

First charted: 6/21/1913

Peak: 17 US, 1 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US (sheet music sales)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: In 1912, tributes like this one to a romanticized Ireland were common in America as well as England. This one in particular, though, became a favorite of Irish immigrants in the pre-World War I years RCG and has become a perennial St. Patrick’s Day fave. JA-210 Amusingly, this “waltz-like tune” RCG was written by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff Jr. with music by Ernest Ball – none of whom were Irish. SF Of course, many American-born citizens have Irish ancestry, including Olcott, whose mother was born in Ireland. SF

Olcott introduced the song when he sang it in his 1913 Broadway production of The Isle O’Dreams, which was based on a play set in Ireland. SF While the show opened and closed in under a month, SF Olcott’s commercial recording of the song was a hit, topping the charts that summer. Harry MacDonough would also take the song to the top five that year. Four years later, during World War I, John McCormack recorded the song again and took it to #4.

The song was used as the opener for Duffy’s Tavern, a radio show which ran from 1941 to 1951. WK It was revived in Irish Eyes Are Smiling, a 1944 biopic about Ernest Ball, and in 1947 for the Olcott biopic My Wild Irish Rose. JA-210 It became a favorite again years later when Morton Downey sang it more than a thousand times on the air on his radio show. RCG The song has been recorded on more than 200 singles and albums and performed by singers such as Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Connie Francis, Roger Whittaker, and Frank Sinatra.

In 1985, the song garnered attention when U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney convened for a summit on St. Patrick’s Day. The two jointly sang “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” which caused the Canadian press to extensively criticize Mulroney. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):


Saturday, July 23, 2016

7/23/1904: Billy Murray hits #1 with “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis”

image from past-o-rama.tumblr.com


Billy Murray “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis”


Writer(s): Arthur B. Sterling, Kerry Mills (see lyrics here)

First charted: 7/23/1904

Peak: 19 US, #12 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: In 1904, the world shone a light on St. Louis. In celebration of the centential of the Louisiana Purchase, the U.S. “Gateway to the West” became the stage for two major parties – the World’s Fair and the third modern Olympic Games. Composer Kerry Mills (“At a Georgia Camp Meeting,” “Red Wing”) and lyricist Andrew Sterling (“Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie,” “When My Baby Smiles at Me”) capitalized on the city’s popularity by penning what what would become the exposition’s theme song. TR-295

According to Mills and Sterling, the idea for the song came when they ordered a drink called a Louis and had it served to them by a bartender named Louis. They crafted a story of Flossie, a housewife who bolts for the World’s Fair in St. Louis, leaving a note behind for her husband, Louis. RCG He discovers, “The dresses that hung in the hall/ Were gone, she had taken them all/ She took all his rings/ And the rest of his things.” In her note, Flossie says, “We will dance the Hoochie-Koochie/ I Will be your Tootsie-Wootsie/ If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis/ Meet me at the Fair.”

In an era when songs when commercial recordings were sometimes held off until sheet music sales proved a song’s worth, “Louis” enjoyed success on both fronts simultaneously. Certainly the timeliness of the event helped, but it also didn’t hurt that it was Billy Murray who crooned the tune. He was “the greatest star of the recording industry’s pioneer recording era.” SS-434 His biographers said, “his greatest talent was casting himself as Everyman in his recordings…Murray [always] managed to come across as a member of the crowd…forging an empathetic bond with the average American citizen.” SS-434

He took the song to #1 in 1904. That same year, S.H. Dudley and J.W. Myers went top 5 with their versions. Songs about famous events were commonplace then, but most had a short life. However, this song found its way into stage revues and “became a vaudeville standard in hundreds of acts.” RCG It was also featured in movies such as The Strawberry Blonde (1941) and By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). Judy Garland immortalized the song when she performed it for the 1944 movie of the same name and took the song back to the charts, reaching #22.


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):


Monday, July 11, 2016

Radio Hall of Fame

image from tdogmedia.com

As the website says, the mission of the National Radio Hall of Fame & Museum is to “recognize and showcase contemporary talent from today’s diverse programming formats, as well as the pioneers who shaped the medium during its infancy.” It was formed by broadcaster Bruce DuMont. Its first class of inductees was in 1988. There are various categories, but I only list the music/variety (MV) and disc jockey (DJ) inductees from 1988 to 2016.

  • Gene Autry (MV)
  • Dick Bartley (DJ)
  • Martin Block (DJ)
  • Dick Biondi (DJ)
  • Dick Clark (DJ)
  • Jack L. Cooper (DJ)
  • Bing Crosby (MV)
  • Yvonne Daniels (DJ)
  • Rick Dees (DJ)
  • Tommy Dorsey (MV)
  • Dr. Demento (MV)
  • Elvis Duran (DJ)
  • Ralph Edwards (MV)
  • Ralph Emery (DJ)
  • Alan Freed (DJ)
  • Blair Garner (DJ)
  • Arthur Godfrey (MV)
  • Benny Goodman (MV)
  • Karl Haas (DJ)
  • Terri Hemment (DJ)
  • Dan Ingram (DJ)
  • Hal Jackson (DJ)
  • Tom Joyner (DJ)
  • Casey Kasem (DJ)
  • Murray “The K” Kaufman (DJ)
  • Garrison Keillor (MV)
  • Herb Kent (DJ)
  • Kay Kyser (MV)
  • Art Laboe (DJ)
  • Larry Lujack (DJ)
  • Marian McPartland (MV)
  • Robert W. Morgan (DJ)
  • Bruce Morrow (DJ)
  • Scott Muni (DJ)
  • Gary Owens (DJ)
  • Chuck Schaden (MV)
  • Scott Shannon (DJ)
  • Kate Smith (MV)
  • Charlie Tuna (DJ)
  • Ed Walker (MV)
  • Wendy Williams (DJ)
  • William B. Williams (DJ)
  • Dick Wittinghill (DJ)
  • Wolfman Jack (DJ)

Resources:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

First posted December 13, 2012. Updated July 5, 2016.

Gershwin Prize, image from loc.gov

The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was created by the Library of Congress in 2007. As explained on the site, it is given to celebrate “the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding. The styles in which these works are composed reflect myriad contemporary traditions like rock, jazz, country, pop, blues, folk, and gospel. The recipient – whether composer, singer/songwriter, or interpreter – is recognized for entertaining and informing audiences, for drawing upon the acknowledged foundations of popular song, and for inspiring new generations of performers on their own professional journeys.” The Library of Congress selects the recipient in consultation with a board consisting of members which may include music critics, performers, producers, scholars, and songwriters. The award was named after the brother/composer team of George and Ira Gershwin.


Resources:

Friday, July 1, 2016

7/1/1944: Bing Crosby hits the charts with “I’ll Be Seeing You”

image from pinterest.com


Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra “I’ll Be Seeing You”


Writer(s): Irving Kahal/ Sammy Fain (see lyrics here)

First charted: 4/22/1944

Peak: 14 US, 12 GA, 110 HP, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: Tamara Drasin introduced this “torch ballad” TY-115 about a Parisian love affair in the Broadway musical Right This Way in 1938. The show was a failure, closing after a mere 15 performances. WK Like the musical, the song was initially overlooked. Frank Sinatra recorded it with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra in 1940, but it didn’t take off at the time. SS-604

In 1944, the song became an inspiration for a film. The movie, named after the song, starred Joseph Cotton and Ginger Rogers as a couple who meet on a train. Both have secrets. She had been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and he was on leave from a military hospital trying to adjust to daily life after suffering from shell shock. WK

By recasting the song as a war anthem, the song was given new meaning through the perspective of “a soldier who saw the image of his beloved in everything around him.” SS-604 In this new context, Bing Crosby, who ruled the music charts and won an Oscar that year for his performance in Going My Way, recorded the song and took it to #1. As Will Friedwald said, “No other singer could so effectively portray so ineffable a sense of absence and loss.” SS-604 It became the go-to song for couples separated by war. MM-166

At that point, the Dorsey/Sinatra version resurfaced and went to #4. Over the years, Judy Collins, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Willie Nelson, and Neil Sedaka have also sung it. MM-166 Liberace used it as his closing theme for many years. MM-166 The song was referenced in an episode of The Honeymooners and was used in episodes of TV shows Get Smart, Designing Women, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Beavis and Butt-head. It was also used in the movies Yanks (1979), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Misery (1990), Shining Through (1992), The Aviator (2004), and The Notebook (2004). Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra performed it on the final episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):


7/1/1950: The Weavers chart with “Goodnight Irene”

image from freecodesource.com


The Weavers “Goodnight Irene”


Writer(s): Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter (see lyrics here)

First charted: 7/1/1950

Peak: 113 US, 14 HP, 110 CA, 16 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): 1.0 Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: Tasked by the Library of Congess with making field recordings, John and Alan Lomax traveled throughout the American South to capture prison hollers and folk ballads. In 1933, they crossed paths with Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, In Angola, Louisiana. He was 42 and serving his third stint in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. SS-747 He “sang spirituals, popular songs, field and prison hollers, cowboy and children’s songs, dance tunes and folk ballads, as well as his own compositions.” NRR As John Szwed wrote, he was “a man with a vast repertoire of traditional material and…such performing flair that he seemed to give off light when he sang.” SS-747

Leadbelly’s best-known song, “Goodnight Irene,” NRR was used “to open and close most of his concerts, in a conscious attempt to soften his rough-hewn image.” NPR’99 John Lomax and Leadbelly took writing credits on the song, but it actually can be traced to African-American composer Gussie L. Davis, SS-747 who, according to Charles Wolfe and Kip Lornell in The Life and Legend of Leadbelly, first published the sentimental waltz in Cincinnati in 1886 and again in New York in 1892. JA-67

Wolf and Lornell say Leadbelly would have learned the song in 1908 in his native Texas from his uncle Terrell. SS-747 He reworked it to “fit his performing needs, accompanied as always by his Stella 12-string guitar.” SS-747

By the early 1940s, the song “was very familiar to everyone in the folk community.” SS-747 Pete Seeger, of the Weavers, had befriended Leadbelly and knew first-hand the power of the song to captivate an audience. His group’s recording of the song, complete with “violins and other orchestra touches provided by Gordon Jenkins,” SS-747 divided folk purists but made for a monstrously successful commercial recording, hitting #1 in 1950, just months after Leadbelly’s death. Red Foley, Jo Stafford, and Ernest Tubb had top ten versions of the song as well; it has also been recorded by Eric Clapton and Frank Sinatra.


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Award(s):