I Got Five On It Edition

Listen to this episode

S1: Quibble on it to see I’m running.

S2: Welcome to Hit Parade, a podcast of pop chart history from Slate magazine about the hits from coast to coast. I’m Chris Molanphy, chart analyst, pop critic and writer of Slate’s. Why is this song number one serious? On today’s show in the 1995 Top Ten hit by Bay Area rap duo Loonies, recently revived by the Jordan Peele movie US Hook singer Michael Marshall sings. He’s got five on it. And in our own way, so do we. Hit Parade launched on the Slate Podcast Network five years ago this month. Happy half decade to us. You got it. In case you’re curious, loonies are, according to our hit parade rules, officially a one hit wonder. I got five on. It was their only top 40 hit on either the hot 100 or the R&B chart. And like so many Golden Era rap classics, the most memorable part of I Got Five on it is its song hook.

Advertisement

S3: Oh, gee. I got stuck.

S2: With these subjects. Rules for one hit wonders how rappers blend with singers are just a couple of the topics this podcast has tackled over the last five years. We really have covered quite a variety of stories and a range of illustrious hitmakers from early rock and soul legends to you. The Real Me. 2/21 Century Chart Titans. All this threat from the all time biggest hitmakers. Stand by me. Oh.

S1: And listen.

S2: To the acts who broke on the charts for just one shining.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Moment. You sit down with me.

S2: From R&B improvisers. See. To Country Crafts.

S1: Thunder Road. And the lightning strikes.

S2: Two alternative rockers turned pop superstars. That’s me in the corner. From Hit makers. Your hit parade host holds in very high esteem. Senate denied to act. Acts I could do without. Okay, Kevin, that’s enough. To celebrate our fifth anniversary. I asked you, the Hit Parade listeners, what your favorite episodes were and wow, did you all come through? We got hundreds of votes, dozens upon dozens of top five lists. I shouldn’t have been surprised because, of course, hit parade listeners like ranking things. And yeah, some of you voted for that blasted Bon Jovi episode. I really don’t blame you. It was a good episode. But in general, across the board, your tastes ranged widely from Beatles to Brittany Swift to Springsteen, Creedence to Cindy McCain. When. It warms my heart to know that our listeners collectively have tastes as eclectic as mine. And frankly, your votes were full of surprises. You really defied my expectations. Episodes that I thought would place highly in the voting. The ones that revolved around certain rock gods. That or certain pop goddess.

Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Your love for Christmas.

S2: Those did just okay in the voting whereas episodes about shorter lived hit makers. I with behind the scenes craftsmen. For seemingly marginal musical scenes.

S3: Just the of.

S2: Those episodes crushed in the rankings. Nice work. Team. Game Recognized. Game nerd. Recognized. Nerd Boy Heyday. Everybody’s rockin today on Hit Parade. We will, as promised, count down the podcast’s most beloved episodes as ranked by you. But I’ll also be sharing some of what this half decade experiment in pop chart podcasting crossed with music criticism has revealed both to you and to me. Sure, the stories about big number one hits are exciting and illuminating. But the stories about number 99 hits, those have something to teach us to be loud. You. Or the number 62 hits that are remade into number 34 hits that eventually become number one hits maybe. These are the stories I wanted to tell on this podcast, and it all started in the early months of 2017 a rather dark time for American culture, a fairly quirky time for current pop. And as it turned out, a pretty good time to launch a chart history podcast. And that’s where your hit parade marches today. The week ending April 29th, 2017, when this Ed Sheeran song, Shape of You was number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. By the way, my sincere congratulations to Ed for beating that frivolous copyright lawsuit last week and that same week in 2017, hit Parade’s Pilot episode launched on the Slate Podcast Network. 56 episodes later, we’ve covered a lot of chart history. Now we’re going to recap what we’ve learned and count down what you’ve loved. There won’t be much Ed Sheeran, but the songs will be at least this catchy. So put on a party hat and help me celebrate. Hit parade’s fifth birthday. We are finally old enough for kindergarten.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Thank you. Every day discover is something brand new. I’m in love with your body.

S2: This is our first regular hit parade episode that’s composed largely of material from previous episodes. However, it is hardly the first time I’ve made reference to our prior work. If you’ve been listening to this show long enough, you’ve undoubtedly heard me say some version of this.

S1: Low budget boogity bang bang in the beginning of the beat.

S2: We talked about the seminal Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang three years ago. In our Def Jams edition of Hit Parade. We’ve talked about the chart topping jump on prior episodes of Hit in past episodes of Hit Parade. I have talked about the chart revolution brought about by the launch of SoundScan. We talked about Olivia Newton-John in our prior country hit parade episode, and we talked about The Archies in our Creedence Clearwater Revival episode. We’ve talked about Phil Spector in several prior episodes of hits like the seminal I Feel Love, which we talked about in our Donna Summer episode of Hit Parade in our Christmas 2019 episode of Hit Parade. We talked about how the elusive chantiers pulled off the coup.

Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Whoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

S2: My listeners have definitely taken notice of this habit of mine. This tic where I reference prior episodes of the show in the spring of 2021, Twitter user Travis Ryan joked, quote, Recent episodes would be 5 to 10% shorter if references to earlier episodes were cut, unquote. He then went on, I’m not saying they should be cut. Just pointing out that this has become quite a body of work. Another user at Richard 2001 chimed in on Twitter to say, quote, Even as someone who has listened to all hit parade shows, I appreciate the cross referencing, unquote. In a separate Twitter thread some months later, another user noted that it’s as if I am building a kind of pop history textbook one reference at a time. Over the course of nearly five dozen episodes, I have made these cross-references to show how Hitmaking artists and hit songs are in dialogue with each other across the ages. How Bruce Springsteen had Phil Spector on the Brain when he recorded Born to Run. How Taylor Swift in the Tens might have looked back to Olivia Newton-John in the seventies to see how another left field country artist gradually shifted toward pop music. How the mastermind behind Milli Vanilli might have drawn inspiration from other faux and even cartoon groups like Steam or The Archies. How Mariah Carey’s Improbable Spotify Fueled Christmas Chart. Success is now spreading to other veteran acts like Brenda.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party. Mistletoe hung where you can see. Try this stuff.

S2: So sure, there is some kind of pop history text we’re building here. I am pleased when listeners grasp the larger project. The philosophy, if you will, behind Hip Parade. In fact, before I get to some of your comments, your favorite factoids and the countdown of your favorite episodes. Please indulge me while I provide my own top five list. Not of episodes. That’s too hard for me. They’re all like my children. Rather, I’m going to provide five, let’s call them Guiding Principles for Hit Parade. Admirably, several of you have already picked up on these principles just by listening to the show. Principle one The charts are full of great stories.

Advertisement

S1: Red, red, white. It’s up to you.

S2: Starting right from our pilot episode, which chronicled how this flop Neil Diamond song, a number 62 hit in 1968, traveled through Jamaica and over to England before becoming a number one trans-Atlantic hit for UB40. I have operated from the belief that the Billboard charts and other charts around the world are more than collections of statistics. They are snapshots of our culture. I’ve been asked by listeners why a show about the charts, actually. Often this question is not so much asked to me directly as implied. When one friend told me, quote, You should do a show about the band Killing Joke, I had to tell him Killing Joke didn’t have many chart hits. That would be a pretty short episode. Although shout out to love like blood because that song’s a jam. To me, the best chart stories come packed with biographical detail and cultural back story. Like, for example, when a former member of the band Genesis.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: You could have a school change if you. Your tracks.

S2: Not only topped the hot 100 in 1986, he did it by ejecting Genesis, his former band, from the number one spot on touch. That’s a great story. And it opens up a series of other stories like what prog rock was when this frontman was still with that band. How prog evolved into other forms of popular rock and pop, and how that evolution provided a platform for the drummer from Genesis to invent a drum sound that defined the 1980s. Yeah. Right. Or how about the story I just told last month of how a striving nightclub pianist and singer scored a number one hit thanks to a Clint Eastwood movie.

Advertisement

S1: The first.

S3: Time. Ever. I can’t. Do you? Oh.

S2: Which allows me to talk about not only the folk tradition that spawned that song, but first.

S1: I never saw your.

S2: But also how the chart topping version of that song opened up the hit parade to other black female singers making chart topping hits out of other funkier, leftfield songs by white creators. I. I often say you have to be a deep chart fanatic to write a show like Hit Parade. That’s my job. But you shouldn’t have to know anything about the charts to enjoy it. Mind you, I happen to be a lifelong chart geek from the days I first caught Casey Kasem on the radio.

Advertisement

S1: There is no keeping Kim Carnes down and returning to number one. Here she is with Bette Davis eyes.

S2: And so Hit Parade reflects the way I like to tell stories. And I am grateful that you all enjoy hearing these stories. As much as I like telling them. But even I will admit, the charts are an imperfect lens through which to view music history. Which brings me to my second hit, Parade Principal. Principle two charts work best when they reflect a musical spectrum. Me. The power of Billboard’s Hot 100 is its balance. Since its inception in 1958, the Hot 100 has always tracked at least two things sales of songs and radio airplay. Since 2012, it has also measured a third thing streaming music like Spotify. What this means is that in essence, this chart measures both passive and active musical fandom, both the music that surrounds us passively on the radio and in public spaces, and the music that hardcore fans actively seek out. So, for example. Said. Last year’s Song of the Summer Butter by Beats dominated the charts, largely thanks to the K-Pop boy bands hyperactive fan base, the Beats Army, who bought digital downloads of butter in droves. Whereas a band like, say, Maroon five like.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: You, the guy, the guys like me, you know, and the Gulf War pioneers.

S2: Does better on the radio, and its sales and streams are more modest. But both Bts’s and Maroon five are chart topping bands because the hot 100 balances both of these kinds of music consumption active and passive. Ideally, this balance extends to the kinds of music that appear on the chart.

S1: We?

S2: As I have told and retold several times on Hit Parade, not everybody loved the charts in the late seventies when disco seemed to be overtaking the radio. That led to an infamous backlash, including the notorious disco demolition night at Comiskey Park in Chicago, and to a corresponding so-called return to rock n roll. Now I happen to love both Sister Sledge and The Knack. But in 1979, they were on either side of a cultural turf war. And let’s not even get into the 79 rock fans who hated the knack. Or let’s flash forward a decade later, another moment of imbalance, the rise of rap, which was becoming the sound of young America. I’ve noted in several episodes how the charts weren’t accurately capturing the magnitude of hip hop’s popularity because rap sales were underreported by music retailers, and rap music was being underplayed by pop and even R&B radio programs.

S1: What’s up? Tell them what you’re from. Straight on. It comes in. A brother with his finger to take a coupon to take out. My brother gets big on the Rufus of you know it.

S2: After the creation of SoundScan, rap started topping the hot 100 and infusing itself into other forms of pop. As I noted in our singing rapper’s rapping singer’s episode, some of the best hits of the next three decades infused mainstream music with rap production and even hip hop vocal styles redefining how we listen to pop. You. You. My point is this. Charts work best. Indeed, popular music works best when there is balance among fandoms, genres, cultures, races. The reason 1971, the subject of a recent hit Parade episode sounded so awesome was that it encompassed both. This version of You’ve Got a friend.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: When the Strings Fall. Now all you’ve got and.

S2: This version of you’ve got a friend and. The reason why 1984 is lionized by music critics and the subject of a whole book is that the black acts for Rocking Out Now known. And the white acts were getting down. MCEVERS And more recently, in the early 2020s, radio programmers are reporting a revival of interest in late nineties and early aughts music. That’s partially nostalgia, but it’s also because turn of the millennium pop could encompass this side. These guys. And this.

S1: Is Jackson.

S2: Three and even this.

S1: Is Texas.

S2: So if you’ve detected a weakness, I have four hit parade topics that cross would be boundaries of genre, format and even taste. Well, to me this is not a weakness, but a strength. I am all about balance when it comes to pop. To me, pop is not a genre. It’s a melting pot.

S3: It doesn’t matter if it’s good. Someone house. It just takes some time.

S2: This leads neatly into my third premise. Principle three Hit Parade is a pop dumbest show and pop can mean anything and everything.

S3: Grandma round. Mama, God la la la da da. Mascara.

S2: When I devoted an episode three years ago, not only to the career of Lady Gaga, but also the raucous versus pop to miss debates that were spawned by her lead role in the movie A Star Is Born. I wanted to put a stake in the ground for what authenticity means in pop. Gaga is both proudly artificial and true to herself. She was authentic even before she started singing standards with Tony Bennett or singing country rock ballads on the Oscars with Bradley Cooper.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Tell me something, boy. Aren’t you tired trying to fill that void? Or do you need more?

S2: In an earlier episode, our History of Metal episode, I pointed out that this seven minute hard rock dirge by Metallica.

S1: This guy is lucky. Yeah. Oh, please, God. Wait.

S2: Was also a top 40 hit number 35 in 1989, to be exact. I love that the Billboard Top 40 has made room at various times for both Lady Gaga and Metallica. To me, being a populist, yeah, it’s a squeaky term, but it’s one that I’ve embraced. Only means that you don’t regard rock played by white men on guitars as normative. It doesn’t mean you hate rock. In one of our earliest episodes, I pointed out that contrary to popular belief, Led Zeppelin did issue some 45 RPM vinyl singles in their heyday, and those songs made the top 40.

S1: This is Casey Kasem, an American top 40 coming down this week. At number 16 is Led Zeppelin and Immigrant Song.

S2: By the way, for whatever it’s worth, I love Led Zeppelin. Popped him as a means removing as much of the value judgment as possible from music, particularly hit music. You can love the critically acclaimed stuff like R.E.M. Fire. And also embrace the so-called schlock like Toyota.

S3: The day away from you. There’s a lot of money.

S2: And it doesn’t preclude you from having an opinion. You all know how I feel about Bon Jovi. And by the way, I’m still not a fan of Jimmy Buffett either. Hear me now. People popped him ism. Doesn’t mean you have to love everything.

S1: Wisdom. Again and.

S2: So again, pop animism is our guiding light on hit parade. And it embraces not only all kinds of music, but all opinions. Which brings me to my fourth precept for this show. Principle four. You don’t have to love an artist or even a song to get something out of a story.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Great.

S2: In 2016 when I pitched Hip Parade to Steve Lickteig, who was then Slate’s executive producer of podcasts, he asked me what the pilot would be about when I told him it would revolve around you before shows red red wine. Immediately, Steve said, I hate that sign.

S1: You meant fee. So fine. You keep me running all of the time. Red, red wine remembers.

S2: He’s so grown up. But then I quickly pivoted, telling Steve the story of that pilot episode, not only the part about Neil Diamond, but also the part about the rogue deejay who made you before his 1983 cover of Red Red Wine, a 1988 hit, and how that eight chart topper then kicked off a fad of second chance would have been should have been singles returning to the charts for another shot at glory. And that’s when Steve Lickteig said, that is interesting. I would listen to that. And he greenlit hit parade right then and there. I love that Steve’s distaste for you B 40 is a core part of this Podcast’s origin story. Because I get feedback like this from all of you all the time. While collecting your comments for this anniversary show, I heard from Slate Plus member Martin Young, who said he also hates Read Red Wine, but ranked that show anyway, or fellow slate plus R or Anna knutson Geller, who said, quote, I was surprised by how fascinating the Chic episode was. I’d initially skipped it out of lack of interest in the group.

S1: I don’t know. I want to know what you.

S2: Or here’s twitter user at rodent 630. Quote Special mention to the jim steinman episode because I always hated those songs and I never knew why and I still hate them. But now I get it, unquote.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: He did more than.

S2: Or here’s tweeter at Leah Dawkins, who ranks our Billy Joel episode among her top five and adds simply quote, And I hate all caps. Fucking Billy Joel. Unquote one.

S3: Oh, no. For the longest. One.

S1: Look.

S2: Nobody made me do an episode centered around Bon Jovi, but I knew it would be interesting. Understanding and decoding something you hate can be as rewarding as bathing in music you love. As well as explaining why, say, the breakthrough of Bon Jovi would suddenly make a pop song by a former go go sound uncannily like hair metal. That’s just a cool thing to know, right? It’s about musical construction, but also about pop trends. And yes, how chart success fuels these trends. There’s always a back story to the music you just unquestionably consumed when you were a kid. And that, by the way, brings up my last credo for this show. Principle five Nostalgia is powerful, and every era as music is worthy of nostalgia. I’ll confess, I am really no different from any other music fan. Like most sentient beings, I believe the music that came out when I was about 13 to 16 years old was the greatest music ever. By the way, there’s science to this. Psychology Today has devoted articles to why the music we hear as teenagers sticks to us. So yeah, maybe. Hit Parade has leaned heavily on the music of the seventies and the eighties. My younger listeners are probably saying, Okay, Xer right now. When we get to our episode rankings, you’ll notice that those decades are indeed overrepresented.

S3: Daisy, baby. Nice to see you.

S2: But just as no one is making me do an episode about the loathed Bon Jovi, no one’s demanding that this podcast cover Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Beyoncé fall out boy Rihanna or Lil Nas X.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Come on, me. Come on. Come on.

S2: And equally in the other direction. I don’t have to devote shows to Boomer era music. Sure, the Beatles were inevitable. Everybody loves the Beatles. And this is a show about the charts, after all. But we’ve also gone deep on Sam Cooke, Brenda Lee, Dionne Warwick, and the earliest Motown hits by Little Stevie Wonder and the Miracles.

S1: You better shop around. You better shop around.

S2: There are a couple of reasons for this range in eras. For one thing, I’m interested in all of it. I grew up with Boomer music and I still love a lot of current popular music. I also don’t think current music is as alienating as folks my age fear it might be. The yearning for irresistible hooks and impassioned lyrics is universal across the ages. Catchy is catchy.

S3: Your me. I want you, baby. I’m levitating. We? I got you.

S2: But for another thing, I have now lived through enough eras of pop to see all music go through waves of fandom and derision, backlash and reappraisal of history.

S3: And now. Now.

S2: I remember when Duran Duran was belittled by boom, the rock critics in the eighties as synthetic garbage. Now they are rightly on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I remember when Britney Spears was regarded as nothing more than a puppet, her name uttered by tasteful music fans as an epithet. Only now is she starting to be regarded as a culture shifter.

S3: How was I supposed to know?

S2: Simply put, the vast majority of culturally significant music is going to provoke nostalgia in someone someday. So maybe speaking just for myself, there have been hits by Drake that I’ve appreciated and admired. Song going on.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Just sort of going home.

S2: And hits by Drake that have frankly left me cold. Right foot, left foot.

S1: And foot. Right foot. Basically, I’m saying, either way, we’re about to sign Kelly.

S2: Mark my words, no matter what I think. By the 2030s, Drake’s impact on Pop will be highly regarded as significant and as influential as Michael Jackson’s or R.E.M. or Nirvana’s impact.

S3: As you are, as you were. As I want you to be.

S2: And as Gen Z enters middle age, Drake’s songs will be played at their high school reunions and weddings. The Way My Generation Plays Journey or Whitney Houston at high school, reunions and weddings, hitmakers who, by the way, were once also held in contempt by an older generation. Got it. In short, add hit parade. We cover it all. Maybe the stuff in my sweet spot a bit more than the stuff that’s older or younger than me. But I firmly believe it’s all worthy of examination. So that’s enough of me and my principles. Let’s hear what you had to say. In addition to asking listeners to share their top five favorite episodes, I invited you to also share other lists. Like the top five acts hit parade turned you onto, or the top five bits of musical knowledge you learned from Hit Parade, and some of our overachievers were only too happy to oblige. For example, Slate Plus member Joel McAllister says these were his top five hit parade facts. I’ll read them just as he wrote them. Number five, Nile Rodgers produced every good song ever made. That’s more an opinion than a fact, Sheryl, but I half agree, so I’ll allow it. Number four, the doobie bounce is a thing. Number three, Mariah Carey holds the record for number one songs among soloists. To be clear, General, but good on you. Number two, Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a number one song. And number one by far, says Darrell. The Bee Gees wrote Islands in the Street.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: How can we be wrong?

S2: Frequent commenter Jessica Newt. Hey, Jessica offered her own detailed list of favorite hit parade facts she loved knowing the definition of yacht rock. The rules I devised for one hit wonders. The fact that a nearly forgotten song by Glenn Medeiros, featuring Bobby Brown, was the first ever featured credit on a number one hit.

S3: To see all these people.

S2: The fact that Milli Vanilli had a perfect average of top five hits, even with no follow up album. And finally, the fact that Madonna’s smash ray of light. Was, in essence, a cover song. Go back to our Madonna episode, the Veronica Electronica Edition. If you want the details on that twisted back story and I have to shout out the list from Slate Plus member and hit parade trivia contestant Gal Hazar from Israel. He provided the most detailed list of favorite revelations from the show. Number one, the early eighties saw a medley craze that nobody feels nostalgic for.

S3: We got lucky. Remember, the guy is down on.

S2: Number two, the highest charting pop version of Stairway to Heaven was by a studio group assembled by a German disco producer. Yep. Gal that was Frank Faron of Milli Vanilli fame. Number three, Bruce Springsteen originally intended to give Hungary heart to the Ramones.

S3: Everybody’s got. Hi, Devon.

S2: Number four, no doubts. Don’t speak. Never appeared on the hot 100. And number five, Carlos Santana wisely and thankfully declined to play Woodstock 99 and.

S3: This man could.

S2: Go back to that Milli Vanilli episode. Apparently, a lot of listeners learned things from that one Twitter user at flop cast. Loved finding out that the same guy who formed the fraudulent duo was also behind his, quote, kitschy favorite song, Boney M’s Rasputin.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: By the Russian.

S2: Prima Donna Slate plus subscriber Richard DeRosa loved learning that YouTube fueled songs up the charts such as Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball.

S3: I came in like the.

S2: On Anthony Burr. Tucker’s list of top five factoids was the fact that I love this one. Prince helped Stevie Nicks record the song she openly admitted was a rip off of his hit Little Red Corvette, 1980 three’s stand back. Twitter contributor at Mohawk at large loved finding out that Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name was basically a rewrite. Songwriter Desmond Child rebooted an earlier single he penned for Bonnie Tyler.

S3: And I was.

S2: Staff at Peter Krebs Star provided a top ten list of facts. Included on his list were Janet Jackson almost scored an eighth top five hit from a single album. The UK. Christmas number one competition is a thing.

S1: We built the city.

S3: We built this city on sausage roll around this city.

S1: Come on, babe. We built this city on South.

S2: And in 1985, after We Are the World, a bunch of snubbed metal heads got together to record their own charity, mega single Hiromi with Stars. Apparently I have also improved cocktail parties for at night. Youngman, who says his go to trivia question, was the one I offered up at the start of our Bruce Springsteen episode about how the boss, Bob Dylan and Randy Newman never got higher than number two as frontline artists. But all three of them wrote a number one song for somebody else. I also asked you for lists of artists hit parade turned you on to maybe you’d heard of them, but you hadn’t much listened to them before. Your responses were enlightening, the aforementioned Martin Young. He’s the guy who hates red. Red wine ranked five women artists. He’s now listening to more in fifth place. The Pointer Sisters. Fourth. Roberta Flack. Third. Donna Summer. Second. Sarah McLachlan. And in first place. Aimee Mann. A singer. Slate Plus member Eugene Green is focusing his listening on subgenres and producers we covered. He’s now listening to Quincy Jones’s so-called Yacht Soul Music, the work of Jim Steinman and Max Martin. The entire universe of Genesis. Quote, I gained a better appreciation for Phil Collins, he says. And at number one on Eugene’s list, the entire genre of urban cowboy era country music. Quote, I know it was derided, but I thought it slapped.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Look at all that.

S2: Melanie Reid has maybe the widest ranging list of new favorite artists from Hit Parade. She’s listening to Michael Penn, Depeche Mode, Lady Gaga, Tom Petty, and at number one on her list. Creedence Clearwater Revival. I love the breadth of that list.

S1: Melanie is my favorite.

S2: And I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out my friend Brian McDonald, who says, quote, I think the Donna Summer episode is underrated. I’m glad I was old enough to just barely pay attention to pop radio in 1977 because I feel love blew my little mind apart, unquote. Well, Brian, I’m glad you think the Donna Summer episode needs more love, but wait’ll we get to our countdown of your favorite hit parade episodes. The Queen of Disco did very respectable. A few words about our survey. We are not Billboard magazine or Nielsen or MRC or Illuminate or any of the other data collectors throughout chart history. Our tally was not all that rigorous. Some of you gave us a solid top five episodes list exactly what we asked for. Some provided generously a top ten more than we asked for. Many of you forced yourself to limit your lists to just five episodes. But then you included a handful of honorable mentions. I like to think of these as the bubbling undervotes of our survey. Kind of like that Gary Numan hit after cars in 1980 that bubbled under the hot 100 at number one so far.

S3: It was. The band’s electric.

S2: Basically when it came to the voting, we counted it all. I plead with the math to accommodate everything and everyone. We were more interested in including every vote you gave us somehow then limiting voters to a strict top five if you only ranked five episodes that counted more than if you ranked ten. If you gave your list in no particular order, we assign them all the same point value. And if you had honorable mentions, those counted but less than your ranked episodes did call our methodology a little slipshod. But I compare it to that week in 1969, when Billboard changed the hot 100 rules to count A and B sides together in the same position, which instantly gave the Beatles.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Come to get. Right now. All to me.

S2: A two sided number one hit they otherwise wouldn’t have had so.

S1: Smile.

S3: She knows. Good.

S2: If this Beatles B-side factoid is new to you, you probably never listened to our B-sides edition of Hit Parade, taped live in front of an audience at the Bell House in Brooklyn four years ago, an evening that was packed with trivia. Which of these 1967 number one hits did not start out as the B-side to another song, A Lulu to serve with love, beat the strawberry alarm clock. Incense and peppermints. See the doors. Light My Fire or Die. Bobbie Gentry. Ode to Billie Joe.

S1: See the doors light my fire. You got it, everybody.

S3: The correct answer is C light my fire. We go to heaven.

S2: Doesn’t that sound like fun? Judging by the evidence of our vote, maybe most of you didn’t listen to this episode. There were just three hit parade episodes out of our 56 shows that received no votes at all. As Monty Python would say, not a sausage bug crawl, and two of them were our live episodes. The aforementioned B-sides edition from January 2018 and the posthumous hits edition recorded live at the pop conference in Seattle in April 2019. All of these 1997 hits feature rapping by the late Notorious B.I.G. But only one opens with him rapping. Which one? A been around the world be more money mo problems. C hypnotize or d it’s all about the Benjamins remix.

S1: Well, we know Puffy has to put his fingers on a lot of stuff, right? So c hypnotize. And that is correct. The correct answer is C, nice try.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: I guess you had to be there. I’m not all that surprised. Our live shows don’t rank among anyone’s favorites, but the third totally blanked episode was our Gaga is Born edition from January 2019. That’s right. No votes for Stefani Germanotta Oscar winner. I guess Hit Parade listeners are a little gaga out.

S1: But is it gonna.

S3: Go check on a doctor the coming.

S2: Donnie Darko still let’s look at the glass as 53/56 for at least one of you. Loved each of our other episodes enough to rank it. That’s damned good. Now, while I’m discussing the shows that placed out of the money, can I reveal a few surprising underperformers? Neither of our Beatles related episodes made the Top ten, including the Fab Four sweep edition, about the historic week in 1964, when the Beatles locked down the entire top five.

S3: Singing and dancing it out, baby, dance. Shout, shout, shout down.

S2: Your are without the Beatles edition. About the three Lennon-McCartney songs that went to number one by other artists, including John Lennon’s buddy, Elton John. Indeed. When choosing your favorites, you guys seemed more interested in learning about rock and pop’s lesser lights. Other episodes subjects that fell well short of our top ten included Madonna and Tuesday. Nirvana.

S1: Oh, God.

S2: Britney Spears. Billy Joel. Taylor Swift. I’m. Number two Kings. Creedence Clearwater Revival. Both Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

S1: Was beloved by.

S2: Janet Jackson. And even Stevie Wonder.

S3: Thank you. Don’t.

S2: Mind you, episodes about these superstars did receive considerable numbers of votes. And anecdotally, I hear all the time from listeners who appreciate our single artist deep dives, but all of them finished below the top 20. Clearly, the most impassioned hip parade listeners are not swayed by a boldface name alone. Folks tell me that they learn a lot from this show, and apparently what you are happiest learning about is an unusual chart concept, a new genre name, or how two, three or even four superstars careers paralleled each other. By the way, our episode about Cyndi Lauper, The Bangles and Aimee Mann fell just shy of the top 20, peaking at number 21. Speaking of which, what are we going to count down? Well, I figure the hot 100 was 100 positions and Casey Kasem counted down the top 40 of those positions. We have a list of episodes. That number is just over half the size of the hot 100. So let’s do a top 20 with special attention paid as any chart follower would to the top ten. So away we go. And since we have hit Parade are obviously fans of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. We’re going to have those numbers sung number 20. At number 20 is an episode that frankly pleasantly surprises me with its placement. Our November 2020 take on the chart history of country music from the Urban Cowboy phenomenon to the amazing nineties chart run by Garth Brooks, the biggest album selling soloist in U.S. history. It’s one of our deepest deep dives, and it cracks the top 20 hit parades Friends in Low Places edition.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: And goes I got friends and.

S1: Wizkid Brown Man and Bear James is my.

S2: Placing just above Garth and the country episode.

S1: Number 19.

S2: Is the show we did in September 2021 to celebrate a lot of fifties. Our 50th episode, a musical 50th anniversary and a certain person’s birthday. It commemorated the music of 1971, a widely acclaimed year for rock, pop and soul, and one in which legends topped the charts. From Janis Joplin to Isaac Hayes, the Stones to Sly Stone and a whole lot of Carole King coming in at number 19. It’s our spirit of 71 edition of Hit Parade.

S1: Jan Bacon. Something inside.

S2: Then we make a big jump from the music of the early seventies to the music of the turn of the millennium, number 18, with a show we did just one month later in October 2021. It was about the parallel scenes of pop, punk and emo subgenres that were defining and redefining themselves as a string of punchy, bratty, brainy and theatrical bands took their turns on the stage. Green Day. The Offspring. Weezer. Blink 182. Jimmy. Eat. World. Fall Out Boy. Panic at the Disco. My Chemical Romance and Paramour. Taking Our Number 18 Spot. It’s the I Write Sins, Not Tragedies edition of Hit Parade.

S3: I came in with how many people ever heard of closing God damn door? No. It’s much better.

S1: To face these kinds of things for the sake of more than.

S2: Rationality. And speaking of the theatrical.

S1: Numbers, 17.

S2: Coming in at number 17 is the twisted story of German impresario Frank Ferrin and the flamboyant but fraudulent acts he created that scored real, genuine hits Boney M in the seventies and a decade later, the infamous Milli Vanilli, maybe Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, the Milli Vanilli frontman, weren’t singing a note on all of those hits, but the group seriously did help pivot pop toward the sounds of hip hop at the turn of the nineties. Released in May 2021, its hit parades blame it on the fame addiction gravy. You know, you ranked them. Hit parade, counts them down.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Number 16.

S2: Taking the number 16 spot is one of our most technical episodes of February 2021 show about an obscure but very real chart phenomenon. Slow growing albums that are followed by instant smash successors. It’s about how Jimi Hendrix’s number one album wasn’t Are You Experienced but the LP after Are You Experienced? Billy Joel’s first number one coming not with the Stranger, but its successor, 52nd Street, Pat Benatar, following the hit packed crimes of passion with the chart topping but less hit packed precious time. All of these artists scored their first or only number one LP with the follow up to a better remembered classic Jackson Browne, Boston, Van Halen, Depeche Mode, Lady Gaga, and most famously AC DC who topped the chart not with the 20 times Platinum 1980 album Back in Black, but its shorter lived 1981 successor. For those about to rock, we salute you. Yep, it’s a high concept show, but my fellow chart nerds love this one. It’s our AC DC rule edition of Hit Parade. Then coming up next, a show about a band that was more like a universe. Number 15 hits the former Gang of Prague rockers who spun off a slew of hit making careers. Peter, Gabriel, Mike and the mechanics. Steve Hackett. And maybe you’ve heard of this guy, Phil Collins. He launched a solo career and scored a string of number ones without leaving the band that propelled him to fame. A band, appropriately enough, called Genesis. And as I noted earlier in this episode, when Peter Gabriel finally scored a number one hit of his own, he did it by knocking his old band mates out of the top slot. You can’t make this up, folks. Coming in at number 15, our May 2019 Story of the Genesis Family Tree, The Invisible Miracles Sledgehammer edition of Hit Parade.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: But why does it always.

S3: Seem to be me looking at you when you’re looking at me? It’s always the same. It’s just a shame. Not so.

S2: We’re getting closer to the top ten.

S1: Number.

S2: 40. Here’s the highest placing episode about the biggest rock group of all time. One week in 1964, at the height of Beatlemania, the Fab Four locked down the entire hot 100 top five a chart feat that wouldn’t be duplicated until the streaming era more than 50 years later. But this rare chart, Quinn factor, was an accident of music business history, the result of an American label losing control of the output of the kings of the British Invasion. It’s a story of fandom, foolishness and phenomenal music. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s the second ever episode of Hit Parade from May 2017. The Fab Four Sweep Edition. Yes. Next. Coming in at the unluckiest number, a guy who took nearly a decade to get lucky, number 13. They called him the boss, but he wasn’t boss of the charts in the seventies. That was the decade he got signed, formed the E Street Band, recorded the classic Born to Run and reinvented rock for a new generation. Bruce Springsteen gave away many of his biggest would be seventies hits to Manfred Mann, Patti Smith, The Pointer Sisters and almost the Ramones. Then in the eighties, well into his thirties, Bruce became the quintessential American rocker and a pop icon. But he continued to be appropriated and misunderstood, even by the fans who loved him. Coming in at Lucky 13 from July 2021, it’s our Springsteen episode. The Tramps Like US edition.

S3: Without a stop this.

S2: One spot above Bruce is another act that, like him, spent the seventies trying to figure it all out before dominating the charts in the eighties.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Number one.

S2: It’s our most recent hit parade episode in the top 20. It came out in January 2022, and it’s about the biggest duo in the history of the charts. Daryl Hall and John Oates. In the seventies, they tried everything folk, rock, soul, prog, even a little disco and punk. It was only when Hall and Oates define their own new wave music that they called rock and soul, that they began topping the hot 100 on the regular and even the R&B chart. They were the ultimate blue eyed soul act of their era, taking the number 12 spot. It’s Hall and Oates with our rock and soul edition of Hit Parade, which. And coming in just one spot shy of the top ten.

S1: Number 11.

S2: It’s yet another story of chart success in the seventies and eighties and beyond. This time, about two separate careers that paralleled each other across the decades. Elton John, the extravagant captain fantastic who dominated the charts for the first half of the seventies until a 1976 tiptoe out of the closet sent his career momentarily into the wilderness. And George Michael, frontman of eighties teen idol duo Wham! Like Elton, he was a consummate pop craftsman. But George also had to navigate the shoals of pin up status on one side and his secret identity on the other. They supported each other, duetted with each other, even competed on the charts. It’s a great story. Our first ever Pride Month episode in June 2017, the Imperial Elton and George edition of Hit Parade Got.

S3: Me. So with someone else. He.

S2: Coming up, we enter the top ten with gods, GIBBS Princes and queens.

S3: Now on the second down.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: For our top ten episodes as ranked by you, I’ve asked producer Kevin Bendis to review these old shows and pick out a highlight from each one. Hopefully these clips will bring back memories for those of you who voted for them and whet the appetite of those who haven’t experienced them yet. We open our top ten with an episode about a wave of bands who seemed like they were never meant to be on a billboard chart at all. Number ten from October 2019. It’s our episode about how a generation of post-punk, goths and just plain doomy rock bands The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Barrelhouse, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Joy Division and New Order transitioned from punk clubs and alienated teen bedrooms to the top of the charts. Kicking off our Countdown’s Top Ten, It’s Hip Parade’s Lost and lonely addition. In 1988, Depeche Mode signed on to be the subject of a film by legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker, who a generation earlier had pioneered the music documentary with Bob Dylan’s Don’t Look Back. Monterey Pop and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. 4101 Pennebaker shot the finale of Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses tour, whose 101st show took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The film captured the extreme devotion of fans traveling cross-country to see the show, as well as the frenzy at the concert itself. Next on the COUNTDOWN, we shift from one set of British rockers to another. Only these guys blew up in the seventies and they were not so much doomy as danceable. From September 2018. It’s our story about the brothers Gibb harmonizing. Siblings who were born on the Isle of Man, raised in Australia, broke through in the sixties with the British Invasion. And then in one of the most improbable musical shifts in pop history, adopted falsetto vocals and dance rhythms to dominate the disco era. Coming in at number nine, our Bee Gees episode of Hit Parade, The Nights on Broadway.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Generation and Top Ten episode.

S2: Every day. When the Gibbs drove to Criteria Studios crossing the causeway that connected Biscayne Bay to Miami, the wheels of their car made a distinctive chicken chick a rhythm. Barry’s wife, Linda, once told her husband, quote, Listen to that noise. It’s our drive talking. Barry instantly turned that phrase into a song building the chicken chick, a sound into its opening rhythm and collaborating on the melody and harmonies with Maurice and Robin for the finishing touch. A new studio collaborator brought in by Arif Mardin Welsh keyboardist Blue Weaver played a distinctive synthesizer hook that recalled the Synclavier playing of Stevie Wonder. It was the breakthrough disco smash of 1975. Giant Tony topped the hot 100 in August 1975. Four months later, nights on Broadway followed it into the top ten, peaking at number seven. More important, it had established the template for the Bee Gees in the second half of the seventies, and one thing was certain they were bringing back the piercing falsetto of nights on Broadway and applying it to all of their material. See. Next on our survey. It’s another of our parallel careers episodes, juxtaposing two rock legends who wouldn’t seem to have all that much in common. Number eight In October 2017, just weeks after the passing of Tom Petty, we did an episode juxtaposing his storied career with that of another legend who just died the year before Prince. Famously in 2004, Prince joined Petty on stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for what is now regarded as the institution’s greatest live performance. But Prince’s and Petty’s similarities go much deeper. From their fights with the music industry to their hits across genres and generations coming in at number eight, it’s left Petty Prince edition of Hit Parade for. Great. Oh. Prince sat with Rolling Stone for the interview that put him back on the cover of the magazine. Asked to reflect on his triumphant Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance, Prince in his typically succinct, direct and no nonsense way did it comment upon the hall itself or his blazing guitar solo, or even the George Harrison Beatles song he’d performed? Instead, he reserved his praise for the man who was ringmaster of the performance. Quote, It was an honor to play with Tom Petty. Free Fallen is one of my favorite songs, unquote. The admiration was mutual. Tom Petty was asked to reflect on that magical Rock Hall induction performance in 2016, less than a week after Prince’s death. And as it turns out, just 18 months before, Petty’s own petty called Prince’s 24 performance thrilling. But Petty also had the last word in the article about Prince himself. Quote, It’s funny, because just a few days ago, he was in my mind all afternoon. I was thinking about him. I had just been talking with Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles. He wrote their Manic Monday song, and I was thinking about him a lot that day, and I almost told myself I was going to call him and just see how he was. I’m starting to think you should just act on those things all the time. Next. It’s the highest placement on our survey for a show devoted to a single female artist. Number seven coming in at Lucky seven is my MASH note to seventies vocal queen and club culture auteur Donna Summer. She was a hit maker for two decades and a dance floor deity for more than three, and her collaborations with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Baladi were formative in dance, electronic and rock music. Our episode examines how summer became the ultimate disco diva and how she transcended that role altogether. One of my all time personal favorites from our podcast, it’s our Queen of disco edition of Hit Parade. That’s I feel love. It reached number six on the hot 100. But the shadow I feel love casts on popular music can scarcely be overstated. The brainchild of Belotti and Moroder, I feel Love is generally agreed to have single handedly invented electronic dance music, while it took inspiration from contemporaneous electro rock bands like Kraftwerk and Express. And I feel Love was the first ever hit single with an entirely synthesized backing track. The only organic thing on it was Donna Summer’s voice. Summer helped Moroder and Belotti arrange the song’s complex vocal melody because, as Moroder told veteran music critic Simon Reynolds, I feel love is a difficult song to sing. Next parked just outside the top five, we’ve got an episode packed with even more chart rules than my AC DC Rule Number six. For decades, my fellow chart nerds have debated what qualifies an artist for the ignominious term one hit wonder. And for about ten years, I have had my own set of rules whether a second hot 100 hit should count, how high that second hit has to go to remove the act from one hit wonder status and what to do about a band like AHA from September 2020. It’s our much beloved, much debated, widely cited, one and done edition of Hit Parade. I’m not familiar with that one. This song is called Automatic Man, and it peaked at number 34 in November 1983. So an actual top 40 hit. And it was by Michael Zambello. And the reason Automatic Man hit the top 40 was that Zambello was coming off a number one hit from two months earlier.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: She’s a big.

S1: She’s now announced.

S2: That, of course, is me. From the Smash soundtrack to the movie Flashdance. Maniac not only spent a fortnight on top of the hot 100, Billboard ranked it as the ninth biggest hit of 1983. And by the way, after 1983, Zambello never touched the hot 100 again. So I’ll ask the question Is Michael Zambello a one hit wonder? His immediate follow up single did crack the top 40. But no offense, Mr. Zambello. Automatic man is a footnote in pop history compared with me. Stretching from the we’ve got just five big ones left until your number one hit parade episode. And next, another story of the disco era and beyond. Say the band name Chic and folks might think of polyester suits and smooth disco grooves. Save the names Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, however, and it opens up a plethora of hits for Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran, Robert Palmer, the B-52’s and even Daft Punk. The chic universe of hits lasted far beyond the disco era and even formed the basis for hip hop from January 2021. It’s our these are the good Times edition of Hit Parade. Of course, if that Bernard Edwards bassline sounds familiar to you, it’s because you’ve probably heard it before. And not just on that chic song. The Good Times bassline traveled everywhere, most famously or infamously, depending on your point of view on this historic symbol.

S1: Here to give it a bit of a hip, hip hop, you don’t stop rocking. How much of the big bang bang the beginning of the beat.

S2: One of the first recorded rap singles and the first period to crack the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 36. Rapper’s Delight is notorious for borrowing or biting. Or, let’s just say it, stealing the bass line from good times. Even rerecorded, it’s the same bassline the Sugarhill Team meant to recreate good times. That was the point.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Of no budget, Casanova. Legend must have been chosen, by the way, be the what you need to let go by the late Lois Lane and.

S2: Roger, still to this day, will throw in rhymes from Rapper’s Delight into his live performances of good times.

S3: Break down the heavens to do it.

S2: There are a lot of behind the scenes figures in our top five, right next to our Chic episode is a story of an even more iconoclastic producer and songwriter. Number four No Hitmaking mastermind has had a more specific sound than Jim Steinman. Pounding pianos, revving motorcycles, sometimes literal thunder and power vocalists. Singing passionate, almost nonsensical lyrics. Steinman fused his compositions with a singer who called himself Meatloaf, and together they created the blockbuster song Cycle Bat Out of Hell. Before Steinman spread that same brand of pop rock to Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply and even Celine Dion. Forever’s going to start tonight in our turn around bright eyes addition of hit parade circuit.

S3: I guess I got it down.

S2: Debuting on the hot 100 at number 75. In July of 1983, Bonnie Tyler’s total eclipse of the heart took a dozen weeks to reach number one. Rising alongside Total Eclipse of the Heart was another bombastic, ultra power ballad from the Jim Steinman Cinematic Universe. Jim Steinman agreed to produce Air Supply’s Making Love out of Nothing at all, and it would give lead singer Russell Hitchcock the biggest vocal workout of his.

S1: Life.

S3: To let loose and.

S2: Bonnie Tyler’s and Air Supply’s respective singles scaled the Hot 100 together. It was a total Jim Steinman chart conquest. The week ending October 8th, 1983, when Tyler’s total eclipse was in its second week. At number one, Air Supply’s Making Love rose to number two, giving. Steinman, who was the sole producer and sole songwriter of both, hits a hammerlock on the top of the charts, which he held.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: To three orders of dramatic love.

S2: We’re down to our top three. And I must say, I was shocked at how many people namechecked this next episode. I thought our Cure Depeche Mode show would be your favorite. On the subject of alternative rock. Guess again. Number three At the start of the 1980s, two bands with very different styles put the southern college town of Athens, Georgia, on the map as a rock and roll mecca. The B-52s Avatars of Kitsch, proudly queer, the ultimate party band, and R.E.M., the college rock godfathers with jangly guitars and elliptical lyrics. Together, these bands made Athens the epicenter of alternative cool in the eighties and early nineties, and they became unlikely hitmakers after years on the indie circuit, shifting from rock, lobster and Radio Free Europe to Love Shack and Losing My Religion from June 2018, one of our proudest Pride Month episodes the Deadbeat Club edition of Hit Parade.

S3: Boyz n the Today.

S2: Released as a Warner Brothers single in the summer of 79. Rock Lobster was either a massive success or a pop underperformer, depending on your expectations. In the United Kingdom, it scraped the top 40, reaching number 37 in August of 1979. In America, lobster took considerably longer to break. Not even making the hot 100 until the spring of 1980 and only reaching a peak of number 56 in May of that year. Not bad for such a cutting edge single by a brand new band. The LP rode Billboard’s album chart for more than a year, and by the fall of 1980, the B-52s had gone gold for sales of a half million copies on its way to platinum. Earlier in 1980, the band were even invited to perform on Saturday Night Live.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S1: Ladies and gentlemen, the B-52s.

S3: And. Two people at a party.

S1: On that day.

S3: We stand by the walk to.

S2: Just two left in our survey. And we’re up to perhaps the most referenced episode in Hit Parade history. You might even call it our earliest exposé known to listeners. Tell me that this episode solved a mystery for them. Why, in the 1990s were they forced to pay full price for a full length CD just to acquire one hit song? I called it The Great War Against the Single, a decade long experiment by the music business to eliminate retail singles and compel a full length album purchase from M.C. Hammer to Alanis Morissette, the Rembrandts to no doubt Chumbawamba to Sugar Ray. A slew of nineties hitmakers under-performed on or disappeared altogether from the hot 100 because you couldn’t buy their songs, only their albums. It was a tactic that led to consumer backlash and arguably Napster. From September 2017, our formative podcast Defining the Great War against the single edition of Hit Parade. Barbie Girl, a novelty dance pop single by the Scandinavian group Aqua built weeks of airplay before their American label m.K. Issued the single in a limited edition in the fall of 1997. Copies of the retail single were exhausted quickly, but by Christmas, Aquas album aquarium was double platinum. Within two years, the album was triple platinum.

S3: Nothing’s going. In news.

S2: Torn by Australian model soap opera, actress and pop singer Natalie Imbruglia spent 11 weeks in 1998 as American Radio’s top song. Torn was never issued as a single, and as a result, Imbruglia is album. Left of the middle went double platinum.

S3: A little bit of money got in my life a little better, Erica. A little bit of readouts. All I need. But I see a little.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S2: Lou Vega, a German born Latin pop musician proffering a kitschy brand of modern mambo, scored a global hit in the summer of 1999 with his dance pop take on Pérez Prado’s 1950s classic Mambo Number five. Amazingly, even biggest gleefully junkie record went unreleased on CD single compelling more than 3 million Americans to buy his album. A little bit of mambo on Mood All the.

S1: Need of a night. I Love Me, I’m a dog died.

S2: Now we’re up to the number one episode, the one that you, our listenership voted for the most in our five year hit parade survey. And let me just say, the vote wasn’t close. This episode beat the Great War against the single our number two show by nearly 25%. And like Great War, it’s an explainer. The kind of nerdy deep dive that you all tell me. Hit Parade does best. It’s an episode we first broadcast in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, because we had to pay wallet in that challenging summer. And so many of you told us it brought you comfort that year. We rebroadcast it this time with ads for all hit parade listeners in the summer of 2021. You might say this episode has it all chart topping hits, Musicological BackStory, a wealth of trivia and like the AC DC rule or one and done editions, a definitional explanation of a chart and musical phenomenon the world needed a name for. In this case, I didn’t make up that name for L.A. based actors and writers dreamed it up in the 2000 when they shot a comical video series themed around a certain brand of real life. Late seventies and early eighties, smooth music songs they could picture being played on the most high end of watercraft. And now that invented genre that took the Internet by storm is the theme of the top episode in Hit Parade History. The number one episode of Hit Parade’s first five years is the What a Fool Believes Edition Our Story of the History of Yacht Rock. By the mid-seventies. Steely Dan, named after a dildo in William Burroughs beat generation novel Naked Lunch, had stopped touring entirely to focus on studio LPs. Fagan and Becker’s albums showcased a Who’s Who of L.A. session musicians and performers from other groups, including Future Toto members Jeff Porcaro and David Page, Poco, Singer and Future Eagle, Timothy B Schmit and guitarist Jeff Skunk Baxter, who would eventually leave Steely Dan to join the Doobie Brothers. Another future Doobie who broke through with the duo was the uniquely Burri baritone Michael McDonald, who began singing prominently on the band’s 1975 album, K.D. Lang.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: The folks will be there now. How about that? Welcome to. While.

S2: So that’s our number one. Speaking of which. Before I close this commemorative edition of our show, I want to say a word about the one. Something I have invoked at the end of every hip parade episode since the Podcast’s launch. I always saw this show as a de facto homage to American Top 40 and Casey Kasem at the end of every 1840. Casey would close with this bit of homespun wisdom.

S1: And keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

S2: It’s an inspiring phrase and maybe a slightly nonsensical one. What does it mean? Basically, whatever you want it to mean. I wanted a bit of kind hearted doggerel like that for the end of each hit parade, and my idea to invoke the number one hits we so often chronicle on this show was to cross the parade image of marching with James Brown’s legendary concept of the.

S1: One.

S3: I had. Oh, God.

S4: Previously with rhythm and blues, rock and roll and soul music. The emphasis had been on the second and fourth beats of the bar. What James Brown did was distress the first beat. This became the bedrock of folk music. The Rhythm of the one two.

S2: The Godfather of Soul. The one wasn’t just a way to measure rhythm in an exceptionally funky pop song. It was a cosmic concept to James. Getting on the one was a mode for living, a way of life. And that’s what I share with you all at the end of every episode. James Brown was famously a little incomprehensible. So is my monthly hit parade sign off. But I think you know what I mean by keep on marching on the one I’m going to keep on marching because this podcast has so many more stories to tell. Here’s two marching on the one for another five.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

S3: Pushing through the market square.

S1: So many mothers dying. You had just come over. We had five.

S3: Years left crying.

S1: Skye.

S2: Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of Hit Parade. Our show was written, edited and narrated by Chris Molanphy. That’s me. My producer is Kevin Bendis, and we also had help from Rosemary Belson. Alisha Montgomery is the executive producer of Slate Podcasts. Check out their roster of shows at Slate.com. Slash Podcasts. You can subscribe to Hit Parade wherever you get your podcasts. In addition to finding it in the Slate Culture Feed, if you’re subscribing on Apple Podcasts, please rate and review us while you’re there. It helps other listeners find the show. Thanks for listening and I look forward to leading the hit parade back your way. Until then. As I say, every month, keep on marching on the one time. Chris Molanphy.