Tag Archives: Louis Armstrong

Music: Billboard Milestones

The Billboard Top 100 chart goes back to 1958, which gives us more than half a century of history about our popular songs. Here are some firsts, mosts, bests. Uploaded by mp3sonido.com.

No explanation needed here, except to say that these accomplishments relate to the Billboard Hot 100 chart, created in 1958, and the standard for popular success.

Most weeks at number one: 16 – Mariah Carey and Boys II Men, “One Sweet Day” (1995)

Most total weeks in the top ten: 32 – Leann Rimes, “How Do I Live” (1997-98)

Most weeks charted before reaching number one: 32 – Los del Rio, “Macarena” (1995-96)

Most top 40 hits: 104 – Elvis Presley

Most top 10 singles: 37 – Madonna

Most number one hits: 20 – The Beatles

Uploaded by beatlestrivia.com.

Most cumulative weeks at number one: 79 – Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey

Most consecutive number one hits: 7 – Whitney Houston

Most songs on top 100 at the same time: 14 – The Beatles (4.11.64)

Only female artist with four number one songs in one calendar year: 4 – Rihanna (2010)

Most top ten hits without reaching number one: 12 – Bruce Springsteen

Oldest artist to hit number one: 62 – Louis Armstrong, “Hello Dolly” (1964)

Youngest artist to hit number one: 13 – Stevie Wonder, “Fingertips (Part 2)” (1963)

Song with most versions on top 100: 9 –  “Unchained Melody”

Song: “Mack the Knife”

Bobby Darin's version of this song, called the ultimate by no less an authority than Frank Sinatra, made it to number 3 in Billboard's All-Time Top 100. Uploaded to Flickr by MarcelaL SD.

It’s Bobby Darin’s signature recording that we recognize as a Great American Thing. “Mack the Knife” is a song from The Threepenny Opera (1928), composed in Berlin by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertold Brecht.

Louis Armstrong (Great American Things, May 11, 2009) performed the first popular recording in America in 1956, four years before Bobby Darin (Great American Things, January 2, 2010) did his version. Dick Clark advised Darin against recording the song, thinking that the rock and roll audience wouldn’t go for a song that originated in an opera. Clark didn’t make many mistakes during his career, but he cheerfully acknowledges this one.

Uploaded by z.about.com.

“Mack the Knife” became the biggest hit of Bobby Darin’s career. It went to number one on the charts, and stayed there for nine weeks. It not only won the Grammy for Song of the Year, it’s since been honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame award. Darin’s version is number 3 on Billboard’s All-Time Top 100, and was number 251 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Oh, and on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, some British guy named Simon Cowell called “Mack the Knife” the best song ever written…

Travel: Beale Street, Memphis

For ribs. For history. For shopping. But most of all, for the blues. Uploaded by ronsaari.com.

You can eat ribs on Beale Street. You can shoot pool on Beale Street. You can definitely see and be seen on Beale Street. But most of all, you can hear some of the world’s finest blues on Beale Street.

Uploaded by stlblues.net.

The connection between Memphis and the blues goes back to legendary musician W.C. Handy, who located there in 1905. He formed a band and started playing a kind of music that folks hadn’t heard till then. And they liked it. It wasn’t long before Louis Armstrong (Great American Things, May 11, 2009), Muddy Waters, Albert King, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas and others started playing the style that came to be called Memphis Blues.

Now Beale Street offers clubs for a variety of tastes, whether you feel safer with chains (Hard Rock Cafe, Coyote Ugly) or prefer eclectic little clubs like Miss Polly’s Soul City Cafe or Tater Red’s. Either way, you’re on a street that’s been declared a National Historic Landmark, and been declared “Home of the Blues” by Congress.

A good time to visit (if you don’t mind crowds) is during the Beale Street Music Festival, usually held in late April or early May. The official Web site brags: “Music lovers from around the globe gather at the Beale Street Music Festival to celebrate this vital heritage, this deep river of sound. Three magical days. Four big stages. More than sixty top acts. One outrageous weekend on thirty-three acres overlooking the Mighty Mississippi, right on the heels of historic Beale Street.”

Uploaded by gordonwolford.com.

Uploaded by tnjn.com.

Uploaded by seeya-downtheroad.com.