So I'm listening to NPR on Saturday while out in the car. A guy comes on and reports on Billboard Magazine's Fiftieth Anniversary of their Hot 100 chart and the special stuff the music rag's doing to commemorate the fact that the chart's a couple of years younger than me. The commentator proceeds to list some of the "all-time" and "most" lists that the magazine has released after tabulating musical chart-dwellers and toppers for the last 50 years. This afternoon I went to Billboard's site and found this great little list of lists!
But here's the one that really got me: It's Billboard's final tally of The All-Time Top 100 Hot Songs. Before the guy on NPR started counting down the top 20, I ran through a list in my own mind. I knew I'd never be able to guess them all, but I did think I could at least get a few. Let me just say. . . I didn't guess any of the songs that finished in the Top 10. Now pause. . . and think about what song's you guess would be up there at the top of the list. . . . and hold that thought for a minute.
Once you look at the list, you might be surprised too. Here's how Billboard describes the selection and ranking process: "The 50th Anniversary Hot 100 Song and Artist charts are based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, since the chart's inception in August 1958 through the issue dated July 26, 2008. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least."
If you can, carve out a little time to go to the Billboard site and look through the list. The've done a great job setting it all up. You can view 10 songs at a time. Each song contains a little written descriptor, and most include a video to watch. It's fun. . . and maybe a little frustating (Are you kidding me?!?!? How did that song ever make the list?!?). Give it a look. . . and if you're feeling especially creative, put together a little quiz to share with the teenagers you know and love. They'll be as surprised as you are at the rankings.
Now just for fun. . . . before you go to the Billboard site. . . . check out this Debby Boone video. . . you know. . . the one that had loads of my college buddies vying for her hand in marriage way back when (in our dreams). . . and then venture a guess on where it finished in the Top 100 (yes, believe it or not, it's in there). Then hunt it down in the list. Stuff like this is fun! .
Now, I've got a question for you. Who would you put as your #1?