No, it’s not about math…
My latest series on Two for Tuesday, “High School Days,” features artists and songs that were popular when I was in high school. Naturally, I had to find some way to figure out which songs and artists were popular, so I went to Wikipedia and got the data on all the songs that reached the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 weekly survey for each year I was in high school (started in 1970, graduated in 1974). I then limited the list to just the songs that entered the top ten from the time I graduated from grammar school (June 6, 1970) to when I started college (September 16, 1974).
I finally finished it this past Thursday and started to analyze the data, figuring out which artists had the most Top Ten Singles and the greatest number of weeks in the Top Ten. Here are the top five Top Ten artists by total number of weeks in the Top Ten for the period from 6/6/70 to 9/16/74.
#5: Tony Orlando & Dawn I originally thought Chicago, with 34 weeks in the Top Ten, was #5, then I realized that Tony Orlando & Dawn were credited both as “Dawn” and “Dawn featuring Tony Orlando.” Adding those two together gave them 36 weeks in the Top Ten, making them #5. “Knock Three Times” entered the Top Ten just before Christmas 1970 and spent eleven weeks there, eventually reaching #1.
#4: The Jackson 5 With six hits in the Top Ten totaling 43 weeks, Michael, Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon come in at #4. Eleven of those weeks represent “I’ll Be There,” which reached the Top Ten in October 1970, peaking at #1.
#2 (tie): Elton John We have a tie for #2, one of them being Elton John, with eight songs totaling 47 weeks in the Top Ten. “Crocodile Rock” entered the Top Ten in January 1973 and was there for nine weeks, peaking at #1.
#2 (tie): Three Dog Night I don’t have to tell you that Three Dog Night, for me, represented my high school years. Eight Top Ten hits in that period for a total of 47 weeks. Eleven of those weeks were for “Joy To The World,” which reached the Top Ten in April 1971 and reached #1.
#1: The Carpenters By far the leader in the Top Ten Derby, Karen and Richard far outpaced everyone, spending 71 weeks in the Top Ten. Their ten songs over the period are tied with Chicago. Interestingly, only two songs reached #1, “We’ve Only Just Begun” in 1970 and “Top Of The World” in 1973. My favorite of their ten songs is “Superstar,” which hit the Top Ten in September 1971 and spent eight weeks there, peaking at #2.
Just a couple more things: Paul McCartney, as himself, Paul and Linda McCartney, and Paul McCartney and Wings, had eight songs in the Top Ten totaling 40 weeks, so he would be #5 on this list, but I kept his work with Wings (six songs, 28 weeks) separate. If you combined the solo work of the four Beatles, you’d end up with seventeen songs (eight by Paul, five by Ringo, three by George, and one by John) and 90 weeks (40 by Paul, 18 by George, six by John, and 26 by Ringo). So The Fab Four were still a force the first four years after their breakup.
Be sure to join me on Two for Tuesday each week for the artists that provided the soundtrack of my high school years. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 20, 2017.