Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crunching The Numbers

No, it’s not about math…

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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.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

22 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Crunching The Numbers”

  1. I’m loving all these pieces of music! I remember them so well and, used to watching Tony Orlando and Dawn on TV. This reminds me of how great the music used to be and that there was a great variety and actual rock music. I watched a little of the Grammys which shows that so little rock music actually exists. Loved to listen to some of these.

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  2. They don’t make them like that anymore! I am a year older than you, I see. I graduated grammar school in 1969 (a fact that really amused all the boys) and high school in 1973 so it’s no wonder all your choices seem so familiar to me. Thanks for bringing back the years. Happy President’s Day!

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  3. I know all the music, but I never kept up much with who charted how often. Actually I did like to look at what and who was on the hit charts, but it’s not something I necessarily kept track of and certainly not something I remember very much.

    Actually I’ve been surprised while researching some of the Battle of the Bands stuff that songs that I had though reached number one actually never did. Guess they were number one for me though.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. These were from the Billboard Top 10, which was for the whole country, so there would be differences, sometimes significant ones, in different locations. Even within the same market: the WLS and WCFL charts would be different, sometimes having a whole different #1.

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  4. Interesting Beatles tidbits!
    Numbers two and three are still some great tunes, fell into timeless classics, wouldn’t ya say? Well, they’re my faves here, anyway πŸ™‚

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    1. Definitely, Elton John and Three Dog Night were classics. The others? In their own way, they were. The Jackson 5 was huge in the late Sixties, and of course Michael was “King of Pop” during the Eighties. If I did the same thing with the Jacksons as I did with the Beatles, combining Michael’s and Jermaine’s hits with the group’s, they might be higher. And don’t forget the Osmond family franchise, with the Osmond Brothers, Donny, Jimmy, Marie, and Donny and Marie. If I combined all they did, they might have made this list, too. They might not be classics, but they sold a lot of records…

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      1. Yes. I don’t gauge my listening by amount of records sold. Neither The Osmonds or The Jackson 5 ever did it for me. Clearly I made the right choice in not going into the music business πŸ˜‰

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        1. Or the poor bastard at Decca Records who passed on The Beatles, saying he thought guitar groups were on their way out…

          I always remember the Cheech & Chong record where they were watching a movie, “The Jackson 5 Story” starring The Osmond Brothers.

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  5. John, I remember all of these songs. Tony Orlando & Dawn “Knock Three Times” I was 9-years old when it came out but I remember it was quite popular. Three Dog Night was a favorite band of my uncle or at least I recall him listening to the group and I “Joy to the World” is a part of my childhood. The year it came out, I turned 10. Elton John “Crocodile Rock” hit the year I was 12 and was a favorite to roller skate during my junior high years. These are fabulous oldies! I’m running a day late because I was under the weather yesterday. Thanks for joining the 4M crew.

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    1. Hope you’re feeling better. These were all songs that were on the radio all the time when I was in high school. Just about drove me crazy then, but I hear what the millennials are listening to and think, “you know, I miss those old songs”…

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  6. I love all this music. I don’t too many local radio stations in the Atlanta area that play the oldies. I listen to 97.1, which is more into Stones, Led Zepp, Pink Floyd, Elton John, etc., which I like this music. I enjoy listening to the radio or CD’s.

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    1. I miss Fox 97, with Randy & Spiff, Big John Wetherbee, and the rest of the crew. I lost track of Randy & Spiff, but Wetherbee is chief meteorologist for WTOC-TV in Savannah now. He and his family (his wife and three daughters, all gorgeous) used to attend Holy Family Church, where we went for a while. The first time I heard him read at Mass, I said, “I know that voice,” and it took a minute to realize it was him. He did Channel 46 weather for a time, too. I’ve taken to listening to oldies stations on iHeart and TuneIn, and MeTV has an Internet station as well. Can’t find much of anything on radio these days…

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