BOOK REVIEW: Across the Charts-the 1960s

I am an unabashed fan of those Billboard books such as Top Pop Singles and Top R&B /Hip Hop Singles. Arriving in the mail this week, Joel Whitburn Presents Across the Charts-the 1960s. It takes all the songs that hit the Hot 100 (HT), Bubbling Under (BU), R&B (RB), Country (CW) and Adult Contemporary (AC). from January 1960 through December 1969. Additionally it notes those “list” songs such as the Rolling Stone 500 greatest songs, RIAA/NEA 365 songs of the (20th) century, BMI top 100 songs of the century, etc.

Examples: Whipped cream by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass entered the AC charts on 3/20/66 and got to #13, spending 8 weeks on the charts, while it hit the HT charts on 2/20/66 and stayed there for 10 weeks, but only got to #68.

The Beatles’ From Me to You was released on 8/3/63 but only got to the BU charts at #116, but was re-released on 3/7/64 and got to #41. Another Beatles’ song, Something, was #3 on the HT but also #17 on the AC, the ONLY Beatles song to reach the AC in the decade. Also, Something was #273 on the Rolling Stone list and #17 on the BMI rating.

Nat “King Cole’s Ramblin’ Rose was #1 for 5 weeks in 1962 on the AC charts, #2 for 2 weeks on the HT chart AND #7 on the RB charts. Similarly, the 1960 Elvis Presley hit Stuck on You was #1 for 4 weeks on the HT, #6 on the RB(!) and #27 on the CW. I note these last two examples to describe the universality of music, and why I was never able to organize my albums by “genre”.

Additionally, the book lists all the songs alphabetically, so I can see that All My Loving charted for the Beatles, the Chipmunks, Jimmy Griffin and the Hollyridge Strings.

There are three songs that made it to #1 on three of the four charts
I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You by Ray Charles (1962): RB (10 weeks), HT (5 weeks) and AC (5 weeks); #161 on the Rolling Stone list, #40 on the BMI.
Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean (1961): AC (9 weeks), HT (5 weeks), CW (2 weeks).
Honey by Bobby Goldsboro (1968): HT (6 weeks), CW (3 weeks), AC (2 weeks).

There’s is only one song that made the Top 10 in all four charts, HT, RB, CW, and AC. Any guesses?

This is a really fun book, at least for a music junkie of this period such as I. For more information, go to

(This was an unpaid, unsolicited announcement for a book I’m loving.)


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