Remembering Olivia's clear voice and her strong presence on the Pop, Adult Contemporary and Country charts
August 4th and the Beginning of Record Research - A Memory from Joel ...
“It was a cool, rainy evening in September of 1965, when I began researching my records. From my shelves of Billboard magazines, I pulled out the issue dated August 4, 1958, and turned to the first-ever “Hot 100” chart. I opened a sealed pack of 3” x 5” cards, took out a card, a ballpoint pen and wrote “Nelson, Ricky” on the top line, “8/4/58” on the second, “Poor Little Fool” on the third and “1” on the fourth. My first card was the first #1 hit on the “Hot 100.” I catalogued every artist and song on that chart on individual cards. I followed those songs, chart after chart, circling the highest positions that they reached, later dubbing these their ‘peak positions.’ With every new song entry that I added to the cards I had already created, my fervor grew for researching and collecting. On each card, I was building an artist’s history on the “Hot 100” chart. These cards would be a guide as to what was missing from my collection of 45s. From that night, I was compelled to chronicle the charts.
“At that time, I did not know any other Billboard subscribers or anyone who shared my definite obsession for collecting records. I could not imagine that my ‘record researching’ would ever be seen by eyes other than mine. It was the love of sports that led to my discovery of Billboard. I was 12 years old, waiting with my mother for the Greyhound bus back to Menomonee Falls. It was a special treat when Mom would venture with one of us six kids to Milwaukee for a day of shopping at Gimbels. Next to our bus stop was the magazine stand where I first spied Billboard. Scanning the magazine from back to front, I was captivated by an ad for baseball card vending machines. I loved collecting baseball cards, seeing the color photos on one side and the organized player statistics on the back, and ultimately, completing a set. Mom graciously purchased the Billboard. Back home I studied the issue, cover to cover, with the music charts overwhelming my curiosity. My hard-earned newspaper delivery wages would not be spent on a baseball card vending machine but on a subscription to Billboard magazine.
“Fast forward a dozen years or so: my attention to baseball was surpassed by my playing of basketball on the semi-pro Menomonee Falls Badgers; I worked in sales in Milwaukee and spent my lunch hours at record shops not far from that bus stop; and the best part, I was married to Fran and we had a baby girl. And on that fateful night, the “Hot 100” was electric with the sounds of the British Invasion, Motown, Surf Music, Folk Rock, Girl Groups and more. How could I know that what I was jotting down to satisfy my own curiosity would be shared worldwide and endlessly referenced — and, that five decades later, my compulsion to create data would still be going strong as the longest tenured licensee in Billboard history. And so, the story continues …”
Then, You Have A Heart for the Charts!