About The Author

From pastime to passion to profitable enterprise, the growth of Record Research has been the outgrowth of Joel Whitburn’s hobby.

Joel at Desk
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Joel playing his guitar

Joel began collecting records as a teenager in the 1950s. As his collection grew, he began to sort, categorize and file each record according to the highest position it reached on Billboard magazine’s charts.

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He went on to publish this information — first on individual artists’ cards, then in book form in 1970 — and a business was born.
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Today, Joel and his team research with unmatched degree of depth and detail not only the music charts of Billboard but also those of industry trade magazines Cash Box, Radio & Records, and Music Vendor / Record World. Widely recognized as the most authoritative historian on charted music, Joel has also collaborated with Warner/Rhino Records in creating a series of 150 CD albums, plus five CD albums with Curb Records.
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Joel’s own record collection remains unrivaled the world over and includes every charted Hot 100 and pop single (back to 1936), every charted pop album (back to 1945), collections of nearly every charted Country, R&B, Bubbling Under The "Hot 100" and Adult Contemporary records.
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Over the past 50 years, Joel Whitburn's Record Research has published nearly 300 books.

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Joel's other interests include water, winter and motor sports, and the six-and-a-half footer fondly recalls his days playing semi-pro basketball. The Wisconsinite and his wife, Fran, a native of Honduras, love their Brewers, Bucks, Packers and Badgers, and enjoy spending time with the family of their daughter, Kim Bloxdorf, vice president of Record Research, as well as with longtime, key employees Brent Olynick and Paul Haney.
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Joel’s lifelong passion for music, old and new, and his penchant for accurate detail is ever constant. Week in and week out, his research continues ....

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