In Billboard Time Capsule, we journey through an old issue of Billboard to see what the most popular and advertised albums of the day were. Not through charts, but rather through advertisements. In each capsule you'll see ads for classic songs and albums, both promoting new recordings and trumpeting ones that had already gained traction. Some songs listed here have YouTube video links for your enjoyment. Clicking on almost any song title brings you to Amazon, where you can be a good, law-abiding citizen and download. Remember that any purchase made through this site helps me out immensely. For those
Because I can't get enough of Spotify playlists or of gathering things into lists, I have undertaken what I think you'll agree is a great public service that combines those two loves. I am in the process of creating playlists -- which I've helpfully dubbed "Ultimate Hit Collection" -- that gather together every song to chart in the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 U.S. singles chart. These aren't your typical hits playlists, in that I'm not curating but collecting. That means if a song ever got into the top 10 and it's on Spotify, it goes into the playlist. So you get to hear some all-time classics and some head-scratching dross. Thus far I've completed my playlists for the 1980s, am almost halfway through the '70s, and have just started the '60s. I may one day get to the 1990s but that...
It's a well-worn cliche by this point, but "the more things change, the more they stay the same" is just so appropriate for what I'm sharing with you today. It's an article called "Program Monotony -- Top 40 Menace to Industry, Says D.J.," and it's from the October 27, 1958 issue of Billboard magazine (known then as The Billboard). Click on the article for a larger version if you want to read the whole thing. In the piece, a popular DJ based out of Hartford, CT named George "Hound Dog" Lorenz laments the rise of the Top 40 radio format, with its lack of variety and its potential to harm record sales and squash new artists. One of his first complaints was probably valid then -- I wouldn't know -- and is certainly valid now. "A lot of the stations are programming 24 hours a day wit...
Long-time readers of this blog already know how much I love talking about and looking at vintage record label art. So imagine my delight when I stumbled on this ad from the May 30, 1970 issue of Billboard magazine. It's part of a tribute to French record executive Eddie Barclay, known in France as le roi du microsillon ("The King of Microgroove)." This ad is in celebration of the beginning of the third decade for the Barclay Group, founded in 1949. It shows the center ring art for the imprints his company distributed. I had to do a little cleanup, and I think the result is pretty cool. Click for a larger version. Just for reference, the labels in this ad are (from left to right in descending order) Amadeo Records, Atco Records, Atlantic Records, Barclay Records, Black and Blue Re
Straight out of a Billboard magazine issue from February 1979 comes this groovy beauty: Laugh all you want, but this made total sense in '79. Styx was huge at the time, having released the successful Pieces of Eight album in September 1978. It was one in a string of multi-platinum records for the band. So who wouldn't want to rock the paradise with a painted Styx van featuring album art from Pieces of Eight and The Grand Illusion? I'd like one of the tour jackets too, please. Hell, I'd drive one of those bad boys around today. You can keep the Betamax player though.
Tributes to the late Don Cornelius have been filling the internet since the news broke of his death earlier this week. There's nothing of substance I can add to the legacy of Cornelius and his beloved creation, Soul Train, so instead I'll offer up this 1974 tribute from Billboard magazine. This spotlight combines a history of the show, then celebrating its third year on the air, with tribute ads from well-known soul and R&B artists, as well as plenty of cool pictures. (more…)
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. On June 25th, 2009, the world lost one of the greatest entertainers of all time -- Michael Jackson. Although recent history had not been kind to Michael, after his passing it seemed like a light switch went on in the collective mind of the American public and they began to view him with respect again. Because let's face it, despite his obvious issues, the man was a one-of-a-kind talent. A fantastic singer, a great dancer, a solid songwriter and producer, and, if you look over the current pop mu
Due largely in part to a recent tweet from Roger Ebert, I decided to check out The Third Man recently. It's apparently considered to be pretty good, as evidenced by its inclusion on AFI's original list of the 100 best American movies of all-time (it was at #57, but was cut from the most recent list). I also wanted to check it out because I haven't really taken the time to explore film noir as much as I'd like, and also I figured it had to be good since it had pre-puffy Orson Welles. Score one for social networking, because it definitely is an enjoyable film and has held up fairly well since it was released in 1949. So what's it all about? The film takes place in post-World War II Vienna, a defeated city divided into four occupied zones (American, British, French, and Russian), a