Stories Behind the Music: Two Old Guys Kicked the Beatles' Butts

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
The Beatles dominated the singles chart in the early 1960's. In April of 1964, the Beatles released a song that is, arguably, their most significant hit. Can't Buy Me Love, and the group, set many milestones: Greatest dominance in the top five; greatest dominance in the top 100; biggest jump to #1, from #27; most consecutive #1 singles; largest advance sales. Four of those accomplishments still hold today. Can't Buy Me Love is not as well-known, or as highly-touted today, as some of their other tunes but it was a monumental success.


The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love (Live) - The best home videos are here

 So what knocked that song out of the #1 slot after a five week run? It was a song by an old guy. Sixty-three year old Louis Armstrong, who hadn't been in the top 10 for eight years, nudged the fab four out of their exalted top slot. Can't Buy Me Love fell to #5 and Satchmo became the oldest artist in history to have a number one song. If you are about my age, you have to remember this song.

 

My understanding is that the Beatles loved it, that Satchmo bumped them off the top, because they looked up to him and his music. Nearly six months later, the same thing happened yet again. The Beatles were riding high with a big hit. It had been #1 for two weeks and it was August 1963. Remember this theme song from the movie?

A Hard Day's Night -- a title based on an expression used by Ringo, after a hard day on the movie set -- was riding high. Then another older guy came along to knock them off the apple cart. Dean Martin had not had a hit in six years. But he had switched to a new label (Reprise owned by his friend Frankie), he had a new style and arrangement on a 15 year-old song that had been previously recorded by several artists,  and he saw success coming. He told his son that he was gonna release a record that would blow the Beatles right off the charts. A few months later, Dino -- the King of Cool -- did just that.

For more "Stories Behind the Music" click on the guitar  

  Steven L. Smith

 Bellingham WA Home Inspections

  

 

 

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Check out "This Day In History" -- music and vintage television from the 1950's through the 1980's.  I enjoy writing these articles because they take me back to my days in radio broadcasting. Click on Elvis' gold record, below, to revisit those golden hits of yesteryear.

           

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Rainmaker
340,097
Robert May
Verico Canada First Mortgage/ Rainbow Realty - Lethbridge, AB
Real Estate Expert & Mortgage Broker- Lethbridge

love your license plate link to blog subscription so much that im going to subscribe!

Nov 28, 2008 05:45 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,186,624
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Thanks. Wish I could say it was my invention. Done for my by Charles Buell, and AR member here.

Nov 28, 2008 05:53 PM #2
Rainmaker
351,634
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Broker

Hard to believe that anyone could not the Beatles off the top of the charts especially Dean Martin.

Nov 28, 2008 06:46 PM #3
Rainer
28,309
Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate
SDW Realty of Cape Cod - Falmouth, MA

Yes two old guys may have temporarily taken over the Beatles #1 spots on the charts but it was just that- temporary! thanks for the Utube videos and the trip down memory lane!

Nov 28, 2008 07:06 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,186,624
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Michael,

Dino is back in vogue, the King of Cool they call him.

Nov 28, 2008 07:16 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,186,624
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Stephen,

The old guys had to get their licks in when they could. That era was dominated by the Beatles, the Supremes, Herman's Hermits and the youngsters, although Petula Clark, from the UK, was old for a pop star of the era.

Nov 28, 2008 07:17 PM #6
Rainmaker
736,305
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

Steven, you've jarred another nerve here.  Dean Martin is probably one of the best looking guys who ever lived....with more class than Elvis.  We sat on the front row at one of his shows in Vegas several years ago and he held the audience in his hands.  He had more charisma than anyone I'd ever seen!  One night I just camped out at youtube to watch his old videos and drool!

Nov 28, 2008 09:22 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,186,624
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Barbara,

I have to admit that every New Years Eve I put Dino on the CD player with That's Amore and his greatest hits. I enjoy him, probably more than Sinatra. I have quite a bit of Sinatra too.

Nov 28, 2008 10:00 PM #8
Ambassador
1,602,104
Michael Thornton
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297

Steven, Cool post... I really enjoyed reading this and listening/watching the videos. Really brought back a lot of memories...

~~Michael 

Nov 29, 2008 04:45 AM #9
Rainer
215,024
Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate

Very interesting. If you are ever in that area, you should check out the rock and roll hall of fame at the Hard Rock Theme Park in Myrtle Beach, SC.  I was there for the grand opening and it was a pretty cool place, complete with a couple of roller coasters in addition to all the rock folklore and photos.

Nov 29, 2008 01:42 PM #10
Anonymous
Anonymous
Greatest dominance in the top five; greatest dominance in the top 100; biggest jump to #1, from #27; most consecutive #1 singles; largest advance sales. Four of those accomplishments still hold today. I can't determine whether you're talking U.S. charts or U.K. charts. If we look at the U.S. charts, I can only think of three of those accomplishments that have not been eclipsed: Greatest dominance in the Top 5 (Bee Gees came real close), greatest dominance in the Top 100, and greatest advance sales. I'm not a big Britney Spears fan, but I believe "Womanizer" currently holds the record for biggest jump to #1 from somewhere within the Hot 100, getting there from #96. If you're talking pre-SoundScan, then The Beatles still hold the record, but that's like saying that Barry Bonds doesn't hold the season home run record because he used steroids and had an few extra games. Of course, after 1995, Billboard rules were changed with the result that several singles have debuted at #1. According to all my books, Whitney Houston currently holds the record for most consecutive #1 singles on the U.S. charts, with seven. The Beatles still hold it on the U.K. charts with 11.
Nov 29, 2008 09:53 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,186,624
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Russel, That is U.S. charts per Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Last published 2003. If you have that tome, they do not go with your Whitney Houston theory. They state that there was another release, prior to So Emotional, that only went up to to ten. It was an old recording, released by her prior label, but it still charted in between her number one songs. That broke the streak. So, technically, she stopped with five in a row. The release, that broke the string was called Thinking About You. On page 686, they give that explanation. Then they reinforce that view on page 145 where they state the Beatles hold four of the five records, as of 2003, a date after when Whitney had done those recordings. Several artists have broken that jump to #1. I see that October of this year that one fell a couple times. Comparing record charts to baseball is not such a wild comparison. Many of my stories are based on my memory of events having been in broadcasting, having lived some of these songs in the industry, other times information is reinforced with texts. I try to be as accurate as I can but this stuff keeps changing, sometimes between publishing dates of the various bibles of music. And different credible books have different information too. There are statistics that there are disagreements on. I have been going with Billboard for US charts and you should assume that is the case unless I mention UK charts. Far as I know, Billboard does not chart over there in Europe. By the way, when I was in radio, there was another magazine -- considered to be about as equally credible as Billboard -- Cashbox. The stations went with both charts which were similar but not exactly the same. Also, within the industry the periodical Radio and Records is probably more of a bible than Billboard. I think the original Cashbox folded but R&R is still around. It has been a major player for years. Consumers know Billboard because it has been publicized more and has been around forever, but R&R has been incredible at picking the hits for all formats. It is what the pros went by when they were selecting playlists.

Having worked in the field for 30 years, I will also warn against taking any of this chart business too seriously. Record companies have been known to buy back their own product to make a record number one. Eric Burden says that is exactly what happened with House of the Rising Sun, a huge song. He says that was part of how the game was played, by labels, to manufacture their hits. Makes sense really. Once you have made a hit, you can re-sell those copies to everyone who will want the song. I look at it this way: What was top ten was top ten, number one was number one, a hit was a hit but some of the other statistics in between border on hocus pocus and are to be taken with a grain of salt. Interesting filler for a post sometimes, but often just monkey business that is likely to be contradictory depending on the slant of your apparently credible source. Kind of like politics and baseball stats.

Nov 29, 2008 10:51 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,186,624
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Answering my own question about what happened to Cashbox: Ceased original publication 12 years ago. New owners giving it a shot too.

http://www.cashboxmagazine.com/aboutus.htm

 

Nov 29, 2008 10:57 PM #13
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