[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. Don't R&B chart placements mean anything?

    So, lately, I've been playing my Motown Complete Singles sets and reading the essays of each song. I was reminded of something that's always bothered me; there are many Motown records that, while they didn't score high on the Pop charts, they did exceptionally well on the R&B Charts. In some cases hitting #1. Yet it seems none of that matters.

    O.K. I understand it- the Pay Day is to be found in Pop sales, so of course, you want to nail it there. But are R&B sales really so negligible that nobody ever celebrates a Number 1 R&B hit? Many Motown artists who didn't rack up huge Pop sales did very well on the R&B side but those accomplishments seem to mean nothing if the Rock press doesn't acknowledge that success.

    It's like the scene in "The Five Heartbeats": " are we always crossing over to them why don't they cross over to us sometimes!"

  2. #2
    I think its because the R&B Charts are like the Country and Jazz Charts, where the Pop Charts generally mean greater exposure and greater sales.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by SatansBlues View Post
    I think its because the R&B Charts are like the Country and Jazz Charts, where the Pop Charts generally mean greater exposure and greater sales.
    And somehow as I was typing all that, the answer became clearer. As they say, to ask a question is to answer it. Your reply pretty much summed it up well!

  4. #4
    Good post,as a kid i never paid attention to the pop charts,i just wanted to see where a favorite song placed in the r&b charts.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    Good post,as a kid i never paid attention to the pop charts,i just wanted to see where a favorite song placed in the r&b charts.
    I think it was my obsessive reading about all things Motown as a kid made me more aware of the charts. Then I bought The Rolling Stone Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll and REALLY learned about the importance of the charts. Even at 12 I would think, well this song didn't do much on the Pop chart but it was a hit on the R&B chart and that seemed like a victory to me. But I guess that doesn't translate to sales victory.

  6. #6
    As a kid, the only chart I followed was JET magazine's Soul Brothers Top 20. It was years before I heard of Billboard and even more before I actually saw an issue. Interestingly enough, I also bought the Rolling Stone Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll and was fascinated by how high (or low) some records peaked on the charts.
    Last edited by reese; 10-23-2020 at 08:51 PM.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    As a kid, the only chart I followed was JET magazine's Soul Brothers Top 20. It was years before I heard off Billboard and even before I actually saw an issue. Interestingly enough, I also bought the Rolling Stone Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll and was fascinated by how high (or low) some records peaked on the charts.
    Wow! Yes I remember those Jet magazine Soul Brothers charts. Can't recall if the name was changed slightly in the 70s, but you reminded me I did look at those too as a kid.

    And it really was fascinating with the Rolling Stone book to see those chart positions. I think I was more surprised to find some of the most popular Rock and Pop acts even had things that charted fairly low at times. I guess I thought they fired off one Number 1 after another!
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 10-23-2020 at 08:25 PM.

  8. #8
    As a kid the coolest thing was when the local radio stations would have their hit's charts and we would listen to who was the new no.one song on local radio.

  9. #9
    Speaking of JET magazine, during the early eighties , 1980 -83, I worked at Portals To Music, a mom and pop record store that operated out of the Stonestown Mall in SF. One of the original independents that emerged out of the 1950's , Mrs. Gold herself used to come in regularly and stand at the back of the store and stare out at the activities. Behind the main counter we still had the slotted cubbies to keep our back inventory, each label in its alphabetical place, each album title in order by its order # !!! Vinyl ruled, cassettes were but a small part of the store.

    We had a good reputation for certain things , classical , Hawaiian--- of all curious things , and we had a thorough inventory of 45s of which I managed. Each week I tabulated and posted our ( authentic) Top 20 , from which people studied the board and requested from the 45 cubbies behind the listing. We stocked the oldies in bins that could be shopped through, and new 45s, including those not yet on the top 20, were stocked behind the counter to be asked for. It did not take long to observe what was breaking hot as people asked for titles. Sometimes it was more a regional hit , for instance for a couple of weeks WHIP IT by Devo was #1 for us, but nationally it did not break the Top 10. I remember moving it down into the oldies section as it dropped in sales and the kids shopping were so indignant. "WHIP IT is not old!!" They protested. "Yes it is , I answered , "...it's off the chart! " lol !
    That's how it was though. You had to be on top of it. When a song was hot, we tried to calculate and not run out , but once a song got old, it turned to ice. (This was always a problem: when a 45 was peaking , availability was often times null. You don't know how frustrating it was when every other buying customer is asking for BILLIE JEAN, and your refill order of 100 copies ( which would have to be an especially huge record for such a number) comes back zeroed out . The record companies were playing the same calculating game I was , how many copies to press that would sell, and not become dead overstock ...I wonder how many sales were lost because of this . A LOT!!

    I had to decide , quickly, either return what hadn't sold in its limited time allowing for full credit , or delegate a title as an oldie. WHIP IT sticks out because I had a good number of them as I was expecting more weeks of climbing popularity, but surprisingly, despite what it was doing for us, it was peaking nationally without becoming a top ten monster. I decided to keep them as I felt it might be a record hard to come by and it was still so popular locally. That batch of 50 or so funneled out as an oldie until they were gone. I bet we were the last local source to have it.
    Once the printing stopped , customers couldn't get the record typically even by special order, that was the end of it , until a title got reissued by the label on an oldies pressing...if it did. That was another reason to decide to keep the more popular ones in stock. I think WHIP IT was the record that taught me to utilize our oldies section this way, it became a regular practice for the big ones.

    So where was I , oh yes JET magazine. Even as a single record store , not part of a big buying chain, we had some clout with the record labels. For one thing , we're talking San Francisco , a major market for music in every sense. Marketing was very big there . The reps loved to come to our store to do displays because we had huge floor to ceiling glass display windows, ( you could climb inside and walk in them). Perfect for pitching the new Donna on Geffin LP, or new acts like Stray Cats in grand style. Virtually every label had reps in SF and often even a display staff that worked the circuit. WEA in fact had a guy , Izzy, whose soul job was to go around and certify WEA displays, documenting them with a camera he always had around his neck.
    We liked it, our windows changed constantly.

    And these labels were appreciative. Keeping the reps happy translated into thank yous ....their visits complete with promos under their arms , and tickets to concerts....

    Which was also part of the benefit of having sales reports. This gave us clout. We didn't report directly to Billboard , the exclusive top prize, but we reported to secondaries who called us weekly on behalf of tracking companies that then reported their findings to the trades like Billboard.
    It predated me , I inherited it, but somehow we got a call each week from JET magazine. Kind of odd because we weren't in the heart of SF, in the main action, we were out in the avenues. Our 45 clientele was largely from SFSU located next door, the mall shoppers, and we especially catered to the catholic school students that poured in after school.

    Reporting WHIP IT as our #1 to JET raised nary an eyebrow from them as I recall. I know it didn't translate into a placement in their Top 20 however. lol!

    Besides the credence the reporting to JET gave us, another benefit was, we got an issue of the magazine mailed to the store each week.

    Fun stuff.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-26-2020 at 11:54 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Speaking of JET magazine, during the early eighties , 1980 -83, I worked at Portals To Music, a mom and pop record store that operated out of the Stonestown Mall in SF. One of the original independents that emerged out of the 1950's , Mrs. Gold herself used to come in regularly and stand at the back of the store and stare out at the activities. Behind the main counter we still had the slotted cubbies to keep our back inventory, each label in its alphabetical place, each album title in order by its order # !!! Vinyl ruled, cassettes were but a small part of the store.

    We had a good reputation for certain things , classical , Hawaiian--- of all curious things , and we had a thorough inventory of 45s of which I managed. Each week I tabulated and posted our ( authentic) Top 20 , from which people studied the board and requested from the 45 cubbies behind the listing. We stocked the oldies in bins that could be shopped through, and new 45s, including those not yet on the top 20, were stocked behind the counter to be asked for. It did not take long to observe what was breaking hot as people asked for titles. Sometimes it was more a regional hit , for instance for a couple of weeks WHIP IT by Devo was #1 for us, but nationally it did not break the Top 10. I remember moving it down into the oldies section as it dropped in sales and the kids shopping were so indignant. "WHIP IT is not old!!" They protested. "Yes it is , I answered , "...it's off the chart! " lol !
    That's how it was though. You had to be on top of it. When a song was hot, we tried to calculate and not run out , but once a song got old, it turned to ice. (This was always a problem: when a 45 was peaking , availability was often times null. You don't know how frustrating it was when every other buying customer is asking for BILLIE JEAN, and your refill order of 100 copies ( which would have to be an especially huge record for such a number) comes back zeroed out . The record companies were playing the same calculating game I was , how many copies to press that would sell, and not become dead overstock ...I wonder how many sales were lost because of this . A LOT!!

    I had to decide , quickly, either return what hadn't sold in its limited time allowing for full credit , or delegate a title as an oldie. WHIP IT sticks out because I had a good number of them as I was expecting more weeks of climbing popularity, but surprisingly, despite what it was doing for us, it was peaking nationally without becoming a top ten monster. I decided to keep them as I felt it might be a record hard to come by and it was still so popular locally. That batch of 50 or so funneled out as an oldie until they were gone. I bet we were the last local source to have it.
    Once the printing stopped , customers couldn't get the record typically even by special order, that was the end of it , until a title got reissued by the label on an oldies pressing...if it did. That was another reason to decide to keep the more popular ones in stock. I think WHIP IT was the record that taught me to utilize our oldies section this way, it became a regular practice for the big ones.

    So where was I , oh yes JET magazine. Even as a single record store , not part of a big buying chain, we had some clout with the record labels. For one thing , we're talking San Francisco , a major market for music in every sense. Marketing was very big there . The reps loved to come to our store to do displays because we had huge floor to ceiling glass display windows, ( you could climb inside and walk in them). Perfect for pitching the new Donna on Geffin LP, or new acts like Stray Cats in grand style. Virtually every label had reps in SF and often even a display staff that worked the circuit. WEA in fact had a guy , Izzy, whose soul job was to go around and certify WEA displays, documenting them with a camera he always had around his neck.
    We liked it, our windows changed constantly.

    And these labels were appreciative. Keeping the reps happy translated into thank yous ....their visits complete with promos under their arms , and tickets to concerts....

    Which was also part of the benefit of having sales reports. This gave us clout. We didn't report directly to Billboard , the exclusive top prize, but we reported to secondaries who called us weekly on behalf of tracking companies that then reported their findings to the trades like Billboard.
    It predated me , I inherited it, but somehow we got a call each week from JET magazine. Kind of odd because we weren't in the heart of SF, in the main action, we were out in the avenues. Our 45 clientele was largely from SFSU located next door, the mall shoppers, and we especially catered to the catholic school students that poured in after school.

    Reporting WHIP IT as our #1 to JET raised nary an eyebrow as I recall. I know it didn't translate into a placement in their Top 10. lol!

    Besides the credence the reporting to JET gave us, another benefit was, we got an issue of the magazine mailed to the store each week.

    Fun stuff.
    Great story, Boogiedown! Lots of it reminded me of forays into Sam Goody's in Manhattan, on 6th Av. Putting on the stereo headphones to listen to the latest jam. Or punching in the current #1 and hearing it throughout the store. I think Tower Records had that same little Listening Station too. Miss that unique thrill, though.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    As a kid, the only chart I followed was JET magazine's Soul Brothers Top 20. It was years before I heard of Billboard and even more before I actually saw an issue. Interestingly enough, I also bought the Rolling Stone Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll and was fascinated by how high (or low) some records peaked on the charts.
    I remember Soul Brothers Top 20 too. And the pictures at the top too. That was our Billboard.

  12. #12
    What hip - hop Millennials are calling R&B nowadays is laughable. And saying it's R&B Soul at that.

  13. #13
    Here is a Soul Brothers page from the January 1970 issue of Jet magazine:

    Name:  Jet Soul Brothers Top 20 January 1970 .jpg
Views: 109
Size:  76.1 KB

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.