If you’ve taken a peek at iTunes in the last day or two, you’ve probably noticed that the new One Direction single, “Story Of My Life”, is absolutely dominating the sales charts. (I covered the premiere last Friday.) With two versions of the song up for sale, there’s no doubt that it has the makings of another top ten smash on the Hot 100 for the boys. Where it actually debuts, however, will be a mystery until next week’s revelation of the chart. Until then, it’s time to open the chart files to the chapter on sensational stories that sizzled on the music surveys. From country to rock to pop, they’re all page turners indeed. Read on:
“My True Story”, The Jive Five (#3, 1961)
The quintet from Brooklyn formed in the 50’s with that smooth a cappella sound. In addition to hitting #3 on the Hot 100, this debut single also topped the R&B charts for three weeks. The soul group charted on the Hot 100 a handful of times, but only made the top 40 one other time with 1965’s “I’m A Happy Man”, which went to #26. After their hit days were over, they notably worked with Nickelodeon on a ad campaign in the 80’s and they still occasionally perform today under a different formation.
“Love Story (Where Do I Begin)”, Andy Williams (#9, 1971)
First screened in December 1970, the movie Love Story, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, became an instant success and grossed over $100 million at the U.S. box office. The theme from it became the last top ten single on the pop survey for the then 43-year-old Williams, his first in nearly a decade. The singer and television host passed away last year at the age of 84. Two instrumental versions of the same song charted concurrently with the Williams version, which you can listen to below.
“Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)”, Nine Days (#6, 2000)
Led by singer and guitarist John Hampson, the five-man band out of Long Island struck gold in 2000 with this catchy number and parent album The Madding Crowd. The group would chart again later that year with “If I Am”, which made the top 40 at a few radio formats, but barely edged into the top 70 on the Hot 100. After a shelved followup album with 550 Music (which was eventually released digitally), the band’s recorded on and off together independently, last putting out an EP earlier this year.
“Love Story”, Taylor Swift (#4, 2008)
She’s still on top after all these years, selling out worldwide tours and making lots of money. This was Swift’s first and only song to top both Billboard’s pop and country airplay charts (although she also pulled off the trick on Mediabase with “You Belong With Me”) and remains one of her more enduring songs in terms of radio presence today. She’s currently racking airplay at the mainstream formats with “Everything Has Changed”, a duet with Ed Sheeran, and at country stations with a solo song, “Red”.
Ah, but in the library of love songs and lyrical masterpieces, there are other top 40 stories from over the decades:
“(Theme From) Love Story”, Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (#13, 1971)
“The Story Of My Love”, Paul Anka (#16, 1971)
“Neverending Story”, Limahl (#17, 1985)
“The Story In Your Eyes”, The Moody Blues (#23, 1971)
“Both Sides Of The Story”, Phil Collins (#25, 1993)
“The Story Of My Love”, Conway Twitty (#28, 1959)
“(Theme From) Love Story”, Francis Lai & His Orchestra (#31, 1971)
…and if you really want to dig deep into depths of the dramatic, check out these two hits that pre-dated the Hot 100 (then the Billboard Top 100): “A Story Untold” by The Crew Cuts (#16, 1955) and “The Story Of My Life” by Marty Robbins (#15, 1958).
For more of the music you love, from bookworms to earworms, keep it locked on PGTC by clicking the “Get Social!” tab above or the “Follow” tab at the bottom of the page.