Tag Archives: Dion

Be Good Johnny: The “Doe” Re Mi Of Chart Ditties

From dusk 'til "John".

From dusk ’til “John”.

The latest single from B.o.B is a collaboration with Priscilla on a song called “John Doe”. For the North Carolina rapper, it’s his sixth top 40 hit on the CHR chart as a main credit act, while it becomes the second for the singer who once charted as Priscilla Renea. (You may remember her minor 2009 entry called “Dollhouse”.) Sometimes, it’s all in the name, and in this case, a first name that’s been used in a lot of other hit singles throughout the decades. Considering that it was the 75th most popular name for boys last year, there’s quite a few more of them in the world.

So, with all the “John” song titles out there, I’ve limited it to just those that hit the top ten. After all, we can only hope that “John Doe” rises to the same region this summer. There’s some classic tunes among the handful of titles, plus a few fluffy numbers that are just so sugary sweet. Get ready to take attendance, because the pop pupils are all here:

Chuck Berry, “Johnny B. Goode” (#8, 1958)
He’s an icon and a pioneer of early rock ‘n’ roll music in the 1950’s. Released during the summer of 1958, “Goode” peaked just a few weeks before Billboard introduced its Hot 100 chart and climbed to #8 on what was then known as the Top 100.

Jimmy Dean, “Big Bad John” (#1, 1961)
Before breaking into the Breakfast business, Dean was a Country singer, and his biggest single topped that chart along with the Hot 100. After a string of hits in the 60’s, he would last break the Hot 100 in 1975. Dean passed away in 2010 at age 81.

Shelley Fabares, “Johnny Angel” (#1, 1962)
Known for her role on The Donna Reed Show, Fabares went from actress to singer and scored a #1 hit with her debut chart single. She managed another moderate hit for Colpix Records, a followup called “Johnny Loves Me”, which peaked at #21.

Joanie Sommers, “Johnny Get Angry” (#7, 1962)
The singer from Buffalo, NY broke into Billboard’s top ten in 1962 with what’s considered one of the more unusual songs in her catalogue of jazz and standards. It was her only top 40 single, and by the 1970’s, she began to pursue commercial work.

The Beach Boys, “Sloop John B” (#3, 1966)
Now, this “John” obviously isn’t a person; it refers to a sail boat of sorts, and it cruised through the chart waters to the high tides of the top 5. The origins of the song date back to the 1920’s. “Sloop” has been covered by several acts since it charted.

Dion, “Abraham, Martin and John” (#4, 1968)
After a string of flops, the former teen idol turned to religion, got clean, and recorded the original version of this tribute to four important American figures. It was a much-needed comeback, becoming his biggest song in five years and going Gold.

In 1971, a medley of this song along with “What The World Needs Now Is Love” went to #8 in a unique composition by disc jockey Tom Clay. It also featured interviews and clips from political figures of the time.

The Beatles, “The Ballad Of John and Yoko” (#8, 1969)
As “Get Back” topped the Hot 100 for five weeks, this tune was released as a followup to it, spending three straight weeks at #8 in July. Some radio stations at the time objected to playing the song due to religious issues. Of course, it’s all fine today.

El DeBarge, “Who’s Johnny?” (#3, 1986)
After leaving his family group at the end of their most successful era, he scored as a solo act in 1986 with a single from the film Short Circuit. Neither of the two followups from a self-titled album out later that year on Gordy Records went top 40.

For more games with names and titles with titles, follow the blog below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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Stormy Weather: A Wintry Wallop Of Hits

Dion and Hercules: snow way!

Dion and Hercules: snow way!

If you’re in the Northeast Corridor tomorrow, you better break out the shovels and salt before you head out. Winter Storm Hercules is ready to deliver some big snowfall totals, and the general consensus is that somewhere between 8-12″ is going to fall locally around here. Now, like many, I don’t know understand the need to name winter storms; I mean, they’re not hurricanes. It just sounds sort of foolish, but alas, some people like the system and use it. Surprisingly enough, some of the names picked for this year’s season also blew onto the charts over the past few decades, coldly climbing in both names of acts and song titles. So, get arctic and chill out while reading up on this list:

ATLAS (October)
“Atlas”, Coldplay (#69, 2013)

Recently featured on the original soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, “Atlas” spent three weeks at #1 on my personal chart.

DION (December)
Celine Dion: twenty-one entries, biggest hit: “Because You Loved Me” (#1, 1996)
Dion: thirty-two entries, biggest hit: “Runaround Sue” (#1, 1961)

Mrs. Dion is currently promoting her latest studio album, Loved Me Back To Life, the title track recently charting at AC radio. Mr. DiMucci hasn’t been on the Hot 100 since 1989, though he’s charted several efforts on the Top Blues Albums survey since 2006.

FALCO (December)
Falco: two entries, biggest hit: “Rock Me Amadeus” (#1, 1986)

The Austrian performer became one of the two Austrian acts in the top 40 at the same time (Opus being the other) in 1986. He died in 1998.

GEMINI (December)
“Gemini Dream”, The Moody Blues (#12, 1981)

The English band out of Birmingham last made the Hot 100 in 1988 with a minor top 40 single, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”.

HERCULES** (January; ongoing)
Technically, there hasn’t been an artist or song named after Hercules to break the charts. However, a song from the soundtrack to Disney’s Hercules peaked at #24 on the Hot 100 in 1997: “Go The Distance” by Michael Bolton.

Could we see these storms be named in the future months to come?

LEON
Leon Haywood: eight entries, biggest hit: “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You” (#15, 1975)
Leon Russell: eight entries, biggest hit: “Tight Rope” (#11, 1972)

Haywood may have only taken one of his songs into the top 40, but it’s an oft-sampled one, including use by Dr. Dre, 50 Cent and others. Singer-songwriter Russell last entered the Hot 100 in 1976 and released an album with Elton John, The Union, in 2010.

NIKA
“Nika”, Vicious (#69, 1995)

From Brooklyn, this rapper only charted once, though the song did slightly better on R&B radio. An album, released on Epic, also tanked.

ORION
Orion The Hunter: one entry, biggest hit: “So You Ran” (#58, 1984)
“The Arms Of Orion”, Prince featuring Sheena Easton (#36, 1989)

The band, who only lasted one self-titled album and a year total, was a side project from several members of rockers Boston. The duet, which was featured on the soundtrack to 1989’s Batman, was the lowest charting Hot 100 single from that era.

REX
Rex Allen: one entry, biggest hit: “Don’t Go Near The Indians” (#17, 1962)
Rex Smith: two entries, biggest hit: “You Take My Breath Away” (#10, 1979)
T. Rex: four entries, biggest hit: “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (#12, 1972)

Allen had a handful of significant Country hits in the 50’s and 60’s, this one reaching #4 while just missing the Hot 100’s top ten. Teen idol Smith starred in the made-for-TV film Sooner Or Later in 1979 as singer Michael Skye, which featured his biggest hit. The only band in the bunch were more successful in their native U.K., but “Gong” was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

XENIA
Xenia: two entries, biggest hit: “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” (#92, 2011)

From season one of The Voice, this young singer was a finalist on Blake Shelton‘s team. She hasn’t charted since her on time on television.

ZEPHYR
“The Zephyr Song”, Red Hot Chili Peppers (#49, 2002)

The legendary band is last, but certainly not least on here. The single from By The Way charted moderately and gained some pop airplay.

Which stormy single(s) are your favorite(s) from the ones listed above? Is there another non-charting song you enjoy? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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