Tag Archives: Sue Thompson

Crown Of The Frowns: Pulling Off An Upset On The Charts

An expression of depression.

An expression of depression.

It might be a downer, but it’s rising up the chart for singer Lana Del Rey, who appears to finally be accepted by a mainstream audience in the United States. A Cedric Gervais remix has fueled the sudden hit status of “Summertime Sadness”, which is currently up to #16 on the Hot 100 as of last week. It could very well go top ten because it continues to make significant gains on both the airplay and sales chart. Should it achieve that, it would be only the seventh song in the history of the chart to reach that portion with a depressing ditty, at least in its title, sadly. In fact, all of those prior singles have gone top 7, so the lucky seventh one has to go to top, right? Maybe. We’ll have to wait and see. Grab onto these big hits and maybe a box of tissues as well:

“So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)”, The Everly Brothers (#7, 1960)
Don and Phil Everly were all over the place as the rock era began, cranking out material that charted on the adult contemporary, R&B and pop national surveys. In the middle of the terrific twosome’s hit streak in the 50’s and 60’s came this single, and while it’s not one of their most remembered, it did spend a few weeks in the top ten with a peak of #7. The b-side to it, “Lucille”, also cracked the top 40, going as high as #21.

“Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)”, Sue Thompson (#5, 1961)
Missouri-born Eva McKee first made a name for herself as Thompson in 1961 with this debut single, which went to #5 on the Hot 100. It was written by John D. Loudermilk, who was also behind the hits “Indian Reservation”, “Tobacco Road” and Thompson’s followup to “Movies”, the #3 “Norman”. After the pop charts ignored her efforts by the middle of the decade, she returned to Country music to some minor success.

“Sad Eyes”, Robert John (#1, 1979)
John first made the Hot 100 as 12-year-old Bobby Pedrick, Jr. in 1958 with a minor single, which was followed by a few more under a change of name in 1968. After garnering his first big hit with a cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1972, which went to #3, he fell off the radar. This unexpected comeback song climbed the charts slowly, going top 40 in June and to #1 in October, rare for the time. He last charted in 1983.

“Sad Songs (Say So Much)”, Elton John (#5, 1984)
Now, from one John to another. The English star created some pretty sad songs in his career, but this was his only single release to contain the actual world. “Songs” was the first release from his 1984 album Breaking Hearts and it went to #5 on the Hot 100, his first leadoff single to make the top 5 in four years. It also managed high peaks in Austria, Canada, and Switzerland. A music video for it was filmed in Australia.

“There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)”, Billy Ocean (#1, 1986)
It was in 1984 that Ocean first saw the top of the charts with “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)”, his first top 40 single in eight years. Two years after that massive song, he went back to the #1 spot with this big ballad. After a single frame at the top, it was knocked out by Simply Red‘s “Holding Back The Years”. Ocean would go to #1 for a third and final time in 1988 with “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”.

“Another Sad Love Song”, Toni Braxton (#7, 1993)
She’s one of the stars of Braxton Family Values and her music career took off in a big way in the 90’s. “Love” was the first single from Braxton’s self-titled debut album in 1993. The single went top ten and the album went to #1 for two weeks in 1994. Braxton is currently promoting a duets project with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who featured Braxton on his 1992 hit, “Give U My Heart”, becoming her first top 40 single.

For more chart trivia that puts emotions in motion, turn that frown upside down and follow the blog below or click the “Get Social!” page to find PGTC on social media.

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Sinews Of Thy Chart: Tygers Burning Bright In The Pop World

You're gonna hear them roar.

You’re gonna hear them roar.

William Blake wrote his well-loved poem The Tyger in his 1794 collection Songs Of Experience, and while Blake’s words of wisdom never registered on ye olde countdown back in the day, there are many songs on the charts today that are written out of experience and life. It was also an experience two mornings ago to have a song show up on the internet out of nowhere. Katy Perry‘s “Roar” leaked on Saturday morning before its intended release date of Monday morning, leaving me without a single premiere topic to put up today. So, in honor of the song that’s now on the loose and those cats with their mighty claws, I’ve caged up a pack of roaring rockers and other top 40 tigers that pounced on the pop survey. Time to get a musical meow from these worthy competitors:

“Tiger”, Fabian (#3, 1959)
Teen idol Fabian was discovered in 1957 in Philadelphia as suggested to a couple of record label owners and producers by another hot young star, Frankie Avalon. He ended up having eleven songs make the Hot 100 into 1960, including this big seller, which went to #3 and became his signature song. After the payola scandal of the 1960’s, his career ended and he went to acting, where he was also moderately successful.

“Paper Tiger”, Sue Thompson (#23, 1965)
Missouri-born Eva McKee first made a name for herself as Sue Thompson in 1961 with back-to-back top 5 singles on the Hot 100: “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” (#5) and “Norman” (#3). “Paper” was her last song to make the top 40, a minor single. After the pop charts ignored her efforts, she returned to Country music, gaining some notice with handful of albums recorded with duet partner Don Gibson in the 1970’s.

“I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail”, Buck Owens (#25, 1965)
Owens was chart royalty on the Country chart for several decades, accumulating twenty-one #1 singles, fourteen of them consecutively between 1963 and 1967. This was one of them, spending five weeks in the top spot. It was his only song to become a top 40 hit on the Hot 100, but was one of eight to make Billboard’s national pop chart. Owens last made the Country chart with a minor single in 1989. He died in 2006.

“Ride The Tiger”, Jefferson Starship (#83, 1974)
By the time Jefferson Airplane broke apart in 1972, the making of another band were already in the works. “Ride” was the first single by the septet to be released under their new name, but it failed nationally despite their album, Dragon Fly, going Gold. However, their next album, Red Octopus, proved well on both the albums and singles chart and the group became an even more commercial success as just Starship.

“Eye Of The Tiger”, Survivor (#1, 1982)
It was a hard-hitting anthem that continues to sell even in today, topping 3 million digital copies as of last year. As the theme song from Rocky III, “Eye” exploded onto the charts in the summer of 1982, punching its way to #1 for six weeks. Much of their work in the next years failed to live up to that, although the band did return to the top ten on a few other occasions, including the #2 “Burning Heart” from 1986’s Rocky IV.

You also might remember Glass Tiger. They charted four singles between 1986 and 1988, their biggest being the #2 “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”. The Canadian band is still performing today.

For more on the animals of this zoo we call the music industry and all the other songs and chart trivia that you crave, follow the blog below or click the “Get Social!” tab at top to find the blog on various social media sites.

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