George Strait Tied With Conway Twitty For Most Number 1 Singles

Brody Vercher | July 3rd, 2007

  1. Heidi
    July 3, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Hmmm I can see both sides of the argument regarding “Online”. When I first heard about the song, I thought it was brilliant. I admit when I actually heard the song, I was disappointed. I haven’t seen the music video yet. I like the idea of pointing out that people who hide behind their computers aren’t always what they seem. I don’t like picking on them just because they aren’t “cool”. The song is okay but I agree that there are definitely stronger songs on 5th Gear.

  2. Jim Malec
    July 3, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I put a lot of through into how to handle online when I was writing my review of 5th Gear. At first, I, too, found it a bit mean-spirited. While that might be true to an extent, our first reaction to something is not, most of the time, a refined viewpoint. So I listened again, and I deconstructed the song, and came out with some worthwhile points:
    1) The idea itself is a bit cliche. We’ve been so over-exposed to the idea of people being dishonest about their identity online, that I’m not sure the concept of the song works as well as it might have 5, 6 or 7 years ago.
    2) If some of the lyrics seem sharp, I think it’s important to note that the subject is not weak nor helpless–he’s manipulative and, again, dishonest. He’s lying about who he is, and Paisley is calling him out for it.
    3) What really bothered me most about “Online” was its relative inaccuracy. First of all, the kind of person he’s talking about would seem to be the last person who would own/use a Mac (which are considered LESS geeky and more user friendly than PCs).
    4) Country music has a history of being a bit mean at times. I think it’s somewhat hypocritical to, one one hand, discount the “new” artists for being too smooth, too politically correct, etc, while, at the same time, being critical of an artist who sidesteps that political correctness.

  3. Heidi
    July 3, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Jim, I agree with #1. I think Brad did “Celebrity” well but the concept with “Online” isn’t as fresh.
    #2 This is key. I agree that the SUBJECT is lying. This is an important point. Not that it makes picking on him better but it is a good point.
    #3 My experience is that Mac’s are for people who care about what system they use and want something stronger. (geeks if you will) PC’s are just for the average Joe Blow.
    #4 You could be right.

    This song definitely starts an interesting debate.

  4. Paul W Dennis
    July 3, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    I like both Conway Twitty and George Strait but it’s hard to evaluate things such as records for most #1 singles. During the 1970s and 1980s there seemed to be a conspiracy afloat to have a new #1 each week. Using the Billboard charts, the start of this “trend” seemed to be 1973 when 35 songs made it to #1. After that:
    1974 – 40
    1975 – 43
    1976 – 36
    1977 – 30
    1978 – 31
    1979 – 33
    1980 – 43
    1981 – 47
    1982 – 47
    1983 – 50
    1984 – 50
    1985 – 51
    1986 – 51
    1987 – 49
    1988 – 48
    1989 – 49

    It should be noted that Billboard only printed 51 charts per year so the song that was #1 during week 51 was also listed at #1 for week 52.

    This insanity stopped in 1990 as only 24 songs made it to #1 that year. During this period all 18 of George’s #1 records stayed there for just one week. Without the spinning game played at the time some of these songs might have stayed #1 longer, but some of them would not have made it to #1. During this same period Conway had 21 songs reach #1 for one week but he also had four that got there for multiple weeks, only one of which got the week 52 bonus (but it spent 3 weeks at #1 so it was a legitimate multi-week #1)

    Prior to 1973 the most #1 singles in a year was 26 in 1972 with most years being in the mid-teens to low 20s in terms of #1 records

    The top two artists in terms of weeks at #1 remain Eddy Arnold with 145 total weeks and Webb Pierce with 113 weeks. All 113 of Webbs weeks happened with the space of five years !

  5. Kevin
    July 3, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    It wasn’t an insanity that stopped in 1990. It was monitored spins that started. The country chart switched over to BDS monitoring, where a select number of stations were surveyed and songs were ranked by their actual number of plays and their audience, rather than just what stations said they were playing.

    Radio & Records kept that method for another decade, resulting in many songs topping the R&R charts but not Billboard. Needless to say, in Nashville, the labels decided R&R was what mattered because they could actually influence it. No other major genre took the R&R charts seriously during the nineties because they were inaccurate.

  6. Kevin
    July 3, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Let me add that this latest Strait #1′s record is clearly based on Radio & Records. Weren’t we just celebrating him breaking Conway’s record of 40 #1 Billboard country singles last year? This one is far less impressive, given that a Billboard #1 was much harder to come by in the last 17 years.

  7. Matt C.
    July 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    So what are we saying, that this record is basically meaningless?

  8. Paul W Dennis
    July 4, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Since organizations such as Clear Channel are in bed with the promtional people at the major labels I am not sure monitored spins is any more accurate than any other method of measuring chart success. Many songs get more airplay than their actual popularity with listoners would warrant. Moreover , many stations either don’t take listoner requests, or will only accept requests off an approved playlist. If a million listoners across the USA called in requesting to hear the latest Dale Watxon or Johnny Bush songs, I doubt many stations would honor the request or make the Billboard charts

  9. Kevin
    July 4, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    The purpose of a chart is to measure reality, though, the “what” rather than the “why.” Airplay charts are not intended to measure what is popular with listeners, but what is actually being played. The Billboard charts are as accurate as it gets; the only way to improve those charts is to add more monitored stations. Clear Channel being in bed with promotional people doesn’t change the fact that those records are being played the most, and that’s all the charts can measure.

    Your criticism is one of the main reasons I believe that the country chart should include sales, now that we’re in the digital age, as it did up until 1988. It would take some of the power away from radio and more accurately reflect what are the most popular country singles of the day. The top downloads chart isn’t too different from what’s big on radio, but there are a few singles that are selling far better than the current airplay they’re getting, with “Lost”, “Because of You” and “Teardrops on My Guitar” excelling on the download front.

    Conversely, the top two radio songs – “Wrapped” and “Lucky Man” – are much further down the sales list.

  10. Paul W Dennis
    July 5, 2007 at 5:15 am

    I agree with Kevin – sales should be a major component of any chart. Actually I would give it heavier weight than airplay. I suspect that “Blue” was indeed the most popular and most requested song of its year – even if it did top out at #10 on Billboard

  11. Jessica
    July 5, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    I just think it is awesome that after all of these years with all of the changes in country music – George Strait has remained constant. He is like a good bourbon – better with age. He’s met all of his lifetime achievements that he’s wanted to achieve, besides the Grand Ole Opry.

  12. Paul W Dennis
    July 6, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    I think that Strait’s success is the result of his consistancy and the mystique he has created by playing so few dates.

    Strait’s worst records would rate a B- and his best records would typically rate a B+ (there are two or three A’s scattered among his hits). Consequently, Strait never, ever disappoints his fan base.

    For much of his reign George has been among the few whose records were recognized as country even by old timers like myself. I buy each new Strait disc as it comes out whereas there are some gaps in my collection of artists such as Rodney Crowell, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Faith Hill and others. For those artists I pick up the occasional album and otherwise wait out the Greatest Hit collections.

    I have purchased all of Alan Jackson’s albums thus far, but if he issues another turkey like the last album, I may find myself waiting for Greatest Hits V3 before making any further purchases

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