Newsletter for October 2018

There has been some question about the address for the AHRS. To be specific, it is located about 2 blocks west of Boutwell Auditorium. On the corner of 8th Ave and 18th St north, downtown Birmingham.

 

BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14th 2018 – 2:00 PM
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4th, 2018 THE FIRST SUNDAY

THIS MONTH’S MEETING

Our October meeting will be held at the Alabama Historical Radio Society. Having a meeting there has been discussed for a while and now we are doing it. There are many displays I think we will find interesting, especially the Joe Rumore area where, thanks to our own Ray Edwards, Joe’s own radio equipment he used to air his radio shows from his basement has been restored and is set up as though it could be used once again. Along with displays like that the society also has many antique radios. AHRS will also have a member there to discuss the group’s history. Don’t miss this interesting and informative meeting. The address is 1759 18th Street North downtown Birmingham. AHRS has a parking lot so you won’t have to park on the street. The entrance is the back door.

And don’t forget, the November meeting will be held on the first Sunday, November 4th due to Veterans day. The meeting will also be held in another room. The room is the one we met in before moving into the larger room we now use. Same floor, so just come on in and you’ll find us.

CONDOLANCES

BRC sends out heart felt condolences to BRC Hall of Fame member, Dinky Harris. Dinky’s wife, Nancy passed away earlier this month. Dinky and Nancy had been married for 61 years. Dinky has been in the ministry for most of his life and Nancy was there with him. A service was held in Illinois at a church where Dinky held a Wednesday night Bible study.

AND THE SURVEY SAYS

Remember picking up the local radio stations song survey listing the weekly Top 20/40 or whatever the number was? They could be found at record stores, department stores, clothing stores, package stores, and so many other places around town. And then some stations would play the top songs of that week on Saturday or Sunday. You just had to be in the know when it came to knowing the latest songs and where they charted. BRC has at least 2 members who even today collect these vintage charts. Who picked the songs? What formula was used to compile such a list? How come the national charts, Billboard, didn’t match what your radio station’s chart showed?

In 1913 Billboard began publishing ‘Popular Songs Heard in Vaudeville Theaters Last Week’. Later they published charts for popular sheet music. Recorded music popularity charts came into being around 1940. But the first hit parade was printed in 1936. Billboard, as we know it today is all about popular music but when Billboard was created in 1894 is was, as the name says, a bill posting service. Circuses, vaudeville acts, and fairs were the companies biggest clients at the time. The magazine came into being when the company started to publish news about outdoor amusement activities. As time went on and new medias came into being, Billboard jumped into coverage of motion pictures (early 1900’s) and radio (1920’s). Then came jukeboxes and Billboard was there. Television was added in the 1950’s. Recorded music was now available and people wanted to be able to play it in their homes. So Billboard would compile the Hit Parade for Pop, R&B, and Country music.

In 1905, Variety magazine began publishing info and articles about theater and vaudeville, thus giving Billboard some competition. Later Variety would also cover the motion picture industry but the magazine never really catered toward a hit parade or best selling recorded music type format. So Billboard was and has always been the leader in keeping up with recorded music sales.

Beginning with the first hit parade in 1936 and for about a decade their listing was for a composition not necessarily a list of records. Early on, Billboard’s charts came from reports that radio stations and record stores would fill out to compile record sales and number of plays. Billboard also had different charts to measure popularity. These charts included disc jockey plays, jukebox song selection, and best selling songs in record stores. Individual charts such as these were stopped between 1957-58 and together they became the Top 100 which later became the Hot 100.

Today, Billboard uses Nielsen SoundScan to get information that tracks sales of music. Info is collected weekly and made available on Sunday for album sales and Monday for song sales. This service is the largest source of sales records in the music industry. When Billboard was using forms sent in by record stores or phone calls made across the country to stores, the charts were not always accurate. Unfortunately bias crept in and some songs were higher or lower than they should have been. With Nielsen the info is more accurate today.

So Casey Kasem, Cousin Brucie, Murray The K, and all the disc jockeys throughout the US had a way of keeping up with the hottest songs due to a publication that started as a service for posting bills. Those early business people knew how to keep up with the times as they changed with the times and began covering ‘marvels of modern technology’ such as the phonograph, record players, coin-operated machines and wireless radios. And for a while CD sales replaced record sales but now record sales are back in the formula.

BRC RADIO

Don’t forget to check out all the new internet radio shows the club has on its website. Go to
http://www.birminghamrecord.com/brc/ and click on ‘RADIO’. New shows added weekly.

HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
Bad Boy
Eddie Taylor
(1955)

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THIS HIT?
Shy Girl
The Cascades
(1963 – #91)

See ya,

Charlie

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