Ask "Mr. Music"
Jerry Osborne

Now in our 28th year (1986-2014) — Over 2,800 Questions Answered
Most recent column here — 16 years of archived ones are linked below


FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 18, 2014

DEAR JERRY: It's been 50 years but I seem to recall hearing that when the Beatles topped both the singles and LPs charts simultaneously, in 1964, that it had never been done before.

Do I have this right or are there other details that I've forgotten?
—Doyle Sanders, Springfield, Ore.

DEAR DOYLE: I can't say if you have forgotten anything, since I don't know precisely what you heard in 1964, but there are other factors to consider.

As stated above, the statement is not accurate. However, wording it this way would make it true: the Beatles were "the first group (four or more members)" to do so.

This clears the way for one trio and four solo artists who preceded them in this regard.

Before the Fab Four accomplished this relatively uncommon feat (February 15, 1964), only nine times — in the first 15 years of both formats (1949-1963) — did the same act rank No. 1 for both LP and single sales, for at least one week.

With date, name (if not obvious as part of the album title), their No. 1 LP and 45, they are:

May 5, 1956: "Elvis Presley" / "Heartbreak Hotel"
Dec. 8, 1956: "Elvis" / "Love Me Tender"
July 29, 1957: Elvis Presley "Loving You" / "Loving You" and "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear"
Dec. 16, 1957: "Elvis' Christmas Album" / "Jailhouse Rock" (also the No. 1 45 EP at the time)
Nov. 24, 1958: "The Kingston Trio" / "Tom Dooley"
Dec. 19, 1960: Elvis Presley "G.I. Blues" / "Are You Lonesome To-Night"
June 23, 1962: Ray Charles "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" / "I Can't Stop Loving You"
August 24, 1963: "Little Stevie Wonder, the 12 Year Old Genius" / "Fingertips Part 2"
Dec. 7, 1963: "The Singing Nun" / "Dominique"

As we have previously discussed, with the Beatles came many changes, and this analysis is no exception. In the six years from 1964 through the end of the decade, 18 times the same artist topped both charts, with 11 of those occurrences compliments of you know who:

February 15, 1964: "Meet the Beatles" / "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
May 2, 1964: "The Beatles Second Album" / "Can't Buy Me Love"
July 25, 1964: Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" / "A Hard Day's Night"
January 9, 1965: "Beatles '65" / "I Feel Fine"
September 11, 1965: Beatles "Help!" / "Help!"
January 8, 1966: Beatles "Rubber Soul" / "We Can Work It Out"
March 5, 1966: SSgt Barry Sadler "Ballads of the Green Berets" / "The Ballad of the Green Berets"
May 21, 1966: Mamas and the Papas "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears" / "Monday Monday"
July 9, 1966: Beatles "Yesterday and Today" / "Paperback Writer"
December 31, 1966: "The Monkees" / "I'm a Believer"
August 19, 1967: Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" / "All You Need Is Love"
December 2, 1967: Monkees "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones" / "Daydream Believer"
January 6, 1968: Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" / "Hello Goodbye"
March 2, 1968: Paul Mauriat "Blooming Hits" / "Love Is Blue"
June 1, 1968: Simon and Garfunkel "Bookends" / "Mrs. Robinson"
September 21, 1968: Jeannie C. Riley "Harper Valley P.T.A." / "Harper Valley P.T.A."
December 30, 1968: "The Beatles" / "Hey Jude"
November 29, 1969: Beatles "Abbey Road" / "Come Together"

Now for a somewhat related question from the other side of the country:

DEAR JERRY: Who are some of the vinyl V.I.P.s who you would swear had a few No. 1 LPs, but who in fact never even had one?
—Mary Paulson, Daytona Beach, Fla.

DEAR MARY: In other words, you want a list of famous names to show someone, then ask "which of these artists had a No. 1 LP?" Of course, the answer will be "none of them."

I can do that, as well as provide the title and release year of their highest ranking LP:

Paul Anka "Paul Anka Sings His Big 15" (1960) No. 4
Blondie "Parallel Lines" (1978) No. 6
Pat Boone "Star Dust" (1958) No. 2
Boston Pops Orchestra "Jalouise" (1963) No. 5
James Brown "Live at the Apollo" (1963) No. 2
Chubby Checker "Your Twist Party" (1961) No. 2
Dave Clark Five "Glad All Over" (1964) No. 3
Petula Clark "Downtown" (1965) No. 21
Joe Cocker "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" (1970) No. 2
Ray Conniff with His Orchestra and Chorus "Somewhere My Love" (1966) No. 3
Sam Cooke "Sam Cooke" (1958) No. 16
Bill Cosby "Revenge" (1967) No. 2
Bobby Darin "This Is Darin" (1960) No. 6
Neil Diamond "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" (1973) No. 2
Fats Domino "Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino (1957) No. 17
Donovan "Greatest Hits" (1969) No. 4
Everly Brothers "It's Everly Time!" (1960) and "A Date with the Everly Brothers" (1960) both No. 9
4 Seasons "Sherry" (1962) and "Dawn" (1964) both No. 6
Four Tops "Greatest Hits" (1967) No. 4
Connie Francis "Italian Favorites" (1960) No. 4
Aretha Franklin "I Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You" (1967) and "Lady Soul" (1968) both No. 2
Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On" (1973) No. 2
Herman's Hermits "Introducing Herman's Hermits" (1965) and "On Tour" (1965) both No. 2
Hollies "Greatest Hits" (1967) No. 11
Buddy Holly "The Buddy Holly Story" (1959) No. 11
Jackson 5/Jacksons "ABC" (1970) and "Third Album" (1970) both No. 4
Jefferson Airplane "Surrealistic Pillow" No. 3 (Jefferson Starship did have a No. 1 LP, "Red Octopus," in 1975)
Tom Jones "Live in Las Vegas" (1969) No. 3
Brenda Lee "This Is Brenda" (1960) No. 4
Trini Lopez "At P.J.'s" (1963) No. 2
Dean Martin "Everybody Loves Somebody" (1964) No. 2
Steve Miller Band "The Joker" (1973) and "Book of Dreams" (1977) both No. 2
Miracles "Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" (1968) No. 7
Roy Orbison "Mystery Girl" (1989) No. 5
Donnie Osmond "Portrait of Donny" (1972) No. 6
Osmonds "Phase III" (1972) No. 10
Tom Petty "Damn the Torpedoes" (1979) No. 2
Platters "Encore of Golden Hits" (1960) No. 6
Righteous Brothers "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (1965) No. 4
Seals & Crofts "Diamond Girl" (1973) No. 4
Stray Cats "Built for Speed" (1982) No. 2
Temptations "All Directions" (1972) No. 2 (They did have a No. 1 LP with the Supremes, "TCB" in 1968)
Three Dog Night "Golden Bisquits" (1971) No. 5
Bobby Vinton "Roses Are Red" (1962) No. 5
Dionne Warwick "Valley of the Dolls" (1968) No. 6
Who "Quadrophenia" (1973) No. 2
Jackie Wilson "Baby Workout" (1963) No. 36
Yardbirds "Greatest Hits" (1967) No. 28
Yes "Close to the Edge" (1972) No. 3
Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention "Apostrophe" (1974) No. 10
ZZ Top "Afterburner" (1985) No. 4

IZ ZAT SO? One might think that any vinyl era album with sales between 10 and 22 million units would surely have been No. 1 somewhere along the way.

But not so with each of these multi-platinum sellers:

AC/DC "Back in Black" (1980) No. 4
Aerosmith "Greatest Hits" (1980) No. 53
Boston "Boston" (1973) No. 3
Patsy Cline "Greatest Hits" (1987) No. 5
Def Leppard "Pyromania" (1983) No. 2
Doobie Brothers "Best Of" (1976) No. 5
Eagles "Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" (1982) No. 52
Billy Joel " Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2" (1985) No. 6
Billy Joel "The Stranger" (1977) No. 2
Journey "Greatest Hits" (1988) No. 10
Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin IV" (1971) No. 2
Bob Marley "Legend" (1984) No. 54
Steve Miller Band "Greatest Hits (1974-'78)" (1978) No. 18
Rolling Stones "Hot Rocks (1964-1971)" (1972) No. 4
Simon & Garfunkel "Greatest Hits" (1972) No. 5
James Taylor "Greatest Hits" (1976) No. 23
Van Halen "1984 (MCMLXXIV)" (1984) No. 2
ZZ Top "Eliminator" (1983) No. 9

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