Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In Sept. 2012 you wrote that Adele's "21" album had just dropped out of the Top 10, after 80 consecutive weeks.

Any chance that "21" is still on the Billboard chart?

Also, it's been nearly five years since "21" came out. Will she ever make another album?
—Roberta Booneshaft, Dayton, Ohio

DEAR ROBERTA: Adele's "21" is currently No. 11 and enjoying its 245th week on the survey — that's about four and one-half years — and still flying high on the charts.

To put this remarkable feat in perspective, only two LPs from the vinyl era spent more consecutive weeks in the Top 150: "Johnny's Greatest Hits" by Johnny Mathis (427) and "Hymns" by Tennessee Ernie Ford (277).

As for the new album, reportedly the last in the series of titles that match her age, seemingly everyone is anxious for it to hit the streets, including its illustrious creator.

According to Adele herself in a recent tweet, the wait will soon be over:

"The new album is titled 25 and it is scheduled for release later this month, probably around the 20th. There is also a new single, 'Hello,' and that download is available now.

"My last album [21] was a break-up record and if I had to label this new one I would call it a make-up record. Here I'm making up with myself.

"I'm making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did … and never did. Being 25 is a turning point for me. I'm in the middle of my twenties, teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a full-fledged adult.

"So 25 is about getting to know who I've become without realising it. And I'm sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened.
—Love, Adele"

DEAR JERRY: In one of your columns about the British Invasion, you estimated that at its peak in the mid-1960s, about 25 percent of the Top 100 U.S. hits were by UK artists.

Though the word "invasion" was not used, wasn't there a similar influx of Italian singers almost exactly 10 years earlier.

How close did they come to having one-quarter of the American Top 100?
—Vincent Bonaldi, New York City

DEAR VINCENT: While it is true that there were plenty of charted hits in the '50s by singers of Italian lineage, there really was no invasion.

They were already here.

Unlike most UK artists we embraced in the '60s, each person on the following list was born and raised in the U.S.

To zero in on the mid-1950s music scene, I randomly chose the Billboard Top 100 for the week of January 14, 1956.

Turns out that 19 of the Top 100 spots then were held by 11 different Italian artists, and though 19 percent is not quite 25, it's pretty darn close.

Gli uomini e le donne Italiane holding chart positions that week were:

1. Dean Martin "Memories Are Made of This"
5. Frank Sinatra "Love and Marriage"
15. Hilltoppers Featuring Jimmy Sacca "Only You"
17. Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"
22. Four Aces Featuring Al Alberts "A Woman in Love"
23. Fontane Sisters "Daddy-O"
26. Frank Sinatra "The Tender Trap"
27. Perry Como "All at Once You Love Her"
32. Frankie Laine "A Woman in Love"
38. Joni James "You Are My Love"
49. Joni James "My Believing Heart"
52. Hilltoppers Featuring Jimmy Sacca "My Treasure"
69. Johnny Desmond "Sixteen Tons"
72. Don Cornell "The Bible Tells Me So"
78. Fontane Sisters "Adorable"
87. Don Cornell "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"
91. Fontane Sisters "Seventeen"
97. Gaylords "No Arms Can Ever Hold You"
99. Johnny Desmond "The Yellow Rose of Texas"

IZ ZAT SO? Along with the above 11 stars, there are nine other Italian singers who, while not on the Jan. 14 Top 100, did have hits within just a few months in either direction:

Tony Bennett "Can You Find It in Your Heart" (1956)
Alan Dale "Sweet and Gentle" (1955)
Lola Dee "Paper Roses" (1955)
DeJohn Sisters "C'est La Vie" (1955)
Eydie Gorme "Too Close for Comfort" (1956)
Mario Lanza "Earthbound" (1956)
Jerry Vale "Innamorata (Sweetheart)" (1956)
Frankie Valli (as The Four Lovers) "You're the Apple of My Eye" (1956)
June Valli "Unchained Melody" (1955)

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