Billboard blues digital song chart leaders

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Billboard blues digital song chart leaders

Postby stevejazz » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:22 pm

Billboard began publishing its Top Digital Songs charts in January 2010, and one of the most fascinating to follow is the Blues Digital Songs charts. Although the vast majority of its hit songs date from the 1980s to today (basically from Stevie Ray Vaughan onward), there are enough earlier classics sprinkled in to make it absolutely invaluable to anyone who cares about the blues. I’ve researched every chart from the beginning through July 26, 2014.

It’s definitely a top-heavy chart: a small number of songs really dominate it. The top four songs have held the #1 position for (incredibly) a combined 201 weeks, leaving only 35 weeks at #1 for everyone else. Some omissions are quite curious: Etta James is the queen of this chart at #1 with “At Last,” and she turns up with other successes, but her second most familiar song, “Tell Mama,” has never charted. B.B. King’s ultimate classic “The Thrill Is Gone,” is an absolute monster (#4 overall), and he’s got a few other songs on the list, but his second most famous hit, “Every Day I Have the Blues,” is not among them.

As one would expect on a Billboard chart, recent songs are dominant; 46 of the top 100 are from 2010 onward. And, not surprisingly, only two blues recording before 1950 have made the digital chart, by none other than Robert Johnson and Leadbelly. But there’s also a reasonable amount of diversity, with nine of the top 100 from the 1950s and eight from the ‘60s.

Blues purists will question some of the songs categorized for chart purposes as “blues,” such as R&B classics “What’d I Say” and “I Put a Spell on You” (not to mention the Blues Brothers’ “Soul Man”). But I have no problem with these selections, which simply add some extra spice to the mix.

This is a list packed with terrific blues (and near-blues) performances. Here are the leaders:

1.AT LAST (1961) - ETTA JAMES (111 weeks at #1, 130 total weeks)

(57 weeks at #1, 223 total weeks)

3.PRIDE AND JOY (1983) - STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN (23 weeks at #1, 208 total weeks)

4.THE THRILL IS GONE (1969) - B.B. KING (10 weeks at #1, 236 total weeks)

5.WHAT’D I SAY? (1959) - RAY CHARLES (1 week at #1, 235 total weeks)
6.BOOM BOOM (1962) - JOHN LEE HOOKER (#3 peak, 235 total weeks)
7.LITTLE WING (1991) - STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN (#2 peak, 233 total weeks)
(posthumous release; Vaughan died in 1990) (originally by Jimi Hendrix)
8.GOING UP THE COUNTRY (1968) - CANNED HEAT (#3 peak, 227 total weeks)
9.MANISH BOY (1955) - MUDDY WATERS (#3 peak, 222 total weeks)
(aka “I’m a Man”)
10.TEXAS FLOOD (1983) - STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN (#2 peak, 208 total weeks)
(originally by Larry Davis in 1958)

11.I Drink Alone (1985) - George Thorogood (#3 peak, 222 weeks)
12.Crossfire (1989) - Stevie Ray Vaughan (#7 peak, 205 weeks)
13.Right Place, Wrong Time (1973) - Dr. John (1 week at #1, 199 total weeks)
14.Lie to Me (1997) - Jonny Lang (#2 peak, 198 weeks)
15.The Sky Is Crying (1991) - Stevie Ray Vaughan (#9 peak, 193 weeks) (posthumous)
(Elmore James classic)
16.Blue on Black (1997) - Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band (#2 peak, 154 weeks)
17.Soul Man (1978) - Blues Brothers (3 weeks at #1, 156 total weeks)
(covering Sam & Dave)
18.Bright Lights (2011) - Gary Clark, Jr. (#4 peak, 146 weeks)
19.Ten Million Slaves (2002) - Otis Taylor (5 weeks at #1, 82 total weeks)
20.The House Is Rockin’ (1989) - Stevie Ray Vaughan (#11 peak, 158 weeks)

21.Shelter Me (2011) - Tab Benoit with Louisiana’s LeRoux
22.Move It on Over (1978) - George Thorogood (associated with Hank Williams)
23.On the Road Again (1968) - Canned Heat
24.Smokestack Lightning (1956) - Howlin’ Wolf
25.Life By the Drop (1991) - Stevie Ray Vaughan
26.Home (2005) - Marc Broussard
27.I Put a Spell on You (1956) - Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
28.My Babe (1955) - Little Walter
29.Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City (1974) - Bobby “Blue” Bland
30.Police Dog Blues (2011) - Hugh Laurie

31.I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (1954) - Muddy Waters
32.When Love Comes to Town (1989) - U2 & B.B. King
33.Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone (1989) - Bobby “Blue” Bland (by Bill Withers)
34.Ain’t No Messin’ Round (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
35.When My Train Pulls In (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
36.Hound Dog (1953) - Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton
37.I Put a Spell on You (1965) - Nina Simone (see #27 above)
38.Numb (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
39.Cold Shot (1984) - Stevie Ray Vaughan
40.You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive (2011) - Ruby Friedman Orchestra
(modern country/bluegrass classic recorded by Patty Loveless in 2001)

41.Home (2013) - Ray Boudreaux
42.Mustang Sally (1991) - Buddy Guy (the Wilson Pickett hit)
43.Born Under a Bad Sign (1967) - Albert King
44.Part of Me (2013) - Tedeschi-Trucks Band
45.The Thrill is Gone (2011) - Beverly McClellan (see #4 above for B.B. King original)
46.Mustang Sally (1991) - The Commitments (see #42 above)
47.Mayhem (2010) - Imelda May
48.Things Are Changin’ (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
49.Ain’t No Sunshine (2005) - Buddy Guy & Tracy Chapman
(by Bill Withers; see #33 above)
50.Let Them Talk (2012) - Hugh Laurie

51.Steamroller Blues (2014) - Bria Kelly (by James Taylor)
52.I’d Rather Go Blind (2013) - Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa (associated with Etta James)
53.Look At Little Sister (1985) - Stevie Ray Vaughan
54.Midnight In Harlem (2011) - Tedeschi-Trucks Band
55.Need Your Love So Bad (2005) - B.B. King & Sheryl Crow
(originally by Little Willie John in 1956)
56.Folsom Prison Blues (2012) - Jamie Lono (by Johnny Cash)
57.Merry Christmas Baby (2001) - B.B. King
58.Merry Christmas Baby (1992) - Charles Brown & Bonnie Raitt
(Brown first recorded this in 1947)
59.One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (1991) - John Lee Hooker
(first recorded by Amos Milburn in 1953)
60.Still Rainin’ (1998) - Jonny Lang

61.Dust Bowl (2012) - Joe Bonamassa
62.Smoking Gun (1987) - Robert Cray Band
63.When a Man Loves a Woman (year uncertain) - Ray Charles
(not commercially released until 2012) (the Percy Sledge classic)
64.Shine On (2006) - Eric Bibb
65.Nasty Letter (2003) - Otis Taylor
66.You Move Me (2014) - Robert Cray
67.Go to the Mardi Gras (1959) - Professor Longhair
(aka “Take Me to the Mardi Gras”) (returns to chart every March at Mardi Gras time)
68.A Place In My Heart (2012) - Joe Bonamassa
69.Got My Mojo Working (1956) - Muddy Waters
70.Let’s Work Together (1970) - Canned Heat

71.Little by Little (2011) - Gregg Allman
72.Movin’ On Up (2013) - Cole Vosbury
73.Save My Soul (2013) - Blue Saraceno
74.What You Gonna Do About Me (2013) - Buddy Guy with Beth Hart
75.Crossroads (2010) - Cyndi Lauper with Jonny Lang (the Robert Johnson classic)
76.Out of Bad Luck (2011) - Gregg Allman
77.Red Light (2003) - Jonny Lang
78.Layla (2011) - Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton
79.Still Got the Blues (1990) - Gary Moore
80.Thank Me Someday (2010) - Buddy Guy

81.You Don’t Know My Mind (2012) - Hugh Laurie
82.Just Your Fool (2010) - Cyndi Lauper with Charlie Musselwhite
83.Love, Reign o’er Me (2010) - Bettye LaVette (originally by The Who)
84.The Thrill Is Gone (2013) - Monika Leigh (the B.B. King classic)
85.Hook, Line and Sinker (2011) - Roomful of Blues
86.Next Door Neighbor Blues (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
87.Joliet Bound (2011) - Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton
88.St. James’ Infirmary (2011) - Hugh Laurie (folk-blues classic from the 1920s)
89.Midnight Blues (2012) - Joe Bonamassa
90.Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (1992) - Eric Clapton
(Clapton’s first version of song was with Derek & the Dominoes in 1970) (song associated with Bessie Smith)

91.Just Another Rider (2011) - Gregg Allman
92.How Blue Can You Get (1964) - B.B. King
93.Misty Blue (2011) - Etta James (a 1976 hit for Dorothy Moore)
94.Steal Your Heart Away (2010) - Joe Bonamassa
95.Let’s Boogie Woogie (2010) - Eden Brent
96.Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down (2012) - Heritage Blues Orchestra
97.Slow Train (2011) - Joe Bonamassa
98.The Sensitive Kind (2014) - Eric Clapton with Don White
99.Swing My Thing Back Around (2013) - Beth Hart
100.What You Gonna Do? (2012) - Curtis Salgado

101.All I Could Do Was Cry (1960) - Etta James
102.Swanee River (2012) - Hugh Laurie
103.The Worst Is Yet to Come (2014) - Keb Mo’
104.Shake, Rattle and Roll (1954) - Big Joe Turner
105.Tank Full of Blues (2012) - Dion
106.Maybe I’m Amazed (2010) - Bettye LaVette (covering Paul McCartney)
107.Please Come Home (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
108.Made Up Mind (2013) - Tedeschi-Trucks Band
109.Road Runner (1960) - Bo Diddley
110.Bang Bang Boom Boom (2013) - Beth Hart
111.Floating Bridge (2011) - Gregg Allman (originally by Sleepy John Estes)
112.Do I Look Worried? (2013) - Tedeschi-Trucks Band
113.Seasick Boogie (2010) - Seasick Steve
114.Minute by Minute (2013) - Joe Hunter Six
115.I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (2013) - Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa
116.Double Trouble (1967) - John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
(first recorded by Otis Rush in 1958)
117.Don’t Owe You a Thing (2012) - Gary Clark, Jr.
118.Sweet Home Chicago (2004) - Eric Clapton (the Robert Johnson classic)
119.Cross Road Blues (1936) - Robert Johnson
(the only pre-1950 recording to appear on this chart)
120.On a Night Like This (1987) - Buckwheat Zydeco
121.Love on a Two-Way Street (2013) - Boz Scaggs (by the Moments in 1970)
122.It Serves You Right to Suffer (1966) - John Lee Hooker
123.There is Something on Your Mind (1959) - Big Jay McNeely
124.Members Only (1985) - Bobby “Blue” Bland

Anyone wishing to see a more complete version of this list can find it in my Classic Pop group on Yahoo:

Steve Sullivan

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Re: Billboard blues digital song chart leaders

Postby Bruce » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:20 am

stevejazz wrote:Etta James is the queen of this chart at #1 with “At Last,” and she turns up with other successes, but her second most familiar song, “Tell Mama,” has never charted.

Neither of these is blues. "Tell Mama" is soul and "At Last" is pop or R&B but certainly not blues.

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Re: Billboard blues digital song chart leaders

Postby Bruce » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:27 am

stevejazz wrote:69.Got My Mojo Working (1956) - Muddy Waters
70.Let’s Work Together (1970) - Canned Heat
121.Love on a Two-Way Street (2013) - Boz Scaggs (by the Moments in 1970)

The Muddy Waters is 1957 and the Canned Heat is 1969. "Love On A Two Way Street" was done originally by Lezli Valentine in 1968.


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