Tag Archives: Billboard Charts

The Billboard Roll Call: The Eagles with Joe Walsh

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Wichita-born Joe Walsh (second from left) played on the Eagles' classic recordings from the mid-1970s to early 1980s.

The Eagles were already one of the top bands to emerge from the Southern California scene in the mid-1970s when Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon.

Walsh, who was born in Wichita, Kan., had been a member of the James Gang and had co-written Funk #49, a staple on FM radio. He also had a Top 20 hit with Rocky Mountain Way in 1973.

I remember reading articles in Rolling Stone and other magazines questioning whether Walsh would be a good fit. Leadon was the band’s multi-instrumentalist and contributed to much of the band’s country and bluegrass sound of their early records.

With Walsh contributing a rockier edge, the Eagles reached their commercial and creative peak with the albums Hotel California and The Long Run. On the Billboard Hot 100, they charted nine songs, equal to the number they charted before Walsh joined the band.

During this period with Wash, the Eagles had three No. 1 songs: New Kid in Town, Hotel California and Heartache Tonight.

Walsh continues to work steadily. He performed with Paul McCartney at the Grammy Awards in February. He will tour with the Eagles in April and May, and and an album of new songs has been tentatively scheduled for a May release.

The Billboard Roll Call: Rusty Draper

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Rusty Draper initially started his career as a country singer, but found his greatest success in the mid-1950s with a rockabilly-flavored sound.

Draper was born in Kirksville, Mo., about 180 miles northeast of Kansas City, in 1923. He initially worked in radio in the 1930s and 1940s. According to his obituary in the New York Times, he often filled in for Ronald Reagan when both worked at a station in Des Moines, Iowa.

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The Billboard Roll Call: Dawayne Bailey

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who have charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Today’s Roll Call features a a sideman who’s had a great career, although he’s not a household name.

Dewayne Bailey grew up in Manhattan, Kan. He founded Rathbone, a regional band, and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

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The Billboard Roll Call: Brewer & Shipley

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who have charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Brewer & Shipley, in a publicity photo from 1970.

Although Brewer & Shipley’s folk sound made them a staple on album-oriented FM radio in the 1970s, it didn’t easily translate to AM radio success. Their only chart success, One Toke Over the Line, made the Top 10 in March 1971 and remains a staple on classic rock and oldies radio.

Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley met as solo performers on the folk circuit in the 1960s. They both landed in Los Angeles and started writing songs together as staff writers for a music publishing company. After some of their songs were cut by other artists, they were offered a recording contract.

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The Billboard Roll Call: Bloodstone

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who have charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

The R&B group Bloodstone bridged two strains in popular music. Starting as a vocal doo-wop group in the 1960s when they attended high school in Kansas City, Bloodstone emerged as full-fledged band in the 1970s.

They charted two songs in the Billboard Top 40 in 1973-74. Natural High, which hit the Top 10 in June 1973, is a gorgeous piece of soul that draws from their doo-wop roots as well as a jazzy break that to my ears is a nod to Kansas City jazz.

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The Billboard Roll Call: Count Basie

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who have charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Count Basie
Count Basie is a great reminder of why it’s important to remember that the Billboard charts measure popularity and not quality. Viewed only from his chart performance, Basie was a one-hit wonder.

He was much more than that, of course. As one of the greatest jazz bandleaders and pianists in the 20th Century, Basie’s sound defined Kansas City Jazz in the 1930s and 1940s. He continued with an active recording and performing career until he died in April 1984.

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The Billboard Roll Call: Oleta Adams

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who have charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Oleta Adams
Born and reared in Washington state, Adams has lived in Kansas City for about 30 years. She was a fixture on the local scene, mainly playing piano and singing at hotel bars. In the mid-1980s, she was discovered by the English band Tears for Fears, which lead her recording career.

Her first Top 40 success was as a member of Tears for Fears. Sowing the Seeds of Love hit No. 2 in September 1989. The band’s next single, Woman in Chains, featured Adams on vocals, and peaked at No. 36.

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Introducing the Billboard Roll Call

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A page from my dog-eared, marked-up copy of "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits."

I’m a firm believer that music (and all arts in general), should be covered like sports. Not in terms of the front of front page of the sports section (who won or who lost), but in the back where the stats are (who did what).

So I’m happy to introduce the Billboard Roll Call, which collects Kansas City (and KC regional) artists who have charted a single on the Billboard Top 40 during the rock era, defined as anything after January 1955.

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