Last week’s “Lounge” on the Beatles having the Top-5 singles on Billboard’s Hot – 100 chart had an incredible reaction from a lot of folks. The Fab Four not only had the Top-5 slots but another 7 singles on the chart that week. The Beatles grand total of hits on Billboard was a staggering total of 12 different hits on the chart the very same week.
The question was asked repeatedly, how many did Elvis Presley have at one time? Well, it’s like comparing Apples to Oranges. In the Beatles Hey-Day, there was only one chart, the Hot-100, which did not exist in Presley’s time at least not at the start of his career.
At the start of 1955 there were three separate charts:
The “Most Played by Jockey’s” chart,
The “Most Played In Juke Boxes” Chart,
and the “Best Sellers In Stores” chart.
In 1956 on the Milton Berle show, “Uncle Milty” presents the Billboard “Triple Crown Award” to Presley for “Heartbreak Hotel” which made it to No. 1 on all three of these charts in the same week.
On Aug. 4th, 1958, Billboard stopped publishing the “Jokeys”, “Juke Box” and “Sales” charts all together and changed the “Top-100” to the “Hot-100” which still exists to this day.
Having said all of that, the Beatles had Five songs in the Top-10 on the “Hot-100” chart in 1964. On Nov.10th, 1956, Presley had four in the Top-10 on the Billboard’s “Best Sellers” Chart. “Love Me Tender” and the “B” side of the single “Anyway You Want Me” were listed at No. 1. The picture sleeve for the single came in four different color variations, Dark Pink, Light Pink, Green and plain ‘Ol Black & White.
Now, over on the “Top-100” chart, the precursor to the “Hot-100” chart, Presley didn’t to too bad at all. On Jan. 5th, 1957, he placed EIGHT songs on the chart that week!
No. 7 “Love Me”. This was not a single but an “E.P.” or “Extended Play” 45 R.P.M. record. These were like “Mini Albums” having four or five songs on them and the came in cardboard covers like L.P.s (Long Playing) 12 inch 33 1/3 R.P.M. Still, tracks from this experimental format did get air play and made it to the charts. In this case, three out of four tracks on this record charted.
No. 40 “Poor Boy”. The experimental “E.P.” format came in handy for several of Presley’s movies as was the case for the film “Love Me Tender”. There were only four songs in the movie and thus not enough material for a full “L.P.”.
No. 60 “Blue Moon”. This single did not have a picture sleeve when released in 1956. In the 1980’s after Presley’s death, a fan created picture sleeves for Presley releases that, originally did not have them.
So there ya have it. Presley and the Beatles made history in different eras and on different charts. Both are great and you really can not compare the two but this is a close as one can get.
Other related “Lounge” pages you might find interesting are: