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MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
THROUGH THE FOG

I’m definitely one of the lucky ones.  I get to sit at my desk overlooking a view of the Pacific Ocean and wait out the pandemic.  It’s a foggy day; the ocean is just coming into view at around 10:30 am. I feel foggy myself today, not from lack of sleep but from an accumulation of the anxiety, which hits us all harder some days than others. 

Writing centers me, as do the Monday Mediabase charts that I print out and study. Last week was confusing—I thought it was Thursday on Tuesday, and I strongly felt it was Sunday on Saturday. I really wanted to watch the season finale of Perry Mason—Sunday-night appointment viewing on HBO—but my wife told me I’d just have to wait another day. 

So let’s get organized. I’m writing this on 8/10, as another strong week for the industry is in the books. Team Columbia has four songs in the Pop Top Ten. West Coast promo guru Samantha Brenner (@sambam0502) has sent me her post of new circled charts full of hits. Peter Gray, John Strazza and Brady Bedard are no longer sitting in the backs of tour buses and visiting programmers at their homes, with Matt Stevens manning the home fires and sending out pics.

Greg Marella, Top 40 star Nikki Nolletti and Hot AC’s Patty Morris at Capitol are considerably less foggy than me today. They’ve struck again with Lewis Capaldi, who’s now Top 5 at Pop and #1 at Hot AC.  Patty is and has always been a major gunslinger at her format, a point further confirmed by this latest achievement. This week, the 34th week that “Before You Go” has climbed the Hot chart, she has logged the top position. Greg and his super team, including Dixie Tipton at Rhythm and Greg Gorman at Rock, continue to astound. 

Over at Warner, promo ruler Mike Chester and Top 40 stud Dave Dyer share honors this week, while Rock’s Rob Goldklang is on a roll. Rob has maneuvered The Head and the Heart to #1 at Alternative, an achievement he also earned with Green Day and Sub Urban early in the year. (Although I’m not totally clear today about what “earlier in the year” refers to.)

Also, props to Interscope’s Rhythm machine, Nino Cuccinello, whose chart-topping performance with DaBaby’s “Rockstar” has given Chris Lopes the base needed to move #11-7 on this week’s Top 40 list. Brenda Romano’s team continues to deliver week after week. 

And while we’re talking about delivery, keep an eye on Arista'John Boulos as he attempts to put a “we’ll never play this ballad” by JP Saxe into the rarefied Top 10 air. This streaming and callout giant is on the verge of breaking many of the rules of engagement.  The problem is the same as it was while DaBaby, Benee and Powfu waited their turns for weeks on end. Eight records in the current Top 10 have upward movement, and nothing is ready to drop out and make space. 

Patience and chart maintenance are skills that test our best promo executives every single week. And now they’re skills that we all rely on as we try to stay physically and mentally healthy during these taxing times. 

 

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JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
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WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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