Most Obscure Hit Songs, Adjusted for Time
1 Roy Ingraham Orch: Chant of the Jungle, 1930
2 Hilo Hawaiian Orch: When It’s Springtime in the Rockies, 1930
3 Horace Wright: My Own Iona, 1917
4 Marguerite Farrell: If I Knock the ‘L’ Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me), 1916
5 Olive Kline: Hello, Frisco!, 1915
6 Orpheus Quartet: Turn Back the Universe and Give Me Yester Day, 1916
7 Horace Heidt Orch: Ti-Pi-Tin, 1938
8 Clay Aiken: This Is The Night, 2003
9 Mina Hickman: Come Down, Ma Evening Star, 1903
10 Don Bestor Orch: Forty-Second Street, 1933
Details: The Songs That Time Forgot | Very Small Array
Pop music replaces hymns at two-thirds of funerals, survey finds →
Pop music has replaced hymns at two-thirds of British funerals, a survey from Co-operative Funeralcare has found. Pop was the number one request at more than 30,000 funerals over the past 12 months, and only 4% of mourners requested classical music.
My Way by Frank Sinatra remained the favourite for a record seventh year running, requested at 15% of funerals. It was last usurped in 2002, by Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings.
Adele entered the funeral music charts at number 22 with Someone Like You.
In 2005, hymns accounted for 41% of funeral music requests, but in the past 12 months the figure has fallen to 30%.
How ‘Call Me Maybe’ and Social Media Are Upending Music - NYTimes.com →
Only a year ago, the charts were dominated by stars who had come out of the old machine of radio and major-label promotion: Katy Perry, Rihanna, Adele, Maroon 5. This year’s biggest hits — “Call Me Maybe,” Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Fun.’s “We Are Young” — started in left field and were helped along by YouTube and Twitter before coming to the mainstream media.
Isn’t this the Arctic Monkeys/MySpace story with different proper nouns?
Also: “Call Me Maybe” may not have come through traditional channels, but it sounds like something that did.
Artificial Intelligence Gets Creative - WSJ.com →
The people who guard the gates of big music labels guffawed at the prospect of a hit-picking algorithm, but [three year old company] Music Xray has now secured recording deals for more than 5,000 artists. The music industry can no longer ignore the algorithm.
I’m surprised to read that 5,000 artists signed record deals in the last three years. I wonder what that means, exactly.
Here, via Kevin Drum, is statistical evidence that modern pop music is boring or at least more homogeneous than in the past (yes, Tyler already linked to Kevin’s post but I wanted to link to the underlying dataset (see below)).We find three important trends in the evolution of musical discourse: the restriction of pitch sequences (with metrics showing less variety in pitch progressions), the homogenization of the timbral palette (with frequent timbres becoming more frequent), and growing average loudness levels.
(via Is Modern Music Boring?)
Edward Sharpe's 'Home' Succeeds Train's 'Hey Soul Sister' | MediaWorks - Advertising Age →
'Home' by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros Lands in Ads for the NFL, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Microsoft Kin and 'Cyrus'
The piece assesses how much the musicians are really benefiting from the exposure, and is mildly interesting.
Side note: “Home” was my fourth-favorite song of 2009. And this is relevant to what I find interesting about advertising’s role in popularizing music. Referring to my favorite song of that year, the unbelievably great “Out At Sea” by Heartless Bastards, I smirkily wrote at the time: “It’s awesome, and perhaps if it ends up in a car commercial or whatever it’ll get the respect it deserves.”
This could still happen: It doesn’t really matter if a song is a couple years old, it can still “break” belatedly. And the situation with “Home” proves that, even it’s not making the artists overnight millionaires.
"In America the popular song is of comparatively recent introduction. Its prototype was a composition with monotonous refrain and elaborate setting, which could only be rendered by a trained voice after laborious practice. It was seldom heard outside of drawing rooms, where it was sung with due ceremony and technical precision by prim young maidens in fresh white gowns and dapper swains in swallowtails."