Fred and his readers discuss Tracy Lawrence, Mariah Carey and more!


Dear Fred,

This week, Tracy Lawrence sets a new record on Billboard's Hot Country Songs. His song, "Find Out Who Your Friends Are," hit No. 1 in its 41st week on the chart, making it the slowest climbing No. 1 Country Song in BDS history. Also, this is Tracy's eighth No. 1 country song, and his first in 11 years (since "Time Marches On" began a three-week run at the top the week of June 22, 1996).

One more thing to add to this whole Tracy Lawrence thing: this might be the first time a song on an independent record label replaced another song on an independent record label at No. 1 on the country chart. The Tracy Lawrence single was released on the Rocky Comfort label, while "Moments" by Emerson Drive (the single it replaced at the top) was released on the Midas label.

Lisa Curry
Beachwood, New Jersey

Dear Fred,

It's nice to see the Hot Country Songs chart making some headlines, and with Tracy Lawrence's "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" reaching No. 1 in its 41st week, I am reasonably certain that this will be one of this week's topics.

As many country chart watchers know, "Friends" replaces "Friend" ("Brand New Girlfriend" by Steve Holy, that is) as the slowest climb to No. 1 on the county chart. On the overall singles side, however, Tracy has to settle for second slowest. Matchbox twenty's "If You're Gone" needed one additional week in 2000-2001 to top the Adult Contemporary chart, ultimately reaching the penthouse of that tally in its 42nd week.

As long as the wait may have seemed for the friends of "Friends," rest can be assured that someone at least had to wait just a little longer.

Tony Payne
Richmond, Virginia

Dear Lisa and Tony,

Thanks for recognizing Tracy Lawrence's record-setting long climb to pole position on Hot Country Songs. Lisa, your letter sounds so much like a Chart Beat item that we should put you on the short list of candidates to replace me (not that I'm ready to move on). And Tony, thanks for placing Tracy's chart feat in the context of other Billboard charts.


Hello Fred,

I wanted to say that I am a huge fan of both your Chart Beat and Chart Beat Chat columns. I noticed that there was no mention of Jody Watley hitting No. 1 on the dance club play chart with the song "I Want Your Love." The song, of course, is a cover of the 1978 No. 1 dance/disco song by Chic. For Jody Watley, this is her eighth solo dance No. 1. And what an achievement it is for a woman who has been in the music business for the past 30 years. Way to go, Watley!


Rick Weihs
S. Berwick, Maine

Dear Rick,

This looks like a week to acknowledge chart feats. Jody Watley's longevity is certainly worth noting and thank you for doing so.


Hi, Fred:

I just wanted to point out that Mariah Carey holds the record for biggest jump to No. 2 in the history of the Hot 100. In the summer of 2001, "Loverboy", by Mariah Carey featuring Cameo moved 60-2, a leap fueled almost entirely by sales. Ironically, Destiny's Child from Columbia Records, Mariah's former label, moved into the No. 1 spot that week with "Bootylicious." Unable to match the combined sales and radio strength of "Bootylicious," Mariah had to settle for runner-up position for two weeks.

It was probably easy to forget, considering this was the lead single from the "Glitter" soundtrack and the only top 10 hit for Mariah from her short-lived contract with Virgin Records.

I look forward to your column every week!

Jon Neuens
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Jon,

You were one of a couple dozen Chart Beat readers who wrote in about the 60-2 rise of Mariah Carey's "Loverboy." I relied on our Billboard chart archives for this item instead of my own memory, an obvious mistake. The archives didn't list the record-setting rise of "Loverboy" but that has been taken care of, so no one else will make the same omission in the future.

Just to confirm, Mariah Carey did set the record for the biggest move to No. 2 in Hot 100 history, a feat I wrote about in Chart Beat the week it happened.

My original item will be amended so anyone who searches for it in the future will read the right information.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard