Chubby Checker's song "The Twist" has been named the biggest US chart hit of the last 50 years, surpassing songs by The Beatles and Elvis Presley. "Hey Jude" was the only Beatles single to make the top 10, compiled by Billboard to mark the Hot 100's half-century.
But the quartet were named the number one all-time chart act, and still hold the record for the most chart-toppers in the US with 20 singles. The Beatles are followed by Mariah Carey, with 18 US number ones to date.
Songs by Elvis Presley on the list are "Are You Lonesome Tonight?," at # 81 and "It’s Now Or Never," at #92. Charts prior to August 1958 featured fewer than 100 singles, so the Hot 100’s debut came after such earlier Elvis hits as "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Don’t Be Cruel."
In the most successful songs rundown, Chubby Checker's 1960s hit is followed by Santana's Smooth from 1999 and Bobby Darin's Mack the Knife, which spent nine weeks at number one in 1959.
Checker's famous danced-themed tune spent only three weeks at the top of the chart, but enjoyed two separate runs to the top in 1960 and 1962. Other songs making the top 10 include Olivia Newton-John's Physical and Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton. Checker's ranking may come as a surprise to some, but not to the man himself. He said "I'm glad they've finally recognised it."
He compared The Twist -- named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock 'n' roll -- to the creation of the telephone as a groundbreaking moment because he said it was the first time people were dancing "apart to the beat".
US Hot 100 ALL-Time Chart Hits according to Billboard
1 The Twist - Chubby Checker
2 Smooth - Santana
3 Mack The Knife - Bobby Darin
4 How Do I Live? - LeAnn Rimes
5 Macarena - Los Del Rio
6 Physical - Olivia Newton-John
7 You Light Up My Life - Debby Boone
8 Hey Jude - The Beatles
9 We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
10 Un-Break My Heart - Toni Braxton
Billboard's chart director Geoff Mayfield said the songs were ranked simply on the basis of how they performed in their era, and weighted depending on when they were successful. US chart successes until 1991 had a shorter run in the hit parade, until the introduction of improved radio airplay and sales information, which made the life of hits much more sustained. "We're not saying that these are the most memorable songs of your life," added Mr Mayfield.
The top 10 artists of the past 50 years following on from The Beatles are Madonna, Sir Elton John, Elvis Presley and Stevie Wonder. US singers Mariah Carey, siblings Michael and Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and The Rolling Stones complete the all-time rundown.
A number of other charts to mark the 50 years have been issued by Billboard, including one-hit wonders, rock tracks, country tunes and Latin hits.
An anniversary issue of the Billboard Hot 100 magazine is due to be published on 20 September.
Source: Various / Updated: Sep 12, 2008