Unless you are a musician or linked to the world of music in a non-musical capacity, you may not have an answer for this question, but here goes:
How much do you know a music charts and how they rule the music world?
Their purpose is truly just as simple as that they exist to chart musicians and their songs according to how well they are doing.
You may not be familiar with the first chart, you will know the name: Billboard. (Note 1)
Billboard was first published on November 1, 1894.
Over time, the focus of Billboard and charts that were added over time, shifted and narrowed down to the world of music.
And, with that focus, charts became a hotbed of intrigue, duplicity, and much more – up to and including murder for hire.
Yet, we jump ahead just a bit.
Some of the well-known names on those early charts include Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, and up to present day names such as BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, and Billie Ellish.
What do those artists and countless others in between have in common?
A career that was enhanced and/or made simply because of successfully riding the wave up the music charts.
However, if you believe that everything involving music charts was all roses and sunshine and on the level, you would be very, very sadly mistaken.
For as long as Nashville has been a music mecca, musicians, writers, singers, hangers on and more have flocked to Nashville in groups and crowds.
Sadly, most never hit the big time and found their way back home or took a different direction in the music world than their original goal. Many went back home.
Even more sadly, some turned to less legal pursuits.
Since our topic is the music charts, lets look there.
Were the charts all on the up and up and working with the intention of helping the truly talented shine bright?
Not even close.
Oh yes, there were charts that embraced their true purpose and had legit numbers.
There were also charts that were comprised of individuals climbing the chart who didn’t even have a record out.
It was all about money for too many during that time.
Of course, money is the reason all of us work. However, most of us trade an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage.
Yes, there were those preying on unsuspecting people who had legitimate ambitions and were star struck enough to blindly fall into a trap.
Let’s say for example that one pair created a music chart named “Charts R Us.”
The pair of chart owners were at the top of the game in Nashville. They spent money like it was water. They made sure to “help” their musicians rake in the cash.
Hey, this may be based on a real-life event, but thanks to creative license, I can name my chart whatever I want.
So, a couple of well-known promoters created “Charts R Us,” and brought in a young unknown from the MidWest to run things from behind the scenes.
That’s all this young man wanted. A chance. A dream job behind the scenes. A chance to prove himself.
Instead, he got set up, used and abused and, eventually, they put a hit on him.
And, not the kind of hit one associates with the music biz. They put a contract on this young man’s life.
One young music hopeful, let’s call him Chuckie Cheese, received thousands over time that were labelled as promotional fees to get him to the top of the charts.
Yes, Chuckie never sold a record. Not one. Nada. Nothing.
See how the game was played?
Same for that young man behind the scenes who worked as hard and diligently as he could to make “Charts R Us” a solid and viable hit.
This young man deserves a name, but because of the long arms of those pulling the strings, we must give him a made up name. So, let’s call him Douglas McCarthy.
Doug was trying with all he had to make, as we stated above, “Charts R Us” legit and successful.
Those around him knew how disillusioned and angry he was becoming with the whole set up.
Also multiplying was his fear that he was in danger.
Sadly, in a matter of days, his fears came true.
He was chased down a street in Nashville while being shot at. He was either hit, or stumbled and fell. That allowed the hit man to catch up and put two bullets into the back of Doug’s head.
It took a long thirteen years for the truth to come out.
Even well known “mobsters” apparently think they are above the ole “loose lips sink ships” saying. Because it was known amongst the music world that they, more or less, bragged about their power to make things happen to people.
Thirteen years after a tragic death that should never have happened, an arrest was made.
The hitman gave it up by fingering the partners behind “Charts R Us” as the ones who put the hit out on Doug.
As mentioned, this is a fictionalized version of a real life event. It has been said that, even now, it’s not conducive to one’s well-being to mention this event or names of those involved. I think, however, the truth does need to be out there.
Well, hopefully you enjoyed our version, but if you want to know the real, true store, click here: https://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132437&page=1
Now, back to regular blog stuff!!
Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021 – Quarter Moon Books, Gifts & Wine Bar – from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Hey, don’t forget that Chris is available for parties, private events, anniversaries, weddings, and more!!! Just call or text 910-512-0055 for more information or to make plans for the event!
Now that the temperature and humidity have dropped a bit, how about some mood music. You know, music to put us in the mood to get our feet in the sand at the beach!
Well, that’s it for this week. Please let us know what you think of “Nashville Ugly” and if you would be interested in more stories from Nashville’s storied past – and present!
Happy Labor Day to one and all and PLEASE stay safe and well!