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Written by Barry Kowal   
May 22, 2019 at 03:00 PM


       The author of this list has every song on this list in his possession.However,this is"not" a list premised upon the authors personal opinions.If it were most peoples' attitude would be "Who gives a fuck". This list is your opinion (the people). It is mostly objective.Premised upon data compiled from various national music magazines and various radio stations then it is computed & the result is the 6500 Best Rockers Of All-time.

   Further it might be noted that whether or not an artist (musician,vocalist,rocker, etc.) approves or disapproves with this list such documents like Billboard Magazine,ARIAA and Official Chart Company (etc.,etc.) are the instrumentalities which the public uses to measure his or hers success within the music profession.

   The data used in compilation of this list includes information provided by Record Research (Menomonee Falls,Wisconsin),ARIAA (Australian National Music Charts), The Official NZ Music Charts (New Zealand),Information Please Almanac (Australian edition),Take 40 Australia,American Top 40,"THE BOOK" (A book written by Jimmy Barnes displaying the Australian Pop Charts from 1956-1994),BBC (London,U.K.), Q Magazine (London, United Kingdom),Guinness Top 40 Charts (a Book displaying all the UK charts from 1960-1991),Virgin Radio from the UK,CANOE Music Charts (displaying Canadian music Charts),Canada Pop Weekly written by Ted Kennedy (displays Canadian weekly singles charts between 1960 & 1991),Much Music from Canada,Cash Box,Billboard, Record World Magazines (both singles and albums charts),Radio And Records Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine.Also assisting in compilation of this list are Radio Station WABC,WCBS-FM,WOR-FM,WPLJ,WINS,WNBC,WYNY,WYTZ,WMCA & WNEW-FM(New York City),WBZ(Boston),WAVZ(New Haven,Conn.),WTRY (Troy,New York),WGY(Schenectady,New York),WPTR(Albany,N.Y.),WKBW(Buffalo,N.Y.),WCTC(New Brunswick,N.J.),WFIL & WIBG(Philadelphia,Pa.),WBT(Charlotte,N.C.),WLS(Chicago),WKY(Oklahoma City,Oklahoma),CKLW (Windsor,Ontario,Canada),KONO(San Antonio,Texas),WEZP(New Orleans),CKY(Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada),CFOX (Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada),Radio Station CHUM (Toronto,Ontario,Canada),C-100 (Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada),KHOW & KIMN(Denver),KLAQ (El Paso,Texas) KKAZ Cheyenne,Wyoming) KRQU (Laramie,Wyoming)KASS-FM (Casper,Wyoming) KFI(Los Angeles),KTXQ (Dallas,Tx.),KWNZ,KRZQ & KOZZ (Reno,Nevada)KYA,KRQR,KMEL & KFRC (San Francisco,California),MMM(Australian radio),JJJ (Australian Radio) Hot 100 (Darwin,Australia),Radio station "THE MIX" (Perth,Australia) and KISW,KZOK,KUBE and KXRX (all from Seattle).

                                     HOW THE LIST WAS COMPILED

  As previously stated this list is not premised upon the author's personal likes and dislikes.It is premised upon your likes and dislikes.There is usually an objective and damn good reason why every song is where it is on this list. I say for the most part this list is objective. However,there is some slight subjectivity. This list is compiled from the singles and album charts from the USA,UK,Australia,New Zealand and Canada.Had this list been compiled from charts from the USA,UK,New Zealand & Ireland there would probably be a different result.If the list were compiled with charts from the USA,UK and Germany there would be once again an entirely different result. But subjectively I chose countries which have English as their dominant language like the USA,UK,Canada,New Zealand and Australia to assist in the compilation of this list.So there is some slight subjectivety.

   Every week Billboard Magazine and Radio and Records Magazines (both in the USA) the BBC (in the UK), CANOE and Much Music (both in Canada) and ARIAA (in Australia) publish weekly single and album charts. I analyse these charts and apply a mathematical formula. For example suppose a song is in the number one position for the Billboard Singles Chart for the week of January 1st,2009 I will give 70 points to that song. If the song is in the #2 position for the week of January 1st,2009 I will give that song 58 points,#3 56 points,#4 54 points,etc.,etc.etc. until #14 which the song will receive 34 points. Songs that position below #14 do not receive any points. Once again some subjectivety. If I applied a different mathematical formula the result of this list would more than likely be different.

   Now back to the calculations.Suppose a song receives 70 points for being #1 on the Billboard Singles Chart for the week of January 1st,2009. The next week January 8th,2009 the song is #4 on the Billboard Singles chart so it receives 54 points for that week. Then for the week of January 15th,2009 the song is #11 on the Billboard singles chart.The song will receive 40 points for that week. So for the three weeks the song will receive 164 points (70+54+40=164). Then what you do next is look at the all the songs for the entire year and the song that accumulates the most points is the #1 song for that entire year, the song with the second most amount of points is the #2 song for that year,etc.,etc.,etc. Then you apply this formula not only to songs from the year 2009 but to songs for all the years on the Billboard Singles charts from 1954-2019. Then you do not only apply this formula to songs on the singles charts but to albums on the album charts. When positioning a song on the Top 6500 from the album charts you look for the most successful song from that album that has yet to position itself in the Top 6500 and you enter that song in the position that is designated for the album. For example "A Day In The Life" by the Beatles is ranked in a rather high position on the Top 6500 not for it's success on the singles chart (never appeared on a singles chart) but for Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band's successful performance on the album charts.Then you don't only use this formula with Billboard charts you also use this formula with the Radio And Records charts,Canoe charts,Much Music charts,BBC charts and ARIAA charts. 

  But that's far from over as far as the calculations go. The scores I have just mentioned are the "actual scores". What is used in calculating a songs total score is what I define as it's "RAW score". I came up with the idea of using a "RAW score" when I noticed that songs that charted in certain years were obtaining higher "actual scores" than songs that charted in other years. I further noticed that the songs receiving the higher "actual scores" charted during years when less songs peaked at the #14 position or higher in comparison to songs that received lower "actual scores" where there were more songs that peaked at the #14 position or higher. So to bring balance to the chart I invented the "RAW score". How you calculate the "RAW score" is as follows. First you compute the "actual score", then you see how many songs during the year which the song charted peaked at the number 14 position or higher. And then you multiply the "actual score" by the number of songs that peaked at the #14 position or higher and hence you obtain the "RAW score". For,example if the song "Mary Had A Little Lamb" has an "actual score" of 1000 and charts in 1993 (a year where only 50 songs peak at the #14 position or higher). To find the "RAW score" for "Mary Had A Little Lamb" you would multiply 1000 X .5 and find the "RAW score" to equal 500. On the other hand "Happy Birthday" receives an actual score of 400 points in 1965 (a year where 150 songs peaked at the #14 position or higher).To find the RAW score for "Happy Birthday" you would multiply 400 X 1.5 and find that "Happy Birthday" will receive a "RAW score" of 600. So a song with a lower "actual score" could quite often have a higher "RAW score" (the score used in calculating a song's total score).

  But year-end charts are not the only charts that are used in compiling the "Top 6500". It is one thing to look at how successful a song was at the time of it's release and it is quite another thing to see how a song is perceived years or even decades after it's initial release. So assisting in compilation of the Top 6500 are all-time charts used predominantly by various radio stations (i.e.KISW in Seattle,CKY in Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada,Virgin Radio in London and Mix-94 in Perth,Australia). With these charts what I do is look at the years which these charts span. Then I look at the year-end charts for the country from which the country where the all-time chart is being released from. Then suppose the list is a list of the all-time top 1000 I will try to find out what were the 1000 best "RAW scores" for the songs on the year-end charts for the years in which these all-time charts span and then in descending numerical order I will assign respective values to each of the positions on the all-time chart.

  Still more calculating. The total score for all the songs is composed of something that I have defined as "indexes". Every song has 12 "indexes".A song can not receive more than four (4) "indexes" from the music charts from any individual country. One reason for this is to prevent one country from dominating this chart. But the primary reason is that there are some weak spots on these charts. This list spans primarily the pop singles and album charts from 1954-present.As far as the singles charts are concerned this is no problem for the US,UK & AUUSTRALIAN charts. But as far as the Canadian charts are concerned I only have singles charts dating back to 1957. 

New Zealand charts only go back to 1960.To fill this void the US charts substitute the void for the weeks that there are no Canadian charts present. Further,in researching the Canoe charts from Canada there are some weekly charts missing during the 80s and 90s (primarily due to postal strikes).So, by using 12 indexes and allowing only four (4) per country to be successful on this list it is not necessary for a song to chart in all four (4) countries. Charting in only three (3) of the five (5) will suffice.Further,New Zealand and Australian charts are calculated as one 


  In the calculating a song's total score it's 12 best indexes (with a maximum of 4 from any one country) will be calculated.The "RAW score" a song receives from any year-end chart will count as two (2) indexes while the "RAW score" a song receives from an all-time chart will count as one (1) index.So suppose "Mary Had A Little Lamb" receives a "RAW score" of 500 from the Billboard year-end chart, and a "RAW score" of 600 and 650 from two all-time charts from two US radio charts, then a "RAW score" of 550 from a year-end chart of C-100 from Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada  and a "RAW score" of 450 points from the year-end chart of Much Music, then a "RAW score" of 700 from the BBC year-end chart and a "RAW score" of 525 from Virgin-Radio's year-end chart, then a "RAW score" of 635 from the ARIA year-end chart and a "RAW score" of 615 from JJJ's year-end chart. First of all I already mentioned that only the four (4) best indexes from each country will be used in calculating the song's total score. Other indexes will be disregarded. Second,the "RAW scores" from the year-end chart on Canada's Much Music and the score from the Billboard year-end chart would not be included in calculating the total score for "Mary Had A Little Lamb" because only the twelve (12) best indexes can be used in calculating the total score. But the "RAW score" of 550 from the C-100 year-end chart,the "RAW score" of 700 from the BBC year-end chart,the "RAW score" of 525 from the Virgin year-end chart,the "RAW score" of 635 from the ARIA year-end chart and the "RAW score" of 615 from JJJ's year-end chart will be used in calculating "Mary Had A Little Lamb"'s total score.So 550+700+525+635+615=3025. Then because these are all year-end charts (2 indexes) these scores are doubled so 3025 X 2=6050.Then you just add the "RAW scores" of 600 and 650 that the song received from two all-time charts in the USA (only one index each) and "Mary Had A Little Lamb" receives a total score of 7300 (6050+600+650=7300). Then this is the same process that is used in calculating nearly all of the scores for the songs in the Top 6500.


     I just described to you how I calculated most of the songs in the Top 6500 but there is one thing that I did found disturbing with calculating this chart. As you can tell my chart deals with the Rock & Roll era from 1954-present. But most people know that Rock & Roll originated in the mid 1950s by white people ripping off black people. One of the biggest songs in the UK for the entire year of 1956 was "Hound Dog" by "Elvis Presley". But what most white people don't know is that this song was the cover of an R&B song originally recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton that spent seven (7) weeks on top of the US R&B charts in 1953. Some people consider "Sh-Boom" recorded in 1954 to be the first Rock & Roll record. Most white people know about the lily-white version of the song recorded by the Canadian group the "Crew Cuts" that spent 8 weeks on top of the US Billboard charts.But very few people know about the R&B version by the New York City R&B group the "Chords".Other rip offs included "Pat Boone" covering "Fats Domino's" "Ain't That A Shame" in 1955, Bill Haley covering big Joe Turner's "Shake,Rattle & Roll" in 1954, the McGuire Sister's white coating the Moonglow's "Sincerely" in 1955 and the list goes on and on of white people covering R&B records during the 1950s. So I said to myself while compiling this list that I could strictly adhere to applying the mathematical calculations I previously mentioned in my computations for the songs on this list. Which would result in their being no mention of these Negro artists who got ripped off during the 1950s. And hence I'd be perpetuating the racist policies of about 65 years ago or I could re-write history and put credit where credit was due. Now,no one could say how these songs would have fared had they charted some 10 or 20 years later. But one could reasonably conclude that they probably would have been more successful on the charts (at least successful enough to earn a

position in the Top 6500). So I looked at some "out of the main stream" charts. Like WCBS-FM from New York City's all time charts where many of the original R&B recordings are ranked on their all-time charts rather than the lily-white covers. I also looked at the US Billboard R&B charts. And for the years from 1951-1957 for certain R&B records I managed to create a mathematical formula different from one used by the other songs on the chart so that recognition that was long over due to these artists would be given them by giving them a place in the "Top 6500".

  One should note that this racist covering of R&B songs persisted until about late in 1957. In December of 1957 Toledo,Ohio's Teresa Brewer endeavored to cover Sam Cooke's recording of "You Send Me". Teresa Brewer's version of "You Send Me" managed to peak at only #31 on the Billboard Singles Chart while Sam Cooke's version went all the way to the #1 position. By that time the white public was tired of listening to the lily-white covers and preferred to listen to the soulful originals.

  One footnote:"Sixty Minute Man" by the R&B group the "Dominoes" is the oldest song in the list.It is the only song in the Top 6500 from the year of 1951.In 1951 "Sixty Minute Man" spent 14 weeks in the #1 position on the US R&B charts. It stayed in the #1 position on the US R&B charts longer than any other song stayed at the top of the US R&B charts between the years of 1950 and 1988.

                 DETERMINING THE DATE  

   People reading this list who have spent substantial time in the USA will probably have no problem comprehending the dates in which I aver these songs peaked at on the charts. But people from Australia,the United Kingdom,Canada and other countries may encounter some problems. For example "THE JOKER" by the Steve Miller Band peaked at the #1 on the US charts for two (2) weeks beginning January 12th,1974. While in the UK this same song did not even enter the UK charts until over sixteen (16) years later on August 25th,1990 and eventually did reach #1 on the UK charts on September 15th,1990 and stayed at #1 for two (2) weeks which was the same amount of time that it spent at #1 on the US charts. Also another song recorded by the Proclaimers a duo from Edinburgh, Scotland titled "I'M GONNA BE" entered the UK  charts on September 3rd,1988 but only reached the position of #11 on the UK charts on October 1st. That same song entered the Australian charts on January 23rd,1989 and did hit #1 on the Australian charts on February 20th,1989 and remained in that position for the next five(5) weeks. In the USA  "I'M GONNA BE" by the Proclaimers did not enter the US charts until June 12th,1993 and on August 21st,1993 peaked at position #3 on the US charts."I'M GONNA BE" probably would have ranked much higher on the TOP 6500 had it's chart performance on the UK charts been at a minimum as successful as it was on the US charts. And from studying the UK,US,Australian and Canadian charts one can find many discrepancies in the dates in which the recordings peaked on the various charts.

The differences go on and on. But not because of any partiality but solely for the purpose of continuity and to avoid confusion and ambiguity I've chosen to identify all dates on this list as the dates on which these songs peaked on the US singles charts. If the song was never a single then the date specified is the date in which the album in which that song is a cut off of peaked on the US album charts. If the song never charted on the US singles chart or never was a cut off an album that charted on the US album chart then we use the date at which it peaked on some other US music chart(i.e. R&B chart, alternative chart, or dance chart )it may have charted on. If the song never charted on any US chart then the date specified is the date that the song peaked at it's highest position in that country where it peaked at it highest position. I hope this clarifies what might be ambiguous.

Last Updated ( Jul 05, 2019 at 08:54 AM )

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