DAILY DIRT: Beatles, Elvis led the cash register ka-ching in the 1960s

elvis 68

Elvis performed his 1968 comeback special at the NBC Studios in Burbank, California - photo from fanpop

Daily Dirt for Sunday, June 9, 2024

Many of these 1960s giants of music are still going strong … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 973 of The Daily Dirt.

1. How have our musical tastes changed over the years?

Far Out magazine compiled a list of the most popular artists, by decade, based on sales of albums/CDs (or whatever the term is used today by the cool kids). We’re going to examine one decade each day during the coming week, starting today with the 1960s.”William S. Burroughs once wrote: ‘Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact,'” notes author Tom Taylor for faroutmagazine.co.uk. There is no better evidence of that thought than 1960s pop music:


  • 1. The Beatles – 376 million records sold: No surprise that the Fab Four was No. 1, but what may be surprising to some is the margin between the Beatles and No. 2 Elvis Presley.
  • 2. Elvis Presley – 131 million: The King was No. 1 in the 1950s with 127 million.
  • 3. The Rolling Stones – 110 million: Isn’t it borderline incredible that this band is still at the top of tis game in 2024?
  • 4. Simon & Garfunkel – 89 million: Hardcore fans will remember this duo was first known as Tom and Jerry.
  • 5. Bob Dylan – 72 million: I could use the same comment here as I did for the Stones.
  • 6. The Doors – 72 million: I have always wondered what heights the Doors could have reached is Jim Morrison had not died at age 27.
  • 7. Led Zeppelin – 57 million: Led Zeppelin came to the forefront when I was in junior high and high school, and I remember the group was catalogued as “underground”. the only Led Zeppelin single to ever receive extensive airplay was “Whole Lotta Love”.
  • 8. Creedence Clearwater Revival – 52 million: John Fogerty will always possess one fo the most recognizable voices in the industry.
  • 9. Barbra Streisand – 31 million: Nos. 9 and 10 on this list were surprises to me. Apparently, moms and ads bought records, too “back in the day”.
  • 10. Johnny Hallyday – 29 million: His real name was Jean-Philippe Léo Smet.

On Monday: The 1970s.

2. Did you know (Part 33)

  • — That among the random things that appeared — and quickly disappeared — back in the 1980s were New Coke, Pepsi A.M., Max Headroom, Pac-Man Cereal and Betamax.
  • — That pop songs turning 45 this year include “Heart of Glass” by Blondie, “This Thing Called Love” by Queen, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band, “Rock and Roll Fantasy” by Bad Company, “Good Ole Boys” by Waylon Jennings, “All My Love” by Led Zeppelin, “My Sharona” by the Knack and “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer.
  • — That Chuck Norris has a mug of nails — instead of coffee — in the morning.
  • — That Vanna White and Pat Sajak worked 41 years and more than 8,000 episodes of “Wheel of Fortune” together.
  • — That country songs turning 25 this year include “Pop A Top,” by Alan Jackson, “Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks, “Breathe” by Faith Hill, “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” by Kenny Chesney, “Amazed” by Lonestar and “Write This Down” by George Strait.

3. Five NBA records I don’t see anyone breaking in the foreseeable future:

  • — Scott Skiles  (a.k.a. “The Pasty Prince”) of Orlando handed out 30 assists in one game in 1990.
  • — Jason Kidd had 14 turnovers in a 2000 contest for Phoenix.
  • — Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers once MISSED 30 shots in a 2002 game, but still scored 40 points.
  • — Charles Oakley of Chicago had 35 rebounds in a 1988 contest.
  • — And, of course, no one will ever break Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points for Philadelphia in a 1962 game.

Steve Thought O’ The Day – For those wondering, Pat Sajak started hosting “Wheel of Fortune” back in 1981, the same year as Whitey Herzog’s first full season as manager of the Cardinals.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He found food at the Quincy Grand Prix on Saturday, so he was happy.

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