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 Post Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:34 pm
Posts: 16
Location: nyc


As a Disco columnist for Billboard Magazine, I was privy to much inside information. However I could never figure out how the charts were formatted in the early days when the first Disco section appeared in Billboard (about 1974). I knew that the sales charts were based on calls to three major stores in NYC (Colony Records, Downstairs Records, and one more music outlet), and they reported just what was selling. But as for the Club Charts, I was at a lost. Having played at a prominent disco club, I was lucky enough to be in the elite membership of a Billboard Reporter.

This was a great, for as a DJ, you got priority treatment from the labels. Naturally you were the first to hear any new releases. Many of these were not pressed yet and you would get them on an acetate. Most PR/promotion people at the labels knew exactly who these"special" people were.

Basically to be a Billboard reporter, you had to have a known name and more important play at a prominent club.

What happened was that each individual reporter was assigned a rating number (like 1 to 10) depending who they were and where they played.

Naturally the bigger cities in the USA got the DJs with high #’s (NY, Chicago, L.A.,S.F., and so forth)

So after contacting all the DJs and adding up how they rated their top ten, all the numbers were added up and the song that had the highest number made it to #1. I believe this list was compiled by my editor, but I do not know for sure. During this era, most of the reporters and Djs were close with one another and many a time were asked if we would report their laqbels record. If the record was good, the DJ would oblige. But on the whole, the syatem worked and the idea of "payola" never crept in the charts as it did with radio.
If anyone out there was a Billboard reporter I would cetainly like to hear your thoughts and experiences.

You can write to me at: or through the website mananger...

Keep spinning,

Barry Lederer

 Post subject: The Charts...
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:08 am
Posts: 2476
Location: Miami, FL
When I ran the Florida Record Pool, I would gather all the charts that all the disc-jockey's would report to me, including many Billboard reporters. As it turned out, most of what songs were reported, were what Bo Crane, who owned the record pool and was a promoter as well, wanted to report. No-one really took the reporting seriously, so how could they accurately represent the real response of the public? It didn't.

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