A few things caught my eye about this Billboard masthead from around the time I was born (March 1978):
I wish I knew someone named “Is” *
Also, this incredible ad for Patti Smith Group’s “Because the Night” … “The single rock ‘n’ roll has been waiting for.”
* Short for Israel. From his obit: “During his lengthy association with Billboard, Horowitz served as music and radio news editor, New York bureau chief, international editor and executive editor … he joined the magazine as a reporter covering the coin-machine beat in 1948 … left and spent 15 years at Decca … rejoined Billboard in 1973 … retired in 1994.”
“That track came out of a jam when my guitar was just making a sound that was thrilling to me. It started making the sound of a speed roadster, a night time dream that was sparkling in the piney woods.”
— David Lynch on “Speed Roadster,” in a chat with Billboard about his debut album “Crazy Clown Time.”
During his brief tenure as the heavyweight champ in the early 1970s, Joe Frazier (RIP) explored his funky side with a series of records, including “My Way,” “Try It Again” and “Knock on Wood.” His voice? Like a guy who’s spent some time in the ring. Still, it’s a fun side to the serious fighter that we wanted to share on this bummer of night.
We’ve come a long, long way since 1984, when a yearly subscription to Billboard cost 99 cents. We used to cover advertising, then the “amusement business” (carnivals and circuses), then motion pictures, and finally, with the advent of the jukebox, the music industry. It wasn’t until 1940 that we launched our first chart, the 10-position “National List of Best Selling Retail Records.” Think we found our niche.