As we hit our summer stride, listings to help you find some jazz in the clutter....
Tell us about your RIJF...One week left

The jazz hit parade...Top 40 jazz?

Billboard logoMarc Myers, a New York journalist and historian and the writer of the great jazz blog JazzWax, in a fit of nostalgia for earlier days, started thinking about Top 40 hits that could also be classified as jazz. He went through the Billboard charts and over two posts has pulled together a list of jazz artists who had Top 40 hits from 1955 on, according to the following criteria: they had to be jazz-flavored singles by well-known jazz musicians that had a big influence on jazz and pop music. He features the top ten in the first post and another set of 10 in a second post. I have some favorites on there, including Getz/Gilberto's The Girl from Ipanema and Mongo Santamaria's Watermelon Man (although my recording of it is by Herbie Hancock).  You'll notice that there are not many on there from the last 20 years (actually none at all...). 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


I did a whole week of shows on that same theme back in 2004. All the jazz hits that hit the Billboard non-jazz charts. There were some hilarious ones -- like a 3-minute version of the 14-minute "My Favorite Things" by John Coltrane.

Interesting list, thanks for posting this. If you have a few hours to kill check this out:

The comments to this entry are closed.