I have been a chart follower since I was about nine, when I first discovered American Top 40 sometime in the spring of 1972. From that point on, I never missed my weekly appointment with Casey Kasem if I could help it. I also wrote them down every week from the time I was in 7th grade on.
I also began collecting radio and store charts. Several of our local radio stations printed “hit surveys” that they placed in stores as advertisements, and If I was lucky, I could occasionally find them from far away places – Seaway in Newark OH, a department store near where I lived, sometimes had the surveys from WCFL in Chicago – I don’t know if the company were based there or what. But I used to collect them all the time.
In junior high, I wrote to my local radio stations and asked them to add me to their mailing list for their top 30 each week. KJRB AM complied and sent them every week until they switched formats, even sending them to my new address in Ohio after June of 1981. KREM-AM sent theirs to me for about a year, and I got a few – three or four – from KXLY-AM too.
I also picked up the ones that the stores carried. There was always a recent top 40 (or in some cases, top 60) flyer to be had in the record stores around Spokane, like Eucalyptus and Odyssey, DJ’s Records, and such, and many of the department stores also printed their lists, like JC Penneys and The Bon Marche.
In the late spring of 1978, looking at the collection of charts around me, and armed with several books, I decided the time had come to make my own charts. At first, it was a top 20 plus 10 “hitbound” songs, but gradually expanded over the years to 30, then 35, and finally, 40 hits each week. The first weekly chart I made was dated sometime in June 1978, and I dilligently continued making the chart every week through the end of November 1993. Over 15 years of changing tastes, changing styles, and more. For more info on how I determined the chart placings, see TKR Methodology.
I revived the chart from Summer 1998 to September 2000 as The Kirkham Report/DiscJockey.Com PowerTraxx 35 – this was a chart of the top 35 songs of the week as determined by the amount of play each hit recieved on DiscJockey.com’s “All Hits” channel, as well as the number of requests each song recieved via our “instant internet request” feature. When DiscJockey.Com went under in September 2000, the chart also went with it.
But after a number of people asked me about the charts after reading about them in my Song Of The Day blog, and after seeing how many people put their charts online every week, I decided that it was time to begin again. The Kirkham Report returned with new charts beginning the week of January 9, 2010, and then due to time constraints ended about eight months later…but we’ll get back soon, watch and see…