1991 was to be a transitional year when it came to music, although it wasn’t completely obvious yet at the beginning of the  year, but there were rumblings. MTV was revamping again, and were airing hours of non-video programming. Pop radio began to splinter quite a bit,  into Contemporary Hit Radio or CHR (aka Top 40) and Hot Adult Contemporary (Hot AC) formats – essentially the same except Hot AC didn’t play the teenybopper acts like New Kids On The Block, who were on their last legs anyway…or so we thought back then, heh heh…plus a few other offshoots like CHR Rhythmic, which played more dance music and R&B; and Alternative Top 40, which played harder edged pop songs and a mix of album oriented rock tunes (AOR). Me, I stuck with my New American Contemporary (NAC) format. Throughout the year, there were odd pockets of action in unusual places, like in January, when actress Nancy Cartwright had a number one TKR hit in her TV voiceover persona as Bart Simpson of the animated series “The Simpsons“, who had just released an album. “Do The Bartman” was national hit, but wasn’t nearly as big on Billboard’s Hot 100. Another TV related project charting regularly was Guys Next Door, NBC’s answer to NKOTB, just as The Monkees had been the network’s answer to The Beatles. The group, made up of five actors who could sing – Eddie Garcia, Damon Sharpe, Patrick Dancy, Bobby Leslie, and Chris Wolf – did far better on TKR than Billboard during the period between September 1990 and Summer 1991, placing a number of songs in the top ten, including a #1 hit, “Magic Night“. The show – sketch comedy with music videos – was original, hilarious, and unfortunately, too hip for the room; NBC aired it on Saturday mornings, and while it probably would have been renewed for a second season, NBC decided to cut their losses and cancel the series when Wolf bailed and sued to get out of his contract, with the full support of the rest of the group. 1990 also gave Michael W. Smith his first secular hit – the popular contemporary Christian superstar hit the national top 20 and TKR #1 with “Place In This World“. I got to see him when he played Columbus in the summertime – and he made me a huge lifelong fan when I saw him – but up to that point I only knew two of his songs – “Place” and “Secret Ambition“…and – true confessions time here – I REALLY went to see his opening act, DC Talk, who were just DYNAMITE live…and speaking of the Liberty University boys, 1991 was their year. Amidst all different kinds of music around them on the chart, their unique blend of Christian Hip Hop Rap blessed them with FIVE TKR hits, including their first TKR #1 smash, “Walls“, a powerful anti-racism anthem which spent three weeks at #1 and finished at #3 for the year as well – there was NO REASON this song couldn’t have been on CHR stations – it was hard hitting, it was in your face, and it was AWESOME! Ironically, it was their tour leader Smith who knocked them out of #1 with his first number one above.  There were still the big hair bands on the chart as well as the usual pop and dance acts, and the occasional TV or movie hit,  and the left field hits like “Voices That Care“, the superstar grouping singing in support of the Gulf War troops, and “Listen To The Voices” by South African artist Labi Siffre, whom one of my friends turned me on to. But as the year ended, major change was in the the wind…there was an unusual smell wafting out of the northwest corner of the US.. hard, dirty, cynical, drug-fueled….and in 1992, it would explode onto the national scene, and rock music would never be the same again…

Once again, some of the charts, in this year’s case May, are dated for Friday rather than Saturday; I have left them filed under the Saturday date below!

JANUARY 5 1991
JANUARY 12 1991
JANUARY 19 1991
JANUARY 26 1991
FEBRUARY 16 1991
FEBRUARY 23 1991
MARCH 2 1991
MARCH 9 1991
MARCH 16 1991
MARCH 23 1991
MARCH 30 1991
APRIL 6 1991
APRIL 13 1991
APRIL 20 1991
APRIL 27 1991
MAY 4 1991
MAY 11 1991
MAY 18 1991
MAY 25 1991
JUNE 1 1991
JUNE 8 1991
JUNE 15 1991
JUNE 22 1991
JUNE 29 1991
JULY 6 1991
JULY 13 1991
JULY 20 1991
JULY 27 1991
AUGUST 3 1991
AUGUST 10 1991
AUGUST 17 1991
AUGUST 24 1991
AUGUST 31 1991
OCTOBER 5 1991
OCTOBER 12 1991
OCTOBER 19 1991
OCTOBER 26 1991
NOVEMBER 16 1991
NOVEMBER 23 1991
NOVEMBER 30 1991
DECEMBER 14 1991
DECEMBER 21 1991
DECEMBER 28 1991

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