TKR History…(UPDATED 4/16/22)
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 received on DiscJockey.com’s “All Hits” channel, as well as the number of requests each song received 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 at least after nearly a decade of not really paying attention to current music, I was listening and checking things out again…and finding a lot of really good acts.
Much of the next 8 or so years went by very fast, and I was getting back into more and more music, and finally, in 2016 I got back into writing and blogging again spurred on by one huge event in my life – the US cable debut of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. I mean, I KNEW about ESC – most pop music fans do, even if it’s only a tiny speck in the back of their mind – but it had never been shown before in its entirety on a nationally based US network. Logo picked it up for 2016, and so on Saturday May 16 2016 at 3 PM, I was nestled in our living room, on our big screen TV, cranking the sound up as loud as I dared in our apartment, watching that year’s finals LIVE from Stockholm; it took about 3 minutes – the maximum length of a ESC song entry – for me to become totally HOOKED on this spectacle. I found great new songs, watched incredible new artists, and overall became totally enamored with the glitz, kitsch, and spectacle of the annual show, and I knew I would be finding a way to watch it every year. In 2018, I did my first series of annual blogs about the contest, spotlighting each song and where they fit into picture. 2018 was also the first year I got to see the semi-finals using VPN – My mom had passed away just a few days earlier, and I was on bereavement leave from work, and ESC was just the thing I needed to get my life back together again after returning home from Ohio, where I had been to be with Mom in her last week. It helped rejuvenate me, and best of all, I knew Mom would have approved – she always loved this kind of thing.
It was at this time I made my first attempted foray onto YouTube – I did a ESC countdown special but could not get it cleared – two songs stood in my way, and I eventually gave up, but I did start thinking about doing my own stuff again, and by June, I had revived The Kirkham Report charts again, thinking that this time it was going to last. It did…for about five months, when I started having trouble with my top 20 countdown shows and just gave up again…
Fast forward to 2020 – the Covid outbreak had us all locked down, and I decided it was time I get things organized. I went on YouTube initially trying to find somewhere that sold card catalog style drawers for CD. Although I never did find something like that, doing that kind of search led me to a YouTube channel called Channel 33 RPM, and it’s creator Frank Landry. I had some correspondence with him on the CD drawer topic, and became a huge fan of his show. And started finding others out there like me sharing their love of music, showing off their collections, and such. They called themselves the Vinyl Community….and I was instantly hooked. In July 2020 I jumped in with both feet at the encouragement of a number of people I had already become friends with and relaunched my channel as part of that community…and I haven’t looked back.
The VC has helped me connect with so many new people, many of whom have become dear friends, and helped reignite my love for physical media (OH BOY did they EVER!) – I had been almost exclusively digital media for nearly two decades at that time – and as a direct result, I have literally DOUBLED my vinyl LP collection in that short space of time, and nearly doubled my 45 collection as well. I have found friends in other online communities thanks to members of the VC, like the wonderful people in the reseller community and the vintage community, and they’re all terrific. And they all share a love of music that I have. What a great feeling that is – people who finally UNDERSTAND what I’m all about. Granted, I’m in the minority as a “pop” fan – most members favor classic rock, metal, and jazz – but they still welcome me with open arms, and that has been a wonderful feeling.
So now here I am, in April 2022, contemplating what my next moves will be…and you’ll find out all about them right here on TKR!