NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Joel Whitburn, who turned his fascination with the Billboard charts charted music history into a career that kept Gatekeepers honest about his performance of hits, has died. He was 82 years old.
His Tuesday death at his home in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, was announced by Whitburn’s publishing company Record Research. Employee Paul Haney posted on Facebook that he died “peacefully overnight”.
Whitburn published hundreds of books, including many of the series’ entries such as “Top Pop Singles,” “Top 40 Hits,” “Top 40 Albums” and “Top 40 Country Hits,” giving the entire industry reliable chart statistics and Helped with the record. His books were important to DJs, publicists and chart nerds.
Chris Molanfi, Slate chart analyst and host of the podcast “Hit Parade,” wrote on Twitter, “Joel Whitburn was a titan in our field.” “If there is an afterworld, Joel tops the list of gates of pearl – No. 1 with a bullet and a star. Lamination”
When the Billboard Hot 100 made its bow in 1958, Whitburn created index cards listing all the pertinent information of the songs listed, tracking their movement on the charts week-by-week.
He retained his job at RCA, distributing records in the mid-60s and then founding Record Research and dedicating himself full-time to publishing his findings on the company’s first release, “Top Pop Singles In”. Decided. 1970.”
Whitburn entered into a licensing agreement with Billboard to publish his work and paid royalties to the magazine. “Billboard could not have asked for a better representative documenting the history of our charts than Joel Whitburn,” said Silvio Pietrolungo, Billboard’s SVP of charts and data development.
Whitburn was also a collector and holds 150,000 singles, albums and CDs, including every record listed on the Billboard Hot 100. He is survived by his wife, Fran, and their daughter, Kim Bloxdorf.