In celebration of 50 years of its Hot 100 chart, music industry’s Billboard Magazine has collected its Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. The list collects the top 100 songs from August 1958 through July 2008 -- and the songs' slots are allotted based on their actual performance on the weekly chart, with an inverse point system figuring into the ranking (i.e. weeks at No. 1 earn greater value than weeks at No. 100).
Lists of the greatest this, or best that, or most influential whatever always irk the crap out of me, though I am perpetually intrigued. Is Citizen Kane or Gone with the Wind the greatest film of all time? I don’t know, but an evening on the couch with some popcorn and a beer watching the Big Lebowski is a hell of a lot more fun. Is Jimmy Stewart the greatest movie star of all time? Of course not, it has to be Cary Grant or maybe Humphrey Bogart, at least that’s what I think, but according to the experts, I am wrong.
Anyway, Drum Roll please … the Number One Single of all time …
Chubby Checker’s “The Twist.”
Now I have to admit I was somewhat stunned to see “The Twist” up there up on top, all by itself. But then again, "The Twist" is the only song ever to go to #1 on two separate chart runs. The first time was on Sept. 19, 1960 for one week, but after Chubby Checker made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in late 1961, “The Twist” once again hit the spot, this time for two weeks starting on Jan. 13, 1962. It also set a record for the most weeks, 39, on the Hot 100 by a number one song, a record it held until UB40's “Red Red Wine” lasted 40 weeks in 1988.