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Year 1977-10-10

25 Golden Years


As a teenager, I was addicted to the weekly pop charts — particularly those of the 'New Musical Express' (NME), originators of Britain's first best sellers list in November 1952. My penchant for statistics developed during this period and by 1977, I had certainly acquired - and absorbed - a great number of facts. It was in August of that year that I instinctively felt that not only was the 25th anniversary of the NME charts a newsworthy item, but that I would need to persuade the then Daily Express editor, Derek Jameson, to anticipate the event and publish my quarter-century survey a few weeks before the actual anniverary date. NME chief reporter Derek Johnson, had devised a sliding scale points system, whereby 30 points was awarded for a week at #1 in the charts, 29 for #2, down to one point for a week at #30. With his consent and support, I expanded that to cover the entire history of the New Musical Express charts, which began life as a Top 12, then Top 20 and eventually Top 30. Derek Jameson was so delighted with all the statistics and tables I had crammed into the report that he made it a Daily Express centrepage spread on October 10.