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🎵 1994 – THE SIGN / Ace Of Base
🎵 1984 – HELLO / Lionel Richie
🎵 1974 – THE STREAK / Ray Stevens
🎵 1964 – MY GUY / Mary Wells

Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – and the surpassing of a milestone with this particular installment.

As you may know, a permanent archive is being built at which will ultimately feature ALL 837 different number one singles as listed in 2,080 weekly national music charts published by Billboard® within that 40-year timeframe.

And, we are now officially one-quarter of the way there!

210 distinct number one singles from the years 1956 through 1995 have now been presented since January 6th of 2016. The remaining 627 titles will be following through this year and into 2017, when the project will be completed.

Fortunately, HouseoftheHits has every one of those charts – plus secondary data – as published in the essential Joel Whitburn’s Record Research series (CD-ROM and eBook edition formats).

Everything is stored digitally on a HouseoftheHits computer – as are all 837 number one singles (in high-quality audio) from the music vault.

With the availability of precise data and the HOTH song files – together with some amazing technology – approximately 600 – 700 of those Billboard® chart-toppers will be presented this year – with the remainder to follow in early 2017.

As the archive grows you will have continual free access to the accumulating repository, indexed by Decade, Month and Year. Plus, EVERY Title and Artist will be (blue) hyper-linked for smooth, easy navigation from song to song – with more great features to be added along the way.

Again, it will contain every #1 single in America, plus interesting commentary about each song (written by yours truly) and presented with a crystal clear High-Definition audio version of the complete original hit to instantly play as often as you wish.

The ever-expanding library is found HERE and you can bookmark this link for future instant access.




Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets and connected devices. Whenever possible, an alternate working audio source will be provided, but a PC, Mac or laptop may ultimately be required in some cases.



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    #1 / May 20th, 1994

Ace Of Base

Number One: 4 weeks & 2 weeks
Replaced (1st time): THE POWER OF LOVE / Céline Dion
Succeeded by (1st time): BUMP N’ GRIND / R. Kelly
Replaced (2nd time): BUMP N’ GRIND / R. Kelly
Succeeded by (2nd time): I SWEAR / All-4-One

This pop-dance quartet from Gothenburg, Sweden was made up of three siblings – sisters Jenny Berggren and Linn Berggren (both on vocals), along with brother Jonas “Joker” Berggren and friend Ulf “Buddha” Ekberg as co-keyboardists.

During a span of just twelve months from 1993-94, Ace Of Base produced five Top 20 hit singles, including three consecutive Top 5-placers, two platinum-sellers and one gold record.

The top tune on this date in 1994, The Sign, was the middle one of the three biggest, trailing on the heels of All That She Wants (#2) and followed by Don’t Turn Around (#4).

Their only chart-topper reeled off a solid 6-week occupation at #1 – although non-consecutively. After its first 28 days there, The Sign was nudged out by R. Kelly‘s Bump N’ Grind for his own 28-day stopover, only to supplant the Chicago-born R&B performer for another 2 week visit at the top, which ended on this date.

[Trivia Bits] The group’s very first live performance on August 6th, 1990 in Gothenburg was overshadowed by that by another band in town the same day – the Rolling Stones. Oops!

Not surprising, native countrymen ABBA were a major influence on Ace Of Base. The siblings’ musician-father in particular was a huge fan of the Swedish superstars. His favorite ABBA album, Voulez-Vous, was frequently played in the presence of his kids during their childhood.



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    #1 / May 20th, 1984

Lionel Richie

Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: AGAINST ALL ODDS (Take A Look At Me Now) / Phil Collins
Succeeded by: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY / Deniece Williams

Lionel Richie initially rose to musical prominence as the lead vocalist of a sextet from Tuskegee, Alabama known as the Commodores.

Beginning with 1975’s Sweet Love (#5), the R&B group would score a total of seven Top 10 hits for the Motown Records label, which included Easy, Brick House and Lady (You Bring Me Up).

While with the Commodores, Richie was the ‘ballad writer’ among them, and his most successful works as a member were the two chart-toppers listed below.

Lionel had left the band for an individual singing career in 1982, and Hello became his sixth #1 single on his own.

[Trivia Bits] Every one of Richie’s eight solo hit singles have made Billboard’s Top 10.

Can’t Slow Down, the album that contained Hello, won the ‘Album of the Year’ Grammy for 1984.

In 1985, Richie was a major impetus behind the massive, musical fundraising effort for African and American famine relief with the #1 single We Are The World, recorded by the multi-artist ensemble known as USA For Africa. Millions of dollars were raised from sales of the song, co-written by Richie and Michael Jackson.

Other #1 Singles for LIONEL RICHIE (7)
1978 / THREE TIMES A LADY (Commodores)
1979 / STILL (Commodores)
1981 / ENDLESS LOVE (Diana Ross & Lionel Richie)
1982 / TRULY
1983 / ALL NIGHT LONG (All Night)
1985 / SAY YOU, SAY ME



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    #1 / May 20th, 1974

Ray Stevens

Number One: 3 weeks
Replaced: THE LOCO-MOTION / Grand Funk
Succeeded by: BAND ON THE RUN / Paul McCartney & Wings

The early 1970’s college-driven fad that became known as ‘streaking’ – the act of discarding one’s clothes to run through a crowd of people in broad daylight for shock value – caught the attention of Ray Stevens in a small newspaper article about one such incident on a campus.

Up until then, with only a couple of exceptions, Stevens – born Harold Ray Ragsdale – had made his living as a musical performer who took familiar subjects and converted them into unconventional ‘novelty’ hit records: 1963’s Harry The Hairy Ape, 1969’s Gitarzan (also focusing on a primate), Moonlight Special (a 1974 parody of the TV music program ‘The Midnight Special’) and 1979’s I Need Your Help Barry Manilow (recorded under the name Henhouse Five Plus Two) to name but a handful of Stevens’ three-dozen charted singles.

The exceptions to the above were 1968’s biting social commentary recording called Mr. Businessman (#28) and the uplifting #1 million-seller from 1970, Everything Is Beautiful, which won the Grammy that year for ‘Best Male Pop Vocal.’

Both singles were a temporary respite from Stevens being typecast as strictly a ‘novelty recordings’ artist.

But with The Streak on this date, Stevens was again on top with what he’d seemed to do best.

[Trivia Bit] An actual high-profile ‘streak’ occurred at the 1974 Academy Awards presentation, when an ad executive named Robert Opel streaked past award presenter David Niven in front of the audience and millions watching on live TV. This only piqued the public’s fascination with streaking and helped make Ray’s single a huge hit.

Other #1 Singles for RAY STEVENS (2)



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    #1 / May 20th, 1964

Mary Wells

Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: HELLO, DOLLY! / Louis Armstrong
Succeeded by: LOVE ME DO / The Beatles

In his indispensable (to me) tome titled The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, author Fred Bronson points out that Motown Records vocalist Mary Wells had a recording career with ‘Hitsville, USA’ that was rife with ‘firsts’ –

• The first artist to record on the company’s actual Motown label.
• First to have possibly America’s greatest living poet, William
“Smokey” Robinson
, as a songwriter/producer.
• The first to have a Top 10 hit for the label – The One Who Really Loves You (1962 • #8).
• The initial #1 hit single for the label (this week’s top song in 1964).
• It also was the first hit single for company owner Berry Gordy, Jr. in the UK.
• And undeniably, she was Motown Records’ first female star.

Regrettably, she also had a rather dubious distinction in that vein: the first major artist to depart from the label. That happened in 1965 after 20th Century Fox wooed her with a $200,000 advance and potential movie roles.

But although her exit from Motown Records was bittersweet, her three years there were the opposite.

And at the tender age of 17, Detroit native Wells presented a song she had written as a demo for the great singer Jackie Wilson (a.k.a. “Mr. Excitement”) to the artist’s record producer – none other than Berry Gordy, Jr. himself.

BG astutely signed her to the company, assigned her to his newly-formed Motown label, and released Wells’ recording of the song intended for Wilson – Bye Bye Baby – as her debut single (1961 • #45).

Including The One Who Really Loves You and My Guy, Wells scored four Top 10 hits; the others being You Beat Me To The Punch (1962 • #9) and Two Lovers (1962 • #7). All of them were penned by “Smokey.”

But to this writer, the most impressive aspect of My Guy was that it transcended the dominance of the Beatles at the apex of the seemingly never-ending onslaught of Fab Four singles emerging from the UK – and held them at bay for two weeks.

Mary Wells succumbed to stage 3 laryngeal cancer on July 26, 1992 at the age of just 49.

Smokey Robinson performed a softer rendition of You Beat Me To The Punch when he delivered the eulogy at her memorial service.




Produced & Written By: Rick Murray Hunter /

Songs Source: The Music Vault of HouseoftheHits Inc.

Billboard® Chart Data: Joel Whitburn’s Record Research (eBook Editions)

The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
The Billboard Book Of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits by Adam White and Fred Bronson
The Billboard Book Of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt
The Billboard Book Of Number One Albums by Craig Rosen
The Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4th Edition) by Fred Bronson
1000 UK Chart Hits (Kindle Edition) by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
The Archives of

Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of

Special thanks to the patio of Starbucks, Little Road in New Port Richey, FL 😎

Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE