Friday, February 10, 2012

Episode 800 - Bill Withers: Harlem

Well it is Episode 800 – Reading Between the Grooves' 800th post and another milestone anniversary for this blog that I began in September 2009. I am toying with the idea of retiring the blog with the 1000th post, which I hope to coincide with the third anniversary in September. With the time constraints from everyday life, I am finding that I do not always have the time to make adequate posts – so I will consider the possibility of wrapping things up in September.

Today’s post also falls under our month long celebration of Black History month and our typical Friday Flipside feature. On this auspicious occasion, I have picked one of Raleigh County, West Virginia’s native sons – Bill Withers who was born in the coal mining community of Slab Fork, WV and was later reared in nearby Beckley, WV. I've made my home in this same city since 1981 when I came here as the evening jock on WCIR-FM.

The author (third from the right) with Bill Withers (fourth from the right)
as he receives his honorary doctorate from MSU President Dr. Charles H. Polk.
Bob Kiss, WV Speaker of the House, is in the background.

I had a chance to meet Bill in 2002 when my employer, Mountain State University, presented him with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his many accomplishments in the music business. I actually had the privilege to sing one of my compositions in his presence. Being one of the coauthors of the school’s alma mater, I was asked to sing it this same year that it debuted. I was accompanied by a string quartet. I am sure that my singing absolutely made no impression on Mr. Withers.

Today’s Friday Flipside feature is the “B” of his debut single, “Ain’t No Sunshine” – “I know, I know, I know, I know, I know . . .” The flip, entitled “Harlem,” received some airplay but obviously not as much as the “A” side which charted in 1971 at #6 on the R&B chart, #3 on the Hot 100, and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. This is not too bad for a debut single from a then unknown artist who didn’t have enough faith in the music industry to immediately quit his day job. This and other hits as well as royalties from the many covers of those hits made financial stability for Bill a reality. He has done very well in that regard.

RBTG’s 800th Post Retrospect

Like I had reported with every other 100th post anniversary, I took a look backward on how we are doing visitor wise. I began this blog on September 26, 2009, but did not start monitoring the visits until October 16, 2009. Currently, we have 41 declared followers of the blog – up from 32 in September 2011. There are many others who have visited frequently without declaring themselves as followers. The statistics are listed below:

Unique Visitors49,768
Times Visited55,821
Number of Pages Viewed83,413
People Visiting 200+ Times1001
People Visiting 101-200 Times479
People Visiting 51-100 Times285
People Visiting 26-50 Times217
Number of Visitor Countries Represented150
Percentage of Visitors Referred from Search Engines63.68%
Percentage of Visitors Referred from Other Sites26.62%
Percentage of Visitors via Direct Access9.71%

The Top Ten Charts

As one would find in music trade magazines, I have prepared some Top Ten Charts for "Reading between the Grooves."

The Top Ten Visitor Countries

Since the 700th post on September 26, 2011, the number of visitor countries increased from 142 to 150. Japan was displaced by Spain in the Top 10 countries.

Since picking up 8 new countries, we are two away from having all of South America – French Guiana and Surinam are not yet represented. About half of the Caribbean remains unrepresented. As far as Europe, we are missing visitors from the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and Jan Mayen, the British Crown dependency of Sark, and the Principality of Andorra.

The following areas were gained in Asia: Brunei, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. Missing Asian countries include North Korea, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Timor-Leste. Africa is underrepresented by about half of its countries.

1United States27,999
2United Kingdom4,762
9The Netherlands908

The Top Ten Pages via Direct Access

While most people (3,709) have visited the home page for “Reading Between the Grooves,” others enter distinct pages through page specific links and via search engine returns. Two new pages joined the list – Kittyhawk and the Chapman Stick® and Pink Floyd “Cymbaline.” This particular chart is slow moving as it is cumulative – newer features on this site will have to be really popular to catch up to the total direct accesses of these ten songs.

The Top Days by Total Visits

This chart represents the days that encountered the most visits and the content that was featured on those particular days. Only four were on the list at the 700th post. The remaining six numbers were new.

The top two cuts are anomalies as they represent two days that had intensive viewing of the entire blog by two new visitors. These two individuals spent a great deal of time on the blog and looked at hundreds of pages during one single weekend.

The Top Days by New Visitors

This chart represents the days that encountered the most visits by first time visitors and the content that was featured on those particular days. All but two of these songs are new to this chart and eight are not older than 100 posts.

RankDayDateAssociated ContentNew Visitors
1THU19 JAN 2012honeyhoney: Little Toy Gun164
2SAT14 JAN 2012Uriah Heep: Stealin’157
3WED2 NOV 2011Outlaws: (Ghost) Riders in the Sky (hold over content from October 31)157
4TUE6 FEB 2012Theolonious Monk: Blue Monk156
5SAT28 JAN 2012Steely Dan: My Old School155
6WED8 FEB 2012The Ikettes: I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)154
7SUN5 FEB 2012The Campbell Brothers: The Judgment151
8SAT7 JAN 2012Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Blue Collar150
9MON2 JAN 2012Joe Walsh: Life of Illusion148
10THU12 JAN 2012Boxer Rebellion: Caught by the Light148

As always, I want to take this time to thank all of you for your support of this site and the encouragement to keep going forward. Thanks again for Reading between the Grooves.

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