Top 40 Smash Taps: “Put It in a Magazine”

These posts are about the songs that can accurately claim to crossed the key line of chart success, becoming Top 40 hits on Billboard, but just barely. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 40.

Sonny Charles was the lead singer of the band Checkmates, Ltd., a group out of Fort Wayne, Indiana that had a sizable hit in the late nineteen-sixties with “Black Pearl,” a track that undoubtedly garnered at least some of its attention because of the wall it was draped in trademark Wall of Sound regalia by producer Phil Spector. That taste of success wasn’t enough to earn the band some industry stability, though. The five albums that are credited to them on Wikipedia are on four different labels. There was also an official hiatus that took place across much of the first half of the seventies, further hindering any minor momentum the band may have built up.

By the early eighties, the band was no more, and Charles set out on a fairly unlikely solo career, releasing {The Sun Still Shines} on the fledgling Highrise label. Built on what was referred to at the time as “vintage soul,” Charles managed to get some traction with the single “Put It in a Magazine.” It made it to the runner-up spot on the R&B chart but only scratched it way to #40 on the Hot 100. As it was with his former group, Charles’s success was short-lived and he was all but forgotten within a couple of years. Barely any mention of him can be found until just a few years ago when he reemerged as part of Steve Miller’s touring band.

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
“I’m in Love” by Evelyn King
“Buy Me a Rose” by Kenny Rogers
“Who’s Your Baby” by The Archies
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“Angel in Blue” by J. Geils Band
“Crazy Downtown” by Allan Sherman
“I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Rhythm of Love” by Yes
“Naturally Stoned” by the Avant-Garde
“Come See” by Major Lance
“Your Old Standby” by Mary Wells
“See the Lights” by Simple Minds
“Watch Out For Lucy” by Eric Clapton
“The Alvin Twist” by Alvin and the Chipmunks
“Love Me Tender” by Percy Sledge
“Jennifer Eccles” by the Hollies
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Olympics
“The Bounce” by the Olympics
“Your One and Only Love” by Jackie Wilson
“Tell Her She’s Lovely” by El Chicano
“The Last Time I Made Love” by Joyce Kennedy and Jeffrey Osborne
“Limbo Rock” by The Champs
“Crazy Eyes For You” by Bobby Hamilton
“Violet Hill” and “Lost+” by Coldplay
“Freight Train” by the Chas. McDevitt Skiffle Group
“Sweet William” by Little Millie Small
“Live My Life” by Boy George
“Lessons Learned” by Tracy Lawrence
“So Close” by Diana Ross
“Six Feet Deep” by the Geto Boys
“You Thrill Me” by Exile
“What Now” by Gene Chandler

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