BootLeg Betty

Ask Billboard: One Of My Fave BetteHeads, Dustin, Gets Some Answers

BillBoard Magazine
Ask Billboard
Keith Caulfield
October 27, 2006

(NEARLY) THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

Hi there!

I was wondering why Christmas albums are not part of the regular Billboard 200 albums chart. Or are they and I’ve just missed them? I really wanted to see how Bette Midler’s “Cool Yule” charted but didn’t see it on the chart.

Then that got me to thinking that I hadn’t seen any Christmas albums on there yet. I believe in the past I’ve seen a Top Christmas Albums chart on the website, when is that released? Are Christmas albums tallied the same as regular albums, as far as for being certified gold, platinum, etc.? So could you tell me how Ms. Midler’s first Christmas album did and while we’re on Bette Midler, how many copies have her Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee Songbook albums sold?

Thank you so much for your column, it’s always interesting!

Dustin O

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Hello Dustin,

Christmas album are very much a part of The Billboard 200. In fact two weeks ago, three new holiday albums debuted on the chart. “Now That’s What I Call Christmas! 3,” James Taylor’s “A Christmas Album” and Third Day’s “Christmas Offerings” all landed on the chart that week (Oct. 28 chart). Then, last week, Sarah McLachlan’s “Wintersong” bowed.

Current Christmas albums are allowed to chart on The Billboard 200 during their first season of release. After that, they are shifted to catalog status. Thereafter, they appear on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart instead of The Billboard 200. Of course, all Christmas titles can appear on our seasonal Top Holiday Albums chart, which runs from mid November through early January each year. (Hanukkah and Kwanzaa albums are also eligible for the Top Holiday Albums chart.)

Bette Midler’s “Cool Yule” is bubbling under The Billboard 200 chart. Last week it sold about 3,000 units and the week before that, it moved about the same amount. As we get closer to Christmas, and Midler starts promoting the album more, the set will likely chart.

Midler’s last release, “Bette Midler Sings The Peggy Lee Songbook,” has sold 263,000 since it was released in Oct. 2005. The album gave Midler her first top 10 album since “Some People’s Lives” went to No. 6 in 1991.

In 2004, she issued “Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook,” which has moved 754,000 to date in the U.S.

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