Forty years ago this week... Record World publishes first New Wave Top 20 chart

While industry journals Billboard and Cash Box slept on the rising popularity of New Wave music, offering very little reporting on the music or the artists, two unknown reporters at Record World created the first regularly published column and chart exclusively devoted to New Wave in their September 10, 1977, issue.

Appearing without any fanfare or even a byline, New Wave News appeared on page 37 of the issue with other unrelated articles across three columns. The short feature, a collection of news briefs, was continued on page 59 of the issue and while XTC was misspelled, there are some nice news nuggets featured.
Located directly below New Wave News in the center column of page 37 was New Wave Hit Parade, featuring unranked sales reports from four record stores in three U.S. cities. And sitting atop the first column on the page was the groundbreaking New Wave Top 20 chart made up of imports, 7" and 12" singles, EPs, LPs with no explanation of the rankings.
The second appearances of New Wave News, New Wave Hit Parade and New Wave Top 20 came with the October 8, 1977, issue. This time, the names of the two reporters (actually associate editors) - Barry Taylor and Alan Wolmark - appeared on the byline. The column showed up just about every two weeks after that for a total of 18 appearances by my count between September 10, 1977, and July 1, 1978.
Barry Taylor left Record World in 1979 to open the first U.S. office of Stiff Records before founding MCT Management in 1992. Alan Wolmark left Record World in 1979 to become Director of National Album Radio Promotion for Atlantic (and later RCA) before founding CEC Management in 1988.

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