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Joel Carver Whitburn
is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...
and music historian.
Whitburn founded Record Research Inc. in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Menomonee Falls is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States, and is part of the Greater Milwaukee area. The population was 35,626 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous village in Wisconsin. It is the fourth largest community in Waukesha County...
, in 1970, and put together a team of researchers to examine in detail all of Billboard
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...
s music and video charts. Record Research publishes reference books based on data from the various popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...
charts and to date has published over 200 books, 50 of which are currently in the Record Research catalog. His flagship publication is
Top Pop Singles which covers the history of
Billboard's popular music charts. Featuring each recording's peak position, date charted, weeks charted, label and information, and trivia on recordings and artists, Whitburn's books are used extensively by the entertainment industry (especially radio DJs) and music fans worldwide. His research extends from 1890 to the present and covers many genres. Whitburn is also the author of the
Top 40 Hits series of books published by Billboard Books.
Whitburn is an avid collector of phonograph records with one of the world's largest collections in his underground vault. His collection includes a copy of nearly every 78 rpm record
A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record , vinyl record , or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove...
, 45 rpm single
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...
, LP, and compact disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...
to appear on the
In collaboration with Rhino Records, Whitburn has produced over 150 CD compilations of various songs, which are typically compiled based on
Billboard chart performance.
Whitburn's Record Research is
Billboards longest-running licensee, with a relationship extending over 40 years.