Probably the best present I got for Christmas this year was a copy of Joel Whitburn's Top Adult Contemporary 1961-2001, from frequent OPC commenter MJN (the only OPC commenter to send me a gift this year, I'll have you know). This is much like the big Whitburn Top 40 book, except it covers what has at times been called Easy Listening, Middle-Road Singles, Pop-Standard Singles, and Hot Adult Contemporary (Ha! Like you're going to fool anyone with that "hot").
This is the world that Bobby Goldsboro bestrides like a Colossus. Bobby had a whopping 29 hits on the adult contemporary charts, eleven of which didn't even make the Billboard Hot 100, much less the Top Forty, including his last seven AC hits. He had something called "A Butterfly for Bucky" go to Number Seven AC in the summer of 1976; I've never heard it, but I guarantee you it's atrocious.
This little book will provide many nuggets for this blog in the coming days. For the moment, I have one seasonal note for you: One advantage this directory has over its bigger brother is that it tells you what the B-side to each hit single was. For example, the Beatles' "Free As a Bird," which cracked the AC charts in December 1995, was backed by something called "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)," which was originally released only by mail order to members of the Beatles fan club back in 1967. It was a nonsensical little holiday ditty interrupted by skits and a tap-dancing battle between Ringo and Help! costar Victor Spinetti. I haven't heard this either, but I'm sure it's better than "A Butterfly for Bucky."