The Farr Side: ‘Glee’ passes Beatles with chart achievement

David T. Farr

Gleeks have helped the cast of “Glee” do the unimaginable.

Songs from the hit show cast have overtaken the Beatles for the most appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 by a non-solo act.

The “Glee” cast is third  with 75 tracks placing in the Hot 100, to the Beatles’ 71 singles.

This is not going to sit well with Beatles fans.  I have to agree, too. I’m a “Glee” fan, but I don’t find the comparison fair.

Times are different  compared to 40 years ago. First, the Beatles didn’t individually release every song from their albums. Secondly, they didn’t have the luxury of the Internet for downloading music. When the Beatles occupied the top five positions on the Hot 100 chart, the Internet was only a dream.

It’s like including “American Idol” performances in the Hot 100. They’re only appearing because of the ease of getting the music. Spontaneity and impulse have a lot to do with this.

I’ve yet to hear a “Glee” song on the radio, but that hasn’t stopped it from selling.

Can you imagine the madness had the Beatles had the same opportunity via the Web as “Glee”?

If “Glee” is third, then, you’re probably wondering who’s above them. Elvis Presley is still The King with 108 songs, followed by James Brown with 91. The rest of the list includes Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Lil Wayne, Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z.

“Glee” has been out a year, so I l expect those positions to change rather soon.

The show also made history with its Britney Spears-themed episode. “Glee” is the only television series in the last 17 years to improve on its season premiere episode. It gained more than a million viewers. “Seinfeld,” in ‘93, was the last show to do that.

“Glee” can thank Spears for that achievement. I thought the episode was good, but not great.

The Madonna-themed episode last spring was better, except Madge didn’t have a cameo.

Last week’s “religious” episode, as show creator Ryan Murphy called it, was solid. I’d like a grilled cheesus, too, please. I’m still laughing about that, but Kurt’s situation was no laughing matter. No one can tell you how you should feel when losing someone as close as parent becomes a possibility. I think the show handled it well.

Kurt’s shining moment came when he sang “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” I have never heard it sung that way. It was touching.

There’s talk about which artists will give “Glee” the rights to their music, or who might be the next guest on the show, but maybe Murphy ought to give some props to the Beatles, considering the recent achievement. I can already see the episode: “Meet The Gleetles!”

David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at