(Pictured: the O’Jays on Soul Train in 1974.)
I spent some time recently poking through the yearly statistics at this website, and here’s some of what I found.
—I wrote 132 posts in 2021, totaling over 104,000 words (!). Those posts received 868 comments. WordPress does not show me the most-commented post of the year, but I am grateful for your interaction wherever it occurs.
—The eight most-read posts during 2021 were all written before 2021. The most-read was Off White on Soul Train, written in 2014, which pops up when people google to find out which white artist was the first to appear on Soul Train. In second place is a 2013 post called Believe It or Not, George Isn’t at Home, which is about pop songs used in Seinfeld episodes. Those two outdistance the pack by quite a lot. The Last Word on Humble Harve is next, a 2019 compilation of stuff I wrote in earlier times about the Los Angeles DJ who murdered his wife.
—My most-read statistics give me insight into what people are googling for. There was a bump in interest this year about the appearances of Neil Diamond and the Buffalo Springfield on Mannix, which I’ve written about a time or two. My yacht-rock post from 2017 gets hits every time people go searching for the term “yacht rock.” Posts about old rock festivals tend to get hits on weekend nights, as old hippies go a-googling into the past.
—My most-read post written in 2021 was Who’s Happening Now, in which I took publicist and prolific Twitter-er Eric Alper to task for fluffing Drake’s Hot 100 domination during a single week, and for his ongoing hype of Ariana Grande. After the post went up, Alper (who must have a Google alert set up to ping every time somebody mentions him online; if so, hello again, Eric) sent me a private message disputing my characterizations, but also put up a very cordial public comment on the post saying that he always has time for conversations about music, and that “there’s a lane and a road and an opinion for everyone.”
And after doing that, he went over to his Twitter feed and blocked me.
Dude has 785,000 followers and decided to block me, a guy with 546 Twitter followers and a regular readership of maybe 200 people at the outside. He is absolutely entitled to do whatever he wants, of course, including using a helicopter gunship to swat houseflies. But I would remind you of this: hit dogs holler.
—Other well-read posts written in 2021 included The Prize Movie and Other Tales of Local TV, about the locally produced entertainment shows and contests that were once a staple in markets large and small, and Art and Artifice, about the domination of “corporate rock” in the summer of 1981.
–My least-read post written in 2021 appears to be The Night It Hit the Fan, which indicates there may be a limit to your tolerance for stories from my distant past.
—Just for fun, I looked at the all-time statistics, which go back to my move to WordPress in 2007. My most-read post of all time is Favorite Waste of Time, which was my blogroll, and which hasn’t appeared on this site in nearly a decade and how it’s getting hits I don’t know, unless people are googling for the song “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time,” which is as likely an explanation as any. In second place all-time is jb on the Radio, and thank you for caring about that.
—I suppose I could use these stats to make some prognostication about the future of this website, but I ain’t doing that, except to say that I am going to keep writing here whenever there’s something to write about, for as long as I can sit upright at the keyboard. And at some future day, when this website stops updating without explanation, you’ll know what happened.
The one thing I would like to do is 2022 is to record the handful of podcast scripts that are in repose on my laptop somewhere. When I first launched the podcast I posted episodes every three weeks, and it was embarrassingly foolish of me to think I could keep that up. I have done only two or three since the fall of 2020, and if I were to do more than that in 2022, it would be a surprise to me.
But nothing is impossible, I suppose. I ended up back in full-time radio in 2021, and I never expected that to happen, either.