'Glee' with a bullet: TV show's cast closes in on Elvis' record for hit songs

The cast of the Fox TV show 'Glee' has released six new songs this week, giving it 113 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. That puts it ahead of Elvis Presley, seen  in Memphis in 1956, who had 108 top hits. But the charts didn't start until two years after Elvis' debut.

Carin Baer/Fox, Robert Williams/The Commercial Appeal

The cast of the Fox TV show "Glee" has released six new songs this week, giving it 113 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. That puts it ahead of Elvis Presley, seen in Memphis in 1956, who had 108 top hits. But the charts didn't start until two years after Elvis' debut.

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Elvis Presley is teetering atop the record for Billboard Hot 100 hit songs, but the cast of the Fox TV series "Glee," which already toppled The Beatles, is on its way to knocking off an Elvis record that has stood for decades.

The "Glee" cast released six songs this week, bringing the series' list of top-100 songs to 113. It would put "Glee" five hit songs ahead of Elvis, based on Billboard numbers.

But the Billboard charts were not launched until two years after Elvis' national debut in 1956. That was the year of his No. 1 hit single "Heartbreak Hotel," the first of a string of hits released prior to the launch of the Billboard charts.

Graceland representatives declined to comment Wednesday as Billboard announced that Elvis had been overtaken by the Emmy-, Grammy- and Golden Globe-winning "Glee."

Elvis.com, does not cite a single source for its numbers, saying Elvis had 114 hits in the Top 40 (one more than the Hot 100 hits for "Glee"). But it adds the following: "Elvis has had no less than 149 songs to appear on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Chart in America."

Billboard charts manager Gary Trust estimated Elvis would have had about 30 more titles if there had been a Hot 100 list between 1956 and 1958. He cited Joel Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles" book.

"Adding those 30 titles to 108 Hot 100 entries, you get 138, which still doesn't match Graceland's total, but paints a broader picture of Presley's Billboard history on various song charts," he said.

"Glee" left The Beatles in its wake a few months ago when a previous release boosted the TV cast to 75 appearances on the Hot 100 chart, compared to 71 for The Beatles.

-- Michael Lollar: 529-2793

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