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About Our Company

Chartmasters was founded in August of 1975 by Jim Quirin and Barry Cohen, who met on the campus of the University of Illinois while working on graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics respectively.

Jim and Barry immediately discovered that they both shared common interests in popular music and record charts. They spent four years of combined research in analyzing record charts and the dynamics of individual recording movements on those charts. They collected data and plotted graphs representing record performance to develop a complete understanding of song movement on the music charts. Their research culminated in the release of the First Edition of ROCK 100, covering the years 1956 through 1974.

To promote their new book, Quirin and Cohen teamed up with personnel at local radio station WLRW in Champaign-Urbana to put together the "Rock Of Ages" radio program. This 19-week special used a countdown format interspersed with musical trivia about artists, songwriters, producers, etc. to play the Top 100 songs for a selected year on Saturday of each week. Most of the music came from Jim Quirin’s extensive collection of 45 rpm singles, and most of the music trivia from Barry Cohen’s knowledge of music performers. In addition, Barry’s wife Karla collected interesting facts about key events of the featured year for that week. The WLRW audience during the "Rock Of Ages" show was the largest the station had ever reached at that time.

The success of ROCK 100 led to the release of the Second Edition in 1976, the Third Edition in 1982, the Fourth Edition in 1987, and the Fifth Edition in 1992. Chartmasters has delivered its products to all 50 states, and to most major countries in the world. Their research continues today on music charts from 1948 to 1999.

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