David Kent (historian)

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David Kent
Born David Kent
Australia
Occupation Music history, writer
Subjects Rock music, popular culture
Notable work(s) Kent Music Report, Australian Music Report

www.austchartbook.com.au

David Kent is an Australian music history and pop-culture writer, he produced the Kent Music Report from May 1974 to 1996, it was known as the Australian Music Report from 1987.[1] The music reports were a weekly listing of the National Top 100 chart positions of singles and albums.[1][2] Kent's music reports were used by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) as its 'official' ARIA Charts from mid-1983 until July 1988 when ARIA developed an in-house chart.[1][3]

Kent continued to publish his Australian Music Report on a weekly basis until 1996.[1] In 1993, Kent collated his charts into a book, Australian Chart Book, 1970–1992.[4] He followed with Australian Chart Book (1940–1969) in 2005,[5] Australian Chart Book (1993–2005) in 2006,[6] and The Australian top 20 book (1940–2006) in 2007.[7]

Biography[edit]

David Kent was born in Australia and he listened to local radio broadcasts of top hits such as "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley in 1955.[8][9] At the time, Australia had no nationwide chart system for singles or albums,[8] and Kent kept his own tally of the positions provided by Sydney radio stations.[9] In 1958, radio station 2UE provided the first give-away charts in record stores,[8] with the first national charts compiled for Go-Set by rock journalist, Ed Nimmervoll appearing in October 1966.[8][10] Kent worked for record companies, EMI and Polygram, and avidly collected record charts as a hobby.[9] For 18 months, Kent researched Australian music charts and developed a ranking system based on radio station charts from around the country, from May 1974 he assembled the Kent Music Report.[8][11] Kent's purposes were to provide the Australian music industry with information on singles and albums, and to chronicle the history of music tastes.[8][11] The Kent Music Report was sold commercially from July 1974 and became the sole nationwide chart after Go-Set folded in August.[10]

Kent expanded his business and incorporated physical sales to supplement information from radio stations from 1976.[11] By 1977, major record companies used his chart information in their advertising.[11] Kent's staff sent surveys to retail stores, collated sales figures together with radio charts by states and then used his ranking system to assemble the national Kent Music Report. By 1982, retail sales by survey was the main source of Kent's reports.[11]

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) was established by the six major record companies operating in Australia, EMI, Festival Records, CBS (now known as Sony Music), RCA (now known as BMG), WEA (now known as Warner Music) and Polygram (now known as Universal).[8][12] ARIA licensed the Kent Music Report from mid-1983 to publish the ARIA Charts under their banner until the week ending 26 June 1988.[8][12] ARIA had established its own research and chart publishing group and now competed with the Kent Music Report.[8][12]

At the beginning of 1987, Kent Music Report was renamed as the Australian Music Report, it was used by major record companies in preference to ARIA's own charts.[8][12] Kent continued production of his music reports until 1996 and sold off his interests in the Australian Music Report which continued to the end of 1998 when changes in technology, such as barcoding, enabled point-of-sale information to be sent directly to ARIA.[8][13] This meant that he could no longer compile reliable sales information.[8][13]

In 1993, Kent used his resources to research charting history back to 1970, he added information from the weekly Kent Music Report and the Australian Music Report to publish them in book form as Australian Chart Book, 1970–1992.[4] He later followed with Australian Chart Book (1940–1969) in 2005,[5] Australian Chart Book (1993–2005) in 2006,[6] The Australian top 20 book (1940–2006) in 2007,[7] and Australian Chart Chronicles (1940–2009).[14]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Kent, David (29 June 1987). "Kent music report 1974–1987". Australian Music Report (St Ives, N.S.W.: David Kent, 1987) (1–675). ISSN 0156-2223. 
  • Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  • Kent, David (4 January 1999). "Australian music report : Kent music report 1987–1999". Australian Music Report (Pymble, N.S.W.: Australian Music Report, 1987–1999) (675–1270). ISSN 0156-2223. 
  • Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2005. ISBN 0-646-44439-5. 
  • Kent, David (2006). Australian Chart Book (1993–2005). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2006. ISBN 0-646-45889-2. 
  • Kent, David (2007). The Australian top 20 book (1940–2006). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2007. ISBN 978-0-646-47665-0. 
  • Kent, David (2009). Australian Chart Chronicles (1940–2008). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2009. ISBN 978-0-646-51203-7. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lowe, Daniel (2003). "Australian Chart History". Retrieved 22 March 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "David Kent". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 20 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "ARIA Charts FAQs". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  5. ^ a b Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2005. ISBN 0-646-44439-5. 
  6. ^ a b Kent, David (2006). Australian Chart Book (1993–2005). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2006. ISBN 0-646-45889-2. 
  7. ^ a b Kent, David (2007). The Australian top 20 book (1940–2006). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2007. ISBN 978-0-646-47665-0. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Top 40 Radio and the Pop Charts". Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c Kent, David. "Australian Chart Book history". Australian Chart Book. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Go-Set Magazine Charts 1966–1974". Poparchives. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Lowe, Daniel (2003). "Australian Chart History, Part 1". Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c d Lowe, Daniel (2003). "Australian Chart History, Part 2". Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Lowe, Daniel (2003). "Australian Chart History, Part 3". Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2009. 
  14. ^ Kent, David (2009). Australian Chart Chronicles (1940–2008). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book, 2009. ISBN 978-0-646-51203-7.