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Bobby McFerrin had the top recording on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart 35 years ago. Simple Pleasures was spending its second week as the #1 album the week of June 25, 1988.

Simple Pleasures was a bestseller thanks to the massive success of the single “Don’t Worry Be Happy” According to McFerrin on the Questlove Supreme podcast, he has not performed that song live since November 1988. “I wanted the audience to know me as an improviser. I didn’t want to be falling back on that tune all the time or have them expect that.” He did admit that he will sometimes hint at it in the middle of a piece and he might do it for kids.

Rounding out the Top Ten of the Contemporary Jazz chart:

  1. 1. Bobby McFerrin, Simple Pleasures
  2. 2. George Howard, Reflections
  3. 3. Basia, Time and Tide
  4. 4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Kilamanjaro
  5. 5. David Benoit, Every Step of the Way
  6. 6. Kirk Whalum, And You Know That!
  7. 7. Dianne Reeves, Dianne Reeves
  8. 8. Gamalon, Gamalon
  9. 9. Tim Heintz, Searching the Heart
  10. 10. Steve Kindler & Teja Bell, Dolphin Smiles

top selling contemporary jazz in June 1988: Bobby McFerrin, Kirk Whalum, Basia, Rippingtons, David Benoit, George Howard, John Patitucci, Tuck and Patti and more

Debuting on the week’s chart at #21 was the first album from the husband and wife duo of Tuck & Patti with Tears of Joy. According to the Tuck & Patti website and Twitter account, Bobby McFerrin calls them “the best duo on the planet!” And they’re still together, which is really awesome.

John Patitucci led the Top Jazz Albums chart with his debut self-titled recording, released on GRP. He had a strong start with the album produced by his Electric Band boss Chick Corea and featuring bandmate Dave Weckl. Also enhancing John’s compositions were mighty Michael Brecker, Peter Eskine, Vinnie Colaiuta, John Beasley, and David Witham.

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