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Sunday, 16 March 2014


In 1913 Billboard magazine started publishing a list of the most popular vaudeville songs. It was the predecessor to their trademark charts.

The term hit parade originated in the 1930s; Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936. The first Number One was listed as Joe Venuti's "Stop! Look! Listen!"

In 1939 Billboard magazine announced a new category of music chart, a "Hillbilly Hit List," but warned artists to keep it clean because "double-meaning" records would not be included.

 In 1940 Single charts were published for the first time by Billboard magazine. The 10-position "National List of Best Selling Retail Records," appeared in the July 27, 1940, issue.

The invention and naming of the Top 40 format is widely credited to Todd Storz, who was the director of radio station KWOH-AM in Omaha, Nebraska, in the early 1950s. Storz noted the great response certain songs got from the record-buying public and compared it to selections on jukeboxes. He expanded his stable of radio stations and gradually converted them to an all-hits format, pioneering the practice of surveying record stores to determine which singles were popular each week.

The first regular UK Singles Chart was published by the New Musical Express on November 14, 1952. Al Martino's "Here In My Heart" was the first song to reach number one. It stayed at the top of the tally for nine weeks meaning the song was the only UK chart-topper in 1952.

Al Martino knew "Here in My Heart" was a UK number one, but had no idea it was the first until someone told him he'd made The Guinness Book of Records.

Billboard magazine combined its three separate pop charts (radio rotation, jukebox plays and store sales) to create the first ever Top 100 list on November 12, 1955. Top of the heap was "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" by The Four Aces, with versions of the same song by Don Cornell, David Rose and Woody Herman also featuring in the tally.

The Billboard Hot 100 was published for the first time on August 4, 1958 replacing the magazine's Jockeys and Top 100 charts.  The Hot 100 quickly became the industry standard. Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool" was the first number-one song.


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