Billboard Hot 100

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 Billboard magazine began publishing on November 1, 1894.    But it wasn’t

until  July 20, 1940, that this “internation­al newsweekly of music and home

entertainment” began its “Music Popularity Chart” (”I’ll Never Smile Again”

by Tommy Dorsey was the very first number one disk), a weekly reporting

on the best-selling records in America.    To complicate matters–a complication that exists through this

day–Billboard published more than one pop chart each week.   There were several charts:   “Best Sellers

in Stores,” “Most Played in Jukeboxes,”  “Most Played by Jockeys” and the “Honor Roll of Hits.”


Although a “Hot 100” was published as early as November 12, 1955, pop historians emphasize the date

August 4, 1958 as the “true test” of a record’s popularity was indicated by the “Best Sellers in Stores” list

because it was based on the actual retail sales.    The records included and the positions secured by these

recordings up through August 4, 1958, were tabulated by Joel Whitburn, the author of Top Pop Singles in

its’ many updates. All such positions reflect Whitburn’s system of integrating these competing charts.


Since that date–August 4, 1958–the magazine’s “Hot 100” has been acclaimed as the definitive source

for the weekly ratings of the nation’s most popular records.   Though it must be noted that for years the

industry magazine had competition from Record World and Cashbox.    Years back, both disappeared

from the land-scape, but as this site is updated the plan is to include the chartings and differences regis-

tered by these two fine publications.


All chart positions noted in this work after August 4, 1958, are identical to those of Billboard’s “Hot 100”


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