Hit parade

A hit parade is a ranked list of the most popular recordings at a given point in time, usually determined by sales and/or airplay. The term originated in the 1930s; Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936. It has also been used by broadcast programs which featured hit (sheet music and record) tunes[1] such as Your Hit Parade, which aired on radio and television in the United States from 1935 through the 1950s.[2]

Early history

Hit tunes were originally published as sheet music, so many artists were encouraged to introduce or promote a tune in different styles, formats or areas of popularity. Through the late 1940s, the term hit parade referred to a list of compositions, not a list of records. In those times, when a tune became a hit, it was typically recorded by several different artists. Each record company often promoted its own product through the airtime it purchased on commercial radio stations. Most non-commercial stations, like the BBC, were required by national regulations to promote local talent, and were also limited in the amount of needle time given to recorded popular music.

In later years, a re-recording of a tune originally introduced or popularised by a certain artist was called a cover version. In the United States, regardless of copyright, covers were an automatic option – since the Copyright Act of 1909 – enabled by compulsory mechanical licenses.[3][4] Covers were often rejected by fans of the particular artists because it produced unfair competition to their favourite version. Covering a tune was, therefore, not offering an alternative rendition, but of producing a copy as a direct alternative to compete for airtime, sales and placement on the hit parade charts.

Rock and roll period

As rock and roll became popular, it was more difficult for generic singers to cover the tunes. It has been said that Your Hit Parade was nearly cancelled after many weeks of unsuccessful attempts by the big-band singer Snooky Lanson to perform Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" in 1956. The program finally ended in 1959.

The term is still used, as in the title of the popular magazine Hit Parader and the Canadian record label Hit Parade Records. The British indie band The Hit Parade took its name from the US TV show.

The title Hit Parade also became familiar during the late 1960s and early 1970s through a popular automated music format produced by the Drake-Chenault Co. and featured on hundreds of radio stations. Originally called Hit Parade '68, then Hit Parade '69 and Hit Parade '70, it was then entitled simply Hit Parade.


The term hit parade was commonly used in the United Kingdom around the 1950s and 1960s to refer to the current chart, but rapidly fell out of favour and came to be seen as archaic and old-fashioned, today the term hit parade is usually used by people when referring to the success of oldies and schlager hits from around those times. It is also still commonly used to refer to current charts in the 21st century as a loan word in several countries and languages of mainland Europe.

See also


  1. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-time Radio (revised ed.). Oxford University Press US. p. 739. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  2. ^ Dunning, 1998, p.738
  3. ^ "U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law: Chapter 1".
  4. ^ "U.S. Copyright Office: Section 115 Compulsory License".

Further reading

  • Battistini, Pete (2005). American Top 40 with Casey Kasem: The 1970s. Authorhouse.com. ISBN 1-4184-1070-5.
  • Durkee, Rob (1999). American Top 40: The Countdown of the Century. New York: Schriner Books.
Billboard Hot 100

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales (physical and digital), radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The weekly tracking period for sales was initially Monday to Sunday when Nielsen started tracking sales in 1991, but was changed to Friday to Thursday in July 2015. This tracking period also applies to compiling online streaming data. Radio airplay, which, unlike sales figures and streaming, is readily available on a real-time basis, is tracked on a Monday to Sunday cycle (previously Wednesday to Tuesday). A new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by Billboard on Tuesdays.

The first number one song of the Hot 100 was "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson, on August 4, 1958. As of the issue for the week ending on April 20, 2019, the Hot 100 has had 1,086 different number one hits. The chart's current number-one song is "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

Hillbilly Hit Parade

Hillbilly Hit Parade is a compilation album featuring American country music artist George Jones and other country music artists from the Starday record label, including Leon Payne and Jeanette Hicks. It was released in 1958. The album includes Jones's first chart hit "Why Baby Why" and one of his few rock and roll cuts, a cover of the Elvis Presley smash "Heartbreak Hotel". It is the second studio album release for George Jones.

Hit Parade of 1943

Hit Parade of 1943 also known as Change of Heart is a 1943 American musical film made by Republic Pictures. It was directed by Albert S. Rogell and produced by Albert J. Cohen from a screenplay by Frank Gill Jr. and Frances Hyland.

The film stars John Carroll, Susan Hayward (singing dubbed by Jeanne Darrell), Gail Patrick (singing dubbed by Ruth Fox), Eve Arden, Melville Cooper, Walter Catlett, Mary Treen, and Dorothy Dandridge. It also features several orchestras including the Count Basie Orchestra, Freddy Martin and his orchestra, Ray McKinley and his orchestra, and the Golden Gate Quartet.

List of Your Hit Parade number-one singles

This article is about the US number-one songs chart held during the period 1935-1940.

Your Hit Parade was an American radio and television music program that was broadcast from 1935 to 1953 on radio, and seen from 1950 to 1959 on television. In 1935, they began publishing the earliest weekly music chart, preceding the Billboard number-one singles chart, which was updated weekly by the Billboard magazine, since July 27, 1940 and until the Billboard Hot 100 chart was established in 1958.

Before the Billboard era, the Your Hit Parade chart was established in April 1935, which operated under a proprietary formula to determine the sales rankings of 78 rpm singles. This listing runs from the beginning of Your Hit Parade, April 20, 1935, until July 20, 1940, the week before Billboard would publish its first chart.

List of number-one singles of 1962 (Canada)

The following is a list of the CHUM Chart number-one singles of 1962.

List of number-one singles of 1963 (Canada)

The following is a list of the CHUM Chart number-one singles of 1963.

List of number-one singles of 1964 (Canada)

This is a list of the weekly Canadian number one singles of 1964. Prior to June 1964, the primary national pop chart was the CHUM Chart, from Top 40 radio station CHUM in Toronto, Ontario; in June, the new magazine RPM was launched as a national record chart compiling results from individual stations across Canada including CHUM. denotes Canadian Content.

Swiss Hitparade

The Swiss Hitparade (German: Schweizer Hitparade) are Switzerland's main music sales charts. The charts are a record of the highest-selling singles and albums in various genres in Switzerland.

The Swiss charts include:

Singles Top 75 (released since 1968)

Albums Top 100 (released since late 1983)

Compilations Top 25

Airplay Top 30Since 2010, Hitparade's compiler Media Control has also set up Les charts, a record chart of the highest-selling singles and albums in Romandie, the Francophone region of Switzerland:

Romandie Singles Top 20

Romandie Albums Top 50The charts are updated weekly on Sundays, and are posted publicly on the preceding Wednesday mornings.

The Hit Parade (album)

The Hit Parade is a 2002 album by PUFFY. Tracks in this album are covers of hits from the 1970s and 1980s. The album peaked at No. 10 on the Japanese Albums Chart.

The Hit Parade (film)

The Hit Parade is a 1937 American musical film directed by Gus Meins and written by Bradford Ropes, Samuel Ornitz and Harry Ruskin. The film stars Frances Langford, Phil Regan, Max Terhune, Edward Brophy, Louise Henry and Pert Kelton. The film was released on April 26, 1937, by Republic Pictures. Republic later reissued the film in 67 minute length as I'll Reach for a Star.

Your Hit Parade

Your Hit Parade is an American radio and television music program that was broadcast from 1935 to 1953 on radio, and seen from 1950 to 1959 on television. It was sponsored by American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes. During this 24-year run, the show had 19 orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups. Many listeners and viewers casually referred to the show with the incorrect title The Hit Parade.

When the show debuted, there was no agreement as to what it should be called. The press referred to it in a variety of ways, with the most common being "Hit Parade," "The Hit Parade," and even "The Lucky Strike Hit Parade". The program's title was not officially changed to "Your Hit Parade" until November 9, 1935.Each Saturday evening, the program offered the most popular and bestselling songs of the week. The earliest format involved a presentation of the top 15 songs. Later, a countdown with fanfares led to the top three finalists, with the number one song for the finale. Occasional performances of standards and other favorite songs from the past were known as "Lucky Strike Extras."

Listeners were informed that the "Your Hit Parade survey checks the best sellers on sheet music and phonograph records, the songs most heard on the air and most played on the automatic coin machines, an accurate, authentic tabulation of America's taste in popular music." However, the exact procedure of this "authentic tabulation" remained a secret. Some believe song choices were often arbitrary due to various performance and production factors. The show's ad agencies—initially Lord and Thomas and later Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne—never revealed the specific sources or the methods that were used to determine top hits. They made a general statement that it was based mainly on "readings of radio requests, sheet music sales, dance-hall favorites and jukebox tabulations"; Radio Guide claimed "an endless popularity poll on a nationwide scale."

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