This Day in 1936: Billboard’s First Pop Music Chart
81 years ago today – yeah, let that sink in for a second – Billboard Magazine published its first ever pop music chart.
Billboard itself first came into existence on November 1, 1894, although it was still known at the time as Billboard Advertising. By the turn of the century, it had transformed into a publication focusing on outdoor entertainment, including burlesque shows, carnivals, circuses, fairs, and vaudeville shows. After evolving along with the entertainment industry, the magazine started to cover motion pictures as well, but when another publication went solely after that particular beat – an ironic decision, considering that the publication’s name was Variety – Billboard shifted its focus to one devoted strictly to music. As a result, they added what was at the time called a “music hit parade,” but we know it now as the Hot 100.
In celebration of this momentous occasion, we’ve put together a playlist featuring songs from the Rhino catalog which have made it all the way to the top of the pops, as it were. Trust us: you’ll recognize all of them.