Today in Music History: July 20
1940 Billboard's first comprehensive record chart was published. The magazine had previously published best-seller lists submitted by the individual record companies, but the new chart combined the top sellers from all major labels. Their first number one song was ‘I'll Never Smile Again’ by Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.A Bit of Billboard History...
Billboard magazine was first published on November 1, 1894 and is distinguished as being among the oldest trade magazines in the world. Billboard, aka The Billboard, published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936; its first record chart was calculated on July 20, 1940. The Billboard Hot 100, which documents individual singles, was introduced on August 4, 1958; the Billboard 200, which ranks full music albums, was premiered on August 17, 1963. Today, the service provides over 100 charts, which are updated on a weekly basis.
The very first Billboard magazine, 1894
1963 Jan and Dean started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Surf City', written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson, with the Beach Boys on backing vocals. The single peaked at No.26 in the UK.
1968 Hugh Masekela started a two week run at No.1 in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the instrumental 'Grazing In The Grass'
Songfacts: When Hugh Masekela's producer Stewart Levine delivered Masekela's latest album to the record company, Uni, it was pointed out to him that it was 3 minutes short of the contractually agreed length of 30 minutes. Stewart Levine suggested that they filled the gap by covering a 7-inch single that Hugh had recently bought in Zambia, a novelty tune called "Mr. Bull #5" that started with a cowbell. Neither Masekela nor his producer Stewart Levine saw any potential in the track but Uni Records executive Russ Regan thought it would be a hit record and persuaded him to issue it as a single. It became one of the all time summer anthems.
1991 EMF went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Unbelievable' it spent 14 weeks on the chart before reaching the top.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...