your hit parade

Before disc jockeys and Top-40 charts became commonplace, there was Your Hit Parade, a radio institution that billed itself as “an accurate, authentic tabulation of America's taste in popular music.”

Every Saturday night, Your Hit Parade presented the top tunes of the week, saving the top three songs for the end of the show. As a nod to longtime sponsor Lucky Strike Cigarettes, Your Hit Parade occasionally featured an old favorite as a “Lucky Strike Extra.”

Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne, the show’s advertising agency, remained secretive about the methods used to determine the top songs. It was acknowledged that Your Hit Parade’s statisticians examined sheet music sales and jukebox tabulations before reaching their conclusions.

Your Hit Parade debuted on April 20, 1935 and moved between NBC and CBS until January 16, 1953. A television version of Your Hit Parade was simulcast over NBC Radio from 1950 to 1959.

More than 50 singers appeared on the radio version of Your Hit Parade, including Frank Sinatra (1943-45; 1947-49), Joan Edwards (1941-46), Dick Haymes, “Wee” Bonnie Baker, Johnny Mercer, Dinah Shore, Buddy Clark, Bea Wain, Andy Russell, Gisele MacKenzie and Metropolitan Opera star Lawrence Tibbett.

Your Hit Parade was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.

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