History of Billboard Magazine

Billboard magazine has been around for quite a while. Outside of publishing several music industry standard charts every week, at the end of every year, it publishes the Billboard Top 100 of that particular year.  Today Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart and The Billboard 200 Chart are the music industry standard for measuring the success of commercial music, both in terms ofsales and airplay.  This was not always the case. Billboard magazine was created in 1894 by William h. Donaldson and James Hennegan and music was not even in the equation.  In fact it wasn’t even a magazine yet. Billboard was initially a bill posting service. Circuses & vaudeville acts used the service and ultimately became Billboard’s biggest clients.  William and James decided to publish news about outdoor amusement shows since the paper had become a record for all outdoor amusement activity.  In the early 1900’s the motion picture industry was born and Billboard started coverage. The radio came along in the 1920’s and Billboard began covering them as well.  The following decade the Jukebox was invented and the modern day Billboard Magazine was born. The first ever Billboard music Chart was created and only had three categories, Pop, Rhythm & Blues and Country. It was named “Hit Parade”.  All the while they continued covering outdoor amusements, in the 1950’s they also added Television. Although they had been publishing music charts since 1936, it was not until the 1960’s that Billboard began to take it’s modern day form. It spun off the TV and Amusement park divisions and changed its name to  “Billboard Music Week”.  Billboard Music Week was now fully devoted to the music industry. In 1963 they changed the name to simply “Billboard”.  The magazine started officially ranking the BillBoard top 100 songs in 1961 but it has kept a record of music sales and airplay of singles since the 1940’s.  Today it is the authority in the music industry and it is every music artist’s measuring stick for success.  Thanks to them today we have the

Billboard Top 100 of the last 80 years!

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