Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The 1950s


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The 1950s decade was pop music’s most transformational and exciting decade ever! Trace week by week its swift metamorphosis from adult contemporary to rock ‘n’ roll, from Eddie Fisher and The Ames Brothers to Elvis Presley and The Everly Brothers.


Access Every Weekly:

– Best Sellers chart from January 7, 1950 through July 28, 1958 (the definitive pop chart prior to the debut of the “Hot 100” chart)

– Top 100 chart from November 12, 1955 through July 28, 1958

– Hot 100 chart from August 4, 1958 through December 28, 1959

What’s special about the 1950s charts? B-sides are shown for all titles on the chart from 1/7/50 right up to the start of the Hot 100 chart on 8/4/58. If applicable, a record’s 45 rpm and 78 rpm label numbers were shown on the chart from 1/7/50 through 5/23/53, when the “45” record became the standard configuration for singles.

In the following example from the first chart in this book (1/7/50), the “V” stands for the RCA Victor label:

“A Dreamer’s Holiday”…Perry Como… V (78) 20-3543; (45) 47-3036

Discographers will find such data invaluable in determining which songs were available on “45” — especially when this configuration was so new in 1950.

It’s interesting to note the chart’s changes in style and size. From 5/29/54 through 6/17/57, the Best Sellers was a single column chart occupying 1/3 of a Billboard magazine page. The “Hot 100” debuted as a two-page chart on 8/4/58 and underwent three style changes by the decade’s end.

Additional information

Weight 3.0 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 1.25 × 11 in




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