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Complete YOUR HIT PARADE Now available on Songsandmemories Website
"Your Hit Parade", first a radio then a TV show, ran from 1935 through 1959 and presented the top songs of the week, every week, as compiled by their survey. Now, those songs are available again on songsandmemories.com
Each Saturday evening, the program offered the most popular and bestselling songs of the week. The earliest format involved a presentation of the top 15 songs. Later, a countdown with fanfares led to the top three finalists, with the number one song for the finale. Occasional performances of standards and other favorite songs from the past were known as "Lucky Strike Extras," because the program was initially sponsored by Lucky Strike Cigarettes. Listeners were informed that the "Your Hit Parade survey checks the best sellers on sheet music and phonograph records, the songs most heard on the air and most played on the automatic coin machines, an accurate, authentic tabulation of America's taste in popular music."
During the 24-year run, the show had 19 different orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups. Earliest hosts from radio days included Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Buddy Clark, Kay Thompson and Dinah Shore. Once the show reached the mid 50's and transferred to TV, the hosts were: Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, Giselle McKenzie and Russell Arms, each of the hosts taking turns on performing the top songs of the week, week after week. If a song got to repeat for a number of weeks, listeners could hear interpretations by any or all of the various hosts, including the singing group and/or just the orchestra. This worked well for ballads such as "It's Magic" or "Secret Love" which reappeared for multiple weeks, especially on the radio broadcasts. However, Snooky Lanson had said it was a real problem trying to come up with a fresh approach to songs like Elvis Presley's megahit, "Hound Dog". Thus, the show faded with the rise of rock and roll when the performance became more important than the song.
While Your Hit Parade was unable to deal with the rock revolution, the show's imaginative production concepts had an obvious influence on the wave of music videos and MTV that began in the decade that followed.
And now visitors to the songsandmemories.com website can go back to the early beginnings in 1935 and move right through 1958, clicking on and listening to those songs that were popular in a given year. In fact, although the program stopped in early 1959, the website went one better: they have given viewers an opportunity to move on for another 10 years of the most popular songs by clicking on The Top Ten on the site's sidebar navigation menu.
The Administrative Team is proud to present this slice of American musical history, and the site goes one better by showcasing movies as well as music. Viewers can see trailers for all the movies that were Oscar winners and hear all the songs ever nominated for an Oscar (and the winners). Tony Winning Broadway Shows are also featured on the Broadway segment. One of the site's viewers has said: "a person could spend weeks on this site and never see and hear it all." This makes the staff very happy and hopes future viewers will be, too.