Pop Music Chart Day marks anniversary of song rankings
Friday is Pop Music Chart Day, celebrating the anniversary of what is recognized as the first U.S. ranked listing of pop music.
On Jan. 4, 1936, Billboard magazine published its first “Hit Parade” listing of top pop songs. The No. 1 spot was claimed by “Stop, Look and Listen,” recorded by jazz violinist Joe Venuti and his orchestra, as noted by Wilson Casey in “Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World.”
Born in 1903, in an Italian-American neighborhood in South Philadelphia, the band leader’s career included an early stint playing in the popular Paul Whiteman Orchestra and a regular spot on Bing Crosby’s national radio show in the early 1950s. According to a biographical entry by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Venuti continued to work as a musician until his death from cancer in 1978.
The 1936 listing is considered the forerunner of Billboard charts that rank the popularity of recorded music in various categories.
“High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco tops the magazine’s Pop Songs chart for the week of Jan. 5, 2019 . Rounding out the top five, in descending order, are “Without Me” by Halsey, “Breathin’” by Ariana Grande, “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande and “Happier” by Marshmello featuring Bastille.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @jhimler_news.