A hit parade is a ranked list of the most popular recordings at a
given point in time, usually determined by sales and/or airplay. The
term originated in the 1930s; Billboard magazine published its first
music hit parade on January 4, 1936. It has also been used by
broadcast programs which featured hit (sheet music and record)
tunes such as Your Hit Parade, which aired on radio and television
1 Early history
Rock and roll
Hit tunes were originally published as sheet music, so many artists
were encouraged to introduce or promote a tune in different styles,
formats or areas of popularity. Through the late 1940s, the term hit
parade referred to a list of compositions, not a list of records. In
those times, when a tune became a hit, it was typically recorded by
several different artists. Each record company often promoted its own
product through the airtime it purchased on commercial radio stations.
Most non-commercial stations, like the BBC, were required by national
regulations to promote local talent, and were also limited in the
amount of needle time given to recorded popular music.
In later years, a re-recording of a tune originally introduced or
popularised by a certain artist was called a cover version. In the
United States, regardless of copyright, covers were an automatic
option – since the
Copyright Act of 1909
^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-time Radio (revised ed.). Oxford University Press US. p. 739. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. Retrieved 19 September 2009. ^ Dunning, 1998, p.738 ^ "U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law: Chapter 1". ^ "U.S. Copyright Office: Section 115 Compulsory License".
Battistini, Pete (2005). American Top 40 with Casey Kasem: The 1970s. Authorhouse.com. ISBN 1-4184-1070-5. Durkee, Rob (1999). American Top 40: The Countdown of the Century. New York: Schriner Books.