Your Hit Parade

The radio show "Your Hit Parade" ran for 18 years and was broadcasted by both NBC and CBS.  It later made a jump to television where it enjoyed a 9 year run.  Every Saturday evening, the program offered the most popular and bestselling songs of the week.  During its 24-year run, the show had 19 orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups.  The program was sponsored by Lucky Strike Cigarettes.

When the show first aired in April of 1935, the format of the 60-minute program featured between 7 and 15 songs played in a random format before presenting the number 1 song.  A few years later the format changed to the type of countdown show we are more familiar with today.  Listeners were informed that the song rankings were based on sheet music and phonograph records sales, the songs most heard on the air and songs most played on jukeboxes.  However, the exact procedure of this "authentic tabulation" always remained a secret.

The songs themselves would be sung by a stable of various regulars (vocalists) that were featured on the show. Some of the recognized names included: Buddy Clark, Frank Sinatra, Bea Wain, Bonnie Baker, Dorothy Collins, Joan Edwards, Georgia Gibbs, Dick Haymes, Johnny Mercer, Andy Russell, Dinah Shore, Ginny Simms and Martha Tilton.  The music was provided by the show's orchestra which was led by a variety of leaders over the years including names like: Al Goodman, Abe Lyman, Leo Reisman, Ray Sinatra, Harry Sosnik, Axel Stordahl and Raymond Scott.

Listen to an episode of: "Your Hit Parade" from December 6, 1947

The radio version of the program aired until January of 1953.  The fact that the show featured their "house" singers and bands performing the biggest hits of the day has resulted in a deep archive of unique and entertaining versions of so many classics from the Big Band Era. You can hear a wide selection of those tracks right here on Swing City Radio. 

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