Memories Of Your Hit Parade©2008JCMarion


"Your Hit Parade" was a weekly staple of American entertainment on radio and then television for twenty five years. It made its debut for the NBC network in 1935. The format was to present the songs topping the survey of the best selling records, top juke box plays, sheet music sales, and radio plays. These top songs were presented by a variety of performers. Among the vocalists during the radio years were Lanny Ross, Bonnie Baker, Lawrence Tibbett, Buddy Clark, , Doris Day, Andy Russell, Dinah Shore, and Frank Sinatra. Conductors of the studio orchestras included Lenny Hayton, Leo Reisman, Richard Himber, Al Goodman, Axel Stordahl, Orrin Tucker, Harry Sosnick, and Mack Warnow. Fred Astair, W.C. Fields, and Ethel Smith also appeared. Among the announcers for the show were Martin Block, Kenny Delmar, Del Sharbutt, and Andre Baruch.

The television version was first presented on July 10, 1950 on NBC television. Besides the profiled singers from the TV version, Jill Corey, Tommy Leonetti, Alan Copeland, and Virginia Gibson also appeared. The orchestras were lead by Raymond Scott, Peter Van Steeden, and Harry Sosnick. This format and cast lasted until June of 1958. A second version was then broadcast with Dorothy Collins and Johnny Desmond, and the band of Harry Sosnick, and lasted one season for the CBS network ending its run in April of 1959. An extremely short lived version was tried by CBS in August of 1974 with Kelly Garrett, Chuck Woolery, Sheralee, and the orchestra of Milton DeLugg with announcer Art Gilmore. Its run was only five shows.

The enduring memory of this program remains the early nineteen fifties version when the performers and the popular music of the time made for a perfect match. Once rock 'n roll took over as the dominant pop music sound, the Hit Parade's days were numbered. But we always have those great moments.

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