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Retro Chart: July 27, 1940

1940?  Yes, that would seem a little bit farther back than we would normally go in any of our stories, but the Billboard chart of seventy years ago today (July 27, 1940) holds special significance as it was the first sales chart for records the magazine ever published.

At the time, it was only ten positions (it wouldn't move to 100 until the chart of August 4, 1958) and was added to previous charts from the magazine that had ranked sheet music sales and "radio plugs" but never before had they charted music strictly on the sales of records. 

The new chart would eventually spin off into other genres, including R&B (October 24, 1942, then known as the Harlem Hit Parade) country (January 8, 1944 as the Most Played Juke Box Folk Records), long play albums (March 24, 1956) and Adult Contemporary (July 17, 1961).

The very first top ten from July 27, 1940:
  1. I'll Never Smile Again - Tommy Dorsey
  2. The Breeze and I - Jimmy Dorsey
  3. Imagination - Glenn Miller
  4. Playmates - Kay Kyser
  5. Fools Rush In - Glenn Miller
  6. Where Was I? - Charlie Barnet
  7. Pennsylvania 6-5000 - Glenn Miller
  8. Imagination - Tommy Dorsey
  9. Sierra Sue - Bing Crosby
  10. Make Believe Island - Mitchell Ayres