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Cash Box magazine was a weekly coin-machine and music-industry
publication from July 1942 through its last issue dated November 16, 1996.
From the late 40s through the early 60s, Cash Box published both Juke Box
and Best Sellers singles charts. This archive currently concentrates exclusively on the latter,
since they were more extensive and were the forerunners of the Cash Box Top 100.
The best-seller charts of the mid-40s through early 50s usually contained 40
positions. Cash Box combined all currently available recordings of a song into one
chart position, with artist and label info listed for each version, alphabetized by label, but
with no indication of which version(s) were the biggest sellers. With the issue dated October
13, 1951, the chart increased to 50 positions under the banner The Nations Top 50
Best Selling Records. At this point, the charts still did not specify which versions
were the most popular. In the issue dated October 25, 1952, Cash Box began designating the
hit version(s) of each song by placing a star next to the artists names.
During the summer of 1956, the banner was changed to read The Cash Box Top 50 Best
Selling Tunes on Records. The chart was expanded to 60 positions the week of April
13, 1957; to 75 positions the week of June 21, 1958; and finally to the Top 100 the week of
September 13, 1958. The Cash Box Top 100 continued to be a sales-based chart until the
70s, when airplay data began to be incorporated.
In the 40s and early 50s, the best-seller charts included columns showing the sales
per 1000 singles sold for the current and previous weeks for each title on the chart. In 1955,
that information was replaced by columns showing each titles chart positions for the
previous two weeks. It wasnt until 1976 that Cash Box added a weeks-on-the-chart
column. The format for the charts posted here is a hybrid of the mid-60s Cash Box
and Billboard charts: columns to the right of the artists name show the three
previous weeks chart positions and the total weeks on the chart.
Play the Jukebox
We are looking for additional chart data (Juke Box and Best
Selling Singles) from the following issues of the original magazine, which
are missing from the Library of Congress collection: 1/7/50, 2/11/50, 12/22/51,
5/24/52 and 6/14/52. Please
email Randy if you can help close the gaps.