Billboard began publishing song lists in 1936. First identified as a "hit parade" -- a list of popular songs. At that time it was common for a published song to be recorded by several different artists. In 1940 the first chart was published that ranked records by their popularity. In the early years of rock and roll, there were separate charts for disk jockey play, juke box song selection, and best selling in retail stores. In 1958, these charts were replaced by the "Hot 100" chart. There were separate charts for country and rhythm & blues. At the end of each year, a chart was published that ranked the songs for the entire year.
There is a Billboard page in each year section of The Elvis Era. These pages contain a slideshow of the top 50 and a list of the top 100 for each year. In addition, there is a video of the top 10. You can access these pages by clicking on the appropriate year button below. These buttons are also available on each page so you can jump around if you like.
In some instances, the Billboard end of year charts neglected or under-rated records that crossed over from one year to another. The "Elvis Era Rankings" compensates for this by rating a record based on its total performance on the chart.
Year end rankings from Cashbox magazine and Gilbert & Theroux's Top 40 are also displayed.