The Legendary Cash Box Magazine Charts
Chart data collected by Randy Price

What was tops on the record charts the day you were born? Your graduation day? Your wedding day? Pick a decade. Pick a year. Pick a week. Let the fun begin.

Select a Decade:

The ’40s: 

The ’50s: 

The ’60s: 

The ’70s: 

The ’80s: 

The ’90s: 

Also in This Archive:


The original Cash Box Magazine was a weekly coin-machine and music-industry publication from July 1942 through its last issue dated November 16, 1996. Cash Box published its first R&B chart, under the banner “Hot In Harlem, N.Y.” in the issue dated June 24, 1946. That first chart, compiling the 10 most-popular tunes in juke boxes in the neighborhood of Harlem, included only titles. Two weeks later, with most of the same records still in the Top 10, Cash Box added the name of the artist below each title. In the issue dated Sept. 23, 1946, each record’s label and number were added to the listings.

In the issue dated October 13, 1947, Cash Box added another Top 10 regional “Hot” chart, under the banner “Hot On Chicago’s South Side.” Over the next several years, “Hot” charts from other locations were added, until by May, 1952, there were a total of six main regional charts (Harlem, Chicago, New Orleans, Dallas, Los Angeles and St. Louis), as well as a number of others. This archive focuses soley on the six main charts, since they were more-prominently displayed and were the only ones published every week. (Note: Dallas replaced Detroit, which earlier had been one of the main regional charts.)

In the issue dated March 7, 1953, Cash Box introduced its national R&B chart, under the banner “The Nation’s Rhythm & Blues Top Ten.” For the first few weeks, the national chart was displayed at approximately the same size as the individual regional charts; after that, it was given greater prominence. At that point, the focus of this archive shifts to the national chart, since it was the forerunner of the R&B charts in subsequent years; and, beginning with the first week of April 1953, only that chart appears in the archive.

The depth of the national R&B chart increased from 10 to 15 positions in the Feb. 27, 1954, issue; to 20 positions in the Oct. 27, 1956, issue; to 25 positions in the May 25, 1957, issue; to 30 positions in the Feb. 15, 1958, issue; and to 50 positions in the Sept. 20, 1958, issue.

In the issue dated July 25, 1970, the depth of the R&B chart was increased to 60 positions. It was expanded to 65 positions in the issue dated February 17, 1973; to 70 positions in the issue dated May 5, 1973; and to 100 positions in the issue dated June 7, 1975.

In the issue dated September 9, 1978, the R&B section of the magazine was rechristened Black Contemporary, although the banner over the singles chart was shortened to just Cash Box Top 100.

This archive currently includes the R&B charts from the 1940s through the ’70s. The charts from the ’80s and ’90s will be added as time permits.

(Click on the links to the left to access the Pop Singles and Country Singles sections of the archive.)

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