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1950: NBC Introduces the TV Version of 'Your Hit Parade'
July 10, 2020  | By David Bianculli  | 24 comments
On NBC Radio, Your Hit Parade began all the way back in 1935, with a simple but sure fire formula that remained essentially the same over the next quarter-century: the top songs of the week were identified, ranked, and performed with a suspenseful countdown leading to the Numb One song of the week. The most famous featured vocalist on the radio version w Frank Sinatra, who Paraded his singing talent from 1943 to 1945; others, over the years, included Doris Day and Dinah Shore.

When NBC adapted Your Hit Parade to television for launch on this day in 1950, it needed visuals as well as vocals, and choreographers and set designers worked hard to make each week's Hit Paradea treat for the eye as well as the ear (one featured dancer, as it happens, was Bob Fosse). Dorothy Collins and Snooky Lanson were among the biggest stars of the TV version, which is remembered, or ought to be, as a very early forerunner of the music video in general and MTV in particular.
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As rock (and Presley) gained In popularity, the ratings for Your Hit Parade plummeted. The cast was changed in 1957, the show temporarily canceled in 1958, but revived under new management with Dorothy Collins and Johnny Desmond in 1953.
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