The July 6 Style article “Billboard’s broken records” on the evolving Billboard music charts was excellent, but it contained an all-too-familiar error. It said, “Since their inception in 1958, the Billboard charts served [as] a window to pop music history.” While it is true that the Billboard “Hot 100” began with the Aug. 4, 1958, issue of Billboard magazine, it had been preceded by the Billboard “Top 100” (launched in November 1955). And prior to that, Billboard had been publishing universally recognized weekly rankings of the best-selling retail records since July 1940. It had even been publishing other music charts — on jukebox hits, radio airplay and sheet-music sales — back to the 1930s. So the Billboard charts had already been around for quite a long time by 1958.
Steve Sullivan, Fairfax