Billboard Magazine tracks the popularity of various songs and albums, both in the United States and all over the world. It has long been one of the music industry’s leading indicators of a work’s relative popularity.
On March 25, 1939, Billboard Magazine introduced a new Hillbilly Hits Music Chart to keep track of the newly popular hillbilly genre of music. It may sound like a joke name today, but what is known now as country music was once known as hillbilly music.
It was not really a mainstream genre. But the fact that Billboard Magazine had started to keep track of it indicated that its popularity was picking up. As hillbilly music started gaining popularity, the genre came to be known as country music. Following suit, Billboard Magazine’s Hillbilly Music Chart came to be known as the Country Music Chart.
Throughout the twentieth century, country music became more and more popular, eventually breaking free of its rural and southern associations to become something that the entire nation listened to.
Billboard now keeps track of multiple country music lists. There is the Hot Country Songs list for the overall most popular hits, the Country Airplay list for the top radio hits, the Country Digital Songs list for digital hits, and the Country Streaming Songs list for the streaming country hits. Hillbilly music has certainly come a long way over the course of the last century.