I Want to Be a Smash: Top Ten Show Tunes to Make the Pop Charts Since 1964

By Ben Rimalower
26 Apr 2014

Playbill.com correspondent Ben Rimalower offers a collection of the best Broadway pop songs in the last 50 years.



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75 years ago, at the onset of the "Golden Age of Broadway," songs from the theatre dominated the radio and pop charts. Popular singers were just that — singers — unlike the multi-hyphenate singer-songwriter-musician-producer-moguls that have mostly replaced them in the years since. Back in the day, when these singers were making a record, the season's crop of new theatre music was one of the first places they (or their record label) might look. All of that started to change about 50 years ago, and the result has been a diminished role in our culture for showtunes, musicals and theatre itself. Still, some songs have managed to break through in the last 50 years since 1964 — when hits from both Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly! scaled the Billboard charts.

Click through to read my selections for the top ten show tunes to make the pop charts since 1964.

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