Cashbox (magazine)

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CategoriesMusic industry, trade magazine
First issueJuly 1942; 80 years ago (1942-07) (original version)
2006 (2006) (revived Internet-only version)
Final issueNovember 16, 1996; 25 years ago (1996-11-16) (original version)
CountryUnited States

Cashbox, also known as Cash Box, was a music industry trade magazine, originally published weekly from July 1942 to November 1996. Ten years after its dissolution, it was revived and now continues as Cashbox Magazine, an online magazine with weekly charts and occasional special print issues.[1] In addition to the music industry, the magazine covered the amusement arcade industry, including jukebox machines and arcade games.


Print edition (1952–1996)[edit]

Cashbox was one of several magazines that published record charts in the United States. Its most prominent competitors were Billboard and Record World (known as Music Vendor prior to April 1964). Unlike Billboard, Cashbox combined all currently available recordings of a song into one chart position with artist and label information shown for each version, alphabetized by label. Originally, no indication of which version was the biggest seller was given, but from October 25, 1952, a star was placed next to the names of the most important artists. Cash Box also printed shorter jukebox charts that included specific artist data beginning in Spring 1950. Separate charts were presented for jukebox popularity, record sales and radio airplay. This was similar to Billboard's methodology prior to August 1958, when Billboard debuted its "Hot 100", which attempted to combine all measures of popularity into one all-encompassing chart. In addition, Cash Box published chart data for specific genres, such as country music and R&B music. In 1960, Cash Box discontinued its R&B chart after the March 5 issue; it was reinstated in the December 17 issue due to popular demand. The chart was originally dropped because it became dominated by pop records.[2]

Cash Box was a competitor to Billboard through the 1950s and 1960s, but two factors spelled its decline in 1970. Archivist and record historian Joel Whitburn published his first research book based on the Billboard Hot 100, which made that data the "Bible" for official historic chart positions. In addition, the syndicated radio series American Top 40 with Casey Kasem used Billboard chart statistics, cementing Billboard as the dominant chart data for current and historic reference. Magazine publisher George Albert compiled Cash Box chart data for a reference book more than a decade later, and Dick Clark used Cash Box information for a time on his National Music Survey, beginning in 1981. However, by that time, the trend was set. Perhaps the final straw for Cash Box came on December 12, 1992 when the Top 100 chart reported the number one song as "The Letter" by Wayne Newton. The song did not even make the bottom of any Billboard chart, nor was it reported to be in the Top Ten by local radio charts or sales reports. This called the magazine's integrity into question. Cash Box lost considerable credibility within the industry after this, with accusations of chart fixing. No official findings of the Wayne Newton incident were ever revealed. Cash Box would subsequently print its final consecutive chart of this era in November 1996.

Online magazine (2006–present)[edit]

Cash Box was reinvented as the online-only Cashbox Magazine in 2006, with the consent and cooperation of the family of George Albert, the late president and publisher of the original edition. Cashbox has occasionally issued special print editions.

As of April 2015, Cashbox Magazine has added the following music charts: Roots Music, Bluegrass Singles, Bluegrass Gospel Singles, Beach Music Top 40, Roadhouse Blues and Boogie Top 40, Country Christian Top 100 Singles and Southern Gospel Singles. The online magazine also relaunched the Looking Ahead Charts on March 1, 2015, covering all genres of music. The Cashbox Top 100 has been expanded to the Top 200. All chart data for the main Cashbox charts is provided by Digital Radio Tracker.

Sandy Graham is the owner, Editor in Chief and CEO of Cashbox Canada, an independent music trade in Toronto, Canada. Shane and Robert Bartosh control the Roots data. Bruce Elrod is the owner and remains the registered agent for Cashbox, which is now operated from Ridgeway, South Carolina.[3]


In 2014, Joel Whitburn's Record Research Inc. published a history of the Cash Box singles chart data covering October 1952 through the 1996 demise of the original magazine.[4] Randy Price maintains the original Cash Box data for the online archives.[5]

The Swem Library at The College of William and Mary[6] maintains the archive of the original print editions of Cash Box magazine.


The Chicago blues band the Cash Box Kings credit the magazine for their name.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cashbox Magazine". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  2. ^ "R&B Chart Returns" (PDF). Cash Box: 38. December 17, 1960.
  3. ^ "BBB Accredited Business Review for Cashbox Magazine, Inc".
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2014). Cash Box Pop Hits 1952–1996. Record Research Inc. ISBN 978-0898202090.
  5. ^ Price, Randy (ed.). "Cashbox Archives". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Cash Box". Retrieved 22 March 2014.

External links[edit]