Today marks a milestone of sorts: On July 8, 1958, the RIAA issued its very first gold record.
The recipient of this gold record? The Oklahoma! soundtrack. Not as exciting as other music being produced at the time, but, hey, people liked it. And people bought it.
Musical soundtracks were bigger than most people realize in the '50s and '60s. Consider this: According to Billboard, which has been compiling year-end album sales tallies since 1956, even though the Oklahoma! soundtrack was the first record to go gold, it wasn't even the best-selling album of 1958. That belonged to the My Fair Lady soundtrack.
Musicals dominated the album-sales charts all the way through to the mid-'60s. In the late '60s, rock 'n' roll began taking over the album sales charts when The Beatles, The Monkees, Jimi Hendrix, and Iron Butterfly dominated. But musicals have never left the cultural consciousness.
So, in that vein, we decided to take a look back at eight more of the best-selling musical albums of all time in addition to Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady. Check them out after the jump.
The Sound of Music. The best-selling album of 1960.
Camelot. Best-selling album of 1961.
West Side Story. The best-selling for a whopping two years in a row, 1962 and 1963.
Hello, Dolly! The best-selling album of 1964.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Grease. The best-selling musical soundtrack of all-time (the movie version, not the stage one), this 1978 release went eight times platinum.
High School Musical. Four times platinum -- and coming up on five -- since its '06 release, and in a pretty tame music-buying era, thank you very much Zac Efron's hair.
Camp Rock. Riding Colleyville's Own Demi Lovato and Westlake's Own Jonas Brothers to platinum certification in 2008.
Glee: The Music, Volume 1. Platinum in 2009, thank you very much Jane Lynch and a sudden renewed national interest in musicals thanks to Disney Channel Original Movies.