Top 100 Instrumental Songs 1890-1954

 
Guy Lombardo

Guy Lombardo

Instrumental songs are very special because the artist has to be creative on how to incorporate the song with their musicians. The top 100 instrumental songs 1890-1954 will give you the complete and accurate listing of the most popular instrumental hits for this entire 65 year period. You may be wondering where do the great instrumentals from the 1890’s and 1900’s come in on the list as I was.

How The Top 100 Instrumental Songs Are Ranked

The ranking of the top 100 Instrumental songs, the following criteria was used:

  • Highest peak position
  • Weeks at the peak position
  • Total weeks charted

The main source used to tabulate the top 100 songs was “Pop Memories 1890-1954” by Joel Whitburn.

Anton Karas Color Photo

Anton Karas Color Photo

Interesting Facts About The Chart

  • The year 1925 had the most songs on the list with 10.
  • The artist “Paul Whiteman” had the most songs on the chart with 26.
  • There were 93 songs that peaked at the #1 position for this entire period.
  • For a song to make the top 10, it had to be #1 for a minimum of 8 weeks.
  • For a song to make the top 40, it had to be #1 for 5 weeks.
  • For a song to make the top 100, it had to peak at #2 for three weeks.
  • The decade of the 1920’s had the most hits on the chart with 49.
  • The song “Blue Tango” by Leroy Anderson in 1952, holds the longevity title with 38 weeks on the chart.
  • The song “The Stars And Stripes Forever” by Sousa’s Band hit number 1 in two different years in 1897 for 8 weeks and in 1901 for 3 weeks. These two years are combined for the songs  final ranking. In 1960 (1) and 1962 (2), “The Twist” by Chubby Checker also had the same song chart at number 1 in two different years.
Isham Jones Orchestra

Isham Jones Orchestra

The Top 100 Instrumentals 1890-1954

The listing of the songs will be by rank, title, artist, peak position, peak weeks (), and year of release.

Rank   Title/Artist/Peak Position/Peak Weeks ()/Year of Release

  1. Frenesi / Artie Shaw #1 (13) 1940
  2. Dardanelia / Ben Selvin #1 (13) 1920
  3. In The Mood / Glenn Miller #1 (12) 1939
  4. Third Man Theme / Anton Karas #1 (11) 1950
  5. Third Man Theme / Guy Lombardo #1 (11) 1950
  6. Whispering / Paul Whiteman #1 (11) 1920
  7. The Stars And Stripes Forever / Sousa’s Band #1 (11) 1897/1901
  8. Valencia / Paul Whiteman #1 (11) 1925
  9. Tuxedo Junction / Glenn Miller #1 (9) 1940
  10. Twelfth Street Rag / Pee Wee Hunt #1 (8) 1948
  11. Peg O’ My Heart / Haromicats #1 (8) 1947
  12. Piano Concerto In B Flat / Freddy Martin #1 (8) 1941
  13. Three O’ Clock In The Morning / Paul Whiteman #1 (8) 1922
  14. In A Little Spanish Town / Paul Whiteman #1 (8) 1927
  15. I’ll See You In My Dreams / Isham Jones #1 (7) 1925
  16. I’ll See You In My Dreams / Ray Miller #1 (7) 1925
  17. Good Night, Sweetheart / Wayne King #1 (7) 1931
  18. Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers / Paul Whiteman #1 (7) 1923
  19. El Capitan March / Sousa’ s Band #1 (7) 1895
  20. Begin The Beguine / Artie Shaw #1 (6) 1938
  21. Wang Wang Blues / Paul Whiteman #1 (6) 1921
  22. Swingin’ Down The Lane / Isham Jones #1 (6) 1923
  23. Cherie / Paul Whiteman #1 (6) 1921
  24. Stumbling / Paul Whiteman #1 (6) 1922
  25. Wabash Blues / Isham Jones #1 (6) 1921
  26. Hot Lips / Paul Whiteman #1 (6) 1922
  27. Poor Butterfly / Victor Military Band #1 (6) 1917
  28. Semper Fidelis / U.S. Marine Band #1 (6) 1890
  29. Washington Post / U.S. Marine Band #1 (6) 1890
  30. Blue Tango / Leroy Anderson #1 (5) 1952
  31. Memory Lane / Fred Waring #1 (5) 1924
  32. It Had To Be You / Isham Jones #1 (5) 1924
  33. What’ll I Do / Paul Whiteman #1 (5) 1924
  34. Say It With Music / Paul Whiteman #1 (5) 1921
  35. Somebody Stole My Gal / Ted Weems #1 (5) 1924
  36. Song Of India / Paul Whiteman #1 (5) 1921
  37. Sweet Georgia Brown / Ben Bernie #1 (5) 1925
  38. Hello, Hawaii, How Are You? / Prince’s Orchestra #1 (5) 1916
  39. My Mammy / Paul Whiteman #1 (5) 1921
  40. Somebody Loves Me / Paul Whiteman #1 (5) 1924
  41. Sleep / Fred Waring #1 (5) 1923
  42. The Glow-Worm / Victor Orchestra #1 (5) 1908
  43. Cocktails For Two / Duke Ellington #1 (5) 1934
  44. Don’t Be That Way / Benny Goodman #1 (5) 1938
  45. The Liberty Bell / U.S. Marine Band #1 (5) 1894
  46. Peg O’ My Heart / Three Suns #1 (4) 1947
  47. In The Good Old Summer Time / Sousa’s Band #1 (4) 1903
  48. All Myself / Ted Lewis #1 (4) 1921
  49. The Birth Of The Blues / Paul Whiteman #1 (4) 1925
  50. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles / Ben Selvin #1 (4) 1919
  51. Among My Souvenirs / Paul Whiteman #1 (4) 1928
  52. Linger Awhile / Paul Whiteman #1 (4) 1924
  53. Manhattan / Ben Selvin #1 (4) 1925
  54. On The Alamo / Isham Jones #1 (4) 1922
  55. Jersey Bounce / Benny Goodman #1 (4) 1942
  56. The Thunderer / U.S. Marine Band #1 (4) 1890
  57. Yankee Doodle / Vess Ossman #1 (4) 1894
  58. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart / Duke Ellington #1 (3) 1938
  59. Hold Me / Art Hickman #1 (3) 1920
  60. Ballin’ The Jack / Prince’s Orchestra #1 (3) 1914
  61. Oh, How I Miss You Tonight / Ben Selvin #1 (3) 1925
  62. Dreamy Melody / Art Landry #1 (3) 1923
  63. Love Sends A Little Gift Of Roses / Carl Fenton #1 (3) 1923
  64. Satan Takes A Holiday / Tommy Dorsey #1 (3) 1937
  65. All Alone / Paul Whiteman #1 (3) 1924
  66. A Hot Time On The Levee / Vess Ossman #1 (3) 1896
  67. Cocoanut Dance / Vess Ossman #1 (3) 1895
  68. My Country Tis Of Thee / Jules Levy #1 (3) 1893
  69. Washington Post March / Sousa’s Band #1 (3) 1895
  70. A String Of Pearls / Glenn Miller #1 (2) 1942
  71. Spain / Isham Jones #1 (2) 1924
  72. The Japanese Sandman #1 (2) 1920
  73. Tiger Rag / Original Dixeland Jazz Band #1 (2) 1918
  74. Sunrise Serenade / Glen Gray #1 (2) 1939
  75. Do It Again / Paul Whiteman #1 (2) 1922
  76. The Star Spangled Banner / Prince’s Orchestra #1 (2) 1916
  77. Rose O’ Day / Freddy Martin #1 (2) 1943
  78. The Carioca / Enric Madriguera #1 (2) 1934
  79. Always / Vincent Lopez #1 (2) 1926
  80. The Love Nest / Art Hickman #1 (2) 1920
  81. The Continental / Leo Reisman #1 (2) 1934
  82. Delicado / Percy Faith #1 (1) 1952
  83. Star Dust / Isham Jones #1 (1) 1930
  84. I’ve Got Love To Keep Me Warm / Les Brown #1 (1) 1948
  85. Smiles / Joseph C. Smith #1 (1) 1918
  86. Moon Glow / Benny Goodman #1 (1) 1934
  87. Song Of The Volga Boatmen / Glenn Miller #1 (1) 1941
  88. Beautiful Ohio / Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orchestra #1 (1) 1919
  89. I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise / Paul Whiteman #1 (1) 1922
  90. Of Katharina / Ted Lewis #1 (1) 1925
  91. Bambalina / Paul Whiteman #1 (1) 1923
  92. Remember / Isham Jones #1 (1) 1925
  93. Charleston / Arthur Gibbs #1 (1) 1924
  94. You Can’t Be True Dear / Ken Griffin #2 (7) 1948
  95. Moonlight On The Ganges / Paul Whiteman #2 (4) 1925
  96. When The Day Is Done / Paul Whiteman #2 (4) 1927
  97. Bright Eyes / Paul Whiteman #2 (4) 1921
  98. Holiday For Stings / David Rose #2 (3) 1943
  99. Crinoline Days / Paul Whiteman #2 (3) 1923
  100. You’re The Top / Paul Whiteman #2 (3) 1934

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 Posted by at 3:22 pm