Top 100 Instrumentals of the Forties

 
Frenesi Arti Shaw's Greatest Hits

Frenesi Arti Shaw’s Greatest Hits

The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Forties will provide some interesting revelations regarding the top 100 songs. In this decade, there were only 225 instrumentals that made it to the charts. We will also share some historical musical firsts and other trivia to help you know what was going on in this decade.

The forties had the beginning of World War II and seeing the boys come home in 1945, which provided the “Baby Boomer” generation. This was the era of the “big bands” with many artists making hits on the charts. This era also had some great instrumentals which made the final top 100 chart.

You can check out the other three top 100 instrumental charts of the 1950’s, 1960’s & 1970’s.

In unrelated news, now there is a way to preserve your vinyl records and convert them to the CD format. Click here for more information.

Music History & Facts

  • On July 20, 1940, Billboard printed its first comprehensive Best Selling records chart which contained all labels.
  • In November of 1941, Glenn Miller’s Chattanooga Choo Choo reaches #1, and will be honored with the first “gold record“, officially certifying it as a million-seller.
  • In October of 1942, Bing Crosby’s recording of White Christmas soars to #1, and will become the biggest selling record in popular music history with over 100 million sold world-wide.
  • In 1945, came the Billboard’s “Most Played by Disc Jockeys” survey.
  • In 1946, RCA Victor issues its one billionth record John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever“.
  • In December of 1946, marked the end of the fabled big band era with the breakup of eight of the countries most popular bands.
  • In 1948, the 45 rpm records are issued for single releases and the 78s will be phased out by the late 50s.
  • In 1949, Hank Williams emerges as the first modern country music superstar.
Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

Charts Used To Rank the Songs

Below are listed all the charts and resources that were used to compile the ranking of the top 100 instrumentals of the forties.

  • Juke Box Charts (15-30 Positions)
  • Best Selling Records (15-30 Positions)
  • Disc Jockey Charts (15-30 Positions)
  • Resource: “Pop Memories 1890-1954” by Joel Whitburn

Top 100 of the Forties Trivia

Below is some important trivia facts regarding the instrumental songs from 1940-1949 that made it to the chart:

  • There are a total of 13 songs to reach the #1 position.
  • The top artist for the decade is Glenn Miller with 16 songs on the chart.
  • The year of 1941 had the most songs on the chart with 25.
  • The year of 1949 had the least number of songs on the chart with 2.
  • The record of longevity on the chart is “Twelfth Street Rag” #4, by Pee Wee Hunt with 32 weeks.
  • To make the top 100, the song had to peak in the top twenty at position #18 or higher.
  • To make the top 40, the song had to peak at the #9 position or higher.
  • To make the top 10, the song had to peak at the #1 position.
  • There were a total of 33 different artists that charted a song on this chart.
  • There were a total of 225 instrumental hits that made it to the charts from 1940-1949.
  • The top 3 songs on the chart all came from the same year of 1940.
Harry James Greatest Hits

Harry James Greatest Hits

The Top 100 Instrumentals of the 40’s

Below is the list of the top 100 instrumentals for the decade of the forties. They are listed in rank order with the Title/Artist/Peak Position #/Number Weeks at Peak Position () /Year of Release.

Rank   Title/Artist / Peak / Peak Weeks / Year

  1. Frenesi / Artie Shaw #1 (13) 1940
  2. In The Mood / Glenn Miller #1 (13) 1940
  3. Tuxedo Junction / Glenn Miller #1 (9) 1940
  4. Twelfth Street Rag / Pee Wee Hunt #1 (8) 1948
  5. Peg O’ My Heart / Harmonicats #1 (8) 1947
  6. Piano Concerto In B Flat / Freddy Martin #1 (8) 1941
  7. Sleepy Lagoon / Harry James #1 (4) 1942
  8. Jersey Bounce / Benny Goodman #1 (4) 1942
  9. Peg O’ My Heart / Three Suns #1 (4) 1947
  10. A String Of Pearls / Glenn Miller #1 (2) 1942
  11. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm / Les Brown #1 (1) 1948
  12. Intermezzo / Guy Lombardo #1 (1) 1941
  13. Song Of The Volga Boatmen / Glenn Miller #1 (1) 1941
  14. Velvet Moon / Harry James #2 (2) 1943
  15. Star Dust / Artie Shaw #2 (1) 1941
  16. Maria Elena / Wayne King #2 (1) 1941
  17. Anvil Chorus / Glenn Miller #3 (1) 1941
  18. Perfidia (Tonight) / Xavier Cugat #3 (1) 1941
  19. Pompton Turnpike / Charlie Barnet #3 (1) 1940
  20. Sabre Dance / Woody Herman #3 (1) 1948
  21. I Dreamt I Dwelt In Harlem / Glenn Miller #3 (1) 1941
  22. Cherry / Harry James #4 (1) 1944
  23. Heartaches / Harry James #4 (1) 1947
  24. Boogie Woogie / Tommy Dorsey #4 (1) 1945
  25. Boogie Woogie / Tommy Dorsey #5 (1) 1943
  26. You Made Me Love You / Harry James #5 (1) 1941
  27. Intermezzo / Wayne King #5 (1) 1941
  28. St. Louis Blues March / Tex Beneke #5 (1) 1948
  29. Pennsylvania 6-5000 / Glenn Miller #5 (1) 1940
  30. Strictly Instrumental / Harry James #5 (1) 1942
  31. My Melancholy Baby / Sam Donohue  #5 (1) 1947
  32. Again / Tommy Dorsey #6 (1) 1949
  33. Bumble Boogie / Freddy Martin #7 (1) 1946
  34. Misirlou / Jan August #7 (1) 1946
  35. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore / Duke Ellington #8 (1) 1943
  36. One O’ Clock Boogie / Count Basie #8 (1) 1947
  37. No Name Jive / Glen Gray #9 (1) 1940
  38. Slow Freight / Glenn Miller #9 1940
  39. Falling Leaves / Glenn Miller #9 1940
  40. A Lover’s Lullaby / Glen Gray #9 (1) 1940
  41. Jersey Bounce / Jimmy Dorsey #9 (1) 1942
  42. Tippin’ In / Erskine Hawkins #9 (1) 1945
  43. Tonight (Perfidia) / Jimmy Dorsey #9 (1) 1941
  44. Dancing In The Dark / Artie Shaw #9 (1) 1941
  45. Music Makers / Harry James #9 (1) 1941
  46. The Mad Boogie / Count Basie #10 (1) 1946
  47. Summit Ridge Drive / Artie Shaw #10 (1) 1940
  48. Dolemite / Erskine Hawkins #10 (1) 1940
  49. Concerto For Clarinet / Artie Shaw #10 1941
  50. Intermezzo / Charlie Spivak #10 (1) 1941
  51. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me / Duke Ellington #10 (1) 1944
  52. Cirbirbin / Harry James #10 (1) 1940
  53. It Had To Be You / Artie Shaw #10 (1) 1944
  54. Twelfth Street Rag / Frankie Carle #10 (1) 1948
  55. Lament To Love / Harry James #10 (1) 1941
  56. Intermezzo / Benny Goodman #10 (1) 1941
  57. A Dreamer’s Holiday / Ray Anthony #11 (1) 1949
  58. Take The “A” Train / Duke Ellington #11 (1) 1941
  59. Poinciana / Benny Carter #11 (1) 1944
  60. Easter Parade / Harry James #11 (1) 1942
  61. Sherwood’s Forest / Bobby Shewwood #11 (1) 1946
  62. Warsaw Concerto / Freddy Martin #11 (1) 1943
  63. What Is This Thing Called Love / Les Paul #11 (1) 1948
  64. Estrelita / Harry James #12 (1) 1944
  65. Huckelberry Duck / Raymond Scott #12 (1) 1940
  66. Opus No. 1 / Tommy Dorsey #12 (1) 1945
  67. One O’ Clock Jump / Count Basie #12 (1) 1947
  68. Mission To Moscow / Benny Goodman #12 (1) 1944
  69. You Walk By / Wayne King #12 (1) 1941
  70. Rhapsody In Blue / Glenn Miller #13 (1) 1943
  71. Adios / Glenn Miller #13 (1) 1941
  72. Prince Charming / Harry James #13 (1) 1943
  73. Artistry Jumps / Stan Kenton #13 (1) 1946
  74. Holiday For Strings / Jimmy Dorsey #13 (1) 1944
  75. Northwest Passage / Woody Herman #13 (1) 1945
  76. Twilight Time / Three Suns #14 (1) 1944
  77. Patience And Fortitude / Count Basie #14 (1) 1946
  78.  Symphonie Moderne / Freddy Martin #14 (1) 1941
  79. Tuxedo Junction / Glenn Miller #15 (1) 1940
  80. A String Of Pearls / Benny Goodman #15 (1) 1942
  81. Five O’ Clock Whistle / Erskine Hawkins #15 (1) 1941
  82. American Patrol / Glenn Miller #15 (1) 1942
  83. Memphis Blues / Harry James #15 (1) 1944
  84. Let’s Go Home / Charlie Spivak #15 (1) 1941
  85. Jersey Bounce / Shep Fields #15 (1) 1942
  86. Frenesi / Glenn Miller #16 (1) 1941
  87. The Sky Fell Down / Glenn Miller #16 (1) 1940
  88. Autumn Serenade / Harry James #16 (1) 1945
  89. Mandy, Make Up Your Mind / Tommy Dorsey #16 (1) 1943
  90. Begin The Beguine / Eddie Heywood #16 (1) 1948
  91. Johnson Rag / Larry Clinton #16 (1) 1940
  92. Twilight Time / Les Brown #16 (1) 1945
  93. Artistry In Rhythm / Stan Kenton #16 (1) 1944
  94. Long Ago (And Far Away) / Three Suns #16 (1) 1944
  95. Apple Honey / Woody Herman #16 (1) 1945
  96. Nona / Erskine Hawkins #17 (1) 1941
  97. Danny Boy / Glenn Miller #17 (1) 1940
  98. Jalousie / Harry James #17 (1) 1947
  99. Redskin Rhumba / Charlie Barnet #18 (1) 1940
  100. Alice Blue Gown / Glenn Miller #18 (1) 1940

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 Posted by at 7:38 pm