Top 100 Songs Of The 40s

 
Chart Toppers of the Forties

Chart Toppers of the Forties

Greatest Hits of the 1940’s

Do you know which song of this decade was the most popular? Which song spent the most weeks at the number one position? You will be surprised at the results. Below you will find the 100 top ranking songs of this decade 1940  through 1949.

In unrelated news, now there is a way to preserve your 40’s vinyl records and convert them to the CD format. Click here for more information.

Charts Used For Compiling Top 100 Songs

The following resources were used to compile the list of the 100 songs of the 40’s:

  • Your Hit Parade (April 1935-July 1940)
  • Billboard Radio Airplay charts
  • ASCAP
  • Billboard “Music Box Machine (1938-1944)
  • Most Played in Juke Boxes (1944-1954)
  • Billboard regional favorites (1940-19440
  • Billboard “up and coming hits” (Nov. 1947 – May 1948)
  • Billboard “Best Buys”

The number of positions that were ranked during this era were 15-30.

Every song that made this list had to peak at the coveted #1 position. On top of that, each song had to stay at the #1 position for a minimum of three weeks.

The songs are ranked by the following criteria:

  1. Number of weeks at the #1 peak position
  2. Number of weeks in the top 10
  3. Number of weeks in the top 40
  4. Total weeks charted
Black & White Photo of Vaughn Monroe

Black & White Photo of Vaughn Monroe

Interesting Facts:

  • Bing Crosby is the artist with the most songs on this chart with 12, and Glenn Miller has 9.
  • The year of 1944, has the most songs on the chart with 12.
  • There were a total of 178 songs that peaked at the number 1 position during the 1940’s.
  • The song Peg O’ My Heart” was recorded by six different artists in 1947 and all went to the top 10, with three peaking at number 1 for a total of 18 combined weeks and made the top 100 chart of the 40’s. This is the second time that a year had three #1’s for the same song. In 1917, “Over There“, accomplished the same feat.
  • The longevity title goes to the  song “You Always Hurt The One You Love” by the Mills Brothers as it was on the charts for 33 weeks.
  • The song “There! I’ve Said It Again” by Vaughn Monroe #1 for 6 weeks, was also recorded by Bobby Vinton with the same title in 1964, and peaked at the #1 position for 4 weeks.
  • The song White Christmas by Bing Crosby recorded in 1943, is the biggest selling record of all time with over 50 million copies sold. This song is also ranked #8 on the list of the 100 most recorded songs from 1890-1954.

This listing will consist of rank, title, artist, weeks at #1 (), and year of release. Note: An (I) after a title denotes an instrumental song.

Rank     Title/Artist/Peak Weeks ()/Year

  1.      Near You / Francis Craig (17) 1947
  2.      White Christmas / Bing Crosby (14) 1942
  3.      Frenesi (I) / Artie Shaw (13) 1940
  4.      I’ve Heard That Song Before / Harry James (13) 1943
  5.      The Gypsy / Ink Spots (13) 1946
  6.      Heartaches / Ted Weens (13) 1947
  7.      Paper Doll / Mills Brothers (12) 1943
  8.      In The Mood (I) / Glenn Miller (12) 1940
  9.      Riders In The Sky / Vaughn Monroe (12) 1949
  10.      I’ll Never Smile Again / Tommy Dorsey (12) 1940
  11.      Oh! What It Seemed To Be / Frankie Carle (11) 1946
  12.      Buttons And Bows / Dinah Shore (10) 1948
  13.      Ballerina / Vaughn Monroe (10) 1947
  14.      Rum And Coca-Cola / Andrews Sisters (10) 1945
  15.      Till The End Of Time / Perry Como (10) 1945
  16.      Moonlight Cocktail (I) / Glenn Miller (10) 1942
  17.      Amapola / Jimmy Dorsey (10) 1941
  18.      Sentimental Journey / Les Brown (9) 1945
  19.      Swinging On A Star / Bing Crosby (9) 1944
  20.      Chattanoogia Choo Choo / Glenn Miller (9) 1941
  21.      Shoo-Shoo Baby / Andrews Sisters (9) 1944
  22.      Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me) / Peggy Lee (9) 1948
  23.      Only Forever / Bing Crosby (9) 1940
  24.      Tuxedo Junction (I) / Glenn Miller (9) 1940
  25.      Rumors Are Flying / Frankie Carle (9) 1946
  26.      Pistol Packin’ Mama / Al Dexter & His Troopers (8) 1943
  27.      Twelfth Street Rag / Pee Wee Hunt (8) 1948
  28.      Peg O’ My Heart (I) / Harmonicats (8) 1947
  29.      Piano Concerto In B Flat (I) / Freddy Martin (8) 1941
  30.      To Each His Own / Eddy Howard (8) 1946
  31.      That Lucky Old Sun / Frankie Laine (8) 1949
  32.      Don’t Fence Me In / Bing Crosby & Andrews Sisters (8) 1944
  33.      The Gypsy / Dinah Shore (8) 1946
  34.      (I’ve Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo / Glenn Miller (8) 1942
  35.      Daddy / Sammy Kaye (8) 1941
  36.      Nature Boy / Nat “King” Cole (8) 1948
  37.      Oh! What It Seemed To Be / Frank Sinatra (8) 1946
  38.      Jingle, Jangle, Jingle / Key Kyser (8) 1942
  39.      Besame Mucho / Jimmy Dorsey (7) 1943
  40.      You Can’t Be True Dear (7) 1948
  41.      Cruising Down The River / Russ Morgan (7) 1949
  42.      A Little Bird Told Me / Evelyn Knight (7) 1949
  43.      Cruising Down The River / Blue Barron (7) 1949
  44.      Sunday, Monday Or Always / Bing Crosby (7) 1943
  45.      You’ll Never Know / Dick Haymes (7) 1943
  46.      The Old Lamplighter / Sammy Kaye (7) 1946
  47.      The Woodpecker Song / Glenn Miller (7) 1940
  48.      My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time / Les Brown (7) 1945
  49.      There! I’ve Said It Again / Vaughn Monroe (6) 1945
  50.      I’ll Get By / Harry James (6) 1944
  51.      There Are Such Things / Tommy Dorsey (6) 1943
  52.      For Sentimental Reasons / Nat “King” Cole (6) 1946
  53.      You Call Everybody Darlin’ / Al Trace (6) 1948
  54.      I Can’t Begin To Tell You / Bing Crosby (6) 1945
  55.      Maria Elena / Jimmy Dorsey (6) 1941
  56.      Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) / Tex Williams (6) 1947
  57.      Tangerine / Jimmy Dorsey (6) 1942
  58.      Peg O’ My Heart / Buddy Clark (6) 1947
  59.      Woody Woodpecker / Kay Kyser (6) 1948
  60.      A Hot Time In The Town Of Berlin / Bing Crosby (6) 1944
  61.      Mule Train / Frankie Laine (6) 1949
  62.      You Always Hurt The One You Love / Mills Brothers (5) 1944
  63.      Some Enchanted Evening / Perry Como (5) 1949
  64.      I Can Dream Can’t I / Andrews Sisters (5) 1949
  65.      Love Somebody / Doris Day & Buddy Clark (5) 1948
  66.      A Tree In The Meadow / Margaret Whiting (5) 1948
  67.      San Fernando Valley / Bing Crosby (5) 1944
  68.      My Heart Tells Me / Glen Gray (5) 1944
  69.      I Love You / Bing Crosby (5) 1944
  70.      I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover / Art Mooney (5) 1948
  71.      When You Wish Upon A Star / Glenn Miller (5) 1940
  72.      Mairzy Doats / Merry Macs (5) 1944
  73.      Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! / Vaughn Monroe (5) 1946
  74.      Careless / Glenn Miller (5) 1940
  75.      You And I / Glenn Miller (5) 1941
  76.      You’re Breaking My Heart (4) 1949
  77.      I’ll Walk Alone / Dinah Shore (4) 1944
  78.      Green Eyes / Jimmy Dorsey (4) 1941
  79.      I’ll Be Seeing You / Bing Crosby (4) 1944
  80.      Five Minutes More / Frank Sinatra (4) 1946
  81.      Sleepy Lagoon / Harry James (4) 1942
  82.      Jersey Bounce (I)/ Benny Goodman (4) 1942
  83.      Peg o’ My Heart (I) / Three Suns (4) 1947
  84.      Blues In The Night / Woody Herman (4) 1942
  85.      Trade Winds / Bing Crosby (4) 1940
  86.      As Time Goes By / Rudy Vallee (4) 1943
  87.      Chickery Chick / Sammy Kaye (4) 1945
  88.      Sierra Sue / Bing Crosby (4) 1940
  89.      He Wears A Pair Of Silver Wings / Kay Kyser (4) 1942
  90.      There’ll Be Some Changes Made / Benny Goodman (4) 1941
  91.      Forever And Ever / Russ Morgan (3) 1949
  92.      Now Is The Hour / Bing Crosby (3) 1948
  93.      Slippin’ Around / Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely (3) 1949
  94.      Prisoner Of Love / Perry Como (3) 1946
  95.      In The Blue Of The Evening / Tommy Dorsey (3) 1943
  96.      It’s Been A Long, Long Time / Harry James (3) 1945
  97.      We Three / Ink Spots (3) 1941
  98.      Somebody Else Is Taking My Place / Benny Goodman (3) 1942
  99.      When The Lights Go On Again / Vaughn Monroe (3) 1943
  100.      Ferryboat Serenade / Andrews Sisters (3) 1940

Source for the above chart: Pop memories 1890-1954 “The History of American Popular Music” by Joel Whitburn.

Shop Greatest Hits of the 40’s

You can shop the Greatest Hits of the 40’s by clicking on the link. You will be taken to Amazon Try Prime Digital Music section where you have access to 550 selections. You can listen to a portion of the song before buying. Please note that some of the selections may not be the original recording, though a vast majority of them are.

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 Posted by at 7:59 pm