Saturday, August 17, 2019

United States: Biggest #1 Songs

First posted 10/29/2017; updated 8/17/2019.

This is a list of the #1 songs of all time according to U.S. pop charts – with a twist. These songs could have hit #1 on any of the following charts:

  • the Billboard Hot 100 chart, 1955-present (BB)
  • the pre-Hot 100 pop charts, 1890-1955 (BB)
  • the Billboard pop airplay chart, 1984-present (BA)
  • Hit Parade, 1935-1955 (HP)
  • Cashbox, 1950-1996 (CB)
  • Hit Records, 1954-1982 (HR)
  • Radio & Records/Mediabase, 1973-2015 (RR)
All songs with 10 or more weeks on any of these charts are listed. If a song hit #1 on more than chart, only the chart where the song had the most weeks is noted. Also, there are some songs (noted with *) which hit #1 multiple times by different artists. This was especially prevalent in the pre-rock era when the focus was more on the song than the artist who recorded it. This allows songs like “Peg O’ My Heart” and “Over There” – which each hit #1 FOUR times on the Billboard charts – to make this list. Artists who took the song to #1 are listed, along with the year the song first charted and how many weeks it was at the pinnacle.

One last note – in the event of ties, songs are ranked according to most overall points in Dave’s Music Database. For songs which hit #1 multiple times, the version which accumulated the most points is used.

So without further ado…


    25 weeks:

  1. Peg O’ My Heart (BB: Charles Harrison, 1913, 7 wks; The Harmonicats, 1947, 8 wks; Buddy Clark, 1947, 6 wks; The Three Suns, 1947, 4 wks)
    22 weeks:

  2. The Third Man Theme (BB: Anton Karas, 1950, 11 wks; Guy Lombardo, 1950, 11 wks)
    21 weeks:

  3. The Gypsy (BB: The Ink Spots, 1946, 13 wks; Dinah Shore, 1946, 8 wks)
    19 weeks:

  4. Oh What It Seemed to Be (BB: Frankie Carle & Marjorie Hughes, 1946, 11 wks; Frank Sinatra, 1946, 8 wks)
  5. Old Town Road (BB: Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus, 2018)

    18 weeks:

  6. Iris (BA: Goo Goo Dolls, 1998)
    17 weeks:

  7. Over There (BB: American Quarter, 1917, 9 wks; Nora Bayes, 1917, 3 wks; Peerless Quartet, 1917, 2 wks; Enrico Caruso, 1918, 3 wks)
  8. In the Good Old Summertime (BB: J.W. Myers, 1902, 7 wks; Haydn Quartet, 1903, 6 wks; Sousa’s Band, 1903, 4 wks)
  9. Near You (BB: Francis Craig with Bob Lamm, 1947)

    16 weeks:

  10. Despacito (BB: Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber, 2017)
  11. We Belong Together (BA: Mariah Carey, 2005)
  12. One Sweet Day (BB: Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men, 1995)
  13. Don’t Speak (BA: No Doubt, 1996)
  14. Girls Like You (BA: Maroon 5 with Cardi B, 2017)
    15 weeks:

  15. It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (BB: American Quartet, 1914, 7 wks; John McCormack, 1915, 8 wks)
    14 weeks:

  16. White Christmas (BB: Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers, 1942)
  17. I Will Always Love You (BB: Whitney Houston, 1992)
  18. My Blue Heaven (BB: Gene Austin, 1927, 13 wks; Paul Whiteman, 1927, 1 wk)
  19. Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose) (BB: Elton John, 1997)
  20. Uptown Funk! (BB: Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars, 2014)
  21. I Gotta Feeling (BB: Black Eyed Peas, 2009)
  22. Shine on, Harvest Moon (BB: Harry MacDonough & Elise Stevenson, 1909, 9 wks; Ada Jones & Billy Murray, 1909, 5 wks)
  23. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) (BB: Los Del Rio, 1995)
  24. I’ll Make Love to You (BB: Boyz II Men, 1994)
  25. No One (BA: Alicia Keys, 2001)
  26. Because You Loved Me (BA: Celine Dion, 1996)
  27. Cruising Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon (BB: Blue Barron & His Orchestra, 1949, 7 wks; Russ Morgan & the Skylarks, 1949, 7 wks)
  28. On the Banks of the Wabash (BB: George J. Gaskin, 1897, 10 wks; Steve Porter, 1898, 4 wks)
  29. High Hopes (BA: Panic! At the Disco, 2018)
    13 weeks:

  30. In the Mood (BB: Glenn Miller, 1939)
  31. Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart) (BB: Haydn Quartet, 1904, 10 wks; Columbia Male Quartet, 1904, 3 wks)
  32. Tennessee Waltz (BB: Patti Page, 1950)
  33. Dardanella (BB: Ben Selvin, 1920)
  34. You Light Up My Life (HR: Debby Boone, 1977)
  35. Goodnight Irene (BB: The Weavers with Gordon Jenkins’ Orchestra, 1950)
  36. I’ve Heard That Song Before (BB: Harry James with Helen Forrest, 1943)
  37. Frenesi (BB: Artie Shaw, 1940)
  38. The Glow-Worm (BB: Victor Orchestra, 1908, 5 wks; Lucy Isabelle Marsh, 1908, 5 wks; The Mills Brothers, 1952, 3 wks)
  39. End of the Road (BB: Boyz II Men, 1992)
  40. When You Were Sweet Sixteen (BB: George J. Gaskin, 1900, 8 wks; Jere Mahoney, 1900, 5 wks)
  41. Heartaches (BB: Ted Weems with Elmo Tanner, 1947)
  42. I’ll Be There (BB: The Jackson 5, 1970, 5 wks; BA: Mariah Carey, 1992, 8 wks)
  43. The Boy Is Mine (BB: Brandy with Monica, 1998)
  44. The Sign (BA: Ace of Base, 1994)
  45. The Sidewalks of New York (BB: Dan Quinn, 1895, 9 wks; J.W. Myers, 1895, 4 wks)
  46. No Scrubs (BA: TLC, 1999)
  47. I Love You Always Forever (BA: Donna Lewis, 1996)
    12 weeks:

  48. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (BB: Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan, 1911, 10 wks; Bing Crosby & Connee Boswell, 1938, 2 wks)
  49. Lose Yourself (BB: Eminem, 2002)
  50. Shape of You (BB: Ed Sheeran, 2017)
  51. Yeah! (BB: Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris, 2004)
  52. Till We Meet Again (BB: Henry Burr & Albert Campbell, 1919, 9 wks; Nicholas Orlando’s Orchestra with Harry MacDonough, 1919; 2 wks; Charles Hart with Lewis James, 1919, 1 wk)
  53. Paper Doll (BB: Mills Brothers, 1943)
  54. The Prisoner’s Song (BB: Vernon Dalhart, 1925)
  55. Blurred Lines (BB: Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell Williams, 2013)
  56. See You Again (BB: Wiz Khalifa with Charlie Puth, 2015)
  57. I’ll Never Smile Again (BB: Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra with Frank Sinatra & the Pied Pipers, 1940)

  58. Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend) (BB: Vaughn Monroe, 1949)
  59. Closer (BB: The Chainsmokers with Halsey, 2016)
  60. Smooth (BB: Santana with Rob Thomas, 1999)
  61. Boom Boom Pow (BB: Black Eyed Peas, 2009)
  62. Sonny Boy (BB: Al Jolson, 1928)
  63. We Found Love (BA: Rihanna with Calvin Harris, 2011)
  64. You Belong to Me (BB: Jo Stafford, 1952)
  65. The Last Round-Up (BB: George Olsen, 1933, 9 wks; Guy Lombardo & Carmen Lombardo, 1933, 3 wks)
  66. Dilemma (BA: Nelly with Kelly Rowland, 2002)
  67. The Band Played On (BB: Dan Quinn, 1895, 10 wks; BB: Guy Lombardo, 1941, 2 wks)
  68. Too Young (HP: Nat “King” Cole, 1951)
    11 weeks:

  69. Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog (BB: Elvis Presley, 1956)
  70. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time) (BB: Leo Reisman, 1933, 8 wks; Ethel Waters, 1933, 3 wks)
  71. Cheek to Cheek (BB: Leo Reisman & His Orchestra with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, 1935)
  72. Whispering (BB: Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra, 1920)
  73. April Showers (BB: Al Jolson, 1922)
  74. Hello (BA: Adele, 2015)
  75. School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids) (BB: Byron Harlan, 1907)
  76. Casey Jones (BB: American Quartet with Billy Murray, 1910)
  77. Deep Purple (BB: Larry Clinton & Bea Wain, 1939, 9 wks; CB: Nino Tempo & April Stevens, 1963, 2 wks)
  78. Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet (BB: Haydn Quartet, 1909)
  79. God’s Plan (BB: Drake, 2018)
  80. Irreplaceable (BA: Beyoncé, 2006)
  81. Love Yourself (BA: Justin Bieber, 2015)
  82. I’ll Be Missing You (BB: Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112, 1997)
  83. The Preacher and the Bear (BB: Arthur Collins, 1905)
  84. Un-Break My Heart (BB: Toni Braxton, 1996)

  85. Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There) (BB: Henry Burr, 1918)
  86. Valencia (A Song of Spain) (BB: Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra with Franklyn Baur, 1926)
  87. A Bird in a Gilded Cage (BB: Steve Porter, 1900, 6 wks; Jere Mahoney, 1900, 5 wks)
  88. The Stars and Stripes Forever (BB: John Philip Sousa, 1897, 8 wks; Sousa’s Band, 1901, 3 wks)
  89. Ramona (BB: Gene Austin, 1928, 8 wks; Paul Whiteman, 1928, 3 wks)
  90. I Swear (BB: All-4-One, 1994)
  91. Cry (BB: Johnnie Ray & the Four Lads, 1951)
  92. Torn (BA: Natalie Imbruglia, 1997)
  93. Vaya Con Dios (May God Be with You) (BB: Les Paul with Mary Ford, 1953)
  94. Arkansaw Traveler (BB: Len Spencer, 1902)
  95. Independent Women (BB: Destiny’s Child, 2000)
  96. Because of You (HP: Tony Bennett, 1951)
  97. To Each His Own (BB: Eddy Howard, 1946, 8 wks; Freddy Martin & Stuart Wade, 1946, 2 wks; The Ink Spots, 1946, 1 wk)
  98. Ma Tiger Lily (BB: Len Spencer, 1900, 5 wks; BB: Arthur Collins, 1900, 6 wks)
  99. Dreamlover (BB: Mariah Carey, 1993)
  100. Let Me Love You (BA: Mario, 2004)
  101. On Bended Knee (BA: Boyz II Men, 1994)
    10 weeks:

  102. Night and Day (BB: Leo Reisman’s Orchestra with Fred Astaire, 1932)
  103. My Heart Will Go On (BA: Celine Dion, 1997)
  104. You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”) (BB: Billy Murray, 1906)
  105. Pennies from Heaven (BB: Bing Crosby with George Stoll’s Orchestra, 1936)
  106. A-Tisket, A-Tasket (BB: Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb & His Orchestra, 1938)
  107. Happy (BB: Pharrell Williams, 2013)
  108. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (BB: Paul Whiteman, 1933, 6 wks; CB/HR: The Platters, 1958, 4 wks)
  109. My Gal Sal (BB: Byron Harlan, 1907)

  110. Low (BB: Flo Rida with T-Pain, 2007)
  111. Buttons and Bows (BB/HP: Dinah Shore & Her Harper Valley Boys, 1948)
  112. Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (BB: Byron Harlan, 1906, 9 wks; Harry Tally, 1906, 1 wk)
  113. Gold Digger (BB: Kanye West with Jamie Foxx, 2005)
  114. I’ll Be Seeing You (HP: Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra, 1944)
  115. Some Enchanted Evening (HP: Perry Como, 1949)
  116. One Dance (BB: Drake, 2016)
  117. After the Ball (BB: George J. Gaskin, 1893)
  118. Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips with Me (BB: Nick Lucas, 1929)
  119. Bleeding Love (RR: Leona Lewis, 2007)
  120. Physical (BB: Olivia Newton-John, 1981)

  121. Beautiful Ohio (BB, Henry Burr, 1919, 9 wks; Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orchestra, 1919, 1 wk)
  122. Sweet Leilani (BB: Bing Crosby with Lani McIntire & His Hawaiians, 1937)
  123. Bedelia (BB, Haydn Quartet, 1904, 7 wks; Billy Muray, 1904, 3 wks)
  124. In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town (BB: Ted Lewis & His Band, 1932)
  125. Tell Me Pretty Maiden (BB: Harry MacDonough & Grace Spencer, 1901, 7 wks; Byron Harlan with Frank Stanley, Joe Belmont, & Florodora Girls, 1901, 3 wks)
  126. Stein Song (University of Maine) (BB: Rudy Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees, 1930)
  127. Till the End of Time (BB: Perry Como, 1945)
  128. Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy) (BB: Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra with Bob Eberly & Helen O’Connell, 1941)
  129. Rum and Coca-Cola (BB: The Andrews Sisters, 1945)
  130. Kiss from a Rose (BA: Seal, 1994)

  131. All Alone (BB: Al Jolson, 1925, 5 wks; Paul Whiteman, 1925, 3 wks; John McCormack, 1925, 2 wks)
  132. Ballerina (BB: Vaughn Monroe’s Orchestra, 1947)
  133. Love Me and the World Is Mine (BB: Henry Burr, 1906, 7 wks; Albert Campbell, 1906, 3 wks)
  134. Hello Ma Baby (BB: Len Spencer, 1899, 6 wks; Arthur Collins, 1899, 4 wks)
  135. There! I’ve Said It Again (BB, Vaughn Monroe, 1945, 6 wks; Bobby Vinton, 1963, 4 wks)
  136. Moonlight Cocktail (BB: Glenn Miller Orchestra with Ray Eberle & The Modernaires, 1942)
  137. Singing the Blues (BB: Guy Mitchell, 1956)
  138. Where Is Your Heart (Song from “Moulin Rouge”) (BB: Percy Faith with Felicia Sanders, 1953)
  139. Sincerely (BB: The McGuire Sisters, 1955)
  140. That’s the Way Love Goes (BA: Janet Jackson, 1993)

  141. Now Is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song) (HP: Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers, 1948)
  142. The Laughing Song (BB: George W. Johnson, 1891)
  143. Wheel of Fortune (BB: Kay Starr, 1952)
  144. Lady Marmalade (BB/CB/HR: LaBelle, 1974, 1 wk; RR: Christina Aguilera with Lil’ Kim, Mya, & Pink, 2001, 9 wks)
  145. Hero (BA: Mariah Carey, 1993)
  146. A Tree in the Meadow (HP: Margaret Whiting, 1948)
  147. Hey There (HP: Rosemary Clooney, 1954)
  148. A Hot Time in the Old Town (BB: Dan Quinn, 1896, 7 wks; Len Spencer, 1897, 3 wks)
  149. Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (BB: Perez “Prez” Prado, 1955)
  150. My Old New Hampshire Home (BB: George J. Gaskin, 1898)

  151. Foolish (BB: Ashanti with Ja Rule, 2002)
  152. Lollipop (BA: Lil Wayne with Static Major, 2008)
  153. If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake (BB: Eileen Barton, 1950)
  154. Bye Bye Bye (RR: N Sync, 2000)
  155. Maria Maria (BB: Santana with the Product G&B, 2000)
  156. I Went to Your Wedding (BB: Patti Page, 1952)
  157. I Hear a Rhapsody (HP: Jimmy Dorsey, 1941)
  158. If (They Made Me a King) (HP: Perry Como, 1951)
  159. In My Feelings (BB: Drake, 2018)
  160. Someday (BA: Mariah Carey, 1990)
  161. U Got It Bad (BA: Usher, 2001)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

8/3/2019: “Old Town Road” becomes biggest #1 in Hot 100 History

First posted 7/6/2019; updated 8/19/2019.

Old Town Road

Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus

Writer(s): Montero Hill/Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross/Kowa Roukema (see lyrics here)


Released: 12/3/2018


First Charted: 5/4/2019


Peak: 119 US, 16 A40, 19 CW, 118 RB, 12 UK, 118 CN, 113 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: 3.0 US, 0.6 UK, 4.46 world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: --


Video Airplay *: 741.88


Streaming *: 1137.00


* in millions

Review:

At 19 years old, Montero Lamar Hill (professionally known as Lil Nas X) released his debut single, “Old Town Road.” On August 3, 2019, it spent its 17th week atop the Billboard Hot 100 making it the biggest #1 in the chart’s history. The song’s U.S. chart run has been marked by eight weeks in which it accumulated twice as many chart points as the runner-up song, a feat last accomplished by Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in 1992-93. WK

Hill initially wrote the song out of frustration at being discouraged by his parents and sister. After writing it, he spun the meaning so that “old town road” was a symbol of success. WK YoungKio, a Dutch record producer, produced the beat a year before the song’s release by sampling Nine Inch Nails’ “34 Ghosts IV.” Hill bought the beat for $30. WK

He released it independently and after creating memes to promote the song, it was picked up by users on TikTok, a social video sharing app. The song got picked up on radio when the daughters of two different program directors – DJ Riddler in Houston and Indianapolis and Joe Mack in Memphis – showed their dads the TikTok memes. RS The song grew so quickly in popularity that radio stations had to download the audio from YouTube. WK The song had the rare distinction of debuting simultaneously on the Hot 100 and Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop and country charts in March 2019. However, after its #19 debut on the latter, Billboard magazine disqualified the song, saying it didn’t fit the definition of the genre. WK The move sparked controversy as some, such as music critic Robert Christgau said, “Taking ‘Old Town Road’ off the country chart strikes me as racist pure and simple.” When asked if he consider it a country song, Lil Nas X said, “the song is country trap. It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both.” WK

Hill was signed to Columbia Records on March 22, 2019 and then they distributed the single. WK The song hit #1 the week ending April 4, 2019. At one minute and fifty-three seconds, it was the fifth shortest single in the history of the Hot 100 to reach #1 and the shortest since 1965 when Herman’s Hermits topped the charts with “I’m Henry VIII, I Am.” WK

In the wake of the controversy about whether or not the song was country, a remix was released featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, best known for the 1992 country hit “Achy Breaky Heart.” That resulted in 143 million streams in a week, breaking the previous record of 116.2 million streams by Drake’s “In My Feelings.” WK The song exceeded 100 million streams in each of the next eight weeks, landing 9 of the 11 highest streaming weeks in the history of digital music. WK Another remix featuring Cyrus and Diplo was released on April 29. WK Various versions of the song topped the charts in more than a dozen countries. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

Awards: