Monday, April 19, 2021

Big Band: Top 100 Songs

Big Band:

Top 100 Songs

Big Band, or Swing music, was especially popular in the 1930s and ‘40s. They were generally jazz-oriented orchestras led by such dominant names as Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller. In fact, more than 20 of these songs also appear on the DMDB’s Top 100 Jazz Songs list.

This list was created by aggregating 21 lists focused on big band songs.

Click here to see other genre-specific song lists.

1. Duke Ellington “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941)
2. Benny Goodman “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” (1938)
3. Glenn Miller “In the Mood” (1939)
4. Glenn Miller “A String of Pearls” (1942)
5. Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Four Modernaires “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (1941)
6. Artie Shaw “Begin the Beguine” (1938)
7. Artie Shaw “Stardust” (1941)
8. Glenn Miller “Tuxedo Junction” (1940)
9. The Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen’s Orchestra “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (1941)
10. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra “I’ll Never Smile Again” (1940)

11. Glenn Miller “Moonlight Serenade” (1939)
12. Fats Waller “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (1929)
13. Benny Goodman “Stompin’ at the Savoy” (1936)
14. Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly “Tangerine” (1942)
15. Tommy Dorsey “Opus One” (1945)
16. Les Brown’s Orchestra with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey” (1945)
17. Count Basie “One O’Clock Jump” (1937)
18. Woody Herman “At the Woodchoppers’ Ball” (1939)
19. Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (1930)
20. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1959)

21. Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra “I’ll Be Seeing You” (1944)
22. Duke Ellington with Ivie Anderson “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” (1932)
23. Rosemary Clooney “Tenderly” (1952)
24. Cab Calloway “Minnie the Moocher (The Ho Do Ho Song)” (1931)
25. Duke Ellington “Perdido” (1942)
26. Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra “Night and Day” (1932)
27. Coleman Hawkins “Body and Soul” (1940)
28. Glenn Miller “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (1940)
29. Billie Holiday with Camarata’s Orchestra “Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)” (1945)
30. Woody Herman “Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)” (1941)

31. Tommy Dorsey “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (1936)
32. Glen Gray “Sunrise Serenade” (1939)
33. Charlie Barnet “Skyliner” (1944)
34. Lionel Hampton “Flying Home” (1940)
35. Benny Goodman “Moonglow” (1934)
36. Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly & Helen O’Connell “Green Eyes (Aquellos Ojos Verdes)” (1941)
37. Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & Marion Hutton “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” (1942)
38. Charlie Barnet “Cherokee (Indian Love Song)” (1939)
39. Duke Ellington “Caravan” (1937)
40. Harry James “You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)” (1941)

41. Bing Crosby “White Christmas” (1942)
42. Judy Garland “Over the Rainbow” (1939)
43. Billie Holiday “Summertime” (1936)
44. The Andrews Sisters “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen (Means That You're Grand)” (1938)
45. Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” (1938)
46. Bunny Berigan “I Can’t Get Started” (1938)
47. Marion Harris “The Man I Love” (1928)
48. Paul Whiteman “Oh, Lady Be Good” (1925)
49. Duke Ellington “Mood Indigo“ (1931)
50. Count Basie “April in Paris” (1956)

51. Billie Holiday “God Bless the Child” (1941)
52. Cab Calloway “Hep! Hep! The Jumpin’ Jive” (1939)
53. Harry James with Frank Sinatra “All or Nothing at All” (1939)
54. Walter Huston “September Song” (1939)
55. Duke Ellington “Satin Doll” (1953)
56. Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (1943)
57. Glenn Miller with Marion Hutton, Tex Beneke, & the Modernaires “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else But Me” (1942)
58. Tommy Dorsey with the Pied Pipers “Let’s Get Away from It All” (1941)
59. Duke Ellington “Solitude” (1934)
60. Paul Whiteman “Song of India” (1921)

61. Benny Goodman “Don’t Be That Way” (1938)
62. Count Basie “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” (1938)
63. Tommy Dorsey with Jo Stafford & Sy Oliver “Yes Indeed!” (1941)
64. Teddy Wilson “Sweet Lorraine” (1935)
65. Johnny Mercer with Jo Stafford & the Pied Pipers “Candy” (1945)
66. Glenn Miller “Skylark” (1942)
67. Ethel Waters “Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time)” (1933)
68. Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard “All the Things You Are” (1939)
69. The Andrews Sisters “Rum and Coca-Cola” (1945)
70. Larry Clinton with Bea Wain “Deep Purple” (1939)

71. Artie Shaw “Frenesi” (1940)
72. Jelly Roll Morton “King Porter Stomp” (1923)
73. Dick Haymes with Victor Young’s Orchestra “It Might As Well Be Spring” (1945)
74. Nat “King” Cole with Frank DeVol’s Orchestra “Nature Boy” (1948)
75. Hal Kemp with Bob Allen “Where or When” (1937)
76. Ella Fitzgerald & the Delta Rhythm Boys “It’s Only a Paper Moon” (1945)
77. Roger Wolfe Kahn “Sometimes I’m Happy” (1927)
78. Dooley Wilson “As Time Goes By” (1942)
79. Nat “King” Cole “Straighten Up and Fly Right” (1944)
80. Artie Shaw “Dancing in the Dark” (1941)

81. Nat “King” Cole “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” (1946)
82. Johnny Mercer & the Pied Pipers “On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe” (1945)
83. Judy Garland with Georgie Stoll’s Orchestra “The Trolley Song” (1944)
84. Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard “Marie” (1937)
85. Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle “Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread” (1940)
86. Benny Goodman with Martha Tilton “And the Angels Sing” (1939)
87. Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra “Cheek to Cheek” (1935)
88. Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields “I’m in the Mood for Love” (1935)
89. Earl Burtnett with Harry Richman “Puttin’ on the Ritz” (1930)
90. Paul Whitman with George Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924)

91. Kate Smith “The Last Time I Saw Paris” (1940)
92. Duke Ellington “Sophisticated Lady” (1933)
93. Perry Como with Russel Case’s Orchestra “If I Loved You” (1945)
94. The Ink Spots “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (1943)
95. Horace Heidt with Larry Cotton, Donna Wood, & Don Juans “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire’ (1941)
96. Harry James with Helen Forrest “I’ve Heard That Song Before” (1943)
97. Benny Goodman with Helen Forrest “Taking a Chance on Love” (1940)
98. Louis Jordan “Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie” (1946)
99. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra “Oh, Look at Me Now” (1941)
100. Nat “King” Cole “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (1946)


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First posted 4/18/2021; last updated 4/19/2021.