Saturday, July 28, 2018

Top 100 Songs from 1940-1949

First posted on DMDB Facebook page on 4/4/2012, updated 7/28/2018.

These are the top 100 songs from 1940-1949 according to Dave’s Music Database. Note: during this era, songs were recorded often by multiple artists. Only the top-ranked version is listed here.

When a title was recognized as the Song of the Year, it is noted with a code following the song. A key to the codes is at the bottom of the page.

1. White Christmas...Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers (1942) AG, DM, PCM, SS, TS, JW
2. Stardust...Artie Shaw (1941) DM, HP, PCM
3. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer...Gene Autry (1949) DM
4. As Time Goes By…Dooley Wilson (1942) DM, SS
5. Sentimental Journey...Les Brown with Doris Day (1945) DM, EG, PCM, SS
6. Body and Soul...Coleman Hawkins (1940) SS
7. Paper Doll...The Mills Brothers (1943) EG, TS
8. Peg O’ My Heart...The Harmonicats (1947) DM, EG
9. When You Wish Upon a Star...Cliff Edwards (1940) HP
10. Chattanooga Choo Choo...Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Four Modernaires (1941) AG, TS

11. I’ll Never Smile Again...Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers (1940) DM
12. Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)...Vaughn Monroe (1949) AG, VF, PCM, TS, JW
13. Near You...Francis Craig with Bob Lamm (1947) VF, JW
14. I’ll Be Seeing You...Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra (1944) DM
15. Buttons and Bows...Dinah Shore and Her Harper Valley Boys (1948) AG, DM, VF, JW
16. The Christmas Song...Nat “King” Cole (1946) DM, PCM, SS
17. Swinging on a Star...Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra & the Williams Brothers Quartet (1944) TS, JW
18. Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)...Woody Herman (1941)
19. Some Enchanted Evening...Perry Como (1949) EG
20. For Me and My Gal…Judy Garland & Gene Kelly (1942)

21. Take the “A” Train...Duke Ellington (1941) SS
22. Frenesi...Artie Shaw (1940)
23. I’ve Heard That Song Before...Harry James with Helen Forrest (1943) AG, JW
24. The Gypsy...The Ink Spots (1946) EG, VF, JW
25. This Land Is Your Land...Woody Guthrie (1944) SS
26. Don’t Fence Me In...Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters (1944) AG
27. Ac-Cent-Tchu-ate the Positive...Johnny Mercer with the Pied Pipers (1945)
28. Twelfth Street Rag...Pee Wee Hunt (1948) TS
29. Nature Boy...Nat “King” Cole with Frank DeVol (1948)
30. That Old Black Magic...Glenn Miller with Skip Nelson (1943)

31. Till the End of Time...Perry Como (1945) AG
32. You’ll Never Know...Dick Haymes with the Song Spinners (1943)
33. Ballerina...Vaughn Monroe (1947) TS
34. Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)...Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly & Helen O’Connell (1941) JW
35. Rum and Coca-Cola...The Andrews Sisters (1945) VF, TS, JW
36. Heartaches...Ted Weems with Elmo Tanner (1947)
37. Cruising Down the River...Blue Barron & His Orchestra (1949)
38. Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much)...Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen (1944)
39. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry...Hank Williams (1949) RS, SS
40. People Will Say We’re In Love...Bing Crosby with Trudy Erwin (1943)

41. It Might As Well Be Spring...Dick Haymes (1945)
42. Pistol Packin’ Mama...Al Dexter (1943) VF
43. If I Loved You…Perry Como (1945)
44. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!...Vaughn Monroe (1945)
45. There! I’ve Said It Again...Vaughn Monroe (1945)
46. On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe...Johnny Mercer with the Pied Pipers (1945) HP
47. Laura...Woody Herman (1945)
48. Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread…Glenn Miller (1940)
49. Moonlight Cocktail...Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle & The Modernaires (1942) VF
50. I’ll Get By As Long As I Have You...Harry James with Dick Haymes (1944)

51. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy...The Andrews Sisters (1941)
52. Long Ago and Far Away...Helen Forrest with Dick Haymes (1944)
53. God Bless the Child...Billie Holiday (1941)
54. That Lucky Old Sun...Frankie Laine with Judd Conlon’s Rhythmaires, Harry Geller’s Orchestra, & Carl Fischer Orchestra (1949)
55. The Trolley Song...Judy Garland (1944) HP
56. Sunday, Monday or Always...Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers (1943)
57. Tuxedo Junction...Glenn Miller (1940) VF
58. Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else But Me...Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Modernaires (1942) HP
59. Jingle, Jangle, Jingle...Kay Kyser with Harry Babbitt & Julie Conway (1942)
60. Round Midnight...Thelonious Monk (1944)

61. Taking a Chance on Love…Benny Goodman with Helen Forrest (1940)
62. Manana Is Soon Enough for Me...Peggy Lee (1948)
63. I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover...Art Mooney (1948) PCM
64. There Are Such Things...Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers (1942)
65. My Funny Valentine…Hal McIntyre with Ruth Gaylor (1945)
66. Tangerine…Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra with Bob Eberly & Helen O’Connell (1942)
67. Dream (When You’re Feeling Blue)...The Pied Pipers with Paul Weston (1945)
68. Move on Up a Little Higher...Mahalia Jackson (1948)
69. I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo...Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & Marion Hutton (1942)
70. Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’…Bing Crosby with Trudy Erwin & the Sportsment Glee Club (1943)

71. To Each His Own...Eddy Howard (1946)
72. It’s Been a Long, Long Time...Bing Crosby with the Les Brown Trio (1945)
73. On a Slow Boat to China…Kay Kyser with Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood (1948)
74. Lovesick Blues...Hank Williams (1949)
75. A String of Pearls...Glenn Miller (1942)
76. I’ll Be Home for Christmas…Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra (1943)
77. Baby, It’s Cold Outside…Johnny Mercer with Margaret Whiting (1949)
78. Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition ...Kay Kyser with Glee Club (1942)
79. I Had the Craziest Dream…Harry James with Helen Forrest (1943)
80. Shoo-Shoo Baby…The Andrews Sisters (1943)

81. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm…Les Brown (1948)
82. I Love You for Sentimental Reasons...The Nat “King” Cole Trio (1946) AG
83. You’re Breaking My Heart...Vic Damone (1949)
84. One for My Baby and One More for the Road…Frank Sinatra (1949)
85. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town…Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters (1947)
86. Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! That Cigarette...Tex Williams (1947) VF
87. Now Is the Hour (Māori Farewell Song)…Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers (1948)
88. Imagination…Glenn Miller (1940)
89. Because…Perry Como (1948)
90. You Are My Sunshine...Jimmie Davis (1940)

91. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To…Dinah Shore (1943)
92. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore…The Ink Spots (1943)
93. Daddy…Sammy Kaye (1941)
94. Dancing in the Dark...Artie Shaw (1941)
95. Boogie Chillen…John Lee Hooker (1949)
96. I’ll Walk Alone...Dinah Shore (1944) EG
97. It’s Magic...Doris Day (1948) HP
98. I’m Beginning to See the Light…Harry James with Kitty Kallen (1945)
99. There’ll Be Some Changes Made…Benny Goodman with Louise Tobim (1941)
100. Mule Train…Frankie Laine & the Muleskinners (1949) HP

Songs Which Won Year-End Awards But Didn’t Make the Top 100:
  • Call It Stormy Monday…T-Bone Walker (1948) SS
  • Maria Elena...Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly (1941) EG
  • My Happiness…Jon & Sandra Steele (1948) EG
  • La Bamba…Andres Huesca con Junto (1947) SS
  • Oklahoma!...Alfred Drake with the Oklahoma Cast (1943) PCM
  • Open the Door, Richard…Count Basie with Harry Edison & Bill Johnson (1947) HP
  • Personality…Johnny Mercer (1946) TS
  • Sioux City Sue…Bing Crosby with the Jesters (1946) HP
  • Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)…Bing Crosby (1944) PCM
  • When the Lights Go on Again All Over the World…Vaughn Monroe (1942) EG
  • When You Wish Upon a Star…Glenn Miller (1940) PCM
  • You Always Hurt the One You Love…The Mills Brothers (1944) VF
  • Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart…Judy Garland (1943) HP
  • Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah…James Baskett (1946) AG

Key to the Codes: Click here for a full list of all year-end song awards.


  1. Hi. Thanks for this list. What would be the easiest way to buy say the top 50 songs from the 40's? I need them for my mom. She was born in 1925 and has Alzheimers and I'm hoping to help....


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