Most-Recorded Songs, 1890-1954:
Top 100 Songs
This list comes from Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954. As it says in the book, “During the pre-rock era, one of the most important indicators of a song’s enduring musical greatness was the number of artists to record it. This list represents the most comprehensive survey ever made of the pre-1955 songs which have been recorded by the most artists (multiple versions by an artist do not count). It encompasses: Edison and Columbia cylinders; all 78s in the extensive collections of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Syracuse, Stanford and Yale Uniiversity Libraries; and all new Recordaid listings from the 1950s to the present. Songs written before 1955 but most popular later, such as ‘Misty’ and ‘Autumn Leaves,’ are not included. The year published and the songwriters are shown after the title.”
Note: click here to see other genre-specific song lists.
1. “Silent Night” (1818) by Joseph Muhr and Franz Gruber
11. “Begin the Beguine” (1935) by Cole Porter
21. “What Is This Thing Called Love?” (1930) by Cole Porter
31. “Always” (1925) by Irving Berlin
41. “My Funny Valentine” (1937) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
51. “Where or When” (1937) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
61. “Sweet Sue, Just You” (1928) by Victor Young and Will Harris
71. “Avalon” (1921) by B.G. DeSylva, Vincent Rose, and Al Jolson
81. “I’ll Remember April” (1942) by Don Raye, Gene DePaul, and Patricia Johnston
91. “Indiana” (1917) by James Hanley and Ballad MacDonald
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First posted 1/24/2020; last updated 4/13/2021.