Between 1920 and 1940 there are few available charts (at least that we can find). These results should be treated with some caution since, with few exceptions, they are based on fairly subjective charts and biased towards the USA.
Previous Comments (newest first)
29 Aug 2018
Hymn to the Sun
On the internet it is stated that it was released in 1918. Did it take twoyears to chart? I bet there is something wrong with the release date anyway, since May 1918 is listed as both recording and release date, which is impossible.
We only list when it charted
14 Jul 2017
Where do the flies go?
#22 should be Walter Williams rather than Waller, and the title should refer to wintertime, not summer time.
Thanks for this great site.
The original source had this name and title. Your suggestion makes more sense so we've made the change, thanks
21 Apr 2016
im looking for a song about dreams. i need it for a paer im am writing for school. two of them would be nice
Type "Dreams" into the search box, or try looking up "Dream" in the index pages?
Or download the data file and search it?
28 Jan 2016
I know you have been asked this before but ... Isn't there any way you wouldconsider expanding your Yearly Lists of Songs? For example 1920 - 1939 from 50 or 60 to 80. From 1940 - 1949 from 80 to 100. It seems like a lot of important recordings from Europe, UK & Brazil have dropped off these lists over the last few months. I know you have those expanded Excel files but it's not the same as seeing them chronologically. Please!!!
We have always been wary of making the earlier years too long, if you want longer lists it is easy for us to change the limits. Of course the significance of songs lower down the list is questionable (since they normally come from just a single chart) but given that you are aware of that we will expand the lists.
We've changed the limits to the top 75 songs before 1920 and top 100 after that.
10 Jan 2016
Double Listing - Black Bottom
#18 - The Kentucky Serenaders & #50 - Johnny Hamp should be combined. Per Joel Whitburn & John Peel this group was originally called Johnny Hamp & The Kentucky Serenaders.
We've assigned all songs credited to either Johnny Hamp or the Kentucky Serenaders to "Johnny Hamp & The Kentucky Serenaders". We realise this is not quite correct but it should help when searchng for related songs
21 Aug 2014
Am I Blue
what year was this written? Do you haave the words?
30 Apr 2014
I need more
Hi, i'm doing a project for school on songs from the 1920s and need some help I listened to all of these and I need something with more jazz can you help me please!
You could look at the listings for individual years as well, that would give you more candidates
16 Nov 2013
song of the bells
A lady i know is just turning 102 next week, she sang me this song but acouldn't make out the words, can you help? Please
10 Sep 2013
+looking for song
Hi, I am looking for a song; lyrics WALKIN MY BABY BACK HOME
18 Jun 2013
There are also similar issues to Paul whiteman's ranking on this page compared to the actual year pages.like 1920 and 1933 for example
Yes. Different versions of the input data and a range of ways of calculating.
We see this as a strength (getting a range of different views)
21 Mar 2013
# 15 Black Bottom
This is a different band than the one listed as # 23 in 1920. That band was led by Bill Pike.
The entries are grouped by name, the fact that there are two distinct groups with the same name is impossible to determine from the data. Just like the fact that we list all hits by Tommy Dorsey together despite the fact that this name was shared by two different people.
Thanks for the clarification
13 Jan 2013
More informnation on # 17
OK 4113 was recorded in on Feb. 14, 1920 as master #7276-D. It did not chart. OK 4305 was recorded on Feb. 22, 1921 as master #7793-B. It first made the charts on Jul. 9, 1921 and topped out at # 4. It is credited as Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds and has no vocal.
Thanks for the info. As it mentions in the FAQs we consolidate some names between charts and between tracks to make it easier to see connections.
30 Sep 2012
Good day, My father is having his 90th birthday on November 12th, and I was hoping to download the # 1 song for the week of November 12th for each decade beginning with 1922. Is there a way on your site to do such a thing?
I appreciate your help in this matter, Regards, Marc
Before 1940 there was no reliable charts to be number one in. From that date forward you can use the "Number One" page to find the right songs.
If you just want the US number ones then you might find that the Wikipedia page that we use as a source is better suited to your purpose
22 May 2012
# 17 You Can't Keep a Good Man Down
Mamie Smith recorded this song twice. The 1920 recording OKay 4113 is a vocal by Mamie. The 1921 recording OKay 4305 is an instrumental by her Jazz Hounds and is the recording that charted. If this is the recording you are targeting, it should properly belong in the 1921 listing.
We suspect you are correct, however the RYM listing has Mamie Smith as the artist for the 1920 hit (probably wrongly as you say). The year a song is assigned to is the median of all the years of charts it shows up in, the median of 1920 & 1921 is 1920, that is why it is listed here.
This is one of those cases where the data looks wrong but we feel the case is (as they say in Scotland) "unproven". So we are going to add a note (this one) but leave the data as it was originally found.
15 Aug 2011
My Parents Song
I have no idea what year this song was released, and the only lines of the lyrics I remember are: "Your teeth are yellow who's your fellow your some ugly child"
Hope someone can help !!
29 May 2011
Error Found - Marion Harris
You have an incorrect song title listed for Marion Harris.
Your database listing: "Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad)" - 1920 US Billboard 4 - Dec 1920 (6 weeks), RYM 31 of 1920 - this This song was recorded and attributed to the Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) Broadway Rose/Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad)/Strut, Miss Lizzie, 1920, Victor 18722 See Wikipedia, Original Dixieland Jass Band
The Correct Song title for the Marion Harris Song is "Sweet Papa, Your Mama's Getting Mad." She evidently recorded this Rose/Little/ Frost song on 8-31-1920 in New York, NY on for Columbia A3300.
I don't know if your US Billboard information is attributable to the ODJB band or to Marion Harris. I didn't research it any further.
The song is listed under the Original Dixieland Jass Band as well as Marion Harris' version.
Both the original source for the Billboard data (the Bullfrog spreadsheet) and the current RYM web site list Columbia A3300 as "Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad)". By seraching for "Columbia A3300" on Google we found a 78 for sale on eBay which has a picture of the label from Columbia A3300 which clearly shows the title as "Sweet Mamma (Papa's Getting Mad)" (we ignore the extra 'M' of course).
So we think your information is wrong, Marion Harris may well have recorded a song called "Sweet Papa, Your Mama's Getting Mad" but we think that is not "Columbia A3300" and it is not the song that reached number 4 in the Billboard charts.
23 Apr 2011
I am looking for a song and the only words I know from it are 'since mother got a facelift'. I am presuming it is a 1920's song as the music is reminiscent of Charleston/ Black bottom type of tempo.
I wonder if you can identify this song with so little to go on?
Thanks for your help!
It was not a hit anywhere we can find
5 Apr 2011
missing Page yr1920.htm
Hi: I've tried to read yr1920.htm and can't find it.
Very good site -- Thanks.
We've checked the file "/music/yr1920.htm" and it looks OK to us.