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.
During this era music was dominated by a number of "Big Bands" and songs could be attributed to the band leader, the band name, the lead singer or a combination of the them. It is common, for example, to see the same song listed with three different artists. And, just to stop us from getting bored, the success of a song was tied to the sales of sheet music, so a popular song would often be perfomed by many different combinations of singers and bands and the contemporary charts would list the song, without clarifying whose version was the major hit. Where we have found such issues we have attempted to consolidate the entries using the most widely accepted value for the artist in each case.
Previous Comments (newest first)
9 Aug 2018
#54 - Blue Moon - Al Bowlly & Ray Noble Orch.
This should also be added to Ray Noble 'Song Artist' page (currently #295).
7 Mar 2018
Music list for Friday
2 Sep 2017
#98 Western Brothers - Corection
Please disregard the first email. I did a little more research and Western Brothers is correct.
2 Sep 2017
#98 Western Brothers
The name of this group is correctly the Wesson Brothers.
14 Apr 2017
An Overlooked Source for 1900-1949
Added to your sources should be the reference book: "Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century" by Edward Foote Gardner. +It contains actual monthly and semi-monthly charts for the entire period 1900-1949. +Unlike Whitburn, it takes into account sheet music sales and vaudeville performances (early on). +There is no way on earth to know exactly what chart positions various recordings would have had. +Thus, according to historian Tim Brooks on Whitburn: "This is a "dangerous book." +Gardner, on the other hand, focused on songs, not the recordings, because there were a lot more data available for songs than there were for recordings, as you will see in his preface and bibliography. +That brings Gardner's work closer to the truth than any other reference in existence. +You quote Whitburn as being "Billboard" but Billboard had no charts until July 1940.
Edward Foote Gardner Author "Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century, Vol. 1", Paragon House, 2000
Unfortunately we can't use data in a book, we have to have some kind of digital source. If, for example, they make a listing available as a database or spreadsheet we could use that.
29 Feb 2016
Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops Orch-Jalousie
This recording should be in this Top 100 list. It made the US Billboard charts- #13 - 3 weeks. It was also selected for the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008. It is listed there under 'G' for 'Gade - Jalousie' which is probably why you don't have it listed.
It seems to have been missing, we've added it (but assigned it to "Boston Pops Orchestra" that should sort out the issue.
9 Feb 2016
#92 - Isle Of Capri
Per Joel Whitburn this should be Lew Stone & Orch (rather than Lew Holtz). Vocalist here was Al Bowlly.
You are correct, data fixed, thanks
23 Aug 2015
1935 was a very good year
29 Jun 2015
Popular Songs of 1935
Matilde Albano was born in 1935. Here is the music played in the year of her birth.
22 Aug 2014
If songs of this era charted in part due to sheet music sales, and seeing howHappy Birthday To You was copyrighted in 1935 by Summy Co, then the song probably placed as a sheet music entry and not a popular recording. Just thought I'd share my musings.
That is true, quite a few charts don't list a performer so we've had to try and work out whose version was most popular
15 Aug 2014
El Dia Que Me Quieras (#26) was elected to Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013.
We don't have any of the 2013 entries yet. We'll add them, thanks for the suggestion
10 Jun 2014
Patsy Montana-Duplicate listing
I want to Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart seems to be listed twice ( #17 and #49 ).
You are correct the data has been fixed thanks for the suggestion
7 Feb 2014
+Ozzie Nelson song
I recall an old 78 song called "quicker than you can say jack Robinson"but can find only a vague reference to an Ozzie nelson song in 1935. Where can I hear this tune again?
14 Feb 2013
I935 SONG IN FRENCH WITH A MENTION OF GUADELOUPE, THE STORY OF A LITTLE BLACK BOY...IT STTARTS LIKE THIS: UN SOIR DANS SA SAVANNE, UN TOUT PETIT NEGRO ETC
3 Oct 2012
...old wedding ring
Not a lot of help, but "When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New" was a chart record in 1960 as part of a 6-song medley called "Sing With Bruce Hayes", performed by Mr, Hayes, Mary Mayo, and the Jerry Graff Singers. It peaked at No. 63 in the US publication "Music Vendor", during a 9 week chart run.
6 Sep 2012
Most popular song on 5th Aug.1935
I'm looking to arrange a brass quartet of the most popular song on 5th August 1935 (my friend's birthday)in both the U.S. and U.K. 'charts'. Can you oblige? Thankyou.
Before 1940 the charts are so sparse that selecting a specific date is rather difficult. Picking some entries from this page would be the easiest way to go (most entries have months and durations)
23 Apr 2012
Who was the artist who made the first recording of When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New.
We don't know who did it first but the only person to have a hit with it anywhere was Jimmy Roselli in 1983 (51 in the UK)
19 Jan 2012
#1 song in 1935
What was the #1 song on Dec. 12, 1935?
Before 1940 there were no "Number One" songs
2 Sep 2011
1 Cheek to Cheek
Fred and Ginger did this song together in the movie, but the commercial recording which was a # 1 Billboard Hit is a solo by Fred.
You are correct, most of the charts listed are of the record, which was just Fred. We've decided to change even the Oscar nomination to just Fred (which we realise is technically incorrect) so that all the entries stay together.
Thanks for the correction.
13 Aug 2011
Cheek to Cheek
Thanks again for this great musical reference guide!
Is it possible that the number one song Cheek to Cheek is the same one listedas a grammy nomination version at number 43?
We think you are correct, however we had already fixed the data before we got your message. Thanks for the input
27 May 2011
I'm looking for a song, sung my Gordon McRae, (Just One Girl) can you please help?
We don't have such a song listed, it must not have been a hit.
6 Feb 2011
i love these music from the old days
20 Dec 2010
Very nice and organized. Five stars!!
16 Dec 2010
14 Dec 2010
10 Nov 2010
HELP WITH SONG - 7 Aug 2010
SONG YOU ARE AFTER IS - WHEN YOU'RE OLD WEDDING RING WAS NEW SUNG BY DAVID ALEXANDER - IF YOU WANT A COPY CONTACT ME PLEASE. MITZI - PERTH WEST AUST.
7 Aug 2010
help with song
I'm looking for a record or album to buy.. the name of song is: When your oldring was new. Writen by Charles McCarthy, Bert Douglas & Joe Solieri in 1935 I think. Please help Thanks
We think the full title is actually "When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New". If you search on iTunes or Amazon under that name you will find many examples of the song you can buy.
25 Jun 2010
August 18th 1935 number one songs
I am also looking for the number one songs for every year (75th birthday bash planned) on August 18th, staring 1935 to present.
As we have said many times, number 1 where? According to who?
If you are talking about the US, from 1940 to last year the best place to look would be:
11 May 2010
number 1 hit
I need to find out the number 1 hit for the birthday of my husband which is November 5, 1935
First I am going to assume that you mean the number 1 record in the USA, other countries will be different of course.
Before 1939 there really was no regular charts anywhere, the closest were some occasional charts in the "Billboard" magazine. Our listing of Billboard hits assigns each song a peak position and year but, for 1935 at least, does not tell us which months the song was a hit.
However you may be in luck, the biggest US hit of 1935 was number 1 for 11 weeks and given that "Top Hat", the film it came from, was released during September it is most likely that it was the number 1 for the first week of November.
So we don't know for sure but we suspect that the answer is "Cheek to Cheek" by Fred Astair.