This page lists the top songs of 1942 in the source charts. The way that the various charts are combined to reach this final list is described on the in the site generation page. There is also a set of monthly tables showing the various number ones on any date during 1942.
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.
At this point the number of input chart entries hit its lowest point in the period 1927-2007. This was not just because of the war, but also because of the musician's strike in the US.
Previous Comments (newest first)
6 Apr 2018
Sounds like 'Darling, Je Vous A'ime Beaucoup' which became associated with Hildegarde - your female singer. Biggest selling version was by Nat 'King'Cole (1955).
3 Feb 2018
looking for a+ somg +, might +be +French , female +singer +, and it starts +with Darling +the +next +words are in +French
10 May 2017
Keep the lights burning bright in the harbour
29 Feb 2016
Looking for a song, I think from the 40's) saying either I am here or I'll be there and also a line about until the moon does something?
3 Feb 2016
#94 - Ambrose & His Orchestra - Rose O'Day
This should be added to 'Bert Ambrose & His Orchestra' page (currently Song Artist #138).
Data fixed, thanks
3 Feb 2016
#91 - Allan Jones - Intermezzo
To tie in with the other recordings of this song, I feel the title should bechanged to 'Intermezzo (Souvenir De Vienne)'.
Data fixed, thanks
24 Jan 2016
#43 - Bert Ambrose & Orch.
To tie in with the other recordings of this song, I feel the title should bechanged to '(I Got Spurs That) Jingle Jangle Jingle'.
Data fixed, thanks
22 Sep 2015
cd,s of songs in 1942 Albums
14 May 2014
There was a song that goes: May the good Lord bless and keep you +wether near or far away, may your days be filled with gladness.....
28 Mar 2013
Wasn"t there a number 1 song entilded "I MET HER ON MONDAY" ??? Ron
According to our sources Horace Heidt released the song "I Met Her On Monday" in 1942 but it wasn't a hit.
That line has also been used in many other hits, for example The Crystals "Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)", Craig David "7 Days" and Spinal Tap "Big Bottom".
28 Mar 2013
# 8 Sleepy Lagoon
This is the same as # 63 in 1941. It was issued as Columbia 36549.
You are correct the data has been fixed thanks for the input
13 Jan 2013
#50 & 75
These are almost certainly the same recording issued on Capitol 116. I have found no evidence that Holiday recorded it separately as a solo. The recording she made with Whiteman is the only one that shows up in any discography I have ever seen.
We think you are right, the data has been fixed, thanks for the correction
3 Nov 2012
My mother in law's favourite song
She remembers, "I'd like to give that hand a plain gold band, 'cos I'm really and truly in love, " A male vocalist, with a band, probably 1942-44.
9 Aug 2012
I was born in 1942, my father was a "song plugger" in those days that's what you called A&R and he would go around to gigs offering up songs from Gershwin to Arlen from Sinatra to Dinah Shore.
My cousins, Harry and Charlie Tobias are in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and one of my dad's big hits was a silly nonsense ditty Hut-Sut Rawlston Rillerah written by Leo V. Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens in 1941, recorded by the Freddy Martin, Spike Jones, and Mel Torme.
It had nothing to do with Ralston Purina Chex cereal!!!
27 May 2012
The Song List
I only found your web page today and I am thrilled. When I was growing up my father was in constrution work, and, we traveled from one job to another.(1938-1948) In those days few cars had radios, so, we would sing as we traveled from place to place. I am 74 years old now, and, I still find myself singing the bits and pieces of the songs we sang back then.
Sure woud like to have a copy of the lyrics to some of them. Where should I go?
Thanks for all your work.
We are glad the site was of some service to you. As you will have seen we are not a lyric site.
There are many lyric sites on the web, unfortunately they mostly have a lot of adverts. We would tend to go to LyricWiki (http://lyrics.wikia.com/) or A-Z Lyrics (http://www.azlyrics.com/)
4 Apr 2012
the best years of my life.
I am 88years of age and recall all of the songs that i have seen on this page. i would enjoy to have every one of the most beautiful music of this era. The young people of today are really missing out if they don't try and listen to words and melody.
Its all so meaningful
31 Dec 2011
# 37 Why Don't You Do Right?
This was also a # 4 US Billboard Hit.
The song was listed under Peggy Lee (who sang it). The data has been made consistent, thanks.
5 Sep 2011
19 & 67 Somebody Else is Taking My Place
These two entries are the same recording - Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee doing the vocal. It charted at # 1 in 1942 then was reissued in 1948 and charted at # 30.
For a confirmation of these two listings being the same recording see The Big Band Discography 1917-1942 by Brian Rust. He only lists recordings made up until the Musician's Union strike in 1942, but lists all known reissues of each recording as of the date of his research. Pop Memories 1890-1954 by Joel Whitburn also states that the Columbia is a re-issue of the Okeh recording.
You are clearly correct. We would normally list this under Peggy Lee, however the reissue in 1948 makes it more complex, we'd like to note the reissue in some way (rather than adding its weeks on to the 1942 release).
So we think the best course is to change the 1942 entries to Peggy Lee and the 1948 ones to Benny Goodman and make sure this note is posted on both artist's pages so interested users can see what we've done.
An interesting case, thanks for bringing it to our attention.
6 Aug 2011
1942 first class all the way through
5 Jul 2011
#19 and #67 Are probably the same song. Peggy Lee sang vocal on Benny Goodman's 1942 "Somebody Else is Taking My Place" if my memory serves me.
In the Bullfrog list there are two separate songs (with Prefx numbers of 1948_211 and 1942_033) one has a label of "Okeh 6497" the other has "Columbia 38198". We suspect that your suggestion that Peggy Lee sang vocals on both is correct (the 1948 release explicitly mentions her but, in the Bullfrog list the 1942 version only has "Benny Goodman & His Orchestra" listed).
As you know the informal Billboard charts before 1958 often listed songs without crediting artists (because the focus was Sheet music sales rather than records) or they list band leaders without vocalists or vocalists without band leaders. This has led to a number of confusing situations where the same song is credited to different combinations in different charts. Unfortunately every way to fix this challenge causes some other issues, we try and keep as close to the true history as possible while being as consistent as we can be in our approach. We've added a note to Benny Goodman's and Peggy Lee's page to mention this, however after reviewing the original Bullfrog list we decided that the best option is to leave the data as it is.
Despite the fact that on this occasion we're not going to make the alteration you suggest we would like to thank you for your input. It is the vigilance of users like you that helps improve the quality of data on this site.
30 Dec 2010
This is great!
What an amazing way to bring back all my old memories. I still have my records.
20 Dec 2010
Thanks, but Woody Herman got shorted.
I just discovered your site and am sure I will benefit from it often in the future. However, I notice that for Woody Herman, you list only "Blues in the Night." Woody had a number of other chart hits, including especially "Woodchoppers Ball" and "Laura." "Laura" sold a million for sure and I think "Woodchoppers Ball" did also.
Regards, William L Rupp, Fallbrook, California
Woody Herman has his own page (you can get to it by clicking on his name, via the "Song Artists" list, the alphabetical list of artists or the site index). It lists more than 70 of his hits (including all three you mention).
We notice that we have have entries for both "At the Woodchopper's Ball" and "Woodchopper's ball" which we'll obviously fix in the future.
23 Nov 2010
i guess i'll be on my way
who sang this song in the mid-fifties?
The song "I Guess I'll be On My Way" was a hit for Woody Herman in 1942. No one else had a hit with that exact title in any of the charts we have.
The closest songs we have are "Dream Along With Me (I'm On My Way To a Star)" by Perry Como which was a hit in 1956, "I'm On My Way" by the Highwaymen in 1962 and "I'll Be on My Way" by Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas in 1963.
It is likely that someone covered the Woody Herman song in the 50s but didn't have a hit with it.
2 Sep 2010
the song list
There were some great songs written and recorded in 1942 I maybe only 54 but I remember hearing them throughout my life. But the song for me which I remember very very well is "White Christmas" which is like a national anthem or should I say is the national anthem for Christmas but like I said early on 1942 saw some classic songs and they will never die.