Before the  chart was established in August 1958, which was based on a formula combining sales data of commercially available singles and airplay on American radio stations, the Billboard used to publish several song popularity charts weekly. Throughout most of the 1940s the magazine published the following three charts:

  • Best Selling Singles – ranked the biggest selling singles in retail stores, as reported by merchants surveyed throughout the country.
  • Most Played Juke Box Records (debuted January 1944) – ranked the most played songs in jukeboxes across the United States.
  • Most Played by Jockeys (debuted February 1945) – ranked the most played songs on United States radio stations, as reported by radio disc jockeys and radio stations.

The list below includes the best-selling singles chart only.

Reached
number one
Artist(s) Single Record label Weeks at
number one
Ref
1940
July 27, 1940 Tommy Dorsey “I’ll Never Smile Again”
Victor
12
[1]
October 19, 1940 Bing Crosby “Only Forever”
Decca
9
[1]
December 21, 1940 Artie Shaw “Frenesi”
Victor
12
[1]
1941
March 15, 1941 Glenn Miller “Song of the Volga Boatmen”
Bluebird
1
[1]
March 22, 1941 Artie Shaw “Frenesi”
Victor
1
[1]
March 29, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)”
Decca
10
[1]
June 7, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “My Sister and I”
Decca
1
[1]
June 14, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “Maria Elena”
Decca
1
[1]
June 21, 1941 Sammy Kaye “Daddy”
Victor
1
[1]
June 28, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “My Sister and I”
Decca
1
[1]
July 5, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “Maria Elena”
Decca
1
[1]
July 12, 1941 Sammy Kaye “Daddy”
Victor
7
[1]
August 30, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “Green Eyes (Aquellos Ojos Verdes)”
Decca
4
[1]
September 27, 1941 Jimmy Dorsey “Blue Champagne”
Decca
1
[1]
October 4, 1941 Freddy Martin “Piano Concerto in B Flat”
Bluebird
8
[1]
November 29, 1941 Glenn Miller “Chattanooga Choo Choo”
Bluebird
3
[1]
December 20, 1941 Glenn Miller “Elmer’s Tune”
Bluebird
1
[1]
December 27, 1941 Glenn Miller “Chattanooga Choo Choo”
Bluebird
6
[1]
1942
February 7, 1942 Glenn Miller “A String of Pearls”
Bluebird
1
[1]
February 14, 1942 Woody Herman “Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)”
Decca
1
[1]
February 21, 1942 Glenn Miller “A String of Pearls”
Bluebird
1
[1]
February 28, 1942 Glenn Miller “Moonlight Cocktail”
Bluebird
10
[1]
May 9, 1942 Jimmy Dorsey “Tangerine”
Decca
6
[1]
June 20, 1942 Harry James “Sleepy Lagoon”
Columbia
4
[1]
July 18, 1942 Kay Kyser “Jingle Jangle Jingle”
Columbia
8
[1]
September 12, 1942 Glenn Miller “(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo”
Victor
7
[1]
October 31, 1942 Bing Crosby “White Christmas”
Decca
11
[1]
1943
January 16, 1943 Tommy Dorsey “There Are Such Things”
Victor
4
[1]
February 13, 1943 Harry James “I Had The Craziest Dream”
Columbia
2
[1]
February 27, 1943 Tommy Dorsey “There Are Such Things”
Victor
1
[1]
March 6, 1943 Harry James “I’ve Heard That Song Before”
Columbia
12
[1]
May 29, 1943 Glenn Miller “That Old Black Magic”
Victor
1
[1]
June 5, 1943 Harry James “I’ve Heard That Song Before”
Columbia
1
[1]
June 12, 1943 Benny Goodman “Taking A Chance On Love”
Columbia
3
[1]
July 3, 1943 The Song Spinners “Comin’ In On A Wing And A Prayer”
Decca
3
[1]
July 24, 1943 Dick Haymes “You’ll Never Know”
Decca
4
[1]
August 21, 1943 Tommy Dorsey “In the Blue of Evening”
Victor
3
[1]
September 11, 1943 Bing Crosby “Sunday, Monday Or Always”
Decca
7
[1]
October 30, 1943 Al Dexter “Pistol Packin’ Mama”
Okeh
1
[1]
November 6, 1943 Mills Brothers “Paper Doll”
Decca
12
[1]
1944
January 29, 1944 Glen Gray “My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?)”
Decca
5
[1]
March 4, 1944 Jimmy Dorsey “Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much)”
Decca
7
[1]
April 22, 1944 Guy Lombardo “It’s Love-Love-Love”
Decca
2
[1]
May 6, 1944 Bing Crosby “I Love You”
Decca
5
[1]
June 10, 1944 Harry James “I’ll Get By (As Long as I Have You)”
Columbia
3
[1]
July 1, 1944 Bing Crosby “I’ll Be Seeing You”
Decca
1
[1]
July 8, 1944 Harry James “I’ll Get By (As Long as I Have You)”
Columbia
1
[1]
July 15, 1944 Bing Crosby “I’ll Be Seeing You”
Decca
3
[1]
August 5, 1944 Bing Crosby “Swinging On A Star”
Decca
9
[1]
October 7, 1944 Mills Brothers “You Always Hurt The One You Love”
Decca
1
[1]
October 14, 1944 Dinah Shore “I’ll Walk Alone”
Victor
1
[1]
October 21, 1944 Mills Brothers “You Always Hurt The One You Love”
Decca
2
[1]
November 4, 1944 Dinah Shore “I’ll Walk Alone”
Victor
3
[1]
November 25, 1944 Mills Brothers “You Always Hurt The One You Love”
Decca
2
[1]
December 9, 1944 The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald “I’m Making Believe”
Decca
2
[1]
December 23, 1944 Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters “Don’t Fence Me In”
Decca
8
[1]
1945
February 17, 1945 The Andrews Sisters “Rum and Coca-Cola”
Decca
7
[1]
April 7, 1945 Les Brown & Doris Day “My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time”
Columbia
7
[1]
May 26, 1945 Les Brown & Doris Day “Sentimental Journey”
Columbia
9
[1]
July 28, 1945 Johnny Mercer “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe”
Capitol
7
[1]
September 15, 1945 Perry Como “Till The End Of Time”
Victor
9
[1]
November 17, 1945 Sammy Kaye “Chickery Chick”
Victor
1
[1]
November 24, 1945 Harry James “It’s Been A Long, Long Time”
Columbia
2
[1]
December 8, 1945 Bing Crosby and The Les Paul Trio “It’s Been A Long, Long Time”
Decca
1
[1]
December 15, 1945 Sammy Kaye “Chickery Chick”
Victor
1
[1]
December 22, 1945 Harry James “It’s Been A Long, Long Time”
Columbia
1
[1]
December 29, 1945 Sammy Kaye “Chickery Chick”
Victor
1
[1]
1946
January 5, 1946 Freddy Martin “Symphony”
Victor
2
[1]
January 19, 1946 Bing Crosby and Carmen Cavallaro “I Can’t Begin To Tell You”
Decca
1
[1]
January 26, 1946 Vaughn Monroe “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”
Victor
5
[1]
March 2, 1946 Betty Hutton “Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief”
Capitol
1
[1]
March 9, 1946 Johnny Mercer “Personality”
Capitol
1
[1]
March 16, 1946 Frankie Carle “Oh! What it Seemed to Be”
Columbia
6
[1]
April 27, 1946 Sammy Kaye “I’m A Big Girl Now”
RCA Victor
1
[1]
May 4, 1946 Perry Como “Prisoner of Love”♪
RCA Victor
3
[1]
May 25, 1946 The Ink Spots “The Gypsy”
Decca
10
[1]
August 3, 1946 Perry Como “Surrender”
RCA Victor
1
[1]
August 10, 1946 Eddy Howard “To Each His Own”
Majestic
3
[1]
August 31, 1946 Freddy Martin “To Each His Own”
RCA Victor
2
[1]
September 14, 1946 Frank Sinatra “Five Minutes More”
Columbia
1
[1]
September 21, 1946 The Ink Spots “To Each His Own”
Decca
1
[1]
September 28, 1946 Frank Sinatra “Five Minutes More”
Columbia
1
[1]
October 5, 1946 Eddy Howard “To Each His Own”
Majestic
2
[1]
October 19, 1946 Frankie Carle “Rumors Are Flying”
Columbia
8
[1]
December 14, 1946 Kay Kyser “Ole Buttermilk Sky”
Columbia
2
[1]
December 28, 1946 Sammy Kaye “The Old Lamp-Lighter”
RCA Victor
7
[1]
1947
February 15, 1947 The King Cole Trio “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons”
Capitol
1
[1]
February 22, 1947 Count Basie “Open The Door, Richard!”
RCA Victor
1
[1]
March 1, 1947 Freddy Martin “Managua, Nicaragua”
RCA Victor
2
[1]
March 15, 1947 Ted Weems “Heartaches”
RCA Victor
12
[1]
June 7, 1947 Art Lund “Mam’selle”
MGM
2
[1]
June 21, 1947 The Harmonicats “Peg O’ My Heart”
Vitacoustic
1
[1]
June 28, 1947 Perry Como “Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go to Sleep)”
RCA Victor
3
[1]
July 19, 1947 The Harmonicats “Peg O’ My Heart”
Vitacoustic
3
[1]
August 9, 1947 Tex Williams “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)”
Capitol
6
[1]
September 20, 1947 Francis Craig “Near You”♪
Bullet
12
[1]
December 13, 1947 Vaughn Monroe “Ballerina”
RCA Victor
10
[1]
1948
February 21, 1948 Art Mooney “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover”
MGM
3
[1]
March 13, 1948 Peggy Lee “Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)”
Capitol
9
[1]
May 15, 1948 Nat King Cole “Nature Boy”
Capitol
7
[1]
July 3, 1948 Kay Kyser “Woody Wood-Pecker”
Columbia
6
[1]
August 14, 1948 Al Trace “You Call Everybody Darlin'”
Regent
2
[1]
August 28, 1948 Pee Wee Hunt “Twelfth Street Rag”
Capitol
6
[1]
October 9, 1948 Margaret Whiting “A Tree In The Meadow”
Capitol
2
[1]
October 23, 1948 Pee Wee Hunt “Twelfth Street Rag”♪
Capitol
2
[1]
November 6, 1948 Dinah Shore “Buttons And Bows”
Columbia
9
[1]
1949
January 8, 1949 Spike Jones “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)”
RCA Victor
1
[1]
January 15, 1949 Dinah Shore “Buttons and Bows”
Columbia
1
[1]
January 22, 1949 Evelyn Knight “A Little Bird Told Me”
Decca
7
[1]
March 12, 1949 Blue Barron “Cruising Down the River”
MGM
2
[1]
March 26, 1949 Russ Morgan “Cruising Down the River”
Decca
7
[1]
May 14, 1949 Vaughn Monroe “Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)”♪
RCA Victor
11
[1]
July 30, 1949 Perry Como “Some Enchanted Evening”
RCA Victor
5
[1]
September 3, 1949 Vic Damone “You’re Breaking My Heart”
Mercury
4
[1]
October 1, 1949 Frankie Laine “That Lucky Old Sun”
Mercury
8
[1]
November 26, 1949 Frankie Laine “Mule Train”
Mercury
6
[1]
1940s Billboard number-one singles chart

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