TOP SELLING SONGS - 20th Century [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-25-2010, 04:45 AM


(from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the National Endowment for the Arts)

The Big Bands Database Plus has sorted the list by DECADES.

* -indicates song received the most votes for that decade.


Vess Ossman "Yankee Doodle" N.American 1894
Sousa's Band "The Stars and Stripes Forever" Columbia 1896
Scott Joplin "The Entertainer" piano roll 1902
Frank Stanley "Auld Lang Syne" Columbia 1907
Enrico Caruso "Vesti La Giubba" Victor 1907
*Billy Murray "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Victor 1908
The Fisk Jubilee Singers "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" Victor 1909
Geraldine Farrar "My Old Kentucky Home" Victor 1910
The Peerless Quartet "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" Columbia 1911
Sophie Tucker "Some of These Days" Columbia 1911
Chauncey Olcott "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" Columbia 1913
John McCormick "The Star Spangled Banner" Victor 1917
The American Quartet "Over There" Victor 1917
Original Dixieland Jazz Band "Tiger Rag" Victor 1918

Al Jolson "Swanee" Columbia 1920
Paul Whiteman Orchestra "Whispering" Victor 1920
W.C. Handy "St. Louis Blues" Okeh 1923
Billy Jones "Yes We Have No Bananas" Edison 1923
Bessie Smith "Down Hearted Blues" Columbia 1923
Jelly Roll Morton "King Porter Stomp" Gennett 1923
Arthur Gibbs & Gang "Charleston" Victor 1924
Isham Jones Orchestra "It Had to Be You" Brunswick 1924
Vernon Dalhart "The Prisoner's Song" Victor 1924
Louise Homer "America the Beautiful" Victor 1925
Ben Bernie Orchestra "Sweet Georgia Brown" Vocalion 1925
Gene Austin "Bye Bye Blackbird" Victor 1926
Whisperin' Jack Smith "Me and My Shadow" Victor 1927
Hoagy Carmichael "Star Dust" Gennett 1928
Helen Kane "I Wanna Be Loved By You" Victor 1928
Eddie Cantor "Makin' Whoopee" Victor 1929
Fats Waller "Ain't Misbehavin'" Victor 1929

Jimmie Rodgers "Blue Yodel (T for Texas)" Victor 1930
Ben Selvin Orchestra "Happy Days Are Here Again" Columbia 1930
Harry Richman "Puttin' on the Ritz" Brunswick 1930
Cab Calloway "Minnie the Moocher" Brunswick 1931
Fred Astaire "Night and Day" Victor 1932
Rudy Vallee "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" Brunswick 1932
cast recording "Show Boat" Brunswick 1932
Sons of the Pioneers "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" Decca 1934
Shirley Temple "On the Good Ship Lollipop" 20th Cent.Fox 1934
The Carter Family "Can the Circle Be Unbroken" ARC 1935
The Boswell Sisters "Alexander's Ragtime Band" Brunswick 1935
Cole Porter "You're the Top" Victor 1935
cast recording "Porgy and Bess" Decca 1935
Bing Crosby "Pennies From Heaven" Decca 1936
Robert Johnson "Cross Road Blues" Columbia 1936
Marian Anderson "Ave Maria" Victor 1937
Count Basie "One O'Clock Jump" Decca 1937
Roy Acuff "Wabash Cannonball" Vocalion 1938
Gene Autry "Back in the Saddle Again" Vocalion 1938
*Louis Armstrong "When the Saints Go Marching In" Decca 1938
Benny Goodman "Sing Sing Sing" Victor 1938
Ella Fitzgerald "A Tisket A Tasket" Decca 1938
Artie Shaw "Begin the Beguine" Bluebird 1938
Bob Hope/Shirley Ross "Thanks for the Memory" Decca 1939
Sidney Bechet "Summertime" Blue Note 1939
*Judy Garland "Over the Rainbow" Decca 1939
Kate Smith "God Bless America" Victor 1939
Art Tatum "Tea for Two" Decca 1939
Billie Holiday "Strange Fruit" Commodore 1939
The Ink Spots "If I Didn't Care" Decca 1939
Glenn Miller "In the Mood" Bluebird 1939

Jimmie Davis "You Are My Sunshine" Decca 1940
Cliff Edwards "When You Wish Upon a Star" Victor 1940
Coleman Hawkins "Body and Soul" Bluebird 1940
Bob Wills "New San Antonio Rose" Okeh 1940
The Andrews Sisters "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" Decca 1941
Duke Ellington "Take the A Train" Victor 1941
Billie Holiday "God Bless the Child" Okeh 1941
*Bing Crosby "White Christmas" Decca 1942
Alvino Ray "Deep in the Heart of Texas" Bluebird 1942
Lena Horne "Stormy Weather" Victor 1943
The Mills Brothers "Paper Doll" Decca 1943
cast recording "Oklahoma!" Decca 1943
Leadbelly "Goodnight Irene" Capitol 1944
Eddy Arnold "Cattle Call" Bluebird 1945
Les Brown "Sentimental Journey" Columbia 1945
Dizzy Gillespie "Salt Peanuts" Guild 1945
Bill Monroe "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Columbia 1945
Johnny Mercer "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" Capitol 1946
Charlie Parker Sextet "Ornithology" Dial 1946
Francis Craig Orchestra "Near You" Bullet 1947
The Fairfield Four "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around" Bullet 1947
Woody Guthrie "This Land Is Your Land" Asch 1947
The Chuck Wagon Gang "I'll Fly Away" Columbia 1948
John Lee Hooker "Boogie Chillun" Modern 1948
Mahalia Jackson "Move on Up a Little Higher" Apollo 1948
Thelonius Monk "Around Midnight" Blue Note 1948
Gene Autry "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" Columbia 1949
cast recording "South Pacific" Columbia 1949
Vaughn Monroe "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" RCA Victor 1949
Hank Williams "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" MGM 1949

Nat King Cole "Mona Lisa" Capitol 1950
Patti Page "The Tennessee Waltz" Mercury 1950
Roy Rogers/Dale Evans "Happy Trails" RCA Victor 1951
Les Paul & Mary Ford "How High the Moon" Capitol 1951
The Weavers "On Top of Old Smoky" Decca 1951
cast recording "The King and I" Decca 1951
Hank Williams "Your Cheatin' Heart" MGM 1953
The Chordettes "Mr. Sandman" Cadence 1954
Erroll Garner Trio "Misty" Mercury 1954
The Modern Jazz Quartet "Django" Prestige 1954
The Penguins "Earth Angel" Dootone 1954
Joe Turner "Shake Rattle and Roll" Atlantic 1954
Bo Diddley "Bo Diddley" Checker 1955
Tennessee Ernie Ford "Sixteen Tons" Capitol 1955
*Bill Haley & the Comets "Rock Around the Clock" Decca 1955
Al Hibbler "Unchained Melody" Decca 1955
George Beverly Shea "How Great Thou Art" RCA 1955
Mary Lou Williams "Zodiac Suite" Jazztone 1955
Johnny Cash "I Walk the Line" Sun 1956
Doris Day "Que Sera Sera" Columbia 1956
Fats Domino "Blueberry Hill" Imperial 1956
The Five Satins "In the Still of the Night" Ember 1956
Little Richard "Tutti Frutti" Specialty 1956
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Gee 1956
Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes" Sun 1956
Elvis Presley "Heartbreak Hotel" RCA Victor 1956
Elvis Presley "Hound Dog" / "Don't Be Cruel" RCA Victor 1956
Muddy Waters "Got My Mojo Workin'" Chess 1956
cast recording "My Fair Lady" Columbia 1956
Harry Belafonte "Banana Boat (Day-O)" RCA Victor 1957
Sam Cooke "You Send Me" Keen 1957
Danny & The Juniors "At the Hop" ABC Paramnt 1957
The Everly Brothers "Wake Up Little Susie" Cadence 1957
Buddy Holly "Peggy Sue" Coral 1957
Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire" Sun 1957
Johnny Mathis "Chances Are" Columbia 1957
cast recording "West Side Story" Columbia 1957
Chuck Berry "Johnny B. Goode" Chess 1958
The Champs "Tequila" Challenge 1958
The Coasters "Yakety Yak" Atco 1958
Eddie Cochran "Summertime Blues" Liberty 1958
Connie Francis "Who's Sorry Now" MGM 1958
The Kingston Trio "Tom Dooley" Capitol 1958
The Platters "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" Mercury 1958
Louis Prima & Keely Smith "That Old Black Magic" Capitol 1958
Ritchie Valens "Donna" / "La Bamba" Del-Fi 1958
cast recording "The Music Man" Capitol 1958
Ray Charles "What'd I Say" Atlantic 1959
Dave Brubeck "Take Five" Columbia 1959
Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife" Atco 1959
Miles Davis Kind of Blue" Columbia 1959
The Flamingos "I Only Have Eyes for You" End 1959
Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City" Fury 1959
Johnny Horton "The Battle of New Orleans" Columbia 1959
The Isley Brothers "Shout" RCA 1959
Marty Robbins "El Paso" Columbia 1959

Ray Charles "Georgia on My Mind" ABC Paramnt 1960
Mark Dinning "Teen Angel" MGM 1960
Chubby Checker "The Twist" Parkway 1960
Brenda Lee "I'm Sorry" Decca 1960
cast recording "The Sound of Music" Columbia 1960
Patsy Cline "I Fall to Pieces" Decca 1961
Dion "Runaround Sue" Laurie 1961
Ben E. King "Stand By Me" Atco 1961
Henry Mancini "Moon River" RCA 1961
Roy Orbison "Crying" Monument 1961
The Shirelles "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" Scepter 1961
The Tokens "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" RCA 1961
Tony Bennett "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" Columbia 1962
Ketty Lester "Love Letters" Era 1962
Little Eva "The Loco-Motion" Dimension 1962
Joan Baez "We Shall Overcome" Vanguard 1963
Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" Columbia 1963
The Drifters "On Broadway" Atlantic 1963
Lesley Gore "It's My Party" Mercury 1963
The Kingsmen "Louie Louie" Wand 1963
Peter, Paul & Mary "Blowin' in the Wind" Warner Bros. 1963
The Ronettes "Be My Baby" Philles 1963
The Tymes "So in Love" Parkway 1963
The Animals "House of the Rising Sun" MGM 1964
The Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" Capitol 1964
John Coltrane "A Love Supreme" Impulse 1964
Bob Dylan "The Times They Are A-Changin'" Columbia 1964
Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto "The Girl From Ipanema" Verve 1964
The Kinks "You Really Got Me" Reprise 1964
Martha & The Vandellas "Dancing in the Street" Gordy 1964
Dean Martin "Everybody Loves Somebody" Reprise 1964
Roy Orbison "Oh Pretty Woman" Monument 1964
The Shangri-Las "Leader of the Pack" Red Bird 1964
Dionne Warwick "Walk on By" Scepter 1964
Mary Wells "My Guy" Motown 1964
The Beatles "Yesterday" / "Act Naturally" Capitol 1965
James Brown "I Got You (I Feel Good)" King 1965
The Byrds "Turn Turn Turn" Columbia 1965
Petula Clark "Downtown" Warner Bros. 1965
Jackie DeShannon "What the World Needs Now Is Love" Imperial 1965
Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone" Columbia 1965
Ramsey Lewis Trio "The In Crowd" Argo 1965
The Impressions "People Get Ready" ABC Parmnt 1965
Roger Miller "King of the Road" Smash 1965
The Miracles "The Tracks of My Tears" Tamla 1965
Wilson Pickett "In the Midnight Hour" Atlantic 1965
The Righteous Brothers "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" Philles 1965
The Rolling Stones "Satisfaction" London 1965
Simon & Garfunkel "Sounds of Silence" Columbia 1965
Sonny & Cher "I Got You Babe" Atco 1965
The Supremes "Stop in the Name of Love" Motown 1965
The Temptations "My Girl" Gordy 1965
Frank Sinatra "Strangers in the Night" Reprise 1966
The Four Tops "Reach Out I'll Be There" Motown 1966
Mamas & Papas "California Dreamin'" Dunhill 1966
Percy Sledge "When a Man Loves a Woman" Atlantic 1966
Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World" ABC 1967
The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" Capitol 1967
The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Capitol 1967
Buffalo Springfield "For What It's Worth" Atco 1967
Glen Campbell "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" Capitol 1967
The Doors "Light My Fire" Elektra 1967
*Aretha Franklin "Respect" Atlantic 1967
Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Tamla 1967
Bobbie Gentry "Ode to Billy Joe" Capitol 1967
Merle Haggard "Sing Me Back Home" Capitol 1967
Jefferson Airplane "White Rabbit" RCA 1967
Sam & Dave "Soul Man" Stax 1967
Van Morrison "Brown Eyed Girl" Bang 1967
Dion "Abraham, Martin and John" Laurie 1968
Marvin Gaye "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" Tamla 1968
Jimi Hendrix "All Along the Watchtower" Reprise 1968
Otis Redding "Dock of the Bay" Volt 1968
Sly & The Family Stone "Everyday People" Epic 1968
Steppenwolf "Born to be Wild" Dunhill 1968
Tammy Wynette "Stand By Your Man" Epic 1968
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Proud Mary" Fantasy 1969
Edwin Hawkins Singers "O Happy Day" Pavillion 1969
B.B. King "The Thrill Is Gone" Blues Way 1969
Frank Sinatra "My Way" Reprise 1969
B.J. Thomas "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" Scepter 1969
cast recording "Hair" RCA 1969
Miles Davis "*****es Brew" Columbia 1969
The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back" Motown 1969
Nilsson "Everybody's Talkin'" RCA 1969

The Carpenters "Close to You" A&M 1970
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young "Ohio" Atlantic 1970
The Grateful Dead "Uncle John's Band" Warner Bros. 1970
Loretta Lynn "Coal Miner's Daughter" Decca 1970
Joni Mitchell "Big Yellow Taxi" Reprise 1970
James Taylor "Fire and Rain" Warner Bros. 1970
Edwin Starr "War" Gordy 1970
Three Dog Night "Joy to the World" Dunhill 1971
Janis Joplin "Me and Bobby McGee" Columbia 1971
John Denver "Take Me Home Country Roads" RCA 1971
John Lennon "Imagine" Apple 1971
Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" Atlantic 1971
Carole King "It's Too Late" / "I Feel the Earth Move" Ode 1971
Marvin Gaye "What's Going On" Tamla 1971
Isaac Hayes "Theme From Shaft" Enterprise 1971
*Don McLean "American Pie" United Artists 1971
Santana "Oye Como Va" Columbia 1971
The Staple Singers "Respect Yourself" Stax 1971
Rod Stewart "Maggie May" Mercury 1971
Harold Melvin/Blue Notes "If You Don't Know Me By Now" Phila.Int'l. 1972
Johnny Nash "I Can See Clearly Now" Epic 1972
Chicago "Saturday in the Park" Columbia 1972
Derek & The Dominos "Layla" Atco 1972
Al Green "Let's Stay Together" Hi 1972
Helen Reddy "I Am Woman" Capitol 1972
Bill Withers "Lean On Me" Sussex 1972
Stevie Wonder "Superstition" Tamla 1972
Stevie Wonder "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" Tamla 1973
Neil Young "Heart of Gold" Reprise 1972
Jim Croce "Time in a Bottle" ABC 1973
Allman Brothers Band "Ramblin' Man" Capricorn 1973
Thomas Dorsey/Marion Williams "Take My Hand Precious Lord" Columbia 1973
Roberta Flack "Killing Me Softly With His Song" Atlantic 1973
Elton John "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" MCA 1973
Gladys Knight & The Pips "Midnight Train to Georgia" Buddah 1973
Charlie Rich "Behind Closed Doors" Epic 1973
Carly Simon "You're So Vain" Elektra 1973
Barbra Streisand "The Way We Were" Columbia 1973
Harry Chapin "The Cat's in the Cradle" Elektra 1974
Billy Joel "Piano Man" Columbia 1974
Lynyrd Skynyrd "Free Bird" MCA 1974
Shirley Caesar "No Charge" Scepter 1975
K.C. & The Sunshine Band "That's the Way( I Like It)" TK 1975
Linda Ronstadt "When Will I Be Loved" Capitol 1975
Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" Columbia 1975
Aerosmith "Walk This Way" Columbia 1976
George Benson "This Masquerade" Warner Bros. 1976
Weather Report "Birdland" Columbia 1976
Abba "Dancing Queen" Atlantic 1977
The Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive" RSO 1978
Jimmy Buffett "Margaritaville" ABC 1977
The Eagles "Hotel California" Asylum 1977
Fleetwood Mac "Go Your Own Way" Reprise 1977
Queen "We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You" Elektra 1977
Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson "Mama's Don't Let Your Babies..." RCA 1978
Kenny Rogers "The Gambler" United Artists 1978
The Village People "Y.M.C.A." Casablanca 1978
Charlie Daniels Band "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" Epic 1979
Gloria Gayner "I Will Survive" Polydor 1979
Sister Sledge "We Are Family" Cotillion 1979
soundtrack recording "Grease" RSO 1979
Blondie "Heart of Glass" Chrysalis 1979
Bob Seger "Old Time Rock & Roll" Capitol 1979
Sugarhill Gang "Rapper's Delight" Sugar Hill 1979

Alabama "My Home's in Alabama" RCA 1980
George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today" Epic 1980
Kool & The Gang "Celebration" De-Lite 1980
Willie Nelson "On the Road Again" Columbia 1980
Dolly Parton "9 to 5" RCA 1980
Pink Floyd "Another Brick in the Wall" Columbia 1980
Kim Carnes "Bette Davis Eyes" EMI America 1981
Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes "Up Where We Belong" Island 1982
The Go-Go's "We Got the Beat" IRS 1982
Grandmaster Flash "The Message" Sugar Hill 1982
Amy Grant "El Shaddai" Myrrh 1982
Joan Jett "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" Boardwalk 1982
John Cougar Mellencamp "Jack and Diane" Riva 1982
Prince "1999" Warner Bros. 1982
Donna Summer "She Works Hard for the Money" Mercury 1983
Irene Cara "Flashdance" Casablanca 1983
Herbie Hancock "Rockit" Columbia 1983
Michael Jackson "Beat It" Epic 1983
Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Portrait 1983
Talking Heads "Burning Down the House" Sire 1983
The Judds "Mama He's Crazy" RCA/Curb 1984
The Pointer Sisters "I'm So Excited" Planet 1984
The Police "Every Breath You Take" A&M 1983
Prince "Purple Rain" Warner Bros. 1984
Bruce Springsteen "Born in the U.S.A." Columbia 1984
*Tina Turner "What's Love Got to Do With It" Capitol 1984
Van Halen "Jump" Warner Bros. 1984
Hank Williams Jr. "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" WB 1984
USA for Africa "We Are the World" Columbia 1985
Madonna "Material Girl" Sire 1985
Paul Simon "Graceland" Warner Bros. 1986
Steve Winwood "Higher Love" Island 1986
Dionne Warwick & Friends "That's What Friends Are For" Arista 1986
U2 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" Island 1987
The Beastie Boys "Fight for Your Right (to Party)" Def Jam 1987
George Michael "Faith" Columbia 1987
Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child o' Mine" Geffen 1988
Bobby McFerrin "Don't Worry Be Happy" EMI 1988
Tracy Chapman "Fast Car" Elektra 1988
The B-52's "Love Shack" Reprise 1989
Bette Midler "The Wind Beneath My Wings" Atlantic 1989
Tom Petty "Free Fallin'" MCA 1989
Public Enemy "Fight the Power" Motown 1989

Garth Brooks "Friends in Low Places" Capitol 1990
M.C. Hammer "U Can't Touch This" Capitol 1990
R.E.M. "Losing My Religion" Warner Bros. 1991
Bonnie Raitt "Something to Talk About" Capitol 1991
BeBe& CeCe Winans "Addictive Love" Capitol 1991
Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart" Mercury 1992
Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You" Arista 1992
*Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" DGC 1992
Sheryl Crow "All I Wanna Do" A&M 1994
Boyz II Men/Mariah Carey "One Sweet Day" Columbia 1996
Eric Clapton "Change the World" Reprise 1996
Elton John "Candle in the Wind" Rocket 1997
R. Kelly "I Believe I Can Fly" Jive 1997
Will Smith "Men in Black" Columbia 1997
Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On" 550/Epic 1998
Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces" Monument 1998
Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)" Ruffhouse 1998
Shania Twain "You're Still the One" Mercury 1998
Destiny's Child "Bills, Bills, Bills" Columbia 1999
Faith Hill "This Kiss" Warner Bros. 1999
Tim McGraw "Please Remember Me" Curb 1999
Ricky Martin "Livin' La Vida Loca" Columbia 1999
Santana/Rob Thomas "Smooth" Arista 1999
TLC "No Scrubs" LaFace 1999
Lee Ann Womack "I Hope You Dance" MCA 2000

Luvin Da Blues
08-25-2010, 05:08 AM
I don't quite get this list. Isn't the "Top Selling Song" a hard quantifiable number? How does voting come into play?

08-25-2010, 05:24 AM
Thanks for posting the list. I am pleased how many of the songs I knew.

Luvin Da Blues
08-25-2010, 05:53 AM
Thanks for posting the list. I am pleased how many of the songs I knew.

I'm surprise by how many I have in one format or another. Good to see the Blues have a fair showing. :thumbsup:

08-25-2010, 10:07 AM
Wow, Billie Holliday's Strange Fruit was a top selling record in '39?