Popular Songs of 1946

1. The Gypsy – The Ink Spots
2. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow! – Vaughn Monroe
3. Prisoner of Love – Perry Como
4. Rumors Are Flying – Frankie Carle
5. To Each His Own – Eddy Howard
6. Personality – Johnny Mercer
7. Ole Buttermilk Sky – Kay Kyser
8. Five Minutes More – Frank Sinatra
9. Oh! What it Semed To Be – Frankie Carle
10. Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy – Stan Kenton
11. Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief – Betty Hutton
12. Choo Choo Ch’Boogie – Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five
13. Surrender – Perry Como
14. I’m a Big Girl Now – Sammy Kaye
15. I Can’t Begin to Tell You – Bing Crosby and Carmen Cavallero
16. Symphony – Freddy Martin
17. To Each His Own – Freddy Martin
18. Laughing On The Outside – Dinah Shore
19. Christmas Song – Nat “King” Cole
20. I Don’t Know Enough About You – Peggy Lee
21. Take the A Train – Duke Ellington
22. Hay! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop – Lionel Hampton
23. Blue Skies – Count Basie
24. Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai) – Spike Jones
25. To Each His Own – The Ink Spots
26. They Say It’s Wonderful – Perry Como
27. South America, Take It Away – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
28. Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly – Dinah Shore with Spade Cooley & his Orchestra
29. Stone Cold Dead In The Market – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan
30. I Got the Sun in the Morning – Les Brown
31. I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time – Jo Stafford
32. Sioux City Sue – Bing Crosby and The Jesters
33. Candy – Johnny Mercer, Jo Stafford & the Pied Pipers
34. Day By Day – Frank Sinatra
35. Come Rain or Come Shine – Margaret Whiting
36. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – Bing Crosby
37. You Won’t Be Satisfied Until You Break My Heart – Freddy Martin
38. A Fine Romance – Martha Tilton and Johnny Mercer
39. The Whole World is Singing My Song – Les Brown
40. To Each His Own – Tony Martin

You may notice that the list above doesn’t quite agree with “Top 40” or other lists you’ve seen; that’s because it takes more facts into consideration, along with a few intangibles. For example, Vaughn Monroe’s Let it Snow scores higher on this list than Perry Como’s Prisoner of Love, even though Como’s song was named Billboard’s “Record of the Year” for sales and airplay. It was obviously a bigger song at the time, yet the passing years have been kinder to Let it Snow. As trends change, as old standards are slotted into new movie soundtracks, this list can and will change with those trends. Each of these annual charts are re-evaluated every 6-8 months. For example, Choo Choo Ch’Boogie continues to have remarkable staying power and popularity, and continues to make gains on this list. Many of the songs listed below it — and a few not even on the list — outsold Choo Choo at the time, but have largely vanished from the scene.

Some songs may not make sense at all if you check your history books. For example, South America, Take it Away was a huge hit for Xavier Cugat & his Orchestra, with vocal by Buddy Clark. But over time it’s been the Bing Crosby version that has lasted. Same thing with Freddy Martin’s Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly…bigger at the time, but in the ensuing years became synonymous with Dinah Shore. The same case could probably be made for Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy, popularized by Stan Kenton, but as time goes on it seems to become more and more a part of Dinah’s legacy. It’s her version that this page opens with (assuming your speakers were turned on). On the other hand, Come Rain or Come Shine was probably a bigger hit for Dinah, but Margaret Whiting’s version has taken on new popularity with the passage of time.

1946 saw the biggest vocal hit of the multi-talented Betty Hutton’s career, Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief. Never a great vocalist in the class of a Dinah Shore or even Doris Day, Hutton still managed to lend an infectious sound to go along with her stunning good looks. Her next closest thing to a big hit was probably A Bushel and a Peck, a duet with Perry Como that charted nicely in 1950.

Seldom has a song enjoyed such a meteoric rise as To Each His Own in the summer of 1946. Consequently it is listed four times on this chart, and is the only song with four entries out of all the years featured on PopularSong.org. The recording by Eddy Howard, on Majestic Records first hit the Billboard magazine charts on July 11, spent 19 weeks on the chart, five of those at #1. Within a month, RCA rushed out a competing version by Freddy Martin and his Martinmen, which added insult to injury by knocking Howard off the top spot. It lasted a dozen weeks on the charts, two at the top. The American public had a brief respite from To Each His Own when Frank Sinatra knocked Martin out with Five Minutes More. But the song just wouldn’t die, as a version by Decca’s The Ink Spots claimed the top spot. Sinatra jumped back a week later, then was edged out again by To Each His Own when Eddy Howard’s original roared back for two more weeks.

But America wanted more! Mercury rushed out a version by Tony Martin, which spent three months on the charts and reached #4. Columbia would not be outdone, selling a female lead by Paula Kelly with the Modernaires. That spent six weeks on the charts and reached #5. The song would have been rated higher on this list in years past — particularly in the early 1970s when it got a boost from The Godfather film — but is now little more than a footnote.