List of Billboard number-one singles of 1940
A feature of the July 27, 1940, issue, the 10-position "National List of Best Selling Retail Records" began Billboard's tracking of music popularity.
Prior to July 27, 1940, Billboard had featured lists of national "Sheet Music Best Sellers"; "Records Most Popular on Music Machines" (compiled from national reports from phonograph operators); and "Songs With the Most Radio Plugs" based on a few New York radio stations.
The "National List of Best Selling Retail Records," however, was the first to poll retailers nationwide on record sales.
The new chart was termed a "trade service feature" based on the "10 best selling records of the past week" at a selection of national retailers from New York to Los Angeles
Tommy Dorsey scored the very first number-one single for the inaugural retail list with the song "I'll Never Smile Again", which, featuring vocals by Frank Sinatra and the vocal group the Pied Pipers, would total 12 weeks as number 1.
Shown is a list of songs that scored best on the National List of Best Selling Retail Records chart.
|July 27||"I'll Never Smile Again"||Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra|
|October 19||"Only Forever"||Bing Crosby|
|December 21||"Frenesi"||Artie Shaw and His Orchestra|