January 8 — Billboard publishes its first "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records" chart, the first widespread method of tracking the nationwide popularity of current country music songs. The first No. 1 song is "Pistol Packin' Mama" by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters. The new chart is the predecessor to today's Hot Country Songs chart.
February 26 — Less than two months after the chart's inception, jazz and rhythm & blues performer Louis Jordan becomes the first African-American performer to top the Most Played Juke Box Folk chart (with "Ration Blues"). It is a big year for African-American performers: Jordan has a second No. 1 hit later in the year with "Is You Is or Is You Ain't (Ma' Baby)," while the Nat King Cole-led trio reach the top with "Straighten Up and Fly Right." Jordan and Cole are the only black performers to have a No. 1 hit until 1969, when Charley Pride breaks the streak.