List of Billboard number-one singles of 1940

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Tommy Dorsey (pictured) had the first Billboard number-one single with "I'll Never Smile Again", which remained at the top of the chart for twelve weeks.

This is a list of number-one songs in the United States during the year 1940 according to Billboard magazine.


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.

Issue date Song Artist(s) Ref.
July 27 "I'll Never Smile Again" Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra with Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers [1]
August 3 [1]
August 10 [1]
August 17 [1]
August 24 [1]
August 31 [1]
September 7 [1]
September 14 [1]
September 21 [1]
September 28 [1]
October 5 [1]
October 12 [1]
October 19 "Only Forever" Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra [2]
October 26 [2]
November 2 [2]
November 9 [2]
November 16 [2]
November 23 [2]
November 30 [2]
December 7 [2]
December 14 [2]
December 21 "Frenesi" Artie Shaw and His Orchestra [3]
December 28 [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Sinatra sheet music (1st Frank Sinatra appearance): I Never Smile Again. Words & Music by Ruth Lowe. Featured by The Pied Pipers & Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra". Hoboken Historical Museum. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, United States: Record Research Inc. p. 108. ISBN 0-89820-083-0. 
  3. ^ a b Hoffmann, Frank (May 23, 2016). Chronology of American Popular Music, 1900-2000. London; New York: Routledge. pp. 92–93. ISBN 978-0-415-97715-9. Retrieved 11 December 2016.