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List of number-one R&B hits (United States): Wikis

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Listed here are Billboard magazine's number-one rhythm and blues hits from 1942–1959. The Billboard R&B chart is today known as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Note: From June 22, 1948 to October 13, 1958, multiple charts (usually jukebox, DJ, and sales charts) were used, which explains the overlap in the dates of the charts. Because of the existence of multiple charts, some dates had more than one number-one song during the week.

Contents

Chart names

  • Harlem Hit Parade — 1942 to February 10, 1945.
  • Juke Box Race Records — February 17, 1945 to June 17, 1957.
  • Billboard's "Best Sellers" — May 22, 1948 to October 13, 1958.
  • Rhythm & Blues — June 25, 1949 to November 30, 1963.
  • Billboard's "Jockeys" — January 22, 1955 to October 13, 1958.
  • Hot R&B — October 20, 1958 to November 30, 1963. Reinstated January 30, 1965 and continued under that name until the week ending August 16, 1969.
  • Soul Singles — August 23, 1969 to July 7, 1973.
  • Hot Soul Singles — July 14, 1973 to June 19, 1982.
  • Hot Black Singles — June 26, 1982 to October 1990.
  • Hot R&B Singles — October 1990 to 1998.
  • Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs — 1998 to present.

An asterisk after a song title means that the song lost and then regained the number-one spot.

1940s

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1942

1943

1944

  • January 1: "Ration Blues" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (1 week)
  • January 15: "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me" - Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (8 weeks)*
  • January 22: "G.I. Jive" — Johnny Mercer with Paul Weston And His Orchestra (1 week)
  • March 11: "Solo Flight" — Benny Goodman and His Orchestra (1 week)
  • March 25: "Cow-Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay)" — The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald (1 week)
  • April 1: "Main Stem" — Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (4 weeks)*
  • April 15: "When My Man Comes Home" — Buddy Johnson and His Band (1 week)
  • April 29: "Straighten Up and Fly Right" — The Nat King Cole Trio (10 weeks)*
  • July 15: "G.I. Jive" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (6 weeks)*
  • August 19: "Till Then" — The Mills Brothers (1 week)
  • September 2: "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" — Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra (6 weeks)*
  • September 30: "I'm Lost" — Benny Carter and His Orchestra (2 weeks)*
  • October 21: "Gee-Baby — Ain’t I Good to You" — The Nat King Cole Trio (4 weeks)
  • November 18: "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" — The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald (11 weeks)*

1945

1946

  • January 12: "Buzz Me" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (9 weeks)
  • March 16: "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" — Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra (16 weeks)*
  • March 23: "Don’t Worry 'bout That Mule" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (1 week)
  • June 29: "The Gypsy" — The Ink Spots (3 weeks)*
  • July 10: "Stone Cold Dead in the Market (He Had It Coming)" — Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (5 weeks)
  • August 24: "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (18 weeks)*
  • November 23: "Ain’t That Just Like a Woman (They’ll Do It Every Time)" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (2 weeks)*

1947

  • 17 January: "Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (17 weeks)*
  • 26 April: "Texas and Pacific" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (2 weeks)*
  • 17 May: "I Want to Be Loved (But Only By You)" — Savannah Churchill and the Sentimentalists (8 weeks)*
  • 24 May: "Old Maid Boogie" — Eddie Vinson and His Orchestra (2 weeks)*
  • 28 June: "Jack You’re Dead" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (7 weeks)*
  • 30 August: "Boogie Woogie Blue Plate" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (14 weeks)*
  • 22 November: "(Opportunity Knocks But Once) Snatch and Grab It" — Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends (12 weeks)*

1948

  • 21 January: "I Love You Yes I Do" — Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats (3 weeks)*
  • 20 March: "King Size Papa" — Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends (9 weeks)
  • 22 May: "Tomorrow Night" — Lonnie Johnson (7 weeks)*
  • 19 June: "Good Rockin' Tonight" — Wynonie Harris (1 week)
  • 10 July: "Long Gone" (Parts I & II) — Sonny Thompson (3 weeks)*
  • 10 July: "Run Joe" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (2 weeks)*
  • 24 July: "I Can't Go on Without You" — Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats (8 weeks)
  • 4 September: "Messin' Around" — Memphis Slim and His House Rockers (2 weeks)*
  • 11 September: "My Heart Belongs to You" — Arbee Stidham (1 week)
  • 18 September: "Pretty Mama Blues" — Ivory Joe Hunter (3 weeks)
  • 2 October: "Corn Bread" — Hal Singer Sextette (4 weeks)*
  • 2 October: "Late Freight" — Sonny Thompson Quintet (1 week)
  • 9 October: "Am I Asking Too Much" — Dinah Washington (1 week)
  • 6 November: "Blues After Hours" — Pee Wee Crayton (3 weeks)*
  • 27 November: "It's Too Soon to Know" — The Orioles (1 week)
  • 4 December: "Chicken-Shack Boogie" — Amos Milburn (5 weeks)*
  • 4 December: "Bewildered" — Red Miller Trio (5 weeks)*
  • 18 December: "'Long About Midnight" — Roy Brown (1 week)
  • 25 December: "Bewildered" — Amos Milburn (3 weeks)*

1949

1950s

1950

  • 18 February: "I Almost Lost My Mind" — Ivory Joe Hunter (5 weeks)*
  • 4 March: "Double Crossing Blues" — Johnny Otis Quintette, the Robins, and Little Esther (9 weeks)
  • 15 April: "Mistrusting Blues" — Little Esther with Mel Walker and the Johnny Otis Orchestra (4 weeks)
  • 13 May: "I Need You So" — Ivory Joe Hunter (2 weeks)
  • 27 May: "Pink Champagne" — Joe Liggins and His Honeydrippers (13 weeks)*
  • 8 July: "Cupid Boogie" — Johnny Otis Orchestra, Little Esther, and Mel Walker (1 week)
  • 19 August: "Hard Luck Blues" — Roy Brown (3 weeks)
  • 2 September: "Mona Lisa" — Nat "King" Cole (4 weeks)
  • 9 September: "Blue Light Boogie" (Parts 1 & 2) — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (7 weeks)
  • 28 October: "Blue Shadows" — Lowell Fulson (4 weeks)
  • 4 November: "Anytime — Any Place — Anywhere" — Joe Morris and His Orchestra (4 weeks)*
  • 25 November: "Please Send Me Someone to Love" — Percy Mayfield (2 weeks)*
  • 9 December: "Teardrops from My Eyes" — Ruth Brown (11 weeks)*

1951

  • 6 January: "Bad, Bad Whiskey" — Amos Milburn (3 weeks)*
  • 3 March: "Black Night" — Charles Brown (14 weeks)
  • 9 June: "Rocket 88" — Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (5 weeks)
  • 9 June: "Chica Boo" — Lloyd Glenn (2 weeks)
  • 30 June: "Sixty Minute Man" — The Dominoes (14 weeks)*
  • 1 September: "Don’t You Know I Love You" — The Clovers (2 weeks)
  • 22 September: "The Glory of Love" — The Five Keys (4 weeks)*
  • 3 November: "'T' 99 Blues" — Jimmie Nelson and the Peter Rabbit Trio (1 week)
  • 10 November: "Fool, Fool, Fool" — The Clovers (6 weeks)*
  • 10 November: "I Got Loaded" — "Peppermint" Harris (2 weeks)*
  • 17 November: "I'm in the Mood" — John Lee Hooker (4 weeks)*
  • 8 December: "Because of You" — Tab Smith and His Orchestra (2 weeks)
  • 29 December: "Flamingo" — Earl Bostic and His Orchestra (4 weeks)*

1952

  • January 12 "Weepin' & Cryin'" — Griffin Brothers Orchestra (3 weeks)
  • January 12 "Cry" — Johnnie Ray and the Four Lads (1 week)
  • February 2 "3 o’Clock Blues" — B.B. King (5 weeks)
  • March 15 "Night Train" — Jimmy Forrest (7 weeks)
  • March 15 "Booted" — Roscoe Gordon (1 week)
  • May 3 "5–10–15 Hours" — Ruth Brown (7 weeks)
  • June 14 "Have Mercy Baby" — The Dominoes (10 weeks)*
  • June 21 "Goin' Home" — Fats Domino (1 week)
  • July 12 "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" — Lloyd Price (7 weeks)*
  • August 23 "Mary Jo" — Four Blazes (3 weeks)
  • September 6 "Ting-a-Ling" — The Clovers(1 week)
  • September 27 "My Song" — Johnny Ace (9 weeks)
  • September 27 "Juke" — Little Walter (8 weeks)*
  • November 8 "Five Long Years" — Eddie Boyd (7 weeks)*
  • November 8 "You Know I Love You" — B.B. King (2 weeks)*
  • December 27 "I Don't Know" — Willie Mabon and His Combo (8 weeks)

1953

  • 21 February: "Baby Don't Do It" — The "5" Royales (3 weeks)
  • 7 March: "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" — Ruth Brown (5 weeks)
  • 18 April: "Hound Dog" — Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton" (7 weeks)
  • 30 May "I'm Mad" — Willie Mabon and His Combo" (2 weeks)
  • 13 June: "Help Me Somebody" — The "5" Royales (5 weeks)*
  • 4 July: "Please Love Me" — B.B. King (3 weeks)*
  • 18 July: "The Clock" — Johnny Ace (5 weeks)*
  • 22 August: "Crying in the Chapel" — The Orioles (5 weeks)*
  • 19 September: "Shake a Hand" — Faye Adams (10 weeks)*
  • 21 November: "Money Honey" — The Drifters (11 weeks)
  • 5 December: "Honey Hush" — Big Joe Turner (8 weeks)

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

For continuation, 1960 to present, start search here.

Gap in the chart

From November 30, 1963 to January 23, 1965 there was no Billboard R&B singles charts. Some publications have used Cash Box magazine's stats in their place. No specific reason has ever been given as to why Billboard ceased releasing R&B charts, but the prevailing wisdom is that the chart methodology used was being questioned, since more and more Caucasian acts were reaching number-one on the R&B chart.


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