List of Billboard number-one country songs of 1951

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A smiling man wearing a cowboy hat
Pee Wee King ended the year at number one on all three charts.

In 1951 Billboard magazine published three charts covering the best-performing country music songs in the United States: Most-Played Juke Box (Country & Western) Records, Best-Selling Retail Folk (Country & Western) Records and Country & Western Records Most Played By Folk Disk Jockeys. All three charts are considered part of the lineage of the current Hot Country Songs chart, which was first published in 1958.[1]

In the first issue of Billboard of 1951, each chart had a different number one. Lefty Frizzell was atop both the juke box and jockeys charts, with "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time" and "I Love You a Thousand Ways" respectively, while the best sellers chart was headed by Hank Snow with "The Golden Rocket". Each of the three charts had a song spend more than ten consecutive weeks at number one during the year: Frizzell had an unbroken run of eleven weeks in the top spot of the best sellers chart with "Always Late (with Your Kisses)" and had a similar run at number one on the jockeys chart with "I Want to Be with You Always". The longest run at number one on any of the charts, however, was the fourteen consecutive weeks which Tennessee Ford spent atop the juke box chart with "Shotgun Boogie". Frizzell was the only artist with four number-one country songs in 1951; Snow and Eddy Arnold each had three. Hank Williams had two number ones on the jockeys chart, but did not top either of the other two charts.

Two artists reached number one for the first time in 1951. Carl Smith spent a single week atop the jockeys chart with his first number one,[2] "Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way" in December, although the song would return to the top spot, and also top the best sellers and juke box charts, in 1952.[3] Bandleader Pee Wee King's debut chart-topper "Slow Poke", featuring his band the Golden West Cowboys and lead vocalist Redd Stewart,[4] had lengthy runs in the top spot on all three charts in 1951, and ended the year in the number one position on all the listings. It would prove to be the only number one hit for King,[4] however, whose career went into decline in the mid-1950s.[5]

Chart history[edit]

Most-Played Juke Box (Country & Western) Records[edit]

A smiling man with a thin mustache, wearing a suit and necktie
Tennessee Ernie had the longest-running number one on the juke box chart with "Shotgun Boogie".
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 6 "If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time" Lefty Frizzell [6]
January 13 "Shotgun Boogie" Tennessee Ernie [7]
January 20 [8]
January 27 [9]
February 3 [10]
February 10 [11]
February 17 [12]
February 24 [13]
March 3 [14]
March 10 [15]
March 17 [16]
March 24 [17]
March 31 [18]
April 7 [19]
April 14
April 21 "Rhumba Boogie" Hank Snow [20]
April 28 [21]
May 5 [22]
May 12 [23]
May 19 [24]
May 26 "Kentucky Waltz" Eddy Arnold [25]
June 2 [26]
June 9 "I Want to Be With You Always" Lefty Frizzell [27]
June 16 [28]
June 23 [29]
June 30 [30]
July 7 [31]
July 14 "I Want to Play House With You" Eddy Arnold [32]
July 21
July 28 [33]
August 4 [34]
August 11 [35]
August 18 [36]
August 25 [37]
September 1 [38]
September 8 [39]
September 15
September 22 [40]
September 29 "Always Late (with Your Kisses)" Lefty Frizzell [41]
October 6 [42]
October 13 [43]
October 20 [44]
October 27 [45]
November 3[a] [46]
"Slow Poke" Pee Wee King
November 10 [47]
November 17 [48]
November 24 [49]
December 1 [50]
December 8 [51]
December 15 [52]
December 22 [53]
December 29 [54]

a. ^ Two songs tied for number one.

Best-Selling Retail Folk (Country & Western) Records[edit]

A dark-haired man wearing a neckerchief, a shirt with fringes dangling from the sleeves, and pants with a guitar pictured on them, smiling broadly while leaning on a guitar
Lefty Frizzell had the highest total number of weeks on the best sellers chart.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 6 "The Golden Rocket" Hank Snow [6]
January 13 [7]
January 20 "I'm Movin' On" Hank Snow [8]
January 27 [9]
February 3 "Shotgun Boogie" Tennessee Ernie [10]
February 10 "I'm Movin' On" Hank Snow [11]
February 17 "There's Been a Change in Me" Eddy Arnold [12]
February 24 "Shotgun Boogie" Tennessee Ernie [13]
March 3 "There's Been a Change in Me" Eddy Arnold [14]
March 10 [15]
March 17 "Shotgun Boogie" Tennessee Ernie [16]
March 24 "There's Been a Change in Me" Eddy Arnold [17]
March 31 "Rhumba Boogie" Hank Snow [18]
April 7 [19]
April 14
April 21 [20]
April 28 [21]
May 5 [22]
May 12 [23]
May 19 "Kentucky Waltz" Eddy Arnold [24]
May 26 "Rhumba Boogie" Hank Snow [25]
June 2 "Kentucky Waltz" Eddy Arnold [26]
June 9 "I Want to Be With You Always" Lefty Frizzell [27]
June 16 [28]
June 23 "Kentucky Waltz" Eddy Arnold [29]
June 30 "I Want to Be With You Always" Lefty Frizzell [30]
July 7 [31]
July 14 [32]
July 21
July 28 "I Want to Play House With You" Eddy Arnold [33]
August 4 [34]
August 11 [35]
August 18 [36]
August 25 [37]
September 1 "Always Late (with Your Kisses)" Lefty Frizzell [38]
September 8 "I Want to Play House With You" Eddy Arnold [39]
September 15 "Always Late (with Your Kisses)" Lefty Frizzell
September 22 [40]
September 29 [41]
October 6 [42]
October 13 [43]
October 20 [44]
October 27 [45]
November 3 [46]
November 10 [47]
November 17 [48]
November 24 [49]
December 1 "Slow Poke" Pee Wee King [50]
December 8 [51]
December 15 [52]
December 22 [53]
December 29 [54]

Country & Western Records Most Played By Folk Disk Jockeys[edit]

A fair-haired man in a dark jacket and light-coloured sweater playing a guitar and singing
Eddy Arnold (pictured in 1969) spent a total of eleven weeks at number one on the jockeys chart with "There's Been a Change in Me".
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 6 "I Love You a Thousand Ways" Lefty Frizzell [6]
January 13 "I'm Movin' On" Hank Snow [7]
January 20 "I Love You a Thousand Ways" Lefty Frizzell [8]
January 27 "The Golden Rocket" Hank Snow [9]
February 3 "I Love You a Thousand Ways" Lefty Frizzell [10]
February 10 "There's Been a Change in Me" Eddy Arnold [11]
February 17 [12]
February 24 "Shotgun Boogie" Tennessee Ernie [13]
March 3 "There's Been a Change in Me" Eddy Arnold [14]
March 10 [15]
March 17 [16]
March 24 [17]
March 31 [18]
April 7 [19]
April 14
April 21 [20]
April 28 "Rhumba Boogie" Hank Snow [21]
May 5 "There's Been a Change in Me" Eddy Arnold [22]
May 12 "Cold, Cold Heart" Hank Williams [23]
May 19 "Rhumba Boogie" Hank Snow [24]
May 26 "I Want to Be With You Always" Lefty Frizzell [25]
June 2 [26]
June 9 [27]
June 16 [28]
June 23 [29]
June 30 [30]
July 7 [31]
July 14 [32]
July 21
July 28 [33]
August 4 [34]
August 11 "Hey Good Lookin'" Hank Williams [35]
August 18 [36]
August 25 [37]
September 1 [38]
September 8 [39]
September 15 "Always Late (with Your Kisses)" Lefty Frizzell
September 22 [40]
September 29 [41]
October 6 [42]
October 13 "Hey Good Lookin'" Hank Williams [43]
October 20 "Always Late (with Your Kisses)" Lefty Frizzell [44]
October 27 [45]
November 3 "Hey Good Lookin'" Hank Williams [46]
November 10 "Slow Poke" Pee Wee King [47]
November 17 "Hey Good Lookin'" Hank Williams [48]
November 24 "Slow Poke" Pee Wee King [49]
December 1 [50]
December 8 [51]
December 15 [52]
December 22 "Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way" Carl Smith [53]
December 29 "Slow Poke" Pee Wee King [54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs: 1944-2005. Record Research. p. ix. ISBN 9780898201659.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Carl Smith Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 514. ISBN 0823076326.
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 177. ISBN 0823076326.
  5. ^ Huey, Steve. "Pee Wee King Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
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