List of Billboard number-one country songs of 1953

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A dark-haired man wearing a jacket and tie, smiling broadly
Jim Reeves had his first number one in 1953.

In 1953 Billboard magazine published three charts covering the best-performing country music songs in the United States: Most Played in Juke Boxes, National Best Sellers, and Most Played By Jockeys. All three charts are considered part of the lineage of the current Hot Country Songs chart, which was first published in 1958.[1]

At the start of the year, Hank Williams was at number one on the best sellers chart with "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" and he thus held the top spot when he died in the early hours of January 1, 1953.[2] Williams also reached number one in January with the final single released in his lifetime, "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive",[2] and went on to have two further posthumous number ones on the best sellers listing during 1953 with "Take These Chains from My Heart" and "Kaw-Liga". The latter song had the longest run of any song in the top spot, spending 13 weeks at number one. In total, he spent 19 weeks at number one on the best sellers chart, the most by any act. In addition, "Your Cheatin' Heart", which fell short of the number one position on the best sellers chart, topped both the other listings, meaning that five songs by Williams reached number one in 1953. Regarded as one of the most influential musicians in country music history, Williams was among the inaugural class of entrants to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961.[2]

Seven acts achieved their first number ones in 1953: The Carlisles, Goldie Hill, Jim Reeves, the duo of Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky, The Davis Sisters, Mitchell Torok and Hank Locklin.[3] In addition to having his first number one as a performer with "Caribbean", Torok also wrote the song "Mexican Joe", which gave Jim Reeves his first chart-topper.[4] "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" would prove to be the only hit for the Davis Sisters, who were not actually related.[5] Two months before it topped the charts one half of the duo, Betty Jack Davis, had been killed in an automobile accident.[5] Surviving member Skeeter Davis would go on to have a long solo career, scoring top 20 country hits well into the 1970s and achieving some pop success, but she would never achieve a solo number one.[6][7] At the end of the year "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" was at number one on the juke box chart, Webb Pierce topped the best sellers chart with "There Stands the Glass" and Hank Locklin held the top spot on the jockeys chart with "Let Me Be the One".

Chart history[edit]

Most Played in Juke Boxes[edit]

A young woman with light-coloured hair smiling broadly
Skeeter Davis topped the chart in 1953 as one half of the duo The Davis Sisters. She would go on to have a lengthy and successful solo career but never achieved a chart-topping solo single.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 3 "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" Skeets McDonald [8]
January 10 [9]
January 17 "Back Street Affair" Webb Pierce [10]
January 24 [11]
January 31 [12]
February 7 "I Let the Stars Get In My Eyes" Goldie Hill [13]
February 14 [14]
February 21 [15]
February 28 "Kaw-Liga" Hank Williams [16]
March 7 [17]
March 14 [18]
March 21 [19]
March 28 [20]
April 4 [21]
April 11 "Your Cheatin' Heart" [22]
April 18 "Kaw-Liga" [23]
April 25 [24]
May 2 "Your Cheatin' Heart" [25]
May 9 "No Help Wanted" The Carlisles [26]
May 16 [27]
May 23 [28]
May 30 [29]
June 6 "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [30]
June 13 [31]
June 20 [32]
June 27 [33]
July 4 [34]
July 11 [35]
July 18 [36]
July 25 [37]
August 1 "Rub-A-Dub-Dub" Hank Thompson
August 8 [38]
August 15 "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [39]
August 22 "It's Been So Long" Webb Pierce [40]
August 29 "Rub-A-Dub-Dub" Hank Thompson [41]
September 5 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [42]
September 12 [43]
September 19 [44]
September 26 [45]
October 3 [46]
October 10 "A Dear John Letter" Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky [47]
October 17 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [48]
October 24 [49]
October 31 "A Dear John Letter" Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky [50]
November 7 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [51]
November 14 "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" The Davis Sisters [52]
November 21 "A Dear John Letter" Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky [53]
November 28 [54]
December 5 "There Stands the Glass" Webb Pierce
December 12 "Caribbean" Mitchell Torok [55]
December 19 [56]
December 26 "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" The Davis Sisters [57]

National Best Sellers[edit]

A young man wearing a cowboy hat, a jacket and tie, playing a guitar at a microphone
Hank Williams had four number ones on the best sellers chart in 1953. He died on January 1 of the year.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 3 "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" Hank Williams [8]
January 10 "Midnight" Red Foley [9]
January 17 "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" Hank Williams [10]
January 24 "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" Hank Williams [11]
January 31 "Eddy's Song" Eddy Arnold [12]
February 7 [13]
February 14 [14]
February 21 "Kaw-Liga" Hank Williams [15]
February 28 [16]
March 7 [17]
March 14 [18]
March 21 [19]
March 28 [20]
April 4 [21]
April 11 [22]
April 18 [23]
April 25 [24]
May 2 [25]
May 9[a] "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [26]
"Kaw-Liga" Hank Williams
May 16 "Kaw-Liga" Hank Williams [27]
May 23 "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [28]
May 30 [29]
June 6[a] "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [30]
"Take These Chains from My Heart" Hank Williams
June 13 "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [31]
June 20 [32]
June 27 "Take These Chains from My Heart" Hank Williams [33]
July 4 [34]
July 11[a] "Take These Chains from My Heart" Hank Williams [35]
"It's Been So Long" Webb Pierce
July 18 "It's Been So Long" Webb Pierce [36]
July 25 [37]
August 1
August 8 [38]
August 15 [39]
August 22 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [40]
August 29 "A Dear John Letter" Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky [41]
September 5 [42]
September 12 [43]
September 19 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [44]
September 26 "A Dear John Letter" Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky [45]
October 3 [46]
October 10 [47]
October 17 "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" The Davis Sisters [48]
October 24 [49]
October 31 [50]
November 7 [51]
November 14 [52]
November 21 "There Stands the Glass" Webb Pierce [53]
November 28 "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" The Davis Sisters [54]
December 5 "There Stands the Glass" Webb Pierce
December 12 [55]
December 19 [56]
December 26 [57]

a. ^ Two songs tied for number one.

Most Played by Jockeys[edit]

A dark-haired man in a sports jacket and tie holding a guitar.
Hank Locklin ended the year at number one on the jockeys chart.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 3 "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" Hank Williams [8]
January 10 "Back Street Affair" Webb Pierce [9]
January 17 [10]
January 24 "I'll Go On Alone" Marty Robbins [11]
January 31 "No Help Wanted" The Carlisles [12]
February 7 "I'll Go On Alone" Marty Robbins [13]
February 14 "No Help Wanted" The Carlisles [14]
February 21 [15]
February 28 [16]
March 7 "Kaw-Liga" Hank Williams [17]
March 14 [18]
March 21 [19]
March 28 [20]
April 4 [21]
April 11 [22]
April 18 [23]
April 25 [24]
May 2 "Your Cheatin' Heart" [25]
May 9 [26]
May 16 [27]
May 23 [28]
May 30 [29]
June 6 "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [30]
June 13 [31]
June 20 [32]
June 27 [33]
July 4 [34]
July 11 [35]
July 18 "Your Cheatin' Heart" Hank Williams [36]
July 25[a] "Mexican Joe" Jim Reeves [37]
"It's Been So Long" Webb Pierce
August 1 "It's Been So Long" Webb Pierce
August 8 [38]
August 15 [39]
August 22 [40]
August 29 [41]
September 5 [42]
September 12 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [43]
September 19 "It's Been So Long" Webb Pierce [44]
September 26 "Hey Joe" Carl Smith [45]
October 3 [46]
October 10 [47]
October 17 "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" The Davis Sisters [48]
October 24 [49]
October 31 [50]
November 7 [51]
November 14 [52]
November 21 [53]
November 28 [54]
December 5 "There Stands the Glass" Webb Pierce
December 12 "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" The Davis Sisters [55]
December 19 "Let Me Be the One" Hank Locklin [56]
December 26 [57]

a. ^ Two songs tied for number one.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs: 1944-2005. Record Research. p. ix. ISBN 9780898201659.
  2. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Hank Williams Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. pp. 62, 91, 146, 187, 263, 287, 325. ISBN 0823076326.
  4. ^ "Mitchell Torok Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "The Davis Sisters Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 91. ISBN 0823076326.
  7. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Skeeter Davis Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Top Country & Western Records". Billboard. January 3, 1953. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Top Country & Western Records". Billboard. January 10, 1953. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Top Country & Western Records". Billboard. January 17, 1953. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
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  13. ^ a b c "Top Country & Western Records". Billboard. February 7, 1953. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
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  40. ^ a b c "Top Country & Western Records". Billboard. August 22, 1953. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  41. ^ a b c "Top Country & Western Records". Billboard. August 29, 1953. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
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