List of Most Played Juke Box Folk Records number ones of 1944

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A fair-haired man wearing a light-coloured suit, standing at a microphone
A man wearing a white cowboy hat and dark jacket, smiling broadly and holding a guitar
Bing Crosby (left) and Al Dexter were among the artists whose versions of "Pistol Packin' Mama" were listed in the number one spot.

In 1944, Billboard magazine published its first chart ranking the top-performing country music songs in the United States, under the title Most Played Juke Box Folk Records. The term "country music" would not come into standard usage until the late 1940s and "folk music" was one of a number of terms used for the genre in earlier years;[1] the subtitle on the first chart indicated that it covered "Hillbillies, Spirituals, Cowboy Songs, etc".[2] The Juke Box Folk listing was compiled based on reports from "Billboard representatives" detailing the most-played songs of the genre in jukeboxes from "all the country's leading operating centers", which were averaged to give an overall chart.[2][3] The first chart listed six songs, but the number of entries was not consistent from week to week. The juke box chart was published under a number of different titles until 1957 and is considered part of the lineage of the current Hot Country Songs chart, which was first published in 1958.[4]

The first number-one song listed was "Pistol Packin' Mama", which remained in the top spot for the first seven weeks. The song, originally recorded by Al Dexter in 1942, had remained hugely popular ever since, and been recorded by many different singers.[5] Up to four different versions of "Pistol Packin' Mama" were bracketed together as a single entry in the number one position during the seven-week run, although noted chart historian Joel Whitburn regards only the first-named artist each week as having achieved the number one hit, and does not record some of the credited artists as having charted at all.[6] Subsequently, different recordings of a song were not bracketed together in this way: in later issues of Billboard, different versions of "Pistol Packin' Mama" appeared listed separately.[7][8] The chart methodology also allowed for the possibility of records tying for a position, and on several occasions during 1944 two or more different songs tied for the number-one spot.

Counting all seven weeks in which his version of "Pistol Packin' Mama" was bracketed with other artists' recordings of the same song and counting each of his two songs which tied for the top spot in the issue of Billboard dated April 15 as having one week at number one, Al Dexter spent the highest number of weeks at the top of the chart in 1944, with 24. If the first five weeks of the chart, for which Whitburn does not give Dexter credit as having achieved a number one, are discounted, he nonetheless still had the most weeks in the top spot. Dexter was also the artist with the most different songs at number one in 1944, topping the chart with "Pistol Packin' Mama", "Rosalita", "Too Late to Worry" and "So Long Pal".[9][10] Louis Jordan was the only other artist to top the chart with more than one song during the year. Red Foley had the longest unbroken run at number one, spending thirteen consecutive weeks in the top spot in the fall with the patriotic wartime song "Smoke on the Water". Al Dexter's "So Long Pal" spent the same number of weeks at number one, but split across seven different spells at the top. The final number one of the year was "I'm Wastin' My Tears on You" by Tex Ritter, who is one of three acts to top the chart in 1944 who are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame,[11] the others being Ernest Tubb[11] and Red Foley.[12]

Chart history[edit]

A man wearing a light-coloured cowboy hat, neckerchief and dark jacket
Red Foley's song "Smoke on the Water" spent 13 weeks at number one.
A dark-skinned man wearing a light-coloured suit, smiling broadly while holding a saxophone with one hand and pointing upward with the other
Louis Jordan was the first artist to top the chart with a song other than "Pistol Packin' Mama".
A man wearing a white cowboy hat and dark jacket, smiling broadly while holding a guitar
"Texas Troubadour" Ernest Tubb had his first number-one hit in the fall.
A dark-haired middle-aged man wearing a neckerchief and a dark jacket, smiling broadly
Singer/actor Tex Ritter ended the year at number one.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 8 "Pistol Packin' Mama" Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters / Al Dexter / Don Baxter[a] [2]
January 15 Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters / Al Dexter / Don Baxter / Sid Peltyn[a] [13]
January 22 Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters / Al Dexter[a] [14]
January 29 [15]
February 5 Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters / Al Dexter / Freddie "Schnickelfritz" Fisher[a] [16]
February 12 Al Dexter / Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters[a] [17]
February 19 [18]
February 26 "Ration Blues" Louis Jordan [19]
March 4 [7]
March 11[b] "Pistol Packin' Mama" Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters [20]
March 11[b] "Rosalita" Al Dexter
March 18 "They Took the Stars Out of Heaven" Floyd Tillman [8]
March 25 "So Long Pal" Al Dexter [21]
April 1 "Too Late to Worry" [22]
April 8 "So Long Pal" [23]
April 15[b] [24]
April 15[b] "Too Late to Worry"
April 15[b] "Ration Blues" Louis Jordan
April 22 "So Long Pal" Al Dexter [25]
April 29 "Too Late to Worry" Al Dexter [26]
May 6 "So Long Pal" [27]
May 13 [28]
May 20 [29]
May 27 [30]
June 3 [31]
June 10[b] [32]
June 10[b] "Straighten Up and Fly Right" The King Cole Trio
June 17 [33]
June 24 [34]
July 1 "So Long Pal" Al Dexter [35]
July 8 "Straighten Up and Fly Right" The King Cole Trio [36]
July 15[b] [37]
July 15[b] "So Long Pal" Al Dexter
July 22 "Straighten Up and Fly Right" The King Cole Trio [38]
July 29 "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" Louis Jordan [39]
August 5
August 12 [40]
August 19 [41]
August 26 [42]
September 2 "Soldier's Last Letter" Ernest Tubb [43]
September 9 [44]
September 16 [45]
September 23[b] [46]
September 23[b] "So Long Pal" Al Dexter
September 23[b] "Smoke On The Water" Red Foley
September 30 [47]
October 7 [48]
October 14 [49]
October 21 [50]
October 28 [51]
November 4 [52]
November 11 [53]
November 18 [54]
November 25 [55]
December 2 [56]
December 9
December 16 [57]
December 23 "I'm Wastin' My Tears on You" Tex Ritter [58]
December 30 [59]

a. ^ Multiple recordings of the same song were listed together. Joel Whitburn regards only the first act listed as having been number one in the week in question, and does not list Baxter, Peltyn and Fisher's versions as having charted at all.
b. ^ Multiple songs tied for the number one position.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malone, Bill C. (2017). Sing Me Back Home: Southern Roots and Country Music. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 308. ISBN 9780806158518.
  2. ^ a b c "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. January 8, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Cusic, Don (2011). The Cowboy in Country Music: An Historical Survey with Artist Profiles. McFarland. p. 60. ISBN 9780786486052. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs: 1944-2005. Record Research. p. ix. ISBN 9780898201659.
  5. ^ "Story Behind The Song: "Pistol Packin' Mama"". Texas Music. April 4, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 512. ISBN 0823076326.
  7. ^ a b "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. March 4, 1944. p. 20. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. March 18, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Young, William H.; Young, Nancy K. (2010). World War II and the Postwar Years in America: A-I. ABC-CLIO. p. 233. ISBN 9780313356520. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Bush, John. "Al Dexter Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Pugh, Donnie (1998). Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour. Duke University Press. p. 270. ISBN 9780822321903. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  12. ^ Dicaire, David (2007). The First Generation of Country Music Stars: Biographies of 50 Artists Born Before 1940. McFarland. p. 75. ISBN 9780786485581. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. January 15, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  14. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. January 22, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. January 29, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  16. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. February 5, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. February 12, 1944. p. 20. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  18. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. February 19, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. February 26, 1944. p. 86. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. March 11, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  21. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. March 25, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  22. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. April 1, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  23. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. April 8, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  24. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. April 15, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  25. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. April 22, 1944. p. 15. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  26. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. April 29, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  27. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. May 6, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. May 13, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  29. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. May 20, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  30. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. May 27, 1944. p. 19. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  31. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. June 3, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  32. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. June 10, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  33. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. June 17, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  34. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. June 24, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  35. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. July 1, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. July 8, 1944. p. 20. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  37. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. July 15, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  38. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. July 22, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  39. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. August 5, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  40. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. August 12, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  41. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. August 19, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  42. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. August 26, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  43. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. September 2, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  44. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. September 9, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  45. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. September 16, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  46. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. September 23, 1944. p. 24. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  47. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. September 30, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  48. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. October 7, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  49. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. October 14, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  50. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. October 21, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  51. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. October 21, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  52. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. November 4, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  53. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. November 11, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  54. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. November 18, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  55. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. November 25, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  56. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. December 9, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  57. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. December 16, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  58. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. December 23, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  59. ^ "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". Billboard. December 30, 1944. p. 12. Retrieved March 29, 2018.