1950 – Top 20 singles, Billboard

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The Top 20 songs of 1950, from Billboard’s year end singles chart

1. Goodnight Irene, Gordon Jenkins & The Weavers
2. Mona Lisa, Nat King Cole
3. Third Man Theme, Anton Karas
4. Sam’s Song, Gary & Bing Crosby
5. Play a Simple Melody, Gary & Bing Crosby
6. Music, Music, Music, Teresa Brewer
7. Third Man Theme, Guy Lombardo
8. Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy, Red Foley
9. Harbor Lights, Sammy Kaye
10. It Isn’t Fair, Sammy Kaye & Don Cornell
11. If I Knew You Were Coming I’d’ve Baked A Cake, Eileen Barton
12. Bonaparte’s Retreat, Kay Starr
13. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena, Gordon Jenkins & The Weavers
14. There’s No Tomorrow, Tony Martin
15. The Thing, Phil Harris
16. Sentimental Me, Ames Brothers
17. I Wanna Be Loved, Andrews Sisters & Gordon Jenkins
18. Tennessee Waltz, Patti Page
19. I Can Dream, Can’t I, Andrews Sisters & Gordon Jenkins
20. I’ll Never Be Free, Tennessee Ernie Ford & Kay Starr

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1. Goodnight Irene (traditional) — The Weavers

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2. Mona Lisa (Ray Evans, Jay Livingston) — Nat King Cole

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3. The Third Man Theme (Anton Karas) — Anton Karas

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4. Sam’s Song (Jack Elliot and Lew Quadling) — Gary & Bing Crosby

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5. Play a Simple Melody (Irving Berlin) published in 1914. Originally titled Simple Melody*, the song was introduced in the musical Watch Your Step!, Berlin’s musical and Broadway debut.

* However, The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin says (p. 119) “In an early version of the script…Musical Demon (the opening words of the lyric for the countermelody) is listed as a freestanding title.” In other words, early on the number was considered as a combination of two songs, with separate titles.

Gary & Bing Crosby

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6. Music, Music, Music (Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum) — Teresa Brewer

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7. Third Man Theme (Anton Karas)

Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, with guitar solo by Don Rodney — recorded on 9 December 1950; issued on Decca 24839, c/w “Cafe Mozart Waltz” (Anton Karas)

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8. Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy (Harry Stone and Jack Stapp) – Red Foley

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9. Harbor Lights –(m. Hugh Williams*, w. Jimmy Kennedy) published in 1937 / *pseudonym for Will Grosz

Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra

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10. It Isn’t Fair (Richard Himber, Frank Warshauer, and Sylvester Sprigato) published in 1933

Don Cornell with Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra

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11. If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake (Al Hoffman, Bob Merrill, and Clem Watts ) — Eileen Barton

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12. Bonaparte’s Retreat (Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart) — Kay Starr

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13. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena   — A recording by Gordon Jenkins and The Weavers was a hit. The video has the Weavers performing without orchestration

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14. There’s No Tomorrow – based on the Italian song O Sole Mio, composed in 1898, text: Giovanni Capurro, music: Eduardo di Capua. This English version is credited to Al Hoffman, Leo Corday, and Leon Carr.

Tony Martin

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15. The Thing (Charles Randolph Grean) Phil Harris

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16. Sentimental Me (James T. Morehead and James Cassin) — The Ames Brothers

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17. I Wanna Be Loved (m. Johnny Green, w. Edward Heyman and Billy Rose) published 1933

The Andrews Sisters & Gordon Jenkins

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18. Tennessee Waltz (Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King) — Patti Page

The first commercial recording of the song (with the title misspelled as “Tennesee Waltz”) was “probably” the one made by Cowboy Copas in April 1947, according to an article on the song at populartunes.nl. However, this recording, issued on the 78 rpm single King 696, b/w “How Much Do I Owe You,” wasn’t released until March 1948. The co-songwriter credit to Copas present on the label of King 696-A is omitted from later recordings. A 2 December 1947 recording by Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys was released in January 1948 as the B-side of “Rootie Tootie” (Fred Rose), on RCA Victor 20-2680, and became a #3 country hit in April that year.

Patti Page was one of the most successful recording stars of the 1950s, with 22 top 10 hits from 1950 to 1958 and 36 top 40 singles during the decade.

In 1965, “Tennessee Waltz” became the fourth state song of Tennessee.

Patti Page with orchestra conducted by Jack Rael — originally issued (as “The Tennessee Waltz”) 14 October 1950, on Mercury 5534, as the B-side of the 78 rpm single “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” (Leon Rene); reissued in November(?) 1950, with the sides reversed, as Mercury 5534-X45

Billboard peaks and duration, by chart:
#1 — Best Sellers in Stores (9 weeks, from Dec 30, 1950)
#1 — Most Played by Jockeys (8 weeks, from Jan 6, 1951)
#1 — Most Played in Jukeboxes (12 weeks, from Jan 6, 1951)

The recording made the #10 spot on Billboard’s 1951 year end singles chart. See: Top 20 singles, Billboard – 1951.

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19. I Can Dream, Can’t I  (m. Sammy Fain, w. Irving Kahal) published 1938

The Andrews Sisters & Gordon Jenkins

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20. I’ll Never Be Free (Bennie Benjamin and George Weiss) — Tennessee Ernie Ford and Kay Starr

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