1990 music: LOTS of #1s

Mariah CareyThere were 25 #1 pop hits on Billboard’s pop charts in 1990. Nearly half of them topped the charts for a week apiece.

Vogue went double platinum, while Nothing Can Compare 2 U, Step by Step, Blaze of Glory, and Ice Ice Baby went platinum. Everything else went gold, except the Bolton, Ingram, Sweet Sensation, and George Michael hits.

Because I Love You (The Postman Song) – Stevie B. #1 for four weeks. I do not recognize the song or the artist.
Nothing Can Compare 2 U– Sinead O’Connor. #1 for four weeks. I LOVE this Prince song.
Visions of Love– Mariah Carey. #1 for four weeks. #1 for two weeks RB.

Vogue – Madonna. #1 for three weeks. #16 RB. Possibly my favorite Ciccone song.
Escapade – Janet Jackson. #1 for three weeks. #1 RB. I saw her perform in 2018.
Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey. #1 for three weeks. #1 RB.

Opposites Attract – Paula Abdul with the Wild Pair. #1 for three weeks. #3 for two weeks RB. So THAT’S how relationships work!
Step by Step – New Kids on the Block. #1 for three weeks. #48 RB.
How Am I Supposed to Live Without You – Michael Bolton. #1 for three weeks.

It Must Have Been Love – Roxette. #1 for two weeks.
Black Velvet – Alannah Myles. #1 for two weeks. I had forgotten this song. I like her voice.
Release Me – Wilson Phillips. #1 for two weeks.
She Ain’t Worth It – Glenn Medeiros/Bobby Brown. #1 for two weeks. #43 RB.

Just one week at #1 pop

Hold On – Wilson Phillips.
Blaze of Glory – Jon Bon Jovi.
I’m Your Baby Tonight – Whitney Houston. #1 for two weeks RB.

Close To You– Maxi Priest.
I Don’t Have the Heart– James Ingram. #53 RB.
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice. #6 RB. A lawsuit that was just begging to happen.

(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection– Nelson. Oh, THOSE guys.
If Wishes Came True – Sweet Sensation.
Love Will Lead You Back– Taylor Dayne.

Praying For Time– George Michael.
I’ll Be Your Everything– Tommy Page.
Black Cat– Janet Jackson. This song rocks. #10 RB.

I’ll admit to being less than familiar with many of the songs. Yeah, I know Paula, Mariah, Whitney, Madonna, Sinead. I’ve certainly heard NKotB, Bon Jovi, George Michael, Bobby Brown. And yes, even Vanilla Ice and Michael Bolton.

When I was testing for JEOPARDY! back in 1998, there was a clue that was something like this, in the category Before And After. “This World War I President is a singing trio that can “Hold On” to the Beach Boys and the Mamas and the Papas.” The correct response: Who is Woodrow Wilson Phillips?

Those wartime #1 hits of 1940

Glenn MillerThe United States Census of 1940 determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 122,775,046 people.

Europe and Asia were embroiled in World War II by 1940. The United States was allegedly staying out of it. But as my daughter’s European history class reminded me, the US was providing significant military supplies and other assistance to the Allies by September 1940. The Germans had taken Paris and were bombing London.

“On September 2, 1940, President Roosevelt signed a ‘Destroyers for Bases’ agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the United States gave the British more than 50 obsolete destroyers, in exchange for 99-year leases to territory in Newfoundland and the Caribbean, which would be used as U.S. air and naval bases.”

America needed music

In the Mood – Glenn Miller, 13 weeks at #1 and a gold record. It was re-released in 1943 and went to #20.
Frenesi – Artie Shaw, 13 weeks at #1. Both Woody Herman and Glenn Miller recorded the song in 1941 and got to #16.
I’ll Never Smile Again – Tommy Dorsey, featuring Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers, 12 weeks at #1. The Glenn Miller cover went to #16 in the same year.

Only Forever – Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and his orchestra, 9 weeks at #1. Tommy Dorsey’s version reached #7 the same year.
Tuxedo Junction – Glenn Miller and his orchestra, 9 weeks at #1 and a gold record
Scatter-Brain – Frankie Masters, 6 weeks at #1. Benny Goodman and Freddy Martin also recorded this.

The Woodpecker Song – Glenn Miller, featuring Marion Hutton, 5 weeks at #1. Andrews Sisters and Kate Smith were among the artists recording this. It’s based on Reginella Campagnola.
South of the Border (Down in Mexico Way) – Shep Fields, featuring Hal Derwin, 5 weeks at #1. Guy Lombardo and Frank Sinatra (#18 in 1953) had hits with this tune.
Sierra Sue – Bing Crosby, with John Scott Trotter and his orchestra, 4 weeks at #1

Make-Believe Island – Mitchell Ayres, featuring Mary Ann Mercer, 2 weeks at #1 . At least four other recordings charted that year.
Where Was I? – Charlie Barnet, featuring Mary Ann McCall, 2 weeks at #1
The Breeze and I – Jimmy Dorsey, featuring Bob Eberle, 1 week at #1. That year Jimmy Dorsey celebrated his ninth birthday. He was born on February 29, 1904. In 1954, Vic Damone got to #21 with the song.

There were relatively few major record labels in those days. Of the songs above, Shaw and Tommy Dorsey were on Victor, Crosby and Jimmy Dorsey were on Decca, and Masters was on Vocalion. The others were on Bluebird. Columbia was the only other label with songs that got into the Top 4.

The Depression of #1 hits: 1930

Sir Duke

Rudy Vallee-_Radio Revue
Rudy Vallee-_Radio Revue
There was a recent JEOPARDY question about the first full year of the Great Depression. That would of course be 1930. There were a series of bank failures. By 1932, the nation’s income was cut in half. That could never happen now, right?

And the music business took a real hit. According to A Century of Music, the record industry went through almnost a total collapse. In 1927, there were 140 million discs sold. Five years later, it was down to six million.

Still, there were a couple of songs that you will know.

Stein Song (University of Maine) – Rudy Vallee. Ten weeks at #1. I saw Vallee in the 1968 movie The Night They Raided Minsky’s in a Binghamton cinema.

Dancing with Tears in My Eyes – Nat Shilkret with Frank Munn, vocals. Seven weeks at #1.

Body and Soul – Paul Whiteman; Jack Fulton, vocals. Six weeks at #1. Libby Holman went to #3 with this song in 1930.

Little White Lies – Waring’s Pennsylvanians. Vocal refrain by Clare Hanlon & the Three Girl Friends. Six weeks at #1. When I was in glee club in high school, a lot of the arrangements were by Fred Waring. This song went to #3 in 1930 by Shilkret/Munn.

You’re Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?) – Guy Lombardo, with Carmen Lombardo on vocals. Four weeks at #1. Gaetano Alberto “Guy” Lombardo (1902-1077) was a Canadian bandleader who was Mr. New Years Eve from 1956 on TV, and going back to 1929 on the radio.

Three Little Words – Duke Ellington and the Rhythm Boys. Three weeks at #1. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899 – 1974) was “an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than six decades.”


When It’s Springtime in the Rockies – Ben Selvin. Three weeks at #1.

Chant of the Jungle – Roy Ingraham. Three weeks at #1.

Happy Days Are Here Again – Benny Meroff, with Dusty Rhodes on vocals. Three weeks at #1. In the same year, Leo Reisman/Larry Levin’s version went to #3.

When It’s Springtime in the Rockies – Hilo Hawaiian Orchestra, with Frank Luther and Carson Robison, vocals. Two weeks at #1.

If I Could Be With You One Hour To-night – McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, George Thomas, vocals. Two weeks at #1.

Happy Days Are Here Again -Ben Selvin. Two weeks at #1, yet I can’t find a recording. This song also went to #3 in 1930 by Leo Reisman/Larry Levin.

Puttin’ On the Ritz – Harry Richman. One week at #1. This also went to #4 in 1983 by Taco.

The Man from the South (with a Big Cigar in His Mouth) – Ted Weems with Art Jarrett, vocal.

1920: Your non-alcoholic #1 hits

Volstead Act

Edith Day.From “A Century of Pop Music”: “America went dry on January 16, 1920, with the effective date of the Volstead Act barring beer, wine, and liquor…”

Oh, “except (as it turns out) from speakeasies and bootleggers.

“Also in 1920, women finally got the right to vote following ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution…

“‘Crazy Blues’ by Mamie Smith in 1920 became the first authentic blues recording, paving the way for “the Empress of the Blues,” Bessie Smith.

The hits

Dardenella – Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra, #1 for 13 weeks, gold record (Victor). It’s a song that began life as a ballad with words by Fred Fisher, and put to the music written by Felix Bernard and Johnny S. Black in 1919.

Whispering – Paul Whiteman, #1 for 11 weeks, gold record, but in fact listed as a two million seller (Victor) – The undisputed king of dance bands.

Swanee – Al Jolson, #1 for 9 weeks, gold record (Columbia). One of Jolson’s signature songs. George’s Gershwin’s first hit song. “Swanee” was actually introduced by a singer named Muriel DeForrest in October 1919 but was not a success until Jolson performed it in December 1919 at a Winter Garden show. It was then added to the score of his show, “Sinbad”.

When My Baby Smiles At Me – Ted Lewis Jazz Band, #1 for 7 weeks (Columbia). Music by Bill Munro with words by Andrew B. Sterling and Ted Lewis.

The Love Nest – John Steel, #1 for 4 weeks (Victor). From the musical, “Mary”. Written by Louis A. Hirsch and Otto Harbach.

Hold Me – Art Hickman, #1 for 3 weeks (Columbia).

The “St. Louis Blues” – Marion Harris, #1 for 3 weeks (Columbia). She was the first widely known white singer to sing jazz and blues songs.

The Japanese Sandman – Paul Whiteman, #1 for 2 weeks (Victor). This also-popular flip side of Whiteman’s famous career-launching hit “Whispering”.

I’ve Got My Captain Working for Me Now – Al Jolson, #1 for 2 weeks (Columbia). A great revenge song.

The Love Nest – Art Hickman, #1 for 2 weeks (Columbia).

Alice Blue Gown – Edith Day, #1 for 1 week (Victor). From the 1919 musical “Irene”.

Songs That Have Hit #1 By Two Different Artists

Why were the 1957 songs be left off the Wikipedia list?

Number 1 in 1975Here’s the back story about this post: I was listening to my favorite music podcast, Coverville, which was doing a cover story of Kylie Minogue, cover songs of and by the Aussie singer. At some point, the host says the song The Locomotion went to #1 (implicitly, on the US charts) three times. I know this is inaccurate, as I’ve heard the claim before. Little Eva #1, Grand Funk #1, Kylie only to #3, which is still impressive. Kylie’s version DID go to #1 in her native land.

So what songs HAVE gone to #1 more than once? The Wikipedia, and other sources note these:
Continue reading “Songs That Have Hit #1 By Two Different Artists”