Several different musicians were popular in 1947, but do you know what some of the best tracks of that year were? Continue reading below as we dive into the 31 best songs from 1947 to see what’s on our list!
1. Heartaches – Ted Weems
First up on the list is Ted Weems with Heartaches, and this song was one of the best tracks of the year. The song is about being heartbroken, as the title suggests, and there is a lot of emotion conveyed in the track relating to grief and loss. It quickly went to number one on the Billboard Best Selling Singles chart. If you’ve ever lost someone, especially a significant other, then you know the pain and will relate to it on a deep level.
2. September Song – Harry James
Harry James is next with September Song, and this track is about having an affair and knowing that it’s best to let it end. When you listen to this song, you’ll hear the orchestra that is not only going to make you feel nostalgic but also make you feel like you’re living in a fairytale. There have been many covers of this track through the years, but this version remains one of the most unforgettable of them all.
3. Mam’selle – Dick Haymes
Dick Haymes is on our list with Mam’selle, which is a song about a French woman and goes into detail about how beautiful and sweet she is to be around. Not only will this track remind you of someone you think is just gorgeous, but it’ll make you feel like a hopeless romantic. When this song was released, it peaked at four on the Billboard Magazine chart and stayed on the chart for eight weeks.
4. There’s No Business Like Show Business – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
The next song that is on our list is There’s No Business Like Show Business, which was originally written for Annie Get Your Gun, a popular musical released in 1946. The lyrics are a little sarcastic and are talking about the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. One of the most famous versions of the track is by Bing Crosby featuring The Andrews Sisters and Dick Haymes. That was the only version of the song to make it onto the charts, but it only went to number 25.
5. The Old Lamplighter – Sammy Kaye
Up next is The Old Lamplighter by Sammy Kaye, which hit the Billboard Best Seller chart for more than 14 weeks and made it to number one for a while. This is one of those pretty songs that tells you about a person who lights lamps every day on a street, and it’s a very sweet and compassionate track about this person. The orchestra is very smooth and gentle, and it’s a lovely song that is still beloved today.
6. Managua, Nicaragua – Freddy Martin
Freddy Martin makes the list with Managua, Nicaragua, which hit number one on the Billboard Best Seller chart and stayed on the chart for a total of 11 weeks. This song was very entertaining, and it’s a track that’ll make you want to dance. There are elements of fox trot in the song, but the vocals are the primary instrument used to convey the story of a man traveling and falling in love with a woman.
7. I Wish I Didn’t Love You So – Vaughn Monroe
On our list next is Vaughn Monroe with I Wish I Didn’t Love You So, which is all about feeling pain when you love someone and they don’t love you back. It’s a song where you can hear the pain in his vocals, and the melody is very depressing and melancholy.
8. Linda – Ray Noble
Ray Noble had a hit with Linda, which went onto the Billboard charts where it peaked at number one and stayed on the chart in some capacity for 13 weeks total. This is a romantic song that is about the regret of letting a special woman go, and it’s a timeless track about feeling like you’ve missed out on your soulmate.
9. Near You – Francis Craig
One of the most popular songs in 1947 was Near You by Francis Craig, which went on the Billboard Best Sellers chart and peaked at number one but stayed on the chart for 21 weeks altogether. It also landed on the Most Played by Jockeys chart where it peaked at number one and stayed there for 17 weeks consecutively. Billboard put it as the best song of the year, which makes sense given it’s a romantic track about desiring to be with someone.
10. Time After Time – Frank Sinatra
Another hit song was Time After Time by Frank Sinatra, which is a love song that talks about how a person wishes to be back with their former lover. You can hear his smooth and gentle vocals front and center in this song, and it will make you feel emotional every time you hear it. This track remains one of the most classic and iconic love songs to have ever been recorded.
11. Peg O’ My Heart – The Harmonicats
Next is The Harmonicats with Peg O’ My Heart, which went onto the Billboard chart where it peaked at number one and stayed on the charts for a total of 21 weeks. It is a song that talks about love as a young person and how the person is devoted to their someone special. There are a lot of sentimental elements to this track, which is why it remains a classic love song to this day.
12. Open The Door, Richard – Count Basie
Count Basie is on our list with Open The Door, Richard, which made it onto the Billboard Best Seller chart peaking at the number one spot, and it stayed on the charts for four weeks. The lyrics are very upbeat and will make you want to get up and dance. This is one of those lighthearted songs that will bring you joy and a smile on your face.
13. I Love You Because – Leon Payne
Leon Payne makes our list with the hit song I Love You Because, which made it to number one on the Billboard Country & Western Disk Jockey chart for two weeks but stayed on the chart for more than 32 weeks total. It also landed on the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart and peaked at number four. This is one of those classic love songs that just go into why the person loves their significant other, and it’s conveyed with emotion and deep lyrics.
14. Anniversary Song – Al Jolson
Al Jolson is on the list with Anniversary Song, which is a track that is not only romantic but filled with love and beauty. It’s all about a couple who is celebrating an anniversary and how in love they are now and always have been. The sweetness in the lyrics and vocals makes this song just as appealing as the lyrical content.
15. We’re Gonna Rock – Wild Bill Moore
Next is We’re Gonna Rock, which made it into the Hot R&B chart and is one of the earliest songs in rock and roll history. This track was good, but it also had two people playing saxophone so it got to be a little chaotic at times. Even though parts of the song didn’t seem like rock and roll, it quickly became one of the inspirations for today’s rock and roll.
16. When You Were Sweet Sixteen – Perry Como
Perry Como is on the list with When You Were Sweet Sixteen, which went to number two on the Billboard chart and altogether stayed on the chart for 12 weeks. What everyone loved about this song is that it’s all about being a young person and in love.
Whether it’s your first love or a love you experienced as someone in your 20s, this track conveys that nostalgic feeling about how you felt when you first experienced love. While multiple artists have covered the track through the years, this version remains one of the most beloved.
17. Call It Stormy Monday – T-Bone Walker
T-Bone Walker had a hit with Call It Stormy Monday, and this song is his most popular and famous track. There is a lot of electric guitar in the song since he is one of the earlier pioneers of that style. This track went to number five on the Most Played JukeBox Race Records, and it remains an iconic track to this day.
If you enjoy listening to the guitar, then any song by him is worth checking out because he was such an innovator and skilled guitar player that you’ll be impressed at what he could do with the guitar.
18. Old Man River – The Ravens
The Ravens are next with Old Man River, which is one of their most famous songs and this vocal group would go on to have other hits in the 40s, which we will talk about later on. When you listen to this track, you are transported in time, and it’s one of those iconic songs that is still getting a lot of love after all these years.
19. Golden Earrings – Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee had a hit with Golden Earrings which went to number two on the Billboard Pop chart. The song was released a year prior for the spy film Golden Earrings where Murvyn Vye recorded the vocals. While that version of the track wasn’t a success, the one she released a year later was and remains the most popular version of the song.
20. Serenade Of The Bells – Jo Stafford
Jo Stafford released Serenade Of The Bells, and this was one of her biggest hits since it stayed on the Billboard Best Seller chart for nine weeks. Even though this song only made it to number six on the chart, her cover is one of the most well-known and it’s a beloved track that is calming and charming.
21. Red Top – Gene Ammons
Red Top by Gene Ammons is next and this became his signature song because of its middle tempo saxophone and blues style. He was one of the earliest pioneers of a music style that we would later know as R&B before it was R&B, and he got people dancing and grooving with hit tracks such as this one. This song was so popular that it has been covered multiple times through the years.
22. Never Trust A Woman – Tex Williams
Tex Williams had a hit with Never Trust A Woman, which went to number eight on the Billboard Country chart. This was one of his biggest songs, and as you might guess by the title, it’s about how conniving women can be, and it’s one of those tracks you have to hear to understand why it became so popular.
23. King Size Papa – Julia Lee
Julia Lee makes the list with King Size Papa, and this song hit number one on the Billboard R&B chart where it stayed for over two months. This track managed an impressive six months altogether on the chart and even went to the pop chart where it hit number 15. This was one of the biggest crossover songs of the year, and it’s very sexy and risque.
24. I Want To Be Loved – Savannah Churchill
Savannah Churchill released I Want To Be Loved, and this was the biggest hit song she would ever have. This track spent an incredible six months on the Billboard R&B chart and peaked at number one on the chart for a while.
25. Jack, You’re Dead! – Louis Jordan
Louis Jordan had a hit with Jack, You’re Dead, and this song is all about how a guy doesn’t physically respond to a woman when she’s trying to be romantic. It went to number one on the Billboard Race Record chart and stayed on the chart for 20 weeks. The track also landed on the Billboard Pop chart where it peaked at number 21.
26. Pretty Mama Blues – Ivory Joe Hunter
Next is Ivory Joe Hunter with Pretty Mama Blues, and this song topped the Billboard R&B chart and stayed on the top of the chart for three weeks. This was one of the most popular tracks of the year, and it’s a song that you’ll keep going back to because it’s such a good catchy track.
27. Sixteen Tons – Merle Travis
Merle Travis had a hit with Sixteen Tons, which was one of his hit songs, and it’s a track that was very popular in 1947. This song is all about being a miner, and if you know someone who was or is a coal miner, then you’ll understand the lyrics a little better. It’s still a track that is beloved by many today given that mining is one of the most dangerous jobs and many people in the Midwest still work in mines or have relatives that do.
28. Fool That I Am – The Ravens
The Ravens are on our list again with Fool That I Am, which was one of their other hits of the 40s. When you listen to this song, you’ll see why they became such an important and influential group with their smooth vocals and style. When you listen to a track by them, you are going to feel warm and calm because this quartet is so smooth, and it’s a band that you can put on with your kids in the room without worrying about it.
29. That’s All Right – Arthur Crudup
Next is That’s All Right by Arthur Crudup, and this song has a lot of the traditional elements of blues in it. Some people believe this was the first track of rock and roll since there is a guitar solo in the song, which was not common back then. Even though this track isn’t as popular as other songs he recorded prior to this one, it’s still worthy of mentioning.
30. I Ain’t Mad At You (And You Ain’t Mad At Me) – Count Basie
Count Basie had a hit with I Ain’t Mad At You (And You Ain’t Mad At Me), and this was one of several hit songs he would have in the 40s. Not only does this track have a great melody, but it also conveys emotions and thoughts that’ll make you remember it for years to come.
31. Cocaine Blues – Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes had a hit with Cocaine Blues, which is about a guy who drinks and snorted some cocaine and kills his cheating girlfriend. It is one of those blues songs that tells a story of what happens to the man afterward as he tries running from the law, and it’s worth a listen.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.