List of Billboard number-one rhythm and blues hits  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Listed here are Billboard magazine's number-one rhythm and blues hits from 1942–1959.

Note: From June 22 1948 to October 13 1958, multiple charts (usually jukebox, DJ, and sales charts) were used, which explains the overlap in the dates of the charts. Because of the existence of multiple charts, some dates had more than one number-one song during the week.

Contents

Chart names

An asterisk after a song title means that the song lost and then regained the number-one spot.

1940s

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

  • January 12: "Buzz Me" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (9 weeks)
  • March 16: "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" — Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra (16 weeks)*
  • March 23: "Don’t Worry 'bout That Mule" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (1 week)
  • June 29: "The Gypsy" — The Ink Spots (3 weeks)*
  • July 10: "Stone Cold Dead in the Market (He Had It Coming)" — Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (5 weeks)
  • August 24: "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (18 weeks)*
  • November 23: "Ain’t That Just Like a Woman (They’ll Do It Every Time)" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (2 weeks)*

1947

  • 17 January: "Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (17 weeks)*
  • 26 April: "Texas and Pacific" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (2 weeks)*
  • 17 May: "I Want to Be Loved (But Only By You)" — Savannah Churchill and the Sentimentalists (8 weeks)*
  • 24 May: "Old Maid Boogie" — Eddie Vinson and His Orchestra (2 weeks)*
  • 28 June: "Jack You’re Dead" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (7 weeks)*
  • 30 August: "Boogie Woogie Blue Plate" — Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (14 weeks)*
  • 22 November: "(Opportunity Knocks But Once) Snatch and Grab It" — Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends (12 weeks)*

1948

1949

1950s

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

  • 19 May: I'm in Love Again - Fats Domino (9 Weeks)*
  • 28 July: Treasure of Love - Clyde McPhatter (1 Week)
  • 4 August: Rip It Up - Little Richard (2 Weeks)
  • 25 August: Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2) - Bill Doggett (13 Weeks)*
  • 15 September: Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel - Elvis Presley (6 Weeks)*

1957

1/5 Since I Met You Baby - Ivory Joe Hunter (3 Weeks)

1/26 Blue Monday - Fats Domino (8 Weeks)*

3/9 Jim Dandy - LaVern Baker (1 Week)

3/16 Love Is Strange - Mickey and Sylvia (2 Weeks)

3/23 I'm Walkin' - Fats Domino (6 Weeks)

4/27 Lucille - Little Richard (2 Weeks)

4/29 School Day - Chuck Berry (5 Weeks)*

4/29 All Shook Up - Elvis Presley (4 Weeks)

6/3 Young Blood - The Coasters (1 Week)

6/10 Searchin' - The Coasters (12 Weeks)

6/17 C.C. Rider - Chuck Willis (2 Weeks)*

7/29 Short Fat Fannie - Larry Williams (1 Week)

8/19 Send For Me - Nat "King" Cole (2 Weeks)

9/2 Further Up the Road - Bobby "Blue" Bland (2 Weeks)*

9/2 (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley (1 Week)

9/9 Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On - Jerry Lee Lewis (2 Weeks)

9/16 Long Lonely Nights - Clyde McPhatter (1 Week)

9/23 Diana - Paul Anka (2 Weeks)

9/30 Mr. Lee - The Bobbettes (4 Weeks)*

10/7 Honeycomb - Jimmie Rodgers (2 Weeks)

10/21 Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (5 Weeks)

10/28 Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers (1 Week)

11/25 You Send Me - Sam Cooke (6 Weeks)

1958

1/6 At the Hop - Danny & the Juniors (5 Weeks)

1/6 Raunchy - Ernie Freeman (2 Weeks)

1/20 Raunchy - Bill Justis And His Orchestra (1 Week)

1/27 I'll Come Running Back to You - Sam Cooke (1 Week)

2/3 Get a Job - The Silhouettes (6 Weeks)

3/10 Sweet Little Sixteen - Chuck Berry (3 Weeks)

3/31 Tequila - The Champs (4 Weeks)

4/28 Twilight Time - The Platters (3 Weeks)

5/5 Wear My Ring Around Your Neck - Elvis Presley (3 Weeks)

5/19 All I Have to Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers (5 Weeks)

5/26 Witch Doctor - David Seville (1 Week)

6/23 Yakety Yak - The Coasters (7 Weeks)

6/23 What Am I Living For - Chuck Willis (1 Week)

8/4 Splish Splash - Bobby Darin (2 Weeks)

8/11 Patricia - Perez Prado And His Orchestra (2 Weeks)

8/25 Just a Dream - Jimmy Clanton (1 Week)

9/1 Little Star - The Elegants (4 Weeks)

9/1 When - The Kalin Twins (1 Week)

9/29 It's All in the Game - Tommy Edwards (3 Weeks)

10/6 Rockin' Robin - Bobby Day (3 Weeks)

10/27 Topsy II - Cozy Cole (6 Weeks)

12/8 A Lover's Question - Clyde McPhatter (1 Week)

12/15 Lonely Teardrops - Jackie Wilson (7 Weeks)

1959

2/2 Try Me - James Brown (1 Week)

2/9 Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price (4 Weeks)

3/9 It's Just a Matter of Time - Brook Benton (9 Weeks)

5/11 Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison (7 Weeks)

6/29 Personality - Lloyd Price (4 Weeks)

7/27 There Goes My Baby - The Drifters (1 Week)

8/3 What'd I Say (Part 1) - Ray Charles (1 Week)

8/10 Thank You Pretty Baby - Brook Benton (4 Weeks)

9/7 I'm Gonna Get Married - Lloyd Price (3 Weeks)*

9/21 I Want to Walk You Home - Fats Domino (1 Week)

10/5 Poison Ivy - The Coasters (4 Weeks)*

10/12 Sea of Love - Phil Phillips (1 Week)

10/19 You Better Know It - Jackie Wilson (1 Week)

11/16 So Many Ways - Brook Benton (3 Weeks)*

11/23 Don't You Know? - Della Reese (2 Weeks)

12/7 The Clouds - The Spacemen (3 Weeks)*

Gap in the chart

From November 30 1963 to January 23 1965 there was no Billboard R&B singles charts. Some publications have used Cash Box magazine's stats in their place. No specific reason has ever been given as to why Billboard ceased releasing R&B charts, but the prevailing wisdom is that the chart methodology used was being questioned, since more and more Caucasian acts were reaching number-one on the R&B chart.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "List of Billboard number-one rhythm and blues hits" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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