Britain’s First Number Ones: 1939-1945

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 3 Disc
Release date: 11 Apr 2011


"Compilation of Wartime Favourites...Played an Important Role in Keeping Spirits High."   RECORD COLLECTOR

"Includes many songs still familiar today."   MUSIC WEEK


CAT No: FVTD104UPC TEXT: 5055311001043

Full details

If you thought the charts commenced in 1952, think again…By drawing on surveys of sheet music sales, which were only published in the US trade press (as England’s Top Twenty) and which provided the basis of Radio Luxembourg’s chart show from 1949 onwards, journalist and pop musician Bob Stanley has effectively pushed back the charts by 13 years.

In 2009 Fantastic Voyage released Britain’s First Number Ones 1945 to 1952 (FVTD028), a 3CD round-up of the chart-toppers from August 1945 through to August 1952. Now Bob, again with the assistance of pre-rock music authorities Ossie Dales and Brian Henson (co-writer of the definitive reference book First Hits) has compiled another 3CD set, covering number ones from December 1939 to July 1945.This was an era of massively popular British and American bands, led by the likes of Geraldo, Ambrose, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Singers (either billed solo or working with these bands), included Gracie Fields, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters.

Much of the world was at war during this period, and the armed forces had their own “sweethearts”, Vera Lynn and Anne Shelton.There is considerable interest in the British singles charts, as evidenced by the success of Fantastic Voyage’s British Hit Parade series. Our two volumes of Britain’s First Number Ones now enable collectors to pursue their consuming interest all the way back to 1939.



  1. I’m Sending A Letter To Santa Claus (Gracie Fields)
  2. I’ll Remember (Geraldo (vocal Cyril Grantham))
  3. Scatterbrain (Carroll Gibbons (vocals Anne Lenner & Eric Whitley))
  4. In An Eighteenth Century Drawing Room (Hal Kemp)
  5. Over The Rainbow (Jack Hylton (vocal Dolly Elsie))
  6. There’s A Boy Coming Home On Leave (Flanagan & Allen)
  7. Arm In Arm (Jack White (vocals Tony Morris & Norma Clarke))
  8. You Made Me Care (Sydney Lipton (vocal Celia Lipton))
  9. When Our Dreams Grow Old (Vera Lynn with Ambrose)
  10. Don’t Ever Pass Me By (Victor Silvester)
  11. The Singing Hills (Dick Todd)
  12. I Can’t Love You Any More (Than I Do) (Geraldo (vocal Dorothy Carless))
  13. All The Things You Are (Tommy Dorsey (vocal Jack Leonard))
  14. All Over The Place (Tommy Trinder)
  15. Bless ’Em All (George Formby)
  16. Only Forever (Bing Crosby)
  17. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me) (The Ink Spots)
  18. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me) (Tommy Dorsey (vocal Frank Sinatra))
  19. The Last Time I Saw Paris (Tony Martin)
  20. Over The Hill (Vera Lynn)
  21. Waltzing In The Clouds (Victor Silvester)


  1. Waltzing In The Clouds (Deanna Durbin)
  2. I’ve Got Sixpence (Billy Cotton (vocal Alan Breeze))
  3. Amapola (Jimmy Dorsey (vocals Bob Eberley & Helen O’Connell))
  4. Russian Rose (Ambrose (vocal Anne Shelton))
  5. Yours (Quiereme Mucho) (Vera Lynn)
  6. Yours (Quiereme Mucho) (Edmundo Ros)
  7. Rose O’Day (Flanagan & Allen)
  8. That Lovely Weekend (Geraldo (vocal Dorothy Carless))
  9. What More Can I Say (Billy Thorburn (vocal Julie Dawn))
  10. The Sailor With The Navy Blue Eyes (Harry Roy (vocals The Royalists))
  11. The White Cliffs Of Dover (Vera Lynn)
  12. It’s Spring Again (Arthur Askey)
  13. Deep In The Heart Of Texas (Bing Crosby)
  14. Deep In The Heart Of Texas (Joe Loss (vocal Harry Kaye))
  15. How Green Was My Valley (Vera Lynn)
  16. Jealousy (Hutch)
  17. The Anniversary Waltz (Bing Crosby)
  18. Jingle Jangle Jingle (The Merry Macs)
  19. White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
  20. You Are My Sunshine (Bing Crosby)
  21. Moonlight Becomes You (Glenn Miller (vocal Skip Nelson))


  1. Moonlight Becomes You (Bing Crosby)
  2. My Devotion (Ambrose (vocal Anne Shelton))
  3. Dearly Beloved (Glenn Miller)
  4. As Time Goes By (Rudy Vallee)
  5. Darling (Carroll Gibbons (vocal Edna Kay))
  6. Whispering Grass (The Ink Spots)
  7. Silver Wings In The Moonlight (Anne Shelton)
  8. Comin’ In On A Wing And A Prayer (Anne Shelton with Ambrose)
  9. If I Had My Way (Ivy Benson (vocal Georgina))
  10. It Can’t Be Wrong (Dick Haymes with The Song Spinners)
  11. Mairzy Doats And Doazy Doats (The Merry Macs)
  12. Lilli Marlene (Anne Shelton)
  13. I’ll Be Seeing You (Ambrose (vocal Rita Shaw))
  14. The Happiest New Year Of All (Vera Lynn)
  15. If You Ever Go To Ireland (Harry Leader (vocal Art Noel))
  16. Together (Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes)
  17. Just A Little Fond Affection (Issy Bonn)
  18. My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time (Les Brown (vocal Doris Day))
  19. A Little On The Lonely Side (Guy Lombardo (vocal Jimmy Brown))
  20. Don’t Fence Me In (Gene Autry)
  21. Don’t Fence Me In (Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters)
  22. Coming Home (Dorothy Squires)