Britain’s First Number Ones: 1945-1952

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 3 Disc
Release date: 9 Nov 2009


"Over 3 CDs Dorothy Squires, Bing Crosby and more express joy and woe to a sweet polite music"  4/5 MOJO

"Bygone big sellers"  RECORD COLLECTOR


CAT No: FVTD028UPC TEXT: 5055311000282

Full details

If you thought the charts commenced in 1952, think again… There is considerable interest in the British singles charts. In November 1952 the New Musical Express published a sales chart, and various UK music publications have done so since then. Many collectors are obsessed with accumulating every recording that charted. First they sought out the original vinyl, now they look for the same tracks on CD. This demand has been met by “The First British Hit Parade” (a single-CD collection of every recording in the British singles sales charts of 1952) and the ongoing “British Hit Parade” series, which comprises a pair of multi-disc sets for each year from 1953 onwards.

Fantastic Voyage continued this series with the 1958 sets earlier this year (FVQD001 and FVQD002) and the 1959 sets will follow in January 2010. However, Britain’s First Number Ones 1945-1952 will come as surprise to those who thought the charts commenced in 1952. By drawing on surveys of sheet music sales, 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.

Next year Fantastic Voyage intends to release a compilation of the number ones from 1939 to 1945, but first we bring you a 3CD round-up of the chart-toppers from August 1945 through to August 1952. Radio Luxembourg was very popular with radio listeners across Britain from the late thirties through to the sixties, providing many with their easiest access to pop music on the airwaves before the proliferation of pirate radio and the advent of BBC Radio 1.



  1. Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry (Evelyn Knight & The Jesters)
  2. The Gypsy (Dorothy Squires)
  3. I'm In Love With Two Sweethearts (Issy Bonn)
  4. It's Been A Long, Long Time (Bing Crosby with The Les Paul Trio)
  5. Cruising Down The River (Lou Preager (vocal Paul Rich))
  6. Kentucky (Geraldo)
  7. Chickery Chick (Evelyn Knight & The Jesters)
  8. Along The Navajo Trail (Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters)
  9. In The Land Of Beginning Again (Archie Lewis)
  10. Mary Lou (The Skyrockets (vocal Cyril Shane))
  11. Bless You (The Ink Spots)
  12. Primrose Hill (The Skyrockets (vocal Cyril Shane))
  13. Let It Be Soon (The Skyrockets (vocal Doreen Lundy))
  14. All Through The Day (Frank Sinatra)
  15. All Through The Day (Frank Weir & His Orchestra (vocal Vivien Paget))
  16. Five Minutes More (Frank Sinatra)
  17. Sweetheart, We'll Never Grow Old (Doreen Harris)
  18. The Old Lamplighter (Primo Scala & His Accordion Band (vocal Billie Campbell))
  19. To Each His Own (The Ink Spots)
  20. The Anniversary Song (Al Jolson)
  21. Among My Souvenirs (Frank Sinatra)
  22. Tell Me, Marianne (Jean Sablon with Toots Camarata's Orchestra)
  23. A Gal In Calico (Bing Crosby & The Calico Kids)


  1. People Will Say We're In Love (Bing Crosby with Trudy Erwin)
  2. Now Is The Hour (Gracie Fields)
  3. An Apple Blossom Wedding (Sammy Kaye)
  4. Peg O' My Heart (Red Nichols)
  5. Peg O' My Heart (Hutch)
  6. A Tree In The Meadow (Dorothy Squires)
  7. Near You (The Andrews Sisters)
  8. Galway Bay (Bing Crosby)
  9. So Tired (Russ Morgan & His Orchestra)
  10. Buttons And Bows (Dinah Shore & Her Happy Valley Boys)
  11. On A Slow Boat To China (Kay Kyser & His Orchestra)
  12. Far Away Places (Bing Crosby with The Ken Darby Singers)
  13. Twelfth Street Rag (Pee Wee Hunt & His Orchestra)
  14. Lavender Blue (Burl Ives)
  15. The Wedding of Lili Marlene (Anne Shelton)
  16. Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend) (Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra)
  17. I Don't See Me In Your Eyes Anymore (Vera Lynn & Sam Browne)
  18. Forever And Ever (Perry Como)
  19. You're Breaking My Heart (Bill Johnson)
  20. The Harry Lime Theme (aka The Third Man Theme) (Anton Karas)
  21. The Hop Scotch Polka (Cyril Stapleton & His Orchestra)
  22. Dear Hearts And Gentle People (Dinah Shore)
  23. Music Music Music (Teresa Brewer)


  1. (If I Knew You Were Comin') I'd've Baked A Cake (Eve Young)
  2. My Foolish Heart (Billy Eckstine)
  3. Bewitched (Bill Snyder & His Orchestra)
  4. Bewitched (Doris Day)
  5. Silver Dollar (Eve Young)
  6. Goodnight Irene (Jo Stafford)
  7. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Gene Autry)
  8. I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat (Mel Blanc)
  9. Beloved, Be Faithful (Teddy Johnson)
  10. The Petite Waltz (Billy Cotton)
  11. The Tennessee Waltz (Jo Stafford)
  12. The Tennessee Waltz (Patti Page)
  13. Mockin' Bird Hill (Les Paul & Mary Ford)
  14. With These Hands (David Hughes)
  15. My Resistance Is Low (Hoagy Carmichael)
  16. Too Young (Jimmy Young)
  17. Longing For You (Teresa Brewer)
  18. The Loveliest Night Of The Year (Mario Lanza)
  19. There's Always Room At Our House (Guy Mitchell)
  20. Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
  21. A-round The Corner (Jo Stafford)
  22. Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart (Vera Lynn)
  23. The Homing Waltz (Vera Lynn)