The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 20

Race Music Chart

Number ones, 1945-1946

In 1945, Billboard Magazine renamed its Harlem Hit Parade to the List of Race Music, a name that it would keep until June, 1949, when it got its most well-known name, the Rhythm & Blues Records.

In this episode the number one hits of 1945 and 1946 come by. And in all aspects these were turbulent years. For the music, as they yielded the two biggest R&B hits ever, and for the unprecedented and unsurpassed victory of Louis Jordan, who had seven number one hits out of the fifteen titles that go by today. And for the world, as 1945 was the year that the war came to an end, with America facing the biggest economic boom to come, and Europe having to struggle out of the devastation of the war.

And excuse me for doing so much talking in this episode. Some stories have to be told and they all came together in this show. I will make a comparison of the two greatest R&B hits ever, Joe Liggins' Honeydripper and Louis Jordan's Choo Choo Ch'Boogie. There's also a lot to tell on the making of the Honeydripper. And then a very personal story of how my parents, still teenagers, experienced this turbulent period, and why they never got to hear the hits that I will play today. It's not from them that I became a fan of forties and fifties Rhythm & Blues.



The date indicates when the record was listed number one for the first time.

  1. Cootie Williams - Somebody's Gotta Go (February 10, 1945)
  2. Cecil Gant - I wonder (February 17)
  3. Roosevelt Sykes - I Wonder (February 24)
  4. Erskine Hawkins & his Orchestra - Tippin' In (April 14)
  5. Louis Jordan - Mop Mop (April 21)
  6. Louis Jordan - Caldonia (June 2)
  7. Lucky Millinder - Who Threw The Whiskey Down The Well (July 14)
  8. Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers - The Honeydripper (September 8)
  9. Louis Jordan - Buzz Me (January 12, 1946)
  10. Lionel Hampton - Hey-Ba-Ba-Re-Bop (March 16)
  11. Louis Jordan - Don't Worry 'Bout That Mule (March 23)
  12. Ink Spots - The Gypsy (June 29)
  13. Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan - Stone Cold Dead In The Market (He Had It Coming) (July 10)
  14. Louis Jordan - Choo Choo Ch'Boogie (August 24)
  15. Louis Jordan & The Tympany Five - Ain't That Just Like a Woman (November 23)
  • Wild Bill Moore Sextette - Bongo Bounce
The following music served as background music during the spoken parts:
  • Kirk Kirkland - The Saxaphone Rag
  • Count Basie & His Orchestra - One O'Clock Boogie
  • Count Basie & His Orchestra - One O'Clock Jump
  • Duke Ellington and his Orchestra - Main Stem
  • Harry James & His Orchestra - Jump Town
  • Lionel Hampton - Hamp Boogie Woogie