The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 25

Race Music Chart

Number ones, 1947-1948

Today the number ones of Billboard's Race music chart of 1947 and a part of 1948. And you can say that Rhythm & Blues really had grown mature in a short time. The big bands that dominated the hit lists just a few years ago, are completely absent from the top of the list and all seems to go about the latest sensation of African American music - the jump blues. Pioneer Louis Jordan had some more of his greatest hits but today's playlist shows more names - including a few veterans of the blues.

For the list of number ones, I rely on this Wikipedia list. As you can see, there's something odd in the dates in today's playlist: July 10 of 1948 both features Sonny Thompson and Louis Jordan. Though there is some kind of explanation on Wikipedia, I also had to look that up in Billboard Magazine itself that is available on-line through Google Books. It appears there's not just one Race music chart; there are two. One for best selling retail and one for most played in juke boxes. The Wikipedia list has merged these two and that explains the duplicates: on July, 10 Louis Jordan was most played in juke boxes while Sonny Thompson sold best.



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

  1. Louis Jordan - Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens (January 17, 1947)
  2. Louis Jordan - Texas and Pacific (April 26)
  3. Savannah Churchill & the Sentimentals - I Want To Be Loved (But Only By You) (May 17)
  4. Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson - Old Maid Boogie (May 24)
  5. Louis Jordan - Jack You're Dead (June 28)
  6. Louis Jordan - Boogie Woogie Blue Plate (August, 30)
  7. Julia Lee and her Boy Friends - (Opportunity Knocks But Once) Snatch And Grab It (November, 22)
  8. Bull Moose Jackson - I Love You Yes I Do (January 21, 1948)
  9. Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends - King Size Papa (March 20)
  10. Lonnie Johnson - Tomorrow Night (May 22)
  11. Wynonie Harris - Good Rockin' Tonight (June 19)
  12. Sonny Thompson feat. Eddie Chamblee - Long Gone (July 10)
  13. Louis Jordan - Run Joe (July 10)
  14. Bull Moose Jackson - I Can't Go On Without You (July 24)
  15. Memphis Slim - Messin' Around (September 4)
  16. Arbee Stidham - My Heart Belongs To You (September 11)
  • Wild Bill Moore Sextette - Bongo Bounce
The following music served as background music during the spoken parts:
  • Kirk Kirkland - The Saxaphone Rag
  • Jim Wynn - J.W. Bop
  • Joe Lutcher - Strato-Cruiser
  • Russell Jacquet - Lion's Roar
  • Sonny Thompson - Sonny's Return