The Number One Hits of 1926

December 26, 1925 – February 12, 1926
Vernon Dalhart
The Prisoner’s Song
Vernon Dalhart (1883-1948) was an American singer and songwriter who became popular in the 1920s for his country and folk recordings.
Composed by Guy Massey, “The Prisoner’s Song” is a mournful ballad about a prisoner longing for freedom and his loved ones.
February 13, 1926 – March 26, 1926
George Olson
George Olson (1893-1971) was an American bandleader known for his dance orchestra during the 1920s and 1930s.
Written by Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach, and Oscar Hammerstein II, “Who?” is a song from the 1925 musical “Sunny.”
March 27, 1926 – April 16, 1926
Ben Bernie
Sleepy Time Gal
Ben Bernie (1891-1943) was an American violinist and bandleader known for his radio and recording career in the 1920s and 1930s.
Composed by Richard A. Whiting, Raymond B. Egan, and Ange Lorenzo, “Sleepy Time Gal” is a soothing ballad.
April 17, 1926 – May 7, 1926
Al Jolson
I’m Sitting On Top Of The World
Jolson was among the first inductees into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.
This song, written by Ray Henderson, Sam M. Lewis, and Joe Young, is an upbeat and optimistic tune about enjoying life.
May 8, 1926 – May 21, 1926
George Olson
Born on March 19, 1893, in Oregon, Illinois, Olson played the drums and xylophone and was also a singer. He began his career as a drummer in a circus band and later moved on to lead his band, George Olson and His Music.
Composed by Irving Berlin, “Always” is a romantic ballad that has become a classic and frequently covered song.
May 22, 1926 – June 4, 1926
Gene Austin
Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue

Born as Lemuel Eugene Lucas on June 24, 1900, in Gainesville, Texas, Austin is considered one of the first “crooners” known for his warm, smooth vocal style. He began his career performing in vaudeville and on radio shows and eventually landed a recording contract with Victor Records.

Written by Ray Henderson, Sam M. Lewis, and Joe Young, this song is a lighthearted tune about a petite and attractive woman.

June 5, 1926 – June 18, 1926
Vincent Lopez
Vincent Lopez (1895-1975) was an American bandleader and pianist known for his energetic performances and catchy tunes.
June 19, 1926 – July 2, 1926
“Whispering” Jack Smith
Gimme a Lil’ Kiss, Will Ya, Huh?
“Whispering” Jack Smith (1896-1950) was an American singer known for his unique whispering vocal style.
This song is a playful, flirtatious tune written by Maceo Pinkard, Roy Turk, and Jack Smith.
July 3, 1926 – September 3, 1926
Paul Whiteman
Paul Whiteman died on December 29, 1967, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Composed by José Padilla with lyrics by Lucien Jean Boyer and Jacques-Charles, “Valencia” is a lively and romantic song.
September 4, 1926 – October 1, 1926
Gene Austin
Bye, Bye Blackbird
Gene Austin (1900-1972) was an American singer and songwriter known for his smooth vocal style and many popular recordings during the 1920s and 1930s.
Written by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon, “Bye, Bye Blackbird” is a jazz standard covered by numerous artists.
October 2, 1926 – October 15, 1926
Al Jolson
When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin’ Along
While Al Jolson was an iconic figure in the entertainment industry, it is essential to remember and acknowledge the racially insensitive aspects of his career, specifically his use of blackface, when discussing his contributions to American music and culture.
Composed by Harry M. Woods, this song is a cheerful and optimistic tune about the arrival of spring and happier times.
October 16, 1926 – November 26, 1926
Jan Garber
Baby Face
Jan Garber (1894-1977) was an American bandleader and violinist whose orchestra was popular throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
Written by Benny Davis and Harry Akst, “Baby Face” is a playful, affectionate song about a person with a youthful appearance.
November 27, 1926 – December 10, 1926
Johnny Marvin
Breezin’ Along With The Breeze
Johnny Marvin (1897-1944) was an American singer, songwriter, and ukulele player known for his recordings in the 1920s and 1930s.
Composed by Haven Gillespie, Seymour Simons, and Richard A. Whiting, this song is a carefree and easygoing tune.
December 11, 1926 – January 7, 1927
Paul Whiteman
The Birth of the Blues
Whiteman was an avid art collector and amassed an impressive collection of modern art.
Written by Ray Henderson, Buddy G. DeSylva, and Lew Brown, “The Birth of the Blues” is a classic jazz song that pays tribute to the genre’s origins.

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1926 include:
Gene Austin, Franklyn Baur, Ben Bernie and His Orchestra, Henry Burr, Eddie Cantor, Vernon Dalhart, Vaughn Deleath, Cliff “Ukelele Ike” Edwards, Ruth Etting, Jan Garber and His Orchestra, Johnny Hamp, Ipana Troubadors, Lewis James, Al Jolson, Isham Jones and His Orchestra, Richard Wolfe Kahn, Vincent Lopez and His Orchestra, Gertrude Lawrence, Ted Lewis and His Band, Nick Lucas, Abe Lymon, Johnny Marvin, Billy Murray, George Olson, Leo Reisman, Revelers, Ben Selvin, Nat Shilkret and The Victor Orchestra, Bessie Smith, “Whispering” Jack Smith, Aileen Stanley, Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians, Ethel Waters, Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

Charts based on Billboard music charts.

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