The men who sang the hits of 1945 - including Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 10:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 10:15 am

Throughout World War Two, Music played a huge part in keeping up morale, with artists from Britain and the US providing the soundtrack.

As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday May 8, let’s look at some of the top-selling and most popular male artists and their hits of ’45.

Perry Como: Till The End Of TimeKnown as the ‘singing barber,’ this was Como’s first one million seller. He would rack 14 bumber one songs over the next 14 years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Johnny Mercer: On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa FeWritten by Harry Warren with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, the song hit the US charts in mid-1945, and won 1946 Academy Award for Best Original Song.It was featured in 1946 film The Harvey Girls, where it was sung by Judy GarlandMercer was also in top ten with Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

Bing Crosby with Carmen Cavallaro on piano: I Can’t Begin To Tell YouThe song was introduced by John Payne, reprised by Betty Grable in the film The Dolly Sisters. This version by Bing Crosby was the best-known recording, reaching its peak of popularity in 1945.

1965: American singer and actor Bing Crosby (1904 - 1977). (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Sammy Kaye: Chickery ChickBy bandleader Sammy ‘Swing and Sway’ Kaye. Vocals by Nancy Norman, Billy Williams and the Kay Choir.It’s a foxtrot.

Vaughan Monroe: There I’ve Said It AgainMonroe was a bandleader and vocalist. He sang this self-penned song with the wonderfully-named The Moonmaids.

Louis Jordan: Caledonia Caledonia is a jump blues song, first recorded in 1945 by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five.

Duke Ellington: I’m Beginning To See The Light Popular song and jazz standard written by The Duke.Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots, featuring Bill Kenny, recorded a version in 1945, and reached number 5 for six weeks in 1945.A competing 1945 recording by Harry James and his Orchestra, with lead vocals by Kitty Kallen, reached top spot.

Duke Ellighton

Frank Sinatra: Nancy With The Laughing FaceWritten by Jimmy Van Heusen 1942. Sinatra thought it was with his daughter in mind. On-one ever put him straight! It reached number 20 in the US charts in 1945.

Spike Jones: Cocktails For Two Early recordings in 1934 were also by Johnny Green and Will Osborne, but best remembered today due to the comic, sound effects-laden version by Spike Jones and His City Slickers.

Spike Jones

Dick Haymes:It Might As Well Be Spring  Dick Haymes as one of the best ‘crooner’ voices of the era. Considered a poor man’s Sinatra, his voice was richer and more melodic.It Might as Well Be Spring is from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical State Fair and was in the US charts in 1945 for 12 weeks.

Dick Haymes

Woody Herman: Laura The music was composed by David Raksin for the 1944 movie Laura, which starred Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews.

George Formby: Our Fanny’s Gone All YankeeOne of Ukulele-playing Formby’s wartime hits that also included Mr Wu In The Army and Bell Bottom George.

Arthur Askey: I Want A BananaThe comedian was a radio favourite with his double act with Richard ‘Stinker’ Murdoch. I Want a Banana, Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major and We’re Going To Hang Out The Washing ... were all favourites.

Noel Coward: Don’t Let’s Be Beastly To The GermansWhile the US specialised in swing bands and crooners, the Brits had the sophistication of playwright and songster Noel Coward, who accompanied himself on the piano.

Flanagan and Allen: Run Rabbit Run Just one of the duo’s wartime hits which also included We’ll Smile Again, Underneath The Arches and Shine On Harvest Moon.