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1956:


There are four sources listed for end of year rankings. Billboard magazine is considered the standard and issued several weekly charts and a Top 100 at the end of the year. Cashbox also published its own weekly charts and compiled a year end Top 50 from 1956 to 1960, and then a Top 100 after that. Gilbert & Theroux published "The Top Ten 1956 - Present" in 1981 in which they ranked the Top 40 for each of those years. The EE rank is a calculated rank based on the weekly Billboard Top Twenty which includes all weeks a record was in the top twenty, allowing credit for performance by records that crossed over from one year to another. Any record that made the top forty of at least one of these sources is listed below -- click on the heading to sort. To view the entire listing for a specific source, click on the appropriate button to the right.
Click below to display rankings by the designated chart:

Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" came closest to a consensus end of the year top ranking with a #1 from Cashbox and GT, #2 by Billboard, and #2 by the EE calculation. Billboard had another Presley entry, "Heartbreak Hotel" at #1, while the EE calculation recognized "The Green Door" by Jim Lowe as the most popular song of the year.
title artist BB CB GT EE
Allegheny Moon Patti Page 24 23 24 20
Band of Gold Don Cherry 38 28 32 29
Be-Bop-a-Lula Gene Vincent 27 34 54
Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins 18 17 16 28
Blueberry Hill Fats Domino 41 39 16
Born To Be With You The Chordettes 37 39 37
Canadian Sunset Hugo Winterhalter 17 8 12 18
Don't Be Cruel Elvis Presley 2 1 1 2
The Flying Saucer Buchanan & Goodman 30 35 30 57
The Fool Sanford Clark 42 37 40 60
Friendly Persuasion Pat Boone 52 38 43
The Great Pretender The Platters 12 7 11
The Green Door Jim Lowe 19 26 20 1
He Al Hibbler 26
Heartbreak Hotel Elvis Presley 1 6 2 7
Honky Tonk (Part 2) Bill Doggett 21 10 15 23
Hot Diggity Perry Como 16 14 25
Hound Dog Elvis Presley 8 15 1 22
I Almost Lost My Mind Pat Boone 13 20 17 15
I Hear You Knocking Gale Storm 19
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You Elvis Presley 14 13 27
I'll Be Home Pat Boone 34 32 31 30
I'm in Love Again Fats Domino 25 22 22 42
It's Almost Tomorrow The Dream Weavers 51 39
Ivory Tower Cathy Carr 32 25 26 35
Just Walking in the Rain Johnnie Ray 23 24 23 10
Lisbon Antigua Nelson Riddle 3 7 5 4
Love & Marriage Frank Sinatra 34
Love Me Tender Elvis Presley 15 27 19 14
Magic Touch The Platters 36 31 33 40
Memories Are Made of This Dean Martin 9 11 10 6
Moonglow And Theme From Picnic Morris Stoloff 11 9 9 17
Moonglow and Theme From Picnic George Cates 31   36 31
More Perry Como 39 49
My Prayer The Platters 4 3 3 12
No, Not Much The Four Lads 20 19 18 24
On the Street Where You Live Vic Damone 35 36 35 48
The Poor People of Paris Les Baxter 6 12 8 8
Rock and Roll Waltz Kay Starr 10 13 11 9
See You Later Alligator Bill Haley & the Comets 33 30 28 36
Singing the Blues Guy Mitchell 40 24 3
Sixteen Tons Tennessee Ernie Ford 22 29 3
Standing on the Corner The Four Lads 29 29 27 33
A Tear Fell Teresa Brewer 49 34 38 44
Theme Song From Song For a Summer Night Mitch Miller 66 40 59
Tonight You Belong to Me Patience & Prudence 26 21 25 32
True Love Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly 44 33 37 21
The Wayward Wind Gogi Grant 5 4 4 5
Whatever Will Be, Will Be Doris Day 7 5 6 13
Why Do Fools Fall in Love Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers 28 18 21 38