RIAA and the National Endowment for the Arts Announce "Songs of the Century"


The list is organized by decade and alphabetically by performer(s). The * indicates the song that received the most votes for that decade.

DAWN OF A CENTURY (1890-1920)

The American Quartet"Over There"Victor1917
Enrico Caruso"Vesti La Giubba"Victor1907
Geraldine Farrar"My Old Kentucky Home"Victor1910
The Fisk Jubilee Singers"Swing Low Sweet Chariot"Victor 1909
Louise Homer"America the Beautiful"Victor1925
Scott Joplin"The Entertainer"piano roll1902
John McCormick"The Star Spangled Banner"Victor1917
*Billy Murray"Take Me Out to the Ballgame"Victor1908
Chauncey Olcott"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling"Columbia1913
Original Dixieland Jazz Band"Tiger Rag"Victor1918
Vess Ossman"Yankee Doodle"N.American1894
The Peerless Quartet"Let Me Call You Sweetheart"Columbia1911
Sousa's Band"The Stars and Stripes Forever"Columbia1896
Frank Stanley"Auld Lang Syne"Columbia1907
Sophie Tucker "Some of These Days"Columbia1911

THE JAZZ AGE (1920-1930)

*Louis Armstrong "When the Saints Go Marching In"Decca1938
Gene Austin"Bye Bye Blackbird"Victor1926
Ben Bernie Orchestra"Sweet Georgia Brown"Vocalion1925
Eddie Cantor"Makin' Whoopee"Victor1929
Hoagy Carmichael"Star Dust"Gennett1928
The Carter Family"Can the Circle Be Unbroken"ARC1935
Vernon Dalhart "The Prisoner's Song"Victor1924
Arthur Gibbs & Gang"Charleston"Victor1924
W.C. Handy"St. Louis Blues"Okeh1923
Al Jolson"Swanee"Columbia1920
Billy Jones"Yes We Have No Bananas"Edison1923
Isham Jones Orchestra"It Had to Be You"Brunswick1924
Helen Kane"I Wanna Be Loved By You"Victor1928
Jelly Roll Morton "King Porter Stomp"Gennett1923
Jimmie Rodgers "Blue Yodel (T for Texas)"Victor1930
Ben Selvin Orchestra"Happy Days Are Here Again"Columbia1930
Bessie Smith "Down Hearted Blues"Columbia1923
Whisperin' Jack Smith"Me and My Shadow"Victor1927
Fats Waller"Ain't Misbehavin'"Victor1929
Paul Whiteman Orchestra"Whispering"Victor1920


Roy Acuff"Wabash Cannonball"Vocalion 1938
Marian Anderson"Ave Maria"Victor1937
Fred Astaire"Night and Day"Victor1932
Gene Autry"Back in the Saddle Again"Vocalion1938
Count Basie"One O'Clock Jump"Decca1937
Sidney Bechet"Summertime"Blue Note1939
The Boswell Sisters"Alexander's Ragtime Band"Brunswick1935
Cab Calloway"Minnie the Moocher"Brunswick1931
Bing Crosby"Pennies From Heaven"Decca1936
Jimmie Davis"You Are My Sunshine"Decca1940
*Judy Garland"Over the Rainbow"Decca1939
Benny Goodman"Sing Sing Sing"Victor1938
Bob Hope/Shirley Ross "Thanks for the Memory"Decca1939
Robert Johnson "Cross Road Blues"Columbia1936
Cole Porter "You're the Top"Victor1935
Harry Richman"Puttin' on the Ritz"Brunswick1930
Kate Smith"God Bless America"Victor1939
Sons of the Pioneers"Tumbling Tumbleweeds"Decca1934
Art Tatum"Tea for Two"Decca1939
Shirley Temple"On the Good Ship Lollipop"20th Cent.Fox1934
Rudy Vallee"Brother Can You Spare a Dime"Brunswick1932
cast recordingShow BoatBrunswick1932
cast recordingPorgy and BessDecca1935


The Andrews Sisters"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"Decca1941
Eddy Arnold "Cattle Call"Bluebird1945
Gene Autry"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"Columbia1949
Les Brown"Sentimental Journey"Columbia1945
The Chuck Wagon Gang"I'll Fly Away"Columbia1948
Francis Craig Orchestra "Near You"Bullet1947
*Bing Crosby"White Christmas"Decca1942
Cliff Edwards"When You Wish Upon a Star"Victor1940
Duke Ellington"Take the A Train"Victor1941
The Fairfield Four "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around"Bullet1947
Ella Fitzgerald"A Tisket A Tasket"Decca1938
Dizzy Gillespie"Salt Peanuts"Guild1945
Woody Guthrie"This Land Is Your Land"Asch1947
Coleman Hawkins"Body and Soul"Bluebird1940
Billie Holiday"God Bless the Child"Okeh1941
Billie Holiday "Strange Fruit"Commodore1939
John Lee Hooker "Boogie Chillun"Modern1948
Lena Horne"Stormy Weather"Victor1943
The Ink Spots"If I Didn't Care"Decca1939
Mahalia Jackson"Move on Up a Little Higher"Apollo1948
Leadbelly"Goodnight Irene"Capitol1944
Roy Rogers/Dale Evans "Happy Trails"RCA Victor1951
Johnny Mercer"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah"Capitol1946
Glenn Miller"In the Mood"Bluebird1939
The Mills Brothers"Paper DollDecca1943
Thelonious Monk"Around Midnight"Blue Note1948
Bill Monroe"Blue Moon of Kentucky"Columbia1945
Vaughn Monroe "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky"RCA Victor1949
Charlie Parker Sextet"Ornithology"Dial1946
Alvino Ray"Deep in the Heart of Texas"Bluebird1942
Artie Shaw"Begin the Beguine"Bluebird1938
Bob Wills "New San Antonio Rose" Okeh1940
cast recordingOklahoma!Decca1943
cast recordingSouth PacificColumbia1949


Harry Belafonte"Banana Boat (Day-O)"RCA Victor 1957
Chuck Berry"Johnny B. Goode"Chess1958
Bo Diddley"Bo Diddley"Checker1955
Dave Brubeck"Take Five"Columbia1959
Johnny Cash"I Walk the Line"Sun1956
The Champs"Tequila"Challenge1958
Ray Charles"What'd I Say"Atlantic1959
Ray Charles"Georgia on My Mind"ABC Paramnt1960
The Chordettes"Mr. Sandman"Cadence1954
The Coasters "Yakety Yak"Atco1958
Eddie Cochran"Summertime Blues"Liberty1958
Nat King Cole"Mona Lisa"Capitol1950
Sam Cooke"You Send Me"Keen1957
Danny & The Juniors"At the Hop"ABC Paramnt1957
Bobby Darin"Mack the Knife"Atco1959
Miles DavisKind of BlueColumbia1959
Doris Day"Que Sera Sera"Columbia1956
Mark Dinning"Teen Angel" MGM1960
Fats Domino"Blueberry Hill"Imperial1956
The Everly Brothers"Wake Up Little Susie"Cadence1957
The Five Satins"In the Still of the Night"Ember1956
The Flamingos"I Only Have Eyes for You"End1959
Tennessee Ernie Ford"Sixteen Tons"Capitol1955
Connie Francis"Who's Sorry Now"MGM1958
Erroll Garner Trio"Misty"Mercury 1954
*Bill Haley & His Comets"Rock Around the Clock"Decca1955
Wilbert Harrison"Kansas City"Fury 1959
Al Hibbler"Unchained Melody"Decca1955
Buddy Holly"Peggy Sue"Coral1957
Johnny Horton "The Battle of New Orleans"Columbia1959
The Isley Brothers"Shout"RCA1959
The Kingston Trio"Tom Dooley"Capitol1958
Jerry Lee Lewis"Great Balls of Fire"Sun1957
Little Richard"Tutti Frutti"Specialty1956
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"Gee1956
Johnny Mathis"Chances Are"Columbia1957
The Modern Jazz Quartet"Django"Prestige1954
Patti Page"The Tennessee Waltz"Mercury1950
Les Paul & Mary Ford "How High the Moon"Capitol1951
The Penguins"Earth Angel"Dootone1954
Carl Perkins"Blue Suede Shoes"Sun1956
The Platters"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"Mercury1958
Elvis Presley"Heartbreak Hotel"RCA Victor1956
Elvis Presley"Hound Dog"/ "Don't Be Cruel"RCA Victor1956
Louis Prima & Keely Smith"That Old Black Magic"Capitol1958
George Beverly Shea"How Great Thou Art"RCA1955
Joe Turner"Shake Rattle and Roll"Atlantic1954
Ritchie Valens "Donna"/ "La Bamba"Del-Fi1958
Muddy Waters"Got My Mojo Workin'"Chess1956
The Weavers "On Top of Old Smoky"Decca1951
Hank Williams"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"MGM1949
Hank Williams"Your Cheatin' Heart"MGM1953
Mary Lou WilliamsZodiac SuiteJazztone1955
cast recordingThe King and IDecca1951
cast recordingMy Fair LadyColumbia1956
cast recordingWest Side StoryColumbia1957
cast recordingThe Music ManCapitol1958

THE 'SIXTIES (1960-1970)

The Animals"House of the Rising Sun"MGM1964
Louis Armstrong"What a Wonderful World"ABC1967
Joan Baez"We Shall Overcome"Vanguard1963
The Beach Boys"Good Vibrations"Capitol1967
The Beatles"I Want to Hold Your Hand"Capitol1964
The Beatles"Yesterday" / "Act Naturally"Capitol1965
The BeatlesSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandCapitol1967
Tony Bennett"I Left My Heart in San Francisco"Columbia1962
James Brown"I Got You (I Feel Good)"King1965
Buffalo Springfield "For What It's Worth"Atco1967
The Byrds"Turn Turn Turn"Columbia1965
Glen Campbell "By the Time I Get to Phoenix"Capitol1967
Johnny Cash"Ring of Fire"Columbia1963
Chubby Checker"The Twist"Parkway1960
Petula Clark"Downtown"Warner Bros.1965
Patsy Cline"I Fall to Pieces"Decca1961
John ColtraneA Love SupremeImpulse1964
Creedence Clearwater Revival"Proud Mary"Fantasy1969
Jackie DeShannon "What the World Needs Now Is Love"Imperial1965
Dion"Runaround Sue"Laurie1961
Dion"Abraham, Martin and John"Laurie1968
The Doors"Light My Fire"Elektra1967
The Drifters"On Broadway"Atlantic1963
Bob Dylan"The Times They Are A-Changin'"Columbia1964
Bob Dylan"Like a Rolling Stone"Columbia1965
The Four Tops"Reach Out I'll Be There"Motown1966
*Aretha Franklin"Respect"Atlantic1967
Marvin Gaye"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"Tamla1968
Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"Tamla1967
Bobbie Gentry"Ode to Billy Joe"Capitol1967
Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto"The Girl From Ipanema"Verve1964
Lesley Gore"It's My Party"Mercury1963
Ramsey Lewis Trio"The In Crowd"Argo1965
Merle Haggard "Sing Me Back Home"Capitol1967
Edwin Hawkins Singers "O Happy Day"Pavillion1969
Jimi Hendrix"All Along the Watchtower"Reprise1968
The Impressions"People Get Ready"ABC Parmnt1965
Jefferson Airplane"White Rabbit"RCA1967
Janis Joplin"Me and Bobby McGee"Columbia1971
B.B. King"The Thrill Is Gone"Blues Way1969
Ben E. King"Stand By Me"Atco1961
The Kingsmen"Louie Louie"Wand1963
The Kinks"You Really Got Me"Reprise1964
Brenda Lee "I'm Sorry"Decca1960
Ketty Lester"Love Letters"Era1962
Little Eva"The Loco-Motion"Dimension1962
Mamas & Papas"California Dreamin'"Dunhill1966
Henry Mancini"Moon River"RCA1961
Martha & The Vandellas"Dancing in the Street"Gordy1964
Dean Martin"Everybody Loves Somebody"Reprise1964
Roger Miller"King of the Road"Smash1965
The Miracles"The Tracks of My Tears"Tamla1965
Roy Orbison"Crying"Monument1961
Roy Orbison"Oh Pretty Woman"Monument1964
Peter, Paul & Mary"Blowin' in the Wind"Warner Bros.1963
Wilson Pickett"In the Midnight Hour"Atlantic1965
Otis Redding"Dock of the Bay"Volt1968
The Righteous Brothers"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"Philles1965
Marty Robbins "El Paso"Columbia1959
The Rolling Stones"Satisfaction"London1965
The Ronettes"Be My Baby"Philles1963
Sam & Dave"Soul Man"Stax1967
The Shangri-Las"Leader of the Pack"Red Bird1964
The Shirelles"Will You Love Me Tomorrow"Scepter1961
Simon & Garfunkel"Sounds of Silence"Columbia1965
Frank Sinatra"Strangers in the Night"Reprise1966
Frank Sinatra"My Way"Reprise1969
Percy Sledge"When a Man Loves a Woman"Atlantic1966
Sly & The Family Stone "Everyday People"Epic1968
Sonny & Cher"I Got You Babe"Atco1965
Steppenwolf"Born to be Wild"Dunhill1968
The Supremes"Stop in the Name of Love"Motown1965
The Temptations"My Girl"Gordy1965
B.J. Thomas "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" Scepter1969
The Tokens"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"RCA1961
The Tymes"So in Love"Parkway1963
Dionne Warwick"Walk on By"Scepter1964
Mary Wells"My Guy"Motown1964
Tammy Wynette"Stand By Your Man"Epic1968
cast recordingThe Sound of MusicColumbia1960
cast recordingHairRCA1969

THE ROCK ERA (1970-1980)

Abba"Dancing Queen"Atlantic1977
Aerosmith"Walk This Way"Columbia1976
Allman Brothers Band"Ramblin' Man"Capricorn1973
The Bee Gees"Stayin' Alive"RSO 1978
George Benson"This Masquerade"Warner Bros.1976
Jimmy Buffett"Margaritaville"ABC1977
Shirley Caesar"No Charge"Scepter1975
The Carpenters"Close to You"A&M1970
Harry Chapin"The Cat's in the Cradle"Elektra1974
Chicago "Saturday in the Park"Columbia1972
Jim Croce"Time in a BottleABC1973
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young"Ohio"Atlantic1970
Charlie Daniels Band"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"Epic1979
Miles DavisBitches BrewColumbia 1969
John Denver"Take Me Home Country Roads"RCA1971
Derek & The Dominos"Layla"Atco1972
Thomas Dorsey/Marion Williams"Take My Hand Precious Lord"Columbia1973
The Eagles"Hotel California"Asylum1977
Roberta Flack"Killing Me Softly With His Song"Atlantic1973
Fleetwood Mac"Go Your Own Way"Reprise1977
Marvin Gaye"What's Going On"Tamla1971
Gloria Gayner"I Will Survive"Polydor1979
The Grateful Dead "Uncle John's Band"Warner Bros.1970
Al Green"Let's Stay Together"Hi1972
Isaac Hayes"Theme From Shaft"Enterprise1971
The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back"Motown1969
Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson"Mama's Don't Let Your Babies…"RCA1978
Billy Joel"Piano Man"Columbia1974
Elton John"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"MCA1973
K.C. & The Sunshine Band"That's the Way( I Like It)"TK1975
Carole King "It's Too Late" / "I Feel the Earth Move"Ode1971
Gladys Knight & The Pips"Midnight Train to Georgia"Buddah1973
Led Zeppelin"Stairway to Heaven"Atlantic1971
John Lennon"Imagine"Apple1971
Loretta Lynn"Coal Miner's Daughter"Decca1970
Lynyrd Skynyrd"Free Bird"MCA 1974
*Don McLean"American Pie"United Artists 1971
Harold Melvin/Blue Notes"If You Don't Know Me By Now" Phila.Int'l.1972
Joni Mitchell "Big Yellow Taxi"Reprise1970
Van Morrison"Brown Eyed Girl"Bang1967
Johnny Nash"I Can See Clearly Now"Epic1972
Nilsson"Everybody's Talkin'"RCA1969
Queen "We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You"Elektra1977
Helen Reddy"I Am Woman"Capitol1972
Charlie Rich"Behind Closed Doors"Epic1973
Kenny Rogers"The Gambler"United Artists1978
Linda Ronstadt "When Will I Be Loved"Capitol1975
Santana"Oye Como Va"Columbia1971
Carly Simon"You're So Vain"Elektra1973
Sister Sledge"We Are Family"Cotillion1979
Bruce Springsteen"Born to Run"Columbia1975
The Staple Singers "Respect Yourself"Stax1971
Edwin Starr"War"Gordy1970
Rod Stewart"Maggie May"Mercury1971
Barbra Streisand"The Way We Were"Columbia1973
Donna Summer "She Works Hard for the Money"Mercury1983
James Taylor"Fire and Rain"Warner Bros.1970
Three Dog Night"Joy to the World"Dunhill1971
The Village People"Y.M.C.A."Casablanca1978
Weather Report"Birdland"Columbia1976
Bill Withers"Lean On Me"Sussex1972
Stevie Wonder"Superstition"Tamla1972
Stevie Wonder"You Are the Sunshine of My Life"Tamla1973
Neil Young"Heart of Gold"Reprise1972
soundtrack recordingGreaseRSO1979

THE 'EIGHTIES (1980-1990)

Alabama "My Home's in Alabama"RCA1980
The B-52's"Love Shack"Reprise1989
The Beastie Boys"Fight for Your Right (to Party)"Def Jam1987
Blondie"Heart of Glass"Chrysalis1979
Irene Cara"Flashdance"Casablanca1983
Kim Carnes"Bette Davis Eyes"EMI America1981
Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes"Up Where We Belong"Island1982
The Go-Go's"We Got the Beat"IRS1982
Grandmaster Flash"The Message"Sugar Hill 1982
Amy Grant"El Shaddai"Myrrh1982
Guns N' Roses"Sweet Child o' Mine"Geffen1988
Herbie Hancock"Rockit"Columbia1983
Michael Jackson"Beat It"Epic1983
Joan Jett"I Love Rock 'n' Roll"Boardwalk1982
George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today"Epic1980
The Judds "Mama He's Crazy"RCA/Curb1984
Kool & The Gang"Celebration"De-Lite1980
Cyndi Lauper"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"Portrait1983
Bobby McFerrin"Don't Worry Be Happy"EMI1988
Madonna"Material Girl"Sire1985
John Cougar Mellencamp"Jack and Diane"Riva1982
George Michael "Faith"Columbia1987
Bette Midler"The Wind Beneath My Wings"Atlantic1989
Willie Nelson"On the Road Again"Columbia1980
Dolly Parton"9 to 5"RCA1980
Tom Petty"Free Fallin'"MCA1989
Pink Floyd"Another Brick in the Wall"Columbia1980
The Pointer Sisters"I'm So Excited"Planet1984
The Police"Every Breath You Take"A&M1983
Prince"1999"Warner Bros.1982
Prince"Purple Rain"Warner Bros.1984
Public Enemy"Fight the Power"Motown1989
Bob Seger"Old Time Rock & Roll"Capitol1979
Paul Simon'Graceland"Warner Bros.1986
Bruce Springsteen"Born in the U.S.A."Columbia1984
Sugarhill Gang"Rapper's Delight"Sugar Hill1979
Talking Heads"Burning Down the House"Sire1983
*Tina Turner"What's Love Got to Do With It"Capitol1984
USA for Africa"We Are the World"Columbia 1985
U2"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"Island1987
Van Halen"Jump"Warner Bros. 1984
Dionne Warwick & Friends"That's What Friends Are For" Arista1986
Hank Williams Jr."All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight"WB 1984
Steve Winwood "Higher Love"Island1986


Boyz II Men/Mariah Carey"One Sweet Day"Columbia1996
Garth Brooks"Friends in Low Places"Capitol1990
Tracy Chapman"Fast Car"Elektra1988
Eric Clapton"Change the World"Reprise1996
Sheryl Crow"All I Wanna Do"A&M1994
Destiny's Child "Bills, Bills, Bills"Columbia1999
Billy Ray Cyrus"Achy Breaky Heart"Mercury1992
Celine Dion"My Heart Will Go On"550/Epic1998
Dixie Chicks"Wide Open Spaces"Monument1998
M.C. Hammer"U Can't Touch This"Capitol1990
Faith Hill"This Kiss"Warner Bros.1999
Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)"Ruffhouse1998
Whitney Houston"I Will Always Love You"Arista1992
Elton John "Candle in the Wind"Rocket1997
R. Kelly"I Believe I Can Fly"Jive1997
Tim McGraw"Please Remember Me"`Curb1999
Ricky Martin"Livin' La Vida Loca"Columbia1999
*Nirvana"Smells Like Teen Spirit"DGC1992
R.E.M."Losing My Religion"Warner Bros.1991
Bonnie Raitt"Something to Talk About"Capitol1991
Santana/Rob Thomas"Smooth"Arista1999
Will Smith "Men in Black"Columbia1997
TLC "No Scrubs"LaFace1999
Shania Twain"You're Still the One"Mercury1998
BeBe& CeCe Winans "Addictive Love"Capitol1991
Lee Ann Womack "I Hope You Dance"MCA2000