best 40s wedding music songs

Top 100 1940s Wedding Songs

 

 
The 1940s saw the US entering WWII as well as ending it. Ticker tape parades and famous kisses celebrated victories in Europe and Japan. Emerging from that war changed the mood of the country and gave birth (literally) to the Boomer Generation. The songs of the 1940s make us feel good, want to get off our chairs, and dance all night long. That’s why they are the perfect decade to add to your wedding reception playlist!

What Makes the 1940s Songs Special?

When you think of 1940s songs, you likely think of swing and big bands. Jazz became popular and its swing became the pop music of that era. The 1940s gave birth to rock and roll — not yet accepted by the masses.

Popular big band artists from the 1940s include Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey (brothers), Benny Goodman, and Dizzy Gillespie. The 1940s jazz artists include Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. A form of jazz called scat also became popular with artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Cab Calloway. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, scat music “is a jazz vocal style using emotive, onomatopoeic, and nonsense syllables instead of words in solo improvisations on a melody.”

best 40s wedding music songs

 

Table of Contents:

Best 1940s Songs For Your Wedding

We’ve calculated our favorite 1940s songs to get people on the dance floor at your wedding. Did we miss your favorite?

1940s wedding song list curated by Matthew Campbell
Last Updated: March 30, 2021

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SongAmazon Link
Al Jolson
Anniversary Song
1946, Jazz
Ames Brothers
Rag Mop
1950, Pop
Art Mooney
I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover
1948, Big Band
Artie Shaw
Frenesi
1940, Jazz
Artie Shaw
Stardust
1941, Big Band
Benny Goodman
Jersey Bounce
1942, Big Band
Benny Goodman And His Orchestra
Symphony
1946, Big Band
Billie Holiday
God Bless the Child
1942, Jazz
Billie Holiday
Lover Man (Oh Where Can He Be)
1945, Jazz
Bing Crosby
Be Careful It’s My Heart
1942, Vocal
Bing Crosby
I Love You
1944, Vocal
Bing Crosby
Only Forever
1940, Vocal
Bing Crosby
Sunday, Monday or Always
1943, Vocal
Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
1944, Swing
Blue Barron
Cruising Down The River
1949, Big Band
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
New San Antonio Rose
1940, Country
Buddy Clark
Peg O’ My Heart
1947, Pop
Buddy Clark & Ray Noble & His Orchestra
I’ll Dance At Your Wedding
1947, Pop
Charlie Christian & Benny Goodman Orchestra
Solo Flight
1944, Big Band
Cliff Edwards
When You Wish Upon A Star
1940, Vocal
Coleman Hawkins
Body and Soul
1939, Jazz
Dick Haymes
I’ll Get By (As Long as I Have You)
1940, Vocal
Dinah Shore
Buttons And Bows
1949, Pop
Dinah Shore
Dear Hearts And Gentle People
1949, Pop
Dinah Shore
Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly
1946, Pop
Dinah Shore
I’ll Walk Alone
1944, Pop
Dizzy Gillespie
A Night in Tunisia
1942, Jazz
Dizzy Gillespie
Groovin’ High
1945, Jazz
Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli
Nuages
1940, Jazz
Dooley Wilson
As Time Goes By
1942, Vocal
Doris Day
Again
1949, Vocal
Duke Ellington
Black, Brown and Beige
1943, Jazz
Duke Ellington
In a Sentimental Mood
1935, Jazz
Duke Ellington
Take The ‘A’ Train
1941, Jazz
Earl Scruggs
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
1949, Bluegrass
Eddy Howard
To Each His Own
1946, Vocal
Edith Piaf
La Vie En Rose
1947, Pop
Ella Fitzgerald and The Ink Spots
I’m Making Believe
1944, Jazz
Ezio Pinza
Some Enchanted Evening
1949, Vocal
Francis Craig Orchestra
Near You
1947, Country
Frank Sinatra
Day By Day
1946, Pop
Frank Sinatra
Five Minutes More
1946, Pop
Frank Sinatra
Oh! What It Seemed To Be
1946, Pop
Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra
I’ll Be Seeing You
1940, Jazz
Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra
In The Blue of Evening
1940, Jazz
Glenn Miller
Chattanooga Choo Choo
1941, Big Band
Glenn Miller
In The Mood
1939, Big Band
Glenn Miller
String Of Pearls
1941, Big Band
Glenn Miller
Pennsylvania 6-5000
1940, Big Band
Glenn Miller
Tuxedo Junction
1940, Big Band
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)
1942, Big Band
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Elmer’s Tune
1941, Big Band
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Imagination
1940, Big Band
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Jukebox Saturday Night
1941, Big Band
Glenn Miller Orchestra
Moonlight Cocktail
1942, Big Band
Guy Lombardo
Auld Lang Syne
1928, Big Band
Harry James
I’ve Heard That Song Before
1943, Big Band
Harry James
Sleepy Lagoon
1942, Big Band
Harry James And His Orchestra
You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It)
1941, Big Band
Harry James Orchestra
I’m Beginning To See The Light
1945, Big Band
James Baskett
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah
1946, Vocal
Jimmy Dorsey
Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)
1941, Big Band
Jimmy Dorsey
Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much)
1944, Big Band
Jimmy Dorsey
Green Eyes
1941, Big Band
Jimmy Dorsey
Maria Elena
1941, Big Band
Jimmy Dorsey
The Breeze And I
1940, Big Band
John Lee Hooker
Boogie Chillen’
1948, Blues
Kay Kyser And His Orchestra
Jingle, Jangle, Jingle
1942, Big Band
Les Brown
My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time
1945, Big Band
Les Brown And His Orchestra
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
1946, Big Band
Les Brown Band
Sentimental Journey
1944, Big Band
Lionel Hampton
Flying Home
1942, Big Band
Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t (My Baby)
1944, R&B
Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
Caldonia
1945, Blues
Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
G.I. Jive
1944, Blues
Margaret Whiting
A Tree In The Meadow
1948, Jazz
Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
1949, Jazz
Nat King Cole
Get Your Kicks On Route 66
1946, R&B
Nat King Cole
I Love You For Sentimental Reasons
1946, R&B
Nat King Cole
Nature Boy
1948, R&B
Pee Wee Hunt
Twelfth Street Rag
1948, Big Band
Perry Como
Prisoner Of Love
1946, Pop
Perry Como
Till The End Of Time
1945, Pop
Red Foley
Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy
1950, Country
Rita Hayworth
Dearly Beloved
1942, Pop
Sammy Kaye
Daddy
1941, Big Band
Sammy Kaye
That’s My Desire
1946, Big Band
Sammy Kaye
The Old Lamp-Lighter
1946, Big Band
Stan Kenton
Artistry in Rhythm
1946, Big Band
The Andrews Sisters
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
1941, Swing
The Andrews Sisters
I Can Dream, Can’t I?
1949, Swing
The Andrews Sisters
Rum And Coca-Cola
1945, Calypso
The Ink Spots
I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire
1941, R&B
The Mills Brothers
Paper Doll
1943, Jazz
Thelonious Monk
‘Round Midnight
1944, Jazz
Tommy Dorsey
I’ll Never Smile Again
1940, Big Band
Tommy Dorsey
Opus One
1944, Big Band
Vaughn Monroe
Ballerina
1947, Big Band
Vaughn Monroe
There! I’ve Said It Again
1945, Big Band
Woody Guthrie
This Land Is Your Land
1940, Folk
Wynonie Harris
Good Rockin’ Tonight
1948, Blues
Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra
Amor
1940's, Big Band
Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra
Brazil
1940's, Big Band

Do you have a favorite 1940s wedding song? Please share the song below and why it is special to you.

Top 5 1940s Songs

  1. “Paper Doll” by Mills Brothers
  2. “Moonlight Cocktail” by Glenn Miller
  3. “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” by The King Cole Trio
  4. “Sentimental Journey” by Les Brown & Doris Day
  5. “Ballerina” by Vaughn Monroe

The Culture Shift in the 1940s

The 1940s was stricken with the war ending with the finality of dropping the first nuclear bomb. This decade saw women going to work while men were off fighting a war. The war also got America out of the depression by creating many jobs. Popular film stars included actors Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart. An invention prominent in the music industry took place in 1949 with the rpm 45 records. Although television’s debut was in 1939, commercial television with 13 stations became available to the public in 1947.

Radio was the main source of news, music, and entertainment in the 1940s. Pin-up girls became icons with enlisted men, such as Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable. A new look for women was introduced after the war ended – feminine dresses with long, full skirts, and tight waists. Men’s fashion was at its apex with their zoot suits. It’s difficult to separate culture, fashion, and music. So, what makes the music special?

You May Also Like

Swing Dancing and The Jitterbug

From the upbeat sounds came a widely popular dance style – the Jitterbug. For a younger military generation, the Jitterbug overtook the slower waltz and foxtrot which were seen as boring and outdated. However, in the mid to late 1940s, the Jitterbug style recreated itself. It became easier to dance and regenerated itself as the beginning of rock and roll.

Swing became a very popular dance style in the 1940s. Swing dance types include lindy hop, east coast swing, and west coast swing. Two other popular dances of the Best 1940s music were the jive, part of swing, and tap dancing.


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