1920 Music – Pop Standards and Artists

1920 Pop Standards and Artists

1. SwaneeAl Jolson
Al Jolson was known as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer” – the highest-paid and most well-known actor/singer/comedian of the 1920s and 30s. Swannee was originally sung by Al but was written by George Gershwin. Gershwin would go on to write many other popular songs that would come out of his Broadway successes with his brother Ira, most notably Porgy and Bess and Strike up the Band.

2. When My Baby Smiles At Me – Ted Lewis
A bandleader, Ted was probably best known for his catchphrase: “Is EVERYBODY Happy?”
Although originally recorded in 1920, the song became the title of a movie musical, in 1948 starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. Dailey would win an academy award for his starring role in the film.

3. WhisperingPaul Whiteman
Whispering was recorded by Paul Whiteman and his orchestra and was written by John Schonberger and Vincent Rose. The song actually has lyrics but they were not used on the first recording. According to the Literature that was provided by Victor, the recording studio, the song used an instrument that sounded like a “boson’s-pipe-slide-trombone-whistle.”

4. I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time – Charles Harrison
Like many songs from this era, ‘Apple Blossom Time’ originally came out in 1920 but made a comeback in the 1940s during WW 2. The song, sung by The Andrew Sisters, had meaning for many who were waiting for the return of our troops. Other songs in this category are I’ll Be Seeing You, and I’ll be Home for Christmas.

5. Tell Me, Little Gypsy – Art Hickman
Originally sung by Art Hickman, ‘Gypsy’ was written by the immortal Irving Berlin. Berlin’s first hit was Alexander’s Rag Time Band. Mr. Berlin would go on to write music for more than half of the 20th century. Two of his most popular are Blue Skies and White Christmas. His influence is still felt today.

Top Artists and Songs of 1920

Al Jolson
I’ve Got My Captain Working For Me Now
Tell Me
Wonderful Kid From Madrid
You Ain’t Heard Nothin Yet
Art Hickman
Hold Me
Tell Me Little Gypsy
The Love Nest
Ben Selvin
Dardanella, My Island of Golden Dreams, Afghanistan
Bert Williams – In World War II, the United States ship SS Bert Williams was named in his honor.
The Moon Shines on the Moonshine
Billy Murray
I’ll See You In Cuba
Carl Fenton
Cuban Moon
Charles Harrision
I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time
Pretty Kitty Kelly
That Old Irish Mother of Mine
Eddie Cantor – nicknamed “Banjo Eyes” because of his big, round eyes. He was also the man who named the “March of Dimes” which initially battled polio.
You’d Be Surprised
Edith Day -had a cocktail named after her – made with dry gin, grapefruit juice, sugar, and an egg white.
Alice Blue Gown
Francisco Alves
Fala Meu Louro
Frank Crumit
Lonesome Little Raindrop
My Little Bimbo Down on Bamboo Isle
Oh! By Jingo! (Oh! By Gee, By Goosh, By Gun, By Juu),
John McCormac
Barefoot Trail
John Steel
The Love Nest, Girl of My Dreams
Mamie Smith – Mamie was the first African-American woman to be a ‘million-seller artist. After ‘Crazy Blues” the recording companies started paying more attention to race records.
Crazy Blues
It’s Right Here For You
You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down
Marion Harris– Marion was the first popular white singer to sing jazz and blues songs.
St. Louis Blues
Sweet Mama (Papa’s Getting Mad)
Nora Bayes – In 1917, George M. Cohan asked her to be the first to record his patriotic WW I son, Over There.
Prohibition Blues, Without You
Paul Whiteman – Paul was (controversially) called The King of Jazz. Duke Ellington believed he deserved the title, so there really shouldn’t be a controversy.
Anytime Anyday Anywhere
The Japanese Sandman
Wang Wang Blues
Ted Lewis and his Orchestra – Better known as Ted ‘is Everybody Happy?’ Lewis.
When My Baby Smiles At Me
The Kentucky Serenaders – The Pennsylvania band was originally called The Serenaders. “My Old Kentucky Home” was their theme song and Kentucky kind of stuck with them.
Rose of Washington Square
Waller Williams
I Know Where The Flies Go In Summertime