1921 Music – Pop Standards and Artists

1921 Pop Standards and Artists

Make Believe
Music by Jerome Kern and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II for the Broadway Musical Showboat. The Musical was one of the first musicals to use the songs too. This technique will be perfected when Oscar Hammerstein teams with Richard Rodgers for OKLAHOMA to move the story forward. The musical was extremely controversial as it dealt with interracial marriage and was also the first racially integrated musical. Previously white and black performers did not perform on the same stage together. The musical was filmed twice – once in 1936 and again by MGM in 1951.

Al Jolson
April Showers
This was one of Al Jolson’s trademark songs. And was written by Louis Silvers and BG De Silva for a musical called Bomba. The song was used in the Bugs Bunny 1962 short Wet Hare.

Ben Selvin
Ben Selvin was an American bandleader and violinist who became a popular and influential figure in the early years of recorded music during the 1920s and 1930s. Over his career, he recorded with various ensembles under different names, including the Knickerbockers. As a prolific musician, Selvin recorded thousands of songs, making him one of the most recorded bandleaders of his time. The Knickerbockers was a popular dance band, and like many of Selvin’s ensembles, the group focused on performing popular tunes and dance music of that era. They gained considerable recognition and success, contributing to the rise of dance orchestras in the early 20th century.

Isham Jones
Isham Jones was an American bandleader, saxophonist, bassist, and songwriter who gained prominence in the early 20th century, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s. Born on January 31, 1894, in Coalton, Ohio, Jones began his career as a saxophonist in various bands before forming his own orchestra in 1915. The Isham Jones Orchestra quickly gained fame for its smooth dance music and innovative arrangements.

Jones was a prolific songwriter, composing many popular tunes of his time, including “It Had to Be You,” “Swingin’ Down the Lane,” “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” and “On the Alamo.” Many of his songs have become jazz and popular music standards, covered by countless artists over the years.

The Isham Jones Orchestra featured many talented musicians, such as Benny Goodman and Woody Herman, who would later become successful bandleaders themselves. Jones continued to perform and record music until his retirement in the 1950s. He passed away on October 19, 1956, in Hollywood, Florida, but his legacy continues to influence musicians and listeners.

Fanny Brice
My Man
My Man (and Funny Girl) are regaining popularity now by Lea Michele as the Character of Rachel Berry in Glee uses Barbara Streisand and Funny Girl as her inspiration for star success.

Marion Harris
Look For The Silver Lining
Written by Jerome kern the song was originally written for the musical Zip, Goes A Million. It was then reused in another musical called Sally, where it became popular. The song was also rewritten to be the Anthem for the ILGWU called Look For The Union Label. Recently the song was used in the popular Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey.

I Ain’t Got Nobody
The song though popular on its own in the 1920s. It would later become more popular still when paired as a melody with I’m Just a Gigolo. This combination was performed by artists like Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and David Lee Roth.

Original Dixie Land Band
St. Louis Blues
Composed by W. C. Handy in 1914. the song was inspired by a melody that Handy Heard while out of work in St. Louis. It also took some inspiration from a woman who inspired him to write, “ma man’s got a heart like a rock cast into the sea.” Many artists have recorded the song, from The Original Dixie Land Band to Chuck Berry, Stevie Wonder, and David Sanborn. At his death in 1958, WC Handy received 25,000 dollars in royalty annually.

Paul Biese Trio and Frank Crumit
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. It would later become popular again in the 1932 film “Love Me Tonight” and sung by Maurice Chevalier.
Richard Rodgers would later achieve major success with Oscar Hammerstein. ( See Make Believe).

Van and Schenk
A’int We Got Fun
It was used as Eric Northman’s ringtone in a 2010 episode of Trueblood. Also used as part of a pivotal point in F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby.

Top Artists and Songs of 1921

Aileen Stanley
My Mammy
My Man
Al Jolson – Although he usually wore blackface in live performances, he was also known for fighting against anti-black discrimination on Broadway
O -H-I-O (O-My-O!)
Ben Selvin
Say It With Music
Benson Orchestra of Chicago
Bimini Bay
Billy Murray & Billy Jones
Down By The O-HI-O
Eddie Cantor
Ethel Waters – in 1949, Ethel was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Pinky.
There’ll Be Some Changes made
Fanny Brice – Her marriage to Nick Arnstein was the basis for the Broadway Musical and Film Funny Girl.
My Man – Signature Song
Second Hand Rose
Frank Crumit
Sweet Lady, All By Myself
Isham Jones
Wabash Blues – Signature Song (#1 for six weeks)
Mamie Smith (May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946)
What Have I Done
Royal Garden Blues
Marion Harris -” The Queen of the Blues”
Look For The Silver Lining
I’m A Jazz Vampire
I Ain’t Got Nobody – Signature Song
I’m Nobody’s Baby
Beale Street Blues
Nora Bayes – AKA Eleanor Goldberg, was married five times, and adopted three children.
Make Believe
Original Dixieland Jazz Band called themselves the Creators of Jazz because they made some of the earliest jazz recordings, in 1917.
St. Louis Blues
Patrick Waddington
Night May Have Its Sadness
Paul Biese Trio and Frank Crumit
Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra were the most popular band of the 1920s.
Say It With Music
My Mammy
Bright Eyes
Song of India
My Man (Mon Homme)
April Showers
Make Believe
Learn To Smile
Gypsy Blues
Prince’s Orchestra
Deep In Your Eyes
Ted Lewis (June 6, 1890 – August 25, 1971)
All By Myself
Van and Schenck
Ain’t We Got Fun? – Signature Song