1924 Music – Pop Standards and Artists

1924 Pop Standards and Artists

Al Jolson
California Here I Come has a long and curious history on Broadway, in movies, in television, in politics, and in military history. The song was originally written in 1921 for the Broadway show Bombo by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Meyers. Al Jolson was often listed as a co-author. The song was a choice for the California State Song, which was finally defeated in 1988 by a song entitled I Love You California.

California Here I Come was often used in Warner Brothers Cartoons as background music for a Character’s hasty departure. In Movies, the song was used in the 1934 film It’s a Gift starring W.C. Fields And as the main title song for the film Back To Bataan.

There is one, possibly iconic rendition of the song. It was performed in episode 110 of I Love Lucy as Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel cross the George Washington Bridge on their way to California, where Ricky is to star in an MGM movie. The image of the characters in the car is currently available on postcards, posters, and other merchandise. 

The song was played by the ship’s band of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown as the ship steamed out of Pearl Harbor on its way to the battle of Midway. The song may have been used as a subterfuge to make the Japanese believe the ship was heading for the mainland, not Midway.

Richard Nixon requested that the song be played at his funeral, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan boarded Air Force One as the song was played on the day he left Washington, Los Angeles, after his two terms as President.

Vernon Dalhart, born Marion Try Slaughter on April 6, 1883, in Jefferson, Texas, was an American singer and songwriter who gained popularity during the early 20th century. He is known for contributing to country and popular music and is considered one of the first country music stars. Dalhart initially pursued a career in opera, but he transitioned to popular music and adopted the stage name “Vernon Dalhart” after two Texas towns.

The Prisoner’s Song  is a song recorded by Vernon Dalhart in 1924. This melancholic ballad tells the story of a prisoner who longs for freedom and dreams of reuniting with his loved one. The song was a massive commercial success and became one of the best-selling records of the era, with sales estimates ranging between 6 to 10 million copies. It is often regarded as one of the earliest country and hillbilly hits and played a significant role in popularizing this genre of music.

Clarence Williams’ Blue 5
Everybody Loves My Baby
A popular Jazz song, it was written in 1924 by Spencer Williams, music and Jack Palmer Lyrics. This Recording was particularly important; a young Louis Armstrong was part of the recording artists Clarence William Blue 5. The song would remain popular throughout the 20th century and would be sung by Doris Day in the 1955 film, Love Me or Leave Me. Later in 1967, Rosalind Russell would sing the song as an anthem for her title character of Rosie, In the film that was based on the Play A Very Rich Woman.

The song title (more specifically, the grammatically corrected “…but my baby loves nobody but me” in some covered versions) has frequently led teachers and students of propositional logic to jestingly accuse [2 the song’s narrator of narcissism: The first half of the title, “everybody loves my baby,” implies “my person, then my baby does not love that person”), is logically equivalent to “if my baby loves a given person, then I am that person.”

The latter statement implies “if my baby loves my baby, then I am my baby.” From “if my baby loves my baby, then I am my baby” and “my baby loves my baby” it follows that “I am my baby.” (Throughout the above, the universe of discourse is restricted to persons.) – Taken From Wikipedia.

Cliff Edwards
It Had To Be You
The Music for this song was written by Isham Jone and the lyrics by Gus Kahn. The song has a long history both in recordings and films. The song has been recorded by Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Frank Sinatra, Don Mclean, Harry Connick JR. and Tony Bennett. In 2011, Bennett would record the song for the third time on his popular album Duets II, with Carrie Underwood.
In movies It Had To Be You was part of such films as, The Roaring 20s (1939).

It was sung by Danny Thomas in the film I’ll See You In My Dreams. The Danny Thomas film was loosely based on the life of the song’s lyricist Gus Kahn. It was used in 1942’s Casablanca. It was performed by Diane Keaton in Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall and as recently used in the film A League of their own.

On television, it was song was sung to Gilligan by Ginger in The situation comedy Gilligan’s Island.

Ernest Hare and Billy Jones
Hinky Dinky Parley Voo.
The actual title of the song is Mademoiselle from Armentières. The song was sung during WW I but was originally composed in 1830 and was popular with the French military, and the original words told of the encounter of an innkeeper’s daughter, named Mademoiselle de Bar le Luc, with two German officers. It was considered a risqué song in the 1930s… The song has been used in such TV shows as The Waltons and The Golden Girls.

Rhapsody in Blue
Composed by George Gershwin
Paul Whiteman commissioned George Gershwin to write Rhapsody for his 1924 concert at the Aeolian Hall in February. He specifically asked for a concerto-like piece that Gershwin wrote combining Classical music with jazz-like effects. The Concert was entitled An Experiment in Modern Music and was performed on February 12, 1924. Many inflectional composers were at the concert specifically to hear Rhapsody in Blue: John Phillip Sousa and Sergei Rachmaninoff. George Gershwin accompanied Whiteman’s Palais Royal Orchestra, on Piano.

The reviews were not good; in fact, some were scathing. The best of the lot was written by Leonard Bernstein, who loved Rhapsody. The article appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1955 and is repeated here in part.

“The Rhapsody is not a composition at all. It’s a string of separate paragraphs stuck together. The themes are terrific – inspired and God-given. I don’t think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky. But if you want to speak of a composer, that’s another matter. Your Rhapsody in Blue is not a real composition in the sense that whatever happens in it must seem inevitable. You can cut parts of it without affecting the whole. You can remove any of these stuck-together sections and the piece still goes on as bravely as before. It can be a five-minute piece or a twelve-minute piece. And in fact, all these things are being done to it every day. And it’s still the Rhapsody in Blue.”

The public however loved the piece and by the end of 1927 Whiteman had played it 84 times and the recording had sold a million copies. Whiteman later adapted the Rhapsody as his band theme song and opened his radio program with the slogan, “Everything is new but The Rhapsody in blue.

The piece took on its own life has been recorded by many orchestras over the years. It has influenced modern music and composers as different as Brian Wilson and AC/DC. In sports, Rhapsody was played by 84 pianists at the opening of the 1988 Summer Olympic. In TV the piece was used recently in Glee and across the pond in Doctor Who.

Rhapsody in Blue is considered to be a musical portrait of NYC, and as such will always be groundbreaking into new ground with new artists. Rhapsody in Blue is considered to be a musical portrait of NYC, and as such will always be around. Disney used Rhapsody in it’s Fantasia 2000.

What’ll I Do
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin would write many of America’s most popular songs from the 1920s through the 1950s His musical comedy scores would include Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam and many others. Hollywood beckoned him and there he wrote for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. He composed White Christmas for the Bing Crosby movie Holiday Inn.

Berlin himself at least as far into the 1970s was Probably America’s best-known composer and lyricist. Irving Berlin wrote what’ll I Do in 1923 for his Music Box Revue. It would be recorded over and over again by many different artists these including Cher, Judy Garland, Pat Boone, Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, Harry Nilsson and Joey Lawrence.

The song is a beautiful melodic question. Asking what’ll I do because you are gone. The song was also sung in the 1974 film, The Great Gatsby.

Take our 1924 Quiz!

Top Artists and Songs of 1924

Al Jolson
California, Here I Come – is often called the unofficial state song of California.
I Wonder What’s Become of Sally?
I’m Goin’ South
Arcadian Serenaders
Bobby Haired Bobby
Arthur Gibbs and his Gang
Benny Krueger (June 17, 1899 – April 29, 1967)
Deep In My Heart
Bert Firman
Clara Smith – ‘Queen of the Moaners’
Chicago Blues
Clarence Williams’ Blue Five (October 8, 1898 – November 6, 1965)
Everybody Loves My Baby
‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bus’ness If I Do
Cliff Edwards (Ukelele Ike) – was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio (1940)
It Had To Be You
Ernest Hare and Billy Jones
Hinky Dinky Parley Voo
Franklyn Baur
Deep In My Heart
Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians – Fred was known as “The Man Who Taught America How to Sing.”
Memory Lane
George Gershwin
Rhapsoy In Blue
Irving Kaufman
What’ll I Do?
Isham Jones
It Had To Be You
Nobody’s Sweetheart
Jelly Roll Morton
King Porter Stomp
Marion Harris
It Had To Be You
There’ll Be Some Changes Made
Paul Whiteman
I’m Goin’ South
It had To Be You
Limehouse Blues
Linger A While
Rhapsody in Blue – Signature Song
Rose Marie
Somebody Loves You After All
There’s Yes! Yes! In Your Eyes!
What’ll I Do?
Why Did I Kiss That Girl?
Riley Puckett
Little Old Cabin in the Lane
Rock All Our Babies To Sleep
Ted Lewis and his Orchestra
June Night
There’ll Be Some Changes Made
Ted Weems
Somebody Stole My Gal
Uncle Dave Macon
Keep My Skillet Good & Greasy
Vernon Dalhart
Wreck of the Old 97
Vincent Lopez
I Want To Be Happy
Wendall Hall
It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More