1939 Music – Pop Standards and Artists

1939 Pop Standards and Artists

Glenn Miller
Little Brown Jug
1869 would mark the public publishing of this song that would remain part of American culture. The song is a drinking song and though it waned popularity for a while it regained its stature during the era of the 1920s and prohibition. Glenn Miller and his orchestra would produce a swing version of the tune and it would become a standard of the Big Band Era.

Andrews Sisters
Beer Barrel Polka
This song, also known as Roll Out The Barrel, was written in 1927 by a Czech musician named Jaromir Vejvoda. As originally written it was played without lyrics. The song became popular with soldiers during World War II, but it’s origins as well as lyrics and translations came much earlier. The song would be recorded by many artists and bands. The Wiggles made a recording of it for their album and video Sailing Around The World. If you grew up in Philadelphia you would be exposed to song fairly early as it was a staple for yearly Mummers Parade.

Judy Garland
Over The Rainbow
What can be said about Over The Rainbow that has not already been written? The song was created by Harold Arlen with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg for one of the most famous movies of the 20th Century, The Wizard of OZ. The song is sung by the character of Dorothy Gale played by Judy Garland as she yearns for someplace there would not be any trouble. Before the film’s release, the song was threatened to be cut, but wiser heads prevailed. The song would have had quite a different history and impact if it had starred Shirley Temple as MGM would have preferred. Temple’s little girl sweetness and attitudes would probably not have the same impact as Garlands’ more mature voice.

The song would have very few recordings made by other artists before Barbra Streisand would use the song in her 1986 One Voice Concert that was performed on September the 6th at her Malibu home for 5000.00 dollars a ticket. Miss Streisand would pay homage to Garland before singing the song. Mr. Shue played by Mathew Morrison would sing the song in the first season finale of Glee.

Kate Smith
God Bless America
Written by Irving Berlin, legend has it that Kate Smith called Berlin and asked him to give her something new for her radio program. Mr. Berlin searched through his back files and pulled out God Bless America. Kate Smith would perform the song to almost immediate popularity. The song would long be associated with Miss Smith and at the end of her life while she lived in Philadelphia she sang the song regularly at The Philadelphia Flyers home games. Philadelphia honored Miss Smith by erecting a statue of her outside The Flyers Home Stadium. Many people feel that this song would make a better national anthem that Star-Spangled Banner.

Kay Kyser
Three Little Fishies
Three little Fishies is best described as a novelty song, like Shaving Cream or They’re Coming To Take Me Away. Only Three Little Fishies was is on the verge of cute and sweet and fun. Sung by Kay Kyser, with words and music by Saxie Dowell. The song would become a number one hit in 1939. But it would live on as children in the 1930s would sing this song to their children into the 1960s.

Mary Martin
My Heart Belongs to Daddy

Written by Cole Porter for the musical Leave It To Me, this song would introduce the world to Miss Mary Martin. In the musical Miss Martin played the mistress of a newspaper publisher and the ‘Daddy” she is referring to is her lover. The song is also done a striptease, though, risqué, still tame by today’s standards. Gene Kelly would also make one of his early appearances in the show. Miss Martin would go on to become one of the queens of Broadway, sharing the crown with the great Ethel Merman.

Miss Martin originated the role of Nellie Forbush in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s South Pacific in which she starred alongside Enzio Pinza. This would be the first time a Broadway star and an Opera Star would share the spotlight together. She went on to again work with the musical team when she originated the role of Maria in The Sound Of Music. She also starred in a musical version of Peter Pan which still appears on Broadway from time to time. Miss Martin is the mother of Larry Hagman the Co-star of I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas. Mary Martin would title her autobiography My Heart Belongs.

Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
This song actually has two other titles Wimoweh and Mbube. The song was written in the 1920s by Solomon Linda of the Zulu tribe in Africa and first recorded there. The song would make its way across the Atlantic to become a hit in 1939. In 1961, the song would become a number one hit when recorded by The Tokens and is still played on radio stations today. Walt Disney Studios would use the Lion Sleeps Tonight in it’s animated classic The Lion King.

Louis Armstrong
When The Saints Go Marching In
If Jazz and New Orleans had a theme song When The Saints Go Marching In would be it. The origin of the song is unknown, but it began as a hymn and usually used as part of the funeral profession. While the casket was being taken to the cemetery the song would be played as a dirge or as a slow march. On the return from the cemetery the song would go upbeat and would signify Jesus Christ’s Triumph over death. The New Orleans Football Team The Saints is named after this song.

Top Artists and Songs of 1939

Andrews Sisters
Beer Barrel Polka
Hold Tight Hold Tight (Want Some Seafood Mama)
We’ll All Right (Tonight’s the Night)
Art Tatum
Tea For Two
Artie Shaw
I Poured My Heart Into A Song
Thanks For Everything
They Say
Billie Holiday
Strange Fruit
Bing Crosby and Connee Boswell
An Apple For Teacher
Bing Crosby
What’s New?
Bob Hope & Shirley Ross
Two Sleep People
Bob Crosby and his Orchestra
Day-In Day-Out
Carmen Miranda and Dorival Caymmi
O Que & Que a Baiana Tem?
Charlie Barnet
Chick Henderson
Begin the Beguine
Count Basie
Lester Leaps In
Cripple Clarence Lofton
I Don’t Know
Dick Jurgens and his Orchestra
Fats Waller
Your Feets Too Big
Frankie Masters and his Orchestra
Gene Autry
Back in the Saddle Again
South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)
Glen Gray
Heaven Can Wait
Glenn Miller
Blue Orchid
Forever Faithful
Little Brown Jug
Man With the Mandolin
Moon Love
Moonlight Serenade
Over the Rainbow
Stairway to the Stars
Sunrise Serenade
Wishing (Will Make It So)
Guy Lombardo
Penny Serenade
South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)
Judy Garland
Over The Rainbow
The Jitterbug
Kate Smith
God Bless America
Kay Kyser
Three Little Fishes
Larry Clinton
Deep Purple
Louis Armstrong
When the Saints Go Marching In
Martha Tilton
And the Angels Sing
Mary Martin
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
Red Norvo and his Orchestra
Says My Heart
Sammy Kaye
Penny Serenade
Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)
Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Ink Spots
Address Unknown
If I Didn’t Care
My Prayer
Tommy Dorsey
Indian Summer
Our Love
Tony Martin
South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)
Vera Lynn
We’ll Meet Again
Will Glahe and his Orchestra
Beer Barrel Polka
Woody Herman
At the Woodchopper’s Ball