1940 Music – Pop Standards and Artists

1940 Pop Standards and Artists

Cliff Edwards
When You Wish Upon A Star
Pinocchio was Disney’s second full-length animated movie. Disney would add music to his storytelling using the formula he used in Snow White. When You Wish Upon a Star was written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington and sung by Cliff Edwards, the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the film. The song was not part of the story but was sung over the credits at the film’s beginning. The film would have two more songs that would be remembered: Give A Little Whistle and An Actor Life For Me. When You Wish Upon A Star, however, would go on to be added to the list of The One Hundred Greatest Songs In Film History by The American Film Institute. The song would take its place at number seven. Walt Disney Studios would have three other songs on the list.

The Ink Spots
When The Swallows Come Back From Capistrano
This song was written by Leon Rene and was recorded in May of 1940. The recording reached #4 on the charts, but the same year, Glenn Miller recorded the song, and his version would reach number two that same year. The song is a lover’s longing for the return of his or her beloved. The song was written in a tribute to the annual return of the swallow to Capistrano.

Jimmy Davis
You Are My Sunshine
Many people are credited to have written You Are My Sunshine, so the truth of this popular standard may never be known. The writers that claim the credit are Oliver Hood, Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell are also credited with writing the song. History tells us that Davis bought the rights to the song from Paul Rice and put his name on it. This practice was not uncommon during the early days of music publishing. The song would go on to become the State Song Of Louisiana

Glenn Miller
Fools Rush In

With music written by Rube Bloom and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, this song would be recorded throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Artists that recorded the song besides Glenn Miller include Frank Sinatra, Rick Nelson in 1963 where it would hit #12 on the charts. Elvis Presley made his recording in 1971 and in 2010 She and Him also recorded the standard.

Glenn Miller
Pennsylvania 6 – 5000
PE 6 – 5000 is supposedly the oldest continuous phone number in New York City and is owned by The Hotel Pennsylvania. The story goes that many Big Bands played at The Hotel Pennsylvania and this is where the inspiration for the song came from. Written Jerry Gray and Carl Sigman the song would be #5 on The Billboard Charts when recorded by Glenn Miller.

Bob Crosby And His Orchestra
Down Argentine Way
This song, with music by Harry Warren and Lyrics by Mack Gordon, was part of the movie musical by the same name. Produced by 20th Century Fox, the film starred Don Ameche and Betty Grable. The song, however, was performed by Carmen Miranda, and this was the first time American audiences would see the Cuban singer. Miss Miranda would become well known for wearing large hats that looked like they were made out of fruit, such as pineapples.

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Top Artists and Songs of 1940

Andrews Sisters
Ferryboat Serenade
Say Si Si (Para Vigo Me Voy)
South American Way
Artie Shaw
Benny Goodman
Seven Come Eleven
Bing Crosby
Only Forever
Sierra Sue
Trade Winds
Bob Chester Orchestra
Practice Makes Perfect
Bob Crosby and his Orchestra
Down Argentina Way
Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys
New San Antonio Rose
Bukka White
Special Stream Line
Charlie Barnet
Pompton Turnpike
Where Was I?
Cliff Edwards (Ukelele Ike)
When You Wish Upon A Star
Coleman Hawkins
Body and Soul
Connee Boswell
On The Isle of May
Dick Robertson
Ma (He’s Making Eyes at Me)
Edith Piaf
Ella Fitzgerald
Five O’Clock Whistle
Erskine Hawkins
Glenn Miller
Blueberry Hill
Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)
I’d Know You Anywhere
In The Mood
Pennsylvania 6-5000
The Woodpecker Song
Tuxedo Junction
When You Wish Upon A Star
Jimmy Dorsey
The Breeze And I
Jimmy Davis
You Are My Sunshine
Judy Garland
I’m Nobody’s Baby
Kate Smith
The Woodpecker Song
Kay Kyser
Ferryboat Serenade
Leo Reisman
Down Argentina Way
Mildred Bailey
Darn That Dream
Mitchell Ayres and his Fashions In Music
Make-Believe Island
Two Dreams Met
Nat Gonella
I’m Nobody’s Baby
Paul Robeson
Ballad For Americans
Sammy Kaye
Dream Valley
Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
Down Argentina Way
The Ink Spots
Java Jive
We Three (My Echo My Shadow and Me)
When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano
Whispering Grass
Tommy Dorsey
All The Things You Are
I’ll Never Smile Again
Only Forever
Vaughn Monroe
There I Go
Will Bradley
Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar
Celery Stalks At Midnight
There I Go
Woody Guthrie
Talking Dust Bowl Blues