Click on a book to learn more about it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era (1890-1953)

cover for upcoming Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era book


This list will eventually become a companion book to The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999, available at DavesMusicDatabase.com as a standard book or ebook!

When I was in the beginning stages of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999, the intent was to write a “top 100 songs of all time” book. As I quickly discovered, most lists which proclaimed to offer the best of all time are really focused on the latter half of the second century. I decided to retool my project to focus on those years with the idea that I would later roll out another book focused on the pre-rock era.

That book is still in the works, but I thought I’d roll out the list as it stands now as a teaser. As always with DMDB lists, the rankings are determined by aggregating multiple best-of lists and factoring in songs’ sales, chart stats, and awards. It should be noted that in the pre-rock era there were often multiple versions of a song. In fact, some best-of lists did not list a specific version. When the latter occurred, all versions of a song were given points. Once all points were compiled, only the top version of a song was included in this list.


The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era (1890-1953)

1. Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers…White Christmas (1942)
2. Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra…Night and Day (1932)
3. Arthur Collins with Byron Harlan…Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911)
4. Judy Garland…Over the Rainbow (1939)
5. Artie Shaw…Star Dust (1941)
6. Glenn Miller…In the Mood (1939)
7. Artie Shaw…Begin the Beguine (1938)
8. Al Jolson…Swanee (1920)
9. Gene Austin…My Blue Heaven (1927)
10. Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong…St. Louis Blues (1925)
11. Patti Page…Tennessee Waltz (1950)
12. The Mills Brothers…Paper Doll (1942)
13. Vernon Dalhart…The Prisoner’s Song (1925)
14. Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers & Leo Reisman’s Orchestra…Cheek to Cheek (1935)
15. Bing Crosby…Silent Night (1935)
16. Ben Selvin…Dardanella (1920)
17. Coleman Hawkins…Body and Soul (1940)
18. Billy Murray…You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”) (1906)
19. Paul Whiteman…Whispering (1920)
20. Thomas “Fats” Waller…Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1929)
21. American Quartet…Over There (1917)
22. Haydn Quartet…Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart) (1904)
23. Al Jolson…April Showers (1922)
24. Peerless Quartet…Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1911)
25. Bing Crosby with George Stoll’s Orchestra…Pennies from Heaven (1936)
26. Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard…All the Thigns You Are (1939)
27. Ethel Waters…Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time) (1933)
28. Ella Ftizgerald with Chick Webb…A-Tisket, A-Tasket (1938)
29. The Ink Spots…If I Didn’t Care (1939)
30. Cliff Edwards…I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (1928)
31. Haydn Quartet…Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908)
32. Fred Astaire with Johnny Green & His Orcestra…The Way You Look Tonight (1936)
33. The Weavers with Gordon Jenkins…Goodnight Irene (1950)
34. Paul Robeson…Ol’ Man River (1928)
35. Francis Craig with Bob Lamm…Near You (1947)
36. Isham Jones…It Had to Be You (1924)
37. Gene Autry…Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1949)
38. Les Paul with Mary Ford…How High the Moon (1951)
39. Rudy Vallee…As Time Goes By (1931)
40. Jo Stafford…You Belong to Me (1952)
41. Al Jolson…You Made Me Love You, I Didn’t Want to Do It (1913)
42. The Harmonicats…Peg O’ My Heart (1947)
43. Kate Smith…God Bless America (1939)
44. Henry Burr…I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now (1909)
45. Al Jolson…Sonny Boy (1928)
46. Ted Lewis…On the Sunny Side of the Street (1930)
47. Byron Harlan…My Gal Sal (1907)
48. American Quartet with Billy Murray…Casey Jones (1910)
49. Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra & the Williams Brothers Quartet…Swinging on a Star (1944)
50. Billy Murray…Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (1904)
51. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra…I’ll Never Smile Again (1940)
52. Harry MacDonough with Elise Stevenson (as Miss Walton)…Shine on, Harvest Moon (1909)
53. Les Brown with Doris Day…Sentimental Journey (1945)
54. Art Tatum…Tea for Two (1939)
55. Red Nichols…I Got Rhythm (1930)
56. American Quartet…Moonlight Bay (1912)
57. J.W. Myers…In the Good Old Summertime (1902)
58. Larry Clinton with Bea Wain…Deep Purple (1939)
59. Len Spencer… The Old Folks at Home (Swanee River) (1892)
60. Henry Burr with Albert Campbell…Till We Meet Again (1919)
61. Vaughn Monroe…Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend) (1949)
62. Al Jolson…Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody (1918)
63. Billy Murray…Give My Regards to Broadway (1905)
64. Artie Shaw…Frenesi (1940)
65. Duke Ellington…Mood Indigo (1931)
66. Harry James with Helen Forrest…I’ve Heard That Song Before (1943)
67. Byron Harlan…Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1906)
68. The Ink Spots…The Gypsy (1946)
69. Byron Harlan…School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids) (1907)
70. Paul Whiteman with Bob Lawrence…Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (1933)
71. Nat “King” Cole…The Christmas Song (1946)
72. Billy Murray…In My Merry Oldsmobile (1905)
73. Van & Schenck…For Me and My Gal (1917)
74. Dinah Shore & Her Harper Valley Boys…Buttons and Bows (1948)
75. Victor Orchestra…The Glow-Worm (1908)
76. Bing Crosby with Lani McIntire & His Hawaiians…Sweet Leilani (1937)
77. Roy Acuff & the Smoky Mountain Boys…Wabash Cannonball (1938)
78. Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Four Modernaires…Chattanooga Choo CHoo (1941)
79. Little Jack Little…I’m in the Mood for Love (1935)
80. Chauncey Olcott…When Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1913)
81. Nat “King” Cole…Mona Lisa (1950)
82. Billie Holiday…Strange Fruit (1939)
83. Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra…I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
84. Paul Whiteman…Three O’Clock in the Morning (1922)
85. Haydn Quartet…Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet (1909)
86. John Yorke Atlee…Listen to the Mocking Bird (aka “The Mocking Bird”) (1891)
87. Percy Faith with Felicia Sanders…Where Is Your Heart (Song from “Moulin Rouge”) (1953)
88. Arthur Collins…Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home (1902)
89. Hank Williams…Your Cheatin’ Heart (1953)
90. Ted Weems with Elmo Tanner…Heartaches (1947)
91. Ben Selvin…Happy Days Are Here Again (1930)
92. Billy Murray with Haydn Quartet…By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1910)
93. Glenn Miller with Skip Nelson…That Old Black Magic (1943)
94. Johnnie Ray & the Four Lads…Cry (1951)
95. Nick Lucas…Tip Toe Through the Tulips (1929)
96. Pee Wee Hunt Orchestra…Twelfth Street Rag (1948)
97. Paul Whiteman with Franklyn Baur…Valencia (A Song of Spain) (1926)
98. Glen Gray with Kenny Sargent…Blue Moon (1935)
99. Rudy Vallee…Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (1932)
100. Rudy Vallee…Stein Song (University of Maine) (1930)


No comments:

Post a Comment