Saturday, July 26, 2014

Magic! hit #1 with “Rude”

Last updated 3/22/2020.



Writer(s): Nasri Atweh, Adam Messinger, Mark Pellizzer, Ben Spivak, Alex Tanas (see lyrics here)

Released: October 10, 2013

First Charted: April 20, 2014

Peak: 13 US, 16 RR, 13 AC, 15 A40, 17 AA, 19 MR, 11 UK, 6 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 1.2 UK, 8.6 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1760.0 video, 200.0 streaming


About the Song:

Magic! proved to have the magic touch right out of the gate with their debut single, “Rude,” from their first album, Don’t Kill the Magic. The song was a #1 hit in the U.S. and UK and hit the top 10 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. It was only the sixth song by a Canadian band to top the Hot 100, the others being “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies, “American Woman” by the Guess Who, “how You Remind Me” by Nickelback, and “When I’m with You” by Sheriff. SF

Nasri Atweh, the group’s lead singer, is also part of the songwriting and production duo The Messengers along with Adam Messinger. Among their songs are Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never,” Chris Brown’s “Next 2 You,” and Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment.” SF

Atweh described the song as “this picture in my head of a guy asking a father for his marriage blessing and getting rejected. It’s fun soulful, easy, and you know the hook right away.” SF The song originated after Nasri had an unpleasant encounter with a drunken girlfriend. He told Rolling Stone, “It was a rough night, and she was mean. The next day I was just writing, ‘Why you gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?’” SF

4Music said of the song, “One listen and you’ll be hooked” WK while Renowned for Sound called it “lighthearted fun.” WK On the flip side, Time magazine called it the worst song of 2014, criticizing its “sanitized reggae-fusion sound.” WK Canadians seemed to like the song just fine, giving it the Juno Award for Single of the Year.

Resources and Related Links:

Arthur Collins hit #1 with “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home”: July 26, 1902

image from

Arthur Collins “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home”

Writer(s): Hughie Cannon/ Johnnie Queen (see lyrics here)

First charted: 7/12/1902

Peak: 18 US, -- UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: This “early ragtime classic” RCG and “favorite of Dixie jazz bands” JA-22 became a “sing-along standard” RCG thanks to the ease with which it could be adapted to jazz or played on honky-tonk piano or banjo. RCG John Queen, a minstrel and songwriter introduced this instant hit. Arthur Collins, Dan Quinn, and Silas Leachman each took the song to the top 5 in 1902, but Collins’ version was the biggest. PM-477 He was no stranger to the top, having landed there seven times before. This, however, was his biggest hit yet.

Over the years, the song was recorded by a number of other big-name artists. Jimmy Durante and his sidekick Eddie Jackson often used it in their act. JA-22 Bobby Darin took it to number 19 in 1960. Others who recorded the song included Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Della Reese. PS The song also spawned numerous parodies, including Tom Lehrer’s “(Won’t You Come Home) Disraeli?” JA-22 As with many “coon songs”, as such racially deragotory songs from the early 20th century have come to be known, later recordings were often “sanitized.” PS

Several people have claimed to be the original Bill Bailey, JA-22 but according to Tin Pan Alley folklore, RCG the Detroit-born Hughie Cannon was an alcoholic living in a flophouse. One night he supposedly met a real Bill Bailey, an African American vaudeville singer. Bailey’s wife had thrown him out of the house because she’d had it with his late-night partying. PS Cannon gave Bailey money for a room for the night, but was sure the wife would soon beg for him to return.

Cannon then wrote a song about a wife hanging laundry and singing about her hopes that her husband would soon come home. She confesses that she drove him away with “nothing but a fine tooth comb,” but Bailey returns with a fancy car. RCG The song’s popularity led to spin-off tunes “I Wonder Why Bill Bailey Won’t Come Home” and “Since Bill Bailey Came Back Home.” PS

Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Steve Sullivan’s Top 100 from 1897-1956

image from

Steve Sullivan’s Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings is as good as it gets when it comes to music writing. In his two-volume set, he explores more than 1000 songs in detail. In the lead-up to the book, however, he also published two lists on his personal Facebook page – “The 200 Greatest Song Recordings: 1889-1953” and “Traditional Pop: The All-Time Top 200+Classic Performances.” The list below is an average of the three lists, with the top 70 appearing on all three lists. In the event of ties, songs were ranked based on most points in Dave’s Music Database.

The Top 100 Songs from 1897-1956 According to Steve Sullivan

1. Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers…White Christmas (1942)
2. Paul Whiteman with George Gershwin…Rhapsody in Blue (1924)
3. Glenn Miller…In the Mood (1939)
4. Judy Garland…Over the Rainbow (1939)
5. Coleman Hawkins…Body and Soul (1940)
6. Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong…St. Louis Blues (1925)
7. Les Paul with Mary Ford…How High the Moon (1951)
8. Duke Ellington…Take the “A” Train (1941)
9. Lena Horne…Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time) (1942)
10. Paul Robeson…Ol’ Man River (1928)

11. Artie Shaw…Begin the Beguine (1938)
12. Arthur Collins with Byron Harlan…Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911)
13. Sophie Tucker…Some of These Days (1911)
14. Duke Ellington…Mood Indigo (1931)
15. Artie Shaw…Star Dust (1941)
16. Bing Crosby…Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (1932)
17. Nat “King” Cole…The Christmas Song (1946)
18. Billy Murray…You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”) (1906)
19. Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet…Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908)
20. American Quartet with Billy Murray…Casey Jones (1910)

21. John Philip Sousa…The Stars and Stripes Forever…(1897)
22. Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra…Night and Day (1932)
23. Marion Harris…The Man I Love (/1928)
24. Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra…I Can’t Get Started (1938)
25. Ethel Waters…Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin’ All the Time) (1933)
26. Vess Ossman…Maple Leaf Rag (1907)
27. Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers & Leo Reisman’s Orchestra…Cheek to Cheek (1935)
28. The Weavers with Gordon Jenkins…Goodnight Irene (1950)
29. Glenn Miller Orchestra…Moonlight Serenade (1939)
30. Paul Whiteman…Whispering (1920)

31. Louis Armstrong…Star Dust (1931)
32. American Quartet…Over There (1917)
33. Billie Holiday…Summertime (1936)
34. Rosemary Clooney…Tenderly (1952)
35. Marion Harris…After You’ve Gone (1919)
36. Louis Jordan…Choo Choo Ch’Boogie (1946)
37. Ben Selvin…Dardanella (1920)
38. Dooley Wilson…As Time Goes By (1943)
39. Gene Austin…My Blue Heaven (1927)
40. Fred Astaire with Johnny Green & His Orcestra…The Way You Look Tonight (1936)

41. American Quartet…It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (1914)
42. Artie Shaw…Frenesi (1940)
43. Jo Stafford…You Belong to Me (1952)
44. Louis Armstrong…St. Louis Blues (1930)
45. Frank Sinatra…I Get a Kick Out of You (1954)
46. Louis Armstrong…Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1929)
47. Byron Harlan…School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids) (1907)
48. Les Brown with Doris Day…Sentimental Journey (1945)
49. Gene Kelly…Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
50. Duke Ellington with Ivie Anderson…I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good (1941)

51. The Ink Spots…If I Didn’t Care (1939)
52. Nat “King” Cole…Embraceable You (1943)
53. Billy Murray with Haydn Quartet…By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1910)
54. Benny Goodman…Don’t Be That Way (1938)
55. Billy Murray…Yankee Doodle Boy (1905)
56. Original Dixieland Jazz Band…Tiger Rag (1918)
57. Billy Murray…Give My Regards to Broadway (1905)
58. Cab Calloway…Minnie the Moocher (The Ho De Ho Song) (1931)
59. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra…I’ll Never Smile Again (1940)
60. Ben Selvin…Happy Days Are Here Again (1930)

61. Bert Williams…Nobody (1906)
62. Benny Goodman with Martha Tilton…And the Angels Sing (1939)
63. Al Jolson…April Showers (1922)
64. Haydn Quartet…Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart) (1904)
65. Harry MacDonough with Olive Kline…They Didn’t Believe Me (1915)
66. Vernon Dalhart…The Prisoner’s Song (1925)
67. Peerless Quartet…Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1911)
68. Billie Holiday…Body and Soul (1940)
69. Glenn Miller…A String of Pearls (1942)
70. Heidelberg Quintet…Waiting for the Robert E. Lee (1912)

71. Louis Armstrong…West End Blues (1928)
72. Woody Guthrie…This Land Is Your Land (1944)
73. Benny Goodman…Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) (1938)
74. Billie Holiday…Strange Fruit (1939)
75. T-Bone Walker…Call It Stormy Monday (1948)
76. Bessie Smith…Down Hearted Blues (1923)
77. Jimmie Rodgers…Blue Yodel #1 (T for Texas) (1928)
78. Duke Ellington…Ko-Ko (1940)
79. Charlie Parker…Parker’s Mood (1948)
80. Flatt & Scruggs…Foggy Mountain Breakdown (1950)

81. Victor Symphony Orchestra with Nat Shilkret & George Gerswhin…An American in Paris (1929)
82. The Carter Family…Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) (1935)
83. Charlie Parker with Miles Davis & Dizzy Gillespie…Ko-Ko (1945)
84. Roy Acuff…Wabash Cannonball (1936)
85. Frank Sinatra…I’ve Got You Under My Skin (1956)
86. Robert Johnson…Crossroad Blues (1936)
87. Clarence Ashley…The Coo Coo Bird (1929)
88. Mamie Smith…Crazy Blues (1920)
89. Blind Willie Johnson…Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (1927)
90. Geeshie Wiley…Last Kind Word Blues (1930)

91. Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers with Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon…Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn (1929)
92. Judy Garland with Ray Heindorf…The Man That Got Away (1954)
93. Mahalia Jackson…Move on Up a Little Higher (1948)
94. The Carter Family…Wildwood Flower (1928)
95. Billie Holiday…God Bless the Child (1941)
96. Louis Armstrong…Hotter Than That (1928)
97. Don Azpiazu with Arturo Machin…The Peanut Vendor (El Manicero) (1930)
98. Clarence “Pinetop” Smith…Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie (1929)
99. Bessie Smith…Lost Your Head Blues (1926)
100. Europe’s Society Orchestra…Down Home Rag (1914)

Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Edward Foote Gardner’s Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century: Songs of the Year, 1900-1949

Originally posted 4/6/2019.

Edward Foote Gardner’s book, Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century tackled the task of crafting charts for the popular songs of the pre-rock era. He developed a top 20 chart for each month of every year from 1900-1949. These are the top songs for each year based on that book:

  • 1900: George J. Gaskin “When You Were Sweet Sixteen”
  • 1901: Big Four Quartet “Goodbye Dolly Gray”
  • 1902: J.W. Myers “On a Sunday Afternoon”
  • 1903: Byron G. Harlan “Always in the Way”
  • 1904: Byron G. Harlan with Frank Stanley “Blue Bell”
  • 1905: Henry Burr (as Irving Gillette) “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”
  • 1906: Henry Burr “Love Me and the World Is Mine”
  • 1907: Byron Harlan “School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids)
  • 1908: Haydn Quartet “Sunbonnet Sue”
  • 1909: Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet “By the Light of the Silvery Moon

  • 1910: Henry Burr “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland”
  • 1911: Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan “Alexander’s Ragtime Band
  • 1912: Heidelberg Quintet “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee”
  • 1913: Al Jolson “You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)
  • 1914: Billy Murray “He’d Have to Get Under, Get Out and Get Under, to Fix Up His Automobile”
  • 1915: George MacFarlane “A Little Bit of Heaven (Shure, They Call It Ireland)”
  • 1916: Billy Murray “Pretty Baby”
  • 1917: American Quartet “Over There
  • 1918: Joseph C. Smith & Harry MacDonough “Smiles”
  • 1919: Henry Burr with Albert Campbell “Till We Meet Again

  • 1920: Paul Whiteman “Whispering
  • 1921: Ted Lewis “All by Myself”
  • 1922: Paul Whiteman “Three O’Clock in the Morning”
  • 1923: Billy Murray with Ed Smalle “That Old Gang of Mine”
  • 1924: Paul Whiteman “What’ll I Do?”
  • 1925: Al Jolson “All Alone”
  • 1926: George Olsen with Fran Frey, Bob Rice, & Edward Joyce “Always
  • 1927: Guy Lombardo with Weston Vaughan “Charmaine”
  • 1928: Gene Austin “Ramona”
  • 1929: Leo Reisman with Lew Conrad “The Wedding of the Painted Doll”

  • 1930: Ben Selvin “When It’s Springtime in the Rockies”
  • 1931: Kate Smith “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain”
  • 1932: Ted Lewis “In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town”
  • 1933: Joe Green’s Novelty Orchestra “In the Valley of the Moon”
  • 1934: Ray Noble with Al Bowlly “The Old Spinning Wheel”
  • 1935: Glen Gray with Kenny Sargent “When I Grow Too Old to Dream”
  • 1936: Shep Fields “In the Chapel in the Moonlight”
  • 1937: Guy Lombardo “When My Dream Boat Comes Home”
  • 1938: Larry Clinton with Bea Wain “My Reverie”
  • 1939: Will Glahe “Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out the Barrel)”

  • 1940: Glenn Miller with Marion Hutton “The Woodpecker Song”
  • 1941: Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly “Maria Elena”
  • 1942: Vaughn Monroe “When the Lights Go on Again All Over the World”
  • 1943: The Mills Brothers “Paper Doll
  • 1944: Dinah Shore “I’ll Walk Alone”
  • 1945: Les Brown with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey
  • 1946: The Ink Spots “The Gypsy
  • 1947: The Harmonicats “Peg O’ My Heart
  • 1948: Jon Steele & Sandra “My Happiness”
  • 1949: Perry Como “Some Enchanted Evening

Top 100 Songs According to Gardner’s Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century, 1900-1949

cover of Gardner’s Popular Songs… book

Edward Foote Gardner’s book, Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century tackled the task of crafting charts for the popular songs of the pre-rock era. He developed a top 20 chart for each month of every year from 1900-1949. The charts also listed only song titles and not particular performers as it was common in the pre-rock era for multiple artists to have recordings of the same hit songs.

This chart was created by first sorting songs based on total months at #1. The artist with the top-ranked version of the song is the one listed. Because there were multiple ties, songs were then listed in order of overall DMDB rank. An additional 64 songs which didn’t make this list were at #1 for 2 months.

The Top 100 Songs According to Gardner's Popular Songs

5 months at #1:

1. American Quartet…Over There (1917)
2. Byron Harlan…School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids) (1907)

4 months at #1:

3. Arthur Collins with Byron Harlan…Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911)
4. Henry Burr…In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree (1905)
5. Ben Selvin…I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (1919)
6. Ray Noble with Al Bowlly…The Old Spinning Wheel (1933)
7. Haydn Quartet with Harry MacDonough…Sunbonnet Sue (1908)
8. Byron G. Harlan…The Blue and the Gray (1900)

3 months at #1:

9. The Mills Brothers…Paper Doll (1942)
10. Francis Craig with Bob Lamm…Near You (1947)
11. The Harmonicats…Peg O’ My Heart (1947)
12. Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet…By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1910)
13. Al Jolson…You Made Me Love You, I Didn’t Want to Do It (1913)
14. American Quartet…Moonlight Bay (1912)
15. Dinah Shore & Her Harper Valley Boys…Buttons and Bows (1948)
16. Harry MacDonough with Elise Stevenson (as Miss Walton)…Shine on, Harvest Moon (1909)
17. Sophie Tucker…Some of These Days (1911)
18. The Ink Spots…The Gypsy (1946)
19. Henry Burr with Albert Campbell…Till We Meet Again (1919)
20. Byron Harlan…Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1906)

21. George Olsen with Fran Frey, Bob Rice, & Edward Joyce…Always (1926)
22. Harry MacDonough…Down by the Old Mill Stream (1911)
23. Haydn Quartet…Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet (1909)
24. Heidelberg Quintet…Waiting for the Robert E.Lee (1912)
25. Paul Whiteman…Three O’Clock in the Morning (1922)
26. Billy Murray with the American Quartet…Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1911)
27. J.W. Myers…On a Sunday Afternoon (1902)
28. Byron G. Harlan…Hello Central, Give Me Heaven (1901)
29. Gene Austin…Ramona (1928)
30. Paul Whiteman…What’ll I Do? (1924)

31. Harry MacDonough…Hiawatha (His Song to Minnehaha) (1903)
32. The Victor Military Band…Poor Butterfly (1917)
33. Wayne King with Ernie Birchill…Goodnight Sweetheart (1931)
34. Haydn Quartet with Harry MacDonough…Bedelia (1904)
35. Heidelberg Quintet…By the Beautiful Sea (1914)
36. George MacFarlane…A Little Bit of Heaven (Shure, They Call It Ireland) (1915)
37. Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers…Now Is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song) (1948)
38. Leo Reisman with Frances Maddux…Paradise (1932)
39. Arthur Collins…Under the Bamboo Tree (1902)
40. Joseph Smith with Harry MacDonough…Smiles (1918)

41. Al Jolson…I Wonder What’s Become of Sally (1924)
42. Dinah Shore…I’ll Walk Alone (1944)
43. Henry Burr…Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland (1910)
44. Billy Murray…Pretty Baby (1916)
45. Byron G. Harlan with Frank Stanley…Blue Bell (1904)
46. Fred Waring with Clare Hanlon…Little White Lies (1930)
47. Big Four Quartet…Goodbye Dolly Gray (1901)
48. Elizabeth Spencer with Charles Hart…Let the Rest of the World Go By (1920)
49. Metropolitan Orchestra…Creole Belles (1902)

2 months at #1:

50. Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers…White Christmas (1942)
51. Judy Garland…Over the Rainbow (1939)
52. Gene Austin…My Blue Heaven (1927)
53. Paul Whiteman…Whispering (1920)
54. Billy Murray…You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”) (1906)
55. Vernon Dalhart…The Prisoner’s Song (1925)
56. Peerless Quartet…Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1911)
57. Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra…I’ll Never Smile Again (1940)
58. Les Brown with Doris Day…Sentimental Journey (1945)
59. Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet…Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908)
60. Artie Shaw…Frenesi (1940)

61. Dooley Wilson…As Time Goes By (1943)
62. Vaughn Monroe…Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend) (1949)
63. Billy Murray…Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (1904)
64. Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Four Modernaires…Chattanooga Choo Choo (1941)
65. Billy Murray…Yankee Doodle Boy (1905)
66. Al Jolson…Sonny Boy (1928)
67. Harry James with Helen Forrest…I’ve Heard That Song Before (1943)
68. Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra…I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
69. Larry Clinton with Bea Wain…Deep Purple (1939)
70. J.W. Myers…In the Good Old Summertime (1902)

71. Perry Como…Till the End of Time (1945)
72. John McCormack…It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (1915)
73. Van & Schenck…Carolina in the Morning (1923)
74. Nick Lucas…Tip Toe Through the Tulips (1929)
75. Henry Burr…I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now (1909)
76. Johnny Mercer with the Pied Pipers “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” (1945)
77. Ben Selvin…Blue Skies (1927)
78. Arthur Collins with Byron Harlan…The Darktown Strutter’s Ball (1918)
79. Ted Lewis…In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town (1932)
80. Victor Orchestra…The Glow-Worm (1908)

81. Rudy Vallee…Stein Song (University of Maine) (1930)
82. Billy Jones…Yes! We Have No Bananas (1923)
83. Eddie Cantor…If You Knew Susie Like I Know Susie (1925)
84. Wendell Hall…It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’ (1924)
85. Dick Haymes with the Song Spinners…You’ll Never Know (1943)
86. Paul Whiteman with Franklyn Baur…Valencia (A Song of Spain) (1926)
87. Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly & Helen O’Connell…Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy) (1941)
88. George Olsen with Joe Morrison…The Last Round-Up (1933)
89. Paul Whiteman…My Mammy (1921)
90. Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly & Kitty Kallen…Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much) (1944)

91. Eddie Cantor…Margie (1921)
92. Johnny Mercer & the Pied Pipers…On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (1945)
93. Peerless Quartet…I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier (1915)
94. Blue Barron & His Orchestra…Cruising Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon (1949)
95. Frankie Carle with Marjorie Hughes…Oh, What It Seemed to Be (1946)
96. Billy Murray…Harrigan (1907)
97. Henry Burr…Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (1918)
98. Ethel Waters…Am I Blue? (1929)
99. Vic Damone…You’re Breaking My Heart (1949)
100. Steve Porter…A Bird in a Gilded Cage (1900)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19, 1964: The Beatles hit #1 in the UK with A Hard Day's Night

Originally posted January 21, 2013. Last updated September 1, 2018.

A Hard Day’s Night (soundtrack)/
Something New

The Beatles


  • June 26, 1964 US
  • July 10, 1964 UK
  • July 20, 1964 S
UK A Hard Day’s Night UK album
US A Hard Day’s Night US soundtrack
S Something New

Sales (in millions):
US: 4.4 US, 2.0 S
UK: 0.75 UK
IFPI: --
World (estimated): 13.0 US+UK+S

US: 1 14 – US, 2 S
UK: 121 – UK
Canada: --
Australia: 11

Quotable: “This is the sound of Beatlemania in all of its giddy glory” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Genre: pop/rock

Album Tracks/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

UK Album:

  1. A Hard Day’s Night (7/10/64) #13 UK, #12 US
  2. I Should Have Known Better (7/18/64; B-side of “A Hard Day’s Night” in U.S.) #53 US
  3. If I Fell (7/20/64; B-side of “And I Love Her”) #53 US
  4. I’m Happy Just to Dance with You (7/20/64) #95 US
  5. And I Love Her (7/20/64) #12 US
  6. Tell Me Why
  7. Can't Buy Me Love (3/16/64) #15 US, #13 UK
  8. Any Time at All
  9. I’ll Cry Instead (7/20/64; B-side of “Dance”) #25 US
  10. Things We Said Today
  11. When I Get Home
  12. You Can't Do That (3/16/64; B-side of “Can’t Buy Me Love”) #48 US
  13. I'll Be Back

US soundtrack:

  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. Tell Me Why
  3. I’ll Cry Instead
  4. I Should Have Known Better (instrumental) *
  5. I’m Happy Just to Dance with You
  6. And I Love Her (instrumental) *
  7. I Should Have Known Better
  8. If I Fell
  9. And I Love Her
  10. This Boy (instrumental) *
  11. Can’t Buy Me Love
  12. A Hard Day’s Night (instrumental) *

Something New:

  1. I’ll Cry Instead
  2. Things We Said Today
  3. Any Time at All
  4. When I Get Home
  5. Slow Down (8/24/64) #25 US
  6. Matchbox (8/24/64) #17 US
  7. Tell Me Why
  8. And I Love Her
  9. I’m Happy Just to Dance with You
  10. If I Fell
  11. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand *
* Songs not featured on UK album.

Check out the DMDB Beatles’ singles page for a complete singles discography.


A Hard Day's Night was the third Beatles LP released in the U.K. and “the first and only album to solely feature Lennon/McCartney originals.” MU To confuse matters, though, the U.S. version of the album was the soundtrack for the movie of the same name and consequently chopped out a few songs to make way for George Martin instrumentals. Either way, ”only the first seven songs are actually in the movie and they are the strongest of the bunch.” JE

When viewed as a full work, though, the album “stands as a testament to [Lennon & McCartney’s] collaborative powers – never again did they write together so well or so easily.” STEA Hard Day's Night showed a band on the verge of breaking new creative ground, a group that still had fun making old-fashioned pop records.” CS The “syrupy pop-song covers are gone, largely replaced by memorable, tightly crafted masterpieces” JA “performed with genuine glee and excitement.” STE “All of the disparate influences on their first two albums…coalesced into a bright, joyous, original sound, filled with ringing guitars and irresistible melodies.” STE “This is the sound of Beatlemania in all of its giddy glory.” STE

”In the flurry of experimentation that dominated Sgt. Pepper, The White Album and the supreme lyrical achievements of Revolver, The Beatles’ first masterpiece frequently gets lost in the shuffle.” CS ”It's so easy to underestimate this album [and] overlook how great The Beatles were so early in their career because” LL “as the original boy band, the adoration of pre-adolescent girls made The Beatles seem a trifle bit silly.” CS

“With no song running over three minutes in length, The Beatles follow a simple yet powerful rule in rock: Get in, get your message across, and get out. There's no need to pad any of these 13 songs with…extended guitar solos or spotlights on drum work. (Sorry, Ringo - no offense meant.) If anything, these short blasts of power-pop leave the listener wanting more - even today…it's still powerful.” CT “These songs are all catchy” MU and “the melodies forceful and memorable.” STE

This is also “the first [album] to feature George Harrison playing his Rickenbacker electric 12-string guitar (on the opening chord of A Hard Day's Night, for instance). The distinctive sound of the 12-string inspired countless guitarists including Roger McGuinn and David Crosby of the Byrds.” H “That dramatic guitar chord…still jumps right out at you, slaps you in the face, and jump-starts your heart.” JE “The chiming tones of” AD the “jangly guitars and Lennon's irresistible rough vocals" LL make for “straight-ahead good-time rock and roll” MU on “the first pop song to end with a different chord than it started on.” CS

Both it and “Can't Buy Me Love, the latter “coated by Paul's golden voice,” LL “practically burst forth with the joy of music making lost on most artists.” CS Packed with “uncontainable musical exuberance,” LL it “is a stone cold classic, wonderful from beginning to end and it's only 2:14 long! Now, here's a tip all you budding songwriters - pop songs should preferably be less than three minutes long.” AD

”Gushing pop giddiness…runs through I Should Have Know Better,” LL “sung by John. [Great] harmonica sound here, and the melody and vocals are both super strong. The instrumental break positively chimes and shines thanks to the guitar sound” AD and “the glorious harmonica.” H

The “gentle” STE and “powerfully poignant If I FellH is “one of the most beautiful love songs out there.” CT It “features gorgeous harmony vocals by John and Paul.” AD

“Even the toss-off I’m Happy Just to Dance with You, [which was] handed over to George to provide him with a lead vocal, is graced with brilliant backup vocals.” JA “Enjoyable, but no all time world beating masterpiece.” AD

“The guitars sound nice all through” AD “the sappy but sweet” MU “ballad And I Love Her, [bringing] Paul very much to the fore with the vocal.” AD

The “swinging” MUTell Me Why brings back memories of the earlier Beatles style as displayed on their first two records, [although this is a more] varied album than either of it's predecessors.” AD

“Lennon’s scathing” MU and “brash” Any Time at AllSTE is a “wonderful rocker” JA “with good John vocals.” AD

“The tough folk-rock of” STE “the rockabilly-tinged I'll Cry InsteadLL makes for a “perfectly enjoyable with it's little charming guitar parts amid a shuffling rhythm.” AD It “gives a sneak peak at the bitingly good lyricist Lennon would become: ‘I've got a chip on my shoulder that's bigger than my feet/And I can't talk to people that I meet/And if I could see you now/I'd try to make you sad somehow/But I can't/So I cry instead.’” LL

“John’s You Can't Do That is a relentless, powerful rocker,” DBW although it and When I Get Home are “the two weakest links in the whole album chain - not necessarily bad songs, but just not of the same caliber as the rest of the material.” CT

There are “two memorable ballads – Paul’s” AD “catchy” MUThing We Said Today and John's I'll Be Back, both with clever ascending hooks.” JA The former “sounds crystal clear and beautifully recorded.” AD

“Yet another high-point for John, Paul, George, and Ringo – four fab fellows who hit the highest heights imaginable.” JE

Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Link(s):

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

“Give My Regards to Broadway” goes to #1: July 15, 1905

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Billy Murray “Give My Regards to Broadway”

Writer(s): George M. Cohan (see lyrics here)

First charted: 6/17/1905

Peak: 15 US, -- UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: George M. Cohan “virtually invented musical comedy” LW-16 by pioneering the idea that a show could maintain “a proper narrative structure interspersed with songs.” LW-16 Cohan was an untrained musician who “professed to write only simple songs with simple harmonies and limited ranges” PS “and a melody line that rarely exceeded four beats.” LW-16 His brilliance was in making them attractive and memorable.” LW-16

He was “the dominant force on Broadway during its heyday,” LW-16 predating future musical theatre greats like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, and Richard Rodgers. “His best work, like Irving Berlin’s, synthesized the idea of American-ness, useful in a country of so many young immigrants.” LW-16

In 1904, he wrote, composed, produced, acted, and danced in his first Broadway musical, Little Johnny Jones, inspired by real-life jockey Tod Sloan. In addition to “Yankee Doodle Boy”, the show featured “Give My Regards to Broadway”. The song “could only have been sung by an opinionated, cocky young man with a very high opinion of his own worth.” LW-16 Cohan was a natural.

With “music and melody [that] seem to fit any era and transcend fads and styles” PS “Regards” is “arguably…the most memorable and greatest hit from the 1900 – 1910 decade.” PS It has proved to be “one of those enduring favorites that never gets old or outdated.” PS Billy Murray and S.H. Dudley both charted with the song in 1905, taking it to #1 and 4 respectively. Eddie Buzzell sang the song in its first screen appearance for the 1929 film version of Little Johnny Jones. It was also used in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1941), Give My Regards to Broadway (1948), Jolson Sings Again (1948) and With a Song in My Heart (1952). The 1968 play George M! featured Joel Grey singing it in his portrayal of Cohan.

Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sophie Tucker charted for the first time with “Some of These Days”: July 8, 1911

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Sophie Tucker “Some of These Days”

Writer(s): Shelton Brooks (see lyrics here)

First charted: 7/8/1911

Peak: 2 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music) US

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: This has been called “the most important turning point in Tin Pan Alley history” because it was completely different than other popular music of the day. RCG Canadian songwriter Shelton Brooks originally composed this blues number as a waltz, but integrated jazz into the song’s loose structure. As such, jazz musicians had a wide-open pallet on which to improvise. RCG

The song served as a signature for Sophie Tucker, a vaudeville singer and comedienne known as “The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas.” Born Sonia Kalish in Russia in 1884, she got started as a singing waitress at her father’s Connecticut restaurant and became a star on Broadway, in movies, with her own radio show, and via TV appearances as part of her nearly fifty-year recording career. SS

She introduced “Days” in 1910 at Chicago’s White City Park. It became her lifelong theme song, PM showcasing “emotional poser that matched her volume and visceral stage presence.” SS Tucker had chart success with “Some of These Days” twice. Her 1911 version hit #2 and then in 1927, her rerecorded version with Ted Lewis & His Band went to the top of the charts and became a million seller. PM

Three other acts charted with the song – the American Quartet (#3 – 1911), the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (#5 – 1923), and Bing Crosby (#16 – 1932). PM Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Bobby Darin, Judy Garland, and Paul Whiteman are among the others to record the song. It has also been performed in numerous movies and Broadway revues. RCG

Resources and Related Links:

Awards for 1911 and 1927 versions:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

American Quartet's "Casey Jones" hit #1 for the first of 11 weeks: July 2, 1910

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American Quartet with Billy Murray “Casey Jones”

Writer(s): Wallace Saunders/ T. Lawrence Seibert/ Eddie Newton (see lyrics here)

First charted: 6/18/1910

Peak: 111 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: Folk ballads about railroad tragedies became their own musical genre in the five centuries following the Civil War. With more than 40 versions, the song “Casey Jones” came to make its subject matter a mythological figure on par with Pecos Bill or Paul Bunyan. SS It has been called “the most notable railroad song ever” JA and, according to Pulitzer-prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg, “the greatest ballad ever composed on the North American continent.” SS

John Luther “Casey” Jones ran the Illinois “Cannon Ball Express.” His promptness was so well known that some folks set their watches by his runs. Of course, his obsession with being on time had also got him cited for numerous infractions – and was likely a factor in his fateful final run. SS On April 30, 1900, Jones was at the helm when “Old No. 3” left Memphis en route to Canton, Mississippi. Despite signs warning trains to slow down, Jones was going full speed when they pulled into Vaughn, Mississippi, and realized there were still cars on the main track. Not able to stop in time, Jones pushed a brakeman out of the cab and to safety. Then he grabbed the brakes with all his might to try to avert disaster. He couldn’t safe himself, but he spared the lives of many of the passengers.

Railroader Wallace Saunders, who knew Casey, adapted a song called “Jimmie Jones” about another railroad accident. SS Vaudeville performer Tallifero Lawrence Seibert heard the song, which had been popularized on the vaudeville circuit by the Leighton Brothers, and wrote a sketch into his act about Jones. When Seibert met Eddie Walter Newton, a ragtime piano player, the two streamlined the lyrics, reset the song in the Far West, and added a catchier rhythm. SS They published it and gained all rights to the sheet music.

With fifteen #1 songs already to his name, Billy Murray was already a superstar when he joined the American Quartet. However, it was their recording of “Casey Jones” that became the biggest of Murray’s career. It was also the biggest hit of 1910 WHC and, if the likely-inflated figure of two million sales is to be believed, the biggest American seller up to that point, passing Murray’s own “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” SS

Resources and Related Links:

  • American Quartet’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • Billy Murray’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • JA Jasen, David A. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Rememberd Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 33.
  • SS Sullivan, Steve. (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Page 7.
  • WHC Whitburn, Joel. (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Record Research, Inc.: Menomonee Falls, WI. Page 21.
  • WK