Monday, April 15, 1985

50 years ago: The Dorsey Brothers hit #1 with “Lullaby of Broadway”

Lullaby of Broadway

The Dorsey Brothers’ Orchestra with Bob Crosby

Writer(s): Harry Warren (music), Al Dubin (words) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 6, 1935

Peak: 12 US, 12 HP, 14 GA, 14 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.04 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Jimmy Dorsey was an alto saxophonist and clarinetist born in 1904 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. His younger brother, Tommy, was a trombonist born a year later. In 1928, they first charted together and would go on to chart separately and together more than 300 times. Collectively they had thirty-one #1 hits. While most of their hits were with separate orchestras, their first 26 hits were as the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra.

Their very first #1 came in 1935 with their version of “Lullaby of Broadway” which featured a twenty-one-year-old Bob Crosby on vocals. The song “about the town that never sleeps” SM was first featured in the movie Gold Diggers of 1935, sung by Wini Shaw and Dick Powell. Lyricist Al Dubin and composer Harry Warren wrote the songs in the film after experiencing success with Forty Second Street. Gold Diggers of 1935 focused on “a woman of the night whose morals are questionable but whose heart is gold.” TY2

That same year the song was also featured in the Bette Davis movie Special Agent the James Cagney film G Men, and the “Page Miss Glory” Merrie Melodies cartoon. WK “Lullaby of Broadway” won the Oscar for Best Song and Powell’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Doris Day sang it in the 1951 movie Lullaby of Broadway. DJ It was also featured in The Jolson Story (1946) and Young Man with a Horn (1950). TY2

The Dorsey Brothers’ version was one of five versions to chart in 1935. The others were by singer and pianist Little Jack Little (#5), pianist Reginald Foresythe (#11), Hal Kemp’s Orchestra (#14), and Chick Bullock’s Orchestra (#19). PM The song has also been recorded by the Andrews Sisters, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Connie Francis, Harry James’ Orchestra, and Bette Midler. WK


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First posted 3/16/2023.

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